Embrace the Burn
A Minnesota winter is a steep learning curve. I remember being baffled, horrified, then deeply impressed the first time I saw someone RUNNING in subzero cold. I had moved to a state populated by a race of attractive aliens with cold-weather superpowers.
Early on someone pulled me aside with good advice: "Don't hide in the basement or hibernate in front of the tube. Embrace winter! Put on some cross-country skis, take the kids skating, build a snowman. The best antidote is to throw yourself, headfirst into winter.
As long as you're properly dressed. I've been following the no-exposed-skin rule since reaching middle age and it will apply to everyone thru the first half of next week. Windchill advisories are posted; we may see 5 nights/row below zero - highs Saturday may hold below zero.
This may wind up being the coldest stretch since 2007. According to Pete Boulay, at the MN Climate Center, we enjoyed 10 nights/row below zero in February, 2007. The record? 36 nights/row below zero in 1936.
More deep breaths: 30s return in a week, and you'll be amazed how good freezing feels a week from today.
Yes, misery loves company. Freeze warnings are posted for Phoenix, even San Francisco. Most of America is shivering right along with us!
* map above courtesy of the Duluth office of the National Weather Service.
Future Radar. The animation below shows a wave of low pressure rippling along the edge of arctic air, sparking a band of snow and potentially paralyzing ice from Texas and Oklahoma into Arkansas, Kentucky and Ohio over the next 84 hours. Data: NOAA's 4km NAM and Ham Weather.
* Leading edge of bitter air sparks band of heavy snow and ice from northern Texas and Oklahoma into Arkansas and Middle Mississippi Valley and Ohio Valley over the next 36 hour. Very significant snow is expected from southern Illinois and southern Indiana into northern Kentucky and much of Ohio.
* Ice Storm Warnings posted from near Oklahoma City to Little Rock and Memphis for .25"+ amounts of glaze ice tonight into Friday.
* Enhanced risk of frostbite north central USA as wind chill values dip to -30F by Saturday morning.
Summary: We're still on track for a very significant period of heavy snow and ice, impacting the Southern Plains, Middle Mississipi Valley and Ohio Valley over the next 48 hours. This still will impact travel by land and air, with a high probability of power disruptions in some communities due to a heavy accumulation of glaze ice. Accumulating snow may extend into New England over the weekend, with a few slushy inches from D.C. to Philadelphia by Sunday, but confidence levels for East Coast accumulation is still quite low - we need to see more data. Meanwhile the coldest air in at least 4 years will create potentially dangerous wind chills and an enhanced frostbite risk from the Upper Midwest into the Great Lakes.
Paul Douglas - Senior Meteorologist - Alerts Broadcaster
Image credit above: "An illustration of giant-cell flow trajectories in 2010". Credit: Hathaway/NASA.
Photo credit: "The Chevrolet Spark gets 128 MPGe in the city and 109 on the highway." Photo credit: Chevrolet.
Photo credit above: "The GER mood sweater means you will never again have to tell people how you are feeling."
** photo above of a "light pillar" and sundogs courtesy of the Twin Cities National Weather Service.
Large Companies Prepared To Pay Price On Carbon. The New York Times has the article - here's an excerpt: "More than two dozen of the nation’s biggest corporations, including the five major oil companies, are planning their future growth on the expectation that the government will force them to pay a price for carbon pollution as a way to control global warming. The development is a striking departure from conservative orthodoxy and a reflection of growing divisions between the Republican Party and its business supporters. A new report by the environmental data company CDP has found that at least 29 companies, some with close ties to Republicans, including ExxonMobil, Walmart and American Electric Power, are incorporating a price on carbon into their long-term financial plans..."
Photo credit above: "The Motiva refinery, co-owned by Shell in Port Arthur, Texas, April 2, 2013. More than two dozen major American corporations, including the five oil giants, are preparing to pay climate-related taxes, departing from the conservative orthodoxy of the party they traditionally support." (Michael Stravato/The New York Times)
Photo credit above: "Sea level rise over the next century depends on future greenhouse gas emissions." Photograph: Jon M Fletcher/AP.
Obama To Feds: Boost Renewable Power 20 Percent. AP and ABC News have the article - here's a clip: "Saying the government should lead by example, President Barack Obama is ordering the federal government to nearly triple its use of renewable sources for electricity by 2020. Obama says the plan to use renewables for 20 percent of electricity needs will help reduce pollution that causes global warming, promote American energy independence and boost domestic energy sources such as solar and wind power that provide thousands of jobs. Obama announced the plan Thursday as part of a wide-ranging, second-term drive to combat climate change and prepare for its effects. A plan announced in June would put first-time limits on carbon pollution from new and existing power plants, boost renewable energy production on federal lands and prepare communities to deal with higher temperatures..."