Favorable trick or treat forecast; Twin Cities’ climate grant is an opportunity

The weather maps look scary-quiet this Halloween week. Last week a few renegade forecast models brewed up a phantom storm system in the days surrounding Halloween. Those solutions turned out to be the forecast model equivalent of the invisible weatherman. This week looks blissfully quiet and seasonably cool.

Twin Cities forecast via NOAA.

Favorable Halloween forecast

Our trick or treat forecast looks favorable this year. Light winds, partly cloudy skies and temperatures falling through the 40s and upper 30s in northern Minnesota to low 50s south will make for nearly ideal conditions. Stock up on your favorite treats. It could be a busy night.

Here’s a look at projected temps in the Upper Midwest at 5 pm Wednesday evening. Shave off about 5 degrees after sunset.

NOAA projected temps at 5 pm Wednesday.

Quiet week ahead

We’ll see plenty of sunshine across Minnesota this week. A few light rain showers zip through early Tuesday morning. After that skies trend sunnier. Temperatures favor the 40s north and 50s in southern Minnesota. Here are the Twin Cities numbers.

NOAA forecast temperatures for Minneapolis via Weather Bell.

Bloomberg climate change grant provides opportunity 

Monday’s announced climate change grants for Minneapolis and St. Paul provides an opportunity. MPR’s Elizabeth Dunbar has more on Monday’s Bloomberg grant announcement.

Minneapolis and St. Paul joined cities from across the country Monday in a $70 million program designed to help them address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

As part of the American Cities Climate Challenge, the two cities will join more than a dozen others in receiving $2.5 million each over two years from Bloomberg Philanthropies. The foundation is led by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who now serves as a U.N. special envoy for climate action.

A rider boards a Green Line light rail train in St. Paul. Rail systems, hybrid electric buses and other ride-sharing programs are solutions that cities like St. Paul and Minneapolis are using to reach their carbon-neutral status goals. Tim Nelson | MPR News 2016

Electricity emissions progress 

Minnesota has made great strides in reducing carbon emissions in the electric power generation sector.  Last year 25-percent of all electricity in Minnesota was generated by renewables.

Wind turbines in Lake Wilson, Minnesota. Image: Paul Huttner/MPR Mews.

Transportation and building efficiency opportunities 

Transportation efficiency and retrofitting large and small buildings to conserve energy are now among the biggest opportunities to trim emissions.

The Science Museum of Minnesota is a success story in reducing emissions for a large building. Pat Hamilton is the Director, Global Change Initiatives, Science Museum of Minnesota. I asked him for a brief update today on the museum’s energy retrofit project.

Hi Paul,

The museum’s heat recovery system supplied 65% of the building’s heating needs last winter and 75% the previous heating season. The annual savings has been about $300,000. Furthermore, the museum’s subscription to a community solar garden offset 34% of the museum’s annual electricity use during the first full year of subscription and saved the museum an additional $15,800.

Best regards,

Pat

Image via Science Museum of Minnesota.

The museum’s Science House project is working on creating a Minnesota home that generates all of its energy needs.

Science House is both a vibrant, professional home for teachers and an environmental experiment because it is designed to operate as a zero-emissions building (ZEB). ZEBs produce all of their energy needs on an annual basis. Since energy monitoring began in February 2004, Science House actually has been producing more energy than it uses on an annual basis.

Image: Science Museum of Minnesota

The Twin Cities grants announced Monday offers an opportunity to make larger reductions at the local level in greenhouse gas emissions in transportation and building sectors.