All Weather News

Marchlike Relapse – Severe Risk Today; Wind Chill By Midweek

14 Apr 2014, 6:17 am

A Fine Whine

Amazingly, meteorologists are people too. Well, on a good day. We get just as annoyed with lousy weather as everyone else, even though it offers some (perverse) level of job security. Should we be clinical and unemotional? “Just the facts ma’am.” Or do we hold up a mirror and reflect some of the weather-related joy, dread & angst we witness all around us? I still struggle with this.

Ron Reimann of Arden Hills has had enough “Debbie Downer” weather updates. “….I’m convinced the depth of our 4 seasons is part of what makes Minnesotans so vibrant and healthy. Each of our 4 seasons demands changes in our lives and keeps us from getting into as much of a rut” he wrote. “Can’t you celebrate that a little more and help make that our mental model here, instead of fostering this “poor us” mentality?…..”

Ron has a point. Reacting to extreme and violent weather (that often tries to murder us) has fostered resilience & innovation – it’s FORCED us to adapt and improve. I’m usually a glass-half-full guy, but this winter tested my patience too, I admit.

We won’t see much of spring into Friday; a chilly relapse gives way to 50s next weekend. Then again, no slush, no early mosquito bites, no blaring severe storm sirens or widespready flood warnings. It could be worse.

Future Radar. NOAA’s NAM model shows heavy showers and T-storms pushing into the eastern half of the USA today; the next system pushing a smear of rain and wet snow across the Upper Midwest by Wednesday. Map: HAMweather.

Relapse. After basking in the 70s and 80s Sunday temperatures drop off dramatically this week out east as jet stream winds buckle, treating the eastern half of the nation to a rerun of March. The solid red line marks the 32F isotherm, the solid blue line the 72F isotherm. Map: NOAA (NAM) and HAMweather.


How Politics Makes Us Stupid. Ezra Klein has an interesting read at; here’s an excerpt: “There’s a simple theory underlying much of American politics. It sits hopefully at the base of almost every speech, every op-ed, every article, and every panel discussion. It courses through the Constitution and is a constant in President Obama’s most stirring addresses. It’s what we might call the More Information Hypothesis: the belief that many of our most bitter political battles are mere misunderstandings. The cause of these misunderstandings? Too little information — be it about climate change, or taxes, or Iraq, or the budget deficit. If only the citizenry were more informed, the thinking goes, then there wouldn’t be all this fighting….But the More Information Hypothesis isn’t just wrong. It’s backwards. Cutting-edge research shows that the more information partisans get, the deeper their disagreements become…”

What To Do Now That The Heartbleed Bug Exposed The Internet. Stop using the ‘net? Good luck with that. But there are a few steps you can take to lower the risk. Here’s an excerpt of story focused on “good internet hygiene” courtesy of NPR: “…While individual users can’t patch the holes, keep in mind some general Internet hygiene that we should be doing anyway.

  • Change your password every few months. Because so many of our transactions are conducted online, this is a good practice to have no matter what. But to be extra safe, use , which typically means you need to know a piece of information — like a password — and have a piece of information, like a freshly generated pass code that shows up only on your personal smartphone, before getting into certain sites.
  • Be a little leery of public Wi-Fi networks. If you are hopping on the Wi-Fi at Starbucks and other public places, limit your Internet behavior to the things you wouldn’t mind people being able to find out and transactions that aren’t especially sensitive...”

The Most Dangerous Words In Tech. Government investments (often in military technology) trickle down and become the foundation for “innovative new breakthroughs” in Silicon Valley? Here’s a clip of another story worthy of your time at The New York Times: “…Speaking at the Institute for New Economic Thinking conference in Toronto this week, Mariana Mazzucato, a professor at the University of Sussex, described the most notable technology innovations as coming from the government, not the private sector. “What made the iPhone ‘smart’ — GPS, touch screens, Siri, the Internet — was started by the government,” said Ms. Mazzucato. “The National Institutes of Health is responsible for creating the most revolutionary drugs.” Her recent book, The Entrepreneurial State , is about contributions the government has made to innovations Silicon Valley claims as its own…”

* “Fire and Ice” photo above courtesy of Steve Burns.

Climate Stories…

March Temperature Anomalies. March was a reflection of the entire winter; colder than average for eastern Canada and the USA, but (much) warmer than average across the rest of the planet, temperatures as much as 6-10F warmer than average fro Europe into much of Asia and Siberia.

Odds That Global Warming Is Due To Natural Factors: Slim To NilThe McGill Reporter has the research (on the research); here’s an excerpt: “…Statistical analysis rules out natural-warming hypothesis with more than 99 per cent certainty. An analysis of temperature data since 1500 all but rules out the possibility that global warming in the industrial era is just a natural fluctuation in the earth’s climate, according to a new study by McGill physics professor Shaun Lovejoy. The study, published online on April 6, in the journal Climate Dynamics, represents a new approach to the question of whether global warming in the industrial era has been caused largely by man-made emissions from the burning of fossil fuels…”

U.N. Climate Panel Warns Speedier Action Needed To Avoid Disaster. Here’s an excerpt of a Justin Gillis article on the latest IPCC climate summary in the New York Times: “…It remains technically possible to keep planetary warming to a tolerable level, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found, according to a report unveiled here. But even in parts of the world like Europe that have tried hardest, governments are still a long way from taking the steps that are sufficient to do the job, the experts found. “We cannot afford to lose another decade,” said Ottmar Edenhofer, a German economist and co-chairman of the committee that wrote the report. “If we lose another decade, it becomes extremely costly to achieve climate stabilization…”
* The Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the IPCC is here.

Climate Panel Stunner: Avoiding Climate Catastrophe Is Super Cheap – But Only If We Act Now. ThinkProgress puts the latest IPCC report (AR5) into perspective; here’s a clip: “…Now you might think it would be a no-brainer that humanity would be willing to pay a very high cost to avoid such catastrophes and achieve the low emission “2°C” (3.6°F) pathway in the left figure above (RCP2.6 — which is a total greenhouse gas level in 2100 equivalent to roughly 450 parts per million of CO2). But the third report finds that the “cost” of doing so is to reduce the median annual growth of consumption over this century by a mere 0.06%. You read that right, the annual growth loss to preserve a livable climate is 0.06% — and that’s “relative to annualized consumption growth in the baseline that is between 1.6% and 3% per year.” So we’re talking annual growth of, say 2.24% rather than 2.30% to save billions and billions of people from needless suffering for decades if not centuries. As always, every word of the report was signed off on by every major government in the world…”

Graphic credit above: “Humanity’s choice (via IPCC): Aggressive climate action ASAP (left figure) minimizes future warming. Continued inaction (right figure) results in catastrophic levels of warming, 9°F over much of U.S. The latest IPCC report finds the annual cost of avoiding that catastrophe is a mere 0.06% of annual growth.”


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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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