Here's something we don't see every day.
On Monday a huge eruption on the sun sent a giant 79,000 mile long solar flare blasting into space.
The massive Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) shot out to the left if you are looking at the sun from earth, which made it highly visible.
Here's the incredible video from You Tube and NASA.
Source: NASA via You Tube
The details from NASA:
"A beautiful prominence eruption producing a coronal mass ejection (CME) shot off the east limb (left side) of the sun on April 16, 2012. Such eruptions are often associated with solar flares, and in this case an M1 class (medium-sized) flare occurred at the same time, peaking at 1:45 PM EDT. The CME was not aimed toward Earth."
Since the blast was not "earthward directed" it likely will not trigger a large auroua display here on earth.
Gizmodo has another angle. The blast was at least "10 earth's" long!
The blast is part of Solar Cycle 24, which is expected to peak next year in 2013.
Rain ends today, but returns tomorrow:
A fast moving upper flow is zipping weather systems through Minnesota quickly this week.
This morning's rain totals ranged between .18" to .35" around the metro, with some higher totals up to .73" up near McGregor in northern Minnesota.
The next system will zip in Thursday, and another shot of rain can be expected.
Believe it or not, we're running about +1.5" vs. average for rainfall so far this April at MSP Airport. We still need a good 5"+ to catch up from last falls drought and to begin to restore lake levels to near average.
Keep the umbrella handy Thursday too.
Posted at 12:01 PM on April 18, 2012
by Paul Huttner
Filed under: Climate
There's an old saying in the weather biz. "All weather is local"
That was clearly demonstrated in March 2012.
While the USA enjoyed "Springtime Indian Summer" with the warmest March ever recorded, much of the rest of the globe was cool in March.
The result? the 16th warmest march on record globally, but the "coolest" March in 13 years...since 1999.
The details here from NOAA.
Here are some highlights:
"March global temperatures were coolest since 1999
Month ranks 16th warmest March for globe; La Niña expected to dissipate by the end of April
The average global temperature for March 2012 made it the coolest March since 1999, yet the 16th warmest since record keeping began in 1880. Arctic sea ice extent during the month was below average but was the largest extent since 2008 and one of the largest March extents of the past decade. Additionally, La Niña conditions continued to weaken during March as temperatures across the equatorial Pacific Ocean warmed during the last two months. According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, La Niña is expected to dissipate by the end of April 2012.
Global temperature highlights: March
•The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for March 2012 was the 16th warmest March record and the coolest since 1999 at 55.73°F (13.16°C), which is 0.83°F (0.46°C) above the 20th century average of 54.9°F (12.7°C). The margin of error associated with this temperature is ±0.13°F (0.07°C).
•Warmer-than-average conditions occurred across nearly all of Canada, the contiguous United States, Mexico, Europe, Argentina, Peru, and parts of northern and central Russia, India, China, and eastern Brazil. Cooler-than-average regions included Alaska, Australia, eastern and western Russia, and parts of New Zealand.
•Norway experienced its warmest March since national records began in 1900, while Australia had its third coolest March maximum temperature since national temperature records began in 1950.
•The United States also experienced its warmest March, with more than 15,000 warm temperature records broken and the average temperature of the lower 48 states being 51.1°F, 8.6°F above the 20th century average for March."
Posted at 5:33 PM on April 18, 2012
by Paul Huttner
.20" to .40" rainfall possible in southern Minnesota Thursday
Twin Cities on the edge of rain to the south
40s & 50s - chilly day with showers south Thursday
Cool sunshine in central & northern Minnesota Thursday
Tornado drills Thursday as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week
**Sirens will sound in most Minnesota counties at 1:45pm & 6:55pm Thursday**
A cool spring rain:
A fast moving jet stream continues to deal weather systems at Minnesota.
Our next weather system slides through Thursday with a cool rain for southern Minnesota. Models hint at between ..20" to .40" of rainfall in southern Minnesota Thursday, with the Twin Cities on the northern edge of this system.
Tornado Drills Thursday: Sirens will sound in most counties
You'll probably hear the sirens blow at 1:45pm and 6:55pm Thursday. That's a signal that you should fire up the NOAA weather radio and your own severe weather action plan for the season.
Here's the "drill" from the Twin Cities NWS Thursday:
Tornado Watch/Warning Drills
The National Weather Service, Wisconsin Emergency Management, the Minnesota Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and other state, county and local agencies have come together to host Severe Weather Awareness Week activities. On Thursday, April 19th, simulated tornado watches and warnings will be issued to test the statewide warning and communications systems. The schedule for April 19th is as follows:
(all times CDT)
1:00 PM: The National Weather Service will issue a simulated tornado watch for Minnesota and Wisconsin.
1:45 PM: The National Weather Service will issue a simulated tornado warning for 9 counties of western Wisconsin (Barron, Chippewa, Dunn, Eau Claire, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Rusk and St Croix). Note that most cities and counties will activate outdoor warning siren systems.
1:45 PM: The National Weather Service will issue a simulated tornado warning for Minnesota counties. Note that most cities and counties will activate outdoor warning siren systems.
2:00 PM: The National Weather Service will issue an "End of Test" message using the Severe Weather Statement product. It should be stated that outdoor warning sirens will not be sounded again for this all clear, nor will there be any warning tone on NOAA Weather Radio.
6:55 PM: Another simulated tornado warning will be issued for 81 participating counties in Minnesota. Those counties not participating are: Aitkin, Becker, Houston, Kittson, Norman, and Wilkin.
A graphic of the counties participating in the evening drill is available at https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/hsem/weather-awareness-preparedness/Documents/Drill participation map 2012.pdf
The 6:55 PM warning will be issued by the six National Weather Service offices that serve Minnesota. It will be issued as a test of family preparedness in the home and for second shift workers.
For the Minnesota and Wisconsin warnings, a TOR code (tornado warning) will be used to activate the broadcast on NOAA Weather Radios.