Breaking News: Clueless Minnesota Meteorologist Touts Advantages of Ridiculously Cold Weather!
Here's what I like about occasional cold waves. I like how it brings people together, often against their will. I like the way 32F feels (freezing!) after a subzero stretch. I like the fact that this level of cold is required to kill beetles and other pests chomping away at Minnesota's North Woods. I like the way people's eyes get big when you tell them you live in Minnesota.
And finally I relish the fact that, in spite of all our advanced technology, there's not a 'ding-dang thing we can do to stop it. We are (still) very much at the mercy of the elements. It's good to be humbled every now and then.
That said, getting a flat tire in open country today could be life-threatening. Another lobe of the much-hyped Polar Vortex arrives on 40 mph wind gusts, whipping up ground-blizzards just west of MSP. A 20 mph wind sustained wind will spark a wind chill factor of -45F Monday morning.
I'll be amazed if schools open up Monday, again Tuesday. Temperatures bottom out Tuesday morning at -23F.
This may wind up being the coldest January since 1994 in the Twin Cities. 20s (above zero!) will feel like a Godsend late next week.
...A PERIOD OF SNOW FOR MOST LOCATIONS TONIGHT... THEN BLIZZARD CONDITIONS ACROSS WESTERN AND SOUTHERN MINNESOTA SUNDAY AND SUNDAY NIGHT... A BLIZZARD WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED FROM LATE SUNDAY MORNING THROUGH SUNDAY EVENING FOR LOCATIONS GENERALLY ALONG AND WEST OF A LINE FROM STAPLES TO HUTCHINSON TO ALBERT LEA. PRIOR TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF STRONG WINDS AND BLIZZARD CONDITIONS... A PERIOD OF SNOW IS EXPECTED TONIGHT... WITH ACCUMULATIONS FROM 2 TO LOCALLY 5 INCHES. A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY HAS BEEN ISSUED DUE TO THIS EXPECTED SNOWFALL... AND IS IN EFFECT FOR TONIGHT GENERALLY ALONG AND SOUTHWEST OF A LINE FROM LITTLE FALLS TO NEW RICHMOND TO MENOMONIE... INCLUDING THE TWIN CITIES METRO AREA. THIS ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT THROUGH SUNDAY EVENING FOR LOCATIONS WHERE THE BLIZZARD WARNING DOES TAKE EFFECT... GIVEN THE EXPECTATION FOR SIGNIFICANT BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW SUNDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING. NORTHWEST WINDS FROM 30 TO 40 MPH... WITH GUSTS TO 55 MPH... WILL DEVELOP ACROSS WESTERN AND SOUTHERN MINNESOTA ON SUNDAY. THE STRONG WINDS COMBINED WITH THE FRESHLY FALLEN SNOW WILL RESULT IN BLIZZARD CONDITIONS WITH WIDESPREAD VISIBILITIES NEAR ZERO IN THE BLIZZARD WARNING AREA... WITH MORE SPORADIC WHITEOUT CONDITIONS EXPECTED IN THE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY AREA. THE WINDS WILL DIMINISH SOME LATE SUNDAY NIGHT... WHICH WILL ALLOW CONDITIONS TO IMPROVE... BUT AREAS OF BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW WILL LIKELY PERSIST INTO MONDAY. IN ADDITION... TEMPERATURES WILL QUICKLY DROP BEHIND THE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM SUNDAY MORNING... FALLING FROM AN EARLY HIGH IN THE TEENS AND 20S TO READINGS BELOW ZERO OVER MOST AREAS BY EVENING. TEMPERATURES WILL THEN DROP INTO A RANGE FROM 15 TO 25 BELOW BY MONDAY MORNING. THIS WILL RESULT IN DANGEROUS WIND CHILLS FROM 40 TO 50 BELOW ZERO BEGINNING SUNDAY NIGHT AND LASTING INTO TUESDAY.
* This is still a 204 hour forecast, the rough meteorological equivalent of predicting what the NASDAQ will be on February 3. Good luck with that. The forecast for Super Bowl weather will change as new data arrives and supercomputer predictions zero in on a reasonable solution.
* Right now I don't see any blizzards for the game itself, in fact the trend with recent computer runs is milder and drier. Temperatures may reach the 40s earlier in the day at The Meadowlands, but probably hold in the 30s for the game itself.
* The most reliable model (ECMWF) suggests dry weather most of Sunday, patchy clouds with a risk of a (rain) shower. Friday appears to be the best travel day with generally dry conditions and few delays at nearby airports. I could see a rain-snow mix on Saturday with a slight chance of a slushy coating; probably no wide-spread delays with ATC. Getting out Monday should be OK with a slow clearing/drying trend behind a cold front.
Summary: based on the best available model guidance I don't see any major weather nightmares shaping up for metro NYC for this year's Super Bowl. A nuisance rain-snow event is possible next Saturday, maybe a little slush, but with temperatures at or just above 32F I expect most (major) roads and runways in northern New Jersey to be wet vs. icy or snow-covered. The best travel days will be Friday and Monday, although getting out late Sunday night shouldn't be an issue either.
Setting Expectations: I'll provide updates each afternoon, after I've had a chance to digest the day's 12z ECMWF run to look for patterns and trends.
Broncos by 7. Trust me, I'm a weatherman.
Image credit above: "The variable-mesh MPAS grid can be customized to feature higher resolution where added detail is desired, as illustrated here for North America." Courtesy MPAS.
Image credit above: "Satellite imagery of artificial light, like this picture of Italy, can reveal the human activity you might want to avoid." (NASA).
Address: if you want to check it out head to 2700 block of 16th Street Northwest in New Brighton; it's near Totino Grace.
Get Ready For A Shock: The World's Fastest Supercar Might Soon Be Electric. For a cool million and change this can be yours! CNN has the details on the Concept_One; here's a clip: "At full speed, the Rimac Concept_One is little more than a cherry red blur, flashing from one corner of the horizon to the other in the blink of an eye. If its projected performance figures prove to be true, this radical electric concept car -- the brainchild of an award-winning young Croatian designer -- could accelerate faster than all but two of the fastest supercars on earth. The Rimac Concept_One's figures are impressive. Not just for an electric car, but for traditional petrol-engine cars as well..."
9.2 F average January temperature so far in the Twin Cities. If the average January temperature reaches 4.3F or colder this January would fall into the Top 15 Coldest Januaries at MSP. Details below:
Photo credit above: "The US side of Niagara Falls has begun to thaw after being partially frozen from the recent "polar vortex" that affected millions in the US and Canada." Photograph: Nick LoVerde/AP.
Climate Change Awareness Increases With Extreme Weather Conditions. Is the velocity of extreme weather, worldwide, truly increasing? Is it our imagination - or better reporting? Here's an excerpt from Science World Report: "...Bill Gates also acknowledged the importance of the issue and believes that there is an awareness problem concerning climate change. Gates reiterated that since the issues of climate change and development are interlinked, the focus should not be more prevalent on either individual subject because it is a collective issue. He also warned of the dangers of growing prosperity, because as more people begin to afford new uses of energy, it is paramount that the energy is generated in a clean way or else the current state of affairs will worsen dramatically..."
Photo credit above: AP Photo/Marco Trovati.
Photo credit above: "Global warming is progressing at such a rate that scientists say many previous sites of Winter Olympics would be too warm to host a Winter Games by the last half of this century." (Dominic Ebenbichler/Reuters).
File photo above: "In this Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013 file photo insulated blankets cover a snow storage unit in the Rosa Khutor Alpine center in the mountain cluster in Krasnaya Polyana outside the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia. Sochi will have enough snow for the Winter Olympics in February, Russia's chief weather forecaster vowed Friday. Concerns about a snowless Olympics were raised after two test events in Sochi had to be cancelled last February because of a lack of snow or rainy weather. The resort city on the Black Sea is the only sub-tropical region of Russia." (AP Photo/Sergei Grits, File).
Industry Awakens To Threat Of Climate Change. When it starts showing up on the top line, or bottom line, many companies are quickly getting past climate denial and trying to figure out viable strategies for dealing with increased climate volatility in their supply chains. Here's a clip from The New York Times: "Coca-Cola has always been more focused on its economic bottom line than on global warming, but when the company lost a lucrative operating license in India because of a serious water shortage there in 2004, things began to change. Today, after a decade of increasing damage to Coke’s balance sheet as global droughts dried up the water needed to produce its soda, the company has embraced the idea of climate change as an economically disruptive force. “Increased droughts, more unpredictable variability, 100-year floods every two years,” said Jeffrey Seabright, Coke’s vice president for environment and water resources, listing the problems that he said were also disrupting the company’s supply of sugar cane and sugar beets, as well as citrus for its fruit juices. “When we look at our most essential ingredients, we see those events as threats...”
Photo credit above: "Andrew Link/Winona Daily News, via Associated Press.
"Climate change is real and man-made ... After year 2070, global warming will become a net cost to the world, justifying cost-effective climate action."Image credit above: "Bjorn Lomborg leads the Copenhangen Consensus Center, which has concluded that more global warming will be worse for the economy." Photograph: Camera Press.
Backers: Report On Rail Risks Boosts Keystone XL. Because there have never (ever) been any pipeline-related spills, right? Here's an excerpt of a story from AP and ABC News: "A government warning about the dangers of increased use of trains to transport crude oil is giving a boost to supporters of the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline. U.S. and Canadian accident investigators urged their governments Thursday to impose new safety rules on so-called oil trains, warning that a "major loss of life" could result from an accident involving the increasing use of trains to transport large amounts of crude oil. Pipeline supporters said the unusual joint warning by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada highlights the need for Keystone XL, which would carry oil derived from tar sands in western Canada to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Oil started flowing Wednesday through a southern leg of the pipeline from Oklahoma to the Houston region..."
NTSB Urges Oil Trains Be Routed Away From Population Centers. There were more rail-related accidents involving transporation of oil in 2013 than the previous 37 years, nationwide. Here's a clip from a story at The Star Tribune: "The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) expressed growing concern Thursday that accidents involving oil trains can cause “major loss of life,” and recommended that they be rerouted where possible to avoid populated areas. The safety board’s proposal, a direct response to last July’s oil train disaster in Quebec, reverberates in the Twin Cities, where 100-car crude oil trains have become a common occurrence. But diverting oil tankers away from cities, especially historic rail hubs such as Minneapolis and St. Paul, represents a daunting challenge because most major tracks pass through urban areas..."
Photo credit above: "National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt, right, views damaged rail cars in Casselton, N.D."
The Norwegian Carbon Capture And Storage Nightmare. Will we someday invent technologies to render carbon pollution harmless, turn it into an inert gas, or bury it (forever) in the ground? Perhaps - but it hasn't happened yet, nothing that can be scaled. Here's a clip from a cautionary tale in Norway from The Foreigner: "...In my perspective, the project was doomed to fail from the beginning. It was never true that effective CCS technology was readily available, no more in 2006 than today. Well-working carbon capture and storage that actually benefits the climate requires cost and energy-efficient carbon capture, efficient transport of the CO2, and safe storage. Furthermore, every part of this chain needs to be working well with the others at an industrial scale. None of this was present then, none of it is present now..."
Image credit above: "The only remaining trace of the "Norwegian Moon Landing" is a very big pile of documents." Photo: Nina Aldin Thune/Wikimedia Commons.
* more on carbon capture and storage technologies from Joe Romm at ThinkProgress.