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Shocker: Better Than Average 4th of July Weekend Weather On The Way

Thanksgiving in July

"Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better" wrote Albert Camus.

For meteorologists the 4th of July, America's star-spangled birthday bash, is a weather-accident-waiting-to-happen. Many years it rains, some years it storms; according to Dr. Mark Seeley data since 1891 suggests that the 4th of July is Minnesota's wettest holiday.

People have long memories when holiday forecasts go south. I'mstill reminded of an especially egregious (borderline wretched) forecast I made in 1978, while still in college. I predicted drizzle for the 4th. It rained (hard) for 8 hours. Picnics and fireworkswere washed out, inundated. I think there were reports of flooding. The very definition of a busted forecast, and on a day when EVERYONE wanted to be outside. I'm still reminded of that bust when I see old weather-buddies in Pennsylvania. Life is a cruel teacher.

With luck I won't be experiencing flashbacks this weekend. Models keep us dry into most of Sunday; highs in the 80s, a dash of humidity to make the lake more inviting, a southerly breeze at 10-15 to lure sailors. As good as it gets in early July - or any month.

We are lucky. The western USA is enduring fires and record heat. So is Europe. Paris hit 103.5F on Wednesday.

Long-range guidance shows us finally heating up the latter half of July. Remember the 90s?


July 4th: Historically Minnesota's Wettest Holiday. Here's an excerpt from the Minnesota Climatology Working Group: "Looking back at records dating to 1873 for the Twin Cities, the average high and average low for Independence Day are 82.4 degrees F and average low of 62.6, respectively. 2012 came in as the warmest July 4th on record at 101 degrees, this was a part of an extremely warm early July. 1967 recorded the lowest high temperature at 58 degrees, which was the last time the high temperature has dipped below 70 degrees. Although recent July 4th's tend to have warm and mostly dry, Mark Seely mentions on the June 28th 2013 WeatherTalk that it is the rainiest holiday in Minnesota looking back to 1891..."


A Few Minnesota Towns Experienced A Top-10 Wettest June. Here's an excerpt from Mark Seeley's latest installment of Minnesota WeatherTalk: "...On a statewide basis June rainfall was near normal as well, but within the observational network were some individual daily record values.  Some of these included 2.16" at Litchfield on the 4th, 2.45" at Theilman and 4.50" at Melrose on the 7th, and on the 22nd Lamberton reported a record 2.59", Austin a record 2.41", and Albert Lea a record 3.30".
As far as total June rainfall, Melrose (7.99"), Albert Lea (9.09"), and Austin (7.52") reported values that were among the 10 wettest Junes historically
..."


Smoke and Thunder. That hazy, smoggy-looking L.A. sky out there is the result of hundreds of fires stretching across central and western Canada into Alaska, prevailing winds aloft pushing that plume of smoke into the USA. A few T-storms bubbled up in the Red River Valley late Thursday and an isolated T-shower or two can't be ruled out over central and northern Minnesota and Wisconsin later today. Visible imagery from Thursday: NOAA and AerisWeather.

A Well-Timed Cool Front. GFS guidance shows the bulk of any showers and T-storms coming Sunday night into Monday morning, and after cooling off a bit next week the model pushes a hotter, stickier front into the Upper Midwest by the end of next week. We may yet get a taste of the heatwave gripping much of the western USA. Model guidance: NOAA.

Easing Into July. Considering the next 2-3 weeks are, historically, the hottest time of the entire year we should be happy/relieved to see 70s for highs much of next week. 80s are likely today into Sunday; Sunday night's frontal passage sparks thunderstorms, followed by a cooler, drier, more comfortable northwest breeze Monday into the middle of next week. Source: Weatherspark.

Vague, Early Hints Of A Hotter Front. Yesterday 500 mb upper air forecasts from the GFS model were hinting at a closed low near Hudson Bay keeping the core of the jet stream unusually far south for mid-July. Today's solution shows the jet finally lifting north with weak ridging pushing across the Plains. We're due for a real taste of summer and it may be brewing for the latter half of July.


Maximum Estimated Hail Size from Monday's Hailstorms. Thanks to AerisWeather meteorologist D.J. Kayser for tracking the most extreme hailers on Monday; 2"+ hail (close to golfball size and large enough to cause considerable damage) from Plymouth into Maple Grove, Fridley to Forest Lake and much of the north metro.


Soaring Temps In Pacific Northwest Shattered Records. Here's the intro to a Climate Central summary: "Scorching temperatures above 110°F are more often associated with the stark landscapes of places like Death Valley than the cooler reaches of the Pacific Northwest. But a suped-up heat wave has left parts of Washington feeling much more like the desert Southwest and has shattered longstanding high temperature records in many spots. The searing heat even broke the all-time state temperature record for the month of June, with two locations — Chief Joseph Dam and Walla Walla — both hitting 113°F on Sunday, when the event peaked, according to the National Weather Service office in Spokane..."

Image credit above: "Swaths of red mark where temperatures soared in the Pacific Northwest during an unusually intense early summer heat wave." Credit: earth.nullschool.net.


Record Heat Around The U.S, World. Here's an excerpt of a good summary of recent heat records and the trends from Climate Nexus: "...A study published in Nature in June found that the weather patterns that cause heat waves like the one in the Northwest have become more common in recent years, consistent with a line of research connecting the global warming-induced melting of the Arctic with unusual mid-latitude weather patterns, the result ofchanges in the jet stream. The relationship between extreme heat and climate change is well established:

  • The IPCC states that the frequency and duration of heat waves worldwide have increased since 1950.
  • Over the past 30 years, the geographic area experiencing extreme summer heat has increased by more than ten-fold.
  • Climate change made Russia’s 2010 heat wave five times more likely to occur.
  • Record breaking high temperatures have outnumbered lows in the US by two to one. (National Climate Assessment, Ch. 2 figure 2.7, shown below)..."

* Graphic credit above: AerisWeather.


Heat Stroke in Motor Vehicles. Here's a portion of a research paper abstract focused on heat stroke and vehicles, specifically as it relates to children. Every year there are tragic stories of kids left in hot cars "only for a few minutes", but long enough to take their lives. Here's an excerpt from the AMS, the American Meteorological Society: "Since 1998 over 605 children in the United States have died from hyperthermia (i.e., heat-stroke) in motor vehicles. When these incidents occur, the broadcast meteorologist, often in his role as station scientist, will be asked questions like “how hot might it have gotten inside that vehicle”, “how frequently do these events occur around here”, “when was the last we had such an incident” or “what can be done to prevent these tragedies?” This paper will provide the necessary background information to answer those queries, and even more importantly information which can be used proactively to prevent these types of deaths. Heatstroke occurs when the body temperature reaches approximately 104 degrees F, often followed by death if the body temperatures rises to 107 degrees or greater. The problem is exacerbated when children are involved because their body temperature rises at a rate 3 to 5 times faster than adult's..." (Image credit above: Huntsville, Alabama office of the National Weather Service).


Unprecedented June Heat On Four Continents; Wimbledon Roasts in Record Heat. 98.1F in London yesterday? Jeff Masters at Weather Underground takes a look at scorching heat, now proving deadly - here's an excerpt: "...We've already seen two of the planet's top ten deadliest heat waves in history over the past two months; the Pakistani government announced on Wednesday that the death toll from the brutal June heat wave in Pakistan's largest city, Karachi, had hit 1,250. According to statistics from EM-DAT, the International Disaster Database, this makes the 2015 heat wave in Pakistan the 8th deadliest in world history. The heat wave that hit India in May, claiming approximately 2,500 lives, ranks as the 5th deadliest..."


The West Is Literally On Fire And The Impacts Could Be Widespread. Here's a snippet from an article at ThinkProgress: "...The biggest threat from wildfire smoke comes from the fine particles present in the smoke, which can enter into the lungs through the eyes, mouth, and nose, or aggravate preexisting health conditions like lung or heart disease. In 2007, during a period of sustained wildfires near San Diego, six area hospitals saw a 25 percent increase in respiratory syndrome diagnosis, and a 50 percent increase in asthma diagnoses. As climate change accelerates snowpack loss across the West and drives up temperatures, wildfire seasons are expected to increase in length, with wildfires becoming more numerous and potentially more intense. That means more days of the year where communities could be exposed to lowered air quality due to wildfire smoke..."

Photo credit above: "In this Sunday, June 28, 2015 photo provided by The Wenatchee World, a Chelan County Sheriff's deputy races to check that all residents have left their home as flames approach houses at Quail Hollow Lane in Wenatchee, Wash. A wildfire fueled by high temperatures and strong winds roared into the central Washington neighborhood, destroying properties and forcing residents of several hundred homes to flee, authorities said Monday." (Don Seabrook/The Wenatchee World via AP)


Scorched Earth Is Big Concern In Alaska Wildfires. The rate of burn for northern fires is unprecedented in the last 5,000 years, according to a post at Climate Central. Here's an excerpt: "...For all the drama of trees lighting up like matchsticks, it’s what lurks below the forest that could be a major wildcard for future warming. Large reserves of peat make up a large portion of the soil, swamps and bogs in the northern reaches of the globe. Flannigan refers to it as “legacy carbon,” an accumulation of centuries of plant matter that sequesters vast amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. Despite covering slightly less area than tropical forests, boreal forest soil stores three times as much carbon as its tropical counterpart. They currently operate as carbon sinks, taking up more carbon than they emit each year. Wildfires could flip the script, though, turning boreal forests into sources of carbon emissions as fires burn through the vast reserves of carbon locked in the trees and soil (something already happening in California). If that happens, it could rapidly warm the climate..."

Image credit: "Smoke from fires in western Canada is steered south into the U.S. by the jet stream in a satellite image acquired June 29, 2015". Credit: NASA Earth Observatory


Heat Dome Parked Over West Shatters Temperature Records, Sets Fires. Andrew Freedman has a good overview at Mashable; here's an excerpt: "The West is baking under a heat dome that has sent temperatures soaring to historically high levels, further drying out soils and priming the region for fast-spreading wildfires. The heat wave is noteworthy for its severity, extent and duration. During the past seven days alone, 465 warm temperature records have been set or tied across the country, mainly in the West, with 49 monthly warm temperature records set or tied, according to the National Center for Environmental Information in Asheville, North Carolina..."

Photo credit above: "A plane drops a load of retardant on a wildfire north of Lompoc, California, Monday, June 29, 2015." Image: Len Wood/Lompoc Record via AP/Associated Press.


Midwest Flood Risks Could Be Underestimated By Five Feet, Study Says. "Average" is changing over time, according to a story at The Washington Post; here's an excerpt: "...Robert Criss, author of the study and  a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, warns that measurements for flood risk are "grossly inaccurate" because they are based on decades-old data and do not account for changes to watersheds, man-made river control systems and rising rivers due to climate change. Rivers throughout the area, his study suggests, are swelling to record highs every year, skewing longstanding conceptions of flood risk, sometimes from as early as the mid-1800s..."


FEMA Does Not Know If 750,000 Homes Are Flood-Prone. Other than that things are going quite well. Scientific American has the story; here's the intro: "The nation's flood insurance program doesn't know the elevation of 750,000 high-risk homes with discounted policies, according to the National Research Council. The omission could complicate efforts to phase out subsidized insurance rates in the National Flood Insurance Program, said researchers who contributed to a technical report that suggests the program needs to modernize the way it collects data and sets rates..." (File photo: USGS).


Hawaii Just Became The First State To Ban Plastic Bags at Grocery Checkouts. We can only hope this trend catches on nationwide - because plastic is (almost) forever. Here's an excerpt from Huffington Post: "As of Wednesday, grocery stores across the entire state of Hawaii are banned from distributing plastic bags. The City and County of Honolulu -- which covers the entirety of Oahu, Hawaii's most populated island -- is now enforcing a ban that prohibits stores from handing plastic bags to customers at checkout, making Oahu the last populated island in the state to give the bags the boot. Hawaii is the first state to fully ban plastic bags at grocery stores..."


"Addiction Is Not A Disease". Here's an excerpt of a book review and a potentially new way of looking at addiction, courtesy of Salon: "...One of those neuroscientists is Marc Lewis, a psychologist and former addict himself, also the author of a new book “The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction is Not a Disease.” Lewis’s argument is actually fairly simple: The disease theory, and the science sometimes used to support it, fail to take into account the plasticity of the human brain. Of course, “the brain changes with addiction,” he writes. “But the way it changes has to do with learning and development — not disease.” All significant and repeated experiences change the brain; adaptability and habit are the brain’s secret weapons. The changes wrought by addiction are not, however, permanent, and while they are dangerous, they’re not abnormal..."


You Could Buy Your Own Personal Jetpack by 2017. Bingo. Santa, I only have one thing on my list. Here's an excerpt from Quartz: "The future is nearly here. Jetpack maker Martin Aircraft has announced that its first jetpacks—aimed at first responders for use in search and rescue missions—will be ready for delivery in the second half of 2016, and that its “personal jetpacks” for the consumer market will be ready for use by the middle of 2017. The company’s P12 jetpack has a maximum speed of 74 kilometers per hour (46 miles per hour) and can rise up to 3,000 feet (900 meters)..." (Image credit: Martin Aircraft).


Watching Grass Grow. Bored? Looking for internet stimulation, maybe a jolt of inspiration? Head over to watching-grass-grow.com, which leaves nothing to the imagination. A delightfully useless web site.


77 F. high in the Twin Cities Thursday.

83 F. average high on July 2.

74 F. high on July 2, 2014.

July 2, 1989: Softball sized hail near Dorset, and baseball sized hail at Nevis in Hubbard County.

July 2, 1972: Freezing temperatures at Big Falls in Koochiching County. Source: MPX NWS.


TODAY: Partly sunny, isolated T-storm north. Winds: SW 5-10. High: 81

FRIDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Low: 64

4TH OF JULY: Warm sunshine, dry. Winds: SW 10. High: 85

SATURDAY NIGHT: Warm and sticky - still dry. Low: 68

SUNDAY: Sticky sun, T-storms at night. Winds: S/SW 10-20. High: 86

MONDAY: AM T-showers, slow PM clearing. Wake-up: 69. High: near 80

TUESDAY: Sunny, just about perfect with lower humidity. Wake-up: 62. High: 76

WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny, still dry and comfortable. Wake-up: 58. High: 77

THURSDAY: Sticky, a few stray T-storms. Wake-up: 60. High: 80
 

* to see a live video stream from the ISS, the International Space Station, check out Urthecast.


Climate Stories...

Candidates Should Show Honesty, Courage on Climate Change. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed from Bishop Richard Pates at The Des Moines Register: "...Iowans are off to a good start in finding solutions. Twenty-eight percent of the energy Iowans use is generated by the wind, a clean energy source. The wind industry is growing, providing jobs and proving a critical consideration that it's possible to have successful business development while protecting the environment. But we can do more to protect our environment. We will be in a better relationship with the Creator if we are in a better relationship with His Creation. With presidential candidates already visiting us regularly, I encourage Catholics across our state, and all people of good will, to talk to them and ask not if, but how, they plan to work toward solutions to climate change..."


Everything You Think You Know About Republicans and Climate Change is Wrong. Can free-market solutions acceptable to conservatives bridge the gap and point us toward consensus? We'll see. Here's an excerpt from Huffington Post: "...But what if there were a solution in harmony with the conservative values of less government and doing things that grow the economy, a market-friendly approach that doesn't dictate which technologies win or how we should conduct our lives? Such a solution exists with Carbon Fee and Dividend, the policy I described earlier. By returning all revenue from the carbon fee to households, we accomplish two things: We keep the federal government from getting bigger, and we add jobs by putting money into the pockets of people who will spend it..."


More Evidence That Global Warming Is Intensifying Extreme Weather. Here's an excerpt of an article at The Guardian from St. Thomas professor and climate scientist John Abraham: "...They separated changes in circulation from changes in thermodynamic effects. What they found is that most regions have seen increases in summertime warm temperatures in the past three decades. Furthermore, they found that in some regions, a large part of this trend is due to the increases in anticyclonic circulation and atmospheric blocking. The blocking that has been associated with extreme swings of weather (bringing very warm weather to the Western USA and simultaneous cold weather to the east for instance)..."


Alaska Glaciers Melting Faster As Planet Overheats. Here's an excerpt from rtcc.org: "...He and his colleagues calculated that Alaska is losing ice at the rate of 75 billion metric tons a year. Such research is just one more piece of careful cross-checking in the great mosaic of climate research: another systematic confirmation that overall, glaciers are not losing ice in response to some natural cycle of change of the kind that occasionally confuses the picture for climate science. The agency at work is largely global warming as a response to the steady rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide as a consequence of the burning of fossil fuels..."

Photo credit above: "Alaska’s Columbia glacier is almost 20 kms shorter than it was in 1980." (Wikimedia Commons/ US Fish and Wildlife Service).


Love Thy Planet: Pope Francis' Bully Pulpit On Climate Change. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed from the Editorial Board at The Pittsburgh Gazette: "...Even to the pope’s supporters, his attacks on capitalism may seem excessive. His observations on technology and social organization sometimes are reminiscent of Cold War-era doomsday prophecy. But no one should expect Pope Francis, or any other individual, to have all the answers. With this encyclical, he has brought greater attention to the danger that global warming poses to humanity and called on people to respect and sustain the planet they share."

A/C Optional - While Much of Northern Hemisphere Sizzles in Record Heat

A/C Optional

In the early 1800s did settlers at Fort Snelling complain about the heat & humidity? Probably. Maybe they took frequent dips in the lake or river to cool off. Somehow they made it work. Today most of us take air conditioning for granted.

There are exceptions.

My oldest son just moved into a new apartment in Seattle. He couldn't get the A/C to turn on so he went to the front office, where they apparently stared at him like he had horns and a tail. "We don't have A/C in this building. In Seattle A/C is optional." Uh huh.

In the last week nearly 500 heat records have been set out west. London broiled near 100F yesterday. Record heat has killed thousands of people in India and Pakistan in recent weeks.

Then why does it feel more like early May than early July out there? The same stalled ridge of super-heated air over the west is setting the stage for west/northwest winds high above Minnesota, meaning frequent burps of cool air from that great air conditioner to the north, Canada. I think July will be much cooler than average.

The 4th of July looks sunny, dry and lake-worthy with highs in the 80s; in fact T-storms may hold off until Sunday night. 90s may be quite rare this summer in Minnesota.


Clouds, Smoke and Cool Sunshine. Look carefully at the Wednesday afternoon visible satellite loop and you can see a plume of milky white (smoke) stretching from near Fargo to Willmar and Shakopee, the core of the plume extending all the way to Alaska. Morning clouds and light showers gave way to some comfortable sunshine later in the day. Considering we could easily be sizzling in the 90s no complaints. Loop: NOAA and AerisWeather.


Mostly-Dry Into The 4th of July. Consider it a minor meteorological miracle - dry skies, reasonable humidity and light winds into Saturday with some sun each day as temperatures slowly mellow. Much of Sunday may be dry as well, with T-storms holding off until Sunday night. 84-hour NAM guidance: NOAA.


Slightly Cooler Than Average. No hot fronts, no chilly fronts - temperatures trend close to average in the coming days, but enough dry Canadian air is pushing south for nighttime temperatures to fall into the low and mid 60s, with a few exceptions, meaning no oppressive nighttime dew points. The best chance of T-storms: Sunday night into early Monday. Source: Weatherspark.


Hudson Bay Cut-Off Low in Mid-July? Predicted 500 mb winds (GFS) in mid-July show a head-scratchingly cool bubble of low pressure pinwheeling near Hudson Bay in 2 weeks, flinging a series of cooler, drier fronts south of the border, preventing Minnesota and the Great Lakes from overheating anytime soon. Heat lingers from the west coast into the deep south and Mid Atlantic states.


Unprecedented June Heat On Four Continents; Wimbledon Roasts in Record Heat. 98.1F in London yesterday? Jeff Masters at Weather Underground takes a look at scorching heat, now proving deadly - here's an excerpt: "...We've already seen two of the planet's top ten deadliest heat waves in history over the past two months; the Pakistani government announced on Wednesday that the death toll from the brutal June heat wave in Pakistan's largest city, Karachi, had hit 1,250. According to statistics from EM-DAT, the International Disaster Database, this makes the 2015 heat wave in Pakistan the 8th deadliest in world history. The heat wave that hit India in May, claiming approximately 2,500 lives, ranks as the 5th deadliest..."


Heat Dome Parked Over West Shatters Temperature Records, Sets Fires. Andrew Freedman has a good overview at Mashable; here's an excerpt: "The West is baking under a heat dome that has sent temperatures soaring to historically high levels, further drying out soils and priming the region for fast-spreading wildfires. The heat wave is noteworthy for its severity, extent and duration. During the past seven days alone, 465 warm temperature records have been set or tied across the country, mainly in the West, with 49 monthly warm temperature records set or tied, according to the National Center for Environmental Information in Asheville, North Carolina..."

Photo credit above: "A plane drops a load of retardant on a wildfire north of Lompoc, California, Monday, June 29, 2015." Image: Len Wood/Lompoc Record via AP/Associated Press.


Wildfires Are Raging, And It's About To Get A Whole Lot Worse. Business Insider has the story; here's the introduction: "Summer just started but wildfires are already ravaging the dried-out West coast. Since the beginning of June, nearly 300 fires have burned in Alaska, with a total of 1.1 million acres already destroyed just one month into the fire season. Right now, a fire in the Galena Zone area of Alaska has burned through 100,000 acres..." (Photo: Lucy Nicholson, Reuters).


June Has Been Wet - Just Like Normal. No, this shouldn't come as a shock, considering June is (historically) the wettest month of the year. Here's an excerpt of a good post from AerisWeather meteorologist D.J. Kayser: "The rain bucket has been quite busy across the state again this month so far, with some areas of Minnesota picking up over 5″ of rain with only a few days left of June. So far, the top rain amount reported this month (through early on the 26th) was 8.00″ 0.3 miles SW of Ellendale by a CoCoRaHS observer. A COOP observer in Melrose has reported 7.65″ – and another COOP observer 3 miles southeast of Albert Lea has picked up 7.56″ so far. Any area in red above shows observed precipitation of 5″ or more through the month so far..."


U.S. Chamber of Commerce Works Globally To Fight Antismoking Measures. I wonder what the local chapters of the Chamber of Commerce think about this? Here's an excerpt from an infuriating story at The New York Times: "...From Ukraine to Uruguay, Moldova to the Philippines, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its foreign affiliates have become the hammer for the tobacco industry, engaging in a worldwide effort to fight antismoking laws of all kinds, according to interviews with government ministers, lobbyists, lawmakers and public health groups in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States..."

Photo credit above: "Protesters displayed fake body bags at a tobacco trade show at Pasay, the Philippines, in 2013." Credit Bullit Marquez/Associated Press.


I Hate iTunes. And I Think Apple Does Too. I don't look forward to synching my iDevices either - I have to agree that iTunes has become a bloated mess, not the typical, elegant, streamlined and simplified Apple Experience we've come to appreciate. Here's an excerpt of a story at Quartz: "...Don’t blame my exhaustion on my friend’s lack of technological know-how or my own dwindling patience. Blame iTunes. Once the ultimate in music file management and the centerpiece to Apple’s financial turnaround, this program has evolved from a simple, dependable music player into the biggest example of bloatware in computers today. But why mince words? I hate iTunes. And I think Apple does, too..."


You Could Buy Your Own Personal Jetpack by 2017. Bingo. Santa, I only have one thing on my list. Here's an excerpt from Quartz: "The future is nearly here. Jetpack maker Martin Aircraft has announced that its first jetpacks—aimed at first responders for use in search and rescue missions—will be ready for delivery in the second half of 2016, and that its “personal jetpacks” for the consumer market will be ready for use by the middle of 2017. The company’s P12 jetpack has a maximum speed of 74 kilometers per hour (46 miles per hour) and can rise up to 3,000 feet (900 meters)..." (Image credit: Martin Aircraft).


73 F. high in the Twin Cities Wednesday. That's the average high on May 27.

83 F. average high on July 1.

75 F. high on July 1, 2014.

July 1, 1964: Tyler picks up over 6 inches of rain in 24 hours.


TODAY: Partly sunny and pleasant. Winds: SE 10. High: near 80

THURSDAY NIGHT: Clear and comfortable for early July. Low: 60 (50s in the 'burbs)

FRIDAY: Sunny intervals, T-storm possible up north. High: 82

4TH OF JULY: Warm sun, few complaints. Winds: S 10+ Wake-up: 65. High: 84

SUNDAY: Sticky sun, T-storms rumble in at night. Winds: S 15-25. Wake-up: 68. High: 86

MONDAY: Showers taper, slow PM clearing. Wake-up: 69. High: 81

TUESDAY: Lukewarm sun, very nice. Wake-up: 64. High: 80

WEDNESDAY: Blue sky, average temperatures. Wake-up: 63. High: 82


Climate Stories...

More Evidence That Global Warming Is Intensifying Extreme Weather. Here's an excerpt of an article at The Guardian from St. Thomas professor and climate scientist John Abraham: "...They separated changes in circulation from changes in thermodynamic effects. What they found is that most regions have seen increases in summertime warm temperatures in the past three decades. Furthermore, they found that in some regions, a large part of this trend is due to the increases in anticyclonic circulation and atmospheric blocking. The blocking that has been associated with extreme swings of weather (bringing very warm weather to the Western USA and simultaneous cold weather to the east for instance)..."


Alaska Glaciers Melting Faster As Planet Overheats. Here's an excerpt from rtcc.org: "...He and his colleagues calculated that Alaska is losing ice at the rate of 75 billion metric tons a year. Such research is just one more piece of careful cross-checking in the great mosaic of climate research: another systematic confirmation that overall, glaciers are not losing ice in response to some natural cycle of change of the kind that occasionally confuses the picture for climate science. The agency at work is largely global warming as a response to the steady rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide as a consequence of the burning of fossil fuels..."

Photo credit above: "Alaska’s Columbia glacier is almost 20 kms shorter than it was in 1980." (Wikimedia Commons/ US Fish and Wildlife Service).


Love Thy Planet: Pope Francis' Bully Pulpit On Climate Change. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed from the Editorial Board at The Pittsburgh Gazette: "...Even to the pope’s supporters, his attacks on capitalism may seem excessive. His observations on technology and social organization sometimes are reminiscent of Cold War-era doomsday prophecy. But no one should expect Pope Francis, or any other individual, to have all the answers. With this encyclical, he has brought greater attention to the danger that global warming poses to humanity and called on people to respect and sustain the planet they share."


Zero Carbon Emissions: The New Language of Climate Change. Here's an excerpt from DeSmogBlog: "...In future, people will look back and question why we burned such precious resources so wastefully. Fossil fuels are solar energy, concentrated over millennia and useful for numerous applications, many of which we probably haven’t even discovered. Yet we’ve burned them largely so people, often solo drivers, can move around in tonnes of metal and plastic on land-destroying and expensive infrastructure. And we’ve used them to create increasing amounts of plastic packaging and unnecessary products that are now choking our oceans and land. Moving toward zero carbon emissions — in a much shorter timeline than agreed upon by Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States — is absolutely necessary, and not just for the climate. Eliminating fossil fuel energy will cut dangerous pollution, create new economic opportunities and ensure resources are available for wiser applications..."


Neil deGrasse Tyson's Message To People Who Think Pope Francis Shouldn't Talk About Climate Change. Here's a snippet from ThinkProgress: "...On Tuesday, the author and host of the late-night talk show StarTalk tweeted that despite being a religious figure, Pope Francis is more than qualified to talk about scientific issues. In a series of tweets, Tyson noted that the Vatican Observatory employs dozens of scientists who inform the pope on issues like climate change. “Yes, it’s possible to be a supreme holy figure yet still know what you are talking about regarding the Climate,” he tweeted..."


Why Cities Will Be Vital Players at Paris Climate Talks. Here's an excerpt of a post from the Mayor of Paris, courtesy of Huffington Post: "...In cities and local regions across the globe, tackling climate change is also an opportunity for raising standards of living and improving jobs markets. Better mass transit means easier commutes. Reducing air pollution means improved public health. Developing parks and other new urban green spaces does not just offset carbon but attracts businesses, fosters employment and improves wellbeing. It is also a major social issue: energy-efficient buildings don't just cut emissions, they lower power bills too..."


He and his colleagues calculated that Alaska is losing ice at the rate of 75 billion metric tons a year. Such research is just one more piece of careful cross-checking in the great mosaic of climate research: another systematic confirmation that overall, glaciers are not losing ice in response to some natural cycle of change of the kind that occasionally confuses the picture for climate science.

The agency at work is largely global warming as a response to the steady rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide as a consequence of the burning of fossil fuels.

- See more at: http://www.rtcc.org/2015/06/30/alaska-glaciers-melting-faster-as-planet-overheats/#sthash.xeKlw1gL.dpuf

China Pledges To Halt Growth of Carbon Emissions in Climate Plan. We'll see if the actions match the words, but this could be another encouraging step, taken at face value. Here's the intro to a story at The New York Times: " China, the world’s biggest greenhouse gas polluter, pledged on Tuesday to wean its economy off dependence on fossil fuels as it grows, and said it would halt the growth of its emissions as soon as it could. How quickly and how much China’s emissions will grow is crucial to the arithmetic of global climate change, and the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that are driving that change, especially carbon dioxide. China’s motor vehicles, factories, power plants and boilers released 29 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions in 2013 — twice the amount released by the United States, the world’s largest economy and second-largest carbon polluter..."


Melting Arctic Sea Ice Could Be Disrupting The Oceans' Circulation - With Major Consequences. It turns out we're conducting an experiment on the atmosphere, and the oceans. Here's an excerpt from The Washington Post: "...A weakened Atlantic overturning circulation has the potential to cause some unexpected consequences. If the current slows down and less warm water gets transported north, then less heat will be transferred in regions such as Western Europe. According to Moore, Europe could actually experience a cooling effect in the future as a result of this — although how pronounced this cooling will be remains unclear. Climate change is expected to continue raising temperatures across the globe, so overturning-related cooling effects in Europe will likely be offset by global warming. It may be that Europe will continue to heat up, but at a slower pace than the rest of the world...."

Image credit above: "This NASA animation shows what happens globally to create the large, slow current called the thermohaline circulation." (NASA).


European Climate At Mercy of Retreating Sea Ice. Following up on the research above here's additional perspective from Gizmag: "An international team of scientists has found that retreating sea ice between the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans is linked to weakened air-sea heat exchange in the region. This, it warns, could result in a cooler climate in western Europe and an altered or slower Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), which would have knock-on effects for the Gulf Stream and consequently for the atmosphere..." (Image credit here).