Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Locked in a dry, quiet pattern

Attack of the Light Drizzle! Speaking of storms - do TV meteorologists over-hype the weather, day-to-day? Are we consistently crying wolf, so by the time a real storm (whatever that is) arrives people don't take it seriously? "Coming up, news of a storm in time for rush hour. Will it be a half inch or an inch? A carnival of nightmare and death, tonight at 10." Was I guilty of this? Yes, probably, at times. Mea culpa. We were told to go out and "sell it", to generate more interest - to pull in viewers. Between the 'net, texts, tweets and cable news it's harder than ever to get people to stay up 'till 10 pm to get the latest weather report. People pretty much know most of what there is to know by evening - they've been grazing online for hours. Now all of us are "news directors." In truth a lousy inch CAN be a big deal if it arrives at precisely the wrong time, like an hour before rush hour, especially when it's colder than 15 F.

Check out "Attack of the Light Drizzle", focusing on a perceived weather marketing problem in the Boston market. The article is here.

Welcome to the weather equivalent of all or nothing, feast or famine. Mini snow-drought or snow-by-the-foot. We're coming on up two consecutive weeks with little more than a few feeble snowflakes racing past the window, resembling winter in Tucson. Since mid February central Texas (TEXAS) has seen far more snow than most of Minnesota. Baltimore residents are sick and tired of the color white - they've picked up 80" of snow, roughly 4 times what they should have seen as of late February, and another 4-8" is likely later today and tonight. Portions of New Jersey and Pennsylvania may pick up 8-16" of snow, with some 1 to 2 foot amounts over interior New England. What's going on? The most likely culprit: El Nino. This abnormally mild stain of ocean water in the equatorial Pacific has a tendency to nudge storms in a certain direction, favoring an unusually strong, energetic and tropical southern branch to the jet stream, the main superhighway for storms. During El Nino winters the storm track often runs from California into the deep south, then recurves up the east coast. Not every single storm or strange weather oddity can be ultimately chalked up to El Nino. But it's the loaded-dice principal. A warm Pacific increases the potential for rolling pairs of sevens, or in this case increases the prospect of more frequent, more intense storms tracking across the Dixie and the east coast. El Nino winters tend to be cooler, wetter/stormier for the south and east, but drier/milder for many of the northern tier states of the USA, and that seems to be playing out so far this winter. Canada: third or fourth warmest winter on record, to date, and most climatologists are pointing a finger at El Nino.

Just be glad your name isn't "Al Nino." During the severe El Nino of 1983, the event that really put this phenomenon on the map, Al Nino, a hapless resident of Los Angeles, received repeated, threatening phone calls from locals irritated about L.A.'s unusually cool, stormy and foul weather. No - I'm not making this up.

An Watery Monkey-Wrench. For the latest on El Nino click here to click over to NOAA's El Nino page. The reality: every El Nino is different. Roughly 2 out of 3 correlate with milder, drier winters for Minnesota. Snowfall so far this winter (41") is pretty close to average, to date, but temperatures are running 1-3 degrees milder across the Upper Midwest so far.

The big (snowy) Apple? The latest NAM model is hinting at 12-18" of heavy, wet snow for New York City, accompanied by high winds with a potential for near blizzard conditions from Thursday night into Saturday, moisture streaming inland from the Atlantic as a storm temporarily "cuts-off" and stalls offshore. The result may be near white-out conditions across much of New England with severe impacts to travel by air and land.

The Perfect Storm? Check out the latest storm track and chronology. The intense, moisture-laden nor'easter is forecast to stall out near New York City Friday and Saturday. That extra 48 hours of snowfall may result in some 12-18" amounts just inland, but the greater New York City area may receive a crippling snowfall from the early weekend storm. The very latest storm track/timing is here.

Anatomy of a Blizzard? Check out the "cut-off low" centered over Virginia. A counterclockwise wind flow circulating around this intense storm will pump a steady stream of moisture from the Atlantic, reaching Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York City and much of New England. Although heavy rain/ice is possible near the coast a northerly wind in the lowest few thousand feet of the atmosphere may spark heavy snow bands inland.

The Big (snowy/icy/windswept) Apple. The NAM model is hinting at 3-4" for the eastern tip of Long Island, but closer to 14-18" from Manhattan and the Bronx westward to Newark and Princeton. Expect a massive weather-mess in the New York City area and much of New England through at least Saturday as the storm temporarily stalls out, pumping a firehose of Atlantic moisture inland. I expect a number of airports across the northeast (including New York City) to postpone or cancel hundreds, possibly thousands of flights from tomorrow into Saturday.

A Reasonable March? A very lamb-like start to March is predicted for next Monday, at least across Minnesota. The CPC is predicting a warmer March for the Pacific Northwest and the Upper Midwest, including the northeastern third of Minnesota, the main storm track forecast to stay well south/east of the state for the next few weeks, a continuation of the current pattern. Thank - or blame - El Nino for this weather rut, this atmospheric holding pattern.

Paul's Conservation MN Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota

Today: Cold start, blue sky, milder than yesterday with less wind. Winds: E/SE 3-8. High: 24

Thursday night: Partly cloudy, not as cold. Low: 11

Friday: Partly sunny, closer to "average". High: 27

Saturday: Mostly cloudy - still unusually quiet for late February. Low: 13. High: 29

Sunday: Peeks of sun, a few passing flurries. Low: 14. High: near 30

Monday: A mix of clouds and sun. High: 29

Tuesday: More clouds than sun, dripping icicles return. High: 31

Wednesday: Feels like March. Mostly gray, but relatively mild. High: 33


  1. What has happened to the forecast updates? Also, I could find you on Twitter using the name you have listed in the righthand column.


    Calvinists often make the statement we are saved by grace alone and by faith alone. This is in and of its self a conflicting proclamation. You can believe one or the other, but cannot believe both.

    Definition of alone: separate, apart, to the exclusion of all else.

    It take unbridled self deception to say "I believe I was saved by grace alone and saved by faith alone."

    To be save by grace alone means that God does everything for you. Grace alone suggests that men have no free-will. Grace alone means that God forces men to have faith so that they might believe and be saved. Grace alone implies that men repent only because God makes it impossible to resist. Grace alone means that men are baptized against their free-will. Grace alone means that men only confess Jesus as the Son of God because God gives them no other choice.

    Faith alone, taken at face value means men are saved by faith alone. If you are saved by faith alone, then you do not need grace. If you are saved by faith alone then you do not need to be baptized in water.

    You cannot on one hand say I was saved by grace alone and then say I was saved by faith alone.

    There is no verse Scripture that says, "Men are saved by grace alone."
    There is no verse on Scripture that says, "Men are saved by faith alone."

    The Bible says men are saved by grace. (Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.) It does not say men are saved by grace alone.

    Romans 3:24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; (It says men are justified by grace, however, it does not say grace alone.)

    Acts 13:38-39 Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses.(Men receive forgiveness from sin because they believe in Jesus, however, it does not say men receive forgiveness by faith alone.)

    Acts 3:19 Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;(It says men need to repent so their sins may be wiped away, but it does not say repent only.)

    Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;(It says if you confess Jesus as Lord you will be saved, however, it does not say confess Jesus only.)

    Acts 2:38 Perter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (It says if you are baptized your sins will be forgiven, but it does not say baptism only.)

    The Bible teaches we are saved by grace, but not by grace alone.

    The Bible teaches we are saved by faith, but not by faith alone.

    The Bible teaches that we are saved by confession, but not by confession alone.

    The Bible teaches are sin are forgive because we repent, but not by repentance alone.

    The Bible teaches that are sins are forgiven because of water baptism, but not by baptism alone.

    GRACE: Romans 3:24
    FAITH: JOHN 3:16
    REPENTANCE: Acts 2:38
    CONFESSION: Romans 10:9-10
    BAPTISM: 1 Peter 3:21



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