"How Mosquitoes Changed Everything"
"They slaughtered our ancestors and derailed our history. And they’re not finished with us yet. In these days of insecticides and drained swamps, those of us who live in the rich, temperate world have become accustomed to the luxury of not thinking very much about mosquitoes and the risks they carry. But the insects are still killing more than eight hundred thousand people a year, primarily in Africa. Winegard’s reminder of their enormous potential for destruction is a timely one for all of us. Globalization is helping to spread a new generation of mosquito-borne illnesses once confined to the tropics, such as dengue, perhaps a thousand years old, and chikungunya and Zika, both of which were first identified in humans only in 1952. Meanwhile, climate change is dramatically expanding the ranges in which mosquitoes and the diseases they carry can thrive. One recent study estimated that, within the next fifty years, a billion more people could be exposed to mosquito-borne infections than are today."

"Phenology Report and Talkbacks: July 30th, 2019"
If you've got a spare moment, have a listen to this wonderful podcast from John Latimer, a resident phenologist in northern Minnesota on KAXE. John is very knowledeable in the outdoor world and how certain events in nature are related to changes in the weather and climate. Here's the latest phenology report from last week:
"Phenology is the biological nature of events as they relate to climate.  Each week we hear from listeners who have been paying attention to nature in our Talkback segment and John Latimer takes a close look at the blooms and changes happening in nature and considers how the timing measures up to past years in his Phenology Report. In the Phenology Report this week, among many other things, John mentions the blooming of Monarda flowers (also referred to as bee-balm at times) and the spreading dogbane.  He encourages listeners to be on the watch for milkweed changing color , more tortoise shell butterflies flittering around and the long lasting blooms of the pearly everlasting."

Saturday Weather Outlook

High temps across the state on Saturday look to be a little warmer than it was earlier last week. In fact, much of the state will have temps in the 80s, which will be nearly +5F to +10F above average! 


Still Sticky on Saturday

Saturday will be a bit more sticky than it was earlier last week as well. In fact, dewpoints across parts of the state could approach 70F once again, which will make it feel almost tropical in those spots. Readings should peak in the mid 60s across the Twin Cities, which will still feel quite humid, but it is summer after all. With that said, "feels like" temps will warm to near 90F during the afternoon. 


Weekend Thunder Threat

According to NOAA's SPC, there is a risk for showers and storms both days this weekend. It appears that Saturday's threat will be fairly spotty during the afternoon hours, while Sunday's threat could be a little more organized. In fact, the SPC has issued a Marginal Risk of severe storms across parts of the northern half of the state, where a few isolated strong to severe storms could be possible during the PM hours. Stay tuned...


Weekend Weather Outlook

Weather conditions this weekend look a little unsettled across parts of the state, but it won't be a washout. With that said, if you have plans to be on the water or in the great outdoors, make sure you have a plan in place in case a few storms decide to develop.


Weekend Precipitation Potential

According to NOAA's Weather Prediction Center, it appears that most of our weekend rainfall potential will be across parts of northern Minnesota. While it doesn't appear to be a washout, there certainly could be pockets of locally heavy rain with any stronger storms that develop. Also note the lighter rainfall amounts around the Twin Cities, which could develop during the afternoon/early evening hours on Saturday. 


US Drought Monitor

According to the latest US Drought Monitor (updated on July 30th), much of the state is still drought free! Thanks to significant precipitation so far this year, much of us have had very little to worry about in terms of being too dry. In fact, it's been too wet for many folks, especially earlier this spring when farmers were trying to get into the fields to plant their crops. The only locations that are abnormally dry are those close to the Iron Range and into the Arrowhead.


2019 Yearly Precipitation So Far...

2019 has been a pretty wet year across much of the Upper Midwest. In fact, many locations are several inches above average precipitation, some even in the double digits above average, including Sioux Falls, SD and Rochester, MN. Interestingly, Rochester is at its wettest start to the year on record with 35.48" of liquid and if it didn't rain or snow the rest of the year there, it would be the 23rd wettest year ever in recorded history. Sioux Falls is off to its 2nd wettest start any year on record with 27.19" of precipitation. Meanwhile, the Twin Cities is at its 5th wettest start to the year on record with a surplus of +6.79".

National Precipitation Since January 1st
Take a look at the precipitaiton across the nation since January 1st and note how many locations are above average so far this year. Some of the wettest locations have been in the Central US, where St. Louis is nearly +12" above average and off to its 4th wettest start to any year on record. It's also nice to see folks in California are still dealing with a precipitation surplus thanks to a very wet start to 2019. However, the last several weeks have been very dry there.
US Drought Monitor
According to the US Drought Monitor, there a few locations across the country that are a bit dry, but there doesn't appear to be anything widespread or significant. However, areas in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest seem to a little bit more dry than others. In fact, areas of Moderate and Severe drought conditions have been steadily expanding over the last several weeks. Hopefully we can get some moisture there sometime soon!

8 to 14 Day Precipitation Outlook
According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, it appears that folks in the Central and Northern US will have a decent chance of above average precipitation as we head into the 2nd week of August. Meanwhile, folks in the southern tier of the nation and across much of Alaska have a better chance of being drier than average. 

8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's CPC, the extended temperature outlook through the 2nd week of August suggests cooler than average temperature hanging on across the northern tier of the nation, while folks across the southern tier of the nation and across much of Alaska will remain warmer than average.


Extended Temperature Outlook for the Twin Cities

Well, here we are... Less than 3 weeks away from the start of the MN State Fair. August is the 3rd and final month of Meteorological Summer with average temperatures slowly falling. In fact, the average high at MSP is 83F on the first day of August and is 78F by the end of August. With that said, it can still be quite hot in August. MSP has reached 100F or higher 4 times with the warmest being 103F back in 1936. The extended forecast through the next couple of weeks suggests fairly consistent highs in the 70s and 80s through mid month, which at time could feel warm and sticky, but it appears that we will also fell like early fall, especially as we approaching mid month.

Warmest August Temps at MSP on Record
Here's a look at the highest temps ever recorded in the Twin Cities during the month of August. Note that there have only been four, 100F+ degree days. The most recent hot temp during the month of August was back in 2001 when we hit 99F !! The month with the most 100F+ days in the Twin Cities is July with that happening 25 times! Interestingly, we've only hit 100F+ at the MSP Aiport (31 times) in recorded history...
Tracking Erick And Flossie Near Hawaii - Another Round Of Heavy Central US Rain Thru AM Saturday
Praedictix Briefing:
  • We’re still tracking Erick and Flossie this morning in the Pacific. Erick continues to weaken as it passes south of the Hawaiian Islands. Flossie will continue to move west-northwestward into the weekend, weakening as it does so. Right now, Flossie looks to recurve northeast of Hawaii early next week.
  • In the Atlantic, the odds that an area of low pressure in the central Atlantic will become a tropical depression have decreased since yesterday. It has a window to do so this weekend, but as we head into next week conditions will become unfavorable for development as it approaches the Leeward Islands.
  • Another round of heavy rain is likely tonight into Saturday morning across eastern Kansas and northeastern Oklahoma, with an additional 3-6" of rain possible in some locations. Flash flooding will be possible.

Tracking Erick. We continue to track Tropical Storm Erick, which is weakening south of Hawaii. As of 5 AM HST, Erick had sustained winds of 50 mph and was moving to the west-northwest at 14 mph. The center of the storm was located about 250 miles southwest of Hilo, HI, or about 310 miles south of Honolulu, HI. Erick will continue to weaken as it moves to the west-northwest over the next couple days. The system will continue to track well south of the Hawaiian Islands.

Main Impact: Heavy Rain. The main impact Erick will continue to have on the Hawaiian Islands is heavy rain through early Saturday. We could see total rainfall amounts of 4-8” on the Big Island, especially along the south and southeastern facing slopes. This could lead to flash flooding, and due to that, a Flash Flood Watch is still in place through Saturday morning.

Tracking Flossie. Further east we have Tropical Storm Flossie, which will cross over into the Central Pacific later today. As of 5 AM HST, Flossie had sustained winds of 70 mph and was moving to the west-northwest at 17 mph. The center of Flossie was about 1,145 miles east of Hilo, HI. Gradual weakening is expected to begin this weekend as the system continues to move off to the west-northwest. This system should recurve northeast of the Hawaiian Islands early next week.

40% Probability Of Formation In The Atlantic. In the Atlantic, there is an area of low pressure located several hundred miles southeast of the Lesser Antilles. This system is producing limited showers and storms this morning. While the system has a window to become a tropical depression this weekend, its odds have decreased since yesterday, only sitting at 20% in the next 48 hours and 40% in the next five days. As it approaches the Leeward Islands early next week, however, atmospheric conditions become less favorable for any development.

Flash Flood Risk In The Central U.S. Even though the rain from last night has been slowly weakening across portions of Kansas and northeastern Oklahoma this morning, another round of heavy rain will be possible late today into Saturday morning. The good news is that the heaviest rain may fall just west of where last night's heavy rain fell across the region, however, hourly rain amounts of 1-2"+ could lead to overall totals of 3-6" which would still cause the potential of flash flooding.  Due to expected heavy rain, a Moderate Risk of Flash Flooding is in place across portions of eastern Kansas and northeastern Oklahoma through Saturday morning.

Potential For An Additional 3-6”+ Of Rain. As mentioned above, there will be the potential of an additional 3-6" of rain across portions of eastern Kansas and northeastern Oklahoma through Saturday morning. Flash Flood Watches remain in effect into Saturday across portions of Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.

D.J. Kayser, Meteorologist, Praedictix

In Praise of August (and September Too)
By Paul Douglas

This morning, the sun endures past dawn. I realize that it is August: the summer's last stand  wrote Sara Baume in "A Line Made By Walking". Personally, I'm a big fan of both August and September; arguably the 2 best months of the year if you enjoy warmth and fewer puddles.

Increasingly, Minnesota springs and early summers are trending wetter - making it hard on farmers and anyone attempting to find a window of dry, agreeable weather. By August the atmosphere is cooling slightly; more stable with fewer pop-up T-storms and a dip in humidity. At the risk of editorializing, September is even nicer - lukewarm at the lake but drier, with consistently low Canadian humidity levels seeping south.

A weak storm aloft will fire off showers and T-storms over Wisconsin later today; a stray T-shower may brush eastern Minnesota by late afternoon. Sunday looks sunnier and warmer, with the next round of storms holding off until Sunday night and Monday, as a sloppy front approaches. A  pleasant Canadian breeze returns by late week!

Extended Forecast

SATURDAY: Warm sun. Late day storm. Winds: SE 3-8. High: 86.

SATURDAY NIGHTMostly clear and quiet. Winds: Calm. Low: 68.

SUNDAY: Hazy sun. T-storms Sunday night. Winds: SW 10-20. High: 88.

MONDAY: Couple hour of showers & storm. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 70. High: 82.

TUESDAY: Plenty of sun, less humidity. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 63. High: 80.

WEDNESDAY: Clouds increase, thunder late? Winds: SW 8-13. Wake-up: 64. High: 82.

THURSDAY: Peeks of sun. Cooler Canadian breeze. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 61. High: 78.

FRIDAY: Plenty of sun. Comfortable. Winds: N 10-15. Wake-up: 57. High: 79.

This Day in Weather History
August 3rd

1896: A violent hailstorm destroys two thirds of the crops in Swift County.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis
August 3rd

Average High: 82F (Record: 99F set in 1941)
Average Low: 63F (Record: 46F set in 1971)

Record Rainfall: 2.36" set in 2002
Record Snowfall: NONE

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
August 3rd

Sunrise: 6:01am
Sunset: 8:37pm

Hours of Daylight: ~14 hours & 37 minutes

Daylight LOST since yesterday: ~ 2 minutes & 27 seconds
Daylight LOST since summer solstice (June 21st): ~ 1 hour

Moon Phase for August 3rd at Midnight
3.2 Days Since New Moon


What's in the Night Sky?

"EarthSky friend Eliot Herman in Tucson, Arizona caught the image at the top of this post – a bright meteor, not associated with the Perseid shower, near a bright moon – in early July, 2017. So it’s definitely possible to see and photograph bright meteors in moonlight. And that’s good news for everyone planning to watch the 2019 Perseid meteor shower. This beloved annual shower is a much-anticipated summertime treat for us in the Northern Hemisphere. In 2019, it’ll likely produce the most meteors from late evening of August 12 to dawn August 13. The moon will be in the way, however, in a waxing gibbous phase, bright in the sky on the nights around the peak and drowning many meteors in its glare. What can you do in 2019 to optimize your chances for seeing Perseid meteors? We offer these 10 tips. 1. Realize that this shower rises gradually to its peak. Few meteor showers – certainly not the Perseids – are a one-night event. The Perseid shower lasts from about July 17 to August 24 every year. That’s when our planet Earth crosses the orbital path of Comet Swift-Tuttle, the Perseid’s parent comet. What’s more, the Perseids are known to rise to their peak gradually, then fall off after the peak more rapidly. So the days leading up to the peak are a good time to watch meteors, too. You could start tonight! Expect an increasing number of meteors – and a more bothersome moon – as we get closer to 2019’s peak. 2. Be aware of the time of moonset each night. As much as possible, in the weeks between now and the peak, you’ll want to be out looking after moonset. Click here to find out when the moon sets in your sky, remembering to check the moonrise and moonset box."

See more from Earth Sky HERE:

Average Tornadoes By State in August
According to NOAA, the number of tornadoes in August is quite a bit less across much of the nation, especially across the southern US. However, folks across the Plains and Upper Midwest still see (on average) a fair amount of tornadoes. Note that Minnesota typically sees 5 tornadoes, which is the 4th highest behind June (15), July (11), and May (6).
2019 Preliminary Tornado Count
Here's the 2019 preliminary tornado count across the nation, which shows 1,356 tornadoes since the beginning of the year. May was a very active month and produced several hundred tornadoes across the Central uS and across parts of the Ohio Valley.

2019 Preliminary Tornado Count

Here's a look at how many tornadoes there have been across the country so far this year. The preliminary count through August 1st suggests that there have been a total of 1,356 which is above the 2005-2015 short term average of 1109. Interestingly, this has been the busiest tornado season since 2011, when nearly 1,680 tornadoes were reported.
Saturday Weather Outlook
Here's a look at high temps across the nation on Saturday, which shows warmer than average conditions across much of the nothern tier of the nation and from the Rocky Mountains to the West Coast. Temps in these areas will be nearly +5F above average. However readings in the Central and Southern US could be nearly -5F below average 
National Weather Outlook
As we head through the first weekend of August, weather conditions across the Central and Southern US look a little more active that what the northern tier of the nation and what the Western US will be dealing with. Keep in mind that some of the rain in the Southeastern US will be associated with tropical moisture, so heavy rains and flooding can't be ruled out there.

Heavy Ranifall Potential
Here's the 7-day precipitation forecast from NOAA's WPC, which suggests areas of heavy rain across the Central US, where overnight thunderstorms will possible. The heaviest rain will be found across the Southeast where tropical moisture will get involved. Some spots could see several inches of rain from Florida to the Coastal communities in the Carolinas, which could lead to localized areas of flooding. There also appears to be a continuation of monsoonal moisture in the Four Corners Region. 
"The Greenland ice sheet is in the throes of one of its greatest melting events ever recorded"
"The same heat dome that roasted Europe and broke national temperature records in five countries last week has shifted to Greenland, where it is causing one of the biggest melt events ever observed on the fragile ice sheet. By some measures, the ice melt is more extreme than during a benchmark record event in July 2012, according to scientists analyzing the latest data. During that event, about 98 percent of the ice sheet experienced some surface melting, speeding up the process of shedding ice into the ocean. The fate of Greenland’s ice sheet is of critical importance to every coastal resident in the world, since Greenland is already the biggest contributor to modern-day sea level rise. The pace and extent of Greenland ice melt will help determine how high sea levels climb and how quickly. As a result of both surface melting and a lack of snow on the ice sheet this summer, “this is the year Greenland is contributing most to sea level rise,” said Marco Tedesco, a climate scientist at Columbia University."

"The Greenland ice sheet poured 197 billion tons of water into the North Atlantic in July alone"
"Ongoing extreme melt event continues, with more than half the ice sheet experiencing melting on July 31. When one thinks of Greenland, images of an icebound, harsh and forbidding landscape probably come to mind, not a landscape of ice pocked with melt ponds and streams transformed into raging rivers. And almost certainly not one that features wildfires. Yet the latter description is exactly what Greenland looks like today, according to imagery shared on social media, scientists on the ground and data from satellites. An extraordinary melt event that began earlier this week continues on Thursday on the Greenland ice sheet, and there are signs that about 60 percent of the expansive ice cover has seen detectable surface melting, including at higher elevations that only rarely see temperatures climb above freezing. July 31 was the biggest melt day since at least 2012, with about 60 percent of the ice sheet seeing at least 1 millimeter of melt at the surface, and more than 10 billion tons of ice lost to the ocean from surface melt, according to data from the Polar Portal, a website run by Danish polar research institutions, and the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Thursday could be another significant melt day, before temperatures drop to more seasonable levels."

"The Kremlin has praised President Donald Trump for his offer of help in battling wildfires in Russia's Siberian region, which President Vladimir Putin said is a signal that U.S.-Russian relations could soon be restored. Trump offered assistance in fighting the massive fires, which are currently affecting some 7 million acres—an area roughly the size of Denmark or the Netherlands`–in multiple Siberian regions, state news agency Tass reported. More than 2,700 responders are currently fighting the Siberian wildfires, according to Tass. Some 390 ground vehicles and 28 aircraft have also been brought in to tackle the blazes, which have prompted the government to declare a state of emergency in four regions. Putin thanked his American counterpart for the offer, but explained that a fleet of firefighting aircraft had already been formed to address the wildfires. Nonetheless, Putin said Trump's offer was a positive signal, and one that suggested "in the future, it will be possible to restore full-format relations between the two countries." The White House later confirmed that the two leaders had spoken by phone, Bloomberg reported. Trump and Putin also discussed trade issues, the White House said, while the Kremlin reported that the pair agreed to continue discussions both by phone and in person. The Kremlin also said Putin thanked Trump "for such attentive attitude, for offering help and support," Tass noted. The Russian Emergencies Ministry had previously explained it was experiencing some logistical difficulties related to the firefighting aircraft, but that "issues of refueling and stationing aircraft and helicopters are being resolved." But many Russians are angry at the government's perceived slow response to what Greenpeace has described as an "ecological catastrophe." More than 700,000 people have signed a petition calling for a tougher response to the wildfires, the BBC reported."

"Vacationing teacher finds 2.12-carat diamond at Arkansas state park"
"This Nebraska teacher will surely win show-and-tell once the school year begins. Josh Lanik, 36, was vacationing with his family when he discovered a brandy-colored gem at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. “It was blatantly obvious there was something different about it,” Lanik said, according to a press release from the park issued Monday. “I saw the shine, and when I picked it up and rolled it in my hand, I noticed there weren’t any sharp edges.” The teacher from Hebron, Nebraska, showed the stone to his wife and then put the treasure in a bag where he collected other finds. The family spent two hours looking through the park’s 37.5-acre diamond search area on July 24. Before leaving, they stopped by the Diamond Discovery Center in the park to see what kind of treasure they’d unearthed. Unbeknownst to Lanik, he was carrying around the largest diamond found in the park so far this year. It weighed in at 2.12-carat. More than 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed at the park since the first ones were discovered in 1906. So far this year, 296 diamonds have been registered at the park, weighing a total of 53.94 carats."


"Chinese tourists injured after ‘tsunami pool’ malfunctions at water park"

"Scores of swimmers at theme park near North Korean border were injured by a sudden tidal wave that operators say was caused by damaged electronic equipment Some of the 44 people injured suffered fractured ribs after problem with wave-generating machinery caused accident. Forty-four tourists have been injured by a bigger-than-expected wave at a “tsunami pool” in northeast China, according to a local government announcement. The incident occurred at Yulong Shuiyun Water Amusement Park in the city of Longjing near the border with North Korea. Five people were still being treated in hospital for injuries, including fractured ribs, but their condition is stable, according to a notice posted on Weibo by the Longjing city government on Tuesday. “According to the initial stages of the investigation, the incident was caused by a power cut that damaged electronic equipment in the tsunami pool control room, which led to the waves in the tsunami pool becoming too big and injuring people,” the notice said."

See more from South China Morning Post HERE:


Thanks for checking in and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX

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