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Are Minnesota Winters Too Risky for Small Children?

Take a bow. Whether you realize it or not YOU are a weather warrior. Most Super Bowl fans were exuberant about the warm welcome they got in Minnesota, but a few poor souls were traumatized by our single digit highs.

A story at The Chicago Tribune included this nugget: “The cold was just brutal,” said Philadelphia Eagles fan Terry Laufer of Carrollton, Virginia. His wife, Rhonda, said: “I would never be able to bring children here. It would be too risky.”

Too risky? Huh. The last time I checked, small children were running around outside at recess. Which reminds me of a salient quote: there is no such thing as bad weather just inappropriate clothing choices.

Flurries taper this morning as skies clear. The next Alberta Clipper brushes southern Minnesota with powder during the PM hours on Thursday. Any sloppy storms should stay south of Minnesota this weekend, and 20s and 30s will feel good next week.

Spring is NOT right around the corner. A negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation should mean another numbing shot in about 2 weeks. Not as brutal as 4 winters ago but cold enough!

Super Bowl of Cold. His wife, Rhonda, said: “I would never be able to bring children here. It would be too risky.” The pair said they’d return with their grandkids in September, when it’s warmer. “You could have had the Arctic Circle and it would have been a great experience,” said Jody Haggerty of Milford, Pennsylvania. “Minneapolis made it work. . It’s not about the location. It’s about the experience, the atmosphere and the game.”

Healthcast: Higher Risk of Heart Failure in Cold Weather. The primary results of the study “observed an increased risk of hospitalizations and deaths for [heart failure] with a decrease in the average temperature of the 3 and 7 days before the event. An increase in atmospheric pressure in the previous 7 days was also associated with a higher risk of having a [heart failure] negative outcome.” In addition, a separate study found that heart defibrillator patients were 26 percent more likely to receive an unnecessary shock to the heart during extremely cold days (14 degrees F or colder). Exposing the body to cold air makes the heart work harder to keep the body at a stable, warm temperature. The constant need to keep the body warm tends to increase the heart rate and blood pressure. These changes can easily create added stress on the heart. Cold air may also cause changes in the blood, increase the risk of blood clots, and lead to a heart attack or stroke. Hospitals tend to see a slight increase in the number of heart attack patients during the winter months.”

Mellowing a Bit Next Week. Cold enough for you? Thought so. Slight relief arrives next week as the mercury rebounds into the 20s; even some 30s late next week according to ECMWF. Cue the marching band. Graphic: WeatherBell.

Cold Bias Into Late February. If the 2 week GFS forecast for 500mb (18,000 foot) winds does in fact verify, some very cold air will be lurking just north of Minnesota, coming south with annoying regularity. I’m not convinced we’ll still be polar in late February, but I seriously doubt spring is right around the corner, either.

Negative Phase of the Arctic Oscillation (AO). If the models are correct (we’ll see) a sharply negative AO after February 15 16 should mean another slap of arctic air. Probably not as cold as early January, thanks to a higher sun angle, but another run of subzero nights seems like by the third week of February. More details on positive/negative phases of the AO from Wikipedia: “The AO is believed by climatologists to be causally related to, and thus partially predictive of, weather patterns in locations many thousands of miles away, including many of the major population centers of Europe and North America. NASA climatologist Dr. James E. Hansen explained the mechanism by which the AO affects weather at points so distant from the Arctic, as follows: The degree to which Arctic air penetrates into middle latitudes is related to the AO index, which is defined by surface atmospheric pressure patterns. When the AO index is positive, surface pressure is low in the polar region. This helps the middle latitude jet stream to blow strongly and consistently from west to east, thus keeping cold Arctic air locked in the polar region. When the AO index is negative, there tends to be high pressure in the polar region, weaker zonal winds, and greater movement of frigid polar air into middle latitudes.” [3]

The Winter Olympics of Cold? Yes, it’s going to be cold. South Korea has already seen lows as cold as 9 degrees have likened the chill in South Korea to February weather in Des Moines, Iowa, or Albany, New York 1,200 Winter Olympic security staff in South Korea have been quarantined out of fears of an outbreak of the highly contagious norovirus, which has symptoms including vomiting and stomach cramps, Reuters reported.”

Latest Forecast. Check out the AerisWeather page, which shows highs mostly in the 20s and 30s into next week, nights chilly with single digit lows. This is for Seoul Pyeongchang will be a few degrees colder.

Coldest Super Bowl on Record. Thanks to Dr. 18 of 51 Super Bowls have been played indoors, and Super Bowl LII may notch its number in the record books. By the way, the coldest non dome Super Bowl was played in 1972. The maximum temperature was 43 degrees at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans as the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins did battle.”

Public Domain Source of Road Conditions. If you’re interested in latest road conditions check out the SSEC site,
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courtesy of the University of Wisconsin.

Praedictix Briefing: Issued Tuesday night, February 6th, 2018:

Ice Storm Warnings are in effect for northern Arkansas and southeastern Missouri through 6 AM Wednesday. Up to a third of an inch of ice will be possible.

Widespread freezing rain will impact the Ozarks, the Ohio Valley and extend into the Mid Atlantic. Some locations are expected to receive over a quarter inch of freezing rain, especially along the Ohio Valley and Central Appalachia.

Winter Storm Warnings are in effect in the interior northeast as heavy snow is projected for the area Wednesday. Snowfall rates up to 2 an hour will be possible with widespread amounts between 5 and 10 inches.

Freezing Rain Threat. A southern track storm with generous amounts of moisture will interact with cold Canadian air. In many cases, temperature profiles are not cold enough for all snow and show a significant sleet/freezing potential. Those along the Ohio Valley and Central Appalachians have the greatest risk of seeing up to a quarter inch of ice. Not only will dangerous travel conditions unfold overnight, but power outages will also be a possibility. A light coating of ice will also be possible into the Northeast. In combination with snow accumulations, this will be a high impact event for road travel in the affected areas.

Heavy Snow Expected. While some snow is forecast to fall north of the storm’s frontal boundaries, the heaviest snow is projected for the interior Northeast with total accumulations likely ranging between 5 and 10 inches. Snow rates up to 2 inches an hour will be possible, reducing visibility. Weather conditions will rapidly deteriorate in the Northeast throughout the day Wednesday. Rain is mainly expected along the I 95 corridor to NYC, which cuts down on the snow amounts for the larger metropolises. metro area Wednesday morning.

Precipitation Timing. Conditions are deteriorating tonight for the Ozarks and the Ohio Valley. By early Wednesday morning, ice will have been accumulating to up to a tenth or more for part of the Ohio Valley impacting cities like Louisville and Cincinnati. The storm will continue to track into the northeast. Heavy snow will begin to push into the interior Northeast by early Wednesday and will continue to spread throughout the region as the day progresses. Precipitation will push out of the region by Wednesday night as the storm accelerates into the Canadian maritimes.

Summary. A high impact winter weather event is unfolding tonight with significant icing projected from the Ozarks, the Ohio Valley and Central Appalachia, where up to a quarter inch of ice will be possible. Not only will travel become dangerous, power outages will also be a possibility. Snow will also accumulate for these locations, but Midwestern snow totals are modest. The interior Northeast is where we expect more impressive totals. Heavy snow will spread throughout the Northeast dumping up to 10 inches of snow. Major Northeast cities such as NYC and DC look to be spared of the worse, though a wintry mix in the morning and a light coating of snow will be possible. Here’s an excerpt from Weather Underground: “Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes usually take a back seat in winter in most of the United States, but it has been more than a decade since we’ve seen such a lack of severe weather, even in the Deep South during the winter months, according to data from NOAA. Patrick Marsh, warning coordination meteorologist at NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center. severe weather in any December through January period in 14 years, when December 2003 through January 2004 featured a paltry 96 reports.”

IMPACTS: Headlines and links courtesy of Climate Nexus: “Floods are getting worse, and 2,500 chemical sites lie in the water path (New York Times $), California bakes as winter temperatures set new records across the state (LA Times $), after deadly mudslides in California, residents are trying to plan for next time (NPR), the hurricane hit Puerto Rico paradise of hotels and resorts hard and workers are facing an uncertain future (Buzzfeed), how Florida plans to fix hurricane evacuation routes.” (Miami Herald).

Despite Polar Progress, Ozone Layer Continues to Deteriorate. Here’s an excerpt from : “Pointing to the recovery of the ozone layer as humanity one great triumph of environmental remediation may have been premature, a new report warns. A team led by Joanna Haigh of the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London, UK, has discovered that while ozone density is indeed improving at the poles, it is not doing so at lower latitudes, roughly between 60 degrees north and 60 degrees south. That encompasses everywhere on the planet between the Shetland Islands off the north coast of Scotland to south of Tierra del Fuego at the foot of South America. The researchers found that although the decrease in ozone concentration is not as great as that seen at the poles before the banning of ozone depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in 1987, the effects may be worse, because ultraviolet radiation is stronger in the region, and it contains most of the world population.”

Image credit: “A colored satellite map of atmospheric ozone in the southern hemisphere between mid August and early October 1998. An ozone “hole” is seen over Antarctica.” NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.

Hot Tea Linked to Esophageal Cancer in Smokers, Drinkers. Here’s an excerpt from If you smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol daily, you may want to consider letting your tea cool before you enjoy it. Drinking tea while it’s too hot could increase your risk of esophageal cancer, a new study suggests. In the study, published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, drinking “hot” or “burning hot” tea was associated with a two to fivefold increase in esophageal cancer, but only in people who also smoked or drank alcohol. Esophageal cancer is the eighth most common cancer in the world and is often fatal, killing approximately 400,000 people every year, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. It is usually caused by repeated injury to the esophagus due to smoke, alcohol,
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acid reflux and maybe hot liquids