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Paul Douglas on Weather

Puddle Potential Today - More Comfortable Week - 4th of July Sizzle?

A Break from Swamp-like Heat Into The Weekend

I just got back from Garmisch, in the Bavarian Alps of Germany, where I celebrated (mourned) a very big birthday. I should stop my whining. To paraphrase Richard Gere: don't regret growing older, it's a privilege denied to many.

My wife asked me for a weather update every morning. I'd look out the window and shrug helplessly. "I'm off duty! Take sunglasses and umbrellas. One of them will be the right call".

Waterproof apparel comes in handy again today, with more showers over southern Minnesota. Stormy weather shifts just to our south Wednesday into Saturday, with sunshine and low 80s. No beastly heat is imminent.

June is running 5F warmer than average at MSP, and long-range models are hinting at 90s by the 4th of July, so take advantage of any free, Canadian A/C in the coming days.

A conga-line of "training storms" dumped 2 months worth of rain near Duluth and far northwestern Wisconsin (Douglas County), resulting in flash flooding that brought back some memories of a mega-rainfall event in 2012. NOAA says that was a 500-year flood. This may have been similarly rare. 

Welcome to the Jungle. You could certainly feel the moisture in the air over the weekend - much of that water ultimately came down from near Duluth into far northern Wisconsin over the weekend. Bring Me The News has details: "Serious Flash Flooding from extreme rainfall totals in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin have forced extensive road closures, and Douglas County to declare a State of Emergency and issue no travel advisories for the entire county.  Douglas County is located directly south of Duluth and includes the City of Superior, where the south side of the city has seen the Nemadji River make an astonishing rise from 5.53 feet at midnight June 16 to just above 30 feet at 8 p.m. Sunday, more than two feet higher than the previous record. It rose an unbelievable 22 feet, from 8 feet to 30 feet, in a 15-hour time period on Sunday..."

Serious Rainfall Amounts. Check out 72-hour rainfall totals as of Monday morning, showing 3-5" weekend rainfall tallies in the Duluth area, with over 6-7" reported from the southern suburbs of Duluth into far northern Wisconsin, with up to a foot of water in some communities - about 6 to 8 weeks worth of rain falling over a 3-day period for much of the Northland.

Heaviest Rains Stay South. The map above shows predicted rainfall totals between now and Friday morning; some 3-4" amounts predicted for parts of South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa. The best chance of showers over southern Minnesota comes today. 00z NAM guidance: NOAA and

Comfortably Warm. Temperatures trend above average into the weekend, but no ridiculously hot fronts are brewing into the first half of next week. ECMWF for the Twin Cities: WeatherBell.

Heating Up for the 4th? It's early (it always is) but models hint at a heat-pump high pressure ridge expanding across the Plains into the Midwest in early July, which may set the stage for a run of 90s around the 4th of July. Keep in mind that, historically, the hottest weather of the year comes in mid-July, about 3 weeks after the Summer Solstice.

Praedictix Briefing: Issued Monday, June 18th, 2018:

  • Rounds of rain – heavy at times – are expected through at least the middle of the week along the Texas Gulf Coast due to a disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico and an upper level low.
  • Widespread rainfall totals of 3-7”, with isolated higher amounts especially near the coast, are expected to impact areas like Houston, Galveston, Beaumont, Corpus Christi and South Padre through Wednesday.
  • This heavy rain may lead to flood concerns, especially if the heavy rain lingers into the second half of the week. However, since dry conditions have been in place across this region, it’ll take some time for the soil to become saturated. While Flash Flood Watches are not currently in place across this region, they may be needed later in the week.

Heavy Rain Potential. Rounds of heavy rain are expected through at least the first half of the week across parts of southern and southeastern Texas as tropical moisture flows into the region. This is due to a tropical wave and slow moving upper level low approaching the region. Through Wednesday evening, a widespread 3-7” of rain is expected to fall in southern and southeastern Texas, with potentially 10-15” in localized areas near the coast. Some of the heaviest rain is expected to fall Tuesday and Wednesday.

Excessive Rainfall Outlooks. While the soil is currently dry due to moderate to extreme drought conditions across the region, we will be watching the potential of flash flooding to increase toward the middle of the week with continued rounds of heavy rain. The Weather Prediction Center has placed a Moderate Risk of excessive rainfall that could lead to flash flooding from Houston to Corpus Christi both Tuesday and Wednesday. Right now it appears localized flooding – mainly streets in urban areas – will be the greatest concern, especially near the coast where back building storms into the Gulf of Mexico could develop. Those storms would have the potential to drop 3-6” of rain in a short amount of time.

There is also a Moderate Risk of excessive rainfall that could lead to flash flooding across parts of Nebraska and Kansas Tuesday and Tuesday Night. Multiple rounds of storms could cause flash flooding Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday Night across this region, with rainfall totals of 1-3”+ possible.

Summary. Tropical moisture in association with an upper level low will be the focus for rounds of heavy rain across the Texas Gulf Coast through at least the middle of the week. A widespread 3-7” of rain is expected to impact areas like Houston, Galveston, Beaumont, Corpus Christi and South Padre through Wednesday, with potentially 10-15” in localized areas near the coast. This heavy rain could bring the potential of flash flooding to the region Tuesday into Wednesday.

D.J. Kayser, Meteorologist, Praedictix

Sea Level Rise Threatens Over 300,000 U.S. Homes, Says Report. The Daily Beast has the details: "Sea-level rise driven by climate change is set to destroy U.S. coastal communities, according to new research, with as many as 311,000 homes facing floods every two weeks within the next 30 years. The rising oceans are set to repeatedly flood residences by 2045 if greenhouse-gas emissions aren’t severely cut, the experts warn. “The impact could well be staggering,” said Kristina Dahl, climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “This level of flooding would be a tipping point where people in these communities would think it’s unsustainable. Even homes along the Gulf Coast that are elevated would be affected, as they’d have to drive through saltwater to get to work or face their kids’ school being cut off. You can imagine people walking away from mortgages, away from their homes...”

Photo credit: John Sommers II / Reuters.

Flooding Surges in U.S. Coastal Cities, Thanks to Relentlessly Rising Sea Levels. A story summary at Minnpost caught my eye: "Last year was a record-breaker for flooding in cities along the U.S. coasts, according to a new federal assessment  — and the horrific trio of hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma wasn’t really the problem. The analysis, issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration last week, looked closely at flooding in nearly 100 locations around the country, as measured by tide gauges that have been in place for a century or so. And there was plenty of flooding outside the hurricane zones, much of it chronic and attributable to rising sea levels. Some was driven by lesser storms, like the nor’easters of last February and March. But in nearly half the cases, weather was considered a minor contributor or no factor at all..."

Photo credit: REUTERS/Brian Snyder. "In the “flood year” running from May 2017 through last April, about one-fourth of coastal cities tied or broke their previous record for tidal flooding; leading that list were Boston, above, and Atlantic City."

Picture Postcard Perfect. James Hammett captured this amazing shot near Laramie, Wyoming (yes, that Wyoming) on June 7, 2018. Wow.

7 Years After Joplin Tornado, Mercy Builds Hospitals With Disasters in Mind. Every threat is an opportunity, as narrated by St. Louis Public Radio: "...What you’re asking is did the structure, and the elements that make up the structure, they perform to a level that the patients can survive the storm,” Gould said. “You’re asking a lot more of a structure than you would in a typical building.” The windows Mercy designed for Joplin are so strong, Farnen said they are essentially “bulletproof.” “We tested some of the glass in Joplin with the fire department … they decided they couldn’t get through the glass and they would have to go through the building to get to the patient,” he said. The new hospital wing in Festus doesn’t house critical patients, so instead it has the next level of windows: laminated safety glass that can withstand winds of more than 100 miles an hour..."

Photo credit: "The scene outside the St. John's after the Joplin 2011 tornado. The building was one of the only structures in the tornado's path left standing." Credit Mercy Hospital.

The Next Plague is Coming. Is America Ready? The short answer appears to be no. Here's a clip from a little light reading at The Atlantic: "...On average, in one corner of the world or another, a new infectious disease has emerged every year for the past 30 years: mers, Nipah, Hendra, and many more. Researchers estimate that birds and mammals harbor anywhere from 631,000 to 827,000 unknown viruses that could potentially leap into humans. Valiant efforts are under way to identify them all, and scan for them in places like poultry farms and bushmeat markets, where animals and people are most likely to encounter each other. Still, we likely won’t ever be able to predict which will spill over next; even long-known viruses like Zika, which was discovered in 1947, can suddenly develop into unforeseen epidemics..."

Photo credit: Jonno Rattman.

Best States to Avoid Psychopaths? Quartz has a vaguely reassuring story (for people living in the Midwest): "Sometimes, it can feel like there are psychopaths everywhere. If you live in the United States, it’s now possible to move to less psychopathic environs, thanks to new research ranking 48 contiguous states by psychopathy. Connecticut wins the dubious award of most psychopathic state in the US, followed by California in second, and New Jersey third. New York and Wyoming tie for joint fourth place, followed by Maine. The least psychopathic state is West Virginia, followed by Vermont, Tennessee, North Carolina, and New Mexico…Earlier research shows that psychopathy is composed of disinhibition, boldness, and meanness…"

(Minnesota is ranked 33rd in the USA based on the research, if anyone asks).

A New Disease: Gaming Disorder. CNN reports: "Today, the World Health Organization will add a new condition to its list of diseases: gaming disorder. Parents have often grumbled about "digital heroin," and the WHO announcement backs them up. Gaming disorder, the group says, has characteristics similar to substance abuse and gambling disorders: taking precedence over other activities, loss of control of these behaviors and significant distress and impairment of relationships. But not all psychologists agree the designation is warranted. One said that in his experience, those addicted to gaming are using it more as a coping mechanism for either anxiety or depression..."

Photo credit: DIY Health Academy.

The World May Soon Be Awash in Advanced, Lethal Drones. Well, that's lovely. The Center for Public Integrity has details: "U.S. military forces face a growing threat from sophisticated and often deadly drones, due to the broad proliferation of related weapons and surveillance technologies that until recently have largely been in the hands of friendly countries, according to a new report prepared for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The global spread of these technologies was supposed to be controlled by a system of export controls created by the West to block the spread of advanced missiles, but that system has failed to obstruct the development of drones that have potent surveillance and destructive power by potential American adversaries, the report says. Countries like China, Russia, Iran, and even the United Arab Emirates are not only producing lethal drones but in some cases exporting both the drones and their underlying technologies..."

File photo:

Comparing Average IQ In All 50 States. A few surprises here....California is 48th? Minnesota is #5. has the story: "People are getting dumber, according to science. There are a lot of theories why IQ tests are falling. Some say it's bad food, poor schools, or obscene amounts of screen time. Others suggest it's a matter of people with lower IQs having more kids, who inherit their lower numbers. You've seen Idiocracy, right? The thing is, there's a lot of variation among the U.S. states in terms of IQ averages. So while the nation as a whole averages roughly a 98 IQ, individual states range as much as six points higher or four points below the national average..."

Manufactured Confusion in the World of Soccer. The BBC has a curious story: "South Korea's coach, Shin Tae-yong, says he made his players wear different numbered shirts in recent matches to confuse opponents who he says cannot tell them apart… "We switched them around because we didn't want to show our opponents everything and to try and confuse them," said Shin. "They might know a few of our players but it is very difficult for Westerners to distinguish between Asians and that's why we did that..."

File photo: The Korea Herald.

TUESDAY: Showers south, sun north. Winds: NE 10-15. High: 75

TUESDAY NIGHT: Slow clearing. Low: 60

WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny, dry statewide. Winds: NE 8-13. High: 82

THURSDAY: Plenty of sun, warm breeze. Winds: NE 10-20. Wake-up: 63. High: 83

FRIDAY: Blue sky, relatively comfortable. Winds: E 10-15. Wake-up: 60. High: 81

SATURDAY: Sunny intervals, probably dry. Winds: S 5-10. Wake-up: 61. High: 83

SUNDAY: Less sun, risk of a T-shower. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 64. High: 82

MONDAY: Unsettled, PM showers and T-storms. Winds: SE 8-13. Wake-up: 65. High: 81

Climate Stories....

Minnesota Temperature Trends in June Since 1895. Although the warming signal is most pronounced during late winter and early spring, Junes are trending warmer, statewide, according to data from NOAA NCDC.

Capitalism is Killing the Planet and Needs to Change. So says investor Jeremy Grantham, who has a history of getting it right. We have privatized profits and socialized costs, when it comes to pollution of all types, including long-term CO2 and methane pollution. CNBC has more: "Jeremy Grantham, the longtime investor famous for calling the last two major bubbles in the market, is urging capitalists and "mainstream economists" to recognize the looming threat of climate change. "Capitalism and mainstream economics simply cannot deal with these problems. Mainstream economics largely ignore [them]," Grantham, who co-founded GMO in 1977, said Tuesday in an impassioned speech at the Morningstar Investment Conference in Chicago. "We deforest the land, we degrade our soils, we pollute and overuse our water and we treat air like an open sewer, and we do it all off the balance sheet." This negligence is due in large part to how short-sighted corporations can be, Grantham said. "Anything that happens to a corporation over 25 years out doesn't exist for them, therefore, as I like to say, grandchildren have no value" to them, he said..."

Antarctica Ice Loss Has Tripled in a Decade. If That Continues, We are in Serious Trouble. Chris Mooney reports for The Washington Post: "Antarctica’s ice sheet is melting at a rapidly increasing rate, now pouring more than 200 billion tons of ice into the ocean annually and raising sea levels a half-millimeter every year, a team of 80 scientists reported Wednesday. The melt rate has tripled in the past decade, the study concluded. If the acceleration continues, some of scientists’ worst fears about rising oceans could be realized, leaving low-lying cities and communities with less time to prepare than they had hoped. The result also reinforces that nations have a short window — perhaps no more than a decade — to cut greenhouse-gas emissions if they hope to avert some of the worst consequences of climate change..."

Photo credit: "Crevasses near the grounding line of Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica." (Ian Joughin/University of Washington).

Rate of Melting Accelerating. has the paper referenced in the Washington Post article.

Antarctica Is Melting Three Times Faster Than a Decade Ago. More perspective and analysis from The New York Times.

Photo credit: "Icebergs in the northern Weddell Sea off Antarctica." CreditJohn Sonntag/NASA.

Climate Visuals. Here's a site I just discovered that tries to frame the climate challenge in a way that better resonates: "The images that define climate change shape the way it is understood and acted upon. But polar bears, melting ice and arrays of smoke stacks don’t convey the urgent human stories at the heart of the issue. Based on international social research, Climate Visuals provides seven principles for a more diverse, relatable and compelling visual language for climate change..."

Cooler Highs Return - Lingering Storm Potential

Heavy Rain And Flooding Over The Past Few Days

Highway 23 at the Nemadji River (south of Highway 210) was washed out Saturday Night due to heavy rain. As you can see from the above image, courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Transportation on Facebook, the road is completely impassable. This area of the state was under a Flash Flood Emergency Saturday night due to the very heavy rain that fell across the region leading to flash flooding.

This is another view, again courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Transportation on Facebook, of Highway 23 at the Nemadji River.

The Nemadji River did set a new record height on Sunday below Superior, WI.

Meanwhile, Minnesota wasn't the only state that observed washed out roads due to heavy rain Saturday Night. This was U.S. 2 in Bayfield County, WI, at North Fish Creek, now impassable due to heavy rain Saturday Night. Photo: @WisDOTnorthcent on Twitter.

The heaviest rain fell from parts of central Minnesota into northwestern Wisconsin (and eventually the U.P. of Michigan) over the 24 hour period that ended at Noon on Sunday, with numerous reports of at least 3" of rain. The highest totals were across parts of northwestern Wisconsin, where stations around Drummond reported 9-12" of rain, and the RAWS site at Barnes, WI, recorded 7.74" of rain.

This is the rain forecast from Sunday to Tuesday evening across the region. We see that rainfall totals of at least an inch to two inches can be expected from southwestern Minnesota into northwestern Wisconsin. Especially across areas of northern/central Minnesota that have received heavy rainfall the past few days we will have to watch the potential for flooding.

Due to the potential of heavy rain, Flash Flood Watches have been issued Sunday Night into Monday across parts of eastern Minnesota into northern and western Wisconsin.


Dewpoints In The Upper 70s Saturday Evening

It got downright oppressive in the Twin Cities Saturday evening, as the dewpoint climbed to a very tropical and sticky 78F for the 7 PM and 8 PM observations. With the 7 PM temperature of 87F, it felt more like 100F out!

That dewpoint of 78F is the highest dewpoint the Twin Cities has observed since the summer of 2011 according to the Minnesota State Climatology Office. On July 19th that year the Twin Cities saw a dewpoint of 82F, which is the highest on record for the observation site.


Cooler Highs Return - Lingering Storm Potential
By D.J. Kayser, filling in for Paul Douglas

Did you enjoy the sweltering weather across southern Minnesota this past weekend? I, for one, did not; during this type of weather you can typically find me in front of the air conditioner, patiently waiting for the next cold front to blow on through the region. Yes, even the meteorologist gets to complain about the weather every once in a while.

The dewpoint - a measure of the amount of moisture in the air - hit an oppressive 78F at the MSP airport Saturday evening. That’s the highest we’ve seen since 2011, which was the year we saw a record 82F dewpoint on July 19th. According to the Minnesota State Climatology Office, the Twin Cities have only recorded 28 hours since 1945 with a dewpoint of 80F or higher.

Cooler temperatures and lower dewpoints return as we begin this new work week, however, a few showers and storms may linger across southern Minnesota today. We’ll see drier weather for the middle of the week in the Twin Cities before more storm chances arrive by next weekend.


Extended Twin Cities Forecast

MONDAY: Lingering southern MN rain. High 78. Low 63. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind NE 5-10 mph.
TUESDAY: A few storms possible in southern MN. High 80. Low 62. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind NE 5-10 mph.
WEDNESDAY: Dry with more sunshine. High 83. Low 63. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind ENE 3-8 mph.
THURSDAY: A few clouds. Overnight storm chances. High 82. Low 63. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind E 5-10 mph.
FRIDAY: A few rumbles of thunder. High 80. Low 64. Chance of precipitation 40%. Wind ESE 5-10 mph.
SATURDAY: Scattered storm potential. High 80. Low 65. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind S 5-10 mph.
SUNDAY: Mix of clouds & sun. Isolated t-storm. High 81. Low 64. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind W 5-10 mph.


This Day in Weather History
June 18h

1939: A deadly tornado hits Anoka. 9 fatalities and over 200 injuries are reported.

1850: Territorial Governor Ramsey reports that about halfway between Ft. Ripley and Ft. Snelling on the Mississippi a severe hail storm occurred in the evening. One or two hailstones picked up were as large as hen’s eggs and he thought he saw one about the size of a 'musket ball.'


Average Temperatures & Precipitation for Minneapolis
June 18th

Average High: 80F (Record: 98F set in 1953)
Average Low: 60F (Record: 39F set in 1876)
Average Precipitation: 0.14" (Record: 1.14" set in 1956)


Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
June 18th

Sunrise: 5:26 AM
Sunset: 9:02 PM

*Length Of Day: 15 hours, 36 minutes and 33 seconds
*Daylight Gained Since Yesterday: ~14 seconds

*Next Sunrise Of 5:30 AM Or Later: July 1st (5:30 AM)
*Latest Sunset: June 20th-July 1st (9:03 PM)
*Day With Most Daylight? June 21st (Daylight Length: 15:36:49)


Minnesota Weather Outlook

We'll still have lingering showers and storms across southern Minnesota as we go throughout your Monday, but for the most part the front which has been lingering across the state throughout the weekend will push south. If you want sunnier skies, you'll have to head toward northern Minnesota. Most areas will see 70s for highs.

Highs across southern Minnesota Monday will be a few degrees below average for mid-June, with highs in northern Minnesota a few degrees above average.

Behind the front dewpoints will be lower than what we saw this weekend across the state, even if we are stilll holding onto the muggy 60s across parts of southern Minnesota.

Temperatures will be cooler as we head through this work week than what we saw this weekend, only hanging in the upper 70s to low/mid 80s here in the Twin Cities, which will be right around average for this time of year.

We do watch more precipitation chances in the forecast, particularly to begin and end the week. We could see an additional half an inch to an inch of rain from Monday through next weekend.


National Weather Forecast

A slow moving cold front will continue to move south and east from the Central Plains to the Great Lakes and the Northeast, bringing the threat of showers and storms along with it. Showers and storms will also be possible across parts of the Northern Rockies. Across the Texas coast, tropical moisture and low pressure will help produce heavy rainfall across the region. Afternoon storms will be possible across the Southeast due to the heating of the day.

The heat that the upper Midwest saw this weekend will continue to work its way east into the beginning of the week. Record highs could be set in parts of the Northeast Monday including areas like Washington D.C., Allentown (PA), and Manchester (NH).

We will be tracking two areas for very heavy rain across parts of the nation through Friday morning. One will be across parts of the Central Plains, where 2-4" of rain could fall this week due to a slow moving front and upper level low. Heavy rain of at least 2-5", with isolated 10-15" amounts, will fall across parts of Texas due to tropical moisture being pumped in from the Gulf of Mexico.

Areas like Houston, Corpus Christi, and South Padre could see at least 3-6" of rain through the first couple days of the work week.

Meanwhile some of the heaviest rain looks to fall across parts of Nebraska and Kansas Tuesday and Tuesday Night, and there already a "moderate" risk of heavy rain that could lead to flooding.


Pollinators, but No Pollen: Spring Heat Left Europe's Plants, Insects Out of Sync

More from InsideClimate News: "In a patch of scruffy prairie near Vienna, marbled white butterflies hover near clusters of unopened globe thistles. They uncurl their long proboscises to probe the spiky buds—without success. It'll be a couple more weeks before the flowers open, but some of the butterflies may not survive that long if they don't find something else to eat. Two months of unusually high spring temperatures in Europe have thrown the ecosystem in this urban wilderness meadow out of whack, says butterfly expert Marion Jaros. The warm temperatures accelerated the hatch of many butterflies and other pollinating species, but the flowers they depend on for nectar are not responding in sync. "Here, too, you can see climate change," Jaros says, as a hot, dry wind rustles the tall grass, dried to golden straw a month sooner than usual. Important pollinator species are being affected across Europe, she adds."

As Nuclear Struggles, A New Generation Of Engineers Is Motivated By Climate Change

More from NPR: "The number of people graduating with nuclear engineering degrees has more than tripled since a low point in 2001, and many are passionate about their motivation. "I'm here because I think I can save the world with nuclear power," Leslie Dewan told the crowd at a 2014 event as she pitched her company's design for a new kind of reactor. Dewan says climate change, and the fact that nuclear plants emit no greenhouse gasses, is the big reason she became a nuclear engineer. And she's not alone. "The reason that almost all of our students come into this field is climate change," says Dennis Whyte, head of the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology."


Thanks for checking in and have a great Monday! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter (@dkayserwx) and like me on Facebook (Meteorologist D.J. Kayser)!

 - D.J. Kayser