Dear Paul

Expert answers to your most dire questions

Q: I can’t seem to find a date in this town. Where’s the surplus of Norwegian bachelor farmers I’ve heard so much about?
The men are out there, but they’re in super-secret-stealth-mode, loitering on or near lakes, streams, and rivers—fishing, hunting, relaxing, connecting with Mother Nature. Put shoe shopping on hold and feign interest in guy stuff, at least until you have their attention. Embrace the great outdoors! Buy a Rapala cap and some camouflage clothing, browse the nearest Gander Mountain store, peruse the merchandise at REI. Buy or borrow a fishing rod and a few fancy lures. Take the time to learn how to catch, clean, and batter-fry walleye. Then buy the NFL Sunday Ticket option and invite the guys in your office over for football and walleye some Sunday afternoon. You’ll have men lining up to get your phone number.

Q: Will we ever again experience a blizzard like that of Halloween 1991?
La Niña (cooling) or El Niño (warming) of the Pacific Ocean doesn’t necessarily affect severity of storms, as much as temperature trends downwind. However, a warming atmosphere does hold more water vapor, loading the dice and increasing the potential for “extreme events,” such as more floods (and paradoxically, drought). The odds of another Halloween Superstorm with nearly 30 inches of snow in three days, at least in our lifetime, are slim to nil. The 1991 snow blitz may have been a 1-in-500-year snow event, and I’d rather not go through that again.

Q: Paul, I’m having trouble deciding what to wear for Halloween. Can you recommend a good costume?
I’m partial to a bold, tastefully tacky costume comprised of warrior garb, helmet, and swords. Check out Chris Farley’s hilarious impersonation of the all-knowing weather god El Niño on to get a better idea of what is possible. Make your eyes really big, rub your belly, and let out an occasional growl. You’ll get all the candy you want. Trust me. I’m a weatherman.

Paul Douglas is a meteorologist, inventor, and businessman living in the Twin Cities. Got a tough question? Send it to