January 6

40% of US Counties Hit By Climate Disasters in ’21 – Is Cold Weather Good For You? December Weather Weirding

Paul Douglas Minnesota Winter Olympics Is Well Underway With apologies to NBC, Minnesotans participate in the Winter Olympics every year. Aerobic shivering. Advanced boot-stomping. Vehicular ice dancing is a personal favorite (no flips please!) Unless you’re fleeing to Florida or Arizona, every one of you should get a gold medal for participating. A Pioneer Thursday is shaping up: subzero with a windchill dipping to -25F. Air temperatures bottom out around -17F Friday morning before recovering above zero by afternoon. We collectively exhale on Saturday with a high near 32F, before another arctic slap Sunday and Monday. 20s and a few...

January 5

Using Portable Doppler to Track Recent Colorado Wildfire – “Don’t Look Up” Nails Climate Denial

Wind-Whipped Snow, Then More Subzero Fun Maya Angelou had it right: If you don t like something, change it. If you can t change it, change your attitude. Don t complain. And yet and yet: we are genetically engineered to complain, which often makes things better. Weather is an exception. As proud as I am of my Doppler, I can’t do a thing to stop arctic air. Not yet. The latest Siberian Spanking whips up plowable snow today (maybe 3-5” with more north of MSP). Measuring that snow may be problematic as winds gust to near 40 mph, creating blowing...

January 4

ECMWF Top Weather Model – Hurricanes Trending Farther North – Can We Build a Tornado-Proof Home?

Verification of forecast accuracy at around 15,000 feet up from the European, U.S. Model (GFS) and the Canadian Model.Dr. Ryan Maue “Dad, check YouTube for a solution first. Chances are there’s a video that explains what to do.” My boys were right about that one. No matter what the task at hand is, it’s helpful to have the right tools. Meteorologist rely on weather models, but the trick is finding the right blend of model solutions for the most accuracy and highest confidence. Personally, I look at as many models as possible, but when push comes to shove the weather...

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 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...