Articles by Paul Douglas

April 13

March Relapse Midwest to New England – Severe Storm Reminders from NOAA

Chilly Bias Into Late April? Long-range GFS guidance isn’t holding out much hope for rapid warming anytime soon with a closed low predicted for eastern Canada 2 weeks out, keeping temperatures (slightly) cooler than average for the upper Midwest. NOAA NOAA NOAA Severe Weather Awareness Week. I know, it seems odd with slush in the forecast later today, but it won’t be long before the sirens are sounding. A test of the sirens is scheduled for Thursday at 1:45 and 6:45 pm. Uh ohElena Lacey How to Survive a Killer Asteroid. A post at WIRED.com (paywall) has helpful advice: “…If...

April 13

Colorado State: 2021 Hurricane Season Will Be Busy – NOAA: CO2 Levels Now Highest in 3.6 Million Years

Mellowing Pattern by Late April. The GFS model suggests a relatively benign pattern within a couple of weeks, with an active southern branch of the jet stream igniting frequent severe storm outbreaks over the southern USA, but relatively mild weather over the central USA. Philip Klotzbach, Twitter Colorado State University: Busier Than Average Hurricane Season. Here’s an excerpt from CSU’s press release: “We anticipate that the 2021 Atlantic basin hurricane season will have above-normal activity. Current weak La Niña conditions may transition to neutral ENSO by this summer/fall, but the odds of a significant El Niño seem unlikely. Sea surface...

April 8

Tracking Western U.S. Drought Trends – Climate Change a Factor for Some Home Buyers

Trending Closer to Average by Late April. After next week’s cool correction a zonal flow should lure the mercury to, or just above, average by the last week of April, highs mostly in the 50s with a few 60s possible. Summer Temperature Anomaly ProbabilitiesNOAA Climate Prediction Center Extended Wish-Cast: A Stinking Hot Summer? Confidence levels are very low, but NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center’s suite of long range climate models suggests high confidence for warmer than average temperatures for much of the USA for June, July and August. Interesting data points, but I wouldn’t wager any money on that bet just...

NOAA Satellite
April 8

When Weather Systems Stall – Climate Models Predict Hot Summer – GFS Model Upgrade May Help Hurricane Predictions

Future Radar Through Friday Eveningpivotalweather.com Forecast Calls For Very Green Lawns When weather stalls bad things often result. Longer heatwaves, deeper droughts and more severe flooding. Hurricane Harvey stalled in the Gulf of Mexico in August of 2017, squeezing out over 60” of rain near Houston. Rapid warming of the Arctic may already be impacting the shape and configuration of jet stream steering winds, favoring a wavier, loopier pattern, more prone to weather getting stuck. A slow-motion storm will temporarily stall near Minnesota this week, pouring out 1-3” rainfall totals by Friday evening. I wouldn’t be surprised to see reports...

heat-wave-formation
April 6

Record-Smashing 85F Yesterday in the Twin Cities – Soaking Rains Likely Upper Midwest

NAM Rainfall Forecast Next 84 Hourspivotalweather.com ECMWF Rainfall by Friday morningweatherbell.com ECMWF Rainfall Solution. 2-3” of rain by Friday morning? NOAA NAM is suggesting over 4” (top image) and there’s little doubt that a slow-moving storm will create a long-duration rainfall event from late tomorrow into Friday. From spotty wildfires to street flooding in the meteorological blink of an eye? At this point nothing surprises me anymore. Twin Cities National Weather Service Twin Cities National Weather Service Record-Smashing. The Twin Cities saw 85F yesterday, breaking the old record of 80F in 1991. The normal high is 52F, if anyone asks....

drought in field
April 5

Expanding Drought – From Tornado Alley to “Tornado Country” – Using Cargo Ships to Detect Tsunamis?

U.S. Drought Monitor Expanding Drought. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows a large and growing area of extreme drought across the Dakotas and far northwest Iowa, with pockets of drought for the Red River Valley and far western counties in Minnesota. Recent rains restored soil moisture from Mankato and the Twin Cities to Duluth, at least for the short term. Blocking Pattern = Lingering April Warmth. With a massive ridge of high pressure stalled over the Great Plains and Rockies I don’t see much chance for a volley of cold fronts anytime soon. Part of me wonders if Mother Nature...

April 1

Dwindling Snow Cover – Expanding/Intensifying Drought – Concern Over NWS Outages

Snow cover on March 31, 2021NOAA NOHRSC Where’s the Snow? Less than 10% of the lower 48 states have snow on the ground as of Wednesday, limited to the higher elevations of the western U.S. and northern Maine. Amazing how quickly it melted, in retrospect. ECMWF Snowfall by April 4weatherbell.com Snow? We’ll Make More. A powerful blast of Canadian air will drop a few inches of snow from the hills of West Virginia into northern New England. Winter is down, but not out just yet. U.S. Drought Monitor Expanding, Intensifying Drought. I’m struck by the extent of exceptional drought over...

tornado-leading-image-header
March 31

National Weather Service Experiencing Internet Failures – Is Tornado Alley Shifting South/East?

Weather Service Internet Systems Crumbling as Key Platforms Fail. Well this isn’t good, coming as we enter prime time for severe weather across the USA. Capital Weather Gang explains the scope of the problem: “The National Weather Service experienced a major, system-wide Internet failure Tuesday morning, making its forecasts and warnings inaccessible to the public and limiting the data available to its meteorologists. The outage highlights systemic, long-standing issues with its information technology infrastructure, which the agency has struggled to address as demands for its services have only increased. In addition to Tuesday morning’s outage, the Weather Service has encountered...

hot summer header
March 30

NOAA CPC Models Hint at (Extra) Hot Summer – Tornado Alley is Really a 6-Lane Freeway

North American Multi-Model Ensemble Temperature Anomaly (C) for June, July and AugustNOAA Climate Prediction Center Early Spring An Omen Of a Hot Summer to Come? Sometimes Mother Nature offers a preview of what may lie ahead, months down the road. March 29, 1986 saw a record 83F at MSP. The summer that followed was stifling for much of the southern United States. March 2012: another case of premature warmth, with flowers blooming in late March, followed by very hot and steamy Minnesota summer. It’s true: Weather never repeats – but sometimes it rhymes. Ice is coming off Minnesota lakes 2-3...

March 25

Tornado Potential Dixie Alley Today – “La Nina” Increasing Risk? – Lower River Flooding Risk – 2021 Hurricane Names

Perfectly fine with this…Twin Cities National Weather Service Imperfect Meteorology – But Fewer Surprises ”Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence” said Vince Lombardi. We want perfection in an imperfect world. Meteorology is no exception. Forecasts are far from perfect but we experience fewer (unpleasant) surprises than we did 50 years ago. How so? From floods and hurricanes to major tornado outbreaks, forecasters do a demonstrably better job setting consumer expectations. Fewer reports of “It came without any warning!” Technology, including Doppler radar and weather models, are improving. NOAA just launched an upgrade for...