Swampy Into Friday, Then More Comfortable

Welcome to the jungles of Minnesota. It's been a swampy week with dew points in the 70s, meaning a tremendous amount of moisture in the air. Light steering winds aloft have caused thunderstorms to stall and regenerate in the same spot, pouring out a month's worth of rain in an hour or two. Typical for Orlando and Manila, but unusual at this northerly latitude.

And you never know when you're about to drive into a flash flood. Six inches of rapidly moving water can knock you off your feet - only 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle downstream, with tragic consequences.

An inflamed atmosphere (Heat Advisory today and tomorrow) ignites a few more thunderstorms today and Friday; highs near 90F both days. Cooler, drier Canadian air dribbles south this weekend, sparking a few more showers Saturday, and a comfortable Sunday - with roughly half as much water in the air as today.

Yes, it's steamy, but it could be worse. The heat index in Philly and Washington D.C. may top 110F on Saturday. I break out in a sweat just thinking about that. 

Heating Up Again. Heat Advisories and (more serious) Excessive Heat Warnings are posted for a good chunk of the USA, including Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. Minnesota is on the northern periphery of the serious heat, with NOAA models hinting at a peak heat index of 104F in the Twin Cities Friday afternoon. Maps above: Praedictix and AerisWeather.

Heaviest Soakers Track South of MSP. So predicts ECMWF, with some 1-3" amounts for far southern Minnesota by Saturday evening; closer to a half inch for the MSP metro over the next 3 days. Map: WeatherBell.

Praedictix Briefing: Issued Wednesday, July 17th, 2019:

  • Dangerous heat and humidity will start to ramp up today in portions of the Central and Eastern United States. Numerous Excessive Heat Warnings are already in place, stretching from southeastern South Dakota south to Oklahoma City and eastward into central Illinois, as well as in the Philadelphia metro.
  • Highs in these areas are expected to climb into at least the 90s today into the weekend, and when humidity is factor in it could feel more like 100-110F+ in some locations during the peak heating of the afternoon.
  • Warm lows won’t provide much relief overnight either, as for areas like Chicago, St. Louis, New York and Philadelphia they will only fall to around 80F over some of the next several nights.
  • While we typically see hot weather during the summer, it’ll be the stretch of consecutive hot days and warm nights that will be problematic.

Excessive Heat Concerns. A potentially dangerous summer heatwave will take shape through the weekend from the central United States to the Northeast, with highs in the 90s and 100s and heat index values climbing to near 110F in some locations. Numerous heat alerts are in place from the Plains to the Mid-Atlantic due to high afternoon heat index values as well as overnight lows that won’t provide much relief from the heat if not in an air-conditioned location. While no alerts are currently in place for areas like New York and Boston, I would expect alerts to expand further by the end of the week.

Some locations under Excessive Heat Warnings include:

  • Oklahoma City, OK: From 11 AM to 8 PM today for heat index values around 110F.
  • Wichita, KS: From 1 PM today to 7 PM Saturday for daily peak heat index values between 105-108F.
  • Kansas City, MO: From 1 PM today to 8 PM Saturday for highs in the upper 90s to around 100F, daily peak heat index values between 105-110F, and nighttime lows in the upper 70s to around 80F.
  • St. Louis, MO: From 1 PM today to 8 PM Saturday for highs in the upper 90s and daily peak heat index values up to 110F.
  • Omaha, NE: From 1 PM today to 7 PM Saturday for highs in the mid-to-upper 90s and daily peak heat index values up to 113F.
  • Des Moines, IA: From 1 PM today to 7 PM Saturday for highs in the 90s to around 100F, daily peak heat index values between 100-110F, and nighttime lows in the mid-70s to around 80F.
  • Philadelphia, PA: Until 10 PM Sunday for highs in the upper 90s and daily peak heat index values up to 110F.

Some locations under Excessive Heat Watches include:

  • Chicago, IL: From Thursday afternoon through Saturday evening for highs in the 90s (potentially nearing 100F Friday and Saturday), peak daily heat index values between 101-111F, and Thursday and Friday night lows near 80F.
  • Indianapolis, IN: From Thursday afternoon through Sunday evening for highs in the mid-to-upper 90s with peak daily heat index values between 105-110F.
  • Louisville, KY: From Thursday afternoon through Sunday evening for daily peak heat index values from 100-110F.
  • Cleveland, OH: From Friday afternoon through Saturday evening for daily peak heat index values from 105-112F.

Upper Midwest Highs And Lows. Highs from today into the weekend will reach into the mid and upper 90s across the Central Plains and Upper Midwest, working their way into the Ohio Valley Thursday. This includes Chicago, where highs by Friday could approach 100F – a value that hasn’t been reached in the city since July 6, 2012. There also won’t be much relief at night as lows only dip into the 70s as far north as portions of Minnesota and Wisconsin – and only into the 80s three out of the next four mornings in St. Louis.

Upper Midwest Heat Index Values. Once you factor in the humidity (with dew points in the 70s) it is expected that it’ll feel more like the 100s during the peak heating of the afternoon. These values could approach 110F in some locations, including Thursday-Saturday in St. Louis, Thursday and Friday in Des Moines, and Friday in Chicago.

Northeast Highs And Lows. While highs will be in the 90s as far north as the New York City area today, the main surge of heat will move into portions of the Northeast Friday and Saturday. Highs look to approach – if not break – 100F Saturday from Washington D.C. to Philadelphia to New York City, with highs in the mid-to-upper 90s expected in Boston. Lows both Saturday and Sunday morning will be around 80F in the major cities as well, which will provide no break in the heat through the overnight hours.

Northeast Heat Index Values. Peak heat index values will be in the 100s as far north as Philadelphia today, but widespread 100F+ heat index values are expected Friday and Saturday across portions of the Mid-Atlantic and southern Northeast states. By Saturday, heat index values will be in the 100s for New York City and Boston, and could approach 110F in Philadelphia.

Probably Of Heat Index Values Over 110F Saturday. Saturday will be the peak day of heat for most areas of the Northeast, and there is a 70% chance that heat index values could top 110F during the afternoon for areas around Washington D.C. and Philadelphia.

Heat Safety Tips. Here are some heat safety tips from NOAA for the next several days. This heat is not to be taken lightly through the rest of the week and the weekend across the central and Northeastern United States. While we typically see hot weather during the summer, it’ll be the stretch of consecutive hot days and warm nights that will be problematic. You can find more heat safety tips here: https://www.weather.gov/safety/heat

D.J. Kayser, Meteorologist, Praedictix

Going Back to the Moon - To Get to Mars? Check out a post from NASA: "...In the half-century since people visited the Moon, NASA has continued to push the boundaries of knowledge to deliver on the promise of American ingenuity and leadership in space. And NASA will continue that work by moving forward to the Moon with astronauts landing on the lunar South Pole by 2024. NASA is implementing the President’s Space Policy Directive-1 to “lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the solar system.” The Moon will provide a proving ground to test technologies and resources that will take humans to Mars and beyond, including building a sustainable, reusable architecture..."

Image credit: "NASA has been discussing concepts for human lunar exploration since the Apollo flights ended. In this 1995 artist’s concept, a lunar mining operation harvests oxygen from the lunar soil in Mare Serenatatis, a few kilometers from the Apollo 17 landing site." Image Credit: SAIC/Pat Rawlings.

Did the Pentagon Weaponize Ticks? Roll Call has a head-scratching article; here are a couple of excerpts: "The House quietly voted last week to require the Pentagon inspector general to tell Congress whether the department experimented with weaponizing disease-carrying insects and whether they were released into the public realm — either accidentally or on purpose... The amendment, by New Jersey Republican Christopher H. Smith, says the inspector general “shall conduct a review of whether the Department of Defense experimented with ticks and other insects regarding use as a biological weapon between the years of 1950 and 1975...”

4 Kids, Ages 10 to 14, Steal Parent’s Car, Go On 600-Mile Road Trip. CBS News has the story: "Four kids from Australia did not let their age stop them from going on an unsupervised cross-country road trip on Sunday. The group, ages 10 to 14, stole a car from one of their parents and took a nearly 600-mile joy ride to go fishing, BBC News reports. The group packed the vehicle with fishing poles and began their adventure from Queensland to New South Wales. They stopped at a gas station in the town of Banana and allegedly stole gas. "[The children] locked themselves in the car and police have had to use a baton to get into the vehicle to arrest them," Williams said, according to Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Williams said the four children most likely took turns driving during the trip, which can take about 10 hours..."

Photo credit: "The four kids, ages 10 to 14, took one of their parents' cars to go on a fishing excursion." Queensland Police.

“Please Don’t Create Meth Gators”. CNN has the cautionary tale: "A Tennessee police department is warning residents to stop flushing drugs down their toilet and sinks out of fear they could create "meth gators."  "Now our sewer guys take great pride in releasing water that is cleaner than what is in the creek, but they are not really prepared for meth," according to a Loretto Police Department social media post. "Ducks, Geese, and other fowl frequent our treatment ponds and we shudder to think what one all hyped up on meth would do." The police posted the warning to Facebook on Saturday after officers found a suspect unsuccessfully trying to flush methamphetamine and paraphernalia at their home..."

File image: Wikipedia.

86 F. high yesterday in the Twin Cities.

84 F. average high on July 17. That's the warmest average high of the year, by the way.

81 F. high on July 17, 2018.

July 18, 2000: Fall apparel makes an early debut with a 60 degree high temperature at the Twin Cities, 54 at Brainerd and 52 at Cambridge.

July 18, 1970: A tornado slices right through the center of Miltona.

July 18, 1867: The greatest 'unofficial' rainstorm in Minnesota history is reported. 36 inches of rain is recorded in 36 hours near Sauk Center. Disastrous flooding occurs in central Minnesota. The Pomme De Terre river becomes impassable; a courier attempted to cross on horseback and drowned. Flooding also occurs on the Mississippi, with millions of logs lost on the river.

THURSDAY: Heat Advisory. Steamy, few T-storms likely. Winds: SW 7-12. High: 89

FRIDAY: Heat Advisory. Another free sauna, late T-storm risk. Winds: SW 5-10. Wake-up: 74. High: 91

SATURDAY: Unsettled, passing shower or T-shower. Winds: N 5-10. Wake-up: 68. High: near 80

SUNDAY: Partly sunny, more comfortable. Winds: N 7-12. Wake-up: 63. High: 81

MONDAY: Sunny and very pleasant. Winds: SE 3-8. Wake-up: 62. High: 82

TUESDAY: Plenty of sunshine, warming up. Winds: SW 8-13. Wake-up: 65. High: 84

WEDNESDAY: Passing shower or T-shower possible. Winds: N 8-13. Wake-up: 65. High: 81

Climate Stories...

Days of Extreme Heat Will Become Weeks as Climate Warms, U.S. Study Warns. Here's an excerpt from new research summarized at InsideClimate News: "...The study, published in a peer-reviewed journal and as a longer report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, used 18 climate models to predict changes in the heat index—the mix of heat and humidity that reflects how hot it feels—across the contiguous U.S. as global temperatures rise over the coming decades. It found that the number of days when the average temperature will feel like 100 degrees in the Lower 48 states will more than double, from about two weeks at the end of the last century to 30 days by mid-century, even with some efforts to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that drive global warming. And the number of days with a heat index of 105°F or more will more than triple to nearly three weeks, the study found..."

Feeling Anxious About Climate Change? Therapists Say You're Not Alone. A story at People caught my eye; here's a clip: "...Bryant works at North Seattle Therapy & Counseling in Washington state. Recently, he said, he has been seeing patients with anxiety or depression related to climate change and the Earth’s future. Often these patients want to do something to reduce global warming but are overwhelmed and depressed by the scope of the problem and difficulty in finding solutions. And they’re anxious about how the Earth will change over the rest of their or their children’s lifetimes. Although it is not an official clinical diagnosis, the psychiatric and psychological communities have names for the phenomenon: “climate distress,” “climate grief,” “climate anxiety” or “eco-anxiety...”

Southerners Are Scared of the Climate Crisis, and Their Politicians Are Ignoring Them. VICE has the story: "...Conservative officials have consistently voiced doubt and blocked legislation concerning climate change, even though the parts of the country they represent stand to lose the most. A recent New York Times analysis rounded up over 80 environmental rules and regulations that are being pushed out by the Trump administration, with help from Republican congress members. Inside Climate News reported that in 2018, most caucus Republicans “voted to block agencies from considering the social cost of carbon in rulemaking," and that "only a handful spoke out against President Donald Trump's decision to leave the Paris climate accord...”

California's Dry, California's Burning: Climate Nexus has headlines and links: "Climate change is driving an explosion in the size of wildfires across California, new research shows. A study published this week in the journal Earth's Future finds that human-caused climate change is largely responsible for significantly drying out soil and timber in the summers, leading to an eightfold increase in summer forest fires since 1972 that contributed to a fivefold increase in area burned over the same time period. "Each degree of warming causes way more fire than the previous degree of warming did," study author Park Williams told the Atlantic. "And that’s a really big deal." (The Atlantic, CNNKQEDJefferson Public Radio, KPBS)

Wildfire trends graphic: Climate Central.

Temperatures in U.S. Cities to Break Heat Index by 2050, Study Warnings. We're going to need a bigger heat index, according to new research summarized at Daily Beast: "Hundreds of U.S. cities could see an entire month each year with heat-index temperatures soaring above 100 degrees by 2050 if global warming isn’t curtailed, a terrifying new study has predicted. “Our analysis shows a hotter future that’s hard to imagine today,” said study co-author Kristina Dahl, climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Nearly everywhere, people will experience more days of dangerous heat in the next few decades.” The heat index is what the temperature feels like to the human body when humidity is combined with the air temperature. The study predicts the number of days each year when it feels like it’s more than 100 degrees will more than double nationally, with conditions becoming so extreme on some days that they’d break the current upper limit of the heat index..."

Photo credit: Reuters / Steve Marcus.

Could Climate Change Spark a Financial Crisis? Candidates Warn Feds It's a Risk. InsideClimate News explains: "...It's not just that fossil fuel projects, like other infrastructure investments, are at risk from severe weather events, a risk that lenders and insurance companies must shoulder. It's also that when the world finally weans itself away from the fossil fuels whose use is driving global warming, the business models of some of the most heavily capitalized world industries could crumble along with demand for their products.  Investors call the problem "stranded assets," and they've been warning about it for years. The challenge for the candidates is to convert the experts' somewhat arcane and technical policy recommendations into a stump-speech sound bite or a debate-stage zinger..."

Bangladesh Grapples with Millions of Climate Refugees. UCANews.com has the story: "Bangladeshi cities are struggling to cope with an influx of millions of people from rural and coastal areas due to climate change-induced disasters, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told an international conference in capital Dhaka. “Evidence suggests that Bangladesh already has six million climate migrants, a number that could more than double by 2050 due to changes in temperature, increased frequency and severity of floods, drought, heat waves, cyclones and storm surges, sea level rises and salinity intrusion,” state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha news agency quoted Hasina as saying on July 10..."

Photo credit: "A boatman ferries people across the Rupsa River during the rainy season in Bangladesh’s Khulna district on July 17, 2015. Low-lying Bangladesh is grappling with millions of climate refugees, a conference was told." (Photo by Stephan Uttom/ucanews.com).

Athlete vs. Heat. Spiking temperatures and humidity levels (and subsequent heat indices) are already having an impact on summer sports; here's an excerpt from The Washington Post: "...The people from this area are plenty acquainted with hot summer days. Climatologists say the earth’s hottest places are getting hotter faster than everywhere else. There was a report this year that found Las Vegas is the fastest-warming city in the country and has seen an average temperature increase of nearly 6 degrees since 1970. The whole planet is getting warmer, in fact. Across the globe, the past four years are the warmest on record. Last year the average temperature across Earth’s land and ocean surfaces was 1.42 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and climate watchers say it’s trending in one direction. Climate projections suggest the planet could warm by 3 or 4 degrees by the end of this century, which would have major ramifications for outdoor sports everywhere, from recreational weekend joggers to elite athletes competing on the biggest stages..."

Older Post

Round 3? Wednesday is ripe for severe storms and maybe flash floods

Newer Post

Excessive Heat Warning & Severe Storms Today