Posted at 8:29 AM on December 3, 2012
by Paul Huttner
"Octember" Monday mild air surging in, upper 50s if we can manage any sun today
December reality check Cooler air pours south this week
"Zero Dark Thirty" Sunset now at 4:32pm - earliest sunset time of the year through December 15th
"Active" 2012 Hurricane seasons ends - details below
3% rise in global CO2 levels in 2011 - details below
Weekend Forecast: 1 for 2
Call it an even split last weekend.
Saturday's forecast of mild with mixed clouds played out well. We enjoyed (?) a mild day with an actual high of 48 at MSP.
Sunday's forecast was great if you live in Redwood Falls or Glencoe...or a complete bust if you live in all but the far west metro.
The clearing line pushed to the western metro Sunday PM, but that was as far as it got. So close...and yet so far.
There was plenty of sun west of the metro Sunday. High soared to 61F in Ortonville, Madison & Marshall. Redwood Falls basked in 57F warmth Sunday PM. Temps reached 50F as close to the western metro as Glencoe. It was 52F in Litchfield.
The 10 minutes of sun we had at the Weather Lab was nice, but not enough to boost temps past 40F The official high at MSP was 38F.
Light breezes near the metro just didn't have enough oomph to mix out the fog layer higher into the atmosphere, and the low December sun angle is not strong enough to burn it off this time of year. Not one of my better forecasts this year, but temps still ran well above average.
Tracking weekend snow chances:
After our mild Monday things will cool off this week to more seasonable December levels. The averages this week? 30F/16F by Wednesday.
The GFS is still hinting at possible snow by Sunday.
The Euro came in line overnight with a potent looking system for next Sunday, followed by a shot of very cold air ( +1F) Monday.
The models have been cranking out different solutions all weekend, but still hinting at the potential for (big?) snow next weekend. They'll flop around for a few more days, and hopefully agree on a scenario by mid-week. It's always too early to be definitive about snow a week...or even two days in advance.
At least there's a little hope for snow lovers next weekend.
"Active" 2012 Hurricane Season ends:
Sandy will be the poster child of an "active" 2012 Hurricane season, which officially ended on November 30th. This year marks the 3rd year with 19 named storms in the Atlantic. It only takes one of these monsters to make landfall to ruin your day, so to speak.
Climate Central's Andrew Freedman has a nice roundup of the 2012 hurricane season.
The 2012 Atlantic Hurricane season officially came to a close on Friday, after four land-falling storms left coastal communities in tatters from Louisiana to New York. For the third straight season there were 19 named storms in the Atlantic, which is the third-highest level of storm activity observed since 1851. Ten of those storms went on to become hurricanes, only one of which, Hurricane Isaac, made landfall. But 2012 will long be remembered as the season of Hurricane Sandy. While it was officially classified as a post-tropical cyclone when it plowed into the New Jersey coastline on Oct. 28, it was by far the deadliest and most damaging storm of the season.
Since 1851, only two hurricane seasons -- 2005 and 1933 -- have been busier than 2010, 2011, and 2012. The Atlantic has been in a period of active hurricane activity since 1995, which is thought to be related to a naturally varying climate cycle involving warmer Atlantic sea surface temperatures, among other factors. According to NOAA, such periods of high activity typically last between 25 to 40 years.
ClimateCast: Climate change stories & updates
Global CO2 levels rise 3% in 2011; up 54% since 1990. Here's an interesting piece from Seth Borenstein at AP via Huffington Post.
While CO2 emissions are dropping in the USA China is the #1 CO2 emitter.
Climate Change Study Indicates Amount Of Heat-Trapping Pollution Rose By 3 Percent Worldwide Last Year
WASHINGTON -- The amount of heat-trapping pollution the world spewed rose again last year by 3 percent. So scientists say it's now unlikely that global warming can be limited to a couple of degrees, which is an international goal.
The overwhelming majority of the increase was from China, the world's biggest carbon dioxide polluter. Of the planet's top 10 polluters, the United States and Germany were the only countries that reduced their carbon dioxide emissions.
Last year, all the world's nations combined pumped nearly 38.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the air from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, according to new international calculations on global emissions published Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change. That's about a billion tons more than the previous year.
The total amounts to more than 2.4 million pounds (1.1 million kilograms) of carbon dioxide released into the air every second.
Because emissions of the key greenhouse gas have been rising steadily and most carbon stays in the air for a century, it is not just unlikely but "rather optimistic" to think that the world can limit future temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), said the study's lead author, Glen Peters at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo, Norway.
The latest pollution numbers, calculated by the Global Carbon Project, a joint venture of the Energy Department and the Norwegian Research Council, show that worldwide carbon dioxide levels are 54 percent higher than the 1990 baseline.
The 2011 figures for the biggest polluters:
1. China, up 10 percent to 10 billion tons.
2. United States, down 2 percent to 5.9 billion tons
3. India, up 7 percent to 2.5 billion tons.
4. Russia, up 3 percent to 1.8 billion tons.
5. Japan, up 0.4 percent to 1.3 billion tons.
6. Germany, down 4 percent to 0.8 billion tons.
7. Iran, up 2 percent to 0.7 billion tons.
8. South Korea, up 4 percent to 0.6 billion tons.
9. Canada, up 2 percent to 0.6 billion tons.
10. South Africa, up 2 percent to 0.6 billion tons.
Posted at 5:29 PM on December 3, 2012
by Paul Huttner
55F high temp at MSP Airport Monday
55F average high temp for October 22nd
11 years since we've hit 55F in the metro (December 5th 2001 62F)
+24F vs. average Monday at MSP
+16F vs. average so far in December in the metro
"Average Front" blows in - "cold" front returns temps to near average
December "thaw" Soils literally "thawed out" with mild temps the past few days
21 days until Christmas
Trending south? Latest model runs trending weekend snow system's heavy snows south toward Madison & Chicago.
21 day until Christmas?? How did that happen? What month is this again?
Some Minnesotans I talk to over the weekend are still stunned that it's actually December. If your seasonal compass is a little off, you're in good company.
The first 3 days of December this year felt more like October. In fact, Monday's high of 55 degrees as the average high for....October 22nd...or April 10th. Take your pick.
So far we're running about +16F vs. average temps at MSP for the first 3 days of December. That's not just "unseasonably warm"...that's like living in a whole different month.
MN Climate Working Group's Greg Spoden sends along this news on just how rare our December 55F temp is for the metro.
Today's maximum temperature in the Twin Cities will reach at least 55 degrees F. Attaining a temperature of 55 degrees or greater during December is rare for the Twin Cities, occurring on only 20 December dates since the modern temperature record began in 1872 (141 years of record).
Twin Cities December dates where maximum temperature greater than or equal to 55 degrees F
date max temp (degrees F)
The normal maximum temperature for today's date is 31 degrees F. The record is 62 degrees F, set in 1962.
Indian Summer in December? What a concept.
"Average Front" blows in:
It seems even our cold fronts this year are just "average fronts" that return our temps to near average levels after periods of unseasonable warmth.
The cooler air will be with us for most of this week. Temps should stay in the 30s for highs, with the exception of Thursday when November-like 40s will make another push.
As the warmer air pushes back in, some mixed precip may fall Wednesday night into Thursday. It may be mostly warm enough for just plain rain...but temps may be marginally cold enough to produce some freezing drizzle.
Weekend storm trending south?
Monday's model runs showed a distinct trend toward pushing our potential weekend snow system south.
The latest runs push the bulk of heavy snow with the system toward Madison & Chicago.
At this point the GFS & Euro suggest only lighter snow Friday & this weekend for the metro and southern Minnesota.
The models may still flop around some on this one during the week. Expect more changes in the potential storm track and...stay tuned.