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Frosted Tips by Paul Douglas
April 27

Spike in Weather-Related Homeowners Insurance Premiums – Hurricane Season Trending More Intense

  “Frosted Tips”. The rising sun illuminated the tops of the trees for a few wondrous moments SundayPaul Douglas From Slush to Hail and High Water Season My favorite weather transition is going from slush to hail. Not really, but I’m paying more attention to hail events in recent years. There is no evidence that a warming climate is making hail larger or more frequent, at least not yet. Maybe we’ve just been particularly unlucky, especially when large hailstones pound the densely populated metro area. According to The Insurance Federation of Minnesota, homeowner insurance premiums have TRIPLED in the last...

Highs Friday
April 27

2021 Earth Day: Huge Environmental Challenges Remain – Using Drones to Track Tornado Damage

NOAA 2021: Big Environmental Challenges Remain ”He that plants trees loves others besides himself” wrote 17th century historian Thomas Fuller. Much has improved since the first Earth Day in 1970. Big challenges remain. Warming gases are increasing faster than anytime in the geological record; the 6 warmest years on record observed since 2015. Worldwide: 50 separate billion-dollar weather disasters in 2020, a new record. More than 4 out of 10 Americans breathe unhealthy air, with a disproportionate impact on people of color. Every day 2 million tons of sewage are flushed into our rivers and oceans. Every year 9 million...

April 22

Oklahoma New Lightning Capital of USA – Shifting Tornado Alley Impacting Insurance Rates – Will Improved GFS Model Catch Up With ECMWF?

ECMWF vs. GFS Accuracy Since 2007. The data is the data.Graphic courtesy of blog.weather.us and meteorologist Ryan Maue. Will a New GFS Model Upgrade Close the Gap with The European Model? Here’s an excerpt of an article I wrote for Aerisweather: “Are you with Team GFS or Team ECMWF, the “European Model”? I hate to pick sides, but as a meteorologist I defer to the weather model that, consistently, is most accurate. Of course I’m rooting for the “American Model”, the GFS or Global Forecast System, to win. But here’s the thing: if you’re sanding a table or building a...

April 21

Tracking 30-Year Climate Average Trends – NOAA: Hot Summer – Debunking Siren Myths

NOAA Climate.gov NOAA Climate.gov Tracking the Trends. NOAA will be shortly releasing (formally) the new 1991-2020 average weather data for the USA. The graphic above shows how much of the USA is trending not only warmer, but wetter over time. The “averages” are reacting to a warming Earth. Looking Warmer. The transition to summer is always a rocky road, but GFS guidance is showing a stronger warm signal for the first week of May as a ridge of high pressure builds over the central U.S. – an “Omega Block” keeping the west and New England unseasonably cool. On March 25,...

April 20

Who Has Seen “Tornado Emergencies” – Outlook: ENSO Neutral – What is “Probability of Precipitation”?

Ethan Sacoransky, Twitter Snowfall Trends. The latest (1991-2020) 30-year climate averages show an apparent increase in snowfall across New England (fueled by a consistently warmer, wetter coastal storms?) with a decrease in snowfall from the Plains into the southwestern USA.   Relatively Cool Start to May? Confidence levels are low this far out (they always are) but GFS guidance suggests a lingering closed low over the Great Lakes 2 weeks out, capable of keeping Minnesota under the influence of a north breeze the first week of May. ENSO PredictionsPhilip Klotzbach, Twitter U.S. Tornado EmergenciesBrady Walker, Twitter Praedictix Tornado Safety Tips....

April 20

Western USA Primed for Drought and Wildfires – Tornado Safety – Federal Reserve Considers Climate Risks

Spring on Indefinite PauseNOAA GSL Easing Drought Conditions in MinnesotaUS Drought Monitor Drought-Busting Rains. Last week’s soaker made a big difference in the drought index, but pockets of drought remain over far northwest and southwest Minnesota. Minnesota Drought Index TimelineJan Dutton, Twitter Statistically Due for a Drought? Meteorologist Jan Dutton forwarded me the graphic above, showing the last serious, statewide drought in 2013. Springs are trending wetter over time but late summers may be trending drier. Confidence levels for summer precipitation are low, but some long-range climate models suggest a hotter, drier summer for Minnesota and much of the USA....

Hurricane Florence
April 18

Will a New GFS Weather Model Upgrade Close the Gap with The European Model?

Image credit: NOAA Are you with Team GFS or Team ECMWF, the “European Model”? I hate to pick sides, but as a meteorologist I defer to the weather model that, consistently, is most accurate. Of course I’m rooting for the “American Model”, the GFS or Global Forecast System, to win. But here’s the thing: if you’re sanding a table or building a deck you want to use the best tools at your disposal, right? So it goes with weather forecasting. Meteorologists examine scores of models, looking for consistency, continuity, and trends – ultimately choosing a blend of model solutions that...

April 15

Status of Spring Based on “First-Leaf Observations” – Flash Flood Awareness – Ask a Meteorologist About Risk

Spring Leaf Index AnomalyNational Phenology Network Status of Spring. In spite of recent snows and based on (first leaf) observations, spring green-up has come about 10-15 days ahead of schedule, based on data collected by The National Phenology Network: “Spring leaf out continues to spread north across the country. After arriving early in southern parts of Southwest and Southeast states, cold temperatures halted the progress of spring leaf out for several days across the northern part of the Southeast, Southern Great Plains, and mid-Atlantic. Spring leaf out is now arriving days to weeks early across the northern Great Plains, Midwest,...

April 15

Tracking Volcanic SO2, Power Outages and a Potentially Shifting “Tornado Country”

June 17, 2010 near Albert Lea, MinnesotaMeteorologist Aaron Shaffer Tornado Alley? More Like “Tornado Country” Data suggests “Tornado Alley” is shifting south and east over time, with more severe, long-track tornadoes hitting the Mid South (Little Rock to Birmingham) in recent years. A symptom of climate change? The honest answer: we’re not sure yet. Tornado Alley should be renamed “Tornado Country” because twisters are fairly commonplace east of the Rockies. In 2010 a total of 145 tornadoes struck Minnesota, the most in the nation that year. Details on the June 17, 2010 super-outbreak here. Severe damage was reported from Wadena...

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...