Tag: paul douglas weather blog

November 19

Behind the “Atmospheric River” That Flooded British Columbia and Washington – In Praise of Snow – Lowering Temperature on Wildfires?

Paul Douglas In Defense of Snow Days ”A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water” quipped comedian Carl Reiner. I can live without 20 below but I don’t mind the snow. It’s an insulator, shielding plant life from extreme cold. It’s a moisture supply: melting snow fuels spring’s miraculous rebirth. You can PLAY in frozen water! You can’t surf a hurricane storm surge, or hike up an active volcano (ill-advised) or savor a heat wave. Pick your poison – I’ll take a white-washed pile of flaky fun any day of the week....

November 18

Origin of Phrase “Jet Stream” – Greenland Melting Threatens More Coastal Flooding – Building Back Climate-Resilient

500mb (18,000 foot) wind speeds at 18Z Wednesdaypivotalweather.com The Jet Stream Makes For Bad Hair Days ”Blow, blow, thou winter wind. Thou art not so unkind, As man’s ingratitude” wrote William Shakespeare in “As You Like It”. The winds are howling, a symptom of a roller-coaster ride in the temperature department. The “jet stream” was discovered in the 1920s by Japanese meteorologist Wasaburo Ooishi, who launched weather balloons. High-speed jet stream headwinds were encountered by B-29 pilots flying west toward Japan on bombing runs during WWII. They often missed their targets and sometimes ran out of fuel, due to a...

Image via Katrina Manson of Reuters. Image depict crowds of people on the beach in Freetown, cooling off in the water on a hot day.
November 16

Thanksgiving: Cold/Stormy East – Mild West. NOAA: Warm Signal Lingers Into February

Paul Douglas Outlook: Cool, Quiet (and Mostly Dark) I dare you to go one day without complaining about how early the sun sets. By the way sunset is 4:44pm. 9 hours 32 minutes of daylight. The sun angle in the southern sky is equivalent to January 26. Which makes me extra-happy we’ll enjoy a high near 50F later today, almost 10F above average. November is running 3.4F milder than average, with a whopping 1.2 inches |PART3: of snow at MSP. The last I checked meteorological autumn is the 3rd warmest on record in the Twin Cities, to date. We’ve had...

File image NASA
November 12

Mild East – Wintry Upper Midwest – Warming Climate Juicing Heatwaves

Winter Pangs? We’ll see 40s next week, but 500mb guidance roughly 2 weeks out shows prevailing jet stream winds buckling, allowing another shot of cold air to sail south around Thanksgiving. Confidence levels are low – there is no continuity from model run to run. Praedictix Briefing: Issued Thursday, November 11th, 2021 The first winter storm of the season will impact portions of the Northern Plains and upper Midwest today into Friday, with light to moderate snow expected to fall and strong winds in place. The heaviest amounts of snow (potentially over a half a foot) is expected to fall...

November 4

Unusually Mild For Much of USA Into Mid-November – Boston Among US Cities Most Vulnerable to Hurricane Damage

Paul Douglas Bad News For Hunters and Pond Hockey Fans My sense: most Minnesotans are enjoying this extended weather honeymoon, with flashes of September warmth showing up in early November. But not everyone. Hunters are irritable. WCCO Radio’s Mike Max had a special weather request for duck hunting in North Dakota. “Paul, I’d like low clouds and a northwest breeze”. Yep, and I’d like a shiny new Doppler, but that isn’t going to happen either. Praedictix meteorologist Todd Nelson wants snow for tracking during Saturday’s Deer Hunting Opener. “Would you settle for heavy frost” I inquired, hoping to find common...

File image NOAA Ocean Today
October 28

Fox Weather Channel – Odds of a White Halloween – Remembering 1991 Minnesota Halloween Blizzard

Paul Douglas Extreme Weather Affecting Moving Plans? A recent Redfin.com survey shows nearly half of Americans considering a move are factoring extreme weather events and climate change into their plans. It’s hard to find a spot with no weather-risk, but certain areas are more vulnerable: rising seas and consistently stronger hurricanes for Florida and the Gulf Coast. Bigger fires and more smoke in California and much of the western US. Concerns are growing about water shortages from Las Vegas to Phoenix. Simulations suggest a slow, inexorable northward migration in coming decades. Minnesota may be a net beneficiary of these trends....

Bryce Jones, head of Flash Forest, says drones are “an incredibly practical tool to do things we could never do otherwise.” Flash Forest
October 27

Historical Odds of a White Halloween – U.S. Power Grid Increasingly Unreliable – Fox Weather Channel Details

Brian Brettschneider Low Odds of a White Halloween. Looking at the data only a 1-5% for the Twin Cities, St. Cloud and Rochester, but 10-25% of Halloweens have had an inch or more of snow on the ground October 31. This won’t be one of them. Mixed Signals. Confidence levels in the GFS 500mb position and strength are low; consecutive model runs have been contradictory. Yesterday’s solution looked milder – the latest solution shows seasonably chilly air spilling into the second week of November. Source: U.S. Energy Information AdministrationNICK MOURTOUPALAS/THE WASHINGTON POST Longer, More Frequent Outages Afflict the U.S. Power...

October 26

Bomb Cyclones and Nor’easters – CO2 Reaches New High in 2020

ECMWF predicted rainfall by Friday morningweatherbell.com Soaking Rain Likely By Wednesday With Canada cooling off rapidly, late October can bring jaw-dropping storms. California went from extreme drought to Biblical flooding in the meteorological blink of an eye: reports of mudslides, flooding, and 5-10 feet of snow in the mountains. Meanwhile a powerful Nor’easter may bring hurricane-force gusts to southern New England later today. I’m counting my blessings, atmospheric and otherwise. Mild(er) Signal Reemerges by Mid-November. We’ll see a few hardier shots of Canadian air the first week of November, but GFS model guidance suggests a return of ridging over the...

Chairs on a beach facing the water at sunset, docks in the background. Image by Paul Douglas.
September 30

Dangerous Air: Wildfire Smoke and Dangerous PM2.5 Increasing Plains to West Coast Since 2016

A magnificent meteorological mirage…Paul Douglas Exposure To Wildfire Smoke Is A Health Risk What happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas, and the recent swirl of western wildfire smoke didn’t stay in California. New research shows an average of 8-10 weeks of smoke every year in Minnesota between 2016 and 2020. This past summer was Exhibit A, both eye-opening and eye- watering. A few nearby towns experienced air quality worse than Beijing or New Delhi. Which has me thinking about masks and air filtration systems at home and in our vehicles. PM2.5 pollution is especially dangerous, responsible for over 4...

Entrance gate for University of Minnesota, with a red sign and gold lettering.
September 28

Summer Warmth Lingers – New Study: Today’s Kids Will Experience Three Times More Climate Disasters Than Their Grandparents

Paul Douglas A Taste of Autumn Into Thursday ”80s in late September. Paul, is this a symptom of a warming planet?” Yes and no. Most of this is natural weather variability, amplified by the warming signal we see all around us. Warmer background temperatures (atmosphere and oceans) are flavoring all weather now – today’s rerun of August may be a few degrees warmer than it would be otherwise, in a world where CO2 levels hadn’t doubled since the mid-1800s. Fickle winters, wetter springs (this year notwithstanding) and longer, milder autumns seem to be a trend. Minnesota DNR Low Lake Levels...