-- TOP NEWS STORIES OF THE WEEK --
 
"July equalled, and maybe surpassed, the hottest month in recorded history"
 
Well, here's a startling report from the World Meteorological Organization. This was released on August 1st and suggests that July 2019 will be the hottest month on record for the entire globe. However, the previous hottest month on record for the entire globe was June 2019! These recent extreme high temps have had some significant impacts across the world already...
 
"According to new data from the World Meteorological Organization and Copernicus Climate Change Programme, July at least equalled, if not surpassed, the hottest month in recorded history. This follows the warmest ever June on record. The data from the Copernicus Climate Change Programme, run by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, is fed into the UN system by WMO. The figures show that, based on the first 29 days of the month, July 2019 will be on par with, and possibly marginally warmer than the previous warmest July, in 2016, which was also the warmest month ever. The latest figures are particularly significant because July 2016 was during one of the strongest occurrence of the El Niño phenomenon, which contributes to heightened global temperatures. Unlike 2016, 2019 has not been marked by a strong El Niño. “We have always lived through hot summers. But this is not the summer of our youth. This is not your grandfather’s summer,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, announcing the data in New York. July 2019 will be around 1.2°C warmer than the pre-industrial era, according to the data. “All of this means that we are on track for  the period from 2015 to 2019 to be the five hottest years on record. This year alone, we have seen temperature records shattered from New Delhi to Anchorage, from Paris to Santiago, from Adelaide and to the Arctic Circle. If we do not take action on climate change now, these extreme weather events are just the tip of the iceberg. And, indeed, the iceberg is also rapidly melting,” Mr Guterres said. “Preventing irreversible climate disruption is the race of our lives, and for our lives. It is a race that we can and must win,” he underlined."
 
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"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. 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. According to Ruth Mottram, a climate researcher with the Danish Meteorological Institute, the ice sheet sent 197 billion tons of water pouring into the Atlantic Ocean during July. This is enough to raise sea levels by 0.5 millimeter, or 0.02 inches, in a one-month time frame, said Martin Stendel, a researcher with the institute."
 
 
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"Greenland Ice Sheet Beats All-Time 1-Day Melt Record"
 
"More ice melted from the ice sheet on 1 August 2019 than any other day on record. The Greenland ice sheet broke records on 1 August 2019 by losing more water volume in 1 day than on than any other day since records began in 1950, shedding 12.5 billion tons of water into the sea. The record-breaking day came during a weeklong extreme melt event hitting Greenland due to soaring temperatures and low snow accumulation over the winter. The warmer temperatures are part of a heat wave that scorched Europe in late July, setting records in several countries including Germany, France, and the Netherlands. Air temperatures rose to 10°C above average in places in Greenland this week and peaked above the freezing point for hours at a time at the ice sheet’s summit more than 3,200 meters above sea level. The months of April, May, June, and July also had higher than average temperatures in Greenland. The volume of water melted per day on the ice sheet this week has increased as temperatures have climbed. The extreme melting on 1 August liquified enough ice to fill 5 million Olympic-sized swimming pools with water, accounting for 12.5 gigatons of water. The latest findings come from observations and model calculations from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado."
 
 

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-- MINNESOTA WEATHER --
 
Saturday Storms in the Metro
 
It sure was an interesting afternoon/evening across the Twin Cities Metro as isolated thunderstorms developed and hardly moved! It was a very isolated event, but for folks that got rain, it came down VERY hard. The image below was from a MN DOT webcam at 694 and 94, where very heavy rain caused roads to become inundated with water!
 
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What's the 'Ring' on Radar?
 
This was the radar view from PM Saturday as a stationary thunderstorm dumped very heavy rain near the 694 & 94 interchange... However, notice the 'ring' around the Twin Cites! What is that?? This feature is known as an outflow boundary. These tend to develop when rain cooled air splashes down to the ground and radiates outward from a nearby thunderstorm. This rain cooled air picks up dust, dirt, bugs and sometimes even birds in the atmosphere and will continue radiating outward from the apparent thunderstorm until it loses steam. 
 

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Very Isolated Storms
 
If you were outside on Saturday and didn't happen to be in the immediate metro, you may have been sitting under mostly sunny skies. However, folks in the metro were dealing with mostly cloudy skies and thunderstorms with very heavy rainfall. Some of the heavy rain fell right over the Chain of Lakes in Minneapolis, which likely had people scattering very quickly. 
 
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"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."
 
 
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Sunday Weather Outlook

High temps across the state on Sunday will still be running a little bit above average for early August. Readings will warm into the 80s across much of the state, which will be nearly +5F above average. There will also be a chance of showers and storms across the region, especially later in the day.

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Still Sticky on Sunday

Dewpoints on Sunday will still be a bit sticky with readings in the mid/upper 60s. Keep in mind that when dewpoints climb into the 70s it feels very tropical, so we won't be too bad, but the humidity will certainly be noticeable. With dewpoints in the 60s and high temps in the 80s, peak heat index values will approach 90F across much of the state. Enjoy the warmth while you can... just think, our average first frost in the Twin Cities metro is in about 2 months (October 12th).

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Severe Threat Sunday & Monday

According to NOAA's SPC, there is a SLIGHT RISK of severe storms across parts of the region both Sunday and Monday. A front will slide through the region, which will help develop a few strong to severe storms during the PM hours both days. It appears that large hail and damaging winds would be the primary threat with pockets of locally heavy rain.



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Weekend Weather Outlook

Here's the weather outlook from Sunday to PM Monday. Note that weather conditions look a little unsettled during the day Sunday with scattered showers and storms possible. The front responsible for the unsettled weather will sag south and kick off more thunderstorms across far southern Minnesota on Monday. Some of the storms on Sunday and Monday could be strong to severe, stay tuned!

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Precipitation Potential Through AM Tuesday

According to NOAA's NOAA's NDFD data, there will be pockets of showers and storms across the region both Sunday and Monday that could prodcue areas of rain. While the rainfall amounts don't appear very widespread or heavy, there certainly could be a few localized areas of heavy rain where and strong to severe storms develop. 

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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.

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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 27.21" of precipitation. Meanwhile, the Twin Cities is at its 5th wettest start to the year on record with a surplus of +6.64".

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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.
 
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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!

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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. 
 
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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.


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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.

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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...
 
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It's Getting Hotter Out There...
By Paul Douglas

According to the World Meteorological Organization, July was the world's hottest month on record. The last 5 years were the warmest ever recorded. The Greenland ice sheet melted 197 billion tons of water into the Atlantic in July alone, enough to raise global sea levels by .5 millimeter last month. Remind me to avoid coastal real estate.

Look, this isn't a fatal heart attack. A rapidly changing climate is more of a chronic condition, like diabetes or epilepsy. Already, weather-related "seizures" are taking place with much greater frequency and intensity. Disruption, dislocation and mass migration is increasing. That's why so many are concerned.

Hot sunshine lures the mercury well into the 80s today, before a (slightly) cooler front arrives with T-storms Monday.

This week won't be as dry as last week was. Models show a few T-storms Wednesday, Friday and late Sunday; highs in the 80s.

I am vaguely optimistic about inevitable climate action. We'll figure this out, because in the end we won't have any choice.
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Extended Forecast

SUNDAY: Sunny. Lake-worthy. Winds: SW 5-10. High: 87.

SUNDAY NIGHTMostly cloudy. Chance of storms late. Winds: SW 5. Low: 70.

MONDAY: Unsettled. Few t-storms nearby. Winds: W 5-10. High: 83.

TUESDAY: Sunnier and drier. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 65. High: 85.

WEDNESDAY: A irritable sky. Few t-showers. Winds: W 8-13. Wake-up: 67. High: 84.

THURSDAY: Plenty of sunshine. Quite pleasant. Winds: W 5-10. Wake-up: 65. High: 83.

FRIDAY: Another round of showers, t-storms. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 68. High: 82.

SATURDAY: Sunnier, drier, and less humid. Winds: NE 5-10. Wake-up: 63 High: 81.
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This Day in Weather History
August 4th

1898: Storms dump 4 and a half inches of rain on Montevideo.
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Average High/Low for Minneapolis
August 4th

Average High: 82F (Record: 102F set in 1947)
Average Low: 63F (Record: 48F set in 1978)

Record Rainfall: 2.65" set in 1941
Record Snowfall: NONE
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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
August 4th

Sunrise: 6:02am
Sunset: 8:35pm

Hours of Daylight: ~14 hours & 34 minutes

Daylight LOST since yesterday: ~ 2 minutes & 28 seconds
Daylight LOST since summer solstice (June 21st): ~ 1 hour & 3 minutes
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Moon Phase for August 4th at Midnight
2.4 Days Before First Moon

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What's in the Night Sky?

"On August 4, 5 and 6, 2019, watch for the waxing crescent moon to move past Spica, the brightest star in the constellation Virgo the Maiden. It’s best to catch the moon and Spica at relatively early evening, especially from northerly latitudes. The moon and Spica are fairly high up at nightfall, but then follow the sun beneath the horizon by around mid-evening. Click here to know the moon and Spica’s setting time in your sky. On all of these evenings, the moon is a waxing crescent. Watch for it in the west, the sunset direction, beginning shortly after sunset as day fades to night. Look for the moon and Spica to be closest around August 5. On the following evening, August 6, the moon will be a larger crescent, still near Spica on our sky’s dome."

See more from Earth Sky HERE:

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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).
 
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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.
 
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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.
 
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Saturday Weather Outlook
 
Here's a look at high temps across the nation on Sunday, 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 Southern US could be nearly -5F  to -10F below average 
 
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National Weather Outlook
 
Thanks to a stalled front, scattered showers and storms will continue across the Southern US, where heavy rain at times can't be ruled out. There will also be another cool front that drops into the Upper Midwest late weekend and early next week that could help to produce a few strong storms and locally heavy rain. 
 

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Heavy Ranifall Potential
 
Here's the 7-day precipitation forecast from NOAA's WPC, which suggests areas of heavy 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. 
 
 
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"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."
 

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"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."
 
 
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"VLADIMIR PUTIN PRAISES TRUMP, SAYS OFFER OF WILDFIRE HELP COULD HERALD RESTORATION OF 'FULL-FORMAT RELATIONS' BETWEEN RUSSIA AND U.S."
 
"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."
 
 

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"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."
 
 
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"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:

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

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In Praise of August (and September Too)

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Watching Rain Chances This Week, But Slightly Cooler Air Moves In Thursday