Seeley: “Profound Warming”; NOAA: “El Nino Watch:” Another mild winter?

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Source: Twin Cities NWS

Radar: Latest Twin Cities radar loop

-Latest Duluth NWS radar

-Latest Aberdeen, SD radar

SPC slight risk Friday for the North Shore, Duluth and northern Wisconsin.

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Severe risk Friday

Source: NOAA/CPC

Seeley: “Profound warm temperature signal over the past year”

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Nobody is better at putting perspective on long & short term climate trends than my MPR colleague and UM Professor Dr. Mark Seeley. Today, Mark sends this eye opening update on the “profound” warming signal observed in Minnesota during the past year.

Look for more in Mark’s weekly “Weather Talk” blog post Friday, but here’s an excerpt and preview.

Topic: Profound warm temperature signal over the past year

There have been many reports of the extraordinary warm temperatures which have marked the past twelve months, actually the past 14 months across our region. This trend has been noted by scientists at all measurement scales, Twin Cities, statewide (MN), national (USA), hemispheric (northern) and global. Paul Huttner (MPR), Paul Douglas (Star Tribune), Pete Boulay and Greg Spoden (MN-State Climatology Office), Tom Hultquist and Ross Carlyon (National Weather Service), Professor Robert Weisman (St Cloud State University), and NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center have all provided perspectives on this strong warming trend. I thought I might as well share some thoughts as well.

Over the past twelve months (June 2011 to May 2012) in Minnesota, monthly temperature values have been colder than normal only once, during June of 2011. All months since then, with the lone exception of September, 2011 (when temperatures were near normal) have been warmer than normal. Further on a statewide basis five months have ranked in the top ten warmest historically for Minnesota, including: July 2011; October 2011; December 2011; January 2012; and March 2012 (warmest in state history). Over the 12 month period from June 2011 to May 2012, nearly 68 percent of all days brought above normal temperatures to Minnesota, and since November of 2011, 71 percent of all days have seen above normal temperatures

The estimated total number of daily maximum temperature records set or tied in Minnesota over the past 12 months is at least 900, bearing in mind a like or greater number of record high minimum temperatures is a probable value as well.

During the period from June 2011 to May 2012, 13 new statewide high temperature records were set, a number not seen since the 1930s. These include:

103 degrees F at MSP on June 7, 2011

54 degrees F at Marshall on January 4, 2012

63 degrees F at Canby on January 5, 2012

59 degrees F at Marshall on January 10, 2012

66 degrees F at Amboy and Milan on March 10, 2012

68 degrees F at Marshall on March 11, 2012

74 degrees F at Rochester on March 14, 2012

82 degrees F at Redwood Falls on March 16, 2012

82 degrees F at Madison on March 17, 2012

84 degrees F at Canby on March 18, 2012 (tied state record)

84 degrees F at Madison on March 19, 2012

80 degrees F at Redwood Falls on March 20, 2012

90 degrees F at Luverne on April 1, 2012

88 degrees F at Pipestone on April 2, 2012

From a trend analysis point of view, this is one of the strongest warming trends ever seen in the Minnesota climate records. For the NOAA-Climate Prediction Center it will be difficult to ignore in making mid-range and seasonal outlooks for the rest of the summer and autumn. .

Listen to MPR News stations (91.1FM KNOW in the metro) for more from Mark Friday morning in the 6am hour.

“El Nino Watch” Just issued by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center

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Source: Twin Cities NWS

“Hot front” pushes north Saturday

90s likely for southern Minnesota and the metro this weekend

Sticky – dew points climb into the tropical 70s

Severe risk – up north Saturday includes metro Sunday

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Source: Twin Cities NWS

T-Shower coverage increasing today through Friday:

Our protective ridge of dry high pressure is finally giving way to more scattered rain today.

Look for an increase in scattered T-Showers. If you get under one, the rain may come down heavy at times. The storms are fairly slow movers, so they can dump a good little rain in a short window.

My garden can use the rain. Wednesday was the 9th consecutive day without measureable rain at MSP. We haven’t seen a drop in June so far… and just a trace the last 3 days of May at MSP Airport.

“Hit and Miss”

This is the nature of summertime rainfall. One town gets dumped on, and a few miles away it’s dry.

It’s called “convection”, and it’s why summertime rain & thunder is so spotty compared to the more uniformly distributed “stratiform” rain and snow fall, winter and spring.

Convection towers build vertically with height in the atmosphere, and dump heavy rains in more localized areas. The rainfall evens out over time, but rainfall totals are highly variable in summer over short distances.

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Source: Lyndon State College

“Hot Front” arrives Saturday:

You may be searching for your favorite lake by Saturday afternoon.

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Source: Twin Cities NWS

A vigorous “hot front” will push north Saturday. I can’t rule out a T-Storm with the frontal passage early Saturday morning, but it looks like the atmosphere will be just too hot aloft, or “capped” for thunderstorms Saturday afternoon into early Sunday.

By Sunday afternoon and evening, a cool front will begin to push east into Minnesota. Showers and T-Storms should increase from northwest to southeast Sunday…and a few could become severe.

SPC has northern Minnesota “risked” Saturday, and includes areas from the metro north on Sunday.

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Saturday severe risk north

Source: NOAA/SPC

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Sunday severe risk

Source: NOAA/SPC

Heat & humidity levels will make it feel like July this weekend. By the book, temps about 5,000 feet above ground levels (850millibars) suggest high temps between 92 and 94 degrees both Saturday and Sunday.

With dew points rising into the low 70s by Sunday, that will yield a heat index around 100 degrees.

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Source: WHAS

You graduation party may go off dry Saturday, but it will be plenty hot.

As Nat King Cole would say….roll out those lazy hazy crazy days of summer.

“El Nino Watch” Just issued by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center:

We saw this coming, and CPC pulled the trigger on today’s ENSO update.

A growing number of climate models now favor SST’s in the tropical Pacific that will reach El Nino (warm) criteria this upcoming winter.

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Source: NOAA Climate Prection Center (CPC)

The extensive volume of above-average sub-surface water temperatures indicates that the tropical Pacific SST anomalies will likely warm further in the coming months. A majority of models predict ENSO-neutral to continue through the June-August (JJA) season (Fig. 6). Thereafter, most of the dynamical models predict El Niño to develop during JAS, while the statistical models tend to favor the continuation of ENSO-neutral. Thus, there remains uncertainty as to whether ENSO-neutral or El Niño will prevail during the second half of the year. The evolving conditions, combined with model forecasts (Fig. 6), suggest that ENSO-neutral and El Niño are roughly equally likely during the late northern summer and fall. The CPC/IRI forecast calls for ENSO-neutral conditions through JAS, followed by an approximately 50% likelihood for El Niño during the remainder of the year (see CPC/IRI consensus forecast).

El Nino winters tend to run milder than average in Minnesota. It will be interesting to see what kind of winter an El Nino brings to Minnesota and the Upper Midwest next year. Last year’s record warmth took place on the tail end of a La Nina. The longer term climate trends favor much milder winters in Minnesota…and an El Nino may all but guarantee a mild winter of 2012-’13.

Stay tuned!


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