Tag: Paul Douglas

Fire by the lake
May 12

Limping Into Summer – Deepening Drought Western USA – New Normals – 25th Anniversary of “Twister”, the Movie

Little fire, meet big fire.Paul Douglas It’s May, As In It MAY Warm Up It’s May. As in it MAY be nice. Or it MAY snow a little. Or Flood. Or tornado. May is manic and momentous, a meteorological gateway drug to summer. I’m a summer guy, but there is something to be said for May, before the bugs, jungle-like humidity, sputtering thunderstorms and beachball-size hail. A prologue to summer: a dash of warmth, without all the unpleasant side effects. Mostly-Dry, Mostly-Average Fishing Opener. Although a stray shower can’t be ruled out Saturday, Sunday looks like the wetter day with...

May 11

Summer Outlook: Hotter, Drier Western States – 25th Anniversary of “Twister”

25th Anniversary of “Twister”, The Movie ”Hey Bryce, you better get over here and take a look at this!” 13 words that changed my life forever. Well, not really. That was my line in the movie, “Twister”, which came out 25 years ago. Director Steven Spielberg used software from a previous weather company for “Jurassic Park”. His team reached out again for “Twister” and we created new, tornado and supercell-centric graphics and special effects for control room scenes. I was drafted to have a line in the movie, and I wasn’t about to say no. The weather control room shots...

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....

heat-wave-formation
April 6

Record-Smashing 85F Yesterday in the Twin Cities – Soaking Rains Likely Upper Midwest

NAM Rainfall Forecast Next 84 Hourspivotalweather.com ECMWF Rainfall by Friday morningweatherbell.com ECMWF Rainfall Solution. 2-3” of rain by Friday morning? NOAA NAM is suggesting over 4” (top image) and there’s little doubt that a slow-moving storm will create a long-duration rainfall event from late tomorrow into Friday. From spotty wildfires to street flooding in the meteorological blink of an eye? At this point nothing surprises me anymore. Twin Cities National Weather Service Twin Cities National Weather Service Record-Smashing. The Twin Cities saw 85F yesterday, breaking the old record of 80F in 1991. The normal high is 52F, if anyone asks....

drought in field
April 5

Expanding Drought – From Tornado Alley to “Tornado Country” – Using Cargo Ships to Detect Tsunamis?

U.S. Drought Monitor Expanding Drought. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows a large and growing area of extreme drought across the Dakotas and far northwest Iowa, with pockets of drought for the Red River Valley and far western counties in Minnesota. Recent rains restored soil moisture from Mankato and the Twin Cities to Duluth, at least for the short term. Blocking Pattern = Lingering April Warmth. With a massive ridge of high pressure stalled over the Great Plains and Rockies I don’t see much chance for a volley of cold fronts anytime soon. Part of me wonders if Mother Nature...

tornado-leading-image-header
March 31

National Weather Service Experiencing Internet Failures – Is Tornado Alley Shifting South/East?

Weather Service Internet Systems Crumbling as Key Platforms Fail. Well this isn’t good, coming as we enter prime time for severe weather across the USA. Capital Weather Gang explains the scope of the problem: “The National Weather Service experienced a major, system-wide Internet failure Tuesday morning, making its forecasts and warnings inaccessible to the public and limiting the data available to its meteorologists. The outage highlights systemic, long-standing issues with its information technology infrastructure, which the agency has struggled to address as demands for its services have only increased. In addition to Tuesday morning’s outage, the Weather Service has encountered...

hot summer header
March 30

NOAA CPC Models Hint at (Extra) Hot Summer – Tornado Alley is Really a 6-Lane Freeway

North American Multi-Model Ensemble Temperature Anomaly (C) for June, July and AugustNOAA Climate Prediction Center Early Spring An Omen Of a Hot Summer to Come? Sometimes Mother Nature offers a preview of what may lie ahead, months down the road. March 29, 1986 saw a record 83F at MSP. The summer that followed was stifling for much of the southern United States. March 2012: another case of premature warmth, with flowers blooming in late March, followed by very hot and steamy Minnesota summer. It’s true: Weather never repeats – but sometimes it rhymes. Ice is coming off Minnesota lakes 2-3...

March 25

Tornado Potential Dixie Alley Today – “La Nina” Increasing Risk? – Lower River Flooding Risk – 2021 Hurricane Names

Perfectly fine with this…Twin Cities National Weather Service Imperfect Meteorology – But Fewer Surprises ”Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence” said Vince Lombardi. We want perfection in an imperfect world. Meteorology is no exception. Forecasts are far from perfect but we experience fewer (unpleasant) surprises than we did 50 years ago. How so? From floods and hurricanes to major tornado outbreaks, forecasters do a demonstrably better job setting consumer expectations. Fewer reports of “It came without any warning!” Technology, including Doppler radar and weather models, are improving. NOAA just launched an upgrade for...

NOAA-GFS-model-upgrade-header
March 24

Latest on NOAA’s GFS Model Upgrade – Are We Underestimating Tornado Strength?

Maps Look More Like Early April ”It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade” wrote Charles Dickens in Great Expectations. He had that right. March is weather lunacy, meteorological madness. Few other months can unleash blizzards, tornadoes, 80s and subzero; all packaged into 31 days of utter uncertainty. March 2021 is trending 9.1F warmer than average at MSP with 4 inches of snow so far. There is precious little snow on the ground anywhere, which has lowered the risk...