Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Record High

Here in the Twin Cities of St. Paul-Minneapolis today, we experienced a record high of 58 degrees.

I spent part of the afternoon with my friend Raul on the shores of Bde Maka Ska (White Earth Lake), more generally known as Lake Calhourn. And as you can see from the picture at right, we were even on the lake at one point!

Notes the Star Tribune about today's record-breaking temperatures:

The Twin Cities welcomed fewer layers and more highs on the warmest February 27 since 1896, according to the National Weather Service in Chanhassen.

Temperatures in Minneapolis and St. Paul reached 58 degrees on Saturday afternoon, breaking the daily record hit in the late 19th century. Other record-breaking areas included St. Cloud, which exceeded its daily and monthly record of 58 degrees, and Eau Claire, Wis., surpassing its daily record of 60 degrees.

“It’s a combination of nice air with the southwesterly winds throughout our area,” said meteorologist Andy Lahr. Sunny skies and a ground largely absent of snow also contributed to the day’s balminess, Lahr said.

The unseasonably warm day is concurrent with an uncommonly mild winter, Lahr said, and also exhibits the El Nino pattern that’s propelled warmer temperatures across North America.

The record-breaking day fits into a trend of climbing temperatures over the last few decades, Lahr said.

Of course, the crucial piece missing from this story is the role human activity has played – and continues to play – in driving up global temperatures . . . and the obvious downsides of this "inconvenient truth" for all life on the planet. Accordingly, I think it's irresponsible for forecasters and others in the media not to look at weather through a climate change lens.

So while on one level I enjoyed today's warm weather, I can't deny that on a deeper level I found it to be troubling.


2/28/16 Update: A big changes in the weather today after yesterday's record breaking temperatures, with much of Minnesota experiencing temperatures in the mid-30s and what's called a "wintry mix" of rain/sleet/snow showers.

The photo at left and those below were taken at around noon today near my home in south Minneapolis, close to Minnehaha Creek.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Winter Storm
Winter Light
Waiting in Repose for Spring's Awakening Kiss
The End of a Very Long Winter (2013)
Bde Maka Ska Skies
Something to Think About – October 13, 2015
Quote of the Day – September 19, 2014
Superstorm Sandy: A "Wake-Up Call" on Climate Change
Quote of the Day – May 31, 2011

Related Off-site Links and Updates:
Sea Levels Rising at Fastest Rate in 2,800 Years Due to Global Warming, Studies Show – Associated Press via The Guardian (February 22, 2016).
The Many Terrifying Ways Global Warming Will Soon Be Ravaging California – Bianca Barragan (Curbed, August 26, 2015).
Fossil Fuel Use Must Fall Twice as Fast as Thought to Contain Global Warming Says Study – Tim Radford (The Guardian, February 25, 2016).
The Paris Climate Deal Won’t Even Dent Global Warming – Bjorn Lomborg (New York Post, February 22, 2016).
Across Canada and World, Climate Movement Prepares for Leap into 2016 – Deirdre Fulton (Common Dreams, February 28, 2016).
A New Wave of Climate Insurgents Defines Itself as Law-enforcers – Jeremy Brecher (Waging Nonviolence, February 29, 2016).
"Global Warming is Now in Overdrive": We Just Hit a Terrible Climate Milestone – Melissa Cronin (Grist, March 4, 2016).
America's Year Without a Winter: The 2015-2016 Season Was the Warmest on Record – Jason Samenow (The Washington Post, March 8, 2016).
February Breaks Global Temperature Records by "Shocking" Amount – Damian Carrington and Michael Slezak (The Guardian, March 14, 2016).

Images: Michael Bayly and Raul Fernandez.

No comments: