4th Wettest Start to Any Year on Record at the MSP Airport
More than 1" of rain fell at the MSP Airport late Thursday into early Friday morning, which boosted the yearly precipitation amount to 27.90", which is 7.68" above average. With that said, this has been the 4th wettest start to any year on record at the MSP airport from January 1st to August 16th.

Severe Threat Late Saturday

According to NOAA's SPC, there is a risk of severe storms across the southwestern part of the state. In fact, folks along and south of the I-94 corridor have the best chance of damaging winds and large hail late in the day. However, the greatest risk still appears to be southwest of the Minnesota River Valley.


Severe Risk Monday ??

"There is a chance for strong to severe thunderstorms Monday night across southern Minnesota. The main threat would be damaging wind. This forecast will likely change over the next few days."


"A Weather Station Above the Arctic Circle Hit 94.6 Degrees Fahrenheit"
"Amid the hottest month in recorded history, some records still stand out as absolutely jaw dropping. That’s definitely true of a measurement made in the Arctic this July. According to data released in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) monthly climate analysis, a weather station in Sweden north of the Arctic Circle hit a stunning 94.6 Fahrenheit (34.8 degrees Celsius) last month. As an isolated data point, it would be shocking. But coupled with a host of other maladies, from no sea ice within 125 miles of Alaska to the unruly fires ravaging Siberia, it’s an exclamation point on the climate crisis. The steamy temperature was recorded on July 26 in the small Swedish outpost of Markusvinsa, which sits on the southern edge of the Arctic Circle. Deke Arndt, a NOAA climate scientist, said on a call with reporters that the data was analyzed and quality controlled by the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute and that “they have established that as highest temperature north of the Arctic Circle” for the country. For comparison, the hottest temperature recorded in New York City last month was 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius)."

"July 2019 was hottest month on record for the planet"
"August 15, 2019 - Much of the planet sweltered in unprecedented heat in July, as temperatures soared to new heights in the hottest month ever recorded. The record warmth also shrank Arctic and Antarctic sea ice to historic lows. Climate by the numbers - July 2019 - The average global temperature in July was 1.71 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees, making it the hottest July in the 140-year record, according to scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. The previous hottest month on record was July 2016. Nine of the 10 hottest Julys have occurred since 2005—with the last five years ranking as the five hottest. Last month was also the 43rd consecutive July and 415th consecutive month with above-average global temperatures. Year to date I January through July. The period from January through July produced a global temperature that was 1.71 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 56.9 degrees, tying with 2017 as the second-hottest year to date on record. It was the hottest year to date for parts of North and South America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand,  the southern half of Africa, portions of the western Pacific Ocean, western Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean."

Weather Outlook Saturday
Here's the weather outlook for Saturday, August 17th, which 3rd to last Saturday of the month. Temps will warm to near average temps across much of the state with readings in the 70s and 80s. The good news is that much of the day looks to be dry with some sunshine, but showers and storms will develop late and into the overnight hours.
Weather Outlook Saturday to Sunday
A storms system will approach from the west late Saturday into early Sunday morning. It does appear that a few strong to severe storm could be possible late Saturday across parts of the Dakotas and far western Minnesota.

Rainfall Potential
According to NOAA's WPC, the rainfall potential through the weekend shows heavier rain across parts of the state. Some spots across NW of the metro could see some 1" tallies. Stay tuned...

Fall Ragweed Allergies

It's that time of the year again where Fall Rageweed Allergy sufferers are starting to get sneezy and itchy. Oh yes, one of my favorite times of the year - NOT! I don't know about you, but I start getting bad around State Fair Time and that is right around the corner. If you're like me, start taking those allergy meds, hopefully you can start building up those immunities! The image below shows the steading increase in pollen levels over the last 30 days in Minneapolis. Keep in mind that pollen level will continue to rise and will be consistently in the "high" category over the next several weeks. Pollen levels won't really drop until we see our first frosts of the season, which on average arrive early/mid October in the Twin Cities.


"What Is a Ragweed Allergy?"

"Ragweed pollen is one of the most common causes of seasonal allergies in the United States. Many people have an adverse immune response when they breathe in the pollen. Normally, the immune system defends the body against harmful invaders, such as viruses and bacteria, to ward off illnesses. In people with ragweed allergies, the immune system mistakes ragweed pollen as a dangerous substance. This causes the immune system to produce chemicals that fight against the pollen, even though it’s harmless. The reaction leads to a variety of irritating symptoms, such as sneezing, running nose, and itchy eyes. Approximately 26 percent of Americans have a ragweed allergy. The allergy is unlikely to go away once it has developed. However, symptoms can be treated with medications and allergy shots. Making certain lifestyle changes may also help relieve the symptoms associated with ragweed allergies."

See more from HeathLine.com HERE:


"Climate Change Is Going to Make Ragweed Allergies Even Worse, Study Finds"

"There’s no shortage of horrible things that will become more common in the near future due to climate change, like coastal flooding, extreme weather, and disease-causing ticks, to name a few. But new research published Thursday in PLOS-One adds another annoyance to the list: Allergy-causing ragweed. The common ragweed, or Ambrosia artemisiifolia as it’s formally called, is a voracious plant known for quickly overtaking whatever environment it’s suited to inhabit. The plant grows annually through the warmer parts of the year in the U.S. Importantly for us, it’s also an abundant source of pollen, making it one of the leading triggers of hay fever and asthma. Though native to parts of North America, ragweed has invaded much of Europe, Asia, and other areas with relatively temperate weather, including some of the Southern United States. Given ragweed’s love of warmer temperatures, scientists have feared that climate change has and will continue to help it spread further. There’s already research suggesting that this is happening in Europe, but the authors of this latest study say theirs is the first to consider the future of ragweed in North America."

See more from Gizmodo HERE:


"Phenology: August 13th, 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 while considering how the timing measures up to past years in his Phenology Report. This week John discusses things happening outside that indicate fall is coming. Yep. It's coming."

US Drought Monitor

According to the latest US Drought Monitor (updated on August 13th), 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. However, in recent weeks, it certianly has been dry in a few locations. Lawns and gardens have been a bit parched as of late, so a little bit of rain on Saturday did help where it fell.


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 Rochester, MN. Interestingly, Rochester is at its wettest start to the year on record with 36.36" of liquid and if it didn't rain or snow the rest of the year there, it would be the 21st wettest year ever in recorded history. The Twin Cities is at its 5th wettest start to the year on record with a surplus of +7.68".

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 nearly 14" above average and off to its 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. We've also seen an uptick in the drought across the Southern Plains where severe and even extreme drought conditions have been popping up. 
8 to 14 Day Precipitation Outlook
According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, it appears that folks in the eastern half of the nation will be wetter than average has we approach the last full week of August, while folks in the Southwest will be drier than average. 

8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's CPC, the extended temperature outlook into the last full week of August suggests warmer than average temps returning to much of the naiton, including the Upper Midwest and especially across the Western US. 


Extended Temperature Outlook for the Twin Cities

I can't believe that we are less than 1 week away from the MN State Fair already... good grief! The good news is that summere-like weather is here to stay for a bit longer as we slide through the 2nd half of August. In fact, for you heat lovers, it appears that we could be flirting with 90F again as we approach next week, which would likely come with an uptick in the humidity as well. According to the GFS, we may still have high temps nearing 90F within the last few days of the month! Stay tuned.

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...

Nice Weather Pattern Last Half of August
By Paul Douglas

Much of central and southern Minnesota is running 5 to 15 inches wetter than average since June 1, the start of Meteorological Summer.

Weather tends to dry out in August, but a wet signal persists for much of the state. No drought this year, but farmers - who got a late start due to standing water in their fields - are hoping there won't be an early frost.

Amazingly, a pretty nice weekend is on tap. Today will be the warmer day, with low 80s and a south breeze. A band of showers and thunderstorms traverses the state tonight; a northwest breeze behind the front cooling us off a few degrees Sunday, but the sun should be visible much of the day.

Expect 80s early next week, followed by a midweek cool frontal passage that will take the edge off heat and humidity just in time for the first few days of the Minnesota State Fair. 70s, low humidity and a (deep-fried) blue sky sounds pretty good to me.

No 90s are brewing anytime soon, as Minnesota transitions into a slightly drier pattern. No complaints here.

Extended Forecast

SATURDAY: Some warm sun. T-storms at night. Winds: S 7-12. High: 82.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Storms likely. Winds: S 5. Low: 65.

SUNDAY: Increasingly sunny and pleasant. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 64 High: 78.

MONDAY: Sticky sunshine. Good and warm. Winds: S 5-10. Wake-up: 63. High: 84.

TUESDAY: Stray T-shower, then clearing skies. Winds: NE 7-12. Wake-up: 65. High: 80.

WEDNESDAY: Plenty of sunshine. Less humid. Winds: E8-13. Wake-up: 62. High: 79.

THURSDAY:Partly sunny for Day 1 of State Fair. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 60. High: 80.

FRIDAY: Lingering showers & storms. Winds: W 5-10. High: 78.

This Day in Weather History
August 17th

1946: A tornado kills 11 people in the Mankato area around 6:52PM. A 27-ton road grader is hurled about 100 feet. Another tornado an hour later destroys downtown Wells.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis
August 17th

Average High: 81F (Record: 100F set in 1947)
Average Low: 62F (Record: 42F set in 1962)

Record Rainfall: 1.62" set in 1905
Record Snowfall: NONE

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
August 17th

Sunrise: 6:17am
Sunset: 8:16pm

Hours of Daylight: ~13 hours & 59 minutes

Daylight LOST since yesterday: ~ 2 minutes & 48 seconds
Daylight LOST since summer solstice (June 21st): ~ 1 hour & 38 minutes

Moon Phase for August 17th at Midnight
2.8 Days After Full "Sturgeon" Moon

"7:29 a.m. CDT - This moon marks when this large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water like Lake Champlain are most readily caught. A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon — because when the moon rises it looks reddish through sultry haze — or the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon."


What's in the Night Sky?

"We’ve recently seen Orion’s return to the east before dawn, which means our northern summer is beginning to draw to a close. But the Summer Triangle asterism still rules the skies. It pops out first thing at nightfall and climbs highest up for the night at late evening. From mid-northern latitudes, Vega – the Summer Triangle’s brightest star – shines high overhead around 10 p.m. local daylight saving time (9 p.m. local standard time). Altair resides to the southeast (lower left) of Vega, and Deneb lies to Vega’s east (left). The Summer Triangle is not a constellation. It’s three bright stars in three different constellations, as the wonderful photo below – by Susan Jensen in Odessa, Washington – shows."

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 1,371 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 9th suggests that there have been a total of 1,371 which is above the 2005-2015 short term average of 1128. Interestingly, this has been the busiest tornado season since 2011, when nearly 1,692 tornadoes were reported.
Saturday Weather Outlook
High temps across the nation on Saturday will be warmer than average once again across much of the eastern two-thirds of the nation. The warmest temps will certiainly be across the southern tier of the nation, where more record highs can't be ruled out. Folks along the West Coast and in the Pacific Northwest will be a little cooler than average with temps running nearly -5F to -10F below average.
National Weather Outlook
Here's the weather outlook through the weekend. Note that scattered showers and storms will push through the Upper Midwest late Saturday into early Sunday, some of which could be strong to severe with locally heavy rain. There will also be lingering showers and storms across the Gulf Coast States and Carolina Coast. Meanwhile, folks in the Western US will continue to stay dry.

Heavy Ranifall Potential
Here's the 7-day precipitation forecast from NOAA's WPC, which suggests areas of heavy rain across the Gulf Coast and Carolina Coast with localized areas of flooding possible. There will also be areas of heavy rain across the Central US.
"Hurricane forecasts may be running headlong into the butterfly effect"
"We know we’re not going to get to zero errors." Not that they're ones to brag about it, but hurricane forecasters have gotten a lot better at their jobs in recent years, especially when it comes to predicting where tropical cyclones will go. From the period of 1990 through 2016, the three-day track error for tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico declined from 555km to 185km, dramatically reducing the size of hurricane warning and evacuation zone areas. Similarly, the three-day track error in the eastern North Pacific hurricane region fell from 415km to 135km over the same period. These improvements are due to significantly better computer modeling, more powerful supercomputers, more advanced methods to collect and ingest data into these models (particularly from satellites), and improved techniques to blend these models into a single forecast.  Chaos theory However, a new study suggests that this winning combination of computers and humans may be reaching its limits. "When you look at the improvements in hurricane track forecasting, they're astounding," said study co-author Chris Landsea, who is a scientist at the National Hurricane Center. "They've dropped two-thirds in a generation. But we know we’re not going to get to zero errors."

"States brace for long-term flood fight as damage costs soar"
"After devastating flooding this year, Iowa put $15 million into a special fund to help local governments recover and guard against future floods. Missouri allotted more money to fight rising waters, including $2 million to help buy a moveable floodwall for a historic Mississippi River town that’s faced flooding in all but one of the past 20 years. In Arkansas, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced $10 million to repair damaged levees while creating a task force to study a system that in some places has fallen into disrepair though years of neglect. The states’ efforts may turn out to be only down payments on what is shaping up as a long-term battle against floods, which are forecast to become more frequent and destructive as global temperatures rise. “What is going on in the country right now is that we are having basically an awakening to the necessity and importance of waterway infrastructure,” said Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert, a Republican who has been pushing to improve the state’s levees. The movement is motivated not just by this year’s major floods in the Midwest, but by more than a decade of repeated flooding from intense storms such as Hurricane Harvey, which dumped 60 inches of rain on southeastern Texas in 2017. In November, Texas voters will decide whether to create a constitutionally dedicated fund for flood-control projects, jump-started with $793 million from state savings."

"Google Is Doing Something Good With Its Money This Hurricane Season"
"After natural disasters strike, families are forced to cobble their lives back together. However, federal aid may take months to reach the hands of those who need it. In the interim, organizations usually rally to send items such as food and water into hard-hit communities, but what if groups gave survivors cold, hard cash so they could buy what they actually need? Google’s nonprofit arm is donating $3 million so survivors can do just that when the next natural disaster—be it a hurricane or wildfire—strikes the U.S. It announced Wednesday it’s donating to the efforts of GiveDirectly, a group that gives money to the extreme poor in seven African countries (and more recently, the U.S.), to support natural disaster survivors. This isn’t GiveDirectly’s first rodeo supporting Americans who’ve suffered from disasters. In 2017, the organization gifted nearly $10 million in cash to more than 6,000 low-income hurricane survivors in Texas and Puerto Rico after Harvey and Maria respectively. A follow-up report the group published showed cash helped most of its recipients avoid further debt and reduce their stress. People used the money in a variety of ways, including paying for home repairs, childcare services, and medicine. Giving them money with no strings attached allowed families to figure out how to best utilize it."

"MANY OF THE most successful companies in Silicon Valley can trace their origin to a garage, but for Ed Fenster, cofounder and chairman of Sunrun, it all started in the attic of his San Francisco home. The year was 2007 and Fenster, just a few months shy of graduating with a master’s in business from Stanford, had a revolutionary business idea. He wanted to make solar panels cheap enough to allow anyone to install them on their home, by leasing them to customers rather than selling them outright. “Solar as a service” is a business model that today dominates the industry. Now the largest residential solar company in the United States, Sunrun is a quintessential Silicon Valley success story. But when Fenster founded it with two of his classmates, nobody thought it would work. Solar panels were expensive and inefficient. In fact, in 2007 there were only 8,775 megawatts of solar energy on the US grid—less than one-tenth of 1 percent of America’s electricity supply. But Congress had just passed a bill that gave Sunrun a chance: It allowed businesses and individuals to deduct 30 percent of the cost of installing new solar panels from their taxes. The tax credit became essential to helping the company attract investors, says Fenster. "If you want to encourage people to make the big investments like they did in Sunrun beginning in 2007, you need these long-term stable policies to encourage that,” Fenster says."

"When Will All the Ice in the Arctic Be Gone?"
"A climatologist and ice researcher examines the latest trends and data. When will all the ice in the Arctic be gone? This is a question often asked of sea-ice researchers by the media, the general public and policy makers—and no wonder. Several recent reports have detailed the accelerated loss of summer sea-ice cover in the Arctic. In addition, the observed ice loss is generally happening faster than climate models have forecasted. The question gets even more complicated because we see a large spread in climate model simulations, with ice-free September conditions already happening in 2020 in some simulations but not until well beyond 2100 in others. So determining the answer is tricky. Is this, however, the correct question to be asking in the first place? It assumes sea-ice loss is a function of time, but is that the case? In reality, Arctic sea-ice cover is not concerned with time. Ice loss is a function of natural climate variability and anthropogenic warming caused by increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations. We monitor summer ice in September because that is the time of year with the least amount of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. Historically, the Arctic Ocean was covered by ice year-round, but today this area is about half of what it used to be. Over the past three years, several publications have pinpointed warming caused by greenhouse gases as the primary driver of the long-term decline of the summer ice cover. One study for example, showed that for every metric ton of CO2 added to the atmosphere, another three square meters of September sea ice disappear. With current global emission rates of 35 to 40 billion metric tons of CO2 each year, we may get our first glimpses of ice-free Septembers in the next 20 to 25 years, when we will have added another 800 billion metric tons to the atmosphere. Yet it does not stop there. Other months of the year will become ice-free with additional atmospheric CO2. For example, with another 1,800 billion metric tons of CO2, the Arctic will likely have no ice from July through October."

"South America’s Glaciers May Have a Bigger Problem Than Climate Change"
"Massive layers of ice cover some of the continent’s rich copper deposits. Uncovering those minerals threatens to hasten their demise. Government geologist Gino Casassa steps down from the helicopter and looks around in dismay. Casassa is standing at the foot of a glacier, 4,200 meters (13,800 feet) above sea level. The sky over the Andes is a deep blue, but something is not right: It’s July—mid-winter in South America—and yet it’s mild for the time of year, above 0 degrees Centigrade. He takes off his orange ski jacket and walks on the bare rock. “This should all be covered by snow this time of year,” he says, pointing to Olivares Alfa, one of the largest glaciers in central Chile, just a few meters away. “There used to be one single glacier system covering this whole valley; now it’s pulled back so much that it’s divided into four or five smaller glaciers.”

"How weather guided Major League Baseball schedule-makers’ 2020 vision"
"Snow and rain canceled the game between the Los Angeles Angels and Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on April 14, 2019. (Patrick Gorski / USA TODAY Sports) Major League Baseball will play games in 2020 where they filmed "Field of Dreams" in Iowa, and where Little Leaguers field their own World Series dreams in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Games also will take place in London, Puerto Rico and possibly Mexico. And because MLB will start its season earlier than ever in the U.S. and Canada, there also will be games on March 26 in cities where it seems more like March Madness. Places like Chicago, where the normal low temperature for the last 30 years on March 26 is technically freezing – 32 degrees. They’ll also play in Pittsburgh, where the 30-year normal low is 33 degrees, Cincinnati (37 degrees) and New York (38 degrees). “I would not want to be hitting baseballs in those places early in the year,” said Marshall Moss, AccuWeather Vice President, Forecasting and Graphic Operations. The early start is because MLB wanted the World Series over before the 2020 Presidential election on Nov. 3. Also, under the current collective bargaining agreement, in recent years MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association agreed to expand the season from 183 days to 187 days."

"They survived Hurricane Camille on the Coast 50 years ago. These are their stories."
"We asked our readers to email us their Hurricane Camille memories ahead of the 50th anniversary on Aug. 17. Here are the responses that we received."

"Paula Cuevas: My family lived on Victory Street off of Courthouse (Road in Gulfport). We got on mattresses in the hallway. The weather man said the winds had reached 200 mph, the power shut off, and it was dark and scary but no one was hurt. My mother and grandmother worked at Leeloys restaurant on the beach, and we helped them look for a suitcase they had put some money in. We dug through the rubble and never found anything but dishes that I still have. I remember dead cows on the beach and the damage was so bad."

"William W. Bradford: I was on active duty with the Navy in Millington, Tennessee. I took a three-day pass to come home on Aug. 17, 1969. I was a volunteer fireman since age 15 in Waveland. For six hours, we fought fires even though the fire trucks were submerged. We use hard-suction hoses since the streets were waist-deep in salt water. We were able to save the Waveland drug store and Louise Lynch was able to live there for 36 years raising her seven daughters (she was a widow). When I returned to the hospital, the captain reamed me out since I was four days AWOL. He asked me why I did not send a telegram — I told him there was nothing standing in Waveland."

See more from Sun Herald HERE:


"Even Low Levels of Air Pollution Can Damage Your Lungs as Much as Smoking a Pack a Day".

"Breathing polluted air could impact a person’s health just as much as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. That’s according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association Tuesday, which is the first of its kind to take a long-term look at the role various air pollutants play in causing emphysema. The findings show that air pollution can seriously damage the lungs.The study relied on data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis study, which includes more than 15,000 heart and lung CT scans, as well as lung function tests, from 7,071 adults aged 45 to 84 in six communities throughout the U.S. from 2000 to 2018. The data is a real plus here. Not only is the sample size large; it includes people from a variety of major cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York and of different race and ethnicities."

See more from Gizmodo HERE:


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

More than 1" of rain fell at the MSP Airport Thursday night into early Friday morning, which helped to bump yearly precipitaiton numbers to nearly 28" for the year thus far. With that said, this has been the 4th wettest start to any year on record (January 1st - August 16th). 

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Tolerably Toasty, But Nothing Sizzling

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Nice Weather Pattern Last Half of August