Posted at 9:07 AM on November 13, 2012
by Paul Huttner
19F low temp at MSP Airport this morning
8 months since we've been that cold in the metro (15F on march 9th)
12F in Lakeville this morning!
40F high in the metro later today
Sunny start but clouds increase later today
Light rain or snow showers again this evening and tonight
50s return this weekend
Thanksgiving week rain or snow possible - models differ at this point
Zoned for destruction? Why "adapting" coasts to climate change will be tough
Milder days ahead:
We've earned this.
After a nightmare Monday AM commute and the coldest temp in 8 months this morning, a much appreciated warm up slowly kicks in this afternoon.
The low of 19F at MSP Airport this morning was the coldest temp recorded there since March 9th when the mercury dipped to 15F.
Notoriously cold Lakeville plunged to 12F this morning. Why is Lakeville so cold? The city and airport sits in a low spot south of the metro, and denser, colder air likes to run downhill at night and collect in the low country in and around Lakeville.
Sunshine and southerly winds will help temps make a run at 40F later today.
Light rain & snow showers return tonight:
A warm front pushes east into Minnesota tonight, and with it the next shot of light rain or snow. Temps should hover at or above freezing this evening, so I don't think we'll see the same widespread icy road issues we saw Monday AM...but there may be some slick spots between St. Cloud, the Twin Cities and Duluth between 7pm and midnight tonight.
Milder days ahead:
Temps will bounce around in the mid to upper 40s for the rest of this week, and 50s should return by this weekend.
The average high in the metro by Thursday? 41 degrees.
Thanksgiving week rain or snow chance looms:
Next week's models are "divergent" on solutions regarding the potential for rain or snow leading up to and including Thanksgiving.
The GFS is naggingly hinting at a low pressure system spinning up in the Midwest next Wednesday. The past few model runs have varied between a shot of soaking rain and the potential for some heavier wet snow by later Wednesday night into Thanksgiving Day.
The latest GFS runs suggest a deepening low near Tomah, Wisconsin by late Wednesday night. If enough cold air works into the system, that's a sweet spot for significant snow near the metro and in eastern Minnesota.
It's too early to say...but stay tuned.
Another Nor'easter on the way for storm ravaged NY & NJ?
Talk about adding insult to injury.
The models are hinting at the potential for yet another Nor'easter for storm ravaged areas along the NJ & NY coastline by Sunday & Monday.
This one looks warm enough for mostly rain vs. the shot of snow they endured last week, but more rain, wind and pounding surf will not be welcome news to thousands still without power & shelter.
It's a reminder that hurricanes are not over when the storm clouds leave. It takes months for people to rebuild housing, power and other infrastructure.
I'm grateful we live in an area where such widespread devastating natural disasters are far less likely.
Zoned for Destruction?
For decades now, some visionary climate and weather watchers have warned that our coastlines are increasingly vulnerable to widespread damage from hurricanes.
Throw in sea level rises form climate change, and you've got a recipe for long term disaster for insurance industry, coastal cities and 60% of the U.S. population that lives in "coastal counties."
Could climate change drive an exodus from the coast to "safer" inland locations?
HuffPosts' Tom Zeller expands:
That's understandable, but probably not sustainable, at least not as coastal development is currently conceived. After all, the historic storm and ocean surge that ripped through the Mid-Atlantic corridor late last month did so with a ferocity that washed away coastal communities, rendered tens of thousands of people homeless and left a multibillion-dollar mess from Montauk to lower Manhattan to Margate, N.J. And of course, many scientists have speculated that muscular storms like this one could become more common in coming decades, making our coastal communities -- including most of the nation's major urban areas -- increasingly vulnerable.
So what to do? One long-term, if fantastical, option suggested by a colleague might be an era of coastal flight, with populations reversing a century-long trend of migration toward the coasts and establishing new centers of commerce and culture on higher, less vulnerable ground inland. To be sure, such a scenario would be complicated by a variety of factors, including the likelihood that many parts of the country will be dealing with heat waves, droughts and other climate-related stressors of their own -- though if there is a sweet spot to be found, there could be some financial incentive in finding it.
Sandy's Storm Surge: Deadly & destructive
We talk a lot about "storm surge" when hurricanes threaten. As much as we try and explain the dangers of storms surge, or the fact that most hurricane related deaths and damage come from surge driven waters...it's a hard concept to visualize.
The USGS released some remarkable "before & after" photos showing just how devastating Sandy's storm surge was along the Jersey Shore.
The link below each image provides a zoomable larger version where you can really see the detail of how Sandy's surge wiped out homes and breached shoreline defenses. If you ever think of buying coastal property or "riding out" a hurricane on the beach, it might be wise to study these photos closely before making such a decision.
Take a close look: All images courtesy USGS.
Pre- and Post-Storm Photo Comparisons - New Jersey
Hurricane Sandy's landfall affected the coastlines over a broad swath of mid-Atlantic and North-eastern states, including New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. Breaching, overwash and erosion took place on many barrier islands, including some that are heavily populated and developed. The pre- and post-storm photos below were taken over a 200 km (125 miles) stretch of New Jersey shore. These locations represent a broad range of coastal configurations and their response to the storm. Pre-storm photos were acquired during a baseline survey May 21, 2009 and post-storm photos were acquired November 4-6, 2012.
Location 3: Oblique aerial photographs of Mantoloking, NJ. View looking west along the New Jersey shore. Storm waves and surge cut across the barrier island at Mantoloking, NJ, eroding a wide beach, destroying houses and roads, and depositing sand onto the island and into the back-bay. Construction crews with heavy machinery are seen clearing sand from roads and pushing sand seaward to build a wider beach and protective berm just days after the storm. The yellow arrow in each image points to the same feature.Larger version here
Location 5: Oblique aerial photographs of Seaside Heights, NJ. View looking west along the New Jersey shore. Storm waves and surge destroyed the dunes and boardwalk, and deposited the sand on the island, covering roads. The red arrow points to a building that was washed off of its foundation and moved about a block away from its original location. The yellow arrow in each image points to the same feature.Larger zoomable version here
Location 6: Oblique aerial photographs of Seaside Height Pier, NJ. View looking west along the New Jersey shore. Storm waves and surge eroded the beach and destroyed the seaward edge of the pier and deposited the roller coaster superstructure in the ocean. Sediment deposited on the island is visible in the background and indicates that overwash occurred here. The yellow arrow in each image points to the same feature.Larger zoomable version here
Location 2: Oblique aerial photographs of Deal, NJ. View looking west along the New Jersey shore. Large erosional scarps are visible in the low cliff, indicating likely overtopping of the rock shore protection structures. The yellow arrow in each image points to the same featureLarger zoomable version here.
Location 1: Oblique aerial photographs of Long Branch, NJ. View looking west along the New Jersey shore. Storm waves and currents removed sand from the beach exposing erosion control structures, including rock walls, concrete walls, and groins that protrude seaward perpendicular to the beach. The yellow arrow in each image points to the same featureLarger zoomable version here.