Instant Summer: Frost to 90s (Heat to AC) in 2 days; Windy Fishing Opener 2013

Weather Whiplash Ahead

Here we go again.

After a perfectly tranquil and nearly “average” spring Friday in Minnesota, the winds of extreme change will blow again.

Seasonal confusion may set in in the next 4 days, as you transition from a frosty car windshield on Mother’s Day morning…to a beach towel and AC by Tuesday afternoon.

34F Sunday morning to 90F on Tuesday?

Much of southern Minnesota may top the 90 degree mark as a hot dome of high pressure blows next week.

This time our “Instant Summer” may hang around, even thouhg we “cool” off into the 70s as next week roll on.

My kind of “cool” front.

66F High temp at MSP Friday

15 hours of daylight in Minnesota this weekend

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Weather lab lilacs in bud Friday

Image: Paul Huttner MPR News

Springy:

Friday was the quintessential, almost “average” spring day in Minnesota. Light winds, pristine blue skies and a “greening” landscape is good tonic for the winter weary Minnesota soul.

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Ferns ready to burst

Phenologists call our spring greenup the “Green Wave.” I’ve heard that in most year it moves north at an a average of about 13 miles a day in spring.

This year the Green Wave made it to Kansas City and Omaha…then stopped dead for about a month as our unwelcome late winter surge clung to Minnesota.

Thankfully it’s finally here.

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Gales of May: Fishing Opener Weekend Cold Front:

Saturday features another cold front…and some gusty winds.

This might be the year to try your luck fishing from the windward shore on Fishing Opener Saturday. Gusts to 30+ mph will fuel some big waves and whitecaps on Minnesota lakes Saturday.

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“Ice Out” Saturday?

Saturday’s gales may help break up some ice on the bigger lakes in central Minnesota.

The sheer force of the northwest gales on the ice may shove some impressive “ice drifts” onto the southeast shore of Mille Lacs and other big lakes.

You can watch the progress of ice out this weekend on the MN DNR ice out map.

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Here’s another cool look at the ice conditions on Mille Lacs, including a time lapse from the Twin Pines resort on Mille Lacs.

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Instant Summer: Frost to 90 in 2 days?

You may have a hard time keeping up with rapid weather changes next week.

Mother Day’s starts frost in much of Minnesota, but Sunday afternoon should be nice for a stroll with mom.

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Monday’s warm front blows in the warmest air mass of the season so far. By Tuesday afternoon, the “thermal ridge” set up shop right over southern Minnesota. Temps at or above 90F look like a real possibility…and the Twin Cities NWS forecast discussion touches on some historical “analogues” that suggest it could get even hotter.

Here’s the potentially steamy “weather geek speak” from the Twin Cities NWS.

THICKNESSES RISE TO 577+ DAM…AND 925 MB TEMPS OFF THE GFS NEAR +30C /+27C ON THE ECMWF/ ACROSS WRN MN BY 00Z WEDNESDAY. FORECAST SOUNDINGS INDICATE MIXING TO 875 MB. A COMPOSITE OF 90 DEGREE DAYS FOR MAY 2012 HAD 925 MB TEMPS OF JUST +22C. THE TOP CIPS ANALOG OFF THE 09.12Z GFS FOR TUESDAY IS 6/8/1985 WHEN THE HIGH REACHED 102 AT MSP.

RAISED TEMPS INTO THE UPPER 80S OR LOWER 90S OVER MUCH OF THE AREA…BUT EVEN THESE TEMPS COULD BE CONSERVATIVE IF THERMAL PROFILES THE MODELS ARE SHOWING COME CLOSE TO VERIFYING. COULD SEE SOME 95 DEGREE READINGS ACROSS SWRN MN. TO THINK WE GO FROM FREEZE HEADLINES AND NEAR RECORD LOWS…TO A SUMMERLIKE HEAT WAVE AND NEAR RECORD HIGHS IN 48 HOURS IS ASTONISHING.

Astonishing indeed.

Welcome to “Extreme Minnesota.”

Climate Milestone: Earth’s CO2 Level Passes 400 ppm

We’ve known atmospheric CO2 has been increasing rapidly for decades. This week Earth’s atmospheric CO2 reached a level not see in 2-3 million years.

National Geographic’s Robert Kunzig has details.

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An instrument near the summit of Mauna Loa in Hawaii has recorded a long-awaited climate milestone: the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere there has exceeded 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in 55 years of measurement–and probably more than 3 million years of Earth history.

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Photograph by Jonathan Kingston, National Geographic

The last time the concentration of Earth’s main greenhouse gas reached this mark, horses and camels lived in the high Arctic. Seas were at least 30 feet higher–at a level that today would inundate major cities around the world.

The planet was about 2 to 3 degrees Celsius (3.6 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer. But the Earth then was in the final stage of a prolonged greenhouse epoch, and CO2 concentrations were on their way down. This time, 400 ppm is a milepost on a far more rapid uphill climb toward an uncertain climate future.

Two independent teams of scientists measure CO2 on Mauna Loa: one from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the other from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The NOAA team posted word on its web site this morning before dawn Hawaii time: The daily average for May 9 was 400.03 ppm. The Scripps team later confirmed the milestone had been crossed.

The Scripps team is led by Ralph Keeling, son of the late Charles David Keeling, who started the Mauna Loa measurements in 1958. Since then the “Keeling curve,” showing the steady climb in CO2 levels caused primarily by burning fossil fuels, has become an icon of climate change.

Paul Huttner

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