"There's going to be a beautiful meteor shower this weekend – here's when you need to look up"
"The Draconid meteor shower has been known to send 1,000 meteors an hour flying through the sky. Luckily for us countryside-dwellers, our cleaner and less light-polluted air means we stand a pretty good chance of being able to see meteor showers and lunar events when they occur – that's if the cloud decides not to make an appearance, of course. So, this weekend on 7th and 8th October, look up when the night sky rolls in and you should be in for a treat. The Draconid meteor shower will peak this weekend and send shooting stars across the sky between sunset and midnight. Seen from Northern America, Europe and Asia, the Draconids are debris from the comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, which is following its six and a half year orbit near Jupiter."
(Getty HIKO MIYAO via CountryLiving)

Northern Lights Potential
"NOAA forecasters say there is a 45% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Oct. 7th when a stream of solar wind makes contact with Earth's magnetic field. Arctic sky watchers should be alert for auroras mixed with bright Harvest moonlight." 
Forecast: Auroral activity will be active. Weather permitting, active auroral displays will be visible overhead from Inuvik, Yellowknife, Rankin and Iqaluit to Juneau, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Sept-Iles, and visible low on the horizon from Vancouver, Great Falls, Pierre, Madison, Lansing, Ottawa, Portland and St. Johns.

Tracking NATE in the Atlantic
Here's a look at NATE from early Saturday morning, which according to NOAA's NHC, was a Hurricane with sustained winds of 85mph. Note that this is the fourteenth named storm and the ninth hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
Tracking NATE in the Atlantic
Hurricane NATE is expected to slowly strengthen withing the next 24 hours hours as it quickly moves north over warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane and Tropical Storm Warnings have been posted for parts of the Gulf Coast as NATE looks to make a landfall east of New Orleans or near Biloxi, MS. Models continue to suggest that NATE will make a landfall late Saturday night or early Sunday as a category 1 hurricane. There is still some uncertainty of exact strength and placement of the storm, but areas from eastern Louisiana to the Panhandle of Florida should prepare for tropical impacts through Sunday.
Timing of Tropical Storm Force Winds
Tropical Storm force winds will be possible across parts of the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to the Panhandle of Florida through the day Saturday, with rapidly deteriorating weather Saturday night/early Sunday morning.
NATE Makes U.S. Landfall This Weekend
Both the European ECMWF (top) and the American GFS (bottom) show NATE making a landfall along the northern Gulf Coast late Saturday night/early Sunday morning. Both models are in better agreement and are converging on a solution that takes it close to New Orleans or Biloxi, MS. Tropical impacts from this storm will including strong wind, storm surge and heavy rain.
Max Wind Gusts
Here are the max wind gusts expected by 1am Sunday. Note that areas in southeastern Louisiana and into southern Mississippi could be seeing hurricane force winds at this time.
Storm Surge Warning
A Storm Surge Warning has been issued along the southeast coast of Louisiana to the western Florida Panhandle for the potential of a 6' to 9' rise in water levels as NATE moves in.
Tropical Advisories
Here are all the tropical advisories that have been posted across the region. Note that hurricane warnings have been posted from near New Orleans to near Mobile, while tropical storm warnings have been posted from southeast Louisiana to central Alabama. Tropical storm watches have also been issued from southern Louisiana to northwestern Georgia.
Atlantic Outlook Next 5 Days
Here's the Atlantic outlook over the next 5 days, which shows NATE in the western Caribbean lifting north into the Gulf of Mexico, while there is a wave in the central Atlantic that have a HIGH chance of tropical development over the next 5 days.
Watching The Tropics and the Southeast
Here's the forecast from Saturday into early next week, which shows NATE making landfall near New Orleans late Saturday and quickly lifting north into the Tennessee Valley by Sunday. Gusty winds, heavy rain and coastal flooding will be possible along the Gulf Coast, while heavy rain and gusty winds will be possible as the storm moves inland.
Heavy Rainfall Potential
Here's the rainfall potential through Monday evening, which suggests areas of heavy rain across the Gulf Coast and into the Tenessee/Ohio Valley as NATE lifts north through early next week. Several spots could see 3" to 6" of rain, but some localized areas could 6" to 10". 
September 10th - Official Peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season
Here's the average Atlantic hurricane season, which shows that peak activity generally occurs on September 10th and stays somewhat active through the month of October, but really diminishes through the month of November. Again, the Atlantic Hurricane Season doesn't officially end until November 30th.
PRELIMINARY 2017 Tornado Map

It certainly has been a fairly active first half of 2017 with 1390 preliminary tornado reports through October 5th. Note that this is the most tornadoes through that date since 2011, when there were 1,797 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 1390 (through October 5th). Note that is the most active year for tornadoes since 2011, when there were 1,797 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.


National Weather Hazards Ahead...

1.) Heavy rain from the Southern Appalachians to the Northeast, Mon-Tue, Oct 9-Oct 10.
2.) Heavy snow across portions of Colorado, Mon, Oct 9.
3.) Flooding possible across portions of the Middle Mississippi Valley, the Upper Mississippi Valley, and the Northern Plains.
4.) Flooding occurring or imminent across portions of Florida and the Southern Plains.
5.) High winds across portions of the Central Great Basin and Northern California, Mon, Oct 9.
6.) High winds across portions of Southern California, Mon-Tue, Oct 9-Oct 10.
7.) High winds across southwest portions of mainland Alaska and the western Aleutians, Thu-Fri, Oct 12-Oct 13.
8.) High significant wave heights for coastal portions of the Aleutians, Thu-Fri, Oct 12-Oct 13.
9.) Slight risk of much below normal temperatures for portions of Northern California, the Central Great Basin, the Pacific Northwest, and the Northern Great Basin, Sat-Sun, Oct 14-Oct 15.
10.) Severe Drought across the Central Plains, the Northern Plains, Hawaii, the Northern Rockies, the Middle Mississippi Valley, and the Upper Mississippi Valley.


Latest Drought Monitor

Here's the latest drought update from the US Drought Monitor, which shows EXCEPTIONAL drought conditions continuing across parts of Montana. Note that nearly 90% of the state is considered to be abnormally dry, but the EXCEPTIONAL drought covers nearly 10% of the state, which is down from nearly 18% from last week. In North Dakota, less than 1% is in an EXCEPTIONAL drought, but nearly 3% of the state is still in an EXTREME drought, which is also the same as last week.

Rain Needed to End Drought
Thanks to recent cool and wetter weather, drought conditions have been improving, but we still need nearly 6" to 12" to end the drought in these locations.


Rice Ridge Fire - 1.4 Miles NE of Seeley Lake, MT

The Rice Ridge Fire near Sleeley Lake, MT is another very large wildfire that started on Monday, July 24th due to lightning. The fire has grown to more than 160,000 acres and is 96% contained. There are 19 people working on the fire and they hope to have it fully contained by Sunday, October 15th.

"The Northern Rockies Wildland Fire Management Team is transitioning with the local Type 3 organization Tuesday Oct 3 at 6 p.m. Remaining operations will be managed by Phil Shilmerdine, Incident Commander. The Rice Ridge Fire was detected on July 24, 2017. It grew to the current size of over 160,000 acres. With a change of the weather and the onset of fall, fire activity has significantly slowed although firefighters and engines continue to patrol and cool hot spots that are near the fire's edge. The perimeter in the Scapegoat and Bob Marshall Wildernesses are continually monitored for heat and fire activity."

See more from inciweb HERE:

(Image Credit: Inciweb - taken on 10/3/2017)

Diamond Creek Fire - Mazama, Washington

The Diamond Creek Fire near Mazama, Washington is a very large wildfire in the Western US that started on Sunday,  July 23rd and has grown to more than 128,000 acres! There are nearly 19 people working on this fire, which is 85% contained. The estimated containment date is set for Sunday, October 15th.

"Incident Summary: The Diamond Creek Fire was reported on July 23, 2017 at approximately 9:45 a.m. The fire is burning in the Pasayten Wilderness and Eightmile drainage about 11 miles north of Mazama, Washington. Smokejumpers responded to the fire within two hours of it being reported. However, due to extreme terrain, heavy dead and down timber, and critical fire weather conditions, the fire was unable to be contained during initial response. The fire crossed into Canada on August 29. Fire managers recognized that the Diamond Creek Fire would likely be a long term event. Monitor, confine and point protection strategies are being used inside the Pasayten Wilderness. Outside the wilderness, the fire is being managed under a suppression strategy using a mixture of direct, indirect and point protection tactics when and where there is a high probability of success. Fire personnel will engage the fire at the appropriate time and location, while keeping public and firefighter safety as the top priority. Fire personnel are currently focused on identifying and implementing suppression repair work on the primary and contingency control lines. The suppression repair will not compromise the intended purpose of the control lines should they be needed at a later date."

See more from Inciweb HERE:

(Night time picture of a glowing yurt Credit: Brent Tannehill) 


Ongoing Large Wildfires

Here's a look at the current wildfire map across the country. While several fires are still ongoing, recent cool and somewhat wet weather has been helping curb the wildfire threat, especially in the Western US.

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


National Weather Outlook

Here's the weather outlook into the weekend, which shows areas of heavy rain across parts of the Midwest moving into the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley. NATE will make landfall on Saturday night along the Gulf Coast with heavy rain, gusty winds and coastal flooding. Gusty winds and heavy rain will continue to lift northeast through the weekend and early next week. Another storm system will dive through the Rockies, which will bring another round of snow to the Intermountain West.

5 Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's WPC, the next several days could produce very heavy rainfall across parts of the Gulf Coast to the Northeast and NATE lifts north through the region. Widespread 2" to 4" can be expected, but heavier amounts of 4" to 8"+ amounts can't be rule out, which could cause areas of floording.

Snowfall Potential
Storm systems will continue to push through the northwestern US with areas of moisture that will get wrapped in the higher elevations into snow. 

Improving Weekend Weather. Flirting with 70 Sunday
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas

Is it just me or is the recent cool and cloudy weather making me hungrier? My Crock-Pot has been working overtime. Lots of hearty meals have been plated up as of late and I want more! Interestingly, our bodies will naturally work harder to keep our core temp up - sometimes shivering - ultimately burning a few more calories.

NATE is on track to make landfall later tonight along the Gulf Coast as a potential hurricane. Thankfully, this will not be another Harvey, Irma or Maria, but it will still bring heavy rain, strong winds and storm surge to those areas.

Our soggy weather wraps up early Saturday with slow clearing expected through the afternoon. Sunday looks fantastic with bright sun and afternoon temperatures flirting with 70 degrees for some.

Our next cold front blows through the region early next week and could drop highs into the 50s by Tuesday. Overnight lows could dip into the 30s with widespread front possible across much of northern Minnesota.

I'm already cold and hungry... Pass me another bowl of chili, please. BURP!

Extended Forecast
SATURDAY: AM showers, PM clearing. Winds: WSW 5-15. High: 64.
SATURDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and cool. Winds: WSW 5. Low: 50.
SUNDAY: Bright sun returns.Mild for October. Winds: NNW 5-10. High: 70.
MONDAY: Filtered sunshine. Rain develops late. Winds: N10-15. Wake-up: 47. High: 62.
TUESDAY: Chilly with lingering clouds. Winds: N 5. Wake-up: 42. High: 58.
WEDNESDAY: Frostly start up north. Sunny. Winds: S 5-10. Wake-up: 40. High: 61.
THURSDAY: Dry skies.Near normal temps. Winds: SSE 5. Wake-up: 42. High: 63.
FRIDAY: Clouds thicken. T-shower chance late. Winds: SSE 10-15. Wake-up: 45. High: 64.

This Day in Weather History
October 7th

2003: Record high temperatures are seen across the area. St. Cloud's high is 86 degrees. Minneapolis ties their record high of 85 degrees set in 1997, and Alexandria sets their record high of 88 degrees. Forest Lake reaches a record-setting 82 degrees, along with Stillwater at 84 degrees.

1980: Summer-like heat occurs over Minnesota with highs of 92 at Montevideo and 84 at MSP airport.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis
October 7th

Average High: 62F (Record: 85F set in 2011)
Average Low: 43F (Record: 25F set in 1976)

Record Rainfall: 0.98" set in 1904
Record Snowfall: Trace set in 2002

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
October 7th

Sunrise: 7:19am
Sunset: 6:42pm

Hours of Daylight: ~11 hours 23 mins

Daylight LOST since yesterday: ~3 minutes and 4 seconds
Daylight LOST since summer solstice (June 20th): 4 hours & 14 minutes

Moon Phase for October 7th at Midnight
2.5 Days After Full "Harvest" Moon

"Oct. 5, 2:40 p.m. EDT– Full Harvest Moon. Traditionally, this designation goes to the September full moon that occurs closest to the autumnal (fall) equinox. This year's Harvest Moon comes unusually late. At the peak of the harvest, farmers can work into the night by the light of this moon. Usually, the moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the U.S., and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and Europe. Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans and wild rice — the chief staples of Native Americans — are now ready for gathering."

See more from Space.com HERE:


Weather Outlook For Saturday

Temps on Saturdya will be a little warmer than average as highs bump up into the mid/upper 60s across much of the state. Some spots in far western and southwestern Minnesota could warm to near 70F.

Simulated Radar Ahead...
Here's the simulated radar across the Upper Midwest from Saturday to midday Monday, which suggests a few leftover showers early Saturday and then will give way to mostly sunny skies late Saturday into Sunday. 
Minneapolis Temperature Outlook

Here's the temperature outlook through October 21st, which shows temps closer to average through the the middle par of October. However, we're getting indications of a cooling trend by the end of the month as we fall into 50s.

Minnesota Fall Color Update

According the MN DNR, much of the state is starting to see hints of fall color, however, much of northern Minnesota is peaking right now with pockets of past peak colors!

Follow along as the fall colors change with the MN DNR map HERE:

Typical Fall Color Peak in Minnesota

Here are the typical fall color peak times across the state of Minnesota and note that areas along the northern tier of the state usually see their peak toward the 2nd half of September. However, peak color usually doesn't arrive in central Minnesota until October, but we're getting close.

Wisconsin Fall Color Update

We're also seeing quite a bit of color show up across the northern half of Wisconsin with many locations now nearing 50%-100% color!

See more from Travel Wisconsin HERE:


Typical Fall Color Times Across the Country

Here are the typical fall color peak times across the country, which suggests that much of the peak across the northern half of the nation usually wraps up through the month of October.

"Hurricanes batter payrolls: 33,000 jobs lost in Sept."
"Hurricanes Harvey and Irma significantly doused payroll growth in September as  employers lost 33,000 jobs, but some other economic indicators have been positive and the weak showing is likely to be reversed in coming months. It marks the first time the economy has lost jobs since September 2010, but many analysts and Federal Reserve officials are likely to write off the disappointing performance. The unemployment rate, which is calculated from a different survey, fell to 4.2% from 4.4%, the Labor Department said Friday."
(Photo: Elise Amendola, AP Via USAToday)

"Hurricane Irma Means Your Orange Juice Could Soon Taste More Sour"
"That morning cup of orange juice could start to taste more tart. After Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on Florida citrus crops last month, U.S. beverage companies could be forced to start using larger amounts of less-sweet Brazilian orange juice in their blends to make up for output losses. Brazil’s exports of orange juice to the U.S. may increase by as much as 50 percent to 300,000 metric tons, meeting the needs for about half of American consumption, Ibiapaba Netto, executive director at the juice exporters’ association Citrus BR, said in a telephone interview."
(Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

"'Don't Let Your Guard Down': Atlantic Hurricane Season Isn't Over Yet"
"September was a doozy for hurricanes. By one measure, it was the most active month on record for the Atlantic Ocean, thanks, in particular, to two Category 5 monsters. But as the calendar has turned over into October, the Atlantic has gone quiet. This welcome respite from the tropical onslaught comes courtesy of a shift to less favorable conditions for storm formation, several experts said. But hurricane season is far from over, and the Atlantic Ocean is sure to see more activity, they warned. "We're not done yet," Phil Klotzbach, a hurricane researcher at Colorado State University, told Live Science. August, September and October mark the climatological peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, which stretches from the beginning of June to the end of November. That means those months, particularly September, tend to be when most of the hurricane action happens. This September "was like peak season on steroids," Klotzbach said."
(NOAA GOES-16 satellite captured this image of Hurricane Maria as it made landfall on the Caribbean island of Dominica on Monday evening (Sept. 18). Credit: NOAA)

"How Evaporation from Lakes and Reservoirs Could Sustainably Power a Nation"
"When we think of renewable energy sources that could help replace the burning of climate-altering carbon-based fuels, solar panels and wind turbines come to mind. But Columbia University scientists have identified another, thus-far untapped energy source that might have just as much promise — the massive amount of water that continually evaporates from the nation's lakes and reservoirs. That natural phenomenon, they say, could be tapped into by devices containing sheets covered with bacterial spores, which contract and expand in response to changes of moisture — almost like the flexing of a muscle. That mechanical "muscle" action, in turn, could be used to generate gigantic amounts of electricity, they say. In a newly published article in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers estimate that inland bodies of water in the United States have at least the theoretical potential to generate as much as 325 gigawatts of electricity, an amount equals to nearly 70 percent of our nationwide electrical consumption in 2015."

"That Giant Antarctic Iceberg Just Revealed an Ecosystem Hidden For Thousands of Years"
"When a vast trillion-tonne chunk of ice the size of Delaware broke free from Antarctica in July, it didn't just set loose one of the largest icebergs scientists have ever witnessed. The massive calving also uncovered a mysterious and precious marine ecosystem hidden under the ice that could have been buried for up to 120,000 years – and it's vital we protect this isolated sanctuary now it's been laid bare. "I cannot imagine a more dramatic shift in environmental conditions in any ecosystem on Earth," marine ecologist Julian Gutt from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Germany told Nature. That epic transition is due to the iceberg – which is called A–68 – drifting and disintegrating northwards into the Weddell Sea and away from its former moorings, the Larsen C ice shelf."
(Copernicus Sentinel–1/BAS via Sience Alert)

"Tropical volcanoes can lead to El Niño events"
"Volcanic eruptions that occur in the tropics can cause El Niño events, warming periods in the Pacific Ocean with dramatic global impacts on the climate, according to new research. Enormous eruptions trigger El Niño events by pumping millions of tons of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere, which form a sulfuric acid cloud, reflecting solar radiation and reducing the average global surface temperature, according to the study. The study used sophisticated climate model simulations to show that El Niño tends to peak during the year after large volcanic eruptions like the one at Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991. “We can’t predict volcanic eruptions, but when the next one happens, we’ll be able to do a much better job predicting the next several seasons, and before Pinatubo we really had no idea,” says Alan Robock, coauthor of the study and a professor in the environmental sciences department at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. “All we need is one number—how much sulfur dioxide goes into the stratosphere—and you can measure it with satellites the day after an eruption.”
(Credit: US Geological Survey via Rutgers)
"Why Hurricane Harvey Was Good News For Car Companies"
"Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc across swaths of Texas and Louisiana, damaging billions of dollars’ worth of property in its path. That includes cars, many of which needed to be replaced, resulting in a bittersweet sales boost for a number of automakers. Major automakers are reporting record sales figures for September pretty much across the board: General Motors reported a 12% increase in year-over-year sales to 279,397 units; Toyota’s North American business was also bustling, with a 14.9% increase — compared to Sept. 2016 — to 226,632 cars last month; and Ford’s [PDF] sales were up by 8.7% over last year, with a total of 169,544 vehicles sold at retail. Fiat Chrysler, however, had a 10% decrease in sales, even though its retail sales were up 0.3%. That’s because of a planned reduction in how many cars it sells to rental companies. A lot of these increases can be attributed to post-storm purchases: Ford says it sold about 500,000 additional vehicles last month because of Harvey, Mark LaNeve, the company’s U.S. sales chief told reporters on a conference call today reported by Bloomberg."
(Image Courtesy: Kino Praxis Via Consumerist)
"Florida Keys Reopens to Tourists After Hurricane Irma"
"The Florida Keys announced Monday, October 2, that it has reopened to visitors despite significant damage due to Hurricane Irma just three weeks ago. The island chain officially reopened Sunday, October 1, which marked three weeks after Irma passed over the Keys on September 10. Local officials reopened so fast due to the speedy completion of significant infrastructure repairs, almost total restoration of utilities, and the necessity of resuming the tourism-driven economy that employs about 50 percent of the Florida Keys workforce. This means anglers from all over the world can take advantage of the Keys' famous inshore and offshore fishing opportunities. Stacey Mitchell, director of marketing for the Florida Keys tourism council, said welcoming tourists back to the popular destination "will provide jobs and the hope that our residents are looking for so they can begin to rebuild their lives."While Key Largo and Key West dodged major impact from the hurricane, a number of lodging properties and other tourism facilities haven’t yet resumed normal operations. Recovery efforts continue, particularly in the Lower Keys and parts of Marathon that were hit hardest by the storm."
(Courtesy Andy Newman / Florida Keys News Bureau VIA SportFishingMag.com)

"The National Hurricane Center’s communication during Irma was not a problem"
"The author, James Franklin, worked at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for 35 years, the last 17 years at National Hurricane Center, and recently retired. He writes the following response to this perspective by Bryan Norcross: Hurricane Center creates great forecasts, but its communications system gets in the way. I’m struggling to understand Bryan Norcross’s issues with National Hurricane Center messaging during Hurricane Irma’s approach to South Florida. He seems to be concerned that Miami residents think they dodged a bullet — that Irma was forecast to hit Miami but turned away and hit Naples instead. I’m not sure why that impression on the part of Miami residents should be a concern. Norcross believes that the publicly available message was all about Miami, but the National Hurricane Center’s forecasts at various times showed tracks along both the east and west coasts of Florida. The first National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast graphic to show a Florida landfall (Advisory 28, issued at 11 p.m., Sept. 5) showed landfall occurring in the Lower Keys, with the cone encompassing all of south Florida. From 11 a.m., Sept. 6, to 5 p.m., Sept. 7, Miami indeed fell almost directly on the forecast track. With the 11 p.m. advisory Sept. 7, however, more than two days before landfall, the NHC forecast track began to shift westward away from Miami. Thirty-six hours in advance (and thereafter) the NHC forecast graphics showed the center crossing the Lower Keys. In all of these forecast graphics, all of South Florida was within the cone."

"Did a Meteorite Start a Forest Fire in New Hampshire? It's Unlikely"
"A three-alarm forest fire in the White Mountains near Woodstock, New Hampshire was linked to reports of a meteorite strike, the Boston Globereported on Wednesday. On Tuesday night, one witness said that the day before “at 7:35 p.m., he was driving by and saw a meteor streak through the sky and crash,” Woodstock fire department Chief John MacKay told the paper. The blaze in the area later spread to between 22 to 25 surrounding acres of forest and more than 50 people, as well as two helicopters, were deployed to fight it. “It’s not a large fire, but it’s a difficult fire because of the steepness of it, and the elevation,” MacKay added. As to whether the fire was started by a space rock, the fire chief told the Globe, “We can’t say yes or no.”  Disregarding whether the report of the meteorite was accurate, look: It’s reasonable to suspect some sort of connection. After all, rocks burn up in the atmosphere all the time—honestly, at a frequency that might make you nervous—and certainly look really hot while doing so. Pop-culture depictions of meteors also often depict them as flaming masses of semi-molten rock. But the science suggests otherwise."
(A long exposure shot of the Perseid meteor shower over Villarejo de Salvanes, Spain in 2013. Photo: AP VIA GIZMODO)


"The Worst Places to Retire: Weather and Natural Disasters"
"The triple whammy from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria are causing a lot of people to reconsider where they retire. Some of the places that often appear on the many "Best Places to Retire" might now end up on the "Worst Places to Retire" list instead. But hurricanes are not the only natural disaster that can ruin your retirement. Temperature extremes, earthquakes, tornadoes, forest fires, and flooding also are devastating. As climate change has a greater impact on our environment, the dangers of natural disasters to where you decide to retire are important considerations, writes John Brady, president of TopRetirements.com. Natural disaster risks might be just as critical as cost of living, taxes, culture, climate, proximity of friends and family, and recreational opportunities, according to Brady, who has researched what and where those risks are, and how to avoid them for a special report on TopRetirements.com. Here are some of the major risks to your retirement home safety, and how you can mitigate those risks."
(Provided by Thestreet.com VIA MSN.com)

"A huge solar storm is coming and could cost $20 trillion in damage"
"Solar storms are known to disrupt satellite and radio communications, but scientists now say that one extreme space weather event could cause “doomsday” on Earth. Researchers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics say that a large space weather event could even occur in the next 10 years. The event could cause global technological damage costing $10 trillion dollars. The scientists told Gizmodo that, within 150 years, the same event could cost $20 trillion dollars."
(Image Credit: NOAA)

"How does a straw really work?"
"Most people don't think about how straws work or believe that they are somehow pulling the liquid up in some way.    But the truth is that atmospheric pressure is doing the "heavy lifting".   And did you ever wonder how tall could a straw be? These serious issue were ones I talked about in Atmospheric Sciences 101, which I am teaching now at the UW. One starts with a straw in a liquid.  The liquid doesn't move by itself, obviously.  There is pressure on the liquid...atmospheric pressure, which is typically around 14.7 pounds per square inch (psi) near sea level.  This pressure is communicated into the liquid.  Since the straw is open to the atmosphere, the same pressure is pushing down into the straw."
(Image Credit: Cliff Masters Weather Blog)

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