Tag: paul douglas blog

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 20

Cold Weather Tales – Southern Hemisphere Sizzles – Preparing for Climate Change’s Immediate Impacts

My Father’s Advice: Embrace The Cold I am continually amazed by my 91-year old father, who came of age in Germany at the end of WWII. We’ve recorded hundreds of radio interviews and recently he surprised me with a story I hadn’t heard before. Growing up there was no TV, radio was mostly Nazi propaganda. During winter all they had was sport. He walked or rode his bike 5 miles to school and for fun his friends played ice hockey on a nearby lake. They encouraged the “larger boys” to head out on the ice, and if it held they...

January 20

Model Consensus: Milder Than Average February – April. Shifting Snow Patterns as USA Warms

Paul Douglas Mindless Musings During The Dead of Winter This time of year it’s the little things. Like glimmers of light when I fall out of bed at 7am every morning. Hints of twilight out the window as we gather for dinner. Hopeful chirps from a family of cardinals circling the back yard. We’ve picked up 34 minutes of daylight since the Winter Solstice on December 21; daylight is increasing over 2 minutes every day. In 5 days the average high at MSP rises from 23F to 24F. Progress. I see no sign of a prolonged polar occupation similar to...

January 18

Snowbirds Should Remain in Place – Coldest States in the USA – Snowfall Update for the Nation at Midwinter

Snowbird Alert: Stay Away Until Further Notice It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. It’s not the cold, it’s smug snowbirds in Florida trolling me about our hearty Minnesota winters. Where are these people during hurricane season? One important note to share when you’re trading weather insults: Minnesota is NOT the coldest state in the union. According to NOAA data highlighted at Minnpost, Alaska is coldest, followed by North Dakota. Minnesota is tied with Maine for 3rd coldest, based on year-round average temperatures. I feel better already. Nights are long and snowy across Canada, which has been transformed into an...

January 13

2021: 20 Separate Billion-Dollar Weather/Climate Disasters – Temperature Extremes – Military Origins of Weather Radar

NOAA 3km NAM Snowfall Predictionpivotalweather.com Another Subzero Stretch Shaping Up Old Man Winter arrived later than usual but in recent weeks he’s made up for lost time. Nearly 25” of snow has fallen at MSP, almost 2” above average. Our January thaw, and the mild blip that spawned 20 tornadoes on December 15, has made it tougher to keep (usable) snow on the ground. January is my favorite month for storing food outside, since the entire state is magically transformed into a giant freezer. I see another run of subzero weather coming. Between roughly January 18-28 we could easily experience...

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 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...