One of my amazing meteorology producers, D.J. Kayser, checked the models for next week, shaking his head. "At least the cold air will shut up the atmosphere." Good point. One of the few advantages of flirting with subzero weather? Cold Canadian invasions force the storm track too far south to get heavy snow. We can still get clippers; a couple inches of fluff here and there, but not the massive dumpings.
We're waking up to more school cancellations and white-knuckle commutes - what may be the biggest snow of the winter for many towns.
Snow shuts off this morning; travel conditions slowly improving as the day goes on. The sun stays out this weekend, highs stuck in the teens.
Maybe this cold surge will stop the ice dam leaking into my guest bedroom. Yes, meteorologists are impacted by the weather, too.
Long range models show an almost January-like surge of bitter air 1 week away: temperatures may have a tough time climbing above 0F next Thursday thru Saturday, March 1; the start of meteorological spring.
Pete Boulay at the Climate Office says this is the coldest winter since 1978-79; 9th coldest overall. 45 subzero nights so far in the Twin Cities. Can I interest you in a grand total closer to 55?
* as if I need to say this out loud, that's a file photo above. No, it's not that bad (yet).
We'll have to see how the rest of the month pans out! As for at or below zero lows currently the Twin Cities is at 45, a tie for the 20th most at or below zero lows or the most since the winter of 1981-82:
Temperatures 20°F below normal will likely invade the Upper Midwest on Sunday, and gradually spread southeastwards during the week. The peak cold is predicted to occur late next week, with temperatures 20 - 35° below normal covering much of the eastern 2/3 of the country. As a result of these new model runs, the natural gas market has been soaring ever since early this morning, and is now approaching a five-year high of $6.* Temperature anomalies next Thursday morning (departure from normal) courtesy of Climate Reanalyzer at the University of Maine.
File photo above: AP.
File photo: Department of Natural Resources.
Arctic Sea Ice Sits At Record Low For Mid-February. Climate Central has the story; here's the introduction: "Arctic sea ice growth has slowed dramatically in recent weeks, thanks in large part to abnormally warm air and water temperatures. Sea ice now sits at record low levels for mid-February. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, as of February 18, sea ice covered about 14.36 million square miles in the Arctic. The previous low on this date was 14.37 million square miles in 2006. The main culprit -- in addition to the overall trend of global warming -- is likely the rash of warm temperatures. With the polar vortex bringing cold air down to the U.S. this winter, warmer temperatures have been the norm in the Arctic..."
Graphic credit above: "A look at Arctic sea ice extent. The gray line is average for 1981-2010 and the dashed line shows the extent for 2011-12, the years when a record-low summer minimum occurred. The blue line is this year through February 18." Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center.
Accounting For Global Warming Requires Looking At The Oceans. St. Thomas professor and climate scientist John Abraham has the story for The Guardian; here's the intro: "Separating the human and natural influences on the climate is a tough task. On the other hand, because it is exciting, scientists around the world are working on it every day. One of the most active questions scientists are trying to answer right now is, how much excess energy is the Earth gaining? Quantifying this excess energy and where it ends up, often called balancing the Earth's energy budget, is crucial for understanding the future of the planet..."
Photo credit above: "It looks lovely offshore, but there are dangers over the horizon." Photograph: Alamy.
Trees On The Move As Temperature Zones Shift 3.8 Feet A Day. Here's an excerpt of a fascinating piece at Krulwich Wonders on NPR: "...Something is not right. And though you can't know this, there's a reason: The whole planet is getting warmer, which means that temperature zones are shifting. Warmer areas are expanding, pushing cooler zones closer to the North and South Poles, so that the meadow, the forest, the tundra, the desert, the plains — wherever you live — your ecosystem is beginning to shift. Over the decades, the climate you prefer has started to migrate away from you, which raises an intriguing question: "If I'm standing in a landscape," asked Stanford ecologist a few years ago, "how far do I have to travel in order to change my temperature" – to get back to the climate that suits me?..."