Archives

December 23

Unusually Warm Christmas For Much of USA – 2021 Weather Disasters – Perspective on Record December Tornadoes – Odds of White Christmas Shrinking

Finding Christmas Joy In a Viral Blizzard We are having a Covid Christmas this year. A family member visiting for the holidays tested positive, has mild symptoms, and now we are isolating, so as not to potentially infect other members of our family, including our 22-month old grandson. Like so many families we are making the best of troubling events beyond our control. Expect low 40s and a few rain showers today before we cool off Christmas. Pieces of a massive west coast storm will break off and approach Minnesota in the coming days – by the end of next...

December 16

December Tornado Warnings in Minnesota – Limits of Doppler Technology – In Praise of Bathtubs

First Minnesota Tornado Warning on Record During DecemberGR2Analyst – shortly before 7pm yesterday Historic December Severe T-Storm Outbreak Two weeks ago, if you had told me that 5-20” snow falling on a Friday would be followed by a tornado threat 5 days later…in Minnesota, I would have said you’re watching Syfy, the science fiction TV channel, not The Weather Channel. Yesterday was historic, with record warmth, moisture and a severe weather outbreak more typical of mid-May than mid-December. We can eventually analyze how much of this was natural variability vs. another climate signal, but it was an incredible display of...

clouds in a sky
December 15

December Tornado Risk…in Minnesota? Why Was Last Friday’s Tornado Outbreak So Severe?

Twin Cities National Weather Service Slight Severe T-storm Risk Later Today I’m having a mild out-of-body meteorological experience. There is snow on the ground and you’re telling me there’s a slight risk of tornadoes later today? What the…Doppler? Last Friday’s historic (horrific) December tornado outbreak over 5 states is still top of mind. Nationwide, December has brought 3,069 record highs and 14 record lows. A lukewarm autumnal hangover has spilled into the holiday season, setting up an atmospheric clash later today. According to NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center there is a slight risk of severe T-storms, with the best chance of...

December 14

More Severe Storms? NOAA: Shift in White Christmas Odds – How Strong is Climate Signal in Recent Tornado Super-Outbreak?

Marginal Severe T-storm Risk WednesdayNOAA SPC Marginal Severe T-storm Risk Wednesday My Winter Coping Skills: 1). Proper clothing. 2). “Yak Trax” (chains that slip over your boots to avoid sliding down the hill). 3). AWD (not optional at this latitude). 4). At least one warm weather getaway in February, if possible and 5). Calendar: Winter Solstice is 1 week away. On Christmas Day MSP picks up an additional minute of daylight. That’s a psychological turning point for me. A quiet Tuesday gives way to a strange temperature spike Wednesday with 50s, rain – even a stray T-storm late in the...

December 10

Significant Snow Upper Midwest – Power Grid Needs Upgrades – Hurricane Trends in a Warming World

Twin Cities National Weather Service First Plowable Snow for MSP Metro We have a segment on our WCCO Radio show called “weather therapy”, which seems appropriate today. I am a meteorologist and also a part time pseudo- psychologist. “It’s ‘gonna be fine!” “It’s just frozen water!” “It’ll melt!” The first snowstorm of the season conjures up feelings of euphoria and dread. I’m pro-snow, but not when I’m stuck in traffic. I get it. Snow intensity increases this afternoon and the drive home may be a white-knuckle affair. The axis of heaviest snow keeps shifting north and south, but it appears...

The black box will be built in what the developers say is an extremely geologically stable location in Tasmania. earthsblackbox
December 9

Significant Snow Brewing Upper Midwest – Hurricane Trends – Clean Energy Revolution Will Be Weather-Optimized

ECMWF Guidance Through Saturday Eveningweatherbell.com Plowable Snow Friday – 50s Next Week? Talk about weird weather gyrations. Monday morning we woke up to a wind chill of -16F in the metro. Models are hinting at 50s next week, a week before the Winter Solstice. Clickbait? Weather hype? Perhaps. We will have snow piles, which will put the brakes on how warm it can get. The sun angle is about as low as it ever gets. Caveats aside, a nice (?) warming trend is likely by midweek; possibly 20-25F above average. But first we have to focus on a storm about...

Image of wind turbines in a foggy field during sunrise
December 8

The Clean Energy Revolution Will Be Weather-Optimized

The only predictable thing is change. You can live in the past, or you can embrace the future. My take: With few exceptions, what worked in the 1970s probably won’t work in the 2030s. Technology evolves and improves, and policy imperatives shift over time. The climate crisis demands creativity to power the economy without emitting more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Earth is approaching a tipping point — one that requires new and reliable sources of clean energy. A Brief Overview of Energy in the United States In the United States, renewable sources of energy generation are accelerating, accounting for...

Sunset over a lake. Beach chairs line the waterfront, while the surface of the lake shows a number of boats.
December 7

Record Warmth for Much of USA by Mid-December; 4th Costliest Hurricane Season on Record

NOAA CPC Pacific Domination. Brief spasms of cold air, but longer spells of milder, Pacific-moderated air. That’s was the story during the 4th warmest meteorological autumn on record, a trend which may reemerge by mid-December, if you believe GFS guidance. Hurricane Ida: August 29, 2021 FileAerisWeather This Year’s Hurricane Season Was The 4th Most Expensive on Record. Marketplace has details: “The 2021 hurricane season officially ended this week. It was the second year in a row that the number of named Atlantic storms exhausted the list of storm names, and the fourth most expensive hurricane season on record. As far...

December 3

Extreme Weather Early Warning Systems – 3rd Busiest Atlantic Hurricane Season – What La Nina?

So long daylight…Paul Douglas An Antidote For The Dark Days of December It’s not the heat – it’s the humidity. And it’s not the cold – it’s the dark. I get it. Many of us go into a funk this time of year, and at least 1 in 10 of us suffer from “Seasonal Affective Disorder”, a hormonal imbalance caused by less sunlight. Women tend to be more affected than men, and symptoms can include anxiety, fatigue and a craving for carbohydrates. Check with your doctor, but light therapy lamps that mimic the sun can be purchased for as little...

Idaho Power’s Garden Mountain cloud seeding and meteorological site in the Payette River Basin. David Bogie/Idaho Power Company
December 1

Atmospheric River Returns to Pacific Northwest – Will “Double-Strike” US Hurricanes Become More Common?

Paul Douglas Forecast: Dark (But Relatively Mild) ”The darkness declares the glory of light” wrote poet T. S. Eliot. My personal favorite: “It’s often darkest before it goes pitch black.” MSP will see 9 hours, 4 minutes of daylight today. That compares with 15 1/2 hours in late June. Over the years I’ve fielded more gripes about the darkness than the cold. Compounding our dark moods: November and December are the cloudiest months of the year.<p>According to NOAA, November brought only 10 cloudy days at MSP. Normal is 18. It’s not your imagination: the sun WAS more visible. A persistent...