March 22

Doppler is Great, But NOAA Weather Radio is Cheapest Life Insurance on Earth

The One Radio You Should Own I married an amazing architect, who was kind enough to spare me an invoice for her time and effort building a new home for us a few years ago. It has a concrete and steel-reinforced, mostly-underground “bunker”, able to withstand an EF-5 tornado. In theory. At the recommendation of experts we have no electronics in our bedroom, except for a NOAA Weather Radio. If a tornado touches down at 3am an audible alarm on the $30 NOAA Weather Radio will make sure we have enough lead time to reach that bunker. One of many...

lumpy-snow with sky and trees
March 19

“Lumpy Winter” – Tornado Clean-up Dixie Alley – No More Greek Names for Hurricanes

Paul Douglas What a Strange Winter It Has Been On paper our winter has been been “average” in terms of snowfall and temperatures in the metro. It sure hasn’t seemed average to me. Record snows in October, green lawns in December, a fairly balmy January, followed by a frigid February. Lumpy – all or nothing. Dr. Ken Blumenfeld, Senior Climatologist at the Minnesota State Climate Office, was on WCCO Radio with Jordana Green and me Tuesday. He said some things that got my attention. In spite of a polar February, the period November thru March will be one of the...

March 18

Major Tornado Outbreak Today Across “Dixie Alley” – Obscure NOAA Weather Warnings

Paul Douglas Don’t Rule Out a Few More Wintry Slaps. Nothing subzero, I think that ship has sailed, but more days in the 30s and 40s in April with a nagging potential for slush? Recent Aprils have brought significant snow. Last year was an exception, but we’re not really out of the woods until The Fishing Opener. OK, maybe Memorial Day? Reed Timmer, Twitter Briefing: Issued Tuesday, March 16th, 2021: Next System In The Central U.S. As another system moves out of the Southwest into the Central United States the next few days, we will be monitoring several weather impacts...

March 17

Record Snows Reported Near Denver – Did a Warmer, Wetter Climate Play a Role?

Snowfall TotalsNational Weather Service How Much Fell? The snowfall gradient across the greater MSP metro area was extraordinary, from 9.5” at New Prague to .5” at Forest Lake and Lindstrom. But close-in suburbs picked up 2-3” with 3-5” just south of the Minnesota River. For the latest totals click here. Colorado and Wyoming See Record Blizzard, Historic Snowfall in Denver and Cheyenne. Capital Weather Gang has a good overview of a wild late-season snow blitz: “…As of 5 a.m. Monday, Cheyenne, Wyo., had received 30.8 inches of snow in the storm, with drifts as high as four feet. The snowfall...

March 15

Outrageous Snow Amounts Expected Near Denver While Drought Deepens Western Half of USA

NOAA GFS Snowfall by Sunday Serious Snow. Snow lovers in Denver are giddy. 1 to 3 FEET of snow will pile up this weekend. Wow. Now, about the avalanche threat… A Grudging Warming Trend. With a higher sun angle warmer fronts will be emboldened in the weeks to come, although we all know that spring arrives in starts and stops. Looking out 2 weeks there is evidence of a persistent Pacific flow keeping most of the USA milder than average. Too dry out there….Drought Monitor Briefing: Issued Thursday, March 11th, 2021: Significant Winter Storm Expected. Confidence continues to increase...

Denver snow
March 12

Will La Nina Turbocharge Tornado Season in 2021 – One to Three Feet of Snow Possible Near Denver This Weekend

“Eye of the Storm”. This was one of my radar screens yesterday as tornadic storms were pushing over Northfield, showing a perfectly concentric “rain hole” over Wright county. Kind of odd, but it quickly dawned on me that this was the center of low pressure rippling northeastward, not some quirky inland hurricane sent here to terrify us. Modified Pacific Flow. A few Canadian slaps, sure, but the flow is predicted to be roughly zonal into mid-March, meaning temperatures at or above normal across most of the Lower 48 states. Briefing: Issued Wednesday, March 10th, 2021: Heavy Snow From Wyoming to...

March 11

Flashes of Summer Out East – Hurricane Blind Spot – Is Tornado Alley Shifting?

A Few Cold Slaps. March giveth, and March taketh away. Today’s 2-week forecast of 500mb (18,000 foot) winds valid the evening of March 23 looks colder than yesterday’s simulation. It would be wildly premature to pack away the heavy jackets (or pull out driveway stakes). Global temperature departures from average during February 2021, as compared to 1981-2010.Copernicus Climate Change Service U.S. Sees Coldest February Since 1989 Amid Global Temperature Dip. Capital Weather Gang has details: “…The cold in the U.S., combined with unusually frigid air across much of Eurasia, resulted in global warmth less pronounced compared to recent Februaries, according...

March 9

Coldest February Since 1989 – High Resolution Weather Will Power Renewable Energy Sources

NOAA, Twitter Wild Swings. February was the coldest since 1989 for the U.S. – now 60s in early March. In fact, factoring wind chill, today will feel nearly 100 degrees warmer than it did roughly a month ago across much of Minnesota. Incredible. Shifting Gears. We’ll see more cold frontal passages (no kidding) and I expect a few more slushy encounters before daffodils start poking up in April, but looking out two weeks NOAA’s GFS model shows a predominately zonal (west to east) flow, suggesting temperatures slightly above average northern tier of the USA and well above normal over the...

March 2

High-Resolution Weather Predictions Will Power the Clean Energy Revolution

High-Resolution Weather Predictions Will Power the Clean Energy Revolution Winston Churchill had it right. The future is a riddle, wrapped inside a mystery, inside an enigma. Predictions are always tenuous, but one thing is increasingly apparent: what worked in the 1970s probably will not work in the 2030s. The election of President Joseph Biden has accelerated a transition to a more sustainable, clean-energy future for the United States. But federal incentives and stimulus are only part of the equation. Market forces are already in play, powering and accelerating an inevitable transition to wind, solar, energy storage, biofuels, tidal power and...

January 29

Atmospheric Rivers – Stratospheric Warming Impacting Polar Vortex – Very Little Ice on Great Lakes

Star Tribune Another Low Ice Year Predicted on Lake Superior, Great Lakes. Star Tribune has an update: “As the sun rose over this corner of Lake Superior on Wednesday morning, the windchill was nearly 30 below. Open water at last disappeared under a thin layer of ice after stubbornly sticking it out through an unseasonably warm January. But just over the horizon, the waves remained. For the second season in a row, Lake Superior and the Great Lakes as a whole are expected to have below-average ice, which could increase shoreline erosion and threaten organisms that depend on ice cover,...