31 F. Maximum temperature yesterday in the Twin Cities.

35 F. average high on March 3.

35 F. high on March 3, 2016.

March 4, 1935: An extremely damaging ice storm hits Duluth. At the time it was called ‘The worst ice storm in Duluth’s history’. The storm began with freezing rain and wet snow falling at the Duluth Weather Bureau at 7th Ave West and 8th Street at 10pm on March 3rd. The temperature was 26 degrees. By the morning of the 4th, the snow stopped but the freezing rain continued. The lights started going out in Duluth by 6pm on the 4th due to power lines breaking. By the morning of the 5th, Duluth was virtually isolated from the outside world except for shortwave radio. A local ham radio operator sent the Duluth National Weather Service reports: Four streetcars had to be abandoned in the storm, three of them in the western part of the city. A heavy salt mixture and pickaxes were used to try to free the stuck streetcars. A one-mile stretch of telephone poles along Thompson’s Hill was broken off as if they were toothpicks due to the ice.

The Extended Outlook Calls for Weather Whiplash

If one foot is in boiling water, the other in ice water, do you feel “average”? On Monday, when temperatures top 60 degrees, a flood of “humidity” washes your face, and you hear a distant rumble of thunder, resist the urge to blurt out “spring is here!” Because it’s not.

Nature, nor the mercury, ever moves in a perfectly straight line. We lurch and stagger from one season to the next. Although the trend will obviously be toward warmer temperatures there will be notable corrections and relapses. No, winter won’t go gently into that night.

We just glided through the 10th warmest meteorological winter on record; the 15th warmer-than-normal winter in the last 20 years.

You should regain feeling in your toes today. Expect low 60s Sunday, again Monday; when a fire hose of Gulf moisture sparks a few thunderstorms. A slushy clipper next Friday may pull arctic air southward in its wake. ECMWF guidance hints at 20s and 30s next weekend with a smear of accumulating snow one week from tomorrow.

Enjoy this preview of spring. Just don’t get too smug. March is a cruel, fickle, unforgiving month.
Trump Administration Proposes Steep Cuts for NOAA. Cutting satellites? I’m not sure how this is in the best interest of U.S. citizens. If you agree – call your representatives in Congress. It looks like a 17% cut, according to The Washington Post: “…Many scientists warned that the deep cuts at NOAA could hurt safety as well as academic programs. Conrad Lautenbacher, a retired vice admiral who was the NOAA administrator under President George W. Bush, said, “I think the cuts are ill timed given the needs of society, economy and the military.” He added, “It will be very hard for NOAA to manage and maintain the kind of services the country requires” with the proposed cuts. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA administrator under President Barack Obama, said that 90 percent of the information for weather forecasts comes from satellites. “Cutting NOAA’s satellite budget will compromise NOAA’s mission of keeping Americans safe from extreme weather and providing forecasts that allow businesses and citizens to make smart plans,” she said. Rick Spinrad, a former chief scientist for NOAA, said: “NOAA’s research and operations, including satellite data management, support critical safety needs. A reduced investment now would virtually guarantee jeopardizing the safety of the American public. He said that weather warnings for tornadoes and hurricanes could be compromised and that navigational capacity used to help guide commercial ships and other mariners would suffer, leaving them without the “improved forecasts they need to safely maneuver coastal waters.” It could become harder to warn of tsunamis and forecast weather that will cause power outages…”

Future Radar. Speaking of NOAA, here is output from their 12 KM resolution NAM model, pulling more heavy rain and snow into the western USA, with a surge of showery rains migrating northward across Texas. Quiet weather lingers in the northeastern USA after snow squalls struck on Friday. Showers and T-storms push across the Mississippi Valley Monday, marking the leading edge of a cooler, more typical airmass for early March. Animation: NOAA and Tropicaltidbits.com.
Springy Spike – Then Cooling Down. Low 60s seem like a fairly sure bet Sunday and Monday,  according to  both NOAA and ECMWF guidance. Bitter air provides a glancing blow by next weekend with highs stuck in the 20s and 30s. ECMWF numbers for the Twin Cities: WeatherBell.
Recap of Meteorological Winter in Minnesota. Once again Dr. Mark Seeley helps to put the numbers into perspective at Minnesota WeatherTalk: “The 6th warmest February in state history concluded earlier this week, along with the end of Meteorological Winter (in the northern hemisphere December through February). The Meteorological Winter definitely followed the climatic trends of recent decades by being both warmer and wetter than normal. It was the 10th warmest Meteorological Winter in state history back to 1895, and the 15th warmer than normal one of the last 20 years on a statewide basis. Over the 90-day season approximately 700 daily temperature records were set within the state’s climate observation networks, including 286 new daily high maximum temperatures and 414 new daily high minimum temperatures. During the Meteorological Winter Minnesota reported the coldest temperature in the 48 contiguous states only 9 times, a small number when compared to history. In December it happened 3 days, in January 4 days, and in February just 2 days...”
The Vast Majority of U.S. Had a Crazy Warm Winter. Here’s a clip from a good summary of our “half a winter” at Climate Central: “…Climate Central conducted an analysis of 1,500 weather stations across the U.S. and found that 84 percent had a winter that was warmer than normal, including 47 percent that had a winter among their 10 warmest on record. Not a single station east of the Mississippi was cooler than average. Of the stations in the analysis, 117 had a record warm winter. In comparison, only six stations had their coldest winter on record. The heat spread from coast-to-coast with the Southeast being the hottest of the hot. Miami, Houston and Dallas all set seasonal heat records. Towns in Oklahoma approached 100°F. Chicago was snowless in January and February for the first time in 146 years of records. Massachusetts recorded its first February tornado. Spring arrived up to 28 days early in the Southeast. The National Park Service is forecasting a mid-March cherry blossom peak on the National Mall, which would be the earliest on record…”
One Big Cold Brownie. Which really isn’t the worst thing you can call something, right? It’s brown out there, from the metro into central, western and southwestern Minnesota – still 1-2 feet on the ground over the Minnesota Arrowhead. Map: Minnesota DNR.

February Weather Recap. Here’s an except from HydroClim Minnesota, courtesy of the Minnesota DNR: “Average monthly temperatures for February were well above historical averages at all Minnesota reporting stations. It was Minnesota’s tenth consecutive month of above-normal monthly temperatures, and for the Twin Cities, the eighteenth month in a row of above normal temperatures. Extremes for February ranged from a high of 67 degrees F at Redwood Falls Airport (Redwood County) on the 17th, to a low of -24 degrees F at Hallock (Kittson County) on the 8th. Temperatures soared into the 50s and 60s across Minnesota on February 17-22, breaking temperature records for the date. February 2016 wound up in the top ten warmest Februaries on record are various locations in the state. February 2017 ranked the 3rd warmest in St. Cloud, the 7th warmest in the Twin Cities. Duluth was the 9th warmest and International Falls was the 11th warmest.  The preliminary statewide average temperature for February was nine degrees above normal…”

Map credit: Midwestern Regional Climate Center.
What’s Dangerous About an Early Spring. The growing season is getting longer, but the average date of the last frost isn’t moving in some cases, so the potential for frost-related damage increases with our new super-sized summer seasons. Here’s an excerpt from a story at The Atlantic: “…Often when people talk about climate change, they talk about how the world will change in the future. But an early spring is happening now. The same study that revealed how national parks are facing seasonal shift included a special warning for park rangers: “Managers who have worked in these parks for the past one to three decades are already working under anomalous conditions.” But that warning applies many of us: The springs of the past 30 years have been “anomalous.” The national parks are not the only thing that have already changed. The natural calendar that guides all of our lives has already changed, too.”

Photo credit: Student Conservation Association.
The February Heatwave of ’17. NOAA’s Climate.gov has a recap of the extraordinary warmth a few weeks ago: “…On February 24, all-time February records were smashed across the eastern United States. Boston (73°F) bested its previous February record by three degrees. Binghamton, NY, reached 70°F, setting a new monthly record by four degrees. Columbus, OH, broke its record by one degree when the mercury hit 76°F. According to the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), these records were part of 408 total monthly high temperatures record set across the country in February. Meanwhile, only one cold temperature monthly record was set. The warmth was partly due to southerly winds blowing mild air usually reserved for areas farther south to northern regions. Helping to make that air even warmer than normal were warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures across the western Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Hot and cold records can happen at any time simply due to natural climate variability, but it’s also the case that average daytime high temperatures in February are rising across the U.S. According to NOAA’s Climate at a Glance analysis tool, the average February maximum temperature in the U.S. rose by 0.3°F per decade from 1895-2016. In the Eastern and Central Regions of the National Weather Service, the trends are 0.3°F and 0.4°F per decade, respectively.
Last Month Was the Hottest February on Record in Texas. More jaw-dropping stats from Texas Observer: “No, you weren’t imagining it. Last month was the warmest February on record in Texas and the winter so far is a “virtual tie” for the 1907 record, according to the state climatologist. The average temperature was 57.3 degrees Fahrenheit, almost eight degrees higher than the historical average going back to 1895. The warmer weather, most evident by balmy midday temperatures, led to the early blooming of wildflowers. It also prompted Texas farmers to plant corn and wheat ahead of schedule and put fire departments in West Texas and the Panhandle on high alert for fire danger. At least 42 weather stations in Texas broke all-time temperature records in February. Nine of those have records for more than 100 years, according to John Nielsen-Gammon, the state climatologist and a professor at Texas A&M’s department of atmospheric sciences...”

Graphic credit: Naveena Sadasivam. “The average February temperature in Texas was almost eight degrees warmer than the historical average going back to 1895.” [Data: National Centers for Environmental Information]

Coldest Winter in Seattle Since 1985. Curbed Seattle has the statistics: “If your heating bill weren’t evidence enough, the National  Weather Service has confirmed it: this winter has been the coldest Seattle has seen in a long time. December 2016 through February 2017 was Seattle’s coldest since 1985, with 56 days below normal temperatures according to the NWS Seattle. It’s also been a wetter-than-usual several months, with nine inches above normal precipitation since October – although we got more t han 13 inches during the same period the year before…”

FEMA Recommends Preparing Home for Spring Flooding. A lack of snowcover has reduced the odds of widespread river flooding across much of Minnesota (except for the Red River Valley) but it pays to be prepared. Here’s an excerpt of some timely reminders from KGWN-TV in Cheyenne, Wyoming: “…First and foremost on the list is to get flood insurance. In our region, the average cost of flood insurance is about $700 a year. Since 1978, residents of the six states have collected more than $404 million in insurance payments. It’s the first thing to do because there is a 30-day waiting period before a policy can take effect. If the waters are rising, it’s too late to purchase a policy. Other steps you can take to protect your family and your property include: Make sure downspouts carry water several feet from your house to a well-drained area. – About 2,500 gallons of water will come from a 1,000 square foot roof with one foot of snow depth across the roof. This much water may cause problems if allowed to drain next to the house…”
This Sign Need To Be Everywhere. Because people continually decide to take their chances and drive through flooded roads; many don’t make it. What can we do to deter them from taking risky weather-bets? Here’s an excerpt from The Weather Social: “At thewxsocial.com, we’re frequently examining the struggle of communicating flood dangers. From Houston to Baton Rouge, we have pointed to countless challenges during heavy rain events that strand drivers and claim lives. Melissa Huffman submits several factors that may constrain action to areal and flash flood warnings like lack of familiarity with the flooded area, to being in a warning message restrictive setting like a vehicle. Perhaps it is all just disconnect from messenger to receiver. I have even suggested an alternate framing of the warning message to circumvent the “I can make it” mentality. But now, another city on the Gulf Coast is instituting a simple road sign that could become flood safety’s biggest ally since “turn around don’t drown…”

Photo credit: “Aaron Miller, Director of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness in New Orleans with new road sign to be placed at flood prone underpass, photo via @BillCapo on Twitter.”
More Snow Fell on Mauna Kea (Hawaii) Wednesday Night Than Chicago and Denver Have Seen All Year. Good grief. Here’s an excerpt from Hawaii News Now: “More than 8 inches of snow fell atop Hawaii’s tallest peak during an overnight blizzard on Tuesday, outpacing the amount that has dropped on some of America’s most winter-ready cities during the first two months of 2017. Data from the National Weather Service shows — somehow — that there was no snow accumulation in the city of Chicago in either January or February. It was the first time no snow was recorded over that two-month stretch in the 146 years the agency has been keeping snowfall records.  Since the measurements are taken at 6 a.m., the Chicago Tribune says, it’s possible that small amounts of snow may have fallen during the day and melted before being recorded. But warm temperatures in the Windy City during 2017 continue to melt Chicago’s record books.   Meanwhile, a Blizzard Warning was in effect Tuesday for Hawaii Island’s Mauna Kea, and so much snow fell that the road to the mountain’s summit had to be closed to the public…”
February Tornadoes Just Quadrupled in Michigan. Mlive.com has more details on the recent February tornado outbreak in Michigan: “The number of tornadoes touching down in February in Michigan just quadrupled. Three tornadoes touched down in far southern Michigan February 28, 2017. Prior to Tuesday evening’s tornado outbreak, only one other tornado has been reported in Michigan since consistent severe weather records began in 1950. The only other February tornado in Michigan touched down on February 28, 1974...”

Photo credit: “Damage from the EF-1 tornado that touched down in Niles, MI February 28, 2017.” (National Weather Service – Northern Indiana).

Carrie Underwood Reveals Home Was Hit by Nashville Tornado. MSN.com has an update: “FOX 17 News in Nashville reports that the storm’s 100 mph winds caused damage to trees and power lines — and, indeed, a possible tornado may have touched down. But twisters are nothing new to Underwood, who spent the first two decades of her life in Oklahoma, where tornadoes are a dime a dozen. The state lies in an area along the Great Plains some dub Tornado Alley. In fact, 33-year-old Underwood wrote about a tornado on her 2011 hit single “Blown Away,” which finds the song’s character wishing for a metaphorical twister to come and wipe away painful childhood memories...”

Official: California Faces $50 Billion Price Tag for Flood Control. ABC News has the story and video: “California faces an estimated $50 billion price tag for roads, dams and other infrastructure threatened by floods such as the one that severely damaged Oroville Dam last month, the state’s natural resources secretary said Wednesday. Nearly 200,000 people living near the country’s tallest dam were evacuated three weeks ago amid fears of a catastrophic flood after heavy rains tore away a chunk of concrete from the main spillway, leaving it severely damaged. Swollen rivers, troubled levees and crumbling roads are causing havoc statewide as California copes with what is likely its wettest year ever, California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird said. Severe winter storms have brought torrential rain and significant snow after five years of drought. Damage to California’s highways is estimated at nearly $600 million. More than 14,000 people in San Jose were forced to evacuate last month and floods shut down a portion of a major freeway...”

7-Foot Wall on the Brooklyn Riverfront to Fight Flooding. The New York Times reports: “…Should the forecast call for an unrelenting storm, workers will erect the panels a day before anticipated landfall, creating a 1,100-foot-long barricade — one-fifth of a mile — in four to five hours. If all goes as hoped, Empire Stores, which includes West Elm’s headquarters, will ride out the flood like a tasteful island in a surging sea. Communities across the country are confronting the mounting evidence of climate change and fortifying buildings and infrastructure against rising sea levels and ever-more-intense storms. The New York Times is presenting case studies in resilient design in and around New York City. The series and a glossary are looking at tangible measures being taken to resist floods, surges, high winds and heavy rains...”

Photo credit: “Flooding is a constant threat to Empire Stores, a converted warehouse on the East River in Brooklyn. Elevating the infrastructure was not practical for the historic building, so owners purchased a flood barrier to be erected if inundation threatens.” Credit Kevin Hagen for The New York Times.

Thank You Ulysses S. Grant. Philly.com explains why meteorologists and U.S. consumers are better off because he was president: “In standard historical rankings of U.S. presidents, Ulysses S. Grant typically is right down there with James Buchanan, Franklin Pierce, and Warren Harding. But in 1870, Grant secured a place in the pantheon of U.S. weather history by signing a bill that created a national weather service. The rest is … well, you know the rest. We tend to take for granted that measurements are taken constantly at stations throughout the country to gather raw material for numerical forecast models, not to mention telling people what the hay is going on outside...”

What President Trump’s Proposed EPA Budget Cuts Mean For Your Health. Here’s an excerpt from TIME: “…Much of the work protecting the country’s air and water is left to the states. Trump and Pruitt have called for increased reliance on states in environmental matters, but the proposed budget cuts grants to states and tribes by 30%, according to Becker. Those grants cover a wide variety of initiatives aimed at protecting public health. For instance, the Trump budget cuts funding to implement the Clean Air Act in states and localities from about $227 million to less than $160 million, grants to implement the Clean Water Act from $230 million to $161 million and grants to address lead poisoning from about $14 million to less than $10 million.…”

Why Democrats and Republicans are Both Right on Climate. Here’s an excerpt of an Op-Ed from Daniel Kammen at Scientific American: “…Together the CPP and the CDP build a vibrant, intensely job-creating energy sector that would be far larger than either plan accomplishes alone. The CPP does not pit one state against each other, but pushes each state to develop its own carbon reduction plan. Both red and blue states are finding this easier and more profitable than previously imagined. The power sector reduced its carbon emissions 21 percent between 2005-2015, primarily by switching from coal to gas. It is well on the way to complying with the Clean Power Plan. The CPP will accelerate the transition to money-saving energy efficiency, and to a job-rich renewable energy sector. Countries such as China, Bangladesh, Denmark, Germany Kenya, Korea, and Portugal have seen tremendous manufacturing and job growth as they made their electricity sectors more diverse, clean, and job-producing…”

Photo credit: “Coal-fired power plant, Minnesota.” Credit: Tony Webster Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Do Environmental Regulations Reduce Employment? Not Really. Here’s an excerpt of a post from Dave Roberts at Vox: “…At the most basic level, the story is simple. Market economies tend to grow or contract based on broad macroeconomic factors such as aggregate demand, the rate of inflation, and population growth. As long as demand remains strong, inflation remains low, and the population grows, economic growth generally conntinues and employment rises. If those factors go the other way, growth slows and employment falls. Within this broad framework, regional or sectoral developments (regulations on a particular industry, particular industries growing or declining, population shifts between and among regions) are generally lost in the national noise. If a particular resource declines, the market finds substitutes. If a particular industry declines, other industries grow and absorb the workers…”

Photo credit: Wikipedia.
Solar Now Provides Twice as Many Jobs as the Coal Industry. Here’s a link and story excerpt from Co.Exist: “As solar power keeps getting cheaper—and more and more of it is built as a result—the industry is also an increasingly important source of new jobs, adding workers at a rate nearly 17 times faster than the overall economy. Twice as many people now work in solar than in the coal industry, according to a new survey from the nonprofit Solar Foundation. While 40 coal plants were retired in the U.S. in 2016, and no new coal plants were built, the solar industry broke records for new installations, with 14,000 megawatts of new installed power. Many of the jobs came from constructing massive solar plants like the Springbok Solar Farm, which is being built on a site that sprawls over 12 miles in the Mojave Desert…”

Photo credit: Sam Hodgon, Bloomberg.
A City’s Solar Potential Depends on the Length of Its Road Network. Who knew? Anthropocene has the story: “…A city’s solar potential depends on the length of its road network, Najem found. This is because the formation of the road network defines the spaces that can be filled by buildings. And the resulting arrangement of buildings influences the amount of sunlight each building receives. In a given city, buildings within a 2.5-kilometer radius tend to have a similar size and also similar solar potential, she found. Intriguingly, these correlations also correspond to historical and sociological neighborhoods, suggesting links between the physical, social, and economic life of a city...”

Tesla Wants to Double Fast Charging Stations in North America by End of 2017. Utility Dive has more details: “Tesla revealed in its earnings last month that it intends to double the number of its fast-charging sites in North America, a move that could put more than 5,000 DC stations across its network in Mexico, Canada and the United States. According to Green Car Reports, the integrated storage, solar and car company currently has more than 2,600 chargepoints in North America spread across 370 sites...”

Image credit: Wikipedia Commons.
10 Breakthrough Technologies: 2017. From self-driving trucks to facial recognition for secure financial transactions, MIT Technology Review has stories of up and coming technologies: “...Facial recognition has existed for decades, but only now is it accurate enough to be used in secure financial transactions. The new versions use deep learning, an artificial-intelligence technique that is especially effective for image recognition because it makes a computer zero in on the facial features that will most reliably identify a person (see “10 Breakthrough Technologies 2013: Deep Learning”).  “The face recognition market is huge,” says Shiliang Zhang, an assistant professor at Peking University who specializes in machine learning and image processing. Zhang heads a lab not far from the offices of Face++. When I arrived, his students were working away furiously in a dozen or so cubicles. “In China security is very important, and we also have lots of people,” he says. “Lots of companies are working on it…”
Amazon Admits That a Typo Took the Internet Down This Week. A typo? You’ve gotta be kidding me. Engadget has the details that almost make you want to go back to dial-up AOL: “The Great Amazon Web Services Outage of 2017 is behind us. Now, Jeff Bezos’ golden child is ready to explain what happened. Turns out, what took Giphy, Medium, Slack, Quora and a ton of other websites and services down was a typo. As Amazon explains it, some of its S3 servers were operating rather sluggish, so a tech tried fixing it by taking a few billing servers offline. A fix straight from the company’s playbook, it says. “Unfortunately, one of the inputs to the command was entered incorrectly and a larger set of servers was removed than intended.” Whoops. As for why the problem took so long to correct, Amazon says that some of its server systems haven’t been restarted in “many years...”

Photo credit: Pascal Rossignol / Reuters.

The Experimental Zoo Where Parrots Rollerskated and Chickens Played Baseball. One of my favorite headlines – ever. Check out this article at Atlas Obscura to marvel at what a Minnesota woman created in Arkansas: “Tourists sailing down the highways toward Hot Springs, Arkansas, in 1955 would have been filled with gleeful anticipation. Numerous resorts and roadside offerings were on offer to sate their recreational lust: They could drop into the Arkansas Alligator Farm and mingle with the toothsome reptiles, ooh and awe at celebrity likenesses at the Josephine Tussaud Wax Museum, or delight in the animated miniatures of Tiny Town. Or they could go to the newly opened I.Q. Zoo and watch Casey the chicken play baseball, a duck play the drums, and a rabbit dunk a basketball, to name just a few oddities. I.Q. Zoo was the brainchild of a psychologist couple, Marian and Keller Breland, who not too long before had been working alongside the famous psychologist B.F. Skinner to train pigeons to pilot the first “smart bombs” for the United States government…”

Image credit: “Rufus the Raccoon scores a basket” vintage postcard.” Boston Public Library Tichnor Brothers collection/Public Domain

The International Society for Men Who Love Being Boring. Yes, this resonated, although there’s nothing fundamentally dull about Doppler repair, if you must know. If you need to feel a little better about yourself check out the story at Narratively: “…One guy joined and he had really racy-looking cars,” Carlson says. “I said, ‘Those cars—they are really bright red; they are not dull at all.’ He said, ‘Yeah, but here’s my collection of hubcaps.’ ” The hubcap collection meant he was “in” (although even things like colorful socks can be considered a bit too thrilling for the club). Members’ interests include collecting airsickness bags, appreciating apostrophes and sitting on benches. On the Dull Men’s Facebook group, which has more than 500 members, a man from Cincinnati, Ohio recently posted a photo of his feet with the caption, “The glorious feeling of new socks!” Another member from Edinburgh, Scotland shared a black-and-white image of a tall steel electric line tower. “I love them,” he wrote, “Who is with me?…”

Photo credit: “Still image from “Born to Be Mild,” directed by Andy Oxley, via MEL Magazine.

TODAY: Some sun, cool wind. Winds: SE 15-30. High: 46

SATURDAY NIGHT: Patchy clouds, not as cold. Low: 39

SUNDAY: More sun with a big slice of April. Winds: S 10-15. High: 62

MONDAY: Humid with showers T-shower? Winds: S 15-30+. Wake-up: 51. High: 61

TUESDAY: Mostly cloudy, colder wind kicks in. Winds: NW 15-25. Wake-up: 33. High: 42

WEDNESDAY: Ragged sky, few flurries. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 28. High: near 40

THURSDAY: More sunshine, less wind. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 27. High: 44

FRIDAY: Fast-moving clipper. Slushy snow possible. Winds: N 10-20. Wake-up: 33. High: 38

Climate Stories….

You Can Care About Climate Change and Still Enjoy Freakishly Warm Winter Days. Food for thought from Jason Samenow at Capital Weather Gang: “…I understand that the concern about climate change is not a single ridiculously warm day but the trend toward many of them. But, of the various consequences of climate change, warm winters days are least deserving of our angst. Warm weather positively influences our mental well-being, the New York Times reported on Feb. 24, a day when the temperature soared to 70 degrees in New York City. On such warm days, it said: “We may be more helpful … We may spend more money … It may elevate our mood … [and] It may put us in the mood for love.” Indeed a study in Nature last April found that “virtually all American are now experiencing the much milder winters they prefer” because of climate change. Climate change is a story of mixed effects. Some are good, and some are bad...”

Photo credit: “Blossoms blooming at Congressional Cemetery. Feb. 25, 2017.” (Jim Havard via Flickr)

Impact of Climate Change on This Year’s Early Spring? Here’s an excerpt from The Guardian: “Spring is arriving ever earlier in the northern hemisphere. One sedge species in Greenland is springing to growth 26 days earlier than it did a decade ago. And in the US, spring arrived 22 days early this year in Washington DC. The evidence comes from those silent witnesses, the natural things that respond to climate signals. The relatively new science of phenology – the calendar record of first bud, first flower, first nesting behaviour and first migrant arrivals – has over the last three decades repeatedly confirmed meteorological fears of global warming as a consequence of the combustion of fossil fuels. Researchers say the evidence from the plant world is consistent with the instrumental record: 2016 was the hottest year ever recorded, and it was the third record-breaking year in succession. Sixteen of the hottest years ever recorded have happened in the 21st century...”

Photo credit: “Arctic cotton grass grows on Greenland’s seashore. Sedge is almost four weeks ahead of its timetable 10 years ago.” Photograph: Pearl Bucknall/Alamy

Sydney’s Swelter Has a Climate Change Link, Scientists Say. Here’s an excerpt from a summary of new research at The New York Times: “…Her analysis, conducted with a loose-knit group of researchers called World Weather Attribution, was made public on Thursday. Their conclusion was that climate change made maximum temperatures like those seen in January and February at least 10 times more likely than a century ago, before significant greenhouse gas emissions from human activity started warming the planet. Looked at another way, that means that the kind of soaring temperatures expected to occur in New South Wales once every 500 years on average now may occur once every 50 years. What is more, the researchers found that if climate change continued unabated, such maximum temperatures may occur on average every five years…”
Photo credit: “A wildfire in New South Wales in February. Australia has been hit by brutal heat waves in the last two months. Credit NSW Rural Fire Service, via Associated Press.

Yale Climate Opinion Maps. A majority of Americans acknowledge the climate is changing; a smaller percentage link warming to human activities, as reported by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication: “This version of the Yale Climate Opinion Maps is based on data through the year 2016. Public opinion about global warming is an important influence on decision making about policies to reduce global warming or prepare for the impacts, but American opinions vary widely depending on where people live. So why would we rely on just one national number to understand public responses to climate change at the state and local levels? Public opinion polling is generally done at the national level, because local level polling is very costly and time intensive. Our team of scientists, however, has developed a geographic and statistical model to downscale national public opinion results to the state, congressional district, and county levels. We can now estimate public opinion across the country and a rich picture of the diversity of Americans’ beliefs, attitudes, and policy support is revealed. For instance, nationally, 70% of Americans think global warming is happening…”