Snowbird Alert: Stay Away Until Further Notice
It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. It’s not the cold, it’s smug snowbirds in Florida trolling me about our hearty Minnesota winters. Where are these people during hurricane season?
One important note to share when you’re trading weather insults: Minnesota is NOT the coldest state in the union. According to NOAA data highlighted at Minnpost, Alaska is coldest, followed by North Dakota. Minnesota is tied with Maine for 3rd coldest, based on year-round average temperatures.
I feel better already.
Nights are long and snowy across Canada, which has been transformed into an unwilling incubator of arctic cold fronts. No record cold is brewing, but over the next 10 days I envision 7 or 8 subzero nights with subzero highs for much of Minnesota Thursday. Cool.
The pattern favors big snowstorms for the east coast (what a waste of cold air) with a coating here Friday night; maybe a couple inches late Sunday. No big weather drama.
Minnesota winters are not for the faint of heart. Even so, we still like it her
Limping Out of the Deep Freeze. Any moderation in late January and the first few days of February will be gradual, but I do see a grudging warm-up within about 2 weeks with fewer nights dipping below zero as we push into February.
How Cold is Minnesota? Pretty darned cold, thank you. But it’s not the coldest state in the lower 48 states, according to an illuminating post at Minnpost: “One measure of coldness is the mean temperature over time: an average of all the temperature readings across the state over time. By this metric, Minnesota is cold, but not the coldest state. The state’s average annual recorded temperature between 1901 and 2000, a time period that allows easy comparison with other states, was is 40.1 degrees Fahrenheit. That puts Minnesota tied for second in the lower 48, along with Maine. North Dakota is the coldest in the contiguous U.S., at 39.7 degrees on average. Alaska’s data only go back to 1925, but it undeniably ranks coldest among all U.S. states, at an annual average of 26 degrees between 1925 and 2000...”
The World Was Cooler in 2021 Than 2022. That’s Not Good News. WIRED.com explains why; here’s a clip: “…Today’s findings are all the more alarming precisely because 2021 managed to overcome these cooling effects and still tally the sixth-highest temperature. And while global temperatures were cooler in 2021 than the year before, last year 1.8 billion people lived in places that experienced their hottest temperatures ever recorded, according to a report released today by Berkeley Earth. This includes Asian countries like China and North and South Korea, African nations like Nigeria and Liberia, and in the Middle East places like Saudi Arabia and Qatar. “We talk a lot about global average temperatures, but no one lives in the global average,” says Zeke Hausfather, a research scientist at Berkeley Earth. “In fact most of the globe, two-thirds of it, is ocean, and no one lives in the ocean—or very few people at least. And land areas, on average, are warming much faster than the rest of the world…”
The Climate Conversation No One Wants. Here’s an excerpt from an Op Ed at Foreign Policy: “…Even if all Glasgow pledges are fulfilled, we are still facing a temperature overshoot of approximately 2 degrees Celsius. In the more likely scenario of not all pledges being fulfilled, warming will be more: perhaps 3 degrees Celsius. This would be catastrophic in nearly every sense for large parts of humanity, especially the poorest and most vulnerable who are suffering first and worst from escalating climate impacts. Extreme weather events are becoming much more frequent, and no one will be totally immune, as we saw with Europe’s 2021 floods and Colorado’s recent fires. Remember this word: overshoot. It will gain increasing importance as the herculean difficulty of reducing emissions to net zero and removing vast stores of carbon from the atmosphere become clearer. On top of this, there is a still greater challenge: moving to net-negative emissions thereafter, which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says will also be needed…”
Be Ready to Change: Climate Change and Farming. Another Op Ed at Lancaster Farming caught my eye; here’s a clip: “…Farms have to be ready to change. What exactly this means for your farm I’m not sure, in part because scientists are still trying to work all that out. Cover crops will probably be in the mix somehow. But recent reporting has indicated that two of agriculture’s most-heralded climate strategies — carbon sequestration and cell-culture meat — may be far less practical than their proponents have claimed. Still, the United States is hoping to innovate its way out of a climate crisis. If predictions are to be believed, that might be our only option besides annihilating our standard of living. It’s worth remembering, though, that a given industry is only responsible for its sliver of the solution. It’s not on farmers to cut the emissions of airplanes or power plants, and it’s not vegetable growers’ job to deal with cow belches. My point is not so much to promote specific solutions as to encourage a state of mind that will make adjustments possible...”