Tag: Wildfires

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

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...

Sunset over a lake. Beach chairs line the waterfront, while the surface of the lake shows a number of boats.
December 7

Record Warmth for Much of USA by Mid-December; 4th Costliest Hurricane Season on Record

NOAA CPC Pacific Domination. Brief spasms of cold air, but longer spells of milder, Pacific-moderated air. That’s was the story during the 4th warmest meteorological autumn on record, a trend which may reemerge by mid-December, if you believe GFS guidance. Hurricane Ida: August 29, 2021 FileAerisWeather This Year’s Hurricane Season Was The 4th Most Expensive on Record. Marketplace has details: “The 2021 hurricane season officially ended this week. It was the second year in a row that the number of named Atlantic storms exhausted the list of storm names, and the fourth most expensive hurricane season on record. As far...

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...

Fires burn on a farm next to a forest in Sao Paulo. Photo by Jonne Roriz, Bloomberg.
October 5

Robotic Surfboards Refine Hurricane Predictions – Using AI to Pinpoint Precipitation Forecasts

WCCO Radio Producer David Josephson A Year Without a Winter? Dream On No, winter has not been canceled. Delayed by a few weeks? Yes. I vaguely remember dreaming about a year without a winter in Minnesota: 30s and 40s, no snow to speak of, just rain and ice. That scenario is unlikely through mid-century, and will hopefully never come to pass if we get serious about lowering climate-warming greenhouse gases. But we are experiencing more (unprecedented) ‘Black Swan’ weather extremes, and we don’t know all the tipping points yet. Expect the unexpected. 70s continue this week, with an outside shot...

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...

September 23

Ripening Fall Colors – Using Satellite Wind Lidar to Improve Hurricane Forecasts – Summer Wildfire Smoke Emitted More CO2 Than India Does In a Year

Fall Color FinderMinnesota DNR Falls Colors Peaking Over Minnesota Arrowhead The outlook for the next few weeks calls for a blizzard of color, caravans of determined leaf-peepers, and backyard workouts involving rakes. The leaves are leaving, but not before a crescendo of color, nature’s exclamation point, coming at the end of the hottest summer on record for Minnesota and the nation. Colors are peaking over the Minnesota Arrowhead, but the most vibrant hues of magenta, rust and lemon may be 2 weeks away in the metro area. Trees are stressed from the ongoing drought, so colors may be more muted...

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...

dry field with irrigation system
September 3

Water Stress Increases Need for Reliable Weather Data to Power US Agriculture

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water”, wrote Loren Eiseley. As a meteorologist, that quote has stuck with me over the years. But a warmer, more volatile climate is putting Earth’s hydrological cycle on fast-forward. The wets are trending wetter, the dries are drier. We are faced with too much water – or not nearly enough. The western US is enduring a 1200-year “Megadrought”, made worse by climate change. Cities are running out of water; fires and thick palls of smoke have become a daily fixture on local weather maps; all while a 7-8% increase...

storm over water via unsplash
August 31

Louisiana Left Reeling from “Ida” – Hurricane Strength Was No Surprise to Forecasters – Mandatory Fire Evacuations in Tahoe Basin

Paul Douglas Why September May Offer Year’s Best Weather ”September tries its best to have us forget summer” wrote English philosopher Bernard Williams. I love all the seasons (and the fact that Minnesota HAS 4 seasons) but September is my favorite month of the year. Days are still lukewarm, lakes warm enough for one or two more dips. Severe storms are rare as the noisy blur of summer fades into comfortable days with cotton-ball cumulus and low humidity. That is all fine and good but Minnesota is still too dry and dusty. According to the local DNR “As of this...