New Blast of Cold Air Invades Midwest U.S.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:31 PM GMT on February 26, 2014

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A frigid blast of Arctic air will bring some of the coldest late February temperatures seen in decades to the eastern 2/3 of the U.S. this week, with temperatures 15 - 30° below normal commonplace. The cold air isn't going anywhere fast, and will stick around through early next week. The cold blast is due to an extreme jet stream pattern we have seen before this winter--a sharp ridge of high pressure over California, and a large trough of low pressure over Eastern North America. This upper air pattern was described by the National Weather Service in Buffalo, New York on Tuesday as one that occurs less than once every 30 years in late February. The intense cold is already affecting the Upper Midwest this Wednesday morning. My vote for worst winter weather of the day goes to Central Minnesota at Alexandria, where a temperature of -8°F this morning combined with winds of 14 mph to make a wind chill of -28°. The winds are expected to increase to 25 - 30 mph Wednesday afternoon with higher gusts, creating blizzard conditions. In Chicago, the intense cold is expected to put the December - February average temperature for this winter below 19°, making the winter of 2013 - 2014 the 3rd coldest winter in the Windy City's history. Only the winters of 1978 - 1979 and 1903 - 1904 were colder.


Figure 1. Great Lake ice cover as seen on February 19, 2014, by the MODIS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite. Ice cover on North America’s Great Lakes reached 88 percent in mid-February 2014—levels not observed since 1994. The average maximum ice extent since 1973 is just over 50 percent. It has surpassed 80 percent just five times in four decades. The lowest average ice extent occurred in 2002, when only 9.5 percent of the lakes froze. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

Rain coming to California
Unlike previous versions of this extreme jet stream pattern, though, the ridge over the Western U.S. will not be very persistent. The ridge of high pressure over California, which brought numerous record high temperatures for the date on Tuesday, will get broken down by a weak low pressure system on Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, a more intense storm system will smash through the ridge, bringing moderate to heavy rain to much of drought-parched California. This storm will then track eastwards, potentially bringing a major snowstorm and destructive ice storm on Monday to Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, and portions of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast U.S.


Figure 2. Departure of temperature from average at 2 meters (6.6') as diagnosed by the GFS model at 00 UTC February 26, 2014. A negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) created a sharp kink in the jet stream (Figure 3), which allowed cold air to spill southwards out of the Arctic over the Eastern U.S. Compensating warm air flowed northwards into the Arctic underneath ridges of high pressure over Alaska and Europe. Data/image obtained using Climate Reanalyzer™ (http://cci-reanalyzer.org), Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, Orono, Maine.


Figure 3. Winds at a height where the pressure is 250 mb show the axis of the jet stream, seen here at 00 UTC February 26, 2014. A sharp trough of low pressure was present over the Eastern U.S., and unusually strong ridges of high pressure were over the Western U.S. and the North Atlantic. Data/image obtained using Climate Reanalyzer™ (http://cci-reanalyzer.org), Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, Orono, Maine.

Wanted: professionals willing to speak about climate change to local groups
If you are a professional or graduate student with a strong background in climate science, the world needs you to reach out to local audiences at schools, retirement homes, the Chamber of Commerce, etc., and share your expertise. A new initiative by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and the United Nations Foundation called climatevoices.org is launching a Science Speakers Network this spring, with the goal of bringing scientists and their local communities together for real dialogue on climate science that speaks to citizens’ current and future well-being and responsibility as members of a community and democracy. Materials for context-setting presentations will be offered as will coaching regarding how to begin conversations about climate change with fellow citizens. If you are interested in volunteering for this network, please go to climatevoices.org and create a profile.  Profiles will “go public” when the full web site is launched in April. Once you create a profile, you will be kept up to date on Climate Voices progress including construction of the full web site, availability of presentation materials, webinar coaching, and plans for project launch. For any questions, please contact: Cindy Schmidt (UCAR), cschmidt@ucar.edu. I have my own set of slides I use for such talks that anyone is welcome to borrow from, available at http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/2013/climatetalk.ppt.

Jeff Masters

Snowy Friday (Beaker)
After a major winter storm in the Twin Cities area, I spent Friday afternoon capturing a glimpse of the beauty left in the aftermath of the storm.
Snowy Friday

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Quoting 659. StormTrackerScott:
Good morning guys. A good crew is on this am. Picked up .91" since yesterday in Longwood.


.73" here in Waterford Lakes in East Orlando.
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Member Since: March 12, 2013 Posts: 101 Comments: 100346
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 176 Comments: 55517
Quoting 669. washingtonian115:
It's been a while since we had a winter like this for sure.I just knew nature would make it up somehow.We couldn't have three whack winters in a row.


1976-77 1977-78 1978-79, all notable for severity of different kinds; the first was bitter and dry but ended early, the second was snowy and cold but not extreme but went on into the first third of March, the third was less remarkable for the East Coast but very cold and snowy for the midwest (and in February the East also)

The fourth in the series was the unremarkable winter of 1979-80 except for tidewater VA and NC which had record snow accumulations.
Member Since: February 1, 2012 Posts: 19 Comments: 2068
Quoting 617. LargoFl:
this massive blob Mar-7 goes into the big bend of florida on the ooz GFS..wow...
That is the beginning of a serious storm....If it does pan out...And it might not...Notice the 1034 high to the N.E...
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Yes, thats another issue... According to that article I posted earlier, the wind farms will break in wind speeds over 110 MPH... However, if many are built in many places, there could be a chance that the storm would not have time to become that strong in the first place. Just something to look out for.


torito....the scale needed...is impossible...the amount for just one area as shown in the article i read is more than already in places after decades in the US...now multiply that number by the entire gulf coast...not to mention the east coast.....turbines as a means of eletric generation i agree with...turbines as storm control...doesn't work for me
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 675 Comments: 22233
Quoting 679. VR46L:


This windmill thing is cracking me up .. we have loads of wind turbines here ,up in the mountains .. any time there is a gale ,they are switched off ...cos wind over 55 miles can damage the turbines ....


I'm not understanding why anyone would want to turn on giant blades during a hurricane..do we not have enough projectiles during a hurricane..we want to add giant blades to make it more interesting?
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16208
Quoting 668. Xyrus2000:
Choosing arbitrary high points, outliers, etc. to try and prove a point is dishonest. Choosing short timescales is dishonest. Leaving out important information is dishonest. If you want to make a solid argument then include solid research.

I don't get why SAR has not grasped this fallacy yet. Choosing 16-years versus 15- or 17-years results in vastly different slopes. 1998 was an outlier-warm year. If you start at a high point, of course your graph will have less slope. Dishonest and highly uninformative.
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Quoting 679. VR46L:


This windmill thing is cracking me up .. we have loads of wind turbines here ,up in the mountains .. any time there is a gale ,they are switched off ...cos wind over 55 miles can damage the turbines ....


Yes, thats another issue... According to that article I posted earlier, the wind farms will break in wind speeds over 110 MPH... However, if many are built in many places, there could be a chance that the storm would not have time to become that strong in the first place. Just something to look out for...
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Oh well..... when your heating bill and and electric bill doubles or more..... all in the name of climate change,guess we will see how excited you are to spread the word then.


kind of makes me feel its all important to spread the word now
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 675 Comments: 22233
679. VR46L
Quoting 675. Torito:


Perhaps, but that issue itself is being solved as well....

Link

Finding ways to store millions of watts of excess electricity for times when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine is the new Holy Grail. And there are signs that this goal — the day when large-scale energy storage becomes practical and cost-effective — might be within reach, as well. Some technologies that can store sizeable amounts of intermittent power are already deployed. Others, including at least a few with great promise, lie somewhere over the technological horizon.


This windmill thing is cracking me up .. we have loads of wind turbines here ,up in the mountains .. any time there is a gale ,they are switched off ...cos wind over 55 miles can damage the turbines ....
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Quoting 672. Torito:



Yea. However, if the energy was stored, we could potentially make up that money in damages and energy to be used later. But, as you said, the cost to start it will be a major issue.
If they can build such a wind farm, they most likely can find a way to store it. In fact, I bet it would be easier and much less costly to find ways to store the energy as it is to build a colossal wind farm.jmo
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Quoting 666. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
maybe not taz the march of systems is yet to arrive




Ok
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Quoting 667. georgevandenberghe:


Maybe we can give 1978 a run for miserable duration. First 9 days of March that year had highs in the 30s every day. Average that time of year is low 50s
From my standpoint, the winters of the 1970,s were brutal. Even though I was living in South Florida, we made many trips to N.J. and New England. I was born in the mid 60,s, but my Father told me that winter in the early 60,s in New England and N.J.was much worse than the late 60,s. The 40,s and 50,s were bad virtually every single year. I realize that this is from 2 peoples standpoint, but many other folks I have spoken with agree on this.
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Quoting 673. yonzabam:


Electricity has to be used as it's made. It can't be 'stored'.


Perhaps, but that issue itself is being solved as well....


Finding ways to store millions of watts of excess electricity for times when the wind does not blow and the sun does not shine is the new Holy Grail. And there are signs that this goal- the day when large-scale energy storage becomes practical and cost-effective- might be within reach, as well. Some technologies that can store sizeable amounts of intermittent power are already deployed. Others, including at least a few with great promise, lie somewhere over the technological horizon.

Full article
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674. VR46L
Bit of Hail Just Passed through




Morning Afternoon Folks !
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Quoting 672. Torito:



Yea. Then if the energy was stored, we could potentially make up that money in damages and energy to be used later. But, as you said, the cost to start it will be a major issue.


Electricity has to be used as it's made. It can't be 'stored'.
Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2992
Quoting 670. hydrus:
Hello T. That was on the blog yesterday. At a cost of 235 billion dollars for the 78,000 wind turbines needed, and the fact that wind turbines would have to be modified to withstand winds in excess of 100 mph, the likelihood of that type of project is nil. If it could be done, just think of the energy that could possibly be produced from such a wind farm.



Yea. However, if the energy was stored, we could potentially make up that money in damages and energy to be used later. But, as you said, the cost to start it will be a major issue.
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671. NCstu
On a serious note, someone in the blog gave me some great links to current research on ocean tempartures at depth. I just became aware of this awesome program. That could be a big step forward for research in that area. Excerpt:

Argo is a globalarray of 3,000 free-drifting profiling floats that measures thetemperature and salinity of the upper 2000 m of the ocean. This allows, for the first time, continuous monitoring of thetemperature, salinity, and velocity of the upper ocean, with all databeing relayed and made publicly available within hours aftercollection.
Member Since: August 7, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 432
Quoting 662. Torito:
Now, this is interesting.....


Computer simulations by Professor Mark Z. Jacobson have shown that offshore wind farms with thousands of wind turbines could have sapped the power of three real-life hurricanes, significantly decreasing their winds and accompanying storm surge, and possibly preventing billions of dollars in damages...

full article.

Hello T. That was on the blog yesterday. At a cost of 235 billion dollars for the 78,000 wind turbines needed, and the fact that wind turbines would have to be modified to withstand winds in excess of 100 mph, the likelihood of that type of project is nil. If it could be done, just think of the energy that could possibly be produced from such a wind farm.
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Quoting 667. georgevandenberghe:


Maybe we can give 1978 a run for miserable duration. First 9 days of March that year had highs in the 30s every day. Average that time of year is low 50s
It's been a while since we had a winter like this for sure.I just knew nature would make it up somehow.We couldn't have three whack winters in a row.
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Quoting 520. sar2401:I think the problem is worse than that portrayed in the article. The response of many scientists was first to deny that a {pause, slowdown, flattening out, choose your poison} even happened. I've seen it here when Levi posted about the temperature flat lining and was immediately attacked because he didn't include ocean heat. That's not what he posted about, it was air temperature. That has been used in graphs for a long time to depict the warming of the globe.


He wasn't attacked. Scott countered Levi's arguments in a logical manner by pointing out several weaknesses. Global warming is the result an imbalance between incoming and outgoing radiation. Not including the largest heat sink on the planet in a discussion about whether the planet is warming or cooling is leaving out a rather large factor, don't you think?

Quoting 520. sar2401:I'm absolutely certain that's what the public thinks about when it comes to global warming, not total heat.


They also don't think about solar irradiance, optical thickness, aerosols, albedo, and numerous other factors that go into climate research. That's why climate scientists are the experts while the general public is not.

Quoting 520. sar2401:Same thing with the cold winter. People were falling all over themselves to prove it really wasn't cold.


It wasn't cold. It was cold in a region or two while most other regions were unusually warm (take the issues they were having in Sochi, for example).

Quoting 520. sar2401:What climate scientist need to communicate is that a decrease in the rate of increase of global air temperature doesn't prove or disprove global warming. A cold winter doesn't prove or disprove global warming. It's the trend that matters. Climate predictions are never going to get every wiggle right when it comes to things like global air temperactures. If the pause continues long enough, we then have a different trend line.


They try to. But scientists don't have billions of dollars to spend on massive PR campaigns to counteract all the idiocy being trotted out from groups like the Heartland Institute. It's same reason it took so long for scientists to finally get through to the public about smoking, asbestos, and numerous other issues in the past.

Quoting 520. sar2401:If the next 10 or so winters are this cold, something else is going on with climate other than what was predicted.


This winter wasn't cold globally.

Quoting 520. sar2401:None of the models are infallible but they are the best science we have now. Stop saying what happened didn't happen and concentrate on the point that the general trends are still intact.


What didn't happen? Temperatures are still rising. Choosing arbitrary high points, outliers, etc. to try and prove a point is dishonest. Choosing short timescales is dishonest. Leaving out important information is dishonest. If you want to make a solid argument then include solid research.

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Quoting 635. washingtonian115:
The winter that won't end!.It won't even hit freezing tomorrow and winds we'll make it feel like near 0 at times.Not looking forward to ice.I would rather have heavy wet snow.


Maybe we can give 1978 a run for miserable duration. First 9 days of March that year had highs in the 30s every day. Average that time of year is low 50s
Member Since: February 1, 2012 Posts: 19 Comments: 2068
Quoting 664. Tazmanian:




Lol to late for that we will get march needed relief next fall and winter from are strong el Nino
maybe not taz the march of systems is yet to arrive
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 176 Comments: 55517
Good morning to all..GFS 240 hours. Sry for the double image, this is better.

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Quoting 658. washingtonian115:
Don't worry Taz.Relief is on the way.




Lol to late for that we will get march needed relief next fall and winter from are strong el Nino
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Quoting 655. thelmores:
Well..... I see the global warming talk seems to have slowed, and the focus now is back on climate change.....

I find the term "climate change" so laughable..... since the climate has be changing on the earth for Billions of years.....

I wonder why Greenland was named Greenland?

I don't like the term either, because, yes, the climate does tend to change over time. AGW is extremely rapid climate change. It is not normal for the climate to change as much has it has over the last few generations. The climate change you're referring to happens over geological timescales.
If you'd like to know more about the name of the country Greenland (which has nothing to do with the climate) you can read up here: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1965/sho uldnt-greenland-be-known-as-iceland-and-vice-versa
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Now, this is interesting.....


Computer simulations by Professor Mark Z. Jacobson have shown that offshore wind farms with thousands of wind turbines could have sapped the power of three real-life hurricanes, significantly decreasing their winds and accompanying storm surge, and possibly preventing billions of dollars in damages...

...So he went about developing the model further and simulating what might happen if a hurricane encountered an enormous wind farm stretching many miles offshore and along the coast. Amazingly, he found that the wind turbines could disrupt a hurricane enough to reduce peak wind speeds by up to 92 mph and decrease storm surge by up to 79 percent.


full article.


5 words.... This guy is a genius.
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661. NCstu
yea I would say unequivically that we are headed for another ice age. The Milankovitch cylce is about to switch, the maunder minimum is about to happen, and ummm... volcanoes I guess. Global cooling is right around the corner. Plus, carbon emissions don't account for nearly as much warming as people think. All those papers are the result of grant grabbing faux scientists who make their living off of fixing the data into something alarming. That's about as much BS as I can fit into one paragraph.
Member Since: August 7, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 432
Quoting 655. thelmores:
Well..... I see the global warming talk seems to have slowed, and the focus now is back on climate change.....

I find the term "climate change" so laughable..... since the climate has be changing on the earth for Billions of years.....

I wonder why Greenland was named Greenland?

Oh well..... when your heating bill and and electric bill doubles or more..... all in the name of climate change,guess we will see how excited you are to spread the word then.....


Well, that's the worst attempt at trolling I've seen for a while.
Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2992
Good morning guys. A good crew is on this am. Picked up .91" since yesterday in Longwood.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 7 Comments: 4339
Quoting 656. Tazmanian:
Don't worry Taz.Relief is on the way.
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AGW, sadly, is the wrong ball to be keeping our eye on. We are running out of cheap fossil fuels (specifically cheap abundant crude oil, our most flexible energy source, the one our society needs most to keep going). In order to merely maintain our flatlining production of crude oil we are having to take advantage of unconventional methods like tar sands, deep offshore, and shale oil, which are very expensive, even considering that crude oil is over $100 a barrel. Despite record investments by oil companies, very little increase in production has been seen and major oil companies are starting to cutback there investment in production. this is not good. There are many good articles and much good discussion at the blog Our Finite World by Gail Tverberg.
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Well..... I see the global warming talk seems to have slowed, and the focus now is back on climate change.....

I find the term "climate change" so laughable..... since the climate has be changing on the earth for Billions of years.....

I wonder why Greenland was named Greenland?

Oh well..... when your heating bill and and electric bill doubles or more..... all in the name of climate change,guess we will see how excited you are to spread the word then.....
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Jack frost has been nipping at my nose all winter!.
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WWW.GLOBALINCIDENTMAP.COM

Type: EarthQuake
3 hours ago
Magnitude: 3.7
DateTime: 2014-02-27 04:14:02
Region: Oklahoma
Depth: 5
Source: CSEM-EMSC Feed
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41582
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41582
funny thing is..IF this were in the ice age..what they are experiencing now in the northern states would be summer?..imagine if you will..what a Winter would be like?..wow..no thank you
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41582
Quoting 649. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
I am going outside to have a chat with old man winter
and while I am at it I will give jack frost a kick in the snowballs for ya all
LOL TY keeper,i think everyone wants this winter to end already..
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41582
I am going outside to have a chat with old man winter
and while I am at it I will give jack frost a kick in the snowballs for ya all
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 176 Comments: 55517
my 7-day is starting to pick up on it wenesday..
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41582
Quoting 640. ncstorm:
I really cant do another ice storm..

The east coast has been in a wet pattern since April of last year.The only dry month I can remember was September.But what ever drought we had was taken away in October thanks to Karen and some other storm that merge and spun off the coast for 4 days (Karen really is a lost girl).We did have a dry week or two in November..but that was it!.
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here's the 00Z GFS.....a rainmaker for sure IF it verifies..models more that 2 days out often wrong..
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41582
well GFS has changed already,now the march7th storm goes into south florida..heavy rains...
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41582
Good morning from Central OK,

Here things are good, a bit chilly again - but not altogether too bad, yet.

Weekend promises to be interesting as the series of storms dumping rain on CA promises to bring some "wintery" weather to our area. All-in-all, looking as if the worst will pass just to the north of me. The moisture is much needed for some sections of the state as dry weather has persisted.

As for the GS cookie update: the little one looks as if she surpass the 500 box count! Woo hoo for her! Although the weather this weekend will impact prime cookie-selling time. :(

Hope all is well with you. Cheers.
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Quoting 614. StormTrackerScott:
Hi ncstorm, yes the GFS and Euro have it as well. Looks like we really need to follow these trends on the nodels.



wave after wave of low pressures riding up the east coast..in that instance it looks like its heading out to sea and only affects Florida and Georgia..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16208
march 7th...
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41582
we along the western gulf coast need to keep a very good eye on this possible system the next week..already gfs is calling for 40-49mph winds,lets see if this verifies..rain waise its going to be a Huge system ..again if this verifies march 7th on..
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41582
I really cant do another ice storm..

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16208
At 5:30 am, temperature at my house in Truckee, CA is 32 F.
Snowing, with about one inch on the ground, after raining well into the wee hours of the morning. Probably several more inches in the high country - my house sits at 5900 ft.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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