Models Are Better, But Far From Perfect

2020-04-20 | Star Tribune

April 19-- (Image Credit Above: Todd Nelson) ___________________________________________________________________ Sneaky Sunburn Potential... It might be hard to believe, but the sun is as strong now as it is in late August! With that said, we are only about 9 weeks away from the Summer Solstice, so the UV index will continue to get more intense over the coming weeks. on Monday, the UV Index will be considered "Moderate", which means that it will only take about 30 minutes to get a sunburn on exposed skin. ________________________________________________________________ Spring Allergies In Full Force - High Pollen Count This Week If you're a seasonal allergy sufferer, you might have noticed a little more itching and sneezing as of late. According to, the pollen count in the Minneapolis area is running at high levels and will be considered high over the next several days. Grab the benadryl! See the latest from HERE: _______________________________________________________________________ Monday Weather Outlook for Minneapolis Monday will start off on a fairly quiet note with AM temps around 40F in the metro. Temps will quickly warm into the 50s, but winds will be a bit breezy as a weak front scoots through the region. There is a risk for a few passing showers during the day and perhaps even a few rumbles of thunder across the southern half of the state during the afternoon hours. ___________________________________________________________________________ Weather Outlook For Monday

Here's the weather outlook across the region for Monday. A fast moving front will be responsible for a few showers and possibly even an afternoon rumble of thunder across far southern Minnesota into northern Iowa. Temps ahead of the front will warm into the upper 50s and lower 60s, while readings farther north will only warm into the upper 30s and low/mid 40s. Note that temps across the far north will be nearly -10F to -15F below average. Winds will also be somewhat problematic with WNW wind gusts reaching 30mph to 40mph during the afternoon as the front sags southeast.

_______________________________________________________________________ Somewhat Soggy Monday

Here's the weather outlook from AM Monday to AM Wednesday. Note that there is a brief rain chance across parts of the Upper Midwest on Monday with some light snow mixed in across the far north. There also appears to be another brief rain/snow chance along the international border on Wednesday.

_________________________________________________________________________ Rain Snow Chances For Some

Here's the Rain Snow outlook through AM Wednesdsay. Precipitation amounts will be pretty light with most staying completely dry. However, a few folks in the Arrowhead could get a brief coating of snow.

______________________________________________________________________ 7 Day Forecast for the Twin Cities

Compared to last week, the week ahead will be quite a bit warmer the several days warming to near 60F or warmer! The warmest day looks like it'll be Wednesday with a high in the lower 70s. Note that the average high in the Twin Cities through the end of April is in the low/mid 60s. Rain chances will be brief on Monday with a slightly higher rain chance later Thursday into Friday. Stay tuned.

____________________________________________________________________ Extended Temperature Outlook

Here's a look at the extended temperature outlook through the end of the month and into the early part of May. Note that the week ahead will be quite a bit warmer than it was last week with high temps running a little closer to average. As we head through the next couple of weeks, don't be surprised if we get a couple of 70F days sprinkled in.

__________________________________________________________________ Ice Out on Bay Lake

Thanks to Matt Hoy for the picture below. He reported Ice Out last weekend and already has the dock in -- Nice work! It's good to know that Minnesotans can still Social Distance on the water. Time to get the pontoon in!! Thanks again Matt, be well.

___________________________________________________________________________ Almost Ice Out on Norway Lake in Pine River Thanks to Scott Nataile Verness for the picture below. They are on Norway Lake in Pine River, where the ice is still hanging tough along the shore, but there's plenty of open water about 100ft out! With warmer temps in the forecast this week, I'm sure all the ice will be gone within the next 5 to 7 days! Thanks for the picture Scott Natalie!

__________________________________________________________________________ Ice Out on Rabbit Lake in Crosby Minnesota

Thanks to Bill Schwamberger for the picture below. He's reporting Ice Out on Rabbit Lake in Crosby, MN. He said the ice finally left about a week ago, but the water is COLD! Thanks Bill!!

______________________________________________________________________ Ice Out Dates 2020

According to the MN DNR, there are quite a few lakes across the southern half of Minnesota that are officially ice out. Note that most metro lakes are also ice out including Lake Minnetonka that was ice out as of Thursday, April 2nd, which is nearly 1.5 weeks earlier than average. We're also starting to see ice out across central Minnesota Lakes! See the latest ice outs from the MN DNR HERE: ____________________________________________________________________________ Latest Snow Depth Across the Region The latest snow depth map (from Saturday) still showed some snow on the ground across far northern Minnesota and parts of northern Wisconsin. Note that there is still nearly 2ft of snow on the ground across parts of the U.P. of Michigan. Other than a few random snow piles, there is no snow on the ground in the Twin Cities. ____________________________________________________________________ Crabgrass Preventer

According to the GDD Tracker from Michigan State University, now is the time to get your Crabgrass preventer down in the Twin Cities metro. Note that when average soil temp reaches 57F to 64F, crabgrass begins to germinate, so it won't be long before we're there. You might have another week or two before it could be too late.

See more from the GDD Tracker HERE:

____________________________________________________________________________ Extended Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's CPC, the extended temperature outlook from April 26th - May 2nd shows that cooler than average temps will still be hanging on across the northeastern part of the nation, while warmer temps will found across the western and southern part of the country. _______________________________________________________________________ Models Are Better, But Far From Perfect By Paul Douglas

The global pandemic is a mash-up of Bill Murray's "Ground Hog Day" and H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds", only these aliens are microscopic. Turns out we're not so good at predicting low-probability, high-impact events after all, the rare "black swans" statisticians warn of.

Just like the weather. We often get future trends right, but details are difficult. What time will the rain hit? EF-1 or EF-3 tornado? Will my house flood, or a neighborhood 20 miles down the road? Models only go so far.

Like a frustrating meteorological mirage, spring warmth keeps getting pushed into the future. It looked like we would warm up smartly this week, but a strong cold front aimed at New England will brush us with clouds and showers today, keeping us cooler. Expect 60s Wednesday, followed by a rainy smear Thursday, then a drier weekend with highs in the 50s.

Warm air can't push cold air out of the way. Chilly air has to retreat on its own. One benefit of a spring stutter? No severe thunderstorms and a lower flood risk. _____________________________________________

Extended Forecast

MONDAY: PM showers likely. Gusty winds. Winds: NW 15-30. High: 57.

MONDAY NIGHT: Breezy. Showers end, then clearing. Winds: N 15-20. Low: 31.

TUESDAY: Sun through high clouds. Less wind. Winds: NW 5-10. High: 50.

WEDNESDAY: Milder with an isolated shower. Winds: E 5-10. Wake-up: 40. High: 63.

THURSDAY: Cooler. Better chance of showers. Winds: SE 8-13. Wake-up: 45. High: 56.

FRIDAY: Stray shower. Still unsettled. Winds: NE 8-13. Wake-up: 42. High: 51.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Probably dry. Winds: E 5-10. Wake-up: 40. High: 56.

SUNDAY: More clouds than sunshine. Winds: SE 5-10. Wake-up: 39. High: 58. ______________________________________________________

This Day in Weather History April 20th

1970: Snow falls across much of Minnesota. _________________________________________________

Average High/Low for Minneapolis April 20th

Average High: 60F (Record: 83F set in 1980) Average Low: 39F (Record: 21F set in 2013)

Record Rainfall: 0.85" set in 1893 Record Snowfall: 8.5" set in 1893 _________________________________________________________

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis April 20th

Sunrise: 6:19am Sunset: 8:05pm

Hours of Daylight: ~13 hours 47 minute

Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 3 minutes and 56 seconds Daylight GAINED since Winter Solstice (December 21st): ~ 5 hours 1 minute __________________________________________________________

Moon Phase for April 20th at Midnight 1.8 Days Before New Moon

___________________________________ What's in the Night Sky?

It’s Lyrid meteor time again! The Lyrids aren’t the richest shower of the year. In a dark sky, you might see about 10 to 15 meteors per hour at the shower’s peak. But the Lyrids are always welcome, a break from the “meteor drought� that always comes in the early part of every year. In 2020, the skinny and almost-new moon won’t hinder the view. Bring on the Lyrids! We expect Lyrid meteors to be flying early this week, beginning late at night around Sunday, April 19, 2020, probably peaking in the predawn hours on Wednesday, April 22. The follow morning (April 23) might be good too, if you’re game. Generally, the greatest number of meteors fall in the few hours before dawn. That’s when the radiant point – near the star Vega in the constellation Lyra – is highest in the sky, and when you’re likely to see the most meteors. Note for Southern Hemisphere observers: Because this shower’s radiant point is so far north on the sky’s dome, the star Vega rises only in the hours before dawn. Thus the radiant will be lower in the sky for you than for us farther north on Earth’s globe, when dawn breaks. That’s why you’ll see fewer Lyrid meteors. Still, you might see some! Try watching before morning dawn on April 20, 21, 22 and even 23.

See more from Earth Sky HERE:

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__________________________________________________________________ National Weather Outlook Strong to severe thunderstorms will continue to rumble across the southern US early Monday with the best chance of damaging winds and large hail across the eastern Carolinas. Meanwhile, another system will scoot across the Great Lakes and Northeast through the first half of the week with a potential of a few thunderstorms and rain/snow showers farther north. ________________________________________________________________________ 7 Day Precipitation Outlook According to NOAA's WPC, heavy rain from Sunday's severe weather outbreak across the Gulf Coast States will end across the Carolinas and Mid-Altantic states on Monday. Meanwhile, Much of Minneasota looks to stay fairly dry through the week ahead. _______________________________________________________________________ SLIGHT Severe Risk on Monday Widespread strong to severe thunderstroms across the Gulf Coast States on Sunday will continue to rumble east on Monday. According to NOAA's SPC, there is a risk of ongoing damaging winds and large hail across the eastern Carolinas on Monday. __________________________________________________________________________ Severe Threat Wednesday Another storm system will develop midweek across the Southern US with a chance of strong to severe thunderstorms possible across parts of the Ark-La-Tex region. Stay tuned. ___________________________________________________________________________ 2020 Tornado Reports So Far This Year According to NOAA's SPC, there have been 468 tornado reports so far this year through April 17th. Note that this has been the most active start to the year since 2012, when there were 572 through that time. _____________________________________________________________________ Severe Weather Probabilities For April 20th

According to NOAA's SPC, the best chance for severe weather at this time of the year is typically across the Southern U.S., especially in northern Texas and into Oklahoma.

_____________________________________________________________________ Climate Stories (Image Credit: NOAA Satellite) "Climate change affects everything -- even the coronavirus" "The short -- and incomplete -- answer to this question is: not really. Although climate change is expected to worsen many kinds of disease, especially tropical illnesses carried by insects, coronaviruses like the current one are not on the list. Scientific evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2, the germ that causes covid-19, is closely related to a virus found in bats. Humans may have contracted it through an intermediate host, a scaly anteater called a pangolin that is traded at illegal wildlife markets. The virus doesn’t appear to care what the average global temperature is; indeed, a National Academies of Sciences panel last week cautioned that changes in heat and humidity may not affect how covid-19 spreads. The more accurate answer is: of course. Climate change is frequently described as a threat multiplier, something that exacerbates existing problems and creates new ones. No aspect of life on this planet has been untouched by climate change -- viruses included." See more from Washington Post HERE: ___________________________________________________________________________ "How COVID-19 could ruin weather forecasts and climate records" "As climate- and ecological-monitoring projects go dark, data that stretch back for decades will soon contain coronavirus-associated gaps. Twice per year, Ed Dever’s group at Oregon State University in Corvallis heads out to sea off the Oregon and Washington coasts to refurbish and clean more than 100 delicate sensors that make up one segment of a US$44-million-per-year scientific network called the Ocean Observatories Initiative. “If this had been a normal year, I would have been at sea right now,� he says. Instead, Dever is one of many scientists sidelined by the coronavirus pandemic, watching from afar as precious field data disappear and instruments degrade. The scientific pause could imperil weather forecasts in the near term, and threaten long-standing climate studies. In some cases, researchers are expecting gaps in data that have been collected regularly for decades. “The break in the scientific record is probably unprecedented,� says Frank Davis, an ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara." See more from HERE: __________________________________________________________________________ "Using infrasonic signals to detect and track tornadoes" "Researchers from the University of Mississippi are using an array of 12 infrasound sensors positioned across a pasture north of Huntsville in an effort to improve tornado warning methods. Each sensor includes a 12-volt marine battery, cabling, domed windscreen, solar panel, and a device UM designed to record infrasound or acoustic signals at frequencies below what humans can hear. Tornadoes produce these low-frequency sounds, but the exact mechanism is still not understood. "Radar does not detect tornadoes," said NCPA principal scientist Roger Waxler, also a UM research associate professor of physics and astronomy. "The wavelengths are too long, and they are upward-looking. Tornadoes are currently detected by sight. The weather services use spotters (people). The radar shows the large scale rotation in storms that can spawn tornadoes but don't always do so." "These particular arrays are being deployed specifically for research into tornado detection and tracking. The geometry of the arrays is tuned to the signals emitted by tornadoes," he further explained. Detecting and tracking tornadoes are almost impossible, despite the evolving meteorological technology. However, the storms leave a definite mark and lasting damage as tornadoes rip through." See more from The Watchers HERE ____________________________________________________________________________ "Large earthquakes follow 'Devil's Staircase' mathematical pattern" "According to a new study published in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, the occurrence of large shallow earthquakes worldwide follows a mathematical pattern called the Devil's Staircase, wherein clusters of seismic events are separated by long but irregular intervals of seismic quiet. The result in this study is different from the pattern predicted by classical models. The Devil's Staircase pattern, sometimes called a Cantor function, is a fractal demonstrated by nonlinear dynamic systems, wherein a change in any portion could impact the behavior of the whole system. In nature, the pattern can be seen in sedimentation sequences, changes in uplift and erosion rates and reversal in the magnetic field of the Earth, for instance. This pattern is evident in huge earthquakes in the Great Basin, spanning Nevada, most of Oregon and Utah, and portions of California, Idaho, and Wyoming. The same pattern is also found in Australia, on the Africa-Eurasia plate boundary off western Algeria coast, along the Dead Sea Transform Fault, and likely in the New Madrid seismic zone of central U.S., according to researcher Dr. Mian Liu."

See more from The Watchers HERE:


"Clear sky satellite imagery of Anak Krakatau volcano after strong eruption on April 10"

"The European Sentinel-2 satellite acquired first clear sky images of Indonesian Anak Krakatau volcano after strong eruption on April 11, 2020. The activity level of the volcano remains at 2 (Waspada) -- residents and tourists are not allowed within 2 km (1.2 miles) around the crater. The Aviation Color Code remains Orange. The volcano experienced an increase in volcanic activity from June 18, 2018, followed by a series of eruptions from September 2018 to February 2019, including a flank collapse in December 2018 which generated a devastating 1.4 m (4.6 feet) high tsunami in which at least 430 people lost their lives -- 7 200 people were injured and 1 778 homes destroyed. The last notable eruptions occurred on April 10, 2020, with volcanic ash reaching 14.3 km (47 000 feet) above sea level (Darwin VAAC), and on April 13."

See more from The Watchers HERE:

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