Arthur's Revenge?

Historically we are now entering the hottest week of the year. MSP average highs plateau at 84F between July 6-21. We SHOULD be in the 90s. I SHOULD be babbling about dew points, heat indices and hot weather safety tips.

Instead I'm checking the furnace, digging my favorite Twins sweatshirt out of cold storage and debating whether including Monday's forecast wind chill is a smart career move. Answer: probably not. A wind chill in July? That's a new one.

One theory that could have merit: Hurricane Arthur may have dislodged a chunk of unusually chilly air over James Bay as it howled into Canada's Maritimes last week. Much like powering up a snow blower in your attic throws debris into the family room, intense counterclockwise winds howling into eastern Canada disrupted an already fickle & unstable jet stream, now bulging southward with chilly implications.

We cool off today; tomorrow will feel like any other October 7; a wind chill in the 50s. I'm so sorry. Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game should be the chilliest on record. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Vikings or Gophers take the field.

Our weather has become a Meteorological Bizarro World.

What's next? I wish I knew.

500 mb Winds: Typical for Early October. Jet stream winds buckle, plunging record chill unusually far south into the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes. While the western USA and Canada fries with highs well up into the 90s, even some 100s. Yes, this is unusual for mid-July, historically the warmest period of the entire year. 84-hour NAM 500 mb winds and vorticity: NOAA and HAMweather.

A New Level of Weather Extremes. Temperature anomalies Monday evening may be 20-24F cooler than average from the Twin Cities to Des Moines and Madison, while readings 30-35F warmer than average bak much of western Canada, sparking a rash of records. I can't remember (ever) seeing these kinds of extremes in July, at least going back to the early 70s. Map: Weather Bell.

Tuesday Morning: Furnace-Worthy. Where are those sweatshirts I stashed into cold storage back in early May? Get ready for a fleeting time warp, Tuesday wake-up temperatures ranging from mid 40s to low 50s. I wouldn't be shocked to hear of a few frost reports near Embarrass and Tower by Wednesday morning. Map: Weather Bell.

This Too Shall Pass. Extended weather data from the ECMWF model shows showers Monday with a chill factor (again, my apologies) dipping into the low and mid 50s. We'll set a record Monday for the coldest July 14 daytime high, dating back to 1871. Game time temperatures will be in the low to mid 60s for Tuesday evening's MLB All-Star Game, probably the coolest All-Star baseball game ever played. Dew point drop into the 40s, typical for late September and early October, before summer returns by the end of the week. Meteogram: Weatherspark.

Sandbags on 'Tonka. Saturday evening I noticed a number of homes still have sandbags on their shoreline, something I've never (ever) seen before. The water level has come down a bit, maybe an inch or two, but at the rate we're going no-wake restrictions may not come off Lake Minnetonka until late July or even early August.

Four Weather Events in History Mistaken For The Apocalypse. One of them, according to this interesting story at, was 1816, the "Year Without a Summer". Here's an excerpt: "...As the weeks continued, the icy winter spell would linger for the remainder of the summer, causing an immense burden on farmers across the country. "On July 4, water froze in cisterns and snow fell again, with Independence Day celebrants moving inside churches where hearth fires warmed things a mite," Virginia resident Pharaoh Chesney is quoted by the Smithsonian Magazine. "Thomas Jefferson, having retired to Monticello after completing his second term as President, had such a poor corn crop that year that he applied for a $1,000 loan," the article reported..."

NASA's TRMM Satellite Maps Tropical Storm Neoguri's Soggy Path Through Japan. Satellite-derived rainfall estimates - pretty cool, and surprisingly accurate. Here's an excerpt from Science Codex: "...Southern Japan received a soaking from Tropical Storm Neoguri on July 9 and 10 and data from the TRMM satellite was used to create a map that shows how much rain fell in Kyushu. Kyushu is the southwestern most and third largest island of Japan. The island is mountainous and is home to Mount Aso. Heavy rainfall from Neoguri fell on land that was already soaked in the past week from a slow moving frontal system..."

Image credit above: "This rainfall analysis using TRMM satellite data showed that rainfall totals of over 490 mm (19.3 inches) fell in western Kyushi over the period from July 3-10, 2014.The red line indicates Tropical Storm Neoguri's track." (Photo Credit: Text : Hal Pierce / Rob GutroImage : SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce).

So What Do You Know About Hurricanes? Metro Jacksonville has a terrific infographic with a few surprises: "Considering it's hurricane season, Metro Jacksonville shares a Global Data Vault infographic featuring data provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)."

NASA Spots a Super Typhoon. National Geographic has a post about "Neoguri", captured by the ISS, The International Space Station: "Watch out, Japan!" said European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst after taking this July 7 picture of Supertyphoon Neoguri from the International Space Station. The supertyphoon lashed Okinawa this week, and at the time the photo was taken, was producing 150-mile-an-hour (240-kilometer-an-hour) winds..."

Photograph by Alexander Gerst, ESA/NASA.

Upgraded HWRF and GFDL Hurricane Models Excelled During Hurricane Arthur. Weather Underground has a good summary of how NOAA's enhanced, recently upgraded high-resolution models just performed; here's an excerpt: "The landfall last week of Hurricane Arthur, the first named tropical system in the Atlantic for 2014, brought a quick start to this year’s hurricane season. Perhaps lost in the predictions and preparations for Arthur’s landfall was the fact that there have been major upgrades this year to the two operational National Weather Service (NWS) regional hurricane prediction systems, the GFDL and HWRF models. Here we will provide background on each of those models and highlight the forecast improvements achieved from recent upgrades to both models..."

Image credit above: "Inner core structure of Hurricane Katrina of 2005 simulated from the GFDL hurricane forecast model. Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) are denoted by the color shading, with the darker colors of blue showing the cooling of the SSTs due to the hurricane winds mixing the cooler waters from below to the surface."

Study Provides New Approach to Forecast Hurricane Intensity. Predicting hurricane intensity is much more challenging than forecasting track; here's an excerpt of a story focused on new research from The University of Miami: "New research from University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science suggests that physical conditions at the air-sea interface, where the ocean and atmosphere meet, is a key component to improve forecast models. The study offers a new method to aid in storm intensity prediction of hurricanes. “The general assumption has been that the large density difference between the ocean and atmosphere makes that interface too stable to effect storm intensity,” said Brian Haus, UM Rosenstiel School professor of ocean sciences and co-author of the study. “In this study we show that a type of instability may help explain rapid intensification of some tropical storms...”

Data and Analytics Try To Limit Hurricane Damage. Dell Computer has an interesting guest post about the power of analytics and models to get a better handle on which communities in Hurricane Alley are most vulnerable, and how much cash to set aside for a rainy (windy) day. Here's a clip: "...With every new hurricane that makes landfall in the U.S., advanced catastrophe modeling and analytics allow property-casualty carriers to more accurately price a homeowners insurance policy. Models also help insurance carriers calculate the amount of capital they need to set aside in reserve to pay claims and how many catastrophe insurance policies insurers can afford to reinsure. Catastrophe models help insurance companies plan ahead and serve as a tool that contributes to the industry allocating capital more efficiently, Larsen says..." (File image: EPA).

Graphic: Wildfires Raging in North America. Canada's National Post has a terrific infographic and explainer, pinpointing all the wildfires across North America. Smoke from the 100+ blazes burning in Canada's Northwest Territories has been sweeping southward into the USA in recent weeks. Here's a clip: "Hundreds of wildfires are raging in British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec and the Northwest Territories while the U.S. is battling large blazes in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, California, Colorado, Florida, Washington state and New Mexico. Canada has already had more than 2,000 wildfires this year. And this week saw U.S. President Barack Obama ask Congress for $615-million to help fight the fires this season. So where are the hotspots in North America and how do those fires start and spread?"

What Is Causing The Kidney Stone Epidemic? Staying hydrated in the (increasing) heat is everything; here's an excerpt from "Pediatric urologist Gregory Tasian and his team analyzed over 60,000 medical records of people with kidney stones in major cities throughout the U.S. What they found was that people were more likely to develop the painful calcium deposits (pictured above) in their kidneys when average temperatures rose over 50 degrees. In fact, many cases of kidney stones cropped up roughly three days after a hot day. Now that climate change means that some regions of the globe are heating up, it's likely that kidney stones will become even more common..."

Car Insurance Companies Want to Track Your Every Move - And You're Going to Let Them. If you want the lowest possible rate you give up a little more of your privacy (and soul) right? Here's the intro to a story at Quartz: "The proposition is simple: Install a device in your car and allow your insurance company to monitor your driving—how fast you drive, how hard you brake, how sharply you corner, and so on. In exchange, it will give you a discount on your premiums.  That might sound alarming, but it shouldn’t be surprising. Considering internet users already happily trade data on every online move they make in exchange for free services, the only surprise is tracking-based insurance isn’t already more widespread..."

Say It Isn't So - World's Largest Mall Slated for Dubai. It should be noted that Dubai already has 52 malls, each with it's own magazine. Because they do BIG THINGS in Dubai. Maybe our Mall of America can expand into MSP International to keep us in the hunt. Gizmag has more details: "...Dubai Holding hasn't revealed firm dates nor a budget for the project yet, but we do know some basic information. It comprises 743,224 sq m (8 million sq ft) of floorspace, which makes it easily the largest mall in the world, a shade larger than China's Forbidden City, and about four times the size of France's Louvre Palace..."

Every State in the USA, Ranked by it's Food/Drink. Minnesota ranked 23rd out of 50 states. Really? Here's an excerpt of a sure-to-be-controversial story at Thrillist: "...Surly’s was at the forefront of a damn fine brewing scene, but really this ranking is about the glorious innovation that is the Juicy Lucy. Any chump can melt cheese ON a burger, but it takes vision to put it INSIDE the burger. For such achievements you get a pass on that suspect-looking hot dish stuff..."

Amazon Asks FAA For Permission to Fly Drones. Some-day delivery within 30 minutes? Like a vending machine in the sky. The Associated Press has the story; here's a clip: "...In a letter to the FAA dated Wednesday, Amazon said it is developing aerial vehicles as part of Amazon Prime Air. The aircraft can travel over 50 miles per hour and carry loads of up to 5 pounds. About 86 percent of Amazon's deliveries are 5 pounds or less, the company said. "We believe customers will love it, and we are committed to making Prime Air available to customers worldwide as soon as we are permitted to do so," Amazon said in the letter..." (Image credit:

80 F. high in the Twin Cities yesterday.

84 F. average high on July 12.

90 F. high on July 12, 2013.

.06" rain fell at MSP International Airport Saturday.

Big Variations in Saturday Rainfall. Although only .06" fell at Richfield, St. Paul reported half an inch, with .81" at Eau Claire and .83" rain reported at Eden Prairie.

July 12 in Minnesota Weather History. Source: MPX National Weather Service:

1933: Odd heat wave affects Grand Marais with a high of 90. Most of Minnesota was in the 100's.

1890: Tornado hits Lake Gervais north of St. Paul. People rushed from St. Paul to help victims and look for souvenirs. One reporter noted... "nearly everyone who returned from the disaster last evening came laden with momentoes (sic) denoting the cyclone's fury."

TODAY: Partly sunny, comfortable breeze. Dew point: 55. High: 75

SUNDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy, chilly for mid-July. Low: 55

MONDAY: Record chill. Raw, windy & showery. High: 62 (record cold max temperature: 68F in 1884)

TUESDAY: Football weather with more clouds than sun. Take a sweatshirt for the All-Star Game. Wake-up: 52. High: 68

WEDNESDAY: Sunny. Less October. More September. Wake-up: 50. High: 73

THURSDAY: Sunny and milder, still comfortable. Dew point: 49. Wake-up: 58. High: 79

FRIDAY: Feels like July again. Warm sunshine. Wake-up: 61. High: 83

SATURDAY: Warm sun, nighttime T-storms. Wake-up: 66. High: 84

Climate Stories....

Adapting to Climate Change: Let Us Consider the Ways. Breaking news: we're already being forced to adapt to a warmer, more volatile climate. ScienceNews has the Op-Ed; here's an excerpt: "...The title of the report, “Climate Change Adaptation,” sounded familiar. That’s because it was very similar to the working title of this issue’s cover story. And although our article deals with the feathered and flowered worlds of plants, animals and other creatures — and not military infrastructure — biologists are similarly concerned with how natural populations might respond to the consequences of climate change. The feature “Quick change artists” tells an important story about some of the ways that vulnerable organisms might adapt to a changing world..." (Image: Shutterstock).

North Carolina's Outer Banks "Ban" Rising Seas. Many people in Europe think we've lost our minds on this side of the pond, at least when it comes to science. Here's a clip from a story at a radio station in the U.K. that caught my eye: "...An overwhelming majority of scientists predict sea levels will rise by at least a metre up and down the coast of the US by 2100.   One of them is Professor Orrin Pilkey, Professor Emeritus of Earth and Ocean Sciences, at Duke University in North Carolina. He says the people of the Outer Banks and their politicians are living in denial. It is impossible, he says, for politicians simply to legislate that a scientific prediction should be ignored. "All up and down the East Coast, Gulf Coast and West Coast it's all the same and still they stick their heads in the sands," he says..."

No Magic Bullet for Climate Change, Swiss Scientist Says. No silver bullet, but plenty of silver buckshot. The Boston Globe has the article; here's an excerpt: "...The lesson, says Lino Guzzella, president-elect of the renowned Swiss university known as ETH Zurich, is we cannot expect technological discoveries like those conceived by Einstein to save us from the pain of climate change. “We cannot sit and fold our hands waiting for a new technology. If we have to wait until the next Einstein comes, it won’t do,” says Guzzella. “The problems we are talking about need to be tackled with the existing tools we have...”

"But There's Been No Warming Since 1998!" Global surface temperatures have plateaued, but the oceans continue to warm, in fact more than 90% of all warming is going into the world's oceans. Here's an excerpt from The Union of Concerned Scientists: "...Focusing on relatively short time periods to claim global warming is not happening is a misleading way to use statistics. These false claims have become so persistent that late last year the Associated Press asked a team of independent statisticians to review global temperature data without revealing to them what the data represented.[5] All of the statisticians concluded that the data showed an unmistakable upward trend over time..."

In Las Vegas Climate Change Deniers Regroup, Vow to Keep Doubt Alive. Bloomberg Businessweek has the story; here's the introduction: "Earlier this week, the Heartland Institute convened its Ninth International Climate Change Conference in Las Vegas. A nonprofit, free-market think tank in Chicago with a $6 million annual budget, Heartland has been hosting conferences since 2008 for those dubious of the science confirming human-caused climate change. It is called the ICCC for short, the acronym an intentional echo of the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an international body that has published the most comprehensive studies of global warming..."

Image credit above: Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times via Redux. "The Greener Horizon booth at the 2009 International Conference on Climate Change."

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