Cold Blast for Northeast, Warmer Weather Looks To Return Nov 24, 2012


Living With Risk

We all know that risk is part of life. Any time you grill, cross the street or board a plane you’re living with manageable, acceptable levels of risk.
Living by a river, building a home in Tulsa with no basement, buying a condo on the beach within 10 feet of sea level? A whole new level of risk.

Consider: drinking and driving doesn’t mean a DUI or fatal accident is guaranteed. But the risk of both go up exponentially.

A warmer ocean and rising sea level didn’t spawn Sandy, but it did make the storm worse; the atmospheric equivalent of tossing an extra log on the fire.

And for all the grief we get for enduring Minnesota winters remind your Florida friends that those annoying cold fronts inoculate us from the worst storms on Earth.

Your odds of being in a billion dollar storm are 3-4 times higher from Texas to Florida to the Carolinas. Details below.

Relative Weather Risk. There have been 3-4 times more billion dollar weather and climate disasters across the southern USA since 1980 than Minnesota or Wisconsin. Why? Hurricanes. From Texas to the Carolinas, floods and tornadoes are prevalent, but these states, close to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic, are also in “Hurricane Alley” – compounding the relative risk and odds of weather-related disasters. Source NOAA.

2012: Off-The-Scale Warm. NOAA released the latest data for the lower 48 states, showing that it’s pretty much a sure bet that this year will be the warmest ever observed in the USA, warmer than 1998, 1999 and 2006.


Record Warmth on Thanksgiving. According to NOAA there were 229 record events on Thursday from coast to coast; most of them record highs from the Plains to the Great Lakes. Was it really 60 F. here on Thanksgiving? It seems like a meteorological mirage. Map: Ham Weather.
Record Highs on Thanksgiving Day

Pellston, MI                        68

Sault Ste Marie, MI         65

Traverse City, MI              65

Gaylord, MI                        63

Chicago, IL                       63 (third warmest Thanksgiving day on record)

Wausau, WI                        62(tie)

Alpena, MI                          61

Green Bay, WI                   61

Houghton Lake, MI         60

Minneapolis                       60

Rhinelander, WI               59

Marquette, MI                  58

Duluth, MN                        52(tie)

* my thanks to Julie Gaddy at Earth Networks for sharing this information.

** photo above courtesy of Greg Berman, from Lyons, Colorado.

More Hints Of Indian Summer (Lite). Not sure we’ll see 60 again, but can I interest you in 50s? The ECMWF map above is valid next Saturday evening, showing another ridge of high pressure expanding northward across the Plains. In fact we’ll probably see a few days above 50 the first week of December. Map above: WSI.

December…Rain? The GFS forecast for a week from Tuesday (December 4) shows the “540 line”, the approximate rain/snow line, slicing across the Dakotas – the atmosphere potentially mild enough for rain. On December 4. The way this year is going nothing much surprises me anymore.

Thanksgiving Climatology. Here’s an excerpt from the always-informative WeatherTalk blog from Dr. Mark Seeley: “…The mild temperatures of the recent holiday were a significant anomaly. Many locations saw afternoon highs in the 50s F. For the Twin Cities it was only the 11th time in past 141 years that Thanksgiving Day has brought a temperature of 50 degrees F or greater. It is interesting to note that 5 of those years have come since 1998. For southern Minnesota communities it was another dry Thanksgiving which is typical historically, as over 70 percent of the time the holiday brings a trace or no precipitation….”

A Hybrid Tank? Why not. Reducing dependence on traditional fuel sources only increases resiliency and lowers overall risk. has more details: “…The GCV carries three crew and nine squad members inside its steel-core hull and boasts an integrated electronic network capability and embedded intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment. However, the centerpiece of the vehicle is its simplified drive train. The GCV is propelled by an Hybrid Electric Drive (HED) developed by the partnership. It puts out 1,100 kW of electricity, has fewer components, and lower volume and weight than current power plants. Being an electric drive, it generates high torque at start, smoother low-speed operation and can run silently – an advantage in night operations….”



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Welcome to the WeatherNation blog. Every day I sift through hundreds of stories, maps, graphics and meteorological web sites, trying to capture some of the most interesting weather nuggets, the stories behind the forecast. I’ll link to stories and share some of the web sites I use. I’m still passionate about the weather, have been ever since Tropical Storm Agnes flooded my home in Lancaster, PA in 1972. I’ve started 5 weather-related companies. “EarthWatch” created the world’s first 3-D weather graphics for TV stations – Steven Spielberg used our software in “Jurassic Park” and “Twister”. My last company, “Digital Cyclone”, personalized weather for cell phones. “My-Cast” was launched in 2001 and is still going strong on iPhone, Android and Blackberry. I sold DCI to Garmin in 2007 so I could focus on my latest venture: WeatherNation. I also write a daily weather column for The Star Tribune And if you’re on Twitter, you’ll find me @pdouglasweather

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