2013 was another year of head-shaking weather. Yes, the atmosphere has always been fickle, capable of wild extremes, but there's evidence of more volatility in the system.
It was the Year of All or Nothing.
Minnesota's drought eased by late spring, then returned suddenly with a late summer "flash drought". Heavy snow fell in early May and the Arrowhead saw a rare August frost. SPC reported 11 Minnesota tornadoes, a third of what we normally see. But the June 21 "Solstice Storm" produced 80 mph straight-line winds that toppled thousands of trees.
2013 was the quietest year for hurricanes in the Atlantic since 1982, but the Pacific was very active. Typhoon Haiyan was one of the most powerful storms ever observed, leaving over 6,000 dead in the Philippines.
The return of Fresh Air sets off an inch or two of fluff early today, another coating to an inch Saturday night, as a reinforcing clipper arrives. No prolonged thaws are brewing; 20F Christmas Day, maybe 30F the following Saturday, December 28.
Until the pattern shifts and steering winds blow from New Mexico it'll be tough getting any big storms into Minnesota.
At least snow lovers are having a better winter than usual - and we'll all get to enjoy a very white Christmas.
* image above courtesty of funcram.com
FREEZING RAIN AND DRIZZLE IS OCCURRING ACROSS NORTHEAST IOWA...SOUTHWEST WISCONSIN AND SOUTHEAST MINNESOTA. ICE COVERED ROADS HAVE BEEN REPORTED ACROSS NORTHEAST IOWA AND SOUTHWEST WISCONSIN WHERE TRAVEL IS NOT RECOMMENDED. ICE ACCUMULATIONS OF 1/10 OF AN INCH OR LESS ARE EXPECTED ON MOST EXPOSED SURFACES...INCLUDING ROADWAYS AND SIDEWALKS. PLAN ON SLICK AND SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS... ESPECIALLY FOR THE FRIDAY MORNING COMMUTE. USE CAUTION BEFORE HEADING OUT.
Photo credit above: "Recently, experts have sounded warnings about the impact of climate change, with one warning that the energy-rich Yamal Peninsula in Siberia could be flooded due to a rise in sea levels - along with some famous cities." Picture from Barnaul, Western Siberia, courtesy Sergey Scherbin, Barnaul.fm
* Potential for glaze ice event Friday from Missouri and Iowa into southern Wisconsin. Flash flood risk Middle Mississippi Valley.
* Heavier band of snow sets up from near Kansas City to Quad Cities and Madison Sunday and Sunday night - probably enough to shovel and plow. Chicago and Detroit will probably miss the worst of this late weekend storm.
* Series of very powerful storms spinning up in the North Atlantic, capable of wind damage and power outages across U.K., Ireland and Scotland - greatest risk coming Thursday of next week.
Summary: Midwestern operations will be impacted by rain, ice and (Sunday) snow, as the next surge of cold air pushes east - while eastern cities as far north as New York City and Philadelphia enjoy 60s on Saturday, 70s from Washington D.C. to Charlotte and Raleigh, highly unusual for the third week of December. We're tracking a series of unusually intense storms across the North Atlantic and North Sea, capable of disrupting operations, especially United Kingdom, over the next 7-10 days.
Paul Douglas - Senior Meteorologist - Alerts Broadcaster
* Photo above courtesy of Steve Burns, who snapped this photo on a ski trip to Colorado: "Shot from Frisco, this is looking east over the Front Range and the two 14ers of Grays Peak and Torreys Peak."
“Those who have the privilege to know have the duty to act.” - Albert Einstein
Photo credit above: "Can this guy get the White House to get tough on climate change?" (AP Photo/Eric Jamison).
Why Environmentalists Should Hope Nuclear Power Sticks Around. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed at The Washington Post: "...Some environmentalists cheer the closing of nuclear plants, even though it makes the anti-carbon effort tougher, and they argue that the country should put all of the planet’s eggs into the renewables basket. The pro-nuclear crowd predicts that a new wave of innovative technologies will make constructing new nuclear plants much more attractive, technically and economically. The country — and particularly environmentalists — should hope the pro-nuclear side is right; a renaissance in nuclear technology could offer the country a source of reliable, carbon-free electricity with safer designs than those of decades ago, all of which would be particularly helpful if renewables never burst out of their niche end of the market..." (File photo: CNN).
Climate And Economic Models - Birds Of A Different Feather. University of St. Thomas climate scientist John Abraham describes the differences in this story at The Guardian; here's an excerpt: "...We can see the two big weaknesses with business models. First, they do not follow any universal conservation equations. There is no analogy for mass, momentum, and energy in a business model. Second, behavior of economies in the past may not be a proper indicator of the future. Should we expect the U.S. economic recovery from the great recession be anything like the recovery from the Great Depression? Can stimulus or austerity success or failure be predicted by past stimulus or austerity cases? The answer is, we just don't know...."
Image credit above: Katrina Tuliao/Wikimedia Commons.
Photo credit above: Peter Essick. "Inuit people harvest potatoes in southern Greenland, where temperatures have been rising rapidly." View the photo essay.
Graphic credit above: .