Hints of Early March Next 1-2 Weeks

Like physicians, plumbers and astrophysicists, meteorologists are trained to be analytical. Stick to the data. Don’t let your emotions get in the way of decision-making.

Right. Easier said than done. I like a good snowstorm, but I’m (secretly) relieved we won’t be tracking any major storms into early next week. A wind flow direct from the Gulf of Mexico will spark a little wet snow mixed with rain Wednesday, but models suggest little more than a coating, if that. Far southeastern Minnesota may pick up 1-2 inches of slush.

I can’t say I miss the tundra-like, polar vortex conditions we enjoyed last year. In fact, the last 10 days
of January should be 30-50F warmer than January, 2019, when the mercury sank to -28F air temperature in the Twin Cities, with -50s up north! No, I don’t miss that. Sorry

The pattern into early February looks more like early March. 10-12 days in a row at or above 32F?

Here in Minnesota, in late January, we call that a minor meteorological miracle. Oh sweet relief!

Snowier Than Average, To Date. Snowfall for the winter season is 3.4″ above average for the Twin Cities, but 20″ more than average at Brainerd and a cool 2 feet above average in Duluth and Grand Forks. Snow lovers are pretty happy, right? Maps: Praedictix and AerisWeather.

Wednesday Nuisance Event. Temperatures aloft may be mild enough for a wet snow/rain mix Wednesday in the metro, where a coating of slush is possible. There’s a better chance of an inch or two of wet snow over far southeastern Minnesota into Wednesday night.

ECMWF Confirms Midweek Nuisance Event for MSP. A couple of slushy inches for Rochester, Winona and La Crosse Wednesday into Thursday? Yes, it’s a possibility, but ECMWF prints out little more than a coating for the MSP metro. Map: WeatherBell.

Mild Bias Continues – Growing Storm Risk Early February? If NOAA’s GFS prediction for 500mb winds verifies for the evening of February 3 a cut-off low pressure system over the central USA may deliver everything from severe T-storms to rain, ice and snow for the Plains and Rockies. We’re due for a pattern shift by early February.

Record Snowfalls in the United States. House Method calculated the biggest snow events for every county in the USA – check it out: “Snowfall can vary depending on which state you live in. Parts of the country could see multiple feet while others could see less than an inch. However, no matter where you live in the United States, snow has reached your home state. As the snow comes down across the country, we at House Method decided to find out just how much (or how little) each state has received. We gathered data on the biggest total snowfall (in inches) of each county in every state of the U.S. The map below shows what we found...”

Buzzers, Burner Accounts and Conspiracies – Inside Baseball’s Day of Epic Chaos. Read this story at ESPN.com: “…This is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen,” one general manager said midafternoon, when — and this is a real thing — he called to ask whether the fired New York Mets manager actually had a niece who was tweeting about the 2019 Houston Astros wearing buzzers under their uniforms that let them know which pitch was coming. “I want to take this day and freeze it in time so I can keep living it.” By the end of Thursday, Major League Baseball and a target of the accusations both had chimed in, players across the sport had offered their feelings on the matter — a matter that still, it is important to note, has zero factual backing — and the 12-hour fire hose of raw, uncut content had satiated the masses with plenty of leftovers for the next day…”

Spotify Launches Playlist for Dogs Left Home Alone. Because, why not. Fox Business has the story: “Spotify has made playlists and a podcast for dogs to listen to in their owners’ absence, after finding that nearly 74 percent of UK pet-owners play music for their animals. The Swedish audio-streaming business company said it has launched a podcast featuring soothing music, “dog-directed praise”, stories, and messages of affirmation and reassurance narrated by actors to alleviate stress for dogs who are home alone. Meanwhile, playlists aimed at pets offer tracks selected by algorithms to match pets’ characteristics such as energetic or slow. Spotify said it found in a survey that one in four pet-owners play music for their pets to listen to for company when they are away from home, with 42 percent of owners saying their pets have a favorite type of music...”

Lego Sets Its Sights on Stressed Out Adults. The Washington Post (paywall) reports: “Lego, the world’s largest and most profitable toymaker, is zeroing in on a growing demographic: stressed-out adults. The 87-year-old Danish company increasingly bills its brightly colored bricks as a way to drown out the noise of the day and perhaps achieve a measure of mindfulness. The company’s newest kits — which include the Central Perk cafe from the sitcom “Friends” and a vintage 1989 Batmobile — tap into Gen X nostalgia, while its Ideas and Forma lines are being targeted to adults who want to occupy their hands but keep their minds loosely engaged…”

TUESDAY: Clouds increase, windy. Winds: S 15-25. High: 18

WEDNESDAY: Light rain-snow mix. Mainly wet roads at MSP. Winds: SW 10-15. High: 38

THURSDAY: Very light snow or flurries. Winds: E 7-12. Wake-up: 31. High: 35

FRIDAY: Cloudy, flurries slowly taper. Winds: E 7-12. Wake-up: 30. High: 34

SATURDAY: Skies brighten up, milder. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up: 28. High: 36

SUNDAY: Patchy clouds and fog. Winds: SW 5-10. Wake-up: 27. High: 35

MONDAY: Cloudy but mild for late January. Winds: S 7-12. Wake-up: 26. High: 36

Climate Stories…

The Winning Conservative Climate Solution. Makes perfect sense to me. George Shultz and Ted Halstead have an Op-Ed at The Washington Post; here’s an excerpt: “...Thus, our carbon fee would be self-financing and revenue-neutral, making it the fiscally conservative choice while eliminating any risk of a fiscal drag. Instead of growing the size of government, our approach would “finance” the transition to a low-carbon future by harnessing the power of the market and leveraging the vast resources of the private sector for innovation and investment. In fact, carbon pricing could actually shrink the size of government by rendering less efficient regulations unnecessary. This would provide businesses the regulatory certainty they need to make long-term investments in clean energy, further turbocharging the innovation engine…”

The paper from George Shultz and Ted Halstead is here.

Microsoft Raises Stakes in Corporate Climate-Pledge Race. The Wall Street Journal (paywall) reports: “Microsoft Corp. is pledging to eliminate its carbon emissions and invest $1 billion as part of a wider climate commitment, raising the stakes in the corporate race to show greater awareness of environmental concerns. The software company said Thursday that it would become “carbon negative” by 2030—taking more carbon out of the air than its operations and those of its supply chain produce. This goes a step beyond promises made by some of its high-profile Silicon Valley rivals. By 2050, Microsoft said, it plans to eliminate all emissions it has produced since its founding in 1975. Companies are increasingly feeling pressure to take action on emissions...”

As Brushfires Devastate Australia, Players Need to Focus on Action Not Reaction. Here’s an excerpt of a post at ESPN.com: “…Australian Bernard Tomic said he could not breathe during his match. Canadian Genie Bouchard required a medical timeout after complaining of chest pains during her qualifying match against Xiaodi You. Maria Sharapova and Laura Siegemund called off their tune-up exhibition at the Kooyong Classic as smoke from the bushfires smothered Melbourne. An on-court coughing fit forced Dalila Jakupovic to her knees and then to forfeit her match against Stefanie Voegele. While the fires decimate the country and players voice their concerns that conditions are unsafe and perhaps the tournament should be postponed, Tennis Australia, the governing body of the sport in the country, has said little of substance to address the effects of the fires on player safety, or the ethics and morality of hosting a multimillion-dollar spectacle as the country literally burns…”

Tennis: Extreme Heat, Fires to Affect Sports More Through Climate Change – Report. The New York Times reports.

For the Economy, Climate Risks Are No Longer Theoretical. The Wall Street Journal reports on the hangover setting in among business leaders who now see climate change and weather disruption as one of their biggest risk factors: “…Climate change can’t be directly blamed for any single extreme weather event, including Hurricane Maria, California’s wildfires or Australia’s bushfires. But it makes such events more likely. “They are starting to be more than tail events, they’re starting to affect economic outcomes,” Robert Kaplan, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, told an economic conference earlier this month. Climate crises in the next 30 years may resemble financial crises in recent decades: potentially quite destructive, largely unpredictable and, given the powerful underlying causes, inevitable. Climate has muscled to the top of business worries...”

Climate Change Fears Finally Spur Big Business to Act – in Defense of Their Bottom Line. Mic.com has the post: “The fossil fuel industry holds a significant share of the burden when it comes to climate change, but it isn’t alone. Big businesses, particularly international conglomerates that ship products all over the world and burn oil and coal along the way, have done their share of damage to the planet as well, all in the name of profit. Now, it’s that same motivation — the bottom line — that has those corporations trying to go green, as they are worried that the effects of climate change may end up costing them money in the long run. Over the last year or so, the realization that climate change will interfere with business-as-usual operations has started to hit home for corporations…”

YouTube Actively Promoting Videos That Promote Climate Denialism. TIME.com reports: “YouTube has been “actively promoting” videos containing misinformation about climate change, a report released Thursday by campaign group Avaaz claims, despite recent policy changes by the platform intended to drive users away from harmful content and conspiracy theories. Avaaz examined 5,537 videos retrieved by the search terms “climate change,” global warming” and “climate manipulation,” and then the videos most likely to be suggested next by YouTube’s “up next” sidebar. For each of those search terms respectively, 8%, 16% and 21% of the top 100 related videos included by YouTube in the “up-next” feature contained information that goes against the scientific consensus on climate change – such as denying climate change is taking place, or claiming that human activity is not a cause of climate change…”