Tag: Tornadoes

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 23

Unusually Warm Christmas For Much of USA – 2021 Weather Disasters – Perspective on Record December Tornadoes – Odds of White Christmas Shrinking

Finding Christmas Joy In a Viral Blizzard We are having a Covid Christmas this year. A family member visiting for the holidays tested positive, has mild symptoms, and now we are isolating, so as not to potentially infect other members of our family, including our 22-month old grandson. Like so many families we are making the best of troubling events beyond our control. Expect low 40s and a few rain showers today before we cool off Christmas. Pieces of a massive west coast storm will break off and approach Minnesota in the coming days – by the end of next...

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...

October 6

Fall Brings Secondary Tornado Peak to Parts of USA – Relative Risk of Climate-Fueled Extremes

Paul Douglas Extended Forecast Is Up In The Air ”Autumn is the hardest season. The leaves are all falling, and they’re falling like they’re falling in love with the ground” wrote Andrea Gibson. With weather, every day is different and every autumn is different. The patterns may be similar, but never identical. Talk about humbling. Which means it’s simplistic to go back in time and say “Well here’s what happened in 1968…so this is precisely what will happen next!” Nope. Weather models are good and becoming more accurate over time, but the 7-Day is as confounding as when I became...

September 6

Category 3 “Larry” Brushes Bermuda – Most Climate-Safe US State?

Paul Douglas Minnesota May Benefit From Slow Warming A recent study suggests that Vermont is the most “climate-safe” state in the US. That may be so, but I suspect Minnesota will get its fair share of climate refugees in years to come. How so? Californians worried about wildfires and months of choking smoke. Arizonans concerned about hotter hots and water shortages. Residents of the Gulf Coast unable or unwilling to put up with a parade of increasingly intense and wet hurricanes. Minnesotans will still wrestle with snow, ice and polar pops, but in the Pantheon of Weather Extremes slapping on...

High Water sign in flooded street, courtesy of NOAA
September 3

Ida’s Legacy: Historic Flood and Kansas-Size Tornadoes Paralyze Northeastern US

MN Drought Eases Slightly From Last WeekUS Drought Monitor Weather Extremes Trending More Extreme I’ve been tracking weather systems for 45 years, but nothing has prepared me for 2021’s dueling weather disasters. Our weather models have consistently underestimated the intensity of drought, fires and eastern floods. Why? Climate-warming greenhouse gases have doubled since preindustrial times, and these man-made gases are flavoring all weather now. Are too many people living in vulnerable areas? Yes. But Wednesday’s 1-in-500 year flooding from Philly to New York City and Texas-size tornadoes in New Jersey are more symptoms of our new reality. Flashes of Lukewarm....

June 30

Once In A Millennium Heat Wave Pacific Northwest and British Columbia – Spiked by a Warming Climate

Heating Up For 4th of July Festivities I’m seeing things on my weather maps I’ve never witnessed before and I’m fairly sure that’s not a good thing. Like an extraordinary “4-Sigma” heat wave for the Pacific Northwest, 4 standard deviations from the mean, or an event you might see once every 1,000 to 10,000 years. 117F in British Columbia, where satellites measured surface temperatures as high as 145F, hot enough to melt and buckle pavement. A few degrees of background warming increases the probability of historic extremes. Welcome to a new world of super-sized heat waves. Twin Cities National Weather...