Tag: meteorology

January 26

Weather Models are Guides, Not Gospel – Satellites Have Revolutionized Study of Volcanoes

Paul Douglas Polar Breeze Brings Stiff Winds Today The Capital of Cold. MinnesoCold. Land of 10,000 Dead Batteries. We hold up frostbitten fingers in a courageously-reckless display of bitter defiance. We will NOT be swayed by polar pain! Well, maybe a southern vacation or two. Our coldest days tend to be sunny, which helps me weather negative numbers. Subzero + cloudy = Icy Hellscape. Thank goodness for that. Snowfall for the winter at MSP stands at 33.2”, or 5.5” above average. Snowfall in the Red River valley is almost a foot above average. Good news for snow-lovers and the rest...

January 25

How 2020 Covid Lockdowns May Have Decreased Lightning Strikes – Wind Power Pulling Ahead of Solar

NOAA GFS Temperatures for MSPweatherbell.com Too Cold To Snow (Much) Anytime Soon ”It’s too cold to snow!” Well, sort of. There is some scientific validity to that old proverb. Too cold to snow (much). Of course it can snow at any temperature colder than 32F, but when it’s subzero the main storm track is shoved too far south. Storms thrive along the contrast, the boundary, between warm and cold. We can still pick up scrawny little clippers capable of wind- whipped powder, but the big, sloppy, moisture-rich one-foot-plus storms don’t have a chance. As temperatures mellow a bit, which should,...

January 21

Texas Grid Concerns – Storm Surge Flood Potential in Tampa Bay – Insurers Can’t Adequately Price Wildfire Risk in California

Total (ECMWF) Snowfall by Midday Monday after 3 separate Alberta Clippersweatherbell.com A Triple-Header of Alberta Clippers Coming ”It’s so cold we chopped up the old piano for firewood. We only got 2 chords.” Sorry. After a mild fall and very weird December, Minnesota got its Cold Weather Boasting Rights back. More subzero fun is likely next week, but I do see some moderation later next week into early February. An average winter (if there is such a thing) brings 23 subzero nights at MSP. This morning was the 10th subzero night, to date. In spite of this cold stretch, we...

January 14

Major Storm Brewing For East Coast – Record Heat Grips Argentina and Australia – 2020 Was Earth’s 6th Hottest Year On Record

Moderation by Late January? A rising sun angle coupled with a retreating vortex of bitter air with more of a Pacific flow kicking should (in theory) pull us out of the deep freeze the last few days of January with mellowing temperatures are we head into February. NOAA CPC Big snow, ice and rainstorm brewing East Coastweatherbell.com Snow Impacts For The Eastern U.S. As this system dips south, a significant low is expected to form in the Southeast as we head toward the second half of the weekend, lifting northward into Monday. The loop above shows the what the radar...

January 7

Hints of a Late January Polar Vortex Signature – Dangers of Leaving Weather Predictions to AI – 40% of US Counties Impacted by Climate-Fueled Weather Extremes in 2021

Tracking a Variety of Cold (and Colder) Fronts Hi, my name is Paul. Hobbies include napping, tinkering with the Doppler – and tracking cold fronts. Big fronts. Little fronts. Sloppy little dribbles of chilly air and full-frontal Siberian Assaults. In defense of cold fronts: they insulate us from some of the worst storms on Earth (hurricanes, I’m looking at you). We get our fair share of weather extremes, but I’m enjoying a lack of yard work and no allergies this month. Our coldest days tend to be sunny, which helps, at least a little. After a numbing start, the mercury...

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 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 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...