The Weather BlogDaily weather updates
28 F. high in the Twin Cities Sunday.
34 F. average high on March 1.
8 F. high on March 1, 2014, after waking up to -7.
Trace of snow on the ground at KMSP.
March 1, 1913: A record low of 24 degrees below zero is set at the St. Cloud Regional Airport.
Call out the National Guard, alert FEMA and pray for a last-minute reprieve. I’ve performed last rites on my Doppler – if you leave NOW you may get to work on time (tomorrow). As odd as it is to see this in print, there’s a good chance of a “plowable snow event” tomorrow, with enough blowing and drifting to make for a tricky day of travel. NOAA has issued a Blizzard Watch just west of MSP for tomorrow; details below.
Tuesday’s system moves quickly, keeping total amounts down, but a quick 2 to 4 inches of snow may fall during the morning and midday, whipped along by 30 mph winds by afternoon as much colder air comes charging south of the border. I’ll be hiding in my weather bunker, watching a stain of dark red spread on my Google traffic maps. Good luck out there.
If it does snow I suggest you roll around in it, photograph it, memorize the way it looks, feels and smells – because odds are any snow won’t stick around for long.
Models are unanimous in bringing a surge of mild, Pacific air into Minnesota next week with a streak of 40s. I could even see a few 50-degree highs with spurts of rain by mid-March.
Is tomorrow the last spasm of snow? No, but the atmosphere is about to shift gears, fast-forwarding us into an almost springy pattern by next week.
Not exactly a towering “Tournament Storm” but it’ll have to do.
Tuesday Blizzard Watch Issued West of MSP. It isn’t the snow amounts, it’s the predicted wind speeds tomorrow, topping 30-40 mph by afternoon, capable of whipping around the few inches of snow expected to fall. Details from NOAA:
BLIZZARD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY MORNING THROUGH TUESDAY AFTERNOON... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SIOUX FALLS HAS ISSUED A BLIZZARD WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY MORNING THROUGH TUESDAY AFTERNOON. * TIMING...WORST CONDITIONS FROM EARLY TUESDAY THROUGH MID AFTERNOON TUESDAY. * ACCUMULATIONS...2 TO 4 INCHES OF SNOW POSSIBLE. * WIND AND VISIBILITY...NORTH TO NORTHWEST WINDS OF 30 TO 45 MPH WILL BE COMMON...WITH SOME GUSTS AROUND 50 MPH POSSIBLE. IF THESE WINDS MATERIALIZE COUPLED WITH FALLING SNOW...VISIBILITY REDUCTIONS OF LESS THAN A QUARTER MILE COULD OCCUR. AFTER THE SNOW ENDS...THE VISIBILITY WILL GREATLY INCREASE. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A BLIZZARD WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR FALLING AND/OR BLOWING SNOW WITH STRONG WINDS AND EXTREMELY POOR VISIBILITIES. THIS CAN LEAD TO WHITEOUT CONDITIONS AND MAKE TRAVEL VERY DANGEROUS.
Monster Storm. Considering the most snow we’ve had from a single “storm” this winter is 3.4″ Tuesday epic snowfall may rank right up there. I’m thinking 2-3″, maybe more just north and west of the Twin Cities. But this next wave of low pressure moves very quickly, which will limit amounts tomorrow.
Potentially Plowable. 4 KM NAM guidance from NOAA suggests 2-3″ for much of the Twin Cities, as much as 4-5″ closer to Little Falls, Brainerd and Crosby. Temperatures fall through the 20s tomorrow, with significant blowing and drifting by afternoon as wind gusts top 30 mph. Map: Ham Weather.
Another Shot. Tuesday’s snow falls in advance of another surge of bitter air, but this time it won’t stay nanook for long. Wednesday will take your breath away (wind chills in the -20 to -30F range) and we wake up to a very subzero morning Thursday. And then the warming begins. 2-meter temperature prediction: NOAA NAM and Ham Weather.
Shifting Gears. There’s at least a 1 in 3 chance that the subzero wake-up readings Wednesday and Thursday morning of this week MAY be the last of the winter. That may be overly optimistic, but based on how significant the shift in the pattern appears to be next week I’d be surprised if we see any more negative numbers after March 6. The mercury may brush 40F on Friday – by the weekend whatever snow falls tomorrow should be largely gone, allowing the sun’s energy to go into heating up the air vs. melting snow next week. That, in turn, could mean a streak of 40s, even a few days above 50F next week.
A Whiff of Spring Fever. GFS guidance from NOAA shows consistent 40s after March 13 or so, even a few days near 50F; the atmosphere mild enough for rain by the middle of next week. That was sudden.
Weather Officials Worry That Quiet Tornado Seasons Have Lulled into Complacency. The Wichita Eagle has the story, including a few jaw-dropping statistics, and concern about what 2 supernaturally quiet years may mean for 2015. Here’s a clip: “Tornado Alley has never been this quiet in the Wichita area before. Forget about tornadoes last year – there were not even any tornado watches issued. That’s never happened before in the nearly half a century that watch records have been kept. There were only two tornado watches issued for Sedgwick County the year before that, which translates into the lowest two-year total on record…”
What ISIS Really Wants. Just in case you missed this important story in The Atlantic; here’s a link and excerpt: “The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it…” (Image credit: AP/The Atlantic).
Uber Was Hacked Last May. In case you didn’t hear – PC Magazine has more details; here’s a clip: “Uber revealed on Friday that an “unauthorized third party” broke into a company database last May and gained access to driver data. The ridesharing service said in a blog post that it discovered the security breach last September and “[u]pon discovery we immediately changed the access protocols for the database and began an in-depth investigation.” “A small percentage of current and former Uber driver partner names and driver’s license numbers were contained in the database…”
Who Is Hacking Whom? Ham Weather uber-programmer and weather model specialist, Patrick Francis, wrote a recent story that made me do a triple-take. Here’s an excerpt from aplus.com: “Modern Media will “Hype” times that a massive hack occurs, such as Sony Corporation, but does that tell the real story? For the last two months I have tracked every attempted breach of my systems, stored the IP of the attacker, and researched information about his or her country of origin, city, company and so forth. The heck of it is, there’s not a lot that can be done with this information, because there is no one to share it with who can do anything about it! 🙂 Still, some people might be interested to know a little bit about who is hacking who...”
Why More Schools Are Letting Their Students Sleep In. Huffington Post has an interesting update on the merits of later school starts; here’s an excerpt: “…According to a new poll, parents are coming around to the idea of letting kids hit the snooze button. A survey conducted in November and December 2014 by the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital as part of its National Poll on Children’s Health found that about half of parents of teenagers whose schools start before 8:30 a.m. would support a later school start time. Forty percent said a later start time would allow their teens to get more sleep, and 22 percent said a later start time would help their teens do better in school...”
Kids, Allergies and a Possible Downside to Squeaky Clean Dishes. So there is an upside to being a slob, after all? Great news. Here’s an excerpt from NPR: “Could using a dishwashing machine increase the chances your child will develop allergies? That’s what some provocative new research suggests — but don’t tear out your machine just yet. The study involved 1,029 Swedish children (ages 7 or 8) and found that those whose parents said they mostly wash the family’s dishes by hand were significantly less likely to develop eczema, and somewhat less likely to develop allergic asthma and hay fever...”
TODAY: Early sun, then clouds increase. Winds: S 10. High: 28
MONDAY NIGHT: Cloudy with snow developing late. Low: 22
TUESDAY: Blizzard Watch west of MSP. 2-4″ snow possible. Blowing & drifting likely with potentially treacherous travel. High: 28
WEDNESDAY: Last subzero slap? Feels like – 25. Wake-up: -2. High: 8
THURSDAY: Cold start. Partly sunny and breezy. Wake-up: -8. High: 18
FRIDAY: Sunny peeks, risk of a thaw. Wake-up: 14. High: 38
SATURDAY: Blue sky, quiet pleasant. Wake-up: 21. High: 35
SUNDAY: Drippy icicles. Feels like March! Wake-up: 18. High: 43
* Thanks to Media Logic meteorologist Todd Nelson, who snapped the photo above near Two Harbors on Saturday.
Is The Environment a Moral Cause? Here’s a clip from a New York Times Op-Ed: “…People think quite differently, however, when they are morally engaged with an issue. In such cases people are more likely to eschew a sober cost-benefit analysis, opting instead to take action because it is the right thing to do. Put simply, we’re more likely to contribute to a cause when we feel ethically compelled to. Still, why do liberals moralize environmental issues, while conservatives do not? The answer is complex, owing in part to the specific history of the American environmental movement…”
Greenpeace Probe of Climate Naysayer Implicates Exxon Mobil. BuzzFeed News takes a look at more implications of the Willie Soon sage; here’s an excerpt: “…The records released Friday show that Exxon’s support of Soon came despite a 2007 pledge to quit funding climate naysayer groups, according to Greenpeace’s Jesse Coleman, who started the Soon records search using public records laws. “Exxon told us that they would stop funding climate denial front groups,” Coleman told BuzzFeed News. “Years later, they were still funding Willie Soon...”