About a foot of snow on the ground in the Twin Cities? Not bad, considering most winters snow lovers have to beg & plead for a little "white stuff". Even if a parade of Alberta Clippers means we're seeing snow an inch or two at a time. The same persistently cold flow out of Canada responsible for a numbing January is shutting out deep moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.
For us to get walloped with heavy snow (6 to 20 inches) usually requires a southern storm track, from Kansas City to Waterloo to Eau Claire, with just the right mix of southern-wet and northern chill. I don't see that scenario playing out into at least the first week of February.
The latest entry in our treadmill of clippers drops a few inches of fluff this morning, enough snow to grease up area highways. Circle your calendar: the mercury SOARS into the 30s Sunday, before Canada goes on the attack again next week, highs blipping just above zero Tuesday, again next weekend. Not as polar as January 6-7.
Finally, Jeff Masters at Weather Underground reports a record 41 separate billion dollar plus weather disasters, worldwide, in 2013. The USA experienced 7 of those; not as many as 2010-2012. Check the blog below for more details.
* for the latest advisories, watches and warnings for the Upper Midwest click here, graphics courtesy of Ham Weather.
Photo credit above: "Gov. Jerry Brown points to images showing the snow depth in the Sierra mountains on Jan. 13, 2013, left, and Jan. 13, 2014, center, while declaring a drought state of emergency in San Francisco, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. With a record-dry year, reservoir levels under strain and no rain in the forecast, California Gov. Jerry Brown formally proclaimed the state in a drought Friday, confirming what many already knew. Brown made the announcement in San Francisco amid increasing pressure in recent weeks from the state's lawmakers, including Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein." (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
1. Urban water agencies will (and are beginning to) roll out a wide range of voluntary and mandatory water “conservation” programs. These typically ask customers to limit discretionary water uses such as watering gardens and washing cars and sidewalks. As droughts worsen, agencies expand these programs to offer incentives for both structural and behavioral changes: purchase more water-efficient appliances, remove grass and plant water-efficient gardens, cut shower times, and more. In the past, these kinds of programs and educational efforts have temporarily cut urban water use by between 10 and 25% depending on the programs and level of effort.
2. Some farmers and water districts with “junior” water rights will see water allocations from state and federal irrigation projects severely cut; some growers with “senior” water rights will see modest or even no shortages at all..."
Graphic credit: Weather Underground, data source: Aon Benfield.
Armed Forces See Rise In Renewable Energy. To appease Al Gore? Probably not. To save money, build in redundancy and resiliency, and become less dependend on oil supply lines. Probably because it makes dollars and sense and lowers the risk to our troops deployed in the field, worldwide. Here's an excerpt from The Los Angeles Times: "The use of clean energy technology has seen a sharp rise in military sites in the U.S., as the armed forces push into green sources of power around the country, a report said. The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. have looked for ways to reduce its energy bills in recent years even as the Pentagon's budget is squeezed. Combined, the U.S. military goes through $4 billion worth of power on its bases, according to a report from Pew Charitable Trusts. The armed forces have moved to quickly adopt green energy solutions, the report said..."
Image credit above: "The armed forces are increasing their use of renewable-energy projects to cut down on power bills." (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times / February 27, 2009).
- “If you could throw a parade of any caliber through the Zappos office, what type of parade would it be?” --The Zappos Family, Customer Loyalty Team Member interview.
- “How lucky are you and why?” --Airbnb, Content Manager interview.
- “If you were a pizza delivery man, how would you benefit from scissors?” --Apple, Specialist interview.
- “If you could sing one song on American Idol, what would it be?” --Red Frog Events, Event Coordinator interview...."
Image credit above: "The increase in climate science disbelief. Yale and George Mason University teams on Climate Change Communication.
Belief In Climate Change Depends On The Weather. At least among Independent voters. The Week has the story; here's a clip: "Conservative organizations spend as much as a billion dollars a year trying to convince Americans that climate change isn’t real, or if it is real, that it isn’t caused by humans. At one point, it seemed that their campaign was working. In 2009, Pew found that belief in global warming had fallen to a low of 59 percent, down from 77 percent in 2007. And just 36 percent of those surveyed that year believed that climate change was being caused by humans, down from 47 percent in 2007. However since 2009, the number of believers has grown: Today 69 percent of those surveyed believe global warming is occurring, with 42 percent believing it is caused by humans..."
Photo credit above: Wikipedia.
"That is a very striking number and one I think that should be ringing alarm bells. It indicates to me that something has fundamentally changed in the economics of the oil industry and that you're having to invest more and more for diminishing incremental production."