All Weather News

Stages of “Spring”

22 Apr 2013, 5:57 am
Stages of “Spring”
Irritation. Anger. Incredulity. Shock. I hope I get to acceptance.
Now I look at the maps and just laugh. It’s that – or weep uncontrollably, mourning a spring that might have been.
I’m so sorry I pressed the wrong button on my Doppler. It’s all my fault.
Earth Day 2013 and the weather map still looks like something out of The Twilight Zone. A wave of low pressure tracking east along a cold front changes rain to snow tonight. Another plowable slush-fest is expected tonight, as much as 3-6″ for parts of the Twin Cities metro. Then, a reinforcing cold front Wednesday, with PM sprinkles mixing with snow flurries.
Followed by a Light-Switch Spring: 60s by Friday; temperatures soar into the 70s Sunday & Monday. Snow – mud – green lawns, all in the span of 72 hours?
If you blink, hiccup or sneeze, you may miss spring altogether this year.
Rapid warmth, coupled with moderate to heavy rain predicted for the Red River Valley by Monday, will unleash the 4-10″ of liquid water still trapped in the snow cover up north. I have a bad feeling about flood potential in Fargo & tornado season statewide.
What happened to global warming? Winter is hanging on here, but March was the 8th warmest on record, worldwide, according to NASA. Details below.


Die – Winter – Die. Too melodramatic? You can’t begin to appreciate the amount of crap I’ve been getting in recent weeks: insults, threats…dirty looks. And that’s just from friends and family members. I don’t even want to think about the general public. Colder air drains into Minnesota today – temperatures aloft warm enough for all rain until the dinner hour, when sleet may mix in, a changeover to mostly snow after 7 pm, give or take. It snows hard until 2-3 am, before tapering to flurries Tuesday morning. This wave of low pressure moves quickly, skies clear Tuesday (with rapid melting of snow). A reinforcing cold front arrives Wednesday, and then we start to warm up. A real warm-up. 

-14 F low Saturday morning at Embarrass, Minnesota. According to the Minnesota State Climatology Office that’s the coldest temperature ever reported in the state on April 20. Previous record: 0F at Cloquet (1928). It was also the coldest temperature ever reported in MInnesota during the second half of April. (photo: Birch Leaf Photography).

I’ve Never Been Happier Tracking A Warm Front. ECMWF model data (courtesy of WSI) valid midday Monday, a week from today, shows a strong southwest flow ahead of an advancing front. Highs may climb well into the 70s Monday afternoon; 80F not out of the question over southwestern Minnesota.

Flooding Threatens Along Mississippi River From Iowa To Missouri. Here’s a video and excerpt from a Washington Post story on the growing risk of major flooding: “The fast-rising Mississippi River was making travel difficult Saturday, both on the river and for those simply trying to get across it. The Mississippi, Missouri and other Midwestern rivers in at least six states have surged since torrential rains drenched the region over the past few days. At least two deaths are blamed on flash flooding and a third was suspected, while crews in Indiana were searching for a man whose car was swept away. The National Weather Service predicted what it characterizes as “major” flooding on the Mississippi from the Quad Cities to just north of St. Louis by this weekend, with similar projections farther south into early next week. Some smaller rivers are expected to see record flooding…”

Flooding Along The Illinois River. Here are some remarkable photos from The Journal Star, documenting the extent of flooding on the Illinois River Why do I think this is an omen, especially for the Red River Valley within 2 weeks? I hope I’m wrong.

Photo credit above: RON JOHNSON/JOURNAL STAR “A boat sits in a flooded portion of a neighborhood along Oak Lawn Street in Chillicothe on Saturday.”

8th Warmest March – WorldwideNOAA NCDC reports 10th warmest, but NASA GISS data suggests that last month tied 2006 for 8th warmest. Thanks to Graham Saunders for bringing this link to my attention.
Climate Stories…

Is Our Extreme Weather Linked To Climate Change? Here’s an excerpt of a story at The La Crosse Tribune: “…It’s a shame that people and ideas are pigeonholed into classifications of alarmism or science deniers,” Lussky said. “I don’t know that I’ve seen any two people that would be classified by some as skeptics that would agree with each other.“ Calling the debate on climate change closed is the antithesis of science, Lussky said. And combining science with politics isn’t always a great mix. “If you’re going to stay true to the science, becoming an advocate… it takes away from that,” he said. Lussky earned his master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin, doing research for the Center for Climatic Research that Notaro helps guide. Yet, he disagrees with some of its conclusions. “There’s so much we don’t know,” he said…” (file derecho image: Brittney Misialek, NOAA SPC).

China’s Clean Energy Investment Puts America To Shame. Will we be buying most of our solar panels, wind turbines and next-generation batteries from China? I’m starting to wonder. Here’s an excerpt from an important article at The Motley Fool: “…In China, the energy debate is very different. When China sees its imports of coal rising and dependence on foreign oil growing, it springs into action. Not by screaming, “Drill, baby, drill,” but by investing billions of dollars in home-grown energy sources. Yes, I’m talking about clean, renewable energy, and China’s investment in these energy sources make U.S. subsidies look like the half-hearted effort they are. China has put tens (maybe hundreds) of billions of dollars into building a renewable manufacturing industry, and it started long before the U.S. even noticed the emergence of wind and solar power...”

Unburnable Carbon 2013: Wasted Capital And Stranded Assets. Here is an excerpt of the report from The Carbon Tracker Initiative that generated a lot of press last week: “…This new research from Carbon Tracker and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at LSE calls for regulators, governments and investors to re-evaluate energy business models against carbon budgets, to prevent $6trillion carbon bubble in the next decade.Unburnable carbon 2013: Wasted capital and stranded assets has revealed that fossil fuel reserves already far exceed the carbon budget to avoid global warming of 2°C, but in spite of this, spent $674billion last year to find and develop new potentially stranded assets.

“Smart investors can see that investing in companies that rely solely or heavily on constantly replenishing reserves of fossil fuels is becoming a very risky decision. The report raises serious questions as to the ability of the financial system to act on industry-wide long term risk, since currently the only measure of risk is performance against industry benchmarks.” Professor Lord Stern



My Photo

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

One response to “Stages of “Spring”

  1. hey Paul…this is probably the last hurrah of winter and it’s going out in a huge huff!!! 70 degrees by next week? I’ll take it!!!! One more time, with feeling….bring it on!!! have a great Monday!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.