Paul Douglas is a nationally respected meteorologist with 33 years of television and radio experience. A serial entrepreneur, Douglas is Senior Meteorologist for WeatherNation TV, a new, national 24/7 weather channel with studios in Denver and Minneapolis. Founder of Media Logic Group, Douglas and a team of meteorologists provide weather services for media at Broadcast Weather, and high-tech alerting and briefing services for companies via Alerts Broadcaster. His speaking engagements take him around the Midwest with a message of continuous experimentation and reinvention, no matter what business you’re in. He is the public face of “SAVE”, Suicide Awareness, Voices of Education, based in Bloomington. | Send Paul a question.

Spring Showers - Holiday Warming Trend - First 80 since September 30?

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: May 18, 2014 - 11:06 PM


The forecast calls for lukewarm smiles into Memorial Day. A lake-worthy holiday weekend is brewing, but pack your fur-lined Speedo. That water is COLD! After yesterday's dip my voice is now a full octave higher.

Putting a positive spin on our tenuous spring is the meteorological equivalent of putting lipstick on a pig. But there have been a few benefits: fewer severe storms - a delayed allergy and bug season. A temptation to want to talk about anything BUT the weather.

The atmosphere has an uncanny ability to balance things out over time, evening out the pain & pleasure. With a strong El Nino brewing I'm betting on an unusually mild autumn. I also suspect next winter won't look anything like what we just muddled through.

A surge of warmth sparks showers and possible thunder today. Have a Plan B for the PM hours. The rest of the week looks dry, a slight cool-down midweek giving way to upper 70s Saturday & Sunday; probably the nicest days of the holiday weekend. T-storms may rumble into your favorite lake resort on Memorial Day.

No severe storms brewing, no sizzling heat or drippy dew points. Drought has faded - ample soil moisture statewide. Things are looking up. About time huh?

* vaguely troubling photo credit above: jacket2.org.


And Suddenly It's May. After a few failed starts it would appear that spring (verging on summer) is here. Today will be a bit cooler with a stiff southeast wind and a few showers, but 80F is possible Tuesday, again next weekend. A holiday weekend at that. Dry weather is likely from Tuesday into Sunday, a few T-storms may drift in on Memorial Day.


Monday Showers - Hints of June Tuesday. The last 80F reading in the Twin Cities was September 30. We're very overdue - this time people may not be quite so quick to complain about the heat and humidity. Graphic: Twin Cities National Weather Service.


Tuesday, 4 PM. It's time for New England and parts of the west to feel the chill, as a ridge of high pressure pushes north across the Plains. Highs tomorrow top 100F from southern Kansas into central Texas; 80F readings possible as far north as the Twin Cities and Chicago. NAM guidance: NOAA and HAMweather.


84 Hour Future Radar. NOAA's 12km NAM model shows a few showers and possible thunder pushing across the Upper Midwest into the Great Lakes today and early Tuesday, then drier weather returning for the rest of the week. A stalled storm east of the Canadian Maritimes rotates a cold rain into northern New England, a few showers kick up some dust near Lake Tahoe and Reno, but it won't be the soaking California needs.


Most Destructive Flood In Over 120 Years Ravages Serbia, Power Plant In Jeopardy. 3 months worth of rain fell in less than 3 days last week as a storm stalled over the Balkans, creating widespread and historic flooding. Here's an excerpt from inquisitr.com: "Thousands of people were forced to abandon their homes Saturday as the Sava River broke through defenses and began to flood Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia. As the flood worsened, waters rising up to the second floor of houses, people who had not yet been evacuated had to seek safety on their roofs. Many of the homes in the affected area of Serbia that were not destroyed are without electricity and drinking water..."

* The BBC has a video update here.

Thousands of people were forced to abandon their homes Saturday as the Sava River broke through defenses and began to flood Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia. As the flood worsened, waters rising up to the second floor of houses, people who had not yet been evacuated had to seek safety on their roofs. Many of the homes in the affected area of Serbia that were not destroyed are without electricity and drinking water.

 

Rain has been falling in Serbia, and its surrounding countries, for the past 4 days.


Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/1256369/most-destructive-flood-in-over-120-years-ravages-serbia-power-plant-in-jeopardy/#CTauhRMA1aemICIc.99

San Diego Wildfires Leave Haunting, Burned-Out Landscapes. Here's an excerpt of a photo essay from TIME.com: "At least twelve separate fires raged through 20,000 acres of land in San Diego County, Calif. this week, leaving scorched hillsides and piles of ashes where houses once stood. Most blazes were under control Saturday, with at least one man charged with arson for starting a fire."

Photo credit above: "A longtime exposure shows smolderings remains of overnight fires on the hillsides of San Marcos, San Diego county, Calif., May 16, 2014." (Stuart Palley—EPA) .


Parched: A New Dust Bowl Forms in the Heartland. Could we have another Dust Bowl similar to the extended ecological catastrophe of the 30s? Probably not, but a regional disaster is already evolving, especially Oklahoma and Texas. Here's an excerpt from National Geographic: "...It is just as dry now as it was then, maybe even drier," Fowler says. "There are going to be a lot of people out here going broke." The climatologists who monitor the prairie states say he is right. Four years into a mean, hot drought that shows no sign of relenting, a new Dust Bowl is indeed engulfing the same region that was the geographic heart of the original. The undulating frontier where Kansas, Colorado, and the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma converge is as dry as toast. The National Weather Service, measuring rain over 42 months, reports that parts of all five states have had less rain than what fell during a similar period in the 1930s..."

Photo credit: "A farmer walks in a dust storm on drought-stricken lands near Felt, Oklahoma, on August 1, 2013." Photograph by Ed Kashi, VII.


Moore Tornado Victims Rebuild With New Rules. Yes, strengthening building codes in the heart of Tornado Alley sounds like a very good idea; here's an excerpt of a story and video at NBC 5 in Dallas: "...Burkhart's home was one of nearly 1,200 that were damaged or destroyed. The storm generated enough debris to cover the basketball court at the American Airlines Center in Dallas in a stack nearly two miles high. Parts of Moore now look like a new housing development in North Texas. But with the new homes, come new rules. In April, Moore became the first city in the country to require all new homes to stand up to 130 mph winds with stronger frames, additional bracing and sturdier garage doors..."


Moore Tornado Changed Reality. Many tornado survivors report symptoms very similar to PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the same thing returning war veterans often experience. Here's an excerpt from enidnews.com: "...The giving of strangers has been as overwhelming as the storm,” Amber said. “Our every need has been met.” One stranger found a locket that Nathan had given Amber. Another person, who lives in Tulsa, found a sonogram picture of Zoe and Sophie in his backyard and was able to return it to the Kriesels. The aftermath of the tornado has been somewhat difficult for Zoe, Sophie and Kaley. Loud noises like trucks, wind and thunderstorms scare them. Amber described one instance during a trip to MidFirst Bank, when it began raining suddenly and her daughters began to cry and become emotionally upset..."

Photo credit above: "This combination of aerial photos shows the path of destruction on May 21, 2013, the day after a massive tornado hit Moore, Okla., left, and the same view on Thursday, May 15, 2014, right." (AP Photo).


Shelter From The Storm: Cannon Blasts Test Walls for Tornado Safe Rooms. I had no idea this was going on in Madison, Wisconsin. Here's an excerpt from a story at The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: "Shooting two-by-fours out of a cannon seems like a waste of perfectly good wood, but a lot can be learned from splinters that might one day save people from a tornado's deadly debris. And to frightened folks freaking out in the middle of a tornado, it doesn't matter what researchers do to ensure their safety, they just want to survive. In a large building at the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, researchers are trying to simulate the effects of debris whipped by twisters. To do that, they are re-creating 250-mph winds that suck up everything in a tornado's path and fling it in all directions..."

Photo credit above: Gary Porter. "A two-by-four is shot out of a cannon to simulate debris being whipped about by 250-mph winds, during testing at Forest Products Laboratory in Madison."


72 F. high on Sunday.

70 F. average high May 18.

81 F. high on May 18, 2013.


TODAY: Showers likely, possible thunder. Winds: SE 20. High: 65

MONDAY NIGHT: Showers linger, clap of thunder. Low: 57

TUESDAY: Clearing skies, hints of June. High: 79

WEDNESDAY: Plenty of sun, a bit cooler. Wake-up: 54. High: 69

THURSDAY: A mild blue sky. Very nice. Wake-up: 48. High: 71

FRIDAY: Warm sunshine. Get out of town. Wake-up: 52. High: 75

SATURDAY: Partly sunny. Go jump in a lake. Wake-up: 54. High: 78

SUNDAY: Warm sun. Feels like summer! Wake-up: 56. High: near 80


Climate Stories...

Greenland Will Be Far Greater Contributor To Sea Rise Than Expected. Remember, we don't know what we don't know. When looking at predicted rates of ice melt the computer models only go so far. Here's a clip from phys.org: "Greenland's icy reaches are far more vulnerable to warm ocean waters from climate change than had been thought, according to new research by UC Irvine and NASA glaciologists. The work, published in Nature Geoscience, shows previously uncharted deep valleys stretching for dozens of miles under the Greenland Ice Sheet..."

Photo credit above: "Penny Ice Cap outlet glacier on Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada. Penny Ice Cap was previously surveyed from the air by the Airborne Topographic Mapper and CReSIS radar instrument teams in 1995, 2000 and 2005." Credit: Michael Studinger/ NASA.

Penny Ice Cap outlet glacier on Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada. Penny Ice Cap was previously surveyed from the air by the Airborne Topographic Mapper and CReSIS radar instrument teams in 1995, 2000 and 2005. Credit: Michael Studinger/NASA

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-05-greenland-greater-contributor-sea.html#jCp
Penny Ice Cap outlet glacier on Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada. Penny Ice Cap was previously surveyed from the air by the Airborne Topographic Mapper and CReSIS radar instrument teams in 1995, 2000 and 2005. Credit: Michael Studinger/NASA

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-05-greenland-greater-contributor-sea.html#jCp

Climate Change Will Force Us To Abandon Coastal Cities. We Better Start Preparing Right Now. Alarmist hype? I sure hope so. The future island of Miami? These scenarios may take many decades, probably centuries, but a significant amount of sea level rise is already in the pipeline. Heres' an excerpt from New Republic: "...Barring some extraordinary advances in technology that we currently do not foresee,” Robert Hartwig, the president of the Insurance Information Institute, said, “you are left with the options of retreating from coastal areas not only in the United States, but around the world, or building fortifications against rising sea levels that would make the projects that we now see in places like the Netherlands look like child’s play...”


Greenland's icy reaches are far more vulnerable to warm ocean waters from climate change than had been thought, according to new research by UC Irvine and NASA glaciologists. The work, published today in Nature Geoscience, shows previously uncharted deep valleys stretching for dozens of miles under the Greenland Ice Sheet.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-05-greenland-greater-contributor-sea.html#jCp
Greenland's icy reaches are far more vulnerable to warm ocean waters from climate change than had been thought, according to new research by UC Irvine and NASA glaciologists. The work, published today in Nature Geoscience, shows previously uncharted deep valleys stretching for dozens of miles under the Greenland Ice Sheet.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-05-greenland-greater-contributor-sea.html#jCp

Climate Change Delaying Emergence of Ohio Butterflies. Here's the introduction to a story at The Columbus Dispatch: "Increased temperatures from climate change and growing urbanization are slowing the development of some native Ohio butterflies, a new study warns. This could threaten the number of eastern swallowtails and seven other Ohio natives while helping to spread invasive butterfly species, said Sarah Diamond, an assistant professor of biology at Case Western Reserve University and lead author of the study published online in the journal Ecology..."

Photo credit above: "Brooke LaValley | DISPATCH PHOTOS. "Carrie Morrow, a Metro Parks employee, uses her binoculars to spot butterflies during a walk at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park in western Franklin County."


Climate Change Lawsuits Filed Against Some 200 U.S. Communities. This is the legal tip of the iceberg. Yes, there will be plenty of billable hours for aggressive lawyers uncovering liability related to more extreme waether events sparked by a changing, morphing, more volatile climate in the years to come. Here's an excerpt from The Christian Science Monitor: "Climate change lawsuits: Farmers Insurance filed class action lawsuit last month against nearly 200 communities in the Chicago area for failing to prepare for flooding. The suits argue towns should have known climate change would produce more flooding..."

Photo credit above: Chicago Tribune, which has a slightly different perspective on the suit here.


An Illustrated Guide To Our Collapsing Antarctic Glaciers. Quartz has a very good, visual explanation of what's really going on - here's an excerpt: "...But scientists think that rising sea temperatures are now eroding the ice shelf faster than the snow can rebuild it. Intensifying southern sea wind forces—likely a product of climate change—also exacerbate ice erosion (pdf, p.1,141). The lighter the ice shelf becomes, the more of it starts floating, exposing more ice to water. That process pushes the “grounding line”—the point where the ice separates from land and begins to float—further inland..."

Screenshot from presentation: "Recent Changes in Greenland & Antarctica," Joughin & Poinar.


Inaction on Climate Change Risks Global Chaos. Here's a clip from a story at Forbes that made me do a double-take: "...What a growing chorus of top generals and admirals and senior business executives is saying is this: The proliferation of renewable energy sources, the spread of energy efficiency and conservation measures, and the reduction of reliance on fossil fuel imports from volatile (or hostile) states aren’t just feel-good green policies; they’re critical strategic responses to the harsh realities of climate change and growing resource conflicts.  The world leaders who would resist a price on carbon include Vladimir Putin, whose expansionist tendencies and contempt for the censure of Western democracies is based on his country’s energy might..."


Global Warming Behind Loss in Area of Glaciers in Himalayas. NDTV.com has the story; here's the introduction: "The area coverage of the glaciers in the Nepal Himalayas has decreased nearly 12 times due to global warming, which raising serious concerns for the environmental balance of the region, a study released in Nepal said today. The area coverage has been reduced to 3,902 km in 2010 from 51,687 km in 1980 due to shrinkage and fragmentation as a result of global warming. However, the number of glaciers in the Nepal Himalayas has increased to 3,808 in 2010 from 3,430 glaciers in 1980, the report said..."

Photo credit above: "In this Oct. 27, 2011 file photo, the last light of the day sets on Mount Everest as it rises behind Mount Nuptse as seen from Tengboche, in the Himalaya's Khumbu region, Nepal." AP Photo.


World's Top Companies Already Feeling Impacts of Climate Change. Bloomberg Businessweek has the story; here's a clip: "Drought, hurricanes and rising seas are becoming more significant threats to the world’s biggest companies and the risk is accelerating, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project. Companies planning for various threats related to climate change say they’re grappling now with about 45 percent of the potential risks, or will be within five years, according to a report issued today by the London-based non-profit group. That’s up from 2011, when members of the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index expected 26 percent of the potential risks to affect them within five years..." (File photo: Wikipedia).


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