The view out my window looks like the opening credits in the movie "Fargo". I have a pet glacier in my back yard. When I tell my dog (Leo) to go outside and do his business I swear he shakes his head no. "You kidding me?"
It's so cold I can barely stand the four minutes I'm outdoors every day.
But hope springs eternal. Today the sun is as high in the sky as it was on October 6. Daylight is almost 2 hours and 40 minutes longer than it was on December 21. Daylight saving time kicks off early Sunday morning! Warm air can't push cold air out of the way. The Polar Vortex has to retreat on its own, a process that will happen slowly, incrementally, during March.
Breaking news: not one subzero low in sight. That's progress. Last night's clipper may slow down your morning commute, but I expect good travel weather into Monday, as winds aloft swing to the west, allowing a precious puff of Pacific air to waft into Minnesota. A thaw is likely Friday, again early next week. ECMWF guidance hints at highs near 40F Sunday and Monday. We'll see more relapses of cold air this month (count on it), but probably nothing polar.
NOAA's CFS 45 day trend shows 60s the second week of April closer to the Twin Cities. What can possibly go wrong?
Trust me, I'm a weatherman.
* image above courtesy of Climate Reanalyzer at the University of Maine.
Updated Snowfall Totals. O.K. It's really an eye test. Click here to get a better view via NOAA and Facebook. Here are a few snowy highlights: "Here is an updated listing of seasonal snowfall totals across the Eastern US. Toledo, Ohio has already broken their seasonal snowfall record. Toledo has received 76.5" of snow thus far, breaking the previous record of 73.1" in 1977-78.
Other locations are currently in the top 5 snowiest winters are:
Allentown PA (3rd) - record 75.2" in 1993-94
Cincinnati OH (3rd) - record 53.9" in 1977-78
Columbus OH (4th) - record 67.8" in 1909-10
Dayton OH (4th) - record 62.7" in 1977-78
New Bern NC (4th) - record 19.1" in 1972-73
NYC-LaGuardia NY (4th) - record 77.9" in 1995-96
Philadelphia PA (2nd) - record 78.7" in 2009-10
Wilmington DE (2nd) - record 72.7" in 2009-10
"Paul - since I live in the "feels like" weather (and not the actual air temp), I am wondering how many days has the "feels like temp" been below zero? Or maybe easier for you to count, the number of 24 hour periods when the "feels like temp" has been zero? Real temps do not count except for the record books."
- Angela Newfield
Angela - your point is a good one, but NOAA and the local Climate Office don't track the number of subzero windchill days during a given winter. What they do keep tabs on are the coldest wind chills for each winter dating back to 1906, and the number of Windchill Advisories (-25 WC or colder) and Windchill Warnings (-35 WC or colder) issued from winter to winter. Pete Boulay at the Minnesota Climatology Working Group passed along a link which made me do a double-take. His comment: "Bottom line is that there have been worse winters!" Indeed.
Why Snowstorms Are More Devastating Now To American Cities. An inch of snow in the 60s? No big deal. Our parents called this "flurries". Today an inch of snow falling at the wrong time and wrong temperature can bring a city's transporation grid to a halt. What has changed? Here's an excerpt of an interesting story at NBC Philadelphia: "Snowstorms have become devastating to American cities -- thanks to a commonplace technology: the private automobile. "The evil snow is upon us.” So wrote New York lawyer and diarist George Templeton Strong in December 1879, describing a storm that had paralyzed the city. Teams of horses pulled ploughs through the snow, piled high along the sidewalks; downed electrical lines pitched the streets into darkness. In the future, Strong imagined, things would be better. “A century hence cities will be put under glass,” he predicted, “and New York will be enclosed in a huge crystal palace...”
Image credit above: "The GPM Core satellite launches from Japan on Thursday, February 27." (NASA).
Image credit above: "One of the three Joint Polar Satellite Systems satellites." (Credit: NOAA/NASA).
Image credit above: "Superstorm Sandy as it slams the Northeast in October 2012." Credit: NOAA/NASA.
* Photo above courtesy of Neil Weaver at neilweaverphotography.com.
Photo credit above: "BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie speaks at the IHS CERAWeek energy conference in Houston on March 4, 2014." (Mayra Beltran/Houston Chronicle).
* more details on the implications of rising seas and increased climate volatility on the military at The Center for Climate & Security.
Photo credit: "Icebergs and sea ice floating atop near-freezing surface waters of the Weddell Sea." Courtesy of Eric Galbraith.
Cartoon credit above: "The climate contrarian guide to managing risk." Created by John Cook.