A couple of months ago, based on a brewing El Nino and a fickle jet stream: still sluggish, chilly - snaking unusually far south after a pioneer winter - I went out on a limb and predicted a good chance of a cooler, wetter summer. Little has happened since April to change my mind.
Between no-wake zones imposed on overflowing lakes, cool and soggy weekends and a mosquito population so big you can hear them giggling in the background, many of us are feeling a little cheated right about now.
Our pact with nature has been violated. Endure a Minnesota winter - your reward will be a magical summer!
When summers skew cool and wet, when the kids dig out sweatshirts in June, stoic Minnesotans quickly lose their sense of humor.
At the risk of putting lipstick on a pig the drought is history - we'll pay less for A/C this summer, with fewer tornadoes & less controversy over the dew point. Why am I not feeling any better?
Expect a rare ration of mild sun today; 80F Wednesday before storms bubble up and a Thursday cool front kicks up a few whitecaps. A perfect Friday gives rise way to scattered T-storms over the weekend. Models hint at another stalled front and more downpours early next week.
Excuse me, I have to get back to building my ark.
1.38" of additional rain by Thursday morning (00z NAM model).
2.84" rain predicted over the next 16 days at KMSP (GFS model).
All or Nothing. The drought deepens from California into much of the southwest USA, while torrential rains continue over the eastern half of the nation into Tuesday of next week. Northern and central Minnesota may pick up 2-4" rain over the next week, more downpours over northern New England, Florida and the Lower Mississippi Valley. Map: NOAA.
Stormy Wrinkle. The jet stream is still sagging unusually far south for mid-June, sparking wave after wave of heavy showers and T-storms east of the Rockies. The next chance of heavy showers and T-storms across Minnesota comes late Wednesday and Wednesday night, a cooler, drier breeze kicking in on Thursday. NOAA NAM Future Radar courtesy of HAMweather.
On The Cool Side of Average. Depending on cloud cover the mercury may hit 80F Wednesday before showers and T-storms arrive late in the day; 70s the rule into the weekend; a shot at 80s early next week. The best chance of (heavy) rain: Wednesday night, late Saturday into Sunday, again Tuesday of next week. Graph: Weatherspark.
Skewing Wet. No kidding. But this graph, courtesy of NOAA, confirms our deepest suspicions. It shows MSP precipitation compared to the record wettest (1965 with 20.12" as of June 9) and the record driest (1987 with only 3.45" precipitation, to date). The brown line marks normal precipitation as of June 9 (10.74") At the rate we're going we may be approaching record territory for YTD precipitation totals by late June.
Nothing Says Summer Like June Icebergs. Less than 2 weeks before the Summer Solstice and the Wisconsin DNR is still tracking icebergs on Lake Superior? Here's an excerpt from a story at Wisconsin Outdoor Fun: "...But look at the photos from Warden Amie. You must admit an iceberg in June is not what you'd expect. "We were on today’s commercial net check," Warden Amie says. "And there was this big iceberg - along with other ice packs and bergs floating around backside of Madeline Island area east towards Saxon Harbor." So, Warden Amie motored in for a closer look and to document it with photographs of the winter that just ... cannot ... let ... go..."
Photo credit above: "Wardens swing in to get a closer look at an iceberg on Lake Superior in June 2014." Wisconsin DNR photo.
Bad News for "Lilapsophobiacs": Peak Tornado Season is Here. Nationwide the frequency of tornadoes peaks during the first half of June, according to NOAA SPC data. Here's a good recap of tornadoes with some good links and resources from Decoded Science: "Lilapsophobia: Fear of tornadoes or hurricanes. The fear is justified, especially for tornadoes, in which winds can exceed three hundred miles per hour, destroying everything in their paths..."
Graphic credit above: "SPC Science Support Branch Scientist, Dr. Patrick Marsh derived the probability of at least one tornado anywhere in the U.S. based on U.S. tornado reports since 1980."
More Proof That Computers Are Taking Over. A computer program so good it fooled experts into thinking it was human? Here's an explanation at Gizmag: "It might be time to start being nicer to your laptop, because a supercomputer program has passed the Turing Test for the first time in history. On Saturday, at the Turing Test 2014, the chatbot Eugene Goostman convinced the judges 33 percent of the time that it was a human being and not a computer. The event was organized by the University of Reading’s School of Systems Engineering and held on Saturday at the Royal Society in London..."
"No, A Computer Did Not Just Pass the Turning Test". Buzzfeed posts a rebuttal to the story above here.
Why Are Some Depressed, Others Resilient? Scientists Home In One Part of the Brain. The Washington Post has the story - here's a clip: "Many of us find ourselves swimming along in the tranquil sea of life when suddenly a crisis hits — a death in the family, the loss of a job, a bad breakup. Some power through and find calm waters again, while others drown in depression. Scientists continue to search for the underlying genes and neurobiology that dictate our reactions to stress. Now, a study using mice has found a switch-like mechanism between resilience and defeat in an area of the brain that plays an important role in regulating emotions and has been linked with mood and anxiety disorders..."
You're Putting On Your Bug Spray All Wrong. This is timely and relevant, considering you can hear the mosquitoes and ticks giggling in the background. Here's an excerpt from Huffington Post: "...When it comes to bug spray, one size certainly doesn't fit all. The repellent you choose should depend on the type of insect you're trying to ward off. The CDC suggests using repellents with picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus -- like Cutter Advanced, Repel, Off! and SkinSmart -- to prevent mosquito bites. But if you're out to fight both ticks and mosquitos, reach for a spray with 20 percent or more DEET -- think Off!, Cutter and Ultrathon. "Permethrin-containing products can also be used directly on clothing but should not be applied to skin," Dr. Bobbi Pritt, M.D., director of the Clinical Parasitology Laboratory at the Mayo Clinic, tells The Huffington Post..."
Back In The Golden Ages, Under The Golden Arches. Check out the old price list from MacDonald's, courtesy of History In Pictures. How old is this menu? Early or mid 60s?
70 F. high on Monday in the Twin Cities.
77 F. average high on June 9.
69 F. high on June 9, 2013.
Trace of rain fell at MSP International Airport yesterday.
June 9 in Minnesota Weather History. Source: Twin Cities National Weather Service:
2002: Extensive flash flood began across northwest Minnesota. 14.55 inches would fall over the next 48 hours near Lake of the Woods. Floodwaters covered the city of Roseau. The Roseau River looked like a large lake from a satellite view.
1913: Strange mirage in Duluth. Ships appeared to be floating in the air over Lake Superior.
TODAY: Lukewarm sun, very nice. Winds: SE 8. High: 76
TUESDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and comfortable. Low: 59
WEDNESDAY: Warm sun, late-day and nighttime T-storms likely. High: 81
THURSDAY: Wet start. Clearing skies, windy & less humid. Wake-up: 62. High: 71
FRIDAY: Blue sky much of the day. Dew point: 47. Wake-up: 55. High: 76
SATURDAY: Some sun, few T-storms likely. Wake-up: 60. High: near 80
SUNDAY: Lingering showers, few T-storms. Wake-up: 64. High: 77
MONDAY: Some sun, still warm. Wake-up: 58. High: near 80
How Big A Change Is That? Cartoon courtesy of xkcd.com.
Dust In The Wind Could Speed Greenland's Ice Melt. That dust darkens the snow and ice, changing the albedo, accelerating melting. Here's an excerpt from Climate Central: "Despite it’s name, Greenland is predominantly white, as snow and ice cover the majority of the country. New research indicates that Greenland’s main color may be starting to fade and in fact darken, though, thanks to a widespread increase of dust across the ice sheets. That darkening could speed up surface melt, and with it, sea level rise around the globe. More than three-quarters of Greenland is covered by a massive ice sheet that’s up to 2 miles thick in spots. It contained 684,000 cubic miles of ice, which if it all melted, would raise global sea levels by up to 24 feet..."
Photo credit above: "Meltwater channels run along the ice in Greenland. Soot, dust and microbes that live in the ice all contribute to its darkening." Credit: Henry Patton/Flickr.
Military Bases Brace For Slow-Motion War With Climate Change. The biggest concern: rising seas impacting Navy ports around the world. Here's an excerpt from NBC News: "...Naval Station Norfolk, located in Virginia near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, has long been known as the world’s largest naval complex. But more recently it has become the poster child for a relatively new risk facing the U.S. military: how to protect bases around the country from rising seas, more severe storms, wildfires, droughts and other impacts tied to a shifting climate. That realization, Pentagon spokesman Mark Wright tells NBC News, came after a still-classified, 2008 National Intelligence Council report found that more than 30 military sites already face elevated risk -- and that’s just from rising sea levels..."
Photo credit above: "MC 1st Class Christopher B. Stoltz, U.S. Navy via Reuters file.
As A State Wrangles, Its Coast Is Swept Out To Sea. A combination of factors: rising seas, land subsidence and erosion triggered by cutting channels for oil and gas drilling, has accelerated coastal erosion across Louisiana - now culminating in a lawsuit. Here's a clip from National Journal: "...It's not an abstract problem. The state has lost some 1,300 miles of marshes and barrier islands since the 1930s, and it's only getting worse. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that 75 square kilometers are being lost annually, and the wetlands could be gone in 200 years. And as they disappear, Louisiana is losing the buffer that shields its communities from storm surges and hurricanes. And so to hear Barry tell it, his board is seeking accountability by making an industry pick up the tab for the damage it has caused. The suit's opponents—a powerful bloc that starts with the oil industry and goes all the way up to Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal—tell a different story, one of a rogue board allied with trial lawyers that is pursuing court-sanctioned extortion..."
Photo credit above: "A lawsuit alleges that the canals dredged by oil and gas companies have damaged Louisiana's eroding coastline." (Jonathan Henderson/Courtesy of the Gulf Restoration Network).
Interests, Ideology and Climate. Yes, for many climate change appears to be a proxy for something near and dear to their hearts: truly free markets, no matter what the consequences. Here's a clip of a Paul Krugman Op-Ed at The New York Times: "...Well, think about global warming from the point of view of someone who grew up taking Ayn Rand seriously, believing that the untrammeled pursuit of self-interest is always good and that government is always the problem, never the solution. Along come some scientists declaring that unrestricted pursuit of self-interest will destroy the world, and that government intervention is the only answer. It doesn’t matter how market-friendly you make the proposed intervention; this is a direct challenge to the libertarian worldview. And the natural reaction is denial — angry denial. Read or watch any extended debate over climate policy and you’ll be struck by the venom, the sheer rage, of the denialists..."