Minnesota being Minnesota

One Wednesday this week we had a rare occurrence for Minnesota in October, 70 degree temps. For one day the temps spiked and we ended up with a humid, soupy mess. I went out for a run over lunch and was utterly miserable from the humidity. Wednesday evening I had my traditional Beer and Bikes ride, and as I started out the front started to roll in, that would signal a major change in the weather.

As I started to ride I got caught in a major downpour of rain. Because of the heat of the day, the rain was actually very, very refreshing. I kept it slow on the slick roads, but made it to the meet up spot just fine. It was actually a very enjoyable ride, similar to a nice run in a summer rain. When we headed out from the meetup spot it became clear that the evening was about to get interesting. The wind out of the NW was picking up tremendously.

As we rode south, I realized I was in a much higher gear than normal. I was cruising along with ease, and I knew that spelled trouble for the ride home. As we crossed the 10th Street bridge over the Mississippi River we were almost blown off of our bikes from the intense cross wind. We eventually made it to our destination and settled in and tried to recover.

About 8pm I started my ride back. My route takes me a different direction, and so once we were back across the 10th Street bridge I turned left on 5th and began the slog home. At this point the winds were in the 20-30mph range, and the National Weather Service even recorded a high gust of 61mph. All of this was coming right in to my face as I tried to ride up hill. I ended up putting the front gear into the “granny gear” just to give my legs some respite.

Eventually, I made it home safe and tried to warm up a bit in the shower before heading to bed. With the wind came cooler temps, and by the time I was home I was happy that I packed a nice jacket and gloves. Then on Thursday morning I checked the temps before heading out on my run… 36 degrees. The temps had swing 43(!) degrees from the day before. That’s an insane temperature swing, but it’s kinda what happens in Minnesota this time of year.

Needless to say, I was happy with the cooler temps, because the air was drier, and there was much less wind. My run this morning was comfortable and cool, which is more akin to what we expect this time of year. It’s just Minnesota being Minnesota.

The Great Minnesota Cooldown

Monday morning when I woke up it was 50 degrees. On December 4th. In Minnesota.

This is simply unacceptable, and thankfully the weather gods have heard our pleas. Overnight, into Tuesday morning, it is predicted to drop over 20 degrees in temperature, drop an inch of snow, and stay frigid cold all week long. This is the Minnesota December I’m used to!

I’m getting really annoyed with climate change and what it’s doing to my home. Snow on Christmas is going to get rarer and rarer. If we’re lucky we’ll get some nice -10 degree days to kill parasites that were never meant to survive the winter, but it’s not like it was years ago.

The worst part about it all is that our best hope is simply to stall climate change. There’s no way that Minnesota will be going back to what it used to be. At least not in my lifetime, or the lifetimes of my children and grandchildren. We’ve made some massive changes to our world, and now we’re paying the price.

Wild crazy storms

As I sit in my office I hear a crack of thunder outside. The sky is dark, and with the tinted windows of my office building, it feels like it is night. This is the second storm we’ve had in a couple of days. A storm on Sunday left us with piles of hail that required snow plows in some cities. I got caught driving in it, while my wife was running and trying to find shelter, but that’s a story for another day.

Maybe it’s my liberal brain wanting to see what it wants to see, but it feels like our weather has become more unstable in the past few years. Storms feel more violent, and temperatures swing wildly. It makes me wonder where we’re going to end up when all of this settles down. Minnesota could be a very different place, weather wise, by the time my grandkids inherit it.

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Holy cow the wind!

The last couple of days have been tremendously windy here in the Twin Cities. We’ve seen gusts up to 45-50 mph at times and everything is blowing around. It’s been a loud enough wind that it’s actually awoken me in the middle of the night on multiple occasions. Not from any debris hitting the house, but just from the tremendous howl.

This morning I decided to throw caution to the wind (ha!) and go for a 3 mile run. Needless to say, when I was going with the wind I felt great. Turning into the wind was a whole different story. It’s just cold enough to have a wind chill, and the front of my legs were pretty raw when I got home. I also had to rescue a garbage can as it was blowing towards the street, and saw a couple of trees that had uprooted into someone’s yard.

Thankfully, things seem to have calmed down tonight. This winter has been one of the oddest winters in memory here in Minnesota. With the warm temps, lack of snow (but plenty of ice), and now tremendous wind storms, I can’t help but wonder how much more violent and unpredictable our climate is going to become in future years. Climate change is real, and I believe we’re seeing the beginning effects with our more chaotic weather patterns. Even career meteorologists have been stumped by some of the recent storm tracks and weather patterns.

Buckle up everyone. I think we’re just starting to get interesting.

Crappy Winter

This winter started out so great. It was warm all the way through November, and then we descended into a harsh cooldown in December. We managed a nice big snowstorm that ensured we had a beautiful white Christmas.

Then everything went to crap. We’ve had TWO different weekends of rain. Because it’s winter that meant the temps hovered around 32 degrees during the day and overnight everything turned to ice. Crappy, stupid ice.

I attempted to go for a run this afternoon after work. On the drive home the freeways were nice and dry. However, all the side streets in the neighborhood were complete garbage. I was supposed to run 7 today, but decided to attempt 3. I managed 2.1 miles before calling it quits. I couldn’t do more than a shuffle on half the roads because of the ice.

I’ve managed to get over snow and cold, mostly because I learned last year how to have fun outside in the winter. I actually really like running in the cold, since in many ways it’s more comfortable than running in heat. But ice? No thank you. It means that not only is it cold and hard to drive around, but you can’t run, ski, or anything else fun.

My wife lived in Ohio for many years and said ice is what they used to get around there. She hated ice in Ohio, and she hates it here. You just can’t enjoy being outside when you’re slipping all around.

Come quickly snowstorm! You’re our only hope!!