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Paul Douglas on Weather

Wednesday Soaker - Eclipse Weather Preview - Minnesota Trending Wetter As Climate Warms

It's Not Your Imagination: It's Trending Wetter

Is this a good time to remind you that the last 12 months have been the wettest on record? Twin Cities statistics go back to 1837. 40.72 inches of rain fell from August 2016 to July 2017.
That's well above the latest 30-year average for annual MSP rainfall of 31 inches. Which is 20 percent wetter than the 1941-1970 rainfall average of 26 inches.
Dr. Mark Seeley shared these records with me, underscoring our new reality: it's trending wetter over time. A warmer atmosphere can hold more water vapor, fueling heavier rains and warm season T-storms. That's not a climate model - that's staring out at the water in a rain gauge.
NOAA models print out as much as 1 to 3 inches of rain today and tonight as the latest stormy swirl pushes across the state. Typical for May; a little odd for mid-August.
The first half of the month has been about 3F cooler than average, but computer guidance shows a warming trend. No sweaty spell of 90s, but 80s should be fairly common from this weekend into Labor Day.
Check out the blog for running updates on cloud cover forecasts for Monday's eclipse.

Wednesday Soaker. 1-2" of rain will fall across much of central and east central Minnesota into northwest Wisconsin, with as much as 3"+ in a few communities. I could see some minor flash flooding on area highways by Wednesday evening and night. Details via the Twin Cities National Weather Service: "Two or three waves of rain are expected late tonight through Wednesday night, with a few hours of dry weather between the bouts of rain. The first batch of showers will develop late tonight and persist into Wednesday morning. The heaviest rainfall is expected late Wednesday afternoon through much of the night, and some areas may have thunderstorms for a few hours."

Upper Midwest Soaker - Gert Veers Out to Sea. Here's a look out 84 hours, thanks to NOAA's 12 KM NAM model. A very slow-moving (almost October-like) storm pushes multiple waves of heavy rain and T-storms into the Upper Midwest today and tonight, resulting in some 1-3" rainfall amounts. New England enjoys a fine Wednesday, with dry weather the rule over the western USA as well. Loop:

Flash Flood Risk. Persistent bands of showers and T-storms dropping heavy rain over the same counties may result in rainfall amounts exceeding flash flood limits from Minnesota and northern Iowa into western Wisconsin today.

Warm, Not Hot. The chance of sticky heat is receding a bit for the last week of August. I still think we'll see a few 80s, but debilitating heat should stay well south of Minnesota through Labor Day. Twin Cities ECMWF numbers above courtesy of WeatherBell.

Interactive Eclipse Map. NOAA NCEI has a good site with eclipse details and average cloud cover on August 21: "Our interactive map provides greater detail about viewing the eclipse across the nation. The map lists a “viewable” percentage for each reporting location. The viewable percentage represents the likelihood of skies being clear enough for the eclipse to be visible. A higher percentage means a viewer is more likely to have a view unobstructed by clouds. Also, a bar chart shows the probabilities for five types of cloud cover: clear (no clouds), few, scattered, broken, and overcast. Percentages are derived from averages of each type of cloud cover..."

Early Cloud Cover Prediction for August 21. No, don't take this to the bank, because the forecast will change. The map above shows an early forecast (GFS model) of average cloud cover conditions for midday next Friday. We'll update this and keep our fingers crossed that Mother Nature cooperates. Map:

Cloud Cover Prediction for 1 PM Monday. Yes, this is a WAG, not a forecast this far out, but it'll be vaguely interesting to see how this outlook changes over time. Significant cloud cover is predicted for the Upper Midwest, parts of Wyoming and Colorado, and the southeast and Florida. Your results may vary.

Wednesday Forecast Highs. Steamy heat continues over the southern third of the USA, but a few furnaces may click on from northern Minnesota into the U.P. of Michigan, with wake-up readings in the 50s and highs holding in the 60s with heavy rain. Map: NOAA.

Probability of Precipitation Today. The heaviest, most widespread and organized rains today stretch across the Upper Mississippi Valley, from Minnesota southward down I-35 into Iowa, Missouri and the central Plains. Instability T-storms flare up from the Ohio Valley to the Gulf Coast and Florida.

Ripe for Hurricane Development? A combination of no El Nino (which tends to increase winds over the tropics, shredding developing storms before they can really get going), unusually warm ocean water and less Saharan dust than average may be setting the stage for a busy hurricane season later in August and September.

Comfortable Labor Day Northern Rockies and Upper Midwest? Confidence levels this far out are still low, but there's every indication (nasty) heat will linger over the southern third of the USA and Gulf Coast into Labor Day, with real relief for the northern Rockies and northern Plains. Curiously, the GFS model spins up a tropical system off Cape Cod the evening of August 29. Don't hold your breath.

July 2017 Ties July 2016 for Hottest Month on Record. NASA has details: "July 2017 was statistically tied with July 2016 as the warmest July in the 137 years of modern record-keeping, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York. Last month was about 0.83 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean July temperature of the 1951-1980 period. Only July 2016 showed a similarly high temperature (0.82 °C), all previous months of July were more than a tenth of a degree cooler..."

Map credit: "A global map of the June 2017 LOTI (land-ocean temperature index) anomaly, relative to the 1951-1980 June average."

3 Tornadoes in 3 States, But No Warnings. What Happened? A story at USA TODAY caught my eye: "One tornado tossed a car like a toy, another reduced buildings to rubble, a third shredded trees to splinters. Three recent tornadoes hit three different states — New York, Oklahoma, and Maryland — yet no tornado warnings were issued before any of the twisters touched down. Do we have a problem? The National Weather Service, the federal agency that issues tornado warnings, says no. "There's no headline here," said Greg Schoor, acting severe weather program leader for the weather service, noting that they were all separate, unrelated events. "They were three examples of low-end tornadoes, and are not representative of what's going on nationally," he said, referring to how well the agency does with tornado warnings overall..."

Photo credit: "A tornado that swept through Tulsa, Oklahoma on Sunday injured at least 30 people, and severely damaged many businesses near the city's midtown. (August 7)." AP

How to Shelter From Fallout After a Nuclear Attack on Your City. Nothing any of us want to contemplate, but under the old Boy Scout motto of "be prepared" here's an excerpt from io9: "Terrorists have detonated a low-yield nuclear warhead in your city. How long should you hide, and where, to avoid the worst effects of radioactive fallout? We talked to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory atmospheric scientist Michael Dillon to find out. Yesterday Dillon published a paper on this topic in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A. He's spent his career researching how the government should respond to disasters with an airborne component, whether that's a chemical accident, an epidemic, or nuclear fallout. After poring over dozens of studies on how fallout behaves, and analyzing as many factors as possible related to urban detonations, he's come up with a disaster plan that he hopes can be implemented by first responders working with governments from the local to the federal level..."

How to Stay Calmer, More Alert and Save the Environment: Bring the Weather Indoors. Kevin Nute has an interesting story at The Washington Post: "A building’s primary purpose may be to keep the weather out, but most of them do such an effective job of this that they also inadvertently deprive us of contact with two key requirements for our well-being and effectiveness: nature and change. In the 1950s, Donald Hebb’s “arousal theory” established that people need a degree of changing sensory stimulation to remain fully attentive. And 30 years later, landmark research by health-care designer Roger Ulrich showed that hospital patients in rooms with views of nature had lower stress levels and recovered more quickly than patients whose rooms looked out at a brick wall. Unfortunately, many buildings — especially in cities — are not blessed with green surroundings. I am part of a group of architects and psychologists at the University of Oregon that has been examining ways to overcome this problem using an aspect of nature available anywhere: the weather..."

Why 88,000 American Jobs in Solar Energy Are At Risk. TheHill has details: "...Overall job growth in the solar industry is one of the brightest spots in the economy — and smart job growth policy should account for this matured market. Earlier this month, my organization CRES Forum, held a panel discussion to get into the weeds and understand exactly what jobs in the solar industry look like, how the U.S. solar industry is linked to the global economy and why the case before the commission matters. We learned that in 2016, there were over 260,000 jobs in the U.S. solar industry. One in every 50 new jobs created was in the industry, which is growing at 12 times the rate the rest of the economy. And growth in the solar industry is estimated to eventually lead to one million new jobs created across the supply chain through 2050..."

File image: Electrek.

One in Eight American Adults Is An Alcoholic, Study Says. The Washington Post has news of a sharp rise in alcohol abuse: "...A new study published in JAMA Psychiatry this month finds that the rate of alcohol use disorder, or what's colloquially known as “alcoholism,” rose by a shocking 49 percent in the first decade of the 2000s. One in eight American adults, or 12.7 percent of the U.S. population, now meets diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder, according to the study. The study's authors characterize the findings as a serious and overlooked public health crisis, noting that alcoholism is a significant driver of mortality from a cornucopia of ailments: “fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, liver cirrhosis, several types of cancer and infections, pancreatitis, type 2 diabetes, and various injuries."...The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 88,000 people a year die of alcohol-related causes, more than twice the annual death toll of opiate overdose..."

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? Are we really on the brink of a teen mental health meltdown related to smartphones and social media? Here's an excerpt from The Atlantic: "...More comfortable in their bedrooms than in a car or at a party, today’s teens are physically safer than teens have ever been. They’re markedly less likely to get into a car accident and, having less of a taste for alcohol than their predecessors, are less susceptible to drinking’s attendant ills. Psychologically, however, they are more vulnerable than Millennials were: Rates of teen depression and suicide have skyrocketed since 2011. It’s not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades. Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones. Even when a seismic event—a war, a technological leap, a free concert in the mud—plays an outsize role in shaping a group of young people, no single factor ever defines a generation. Parenting styles continue to change, as do school curricula and culture, and these things matter. But the twin rise of the smartphone and social media has caused an earthquake of a magnitude we’ve not seen in a very long time, if ever..."

Illustration credit: Jasu Hu.

The Surprising Reason Most People Get Cancer. So much for living right - it all comes down to bad luck? Here's an excerpt from Women'sHealth: "Load up on plant food. Use your gym membership. Apply sunscreen religiously. Steer clear of cigarettes. Taking on healthy behaviors like these is supposed to lower your lifetime cancer risk. Now, along comes a bombshell study that seems to suggest many of these odds-lowering efforts are less impactful than you may have previously thought: The study, from Johns Hopkins University, determined that two-thirds of all adult cancer incidences can be attributed to random gene mutations that drive tumor growth. In other words, most incidences of cancer are caused by plain-old bad luck, according to study authors..."

Apparently Friends Bring You More Health and Happiness Than Your Family. Marie Claire has details of a new study: "...And new research from Michigan State University underline this fact by saying ‘friends are a conscious choice.’ Running over two studies with 300,000 participants from the ages of 15 up to 99 from around the world, the conclusion showed that those who put a high value on friendships were happier and healthier in general...The research also concluded that those with strong social bonds increased their odds of living long by 50% because they can be a buffer against stress and can raise self-esteem – which is why we instinctually stop being friends with people who don’t feel good for us..."

A Theory of Jerks. If everyone around you is an incompetent zero, odds are YOU are the jerk. Or so says the author of a story at Aeon: "...I submit that the unifying core, the essence of jerkitude in the moral sense, is this: the jerk culpably fails to appreciate the perspectives of others around him, treating them as tools to be manipulated or idiots to be dealt with rather than as moral and epistemic peers. This failure has both an intellectual dimension and an emotional dimension, and it has these two dimensions on both sides of the relationship. The jerk himself is both intellectually and emotionally defective, and what he defectively fails to appreciate is both the intellectual and emotional perspectives of the people around him. He can’t appreciate how he might be wrong and others right about some matter of fact; and what other people want or value doesn’t register as of interest to him, except derivatively upon his own interests. The bumpkin ignorance captured in the earlier use of ‘jerk’ has changed into a type of moral ignorance..."

Illustration credit: Paul Blow.

The Unique Science Experiments Planned for the Eclipse. Atlas Obscura has more interesting background: "...Both satellites and scientists on Earth will be taking images of the sun’s corona during the eclipse, but they’ll be capturing more than just regular visible light. Scientists are interested in X-rays emitted by the sun, and images of a broad spectrum of light will show its magnetic field. Telescopes mounted on the noses of two of NASA’s WB-57 jets will try to capture small explosions, called nanoflares, that are believed to help heat up the corona. The telescopes will also take the first thermal images of Mercury’s surface. In order to get the clearest images, the two jets will fly along the path of totality at a speed of 470 miles per hour, and an altitude of 50,000 feet. They’ll only be in the moon’s shadow for roughly eight minutes, but that’s enough time for the two instruments to collect valuable data. Another plane, a Gulfstream V owned by the National Science Foundation and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, will fly with the eclipse for about four minutes to learn more about the corona’s thermal structure..."

Photo credit: "The silver nose of this WB-57 jet contains a telescope." NASA’s Johnson Space Center/Norah Moran

78 F. maximum temperature yesterday in the Twin Cities.
81 F. average high on August 15.
82 F. high on August 15, 2016.
August 16, 1981: Chilly temperatures are felt across Minnesota. Tower reports a low of 33 degrees.

TODAY: Heavy showers, T-storms. Winds: SE 8-13. High: 75

WEDNESDAY: Showers and T-storms, locally heavy rain. Low: 63

THURSDAY: Partly sunny, drying out. Winds: NW 7-12. High: 77

FRIDAY: Humid with PM T-storms likely. Winds: SW 7-12. Wake-up: 61. High: 80

SATURDAY: Partly sunny, lake-worthy. Winds: S 5-10. Wake-up: 62. High: 82

SUNDAY: Mix of clouds and hazy sun, warmer. Winds: S 8-13. Wake-up: 64. High: 85

MONDAY: Few showers and T-storms possible. Winds: S 5-10. Wake-up: 66. High: near 80

TUESDAY: More sun, probably a drier day. Winds: NE 5-10. Wake-up: 67. High: 81

Climate Stories...

Case for Climate Change Grows Ever Stronger. Here's the intro of an Op-Ed from the Editorial Board at USA TODAY: "Could proof grow any more powerful that humanity is responsible for a dangerously warming planet? Scientists studying Earth's atmosphere and oceans are finding ever more troubling evidence. Last year was the hottest on record, according to a report late last week from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The report, by more than 450 scientists from 60 nations, also found that greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and global sea levels are at their highest levels on record. Just as troubling were draft findings destined for the quadrennial National Climate Assessment. Scientists from 13 federal agencies found that a rapid rise in temperatures since the 1980s in the United States represents the warmest period in 1,500 years..."

138 Dormant Volcanoes Under Antarctica's Ice. A story at Quartz made me do a double-take: "...The big question is: how active are these volcanoes? That is something we need to determine as quickly as possible,” Robert Bingham, one of the author’s of the paper told The Guardian. “Anything that causes the melting of ice—which an eruption certainly would—is likely to speed up the flow of ice into the sea.” The connection could work the other way around too, according to Bill McGuire, author of Waking the Giant: How a changing climate triggers earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes. Looking at historical records, McGuire said in a previous interview that melting ice caps could cause the Earth’s top layer to “bounce back” and trigger volcanoes..."

Photo credit: "Hidden monsters." (Reuters/Mark Baker).

Explaining the Lack of Rain in Spain (and Italy). The Economist looks at larger forces driving a hotter, drier climate for the Mediterranean: "...Nor, surprisingly, have scientists agreed on whether the intensity and frequency of droughts is increasing in Europe. Against a background of global warming, that might seem inevitable. But since evaporation (from sea, lakes and rivers) and evapotranspiration (from the land) lead to increased rainfall, higher temperatures do not necessarily cause more droughts. Problems do arise if the offsetting rainfall is unevenly distributed—as seems to be the case in Europe. Evidence has mounted over the past 30-odd years of a shift towards wetter winters in northern Europe and, says Mr Vogt, of “drier conditions in the Mediterranean, especially in spring and summer, the critical times of year for drought”. Gregor Gregoric, who co-ordinates the Drought Management Centre for Southeastern Europe, says that since the 1980s that region has suffered a significant drought on average every five years. Even his lush Slovenian homeland has been hit..." (Photo credit: EPA).

Climate-Risk Disclosure Moves Up Priority List at Vanguard. Pensions & Investments has more details: "Vanguard Group announced Monday that its investment stewardship team has made climate-risk disclosure a priority over the past year. The announcement came as Vanguard disclosed in a news release that money manager Walden Asset Management withdrew a shareholder proposal submitted to some Vanguard mutual funds seeking a report on proxy-voting policies related to climate change. "Climate change represents an evolving set of risks and opportunities for companies in many sectors. Vanguard has prioritized climate risk on our engagement agenda, and we have discussed the topic with more companies over the past year than ever before," said Glenn Booraem, investment stewardship officer, in the release..."

The Year Trump Was Elected Was So Hot, It Was 1-in-a-Million. The Guardian explains the odds: "2014, 2015, and 2016 each broke the global temperature record. A new study led by climate scientist Michael Mann just published in Geophysical Research Letters used climate model simulations to examine the odds that these records would have been set in a world with and without human-caused global warming. In model simulations without a human climate influence, the authors concluded:

  • There’s a one-in-a-million chance that 2014, 2015, and 2016 would each have been as hot as they were if only natural factors were at play.
  • There’s a one-in-10,000 chance that 2014, 2015, and 2016 would all have been record-breaking hot years.
  • There’s a less than 0.5% chance of three consecutive record-breaking years happening at any time since 2000..."

File photo: Brad Birkholz.

What August? In Search of Minnesota's Dog Days

Simulated Radar Ahead...

Here's the simulated radar from AM Tuesday to AM Thursday, which shows another round of showers and storms pushing through the region midweek. Note that the best chance of heavier rain moves through during the day Wednesday before tapering early Thursday. 
Severe Threat Thursday
According to NOAA's SPC, there is a MARGINAL risk of severe weather across the southern part of the state on Thursday. As the storm system moves through the region, a few isolated strong to severe storms could pop and produce gusty winds with hail through the second half of the day. 
Rainfall Potential Ahead
The rainfall forecast  through PM Thursday shows fairly decent rainfall potential moving back into the Upper Midwest as we head into midweek. Some of the heaviest rain looks to fall on Wednesday, where some 1" to near 2"+ tallies could be possible.
"El Nino's Absence May Fuel a Stormy Hurricane Season"
"The hurricane season is likely to be extra active this year, thanks to a likely no-show from El Niño. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center released an updated hurricane season outlook today (Aug. 9). The new prediction ups the odds for a blustery, extremely active hurricane season – and possibly even the most active since 2010. "We're now entering the peak of the season, when the bulk of the storms usually form," Gerry Bell, the lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, said in a statement. "The wind and air patterns in the area of the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean where many storms develop are very conducive to an above-normal season. This is, in part, because the chance of El Niño forming, which tends to prevent storms from strengthening, has dropped significantly from May." (El Niño is a climate phenomenon most distinguished by the shift of warm water from the western to the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.)"

(The powerful Hurricane Katrina, a Category-5 storm, is seen here in a satellite image from Aug. 28, 2005. Credit: NASA/Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team)

GERT in the Atlantic
The National Hurricane Center is tracking GERT in the Atlantic basin, which is 7th named storm and the 2nd hurricane of the 2017 season. The good news is that GERT is not expected to post any major threats to the U.S. as it moves northeast away from the East Coast over the next few days.
 Tracking GERT
Here's the official track for GERT, which shows it continuing as a hurricane through the end of the week.
 Atlantic Outlook: Next 5 Days

Weather conditions in the Atlantic basin remain fairly active over the next few days. While GERT lifts northeast away from the East Coast, NOAA's NHC will be tracking another wave of energy drifting west in the Central Atlantic that has a moderate chance of tropical formation within the next 5 days. There is another wave that has a low chance of tropical development over the next 5 days.

Eastern Pacific Outlook: Next 5 Days

The Eastern Pacific also remains fairly active as a couple of waves drift west away from Mexico. Three different waves have a low chance of tropical formation within the next 5 days. Stay tuned.

 "States With the Most Dangerous Weather"
"Tropical Storm Emily formed off the coast of Florida and made landfall on Monday. Heavy rainfall is expected over the region throughout the week. It’s storm season, and while ocean storms like Emily are difficult to anticipate and may certainly wreak havoc, for Florida and other coastal states such weather events are normal for the season. Still, the elements take many forms, and even states that routinely experience extreme weather can be caught off guard. Be it roof-wrenching winds, scorching heat, torrential rainfalls, life-ending lightning strikes, or freezing cold, every state gets a taste of nature’s raw power. Most agree that weather is dangerous. Just over 11,000 deaths and nearly 70,000 weather-related injuries were reported across the country between 2012 and 2016. The danger of extreme weather seems to know no boundary. Each year, victims may have been at home, outside, camping, golfing, playing sports, boating, swimming, or talking on the phone. Weather-related fatality-rates also vary considerably between states."

PRELIMINARY 2017 Tornado Map

It certainly has been a fairly active first half of 2017 with 1221 preliminary tornado reports through August 13th. Note that this is the most tornadoes through August 13th since 2011, when there were 1,701 reports. The map below shows the distribution of the tornadoes so far this year. 

PRELIMINARY 2017 Tornado Count

According to NOAA's SPC, the PRELIMINARY 2017 tornado count is 1221 (through August 12th). Note that is the most active year for tornadoes since 2011, when there were 1,701 tornadoes. Keep in mind there was a major tornado outbreak in the Gulf Coast region from April 25-28, 2011 that spawned nearly 500 tornadoes, some of which were deadly. That outbreak is known as the Super Outbreak of 2011 and has gone down in history as one of the biggest, costliest and one of the deadliest tornado outbreaks in history.

Lightning Fatalities So Far in 2017
According to NOAA, there have been 13 lightning fatalities so far this year with the most recent happening on August 2nd in Brewster, OH. Note that there have been 5 deaths in Florida, which is known as the lightning capital of the world!


National Weather Hazards Ahead...

1.) Heavy rain across portions of upstate New York and New England, Thu-Fri, Aug 17-18.
2.) Heavy rain across portions of the Central and Southern Plains and the Lower and Middle Mississippi Valley, Thu-Fri, Aug 17-Aug 18.
3.) Heavy rain across portions of the Alaska Panhandle and southwestern mainland Alaska, Thu, Aug 17.
4.) Heavy rain across portions of the Alaska Panhandle, Mon, Aug 21.
5.) Slight risk of much above-normal temperatures for portions of the Southern Plains, Tue-Fri, Aug 22-Aug 25.
6.) Severe Drought across parts of the Great Plains, western Corn Belt, northern Rockies, Arizona, California, and Hawaii.


 "Dry weather putting strain on Sask. farmers"

"Agriculture Canada says there are severe drought conditions in much of southern Saskatchewan, with some areas of extreme drought. Environment Canada figures show Regina had only 1.8 millimetres of rain last month -- the driest July in 130 years. It was the driest July ever recorded in Moose Jaw, which got 4.3 millimetres of rain in July, beating a record of 4.6 millimetres set in 1929. Area cattle producers are facing poor grazing conditions and limited hay cutting -- and there's growing concern about possible feed shortages."

See more from Regina.CTVNews.CA HERE:


"Seed shortage next spring is a real possibility"

"Ken Bertsch, North Dakota’s state seed commissioner, says farmers should take into account how escalating drought conditions across the state may impact the outlook for seed supplies next spring. “The drought is really hitting statewide in North Dakota, but particularly in the western part of the state,” said Bertsch. “When it comes to the crops raised primarily in the western part of the state, that’s where we are starting to see some real problems develop, as well as seed supply issues. ”Bertsch pinpointed durum and field peas in particular, because both commodities have the bulk of their acres in the affected region. Expanding drought conditions throughout the state mean that both seed quantity and quality may be affected, potentially resulting in a seed shortage next spring. Dry conditions have also reduced the number of acres in the certification program this year. “We have a reduction of acres being applied for certification this year. All of our crops are down and over all they’re down 20-25 percent in the agency. Not only are acres down, but we also know we’re going to have reduced yields this year, so that’s a problem,” explained Bertsch. He said they normally certify 300,000-plus acres per year, but this year they may be down closer to 200,000-250,000 acres."

See more from HERE:

(Drought conditions throughout the state may impact the outlook for seed supplies next spring.)


"SD farmers to take in smallest wheat harvest since 2002, also a drought year"

"South Dakota’s farmers will glean the least wheat this year since 2002, when a drought cut grain yields in a way similar to this summer. According to a USDA production report released on Thursday, the state’s farmers will harvest only 24.7-million bushels of the winter wheat planted last fall. That would be the lowest since 2002, when only 20.1-million bushels were produced, according to figures from USDA’s ag-statistics service in Sioux Falls. About all of the winter wheat has been harvested in the state. Hard red spring wheat production this year will total only 30.1-million bushels in the state. That would be the lowest since 24-million bushels were harvested in 2002. Two-thirds of the state’s spring wheat had been combined by Sunday, USDA reported. Total wheat harvested this year will be 54.7-million bushels in South Dakota, down from 111.1 million in 2016, and the lowest since 44.1-million bushels in 2002. That was a year of bad drought, with most crops rated in poor or very poor condition by mid-summer. This year, the USDA’s crop ratings, done by the ag-statistics office, show as bad or worse conditions, in the case of some crops, as harvest season continues."

See more from CAPJournal


Rain Needed to End Drought

Exceptional and Extreme drought conditions are in place over parts of Montana and North and South Dakota due to several days/week of hot and dry weather. The image below suggests how much rain would be needed to end the drought, which suggests nearly 6" to 12" or more!


National Weather Outlook

Here's the weather outlook through the next week, which shows somewhat active weather conditions across parts of the central and eastern US. Scattered showers and storms will bring areas of locally heavy rain to some of these locations. Also keep in mind that some of these storms could be strong to severe.

Severe Threats: Tuesday
According to NOAA's SPC, there is a SLIGHT risk of severe storms across parts of the Central US on Tuesday. The MARGINAL risk stretches as far south as the Texas Panhandle, while another MARGINAL threat has been issued for parts of the Northern New England States. There is another MARGINAL threat of severe weather on Wednesday across the Midwest and across the Ohio Valley on Thursday.


Excessive Rainfall Potential Tuesday & Wednesday

According to NOAA's WPC, there is a risk of excessive rain on Tuesday & Wednesday, mainly across the Central US. While the severe storm threat remains lower on Wednesday, widespread showers and storms could lead to localized areas of flooding through midweek. Note that there is a SLIGHT risk of excessive rainfall across parts of the Midwest both Tuesday and Wednesday.

Localized Heavy Rain Threats

Excessive rainfall will be possible across parts of the Central US, the heaviest of which looks to fall Central Plains and into the Midwest. There could be widespread 1" to 3"+ tallies possible through AM Saturday.


Modoc July Complex - Northern California

The Modoc July Complex in northern California is another large wildfire in the Western US that quickly developed in late July, but has been sitting at 83,120 acres burned over the last several days thanks to the efforts of firefighters.  This particular fire started on Monday, July 24th by lightning! There are still 682 people working on the fire and is 97% contained. The estimated containment date is expected to be on Wednesday, August 16th. 

See more from Inciweb HERE:

Ongoing Large Wildfires

Here's a look at the current wildfire map across the country. Recent hot and dry weather has helped to spark several wildfires across the Western US. The good news is that cooler and potentially wetter conditions will help firefighters combat any fires that are currently burning.

Here's a list of all the current large wildfires from Inciweb:

National Smoke Analysis
Here's the projected wildfire smoke concentration for midday Tuesday, which suggests that smoke from wildfires burning across parts of Canada and the Western US could continue to linger around the Northwest and the Great Lakes Region There also appears a very high concentration of smoke from fires burning across the western half of Canada. If you are in these areas, air quality could be a little poor, but these areas may also be enjoying very interesting looking sunrises/sunsets, which tend to look hazy or reddish-orange.
"Wildfire Smoke Brought Radioactivity and Ozone"
"Now many folks were unhappy with the low visibility and dismal skies during our wildfire smoke period.  And I know a number of you were discomforted by the particles in the air. But there is more.   According to U.S. government measurements, radioactivity and ozone were higher as well. I wasn't aware of the radioactivity issue until I received an email from Tim Celeski of who provided a link to the Environmental Protection Agency's RadNet website (another good reason why we need EPA, by the way). Here is the gamma radiation count from Seattle. Gamma radiation is very high energy electromagnetic radiation and are capable of ionizing (stripping electrons) from atoms.  Values jumped up on August 3, when the smoke reached Seattle and started to decline yesterday.  Note that is a logarithmic scale so the jump is significant."
What August? In Search of Minnesota's Dog Days
By Paul Douglas
When August finally shows up would someone please text/tweet/FedEx me? The maps look like something out of mid-June, not mid-August, with frequent frontal passages, as Canadian air leaks south of the border with alarming frequency. Payback for an unusually warm start to 2017? Perhaps.
August is known for "Dog Days", named for the brightest star in the nighttime sky, Sirius. Ancient Greeks noticed the hottest weather of the year coincided with the "Dog Star" visible at night. They thought light from the star added to the heat of our sun, to make it feel even hotter here on Earth.
This week brings a streak of 70s, but 80s should be the rule next week, and weather for the State Fair looks sticky, with a few days near 90F. Speaking of warmth next weekend will be more lake-friendly. An isolated T-shower Saturday gives way to mid-80s on Sunday; the nicer day to fish, golf, bike - or loiter on the deck.
Eclipse-fever is building. ECMWF (European) guidance hints at a few T-storms for Minnesota and Iowa next Monday. Keep your expectations low; maybe we'll all be pleasantly surprised.
Extended Forecast

TUESDAY: Warm sun, rare dry day. Winds: SE 7-12. High: 80.

TUESDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Chance for showers and storms. Winds: ESE 5. Low: 65

WEDNESDAY: Heavy showers and T-storms. Winds: SE 10-15. High: 74

THURSDAY: Showers taper, patchy clouds. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up: 64. High: 77

FRIDAY: Warm sun, few storms far north.Winds: NW 3-8. Wake-up: 62. High: 79.

SATURDAY: Sticky sun, stray T-storm possible. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 63. High: 81.

SUNDAY: Sunnier, warmer & drier. Winds: S 7-12. Wake-up: 65. High: 86.

Monday: Few T-storms, risk of an eclipse. Winds: SW 7-12. Wake-up: 68. High: 83.

This Day in Weather History
August 15th

1936: St. Paul swelters with a high of 108.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis
August 15th

Average High: 81F (Record: 103F set in 1936)
Average Low: 62F (Record: 47F set in 1960)

Record Rainfall: 1.23" set in 1966

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
August 15th

Sunrise: 6:15am
Sunset: 8:18pm

Hours of Daylight: 14hours & 04mins

Daylight LOST since yesterday: ~2 minutes and 46 seconds
Daylight LOST since summer solstice (June 20th): ~2 hours & 33 minutes

Moon Phase for August 14th at Midnight
0.2 Days After Last Quarter

Weather Outlook For Tuesday

High temps on Tuesday will run a little cooler than average once again with readings only topping out in the 70s across the state. While it won't feel too terribly warm out there, it will feel a big muggy for some across the southern half of the state with dewpoints in the low/mid 60s.

Weather Outlook For Tuesday
A very light east to southeasterly wind will blow across the state on Tuesday. These easterly winds will will be ahead of a developing storm system that will bring more rain to the region midweek.
Weather Outlook For Tuesday
Tuesday looks like one of the drier days of the week, but more rain/thunder will push in late with more widespread stuff developing on Wednesday. 
UV Index for Tuesday- HIGH

The UV Index for Tuesday will be HIGH, which means that it will only 20 to 30 minutes or less to burn unprotected skin. With that said, if you are planning on spending any extended length of time outside, make sure you wear appropriate attire and lather on the sun block!


Minneapolis Temperature Outlook

Here's the temperature outlook through August 30th, which shows temps bouncing around the 70s through the week.  However, temperatures look to get back to the 80s for much of next week, which at that point will be above average. The end of the month could feature temepratures in the mid/upper 70s once again.

8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's CPC, the extended temperature outlook from August 24th to August 28th suggests warmer than average temperatures moving in across much of the Midwest and Great Lakes.


Extended Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's CPC, the extended temperature outlook through August 28th shows that much of the nation will be back to above average temperatures with the exception of the Northwest.

Extended Temperature Outlook

Here's the extended 850mb temperature anomaly loop through the middle part of next week. This describes how warm or cold (from average) mid/low level temperatures will be over time. Note that the cooler blues look to linger across parts of the nation over the next few days, but the warmer reds/oranges looks to move in across much of the nation as we head into next week.


Weather Outlook Ahead

The weather outlook over the next couple of days shows stormy weather continuing across the Central and Eastern part of the county with areas of isolated strong to severe storms and locally heavy rainfall, which could lead to areas of flooding.

5 Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's WPC, the next several days could produce areas of locally heavy rainfall across many in the eastern half of the country, especially in the Central US. Some of the heaviest rainfall could add up to as much as 1" to 3"+, which could also lead to areas of localized flooding.


"Deforestation and Drought in the Tropics Are the Biggest Threats to U.S. Forest Birds"

"Within 40 years, migratory songbirds will face greater danger where they overwinter in Central America than where they nest, new research says. When you pick up a field guide and examine the range map of the Tennessee Warbler, it looks as though North America makes up the bulk of its habitat and that it migrates south for a short winter vacation. But the reality is reversed: This forest species, and others like it, spend the majority of the year in Central America—and there, it might face greater threats in the future. A new study, published in Global Change Biology, found that 21 forest songbirds that breed in North America spend 60 percent of the year on average in their Central American wintering areas. Computer models showed that by 2050 these species will experience more pressure from land-use and climate change in Central America than at their northern breeding grounds, suggesting that these areas require more attention now in order to protect birds throughout the hemisphere."

See more from HERE:


"Massive El Niño sent greenhouse-gas emissions soaring"

"Disruptive weather pattern in 2014–2016 spurred tropical forests to pump out 3 billion tonnes of carbon. The monster El Niño weather pattern of 2014–16 caused tropical forests to burp up 3 billion tonnes of carbon, according to a new analysis. That's equivalent to nearly 20% of the emissions produced during the same period by burning fossil fuels and making cement. Measurements taken by NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite, which measures the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, suggest that El Niño boosted emissions in three ways. A combination of high temperatures and drought increased the number and severity of wildfires in southeast Asia, while drought stunted plant growth in the Amazon rainforest, reducing the amount of carbon it absorbed. And in Africa, a combination of warming temperatures and near-normal rainfall increased the rate at which forests exhaled CO2. The overall jump in emissions from tropical forests was roughly three times the annual average carbon output from deforestation and land-use change globally between 2006 and 20151."

See more from HERE:

(The number and severity of forest fires in Asia — such as this blaze in Indonesia — increased during the recent El Niño weather event.)


"2016 Was Hot, Weird, and Unprecedented, Says NOAA"

"Five lessons from the agency’s report on the year’s record-breaking weather. 2016 was a stormy, sweltering, and altogether exceptional year for Earth’s climate system, breaking dozens of records across every type of environment before ultimately ranking as the hottest year ever measured, according to a new report from the U.S. government released on Thursday. This finding did not come as a surprise to climate scientists, and it may even sound like old news to some readers. The world’s top weather agencies have warned since April of last year that 2016 would prove especially steamy, and the warmest-ever record was declared official in January. But the full scope of the year’s irregularity only became clear now, when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published its annual State of the Climate report for 2016. Written by more than 450 scientists from around the world, the study constitutes the definitive—and, honestly, somewhat dry—account of the year in weather and climate. The report describes facts and summarizes trends; it does not dive into synthesis. But its point is unmistakable: Nearly everywhere that its authors look—at the poles, in the tropics, and beneath the ocean’s surface—they find symptoms of human-caused climate change."

See more from The Atlantic HERE:

(Image credit: The Atlantic)


"It’s unambiguous and definitive. These five charts prove that the planet is heating up."

"The warming of the Earth’s climate is indisputable. A new international climate change report, prepared by 450 scientists from more than 60 countries, has published trends from thousands of data sets that — across the board — present a clear-cut picture of a warming world. Led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the report revealed that heat-trapping gases, global temperatures, ocean heat content, and sea levels reached record or near-record highs in 2016. It is the 27th version of the report, titled State of the Climate in 2016, and is being published as a special 280-page supplement in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. NOAA released the report documenting irrefutable evidence of global warming, even as President Trump and high-level members of his administration have expressed skepticism about the phenomenon, especially the human role. Five indicators from the report, in particular, offer a particularly compelling illustration of the changing composition of the Earth’s atmosphere and the warming that has occurred in lockstep."

See more from WashingtonPost HERE:

(2016 temperature difference from normal. (NOAA))


"A large wildfire has been burning in Greenland for more than a week, and wait, what?!?"

If shrubbery and peatlands catch on fire on a sparsely populated island that's synonymous with snow and ice, will anyone notice? The answer, thanks to satellite monitoring, is an unequivocal "yes." During the past several days, scientists have been keeping close tabs on an unusually large wildfire in southwest Greenland, about 90 miles northeast of the town of Sisimiut. This is one of at least two fires currently burning in Greenland. While fires are not unheard of along the ice-free edges of the island, the large one near Sisimiut is noteworthy for its size and duration, scientists say. Wildfires in Greenland are outpacing past years in terms of the number of satellite-detected incidents. The current fire is the largest wildfire spotted in Greenland since a NASA satellite instrument was turned on in 2002. 

See more from Mashable HERE:

(Satellite image of the Greenland wildfire near the town of Sisimiut, on Aug. 3, 2017.)

"Italian wine harvest season 2017 has early arrival due to extreme weather"

"Struck by harsh weather conditions, Italy expects a drop in wine volumes but local vintners remain confident in the quality of their harvests. For winemakers, the essence of their millennia-old craft lies in a single event that takes place once a year: crush season. Aptly named ‘crush’, which refers to the process when wine grapes are picked, crushed and fermented, it is basically the wine harvesting stage. It is also directly instrumental to the birth of an exquisite wine. This year, seasoned Italian winemakers whose calendars have been specially marked for this ritual in October are going to have to reschedule. For the first time in 10 years, crush season has arrived early to vineyards of the world’s biggest wine producer. The anomalous timing can be credited to the extreme weather conditions that the European country has seen recently. Having forged through spring frosts and hailstorms, Italy is now experiencing an intense heatwave — and this, after months under a dry spell. The effects of the harsh climate are hardly unnoticeable; all across the country, harvest start dates have arrived around 10 days earlier on average. Grapes have been ripening in the regions of Sicilyand Piedmont as early as last month, breaking the tradition of the annual Italian harvest kicking off up north, at the Faccoli family winery in Franciacorta."

See more from Luxuo HERE:


"Resettling the First American ‘Climate Refugees’"

"In January, the Department of Housing and Urban Developmentannounced grants totaling $1 billion in 13 states to help communities adapt to climate change, by building stronger levees, dams and drainage systems. One of those grants, $48 million for Isle de Jean Charles, is something new: the first allocation of federal tax dollars to move an entire community struggling with the impacts of climate change. The divisions the effort has exposed and the logistical and moral dilemmas it has presented point up in microcosm the massive problems the world could face in the coming decades as it confronts a new category of displaced people who have become known as climate refugees."

See more from NYTimes HERE:

(Amiya Brunet, 3, on the bridge that leads to her home, which fills with up to a foot of mud during storms. Her parents, Keith Brunet and Keisha McGehee, would like to leave the island. Credit Josh Haner/The New York Times)


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