The Real Story
The Hard Minnesota Winter of 2014, sponsored by the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce. Our motto: "We're living in a desert - we may run out of water - but today our weather is so much nicer!"
I read this on the Internet so it must be true.
No, I'm not really blaming Arizona or Florida. The real culprit is far more sinister - our subversive neighbor to the north, quietly engaging in atmospheric extremism.
That's right, blame Canada.
Why isn't FEMA taking this threat seriously? Can't we build a really tall wall? Politicians will shrug and chalk it up to long nights & deep snow cover, but I suspect this silent, brittle invasion has been in the works for some time. We're already paying more for Canadian crude! Coincidence? I don't think so.
Calling Glenn Beck. Or Jesse Ventura.
32 subzero nights since December 1; the most since 1982. Today's clipper whips up 2-5 inches of fresh powder, followed by yet another jolt of (Canadian!) air by Friday.
I see very slight moderation next week - single digits and teens. Longer range models are hinting at a reprieve the latter half of February. Won't that be nice.
Be glad you don't live in Atlanta: 30-40 sanding trucks for the entire city. Melting snow refroze into glaze ice, sparking an unimaginable traffic jam. Details below.
Graphic credit: Courtesy: Minnesota State Climatology Office. "Minimum Temperatures of zero or colder in the Twin Cities Through Jan 31."
Photo credit above: "Traffic at a standstill on Interstate 65 northbound as officials work to clear abandoned vehicles in Hoover, Alabama, on January 29, 2014."
Photo credit above: Twitter/@WCL_Shawn.
"In terms of human impact, yesterday's forecast 'bust' was the most significant for me since January 1982, when we had a timing error of about six hours on the arrival of freezing rain and snow..."
Here is what has changed since yesterday:
* latest model solutions a little milder for Super Bowl Sunday: highs may peak in low 40s AM hours before falling thru the 30s during the PM.
* I still don't see widespread or heavy rain or snow - but an isolated rain/snow shower, or a few flurries/sprinkles, can't be ruled out during the game.
* Winds are slightly lighter: west to northwest at gametime, average of 7-12 mph with higher gusts.
* Meteorologists and various pundits will be at a rare (and welcome) loss for words. No BREAKING WEATHER in East Rutherford, New Jersey Sunday.
Summary: meteorologists live in a state of perpetual paranoia. I keep analyzing the maps and models, wondering (out loud) what can possibly go wrong. Confidence levels are very high that there won't be a major storm for the Super Bowl, certainly no blizzards or coastal storms that would impact operations, safety or comfort of fans, players and officials. My confidence level is high that temperatures will fall thru the 30s, with a light to moderate west/northwest wind. So windchill won't be a huge factor. There is a risk of a (nuisance) shower or rain or snow, but no meteorological show-stoppers. I'll keep starting at the maps and have another update tomorrow.
Paul Douglas - Senior Meteorologist - Alerts Broadcaster
Photo credit by Crews RS Harlald V.
Popular Flood Insurance Law Is Target Of Both Political Parties. In light of Superstorm Sandy major overhauls to insurance laws were proposed, but now many politicians are getting cold feet. Here's an excerpt of an explanation from The New York Times: "A major flood insurance bill was a rarity when it passed what is widely derided as a do-nothing Congress in 2012, but a year and a half later, there is now an enthusiastic bipartisan effort to gut it. This week the Senate is expected to approve a measure that would block, repeal or delay many of the key provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, which was sponsored by Representative Judy Biggert, an Illinois Republican, and Representative Maxine Waters, a California Democrat..."
Talking About The Weather: The Next Level. The Atlantic provides some good resources for weather nerds (um, enthusiasts) to track the weather on their own; here's an excerpt: "...The data keeps going. NOAA can give you surface temperatures from 9,000 weather stations, some of which have data stretching back to the beginning of the 1900s. In certain local areas, like San Francisco, people have made this history easier to access. Perhaps the coolest of these projects is @datapointed's look at rainfall patterns in the Bay before and after Valentine's Day. Or if you prefer a more visual interface, Forecast.io brings you Quicksilver..."
Image credit: "Ritter Brothers, a jewelry and gift store in Williston, N.D., sells miniature oil rigs and other oil-related novelties." (Annie Flanagan for NPR)
The 2013 NFL Season In 160 Seconds. Because you're in a hurry. Check out the video clip from ESPN and kottke.org: "If you haven't been watching the NFL at all this season but are planning on tuning into the Super Bowl, this video by ESPN will prepare you by recapping the entire season in under three minutes..."
If You Can't Wait For Super Bowl Ads. The Wire has a run-down on many of the spots, some of which are already online; here's a clip: "You have wait until Sunday to see the Super Bowl, and as usual, you won't have to wait that long to see the famous commericals. Many of the big advertisers will be unveiling their commercials online during the week, to build buzz and get a little extra mileage out of their very expensive, celebrity-studded production. Others prefer to keep you in suspense. Here is a collection of the ads that have been released so far, but keep checking back as we'll update this post as the week goes on and new ones arrive..." (Image credit: YouTube and Budweiser). Why am I thirsty all of a sudden?
1. Continue the crackdown on coal pollution: This month the Environmental Protection Agency released a new draft of rules that would strictly curtail emissions of carbon dioxide from new coal-fired power plants; a second set of rules that would apply to existing plants is expected later this year..."
Photo credit above: The White House.
Photo credit: "Researchers looked at fish including North Sea herring."
The Guardian's perspective on the research referenced above is here.
Photo credit above: "Snowfields of Antarctica (photograph by Stephen Hudson, via Wikimedia)"