Big thanks to Cycle Twin Cities blog for the heads up about the new MORC Weather Blog! I really like the video they posted (check out the CTC link) where Kristin Clark introduces herself.
MORC has launched a great new addition to their website earlier this month which will come in very handy to cyclists, the MORC Weather Blog. The blog is written by mountain biker, meteorologist Kristin Clark who can be seen on WeatherNationTV , a 24/7 national weather channel based in Minneapolis which launched recently.
Subscribe to the MORC Weather Blog and follow all of their trail conditions updates on Twitter at @trailconditions to stay informed and avoid getting rained out or finding out the trail is closed when you get there. You can also follow Kristin on Twitter at @KclarkWNTV. Keep up the great work Kristin.
You can also read and post about trail conditions on MORC’s Trail Conditions Forum.
I am sharing some favorite weather sources that are not cycling-specific, and some Minnesota weather history below the break.
I enjoy MPR's meteorological blog, Updraft. Paul Huttner is the lead meteorologist, but other staff also post lots of radar and model images that I find really interesting. I read this blog for interpretations of local weather patterns. In the event of a weather event like an impending snow storm, they will often make several posts a day as conditions change.
This is not MN-specific, but check out this Wind Map! Be sure to zoom in and out. Notice where the prevailing winds originate from, and where the wind patterns interact with mountain ranges and (although not pictured) bodies of water.
For general weather forecasting and radar images, I rely on NOAA (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration)/ National Weather Service. Weather data is collected from various local sources to create forecasting models. Get your 5-day forecast (note the wind speed/ direction, dewpoint data, and hourly forecast), view the radar, or my favorite feature, This Day in Weather History.
Did you know that Minnesota has one of the longest near-continuous weather records in the country? Our weather records have a really fascinating history. In January of 1820 the military began recording meteorological observations at the newly constructed Fort Snelling. This was really important information for the military because there were not many white people living in the interior yet. They wanted to expand, but had no idea what the climate was like. Having nearly continuous records, although the accuracy of the records are probably not perfect due to janky equipment, is a wonderful resource when we create predictive models or look back to find trends on a local level. Not only did they record quantitative data, but some of the most valuable data comes from the notes and narrative that was recorded on regular basis.
In the last decade there have been several individuals and groups that have poured over these early records. The records have been analyzed, digitized and summarized for all of your weather-nerd needs. Here are some resources you might like to poke through.
Minnesota Climatology Working Group (State Climatology Office, DNR Division of Ecological and Water Resources, University of Minnesota) has compiled a great resource titled, "Fort Snelling Climate Summaries by Year."
Charles Fisk, an academic and member of the American Meteorological Society published, "The First Fifty Years of Recorded Weather History in Minnesota (1820-1869) – A Year-by-Year Narrative Account."
This 25-page PDF with lots of photos is a great primer about the "History of Weather Observations: Fort Snelling, Minnesota, 1819-1892."
I know it's a big joke that Minnesotans are obsessed with weather, and I definitely fall into that category! I love this big, complex system in which I exist.