Serious Puddle Potential
Peering out my rain-splattered window I know, instantly, this must be a holiday. Mother Nature has a sadistic streak. It's more fun turning on the rain, thunder and lightning when people are trying to squeeze in a few dry, lukewarm hours outside.
"Paul, can't you DO something about the weather?" a couple in Nisswa joked yesterday. "Yes, but I choose not to" I answered. Why? Because you can't keep farmers, boaters and golfers happy, simultaneously.
The drought is fading fast as the pattern trends wetter - soggy storms taking a more northerly detour in recent weeks; cutting our rainfall deficit. This may be a symptom of El Nino; the warming of Pacific Ocean water. Texas went from severe drought to flood in 3 weeks. Yesterday 95 percent of Texas was in a Flood Watch. I've never seen that before.
Showers and scattered thunderstorms will prowl the state much of today and Monday. It won't be a steady ("stratiform") rain, like we see in spring and autumn but T-storms may drop heavy rain tonight into Monday morning. ECMWF (European) guidance prints out 2-3 inches of additional rain in the next week for MSP.
I'm always amazed by how fast the pattern can change here in Minnesota.
.76" rain predicted by late Monday night in the Twin Cities (NAM model).
Going Downhill. Have a Plan B for much of today and Monday as a jolt of southern moisture surges northward into Minnesota. The rain will be tricky to time, but it will come down heavy at times later today; again Memorial Day. Graphic: National Weather Service.
Looks Like Rain. NOAA's NAM model shows moisture from the Gulf of Mexico pushing rapidly north. We won't see 5-8" rains like much of central Oklahoma, but some 1-3" amounts are possible between now and Tuesday morning. Source: AerisWeather.
A Drought-Busting Pattern. We aren't out of the woods in terms of drought conditions, but the pattern we're in favors significant rains into early and mid-June as the boundary separating hot from comfortable continues to waver back and forth over Minnesota. As long as the core of the jet stream is howling above the Upper Midwest we should see frequent storms capable of putting a real dent in the drought.
Significant Drought Reduction, Followed By Cold Temperatures. I pray the frosty mornings are behind us now, but the heavy thunderstorm season is just getting wound up. Here's an excerpt from Dr. Mark Seeley's WeatherTalk blog: "...May total rainfall is significantly above normal now for several Minnesota climate stations, including:
6.21" at Moorhead
5.07" at Georgetown
5.98" at Artichoke Lake
6.48" at Cass Lake
5.32" at Park Rapids
5.00" at Pokegama Dam
4.53" at Kabetogama
6.72" at Morris..."
El Nino Like To Ensure 2015 Breaks Warming Records. Here's an excerpt from a summary at rtcc.org: "Last year was the hottest since 1850, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), part of what it said is a continuing trend. According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), May 2014 to April 2015 is the joint-warmest 12-month period in 136 years. Those figures could rise further if the weather phenomenon known as El Nino continues to intensify, as scientists RTCC has spoken to believe it will..."
Last year was the hottest since 1850, according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), part of what it said is a continuing trend.
According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), May 2014 to April 2015 is the joint-warmest 12-month period in 136 years.
Those figures could rise further if the weather phenomenon known as El Nino continues to intensify, as scientists RTCC has spoken to believe it will.- See more at: http://www.rtcc.org/2015/05/21/el-nino-likely-to-ensure-2015-breaks-warming-records/#sthash.ALmaQ1Uu.dpuf
Your Contribution To The California Drought. Much of our food is grown in California - I remember reading that the average distance from where food is grown to where it's consumed is about 1,000 miles. More incentive to buy (and eat) local, when possible. Here's an excerpt from The New York Times: "...California farmers produce more than a third of the nation’s vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts. To do that, they use nearly 80 percent of all the water consumed in the state. It is the most stubborn part of the crisis: To fundamentally alter how much water the state uses, all Americans may have to give something up. The portions of foods shown here are grown in California and represent what average Americans, including non-Californians, eat in a week..."
The Best State in America for Women: Minnesota. So says The Washington Post, and they have the data, maps and graphics to prove it; here's the intro: "Minnesota is the best state for women in America. That’s according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, a nonprofit that on Wednesday published the final two reports in a sprawling seven-part series exploring how women are faring in the states. The “Status of Women in the States” series, an update on a set of reports from 2004, represents an ambitious attempt to quantify gender inequality in the states—and provide fodder for the national discussion..."
Farming In The Sky. The future of agriculture may be...up? Here's an excerpt of a fascinating story at The Atlantic: "...The future of farming is looking up—literally, and in more ways than one: There are grow towers, rooftops, and industry talk of Waterworld-style “plant factories” in futuristic floating cities. And this vertical movement is happening for a variety of reasons. For one, by prioritizing localized operations, it offers a remedy to the mounting economic difficulties that independent farmers face when otherwise so easily underpriced by Big Ag. But more importantly, it’s rising out of environmental concerns—space, soil health, climate change, vital ecosystems decimated by monoculture..." (Photo: Edgar Su, Reuters).
73 F. high in the Twin Cities Saturday.
71 F. average high on May 23.
75 F. high on May 23, 2014.
Trace of rain fell yesterday at KMSP.
May 23, 1914: Early heat wave across the state with 103 at Tracy.
TODAY: Showers and T-storms likely. Winds: SE 15+ High: 69
SUNDAY NIGHT: Showers and T-storms, locally heavy rain. Low: 59
MEMORIAL DAY: Humid and unsettled, more T-storms likely, especially AM hours. Winds: S 15+ High: 72
TUESDAY: Partly sunny, PM T-shower up north. Wake-up: 60. High: 75
WEDNESDAY: Warm, sticky sunshine. Wake-up: 59. High: 80
THURSDAY: Few showers, heavy T-storms. Wake-up: 61. High: 76
FRIDAY: Some sun, stray T-storm. Wake-up: 60. High: 77
SATURDAY: Slightly cooler, rain far south. Wake-up: 57. High: 72
Shell Boss Warns That Unchecked Fossil Fuel Burning Will Cause Global Warming. Could there arise new technologies even more disruptive than fracking, that allow us to burn fossil fuels without CO2 emissions? I wouldn't rule anything out. Even though this appears like a remote technological miracle today, new processes and materials could make today's (pipe-dream) a reality at some point in the future. That said, we can't count on this kind of innovation; we may have to dial down fossil fuel use even faster to stay within a 2C temperature rise. Here's an excerpt of a story at Christian Today: "The world's fossil fuel reserves cannot be burned unless some way is found to capture their carbon emissions, Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said on Friday. In an interview published in the Guardian newspaper, Van Beurden forecast that global energy use would produce "zero carbon" by the end of the century, and that his group would get a "very large segment" of its earnings from renewable power..."
Saudi Arabia Ministoer Sees Day When Nation Exports Solar Power, Not Oil. This caused quite a stir, an acknowledgment that relying on fossil fuels, for a variety of compelling reasons, may be unsustainable. Here's an excerpt from The Boston Globe: "Saudi Arabia’s oil minister predicted an eventual end to the nation’s fossil fuel exports, anticipating instead the day the world’s largest crude exporter will sell solar power. “In Saudi Arabia we recognize that eventually, one of these days, we’re not going to need fossil fuels,” Ali Al-Naimi said at a climate conference in Paris on Thursday. “I don’t know when -- 2040, 2050 or thereafter. So we have embarked on a program to develop solar energy.” He later said fossil fuels will still dominate the world’s energy supply through 2050..."
Exclusive: The CIA Is Shuttering A Secretive Climate Research Program. Mother Jones has a curious story; here's a clip: "...Under the program, known as Medea, the CIA had allowed civilian scientists to access classified data—such as ocean temperature and tidal readings gathered by Navy submarines and topography data collected by spy satellites—in an effort to glean insights about how global warming could create security threats around the world. In theory, the program benefited both sides: Scientists could study environmental data that was much higher-resolution than they would normally have access to, and the CIA received research insights about climate-related threats. But now, the program has come to a close..."
Photo credit above: ".