"...Although there are no official records, 178 degrees (81 Celsius) is the highest known heat index ever attained. It was observed in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia on July 8, 2003..." - from an article at Capital Weather Gang below, providing perspective for Friday's 165F heat index in Iran.
Everything is relative, especially weather. Residents of Atlanta laugh when we complain about a 95-degree heat index. We scoff when Arizonans complain about 30s. It's all a function of what you're accustomed to; what falls within the window of "typical weather".
Many of us have experienced "beastly-heat", where nothing you do can cool you down, where you perspire with zero physical exertion. I don't think any of us can fathom what a heat index of 165F is like. On Friday the city of Bandar Mahshahr, Iran, on the Persian Gulf, registered a temperature of 115F with a dew point of 90F.
By the way the highest heat index ever recorded was in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia on July 8, 2003. The temperature hit 108F with a dew point of 95F, making it feel like 178F! May I please be excused?
And here we sit - this week's weather map looks like something out of September with highs in the 70s and low humidity, all thanks to a persistent northwest wind flow aloft. A quick shower may pop today behind a puff of slightly cooler air.
By midweek wake-up temperatures dip into the 50s. Not exactly sweatshirt weather but Minnesota may just wind up largely dog-day-free this summer.
Iran City Hits Suffocating Heat Index of 165 Degrees, Near World Record. Pretty typical.....for the surface of Venus. Meteorologist Jason Samenow has the amazing details at Capital Weather Gang; here's an excerpt: "...In the city of Bandar Mahshahr (population of about 110,000 as of 2010), the air felt like a searing 165 degrees (74 Celsius) today factoring in the humidity. Although there are no official records of heat indices, this is second highest level we have ever seen reported. To achieve today’s astronomical heat index level of 165, Bandar Mahshahr’s actual air temperature registered 115 degrees (46 Celsius) with an astonishing dew point temperature of 90 (32 Celsius)..."
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Tracking Temperature Extremes. Coolwx.com has some great information, including a running tally of the greatest extremes on the planet, in real time. 123.8F at Basrah, Iraq in the last 24 hours? Good grief.
Dry Days Bring A Ferocious Start To The Fire Season. Here are a couple of excerpts from a story at The New York Times: "...It is all part of an extensive nationwide scorching. About 63,312 wildfires destroyed 3.6 billion acres of land across the country last year, at a cost of $1.52 billion to fight the fires. Early projections have placed this year’s cost even higher, at up to $2.1 billion, well beyond the $1.5 billion set aside by the federal Interior and Agriculture Departments, which administer more than 600 million acres of public lands. The Obama administration has asked Congress to place wildfires in the same category as hurricanes and floods, with a dedicated disaster fund to pay for their suppression..."
Photo credit above: "Firefighters walk under smoke from fires along Morgan Valley Road near Lower Lake, Calif., Friday, July 31, 2015. A series of wildfires were intensified by dry vegetation, triple-digit temperatures and gusting winds." (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Crazy-Warm Temperatures Over Southwest Oregon and Northwest California. Cliff Mass provides good perspective on the blazing heat gripping the Pacific Northwest; here's an excerpt: "How often do you see temperatures of over 100F at a coastal location, with cool ( roughly 50F) water close at hand? Well today for one! Let's head down to the southwest corner of Oregon, near Brookings. This is a region often called the Banana Belt of Oregon for having "tropical" temperatures any month of the year. Here is a map showing you today's maximum temperatures (F) over SW Oregon and NW California. Over 100F AT THE COAST at Brookings and at Gold Beach, just to its north..." (Heat index forecast above: AerisWeather).
Winter Is Coming. O.K. I just finished Season 3 of Game of Thrones on HBO so I've got "winter" on my mind. Sorry. It's going to take me some time to get over the "red wedding". Good Lord. The graph above shows various models, all in fairly good alignment showing a cooling trend this week with a streak of highs in the 70s. Low to mid 70s next Saturday? Don't dig out the jackets just yet, but I don't see any Dog Days locally thru mid-August. Source: NOAA and AerisWeather.
Canadian Exhaust. For a few years now I've been telling you (ad nauseum) that the weather is increasingly getting stuck, stalling for days or even weeks at a time, prolonging specific weather patterns. That has been the case this summer with a massive ridge of hot high pressure sparking record highs and wildfires out west, amplifying the drought for California and the west coast. That ridge has kept a west to northwest wind flowing aloft, pushing a series of cooler fronts into the Upper Midwest, Great Lakes and New England, taking the edge off the worst of the heat - and setting up favorable boundaries for frequent rains.
Searing Heat for California and Southern USA. A southward shift in the main belt of westerlies keeps a few transfusions of cooler, drier, more comfortable air pushing into the Dakotas and Minnesota by mid-August, while much of the USA continues to fry.
What Warming Means for 4 of Summer's Worst Pests. A longer mosquito season in Minnesota? Just what I wanted to hear. Details via Climate Central; here's a snippet: "...As temperatures around the country rise, the areas that are conducive to such mosquitoes could expand, and the insects could start to emerge earlier in the year, meaning more opportunities for bites that could spread disease. After an unseasonably warm late spring, summer, and early winter in 2012, the U.S. experienced a West Nile Virus outbreak linked to the Asian Tiger mosquito, with some 5,600 people becoming infected. Asian Tiger mosquitoes tend to die off when temperatures venture outside a range from 50°F to 95°F and when relative humidity dips below 42 percent. A Climate Central analysis examined how warming would affect this range for cities around the country, showing how many more “mosquito suitable” days there were now compared to 1980..."
Florida's Extended Hurricane Drought. No hurricanes in nearly 10 years? The Weather Channel takes a look at this (historic) quiet spell and a growing sense of apathy, especially among younger Floridians; here's an excerpt: "...There's little doubt that Florida's recent history with hurricanes – or lack of them, actually – plays a significant role in this. More than 9 1/2 years have passed since the last hurricane to make landfall in Florida (2005's Hurricane Wilma), by far the longest stretch of consecutive hurricane-free years for the state since 1851. Previously, the state's longest hurricane-free streak lasted five years, from 1980 to 1984. That's especially impressive when you consider the coastline of Florida spans more than 1,260 miles, and an average of eight hurricanes have formed each year since 2005. Since Wilma, more than 1 million people have moved to Florida, according to the latest U.S. Census data..."
Hurricane Wilma file image: NOAA.
In Microsoft's Nokia Debace, A View of an Industry's Feet of Clay. Disruption is no longer the exception but the rule. Smart companies are disrupting themselves (faster) before others do it for them. Here's an excerpt from The New York Times: "...Microsoft “just couldn’t imagine that a company that was once as strong and dominant as Nokia could have virtually no value.” He compared the swift rise of Apple and the withering fortunes of Nokia, BlackBerry and other once-thriving manufacturers to the arrival of an infectious virus. “We tend to think the strong will survive,” Mr. Dediu said. “But a virus is a very small thing that kills big things.” He continued: “It’s easy to say Microsoft was foolish and blame the chief executive. But when it happens to everyone, it’s an extinction event. A whole bunch of companies were disrupted. And it happened in the blink of an eye...” (Image credit here).
Obama Wants The U.S. To Be At The Forefront of Supercomputer Technology. Call me crazy but this sounds like a pretty good idea. Here's an excerpt from Gizmag: "President Obama has signed an Executive Order calling for the US to significantly up its game in the supercomputer space. The effort, known as the National Strategic Computer Initiative (NSCI), will aim to build the world's fastest supercomputer by 2025. The NSCI initiative will be an multi-departmental research, development and deployment effort focusing on the creation of a brand new supercomputer. The mission statement is essentially to make sure that the US has the most capable machine a decade from now, allowing for high-end computational problem solving in both the public and private sectors..." (Image: Sam Churchill).
The Adblocking Revolution is Months Away - With Consequences for Advertisers, Publishers and Google? iOS9 will allow you to block ads on Safari, on mobile and desktop. What will that mean for web sites that depend on advertising? Here's a snippet of an interesting read at The Overspill: "...Into this comes Apple, which guards the user experience on the iOS platform, its biggest moneymaker, very jealously. Apple’s executives and staff aren’t blind to the things that are going on; they use their phones, and they get the same experiences. User experience is what Apple puts above pretty much everything else, and they’ve decided that they don’t like it the experience available through the ad-supported web, and so they’re going to do something about it. Hence content blockers for Safari (and all web views) on iOS 9, which wasn’t announced onstage at WWDC but was one of those “Whoa!” moments on browsing through the Settings in the first iOS 9 beta..."
86 F. high temperature in the Twin Cities Saturday.
83 F. average high on August 1.
87 F. high on August 1, 2014.
August 2, 1831: Cold outbreak across Minnesota with light frost reported at Ft. Snelling.
TODAY: Warm sun, stray T-shower possible. Winds: NW 10-20. High: 86
SUNDAY NIGHT: Clearing and more comfortable. Low: 60
MONDAY: Comfortable sun. Dew point: 53 NW 15. High: 80
TUESDAY: Vague hints of September. Partly sunny and very nice. Wake-up: 58. High: 78
WEDNESDAY: Few T-showers southern Minnesota? Wake-up: 59. High: 77
THURSDAY: Plenty of warm sunshine. Wake-up: 63. High: 80
FRIDAY: Intervals of sun, temperatures closer to normal. Wake-up: 62. High: 81
SATURDAY: Chance of showers, T-showers. Wake-up: 61. High: 80
Obama To Unveil Tougher Climate Plan With His Legacy in Mind. He's also considering future generations of unborn and the world they'll inherit. Here's the intro to a New York Times article: " In the strongest action ever taken in the United States to combat climate change, President Obama will unveil on Monday a set of environmental regulations devised to sharply cut planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions from the nation’s power plants and ultimately transform America’s electricity industry. The rules are the final, tougher versions of proposed regulations that the Environmental Protection Agency announced in 2012 and 2014. If they withstand the expected legal challenges, the regulations will set in motion sweeping policy changes that could shut down hundreds of coal-fired power plants, freeze construction of new coal plants and create a boom in the production of wind and solar power and other renewable energy sources..."
* A Facebook video from President Obama and the White House explaining the need for the Clean Power Plan is here.
Does Global Warming Actually Increase Antarctic Sea Ice? Here's an excerpt from a good explanation at Discovery News: "...Here’s that scenario in simpler terms. While sea ice has been increasing, we know from analyzing satellite data that the ice covering the land mass of Antarctica has been melting rapidly. Hansen and colleagues think that as those ice shelves disintegrate, a lot of cold freshwater is draining into the Southern Ocean. That’s creating a cold surface layer that is causing sea ice to form. Underneath that, though, the salty, denser subsurface waters are still warming..."
Earth Now Halfway to U.N. Global Warming Limit. New Scientist has the details; here's the intro: "It's the outcome the world wants to avoid, but we are already halfway there. All but one of the main trackers of global surface temperature are now passing more than 1 °C of warming relative to the second half of the 19th century, according to an exclusive analysis done for New Scientist. We could also be seeing the end of the much-discussed slowdown in surface warming since 1998, meaning this is just the start of a period of rapid warming. “There’s a good chance the hiatus is over,” says Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado..." (Graph credit: Kevin Cowtan of the University of York).
How The Pentagon Is Preparing For Climate Change In Each Part of the World. The Washington Post takes a look at a recent Defense Department report; here's an excerpt: "The Pentagon made the case Wednesday that the locations in the world most prone to instability and bloodshed also are the ones where climate change has the greatest impact, and laid out details about how top regional commanders are preparing for it. A report required by Congress covers a variety of climate issues affecting the military, noting how rising seas and severe weather can impact missions. But it also provides little-known details about how each geographic combatant command — a COCOM, in military-speak — is addressing climate change in the part of the world where they oversee operations..."
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a common myth that models are unreliable, often based on apples-to-oranges comparisons, like looking at satellite estimates of temperatures higher in the atmosphere versus modeled surface air temperatures. Or, some contrarians like John Christy will only consider the temperature high in the atmosphere, where satellite estimates are less reliable, and where people don’t live. This new study has shown that when we do an apples-to-apples comparison, climate models have done a good job projecting the observed temperatures where humans live. And those models predict that unless we take serious and immediate action to reduce human carbon pollution, global warming will continue to accelerate into dangerous territory..."There’s
Graphic credit above: "Comparison of 84 climate model simulations (using RCP8.5) against HadCRUT4 observations (black), using either air temperatures (red line and shading) or blended temperatures using the HadCRUT4 method (blue line and shading). The upper panel shows anomalies derived from the unmodified climate model results, the lower shows the results adjusted to include the effect of updated forcings from Schmidt et al. (2014)."
* The Carbon Brief has more perspective on climate models vs. reality and actual performance metrics.