The Pollen Vortex
Only in Minnesota can you be ankle-deep in slush, in a T-shirt, grilling. This "spring" is taking weather-whiplash to a new & outlandish extreme. I guess it could be worse. Residents of Washington D.C. just went from 80F to flurries, wind chills in the teens, in less than 24 hours.
Much of Minnesota is waking up to snow; the heaviest bands north & west of the immediate Twin Cities, where enough warm air wrapped into the storm for a period of rain, keeping snowfall totals down a bit. But the northern and western suburbs did pick up a plowable snowfall, with some 1 foot plus amounts from Anoka County westward to Rogers and Maple Lake. If you're driving north/west, away from the downtowns this morning, leave plenty of extra time.
Memories of 2013: Duluth picked up 51 inches of snow last April, the snowiest month on record.
In April. Go figure.
One silver lining to our cold bias: no pollen yet. A researcher at the University of Tulsa reports that trees are flowering late this spring, dumping pollen all at once. Details below.
Welcome to a Light-switch Spring. Like flipping on a light, spring arrives this weekend. Expect 60s on Saturday; a few showers likely, even a clap of thunder. Skies dry out a bit Easter Sunday; 70F not out of the question by Monday & Tuesday as thoughts turn to May; cleaning up the yard & dusting off the fishing boat.
I'm ready for a long, sweaty summer.
* 17" of snow reported in Nowthen, in Anoka County, as of late last night. Remarkable.
All Or Nothing. I can't remember the last time I saw a snowfall gradient this impressive across the Twin Cities. In the span of 30 miles you go from a slushy coating to nearly a foot. The northern and western suburbs got clobbered by snow Wednesday; an icy mix of rain, freezing rain and sleet kept amounts much lower south of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The latest snowfall reports are here and here. I pray this is the last time I have to include these links until sometime in October or November.
Like Turning On A Lightswitch. ECMWF data is still hinting at 60s this weekend; GFS data from NOAA only keeping us in the 50s. Most days I prefer the European model, and I'm going to roll the dice and (hope) ECMWF is on the right track. There's little doubt that spring will stage a comeback next week. It may be hard to believe, but with a sun angle as high in the sky as it was on August 25 most of the snow in your yard will be gone by Friday evening. Graphic: Weatherspark.
Photo credit above: "Fort Huachuca in Arizona will soon be home to the U.S. Department of Defense’s largest solar array on a military installation." Photo credit: U.S. Army.
U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Dropped 3.4% In 2012. Here's an excerpt from The Los Angeles Times: "Greenhouse gas emissions in the United States dropped by 3.4% in 2012, federal environmental regulators reported Tuesday. The decline over the previous year was driven mostly by power plant operators switching from coal to natural gas, improvements in fuel efficiency for transportation and a warmer winter that cut demand for heating, according to an inventory released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency...."
* Is climate change impacting the ENSO signal in the Pacific? Here's a technical paper (PDF) with details.