I've taken all my meds and I'm determined to put a positive spin on today's weather update. Hey, I'm in the mood for Minnesota Wild hockey! Bug & humidity season has been delayed until further notice. No springy weather to distract me from the stack of work in my weather-cubicle. And farmers are breathing a collective sigh of relief. The drought is dead, a million dollar rain event.
Pete Boulay at the State Climate Office logged 5.45 inches of rain in the Twin Cities as of 1 PM yesterday, making this the 4th wettest April on record, to date. The wettest April? 7 inches fell in 2001. Let's go for a record and add a few new lakes while we're at it!
Welcome to the coldest day of the week. The same stalled storm pumping tropical moisture into Minnesota is also yanking chilly air out of Canada. It may be cold enough for wet snow to mix in with the rain at times today into tonight; maybe a slushy inch or two on lawns and dazed robins north of the MSP metro area. Deep breaths.
Another inch of rain falls before the sun peeks out Friday - more showers arrive by Saturday night. Yes, the overall pattern looks cool & wet.
Too chilly for tornadoes. Did I mention that?
Please wake me when spring arrives.
* Jon Howard took the photo above at the Elm Creek bike trail, which is on the border of Maple Grove & Champlin.
Minneapolis-St Paul Area (MN)
Year Value Rank
2001 7.00" 1
2006 5.97" 2
1986 5.88" 3
2014 5.45" 4 (through 1pm April 28)
* thanks to Pete Boulay at the Minnesota Climatology Working Group for providing me with an update.
* Flood Watch on the Mississippi River downriver from Winona and La Crosse. With more heavy rain high water levels may rise within 1 foot of flood stage in the coming days. Details here.
Severe Holding Pattern. The same stalled storm responsible for persistent rain (and some wet snow) from the Great Lakes into the Midwest and Dakotas will spawn another severe weather outbreak later today - a moderate risk of storms over eastern Mississippi and much of Alabama implies another threat of large, violent tornadoes - in pretty much the same area that was impacted Monday. Source: NOAA SPC.
Photo credit: Danny Johnston, Associated Press.
* tornado survivors in Mayflower, Arkansas recount their terrifying ordeal, courtesy of NBC News.
Extreme Tornado Swings: What Holds The Key. Up until Sunday the USA was experiencing one of the quietest starts to tornado season in recorded history. That said, after the events of the last 48 hours it would be wildly premature to get too complacent about tornado season. Here's a clip from Climate Central: "...But while they can chart the tornado numbers, Carbin and his colleague Harold Brooks have “no explanation” for what’s behind this wild swing in tornado activity in just a handful of years. That hasn’t stopped them from looking for one, though, including the possibility that climate change is playing an unrecognized role. “We’ve been scratching our heads for awhile on what is driving this extreme sort of behavior,” Carbin said..."
Image credit above: "An aerial photograph of the damage to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in the vicinity of the intersection of 15th St. E. and McFarland Blvd. E., wrought by one of the tornadoes that struck the area on April 27, 2011." Credit: NOAA.
Nighttime Tornadoes. The Ohio Valley and Mid South sees a high percentage of tornadoes at night, which is problematic. Tornadoes are much harder to track by spotters east of the Mississippi River (more hills, highway system not on a grid) and at night spotters and chasers have to literally rely on lightning strikes to confirm a tornado on the ground. Source: NOAA SPC.
* NOAA has all the ENSO/El Nino details you need to know here.
Up Close On Baseball's Borders. The New York Times created a fascinating series of interactive maps that any baseball fan will absolutely want to explore. Here's an excerpt: "...We’ve created two features to help readers explore the data. First is an interactive map of the United States that allows you to explore not just the most popular team in your neighborhood but also a table of the top teams for any ZIP code in the country. Second, in the spirit of Mr. Rushin’s Munson-Nixon line, we've generated 14 maps detailing baseball’s biggest rivalries, highlighting the borders and offering suggested names for those lines..."
Here Comes The Self-Cleaning Car? Uh oh, my car wash investments may be in serious trouble, as reported at Gizmag: "Nissan is currently testing out a prototype that it says could make car washes a relic of the past. The test car benefits from a new nano-paint treatment that repels dirt and grime. The automaker is putting the car through the dirty wringer to see how well it holds up in the real world..."
Photo credit above: " .
Graphic credit above: "Vegetation growth for late January 2014. Brown is below average; green is above average. The green areas in the Sierra Nevada mountains would normally be covered in snow at this time of year". NASA Earth Observatory/Jesse Allen
What Does Today Owe Tomorrow? Justin Gillis at The New York Times examines the issue of legacy, our collective responsibilities for future generations. How do economists assess the risk and what should be done to limit impact? Here's an excerpt: "...Their analyses tend to suggest that, because we have dawdled so long, the economic damage from climate change is going to be substantial, no matter what we do from here. They also generally find that this damage is likely to be dwarfed by bigger economic trends unrelated to climate, like the evolution of technology and shifts in population. Despite those findings, the typical economic analysis suggests that it is still worth trying to limit climate change — in other words, not only can the damage be reduced somewhat, but the future benefits of doing so outweigh the current costs..."
"The Year Climate Change Closed Everest". The Atlantic has the story.