Climate variability

Bright blue sky, farmers adapt to increased climate variability


It’s amazing what a little sun and blue sky can do for the soul. Add an increasingly dramatic fall color palette and you’ve got a classic Minnesota fall day.

October sky. Paul Huttner / MPR News

It was the days of October that built the legend of Minnesota’s fall weather. Try to find that precise combination of perfect weather, colorful scenery, and warm people. Happy meteorologists mesmerized by the beautiful colors of nature rather than the Doppler screen. “Quality of life” at its best.

Temperatures drop to more typical fall levels over the next few days. Abundant sunshine and cool mornings are the main weather features for the rest of the week. The weekend is shaping up to be better by the minute. The first long-term look at Halloween doesn’t seem so scary with highs favoring the lower 50s.


High pressure. University of Illinois.

Big blue ‘H’

If you only learn two things about weather maps, know the letters H and L. 70% of what you need to know about a forecast focuses on these two letters.

L stands for Low Pressure, which brings storms with rain or snow. H stands for High Pressure, which brings generally sunny skies and good weather.


Low / High pressure Source: Physik, Uni – München

Maybe we should make learning H and L part of the kindergarten curriculum right before the milk, cookies, and afternoon nap. Are they still taking naps in kindergarten?

Watch the big cold blue H drift toward southeastern Canada over the next 48 hours.



Dry week ahead

Meteograms are great for visualizing weather parameters over time. The latest GFS and Euro tracks suggest mostly sunny and dry skies over the next 7 days. Highs in the metro near 60 this weekend are about 5 degrees warmer than average. We tend to be cooler around Halloween, but no major weather drama is in sight just yet.

We lead charmed weather lives.


15-day meteogram via Cutsom Weather

Climate Cast News

NOAA: 2nd hottest September on record in the world

The streak of record or near record hot months continues globally. Today’s release from NOAA for global temperatures for September 2016 is the 2nd warmest September on record, a slight deviation from NASA data. The data ends an unprecedented 16-month streak of record warm months in NOAA’s global data set.

2016 still holds a strong lead in the title of “Hottest Next Year on Record” before the home stretch.


Image: NOAA data via Climate Central

The last fresher than average month worldwide ? February 1985. The number one song on the Billboard Top 40 that month was careless Whisper. Do you remember Pan! with George Michael, law? No one under the age of 32 has lived a cooler month than the average in the world, or probably doesn’t remember a top 40 hit from George Michael.

Here are more Climate Central on September data.


Central Climate

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its global temperature data for September on Tuesday. It shows that the month was just 0.07 ° F (0.04 ° C) below the September 2015 record high, making it the second hottest September on record.

That ends a record-breaking 16-month streak in the NOAA data set, a record-breaking streak itself. The planetary heat race rewrote the record books.

The streak of record months means that 15 of the most unusually warm months have occurred since March 2015. Taking into account ties, the only exception is January 2007 which tied for 11th. There has never been a string of warm months like this in the 1,641 months (or more than 136 years) of data available to NOAA.

March 2016 topped the list with a global temperature 2.21 ° F (1.23 ° C) above the 20th century average. Even though September 2016 is the second hottest September on record, it still makes the list with temperatures 1.6 ° F (0.89 ° C) above average.

Farmers adapt to extreme climate variability

Do you think our climate and weather conditions are not changing? Ask a farmer who is farming in a new, more unstable climate system. This Yale Climate Connections Room about how an Iowa farmer is adjusting to new extremes caught my eye.


Ron Rosmann has been an organic farmer in southwest Iowa for 33 years. He knows a thing or two about farming. And he knows climate change is not a distant threat. It is a challenge that he has to face every day.

Rosmann: “With normal weather conditions: Yes, you have variability. But the variability was generally distributed more evenly.

As the climate changes, the extreme weather events of the past are becoming the new normal, including sudden frosts in late spring, wild temperature fluctuations all year round, and century-old flooding occurring every few years.

Rosmann: “The old models are gone, where you could kind of bet on July being hot and dry. Averages do not apply.

In an attempt to adapt, Rosmann diversified. He plants oats, wheat and barley so as not to lose everything if a crop fails.

But being part of the solution – not just adapting – means reducing pollution caused by global warming, so Rosmann says farmers should carefully review their practices and take action to improve. It’s something he believes the next generation understands.

Rosmann: “Young people seem to understand and understand what is happening in our environment better than the population over 50. This is where we have a lot of hope.

“Flux batteries” make wind energy more efficient

Wind and solar have taken off over the past decade. One of the challenges has been how to store this energy when it is needed. Advances in flux batteries may be the answer. Again, Yale Climate Connections.

Solar panels and wind turbines can generate a lot of energy. But without a way to store the energy produced by these clean sources, their ability to provide most of our electricity is limited.

Imre Gyuk heads the energy storage program at the Ministry of Energy. He explains that electricity is traditionally produced on demand.

Gyuk: “As the load changes throughout the day, the generation can be adjusted accordingly. “

But with renewable energy sources, things get more complex. The sun can’t shine brighter just because everyone turns on their air conditioners.

Finding a way to store energy that we can use when needed is therefore a priority. Gyuk believes that a new type of flux battery is a promising method. Flow batteries can handle fluctuating amounts of energy better than traditional lithium-ion batteries.

They are more expensive now, but flux batteries are getting cheaper to manufacture and people are starting to use them as a powerful and cost effective storage solution. Several states have already integrated flux batteries into local energy networks.

Gyuk: “Ultimately, using storage means that more renewable energy can be hosted on the grid. “

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