A Defining Chill
What unites residents of Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth? Cheering on Gophers, Twins, Vikes, Wolves and The Wild. And by The Wild I mean our increasingly manic weather patterns.
What may turn into the coldest arctic outbreak in a decade is on the way. Not a casual cold front, but at least two separate waves of "Holy Thinsulate - get me out of here!" Siberian Surges. An old fashioned cold wave spilling into mid-December.
I'm predicting 5 subzero nights through the middle of next week; in spite of a Yukon-blue sky daytime "highs" may not rise above 0F on Saturday. Late week wind chills may dip to -25F or colder.
Bitter blasts are often preceded by significant snow, and we're still on track for some 4-14 inch snowfall amounts over central & northern Minnesota by Thursday; maybe 2 feet along Lake Superior's North Shore.
Today will offer a wintry mix, the rain-snow line hovering over MSP - rain and sleet mixing with wet snow at times, mainly wet roads in the metro area. As temperatures cool a changeover to snow is likely tonight, maybe 2-4" tonight into Wednesday - the best chance of 3 or 4" northern suburbs. The farther north you drive up I-35 and 371 the heavier the amounts, but enough warm air pushes north for a sloppy winter mix in the metro today. ECMWF model data still hints at a few inches of snow Wednesday in the metro.
Temperatures drop below 0F Thursday, and may stay there until Sunday afternoon - before a reinforcing blast arrives next week. Here we go!
- Thanksgiving was the coldest since 1993 and driest since 2002. The Black Friday Weekend was the coldest in 4 years. Several major markets in the East had their coldest Black Friday weekend in over 15 years, including NYC, Baltimore, Charlotte, and New Orleans. Boston was coldest since 2000, Detroit and Atlanta since 2002, helping put seasonal items in customer baskets.
- Week 4 in the U.S., which included Thanksgiving and Black Friday, was the coldest end to November in over 50 years. Canada was colder than normal..."
Photo credit above: "The result of the storm surge that swept over Tacloban in the Philippines." Photo by Ton Carmello Pido Tallon.
Image credit above: Jason Cipriani/CNET.
"The problem is that enough people aren’t willing to change their own behaviors or pay to support an aggressive anti-emissions program right now. That’s not simply because of oil-company lobbying. It’s because fossil fuels are cheap. They are abundant, energy-rich and easy to transport." - Editorial, Washington Post.
Power In 2030 - The Roads We May Take. Daniel Yergin, who has written extensively about energy and oil, has a very interesting Op-Ed in The New York Times, focused on America's energy mix going forward, a smooth transition toward less polluting and renewable fuels, or a vortex of pain? Here's an excerpt: "...How, then, to assess the energy future? One way is through the use of scenarios. These are not meant to be predictions or forecasts, but rather plausible ‘‘stories’’ about the future. They help to identify what seems to be predetermined, the things you can count on. They also highlight the driving forces and big uncertainties — and even the potential surprises before they occur. The scenarios below are written from the vantage point of 2030. Drawing on work that I oversaw at the research firm IHS, of which I am vice chairman, I propose three futures: ‘‘Global Redesign,’’ ‘‘Meta’’ and ‘‘Vortex.’’ Each is quite plausible but leads to very different balances between conventional energy — oil, natural gas and coal — and renewables like solar and wind..."
Image credit: Eion Ryan.
Tech Leaders, Economists Split Over Clean Energy's Prospects. Here's a clip of a story from NPR: "...Kammen thinks advances in technology are on the horizon that could push the United States rapidly away from fossil fuels. If we put a price on the environmental damage caused by carbon dioxide, clean forms of energy like solar would become comparatively cheaper, he says. That would trigger a whole new relationship between people and energy, he says, as homeowners produce power instead of simply consuming it. People would have a powerful reason to install solar panels and store some of that energy in the batteries in their electric cars — and even send short bursts of it to the power grid..."