Posted at 11:29 AM on December 18, 2007
by Craig Edwards
While traveling through Wisconsin last weekend it was wonderful to behold the beauty of nature that presented a picture of tranquility. Seems we just don’t understand, in this fast pace, giddy-up, environment of holiday hustle and bustle that we might be better off in harmony with the changing seasons.
Indeed, we don’t need to remain homebound or inactive, but life changes when the cold darkness of winter sets in. Some critters actually hibernate. Landscapes become dormant. Icy roads slow down traffic. City folks sometimes find it hard to cope with weather elements that are beyond our control.
This little lull from Old Man winter allows us to appreciate the season. When we think of weather highlights for 2007, would you consider today’s relatively mild temperatures a noteworthy entry in your journal?
Not one to be an alarmist, but when it comes to a busy travel weekend, it is incumbent to share the drama of a potential snow event somewhere nearby Minnesota on Saturday. We still could use the moisture following a very dry November. Refreshing the snow cover for Christmas would be nice as well.
Posted at 1:41 PM on December 18, 2007
by Paul Huttner
It's called a weak synoptic environment.
That's what we call it when there are no big pressure systems tearing at Minnesota. The result can be some nice weather in much of the year. But when we're in winter, the light winds and stagnant air can make for some air quality issues.
That's when MPCA issues air quality alerts like they did today. The AQI (Air Quality Index) considers four pollutant types. Ground level ozone, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and fine particulates. Several MPCA monitors around the state measure these pollutants.
Today the culprits are fine particulates. They come from things like wood smoke and other sources, so it may be best to light the fireplace after the winds kick up again on Friday night.