Minnesota’s climate is famous for its ups, downs, and extremes, but is also experiencing changes unlike anything we have observed previously. This presentation breaks down observed trends in the regional climate to its essential points, emphasizing the rapid rate of winter warming, ongoing changes in the timing and intensity of precipitation, and how these changes differ from other parts of the continent and world. We will distinguish the region’s long-term and/or significant climate trends from typical variability, and will describe how these two interconnected components of our climate can lead to unprecedented conditions. We will also discuss future climate scenarios, and the implications for actual climatic conditions here in Minnesota.
Bio: Dr. Kenneth (“Kenny”) Blumenfeld is a climate scientist who grew up in Minnesota with a love for storms, blizzards, and being outside. He works for the Minnesota State Climatology Office (Department of Natural Resources), where he provides the state’s agencies, communities, and citizens with up-to-date scientific information about Minnesota’s changing and variable climate. Kenny enjoys telling and hearing weather stories, and often does it long after the workday is done.
Photo credit: Kathryn Haugen/2020 Photo Contest