Twin Cities: Sunday Dayplanner
Sunday is going to be a big day in the Twin Cities metro. Not only are the MN Twins finishing their final game with the Cleveland Indians at 1:10PM, but the MN Vikings start their regular season at home against the Atlanta Falcons at 12PM! It should be a fun day for sports fans, but there will be a little weather to contend with. The good news is that it doesn't look like a washout and most of the rain should fall during the first half of the day, but I expect a few lingering showers for both games. Weather conditions should improve during the afternoon hours as rain shifts into southern MN.
Temps on Sunday
Temps in the metro may only warm into the low/mid 60s, which will be nearly -10F to -15F below average. In fact, Sunday's temp readings will be more typical of early October, so you may want an extra layer if you're headed out and about. 
Statewide Temperature Outlook For Sunday
Weather conditions across the state look pretty chilly for the early part of September. Readings will only warm into the low/mid 60s, which will be nearly -10F to -15F below average. Again, these temps are more typical for early October, so you might need an extra layer as you head out.
Rain & Rumbles Sunday & Monday
It certainly appears to be pretty active across the Upper Midwest over the next 5 to 7 days. In fact, some weather models are suggesting several inches of rain through the end of next week! Here's the weather outlook from AM Sunday to AM Tuesday, which shows lingering rain showers over the southern half of Minnesota on Sunday. Our next system moves through the day Monday with a few thunderstorms possible as well! Monday's system will certainly be more waterlogged and could produce fairly heavy rainfall tallies across parts of the state.

Rainfall Potential Through AM Tuesday
According to NOAA's NDFD data, parts of the state could be in for a fairly soggy next 48 hours. Keep in mind that rainfall tallies on Sunday won't be all that impressive and will generally be confined to the southern half of the state. Meanwhile, Monday's system looks a little more formidable and could produce widespread 'heavier' rainfall that could exceed 1" in spots! 

Soggy Next 7 Days ??

WOW.. According to NOAA's WPC, we could be in for quite a soaker over the next 5 to 7 days. Several different storm systems look to impact the region through next weekend with storms and locally heavy rainfall.


Severe Threat Monday?

According to NOAA's SPC, there is a Marginal Risk of severe storms across parts of far southern MN as our next storm system moves through the region. Note that this risk area could change by Monday, so stay tuned!


Starting to Look Like Fall
Not sure about you, but I feel like everywhere I turn, I'm starting to see more fall color around the area. This picture was taken at Lake Shamineau, just south of Motley, MN
MN DNR Fall Color Update
According to the MN DNR fall color map, much of the state is starting to see some type of fall folliage. Sure, it's not much, but changes are happening. Keep in mind that the typical peak in the Twin Cities isn't for another month or so, but folks along the international border could see peak color within the next 2 to 3 weeks.  
Typical Peak Color Across the State
According to the MN DNR, peak color typically arrives across the far northern part of the state in mid/late September, while folks in the Twin Cities have to wait until late September/mid October. It's hard to believe, but fall colors will be here before you know it!

Can Dogday Cicadas Forecast the First Frosts of Fall? 

I don't know about you, but I've been hearing a lot of buzzing from my backyard trees lately. The loud buzzing is coming from our friendly dog day cicadas, which are pretty common in late July and August. The old adage states that when you hear the first buzz of a dog day cicada, then frost is only 6 weeks away! Here's an excerpt from Yesterday Island regarding nature's thermometer: "Insects are an important part of summer and of our collective impression of the passing seasons. When I reflect upon a quintessential summer, I think of June bugs, grasshoppers, butterflies, perhaps on more cynical days, deer flies, mosquitoes, wasps…back to good days…fireflies, moths, and as the dog days of summer come, the cicada. For the past two to three weeks we have been able to hear the rasping,  buzzing sound of cicadas emanating from trees from downtown to ‘Sconset. Often heard but rarely seen, these harbingers of late summer warm weather days remind us that fall is around the corner. According to folk legend, when you hear the first song of the dog-day cicadas, it means there’s just six weeks until frost. While this may not be a precise predictor, there is some merit to the claim. Dog-day cicadas, as their name implies, appear during the long, hot summer days of late July and August."
3rd Wettest Start to Any Year on Record at the MSP Airport
It certainly has been a wet go of things across the Upper Midwest this year. In fact, the Twin Cities has had 31.48" of liquid precipitation this year, which is nearly 9" above average for the year thus far. Interestingly, this is the 3rd wettest start to any year on record (through September 6th). Also note that the average precipitation for the entire year is 30.61", so we've actually surpassed our average yearly precipitation amount at MSP already this year with several months of 2019 yet to go! 

Fall Ragweed Allergies

AACHOO!! Fall allergy sufferers are having some issues now that the the fall allergy season is in full swing. Take a look at the forecast over the next few days and the good news is that pollen levels will take a bit of a hit thanks to rain in the forecast! 


"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 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 21st, 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 in our Phenology Talkback segment we hear from listeners who have been paying attention to nature. 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 in our talkbacks we heard from Al in Hibbing who wondered about a black swallowtail caterpillar he saw this week.  Dave from Remer was concerned about milkweed plants he noticed that had few or no pods on them and a few people saw large flocks of common nighthawks."

US Drought Monitor

According to the latest US Drought Monitor (updated on September 3rd), 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 like Huron and Rapid City, SD as well as Rochester, MN. Interestingly, Rochester is at its 2nd wettest start to the year on record with nearly 39" of liquid and if it didn't rain or snow the rest of the year there, it would be the 16th wettest year ever in recorded history. The Twin Cities is at its 3rd wettest start to the year on record with a surplus of +8.76".

Dorian Brings Strong Wind Gusts To Cape Cod And Typhoon Faxai Approaching Japan

Key Points

  • As of 8 AM AST, Hurricane Dorian remains a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph. It is moving quickly to the northeast at 25 mph.
  • Hurricane Dorian is brushing eastern New England today with tropical storm force winds impacting Cape Cod and southeastern Massachusetts early this morning.
  • Damage reports out of Cape Cod area have included down power lines and down trees.
  • Dorian is heading toward Nova Scotia. As it continues to move to the northeast, it will likely be downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone. Even so, it will still bring strong winds and heavy rain to parts of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland later today.

Latest Imagery of Dorian and Track. Dorian is becoming less organized. It no longer has a well-defined eye and is under the influence of southwesterly wind shear. This system is quickly moving to the northeast and will be in Nova Scotia by later today. From there, it will be moving over Newfoundland then turning into the Atlantic. Although it will be losing its tropical characteristics, it will still be capable of producing hurricane force winds over far eastern Canada. The combination of the wind shear and cooler sea surface temperatures will cause it to continue to weaken in the coming days.

Current Warnings. Tropical Storm Warnings have been in effect for Cape Code and the Islands in southeastern Massachusetts. Hurricane Dorian has already made its closest approach to this area and is now quickly moving toward the northeast. Conditions will be improving in these areas later today. 

Wind Gusts Today. Strong winds are lingering this morning. Some of those gusts have been in the 50-60 mph range on Cape Cod. Along the coastline of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the wind gusts have been in the 30-50 mph range. As this system pulls further away from this area later today, the winds are expected to diminish. Wind damage reports from this area this morning have included down power lines and large trees down. Check here for latest damage reports:


Typhoon Faxai Latest Imagery and Track. This storm is moving to the northwest at 18 mph toward the east coast of Japan with sustained winds of 121 mph. It is possible that it would make landfall near Tokyo late in the weekend. The coastal regions of central and eastern Japan could get between 7-15 inches of rain with this system. Rain is expected to begin Sunday afternoon.  This is the 15th named storm of the season. 

Gretchen Mishek, Meteorologist, Praedictix

Atlantic Outlook
Here's the 5 day outlook for the Atlantic Basin, which shows (2) named storms currently ongoing. Dorian was a menacing storm that impacted the Caribbean, The Bahamas, the East Coast and Nova Scotia. Thankfully, the storm will continue to weaken as its pace quickens in the north-central Atlantic. Meanwhile, Gabrielle continues in the Central Atlantic and could become a hurricane, but the good news is that it is expected to turn northeast over the next few days and will not impact the US. NOAA's NHC it also watching a wave of energy just west of Africa that has a 60% chance of tropical development over the next 5 days. Note that the path takes it due west toward the Leeward Islands, so this will be a storm to watch as we head through mid September.
Points of Tropical Origin: September 1st - 10th
The first couple of weeks of September are typically some of the most active times for tropical activity, which ocean waters are 'warmer' and upper level winds are typically a little less intense. The image below shows all of the tropical cyclone points of origin from 1851 to 2015. Note how many different systems have developed with their corresponding tracks.
Average Peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season
Believe it or not, there is an actual date when things are typically the most active in the Atlantic Basin. According to NOAA's NHC, the peak is September 10th. That number is based off of the "Number of Tropical Cyclones per 100 Years" - "The official hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin (the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico) is from 1 June to 30 November. As seen in the graph above, the peak of the season is from mid-August to late October. However, deadly hurricanes can occur anytime in the hurricane season."
Still Active in the Central Pacific
According to NOAA's NHC, the Central Pacific is still acting up with Tropical Storm Juliette heading west toward the Hawaiian Islands. We'll have to watch that storm by the end of next week, but it could drift north of the Islands. Meanwhile, there is a 20% chance of tropical formation with the wave of energy south of the Hawaiian Islands over the next few days and the worst of the storm looks to stay south.
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 15" above average and off to its 2nd 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, weather conditions will be wetter than average across much of the central and eastern US with below average precipitation chances settling in across the Intermountain=west and parts of the Highs Plains.

8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's CPC, the temperature outlook as we head into the middle part of the month looks warmer than average across much of the nation, including the Upper Midwest. 


Extended Temperature Outlook for the Twin Cities

Here's the temperature outlook for the MSP Airport through the 3rd week of September, which shows up and down temps over the next couple/few weeks. It certainly looks chilly this weekend and early next week, but midweek temps could soar back into the 80s, which would be the first 80 degree high temp in the Twin Cities since August 20th.


Warmest September Temps on Record at MSP

Here are the warmest temps on record at MSP for the month of September. Note that there has only been (1) 100 degree day, which happened back in 1931. Highs in the 90s are certainly more common and have happened quite a few times. In fact, last year in 2018 we had a high of 92 in September and in 2017 there was a 94 degree high temp. Since 2000, there have been (9) 90 high temps during the month of September. 


Peak of Atlantic Hurricane Season. Wet Week Ahead
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas.

Meteorologists have a hard time keeping their eyes away from tropical maps at this time of the year. In fact, according to NOAA's National Hurricane Center, the peak for tropical systems to spin up is on September 10th.

Dorian's path and warnings leading up to the event were predicted very well by many hard working meteorologists at the NHC and NWS. Forecasting isn't an exact science and it never will be, but it sure it amazing to think how far we've come over the last century to help keep people safe during life-threatening weather events.

Drippy skies work through the southern half of the state today, but that won't keep die-hard fans out of Minneapolis. The roar of the Gjallarhorn and familiar "BOOM" from my favorite purple and gold radio host sound at US Bank Stadium, while more "Bombas" shower the outfield bleachers at Target Field this afternoon. Let's go!

Be prepared for rain this week. There's a growing puddle potential

Extended Forecast

SUNDAY: Soggy southern MN. Chilly. Winds: ESE 5-10. High: 62.

SUNDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy, but dry. Winds: E 5. Low: 55.

MONDAY: Dry start. PM storms & heavier rain. Winds: SE 10-15. High: 70.

TUESDAY: Drying out. Peeks of stickier sunshine. Winds: WSW 7-12. Wake-up: 63. High: 81.

WEDNESDAY: Unsettled again. More PM t-storms. Winds: E 10-20. Wake-up: 65. High: 80.

THURSDAY: Lingering rain and rumbles. Winds: WNW 8-13. Wake-up: 66. High: 78.

FRIDAY: Breezy and cooler with spits of rain. Winds: W 10-20. Wake-up: 61. High: 69.

SATURDAY: Finally a dry day? Not as nippy. Winds: ESE 5-10. Wake-up: 54 High: 75.

This Day in Weather History
September 8th

1985: An F1 tornado touches down in Faribault County causing $25,000 worth of damage, and hail up to 1 3/4 inches falls in Freeborn and Waseca Counties.

1968: 1 3/4 inch hail falls in Goodhue County.

1931: A record high is set in St. Cloud with a temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis
September 8th

Average High: 75F (Record: 99F set in 1931)
Average Low: 56F (Record: 36F set in 1883)

Record Rainfall: 1.52" set in 1885
Record Snowfall: NONE

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
September 8th

Sunrise: 6:43am
Sunset: 7:37pm

Hours of Daylight: ~12 hours & 54 minutes

Daylight LOST since yesterday: ~ 3 minutes & 3 seconds
Daylight LOST since summer solstice (June 21st): ~ 2 hours & 43 minutes

Moon Phase for September 8th at Midnight
3.2 Days Since First Quarter Moon


What's in the Night Sky?

"Look for the planet Saturn in the vicinity of the moon as darkness falls on September 7 and 8, 2019. Saturn is actually a bit brighter than a 1st-magnitude star, but this world still might be hard to see in the moon’s glare. If so, try placing your finger over the obtrusive waxing gibbous moon for a better view of Saturn, the most distant world that you can easily see with the eye alone. For all the world, the moon is seen in between Saturn and the king planet Jupiter on September 7. Below, we show you a more expanded view of the sky that includes both Saturn and Jupiter. Although the chart is especially made for mid-northern North American latitudes, you can still find Saturn rather easily from anywhere worldwide. Look first for Jupiter – by far the brightest “star” in the evening sky, and that “star” on the other side of the moon on September 7 will be Saturn."

See more from Earth Sky HERE:

Average Tornadoes By State in September
According to NOAA, the number of tornadoes in September is quite a bit  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 2 tornadoes, which is much lower than our average peak of in June (15). 
2019 Preliminary Tornado Count
Here's the 2019 preliminary tornado count across the nation, which shows 1,461 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 September 4th suggests that there have been a total of 1,461 which is above the 2005-2015 short term average of 1199. Interestingly, this has been the busiest tornado season since 2011, when nearly 1,779 tornadoes were reported.
Sunday Weather Outlook
High Temps on Sunday will be quite cool across the northern tier of the nation with readings running nearly -5F ot -15F below average for early September. Meanwhile, folks in the Southern Plains and the Southeast will still be dealing with summer heat and possibly even some record highs!
Record Heat in the South on Sunday
Here's a look at potential record highs for Sunday, September 8th. Note that locations from near Dallas/Ft. Worth to the Lower Mississippi Valley and the Floriday Panhandle could all see record to near record highs. It may even touch 100F in a few spots - WHEW!

National Weather Outlook
Folks along the East Coast are finally free and clear of inclement weather conditions that Hurricane Dorian brought last week. However, some spots were hit extremely hard by the system and will be cleaning up over the next several days and weeks. Weather conditions in the Central and Western US look to be a bit more active now as storms systems develop and slide east. Areas of strong to severe storms can't be ruled out with locally heavy rain. This somewhat active weather pattern looks to continue over the next 5 to 7 days.

Heavy Ranifall Potential
Here's the 7-day precipitation forecast from NOAA's WPC, which suggests widespread heavy rainfall possible across parts of the Upper Midwest. It appears that several storm systems will move through the region with a few strong to severe storms and localized flooding. This rain will likely add to what has been an already very wet 2019 across much of the region. 
"As Disasters Multiply, Billions in Recovery Funds Go Unspent"
"The Trump administration is sitting on tens of billions of dollars in unspent recovery money meant to help Americans recover from disasters, leaving people less able to rebound from the effects of Hurricane Dorian and other storms. As of June 30, the government had spent less than one-third of the $107 billion provided by Congress following the hurricanes and wildfires of 2017 and 2018, federal data show. The Department of Housing and Urban Development, which received $37 billion — more than any other agency — had spent less than $75 million. That money is meant to help cities and states rebuild after a disaster. It is often used to fix roads, drainage systems and other infrastructure, or to repair or elevate houses in low-lying, vulnerable areas."

"Watch hurricane hunters shoot through Dorian’s stadium-like eye"
"Dorian has lived a wild life. After forming as an innocuous tropical depression (winds less than 38 mph or less) on August 24, the growing storm later passed over remarkably warm oceanwaters, which helped the cyclone intensify into a monstrous Category 5 hurricane packing 185 winds — one of the most powerful Atlantic storms on record. The potent, and soon deadly, storm then parked itself over the northern Bahamas, where the cyclone virtually stalled for a day, wreaking catastrophic damage upon Grand Bahama and Abaco islands. "It was a crazy one," Jeff Weber, a meteorologist at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, said Tuesday."

"Another ‘Warm Blob’ Is Forming In The Pacific Ocean"
"An ocean ‘heat-wave’ has formed in the Pacific Ocean over the last few months, and its resemblance to the ‘Warm Blob’ of 2014 and 2015 has scientists worried.  The last ‘Blob’ was exacerbated by a simultaneous strong El Niño, and caused ocean temperatures to rise and endure at 7 degrees Fahrenheit above average. The prolonged heat wave caused massive die-offs of seabirds and salmon, while prompting mackerel, squid, and rockfish populations to boom. Now, scientists are worried we are in for another ocean heat-wave. A bundle of warm water stretching from Alaska to Mexico has formed, and already ranks as the second largest marine heat wave in the northern Pacific Ocean in the last 40 years. “It’s on a trajectory to be as strong as the prior event,” explains Dr. Andrew Leising, a research scientist at NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center and developer of a marine heat-wave tracker. “Already, on its own, it is one of the most significant events that we’ve seen.” Based on research led by the University of Washington’s Hillary Scannell, the timing of this heat wave, about 5 years after the last, makes a lot of sense."

"These round homes have survived every major hurricane in the last 50 years, including Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. Take a look."
"Hurricane Dorian swept through the Bahamas earlier this week, leaving behind a trail of devastation, including waist-deep floods and flattened homes. The storm has killed at least 20 people. The Red Cross reports that Dorian damaged or destroyed around 13,000 houses in the Bahamas after making landfall there on Sunday as a Category 5 hurricane with wind speeds of up to 185 miles per hour. For the past 50 years, the design company Deltec Homes has developed circular houses that are especially resistant hurricanes like Dorian. So far, all of the company's structures in the Bahamas seem to have survived the storm, the company said. Take a look at how Deltec's properties are able to withstand hurricane-force winds."

"World’s largest solar plant at sea is installed at Maldives resort"
"There’s more than sunbathers and yachts floating near the resort Lux* South Ari Atoll in the Maldives. The five-star property, located on the beautiful island of Dhidhoofinolhu, called on SwimSol to provide its patented SolarSea system, the world’s largest solar power plant at sea, to help power the island resort. The SolarSea technology helps gather solar energy to power the island and can withstand the often brutal conditions caused by waves, storms and saltwater. “Innovation is key to achieving true sustainability, and we are happy to partner with Swimsol to work toward our goal of minimizing our ecological footprint,” said Jonas Amstad, general manager at Lux* South Ari Atoll. Solar energy is not a new concept to the resort, as it was already using a Swimsol rooftop system before deciding to go beyond its shores with 12 SolarSea platforms on the sea. The floating solar panels are not only saving money but reducing the resort’s carbon footprint. The property’s solar capacity increased by 40 percent and reached 678 kWp — enough to power all of the resort’s guest villas at peak times. Lux* South Ari Atoll is saving more than 260,000 liters of diesel annually, an amount that was once needed to produce the same amount of power via combustion engines."

"Ocean Heat Wave Off U.S. West Coast Could Badly Disrupt Marine Life, Scientists Say"
"Federal scientists said Thursday they are monitoring a new ocean heat wave off the U.S. West Coast, a development that could badly disrupt marine life including salmon, whales and sea lions. The expanse of unusually warm water stretches from Alaska to California, researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday. It resembles a similar heat wave about five years ago that was blamed for poorer survival rates for young salmon, more humpback whales becoming entangled in fishing gear as they hunted closer to shore, and an algae bloom that shut down crabbing and clamming. “Given the magnitude of what we saw last time, we want to know if this evolves on a similar path,” said Chris Harvey, a research scientist at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center. NOAA Fisheries said the water has reached temperatures more than 5 degrees Fahrenheit above average. It remains to be seen whether this heat wave dissipates more quickly than the last one, the agency said."

"Why All the Consequences of Climate Change Can Look So Different"
"The term climate change is often used interchangeably with global warming. But while overall global temperatures are warming, the effects of climate change are not limited to hotter temperatures. (In fact, some locations are forecasted to get cooler.) A historically destructive wildfire season plagued California, while heavy storms set last July’s rainfall records on the East Coast of the US. That’s not to mention 2018’s hurricane season. Understanding the underlying statistics can help explain why all the repercussions of climate change can look so different. Last July was a key example of this kind of variability: record-setting highs across the globe were coupled with devastating extreme weather events like monsoons in India and floodingin South Carolina. Imagine climate as a bell curve, where the height on the curve indicates how often something occurs. Natural things often have this shape, called a normal distribution — examples include adult height, the dimensions of almonds, and proteins found in human blood are all roughly normally distributed. This means that more common values tend to be closer to the average (also called the mean), while much larger and much smaller values are less numerous. For example, the mean height for men is 5’9”, so it’s more likely for men to be between 5’6” and 6’0” tall than it is to meet someone who is 7’ tall."

"Tiny NASA satellite gets fascinating 3D peek inside Hurricane Dorian"
"We've seen Hurricane Dorian from inside the eye, from satellites and looking down from the International Space Station. A tiny experimental NASA weather satellite has now given us a fascinating view from under the hurricane's hood. Tempest-D is a CubeSat roughly the size of a box of cereal. This inexpensive satellite is on a demonstration mission to show if it can track storms. If successful, it could set the stage for launching a series of low-cost CubeSats that can follow storms across the globe. The satellite shows us the layers inside Dorian in 3D. "The CubeSat used its miniaturized radio-wave-based instrument to see through the clouds, revealing different depths of the hurricane with areas with heavy rainfall and moisture being pulled into the storm," NASA said in a statement on Wednesday. NASA shared an animated version of Tempest-D's data, giving an unusual perspective on the hurricane."

"We Mapped All The Fires That Burned In The Amazon In August"
"There have been more than 90,000 fires throughout the Amazon rainforest in 2019, according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE). In August, smoke from the burns blackened the sky in cities as distant as São Paulo and caught the world’s attention. A spike in deforestation is in part to blame, as farmers have cleared land for livestock, cultivation, and development, encouraged by Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, and his campaign promises. The number of fires observed in the rainforest have been trending downward after the early 2000s, when deforestation was rampant. But 2019 has seen more fires compared to recent years, and August saw a spike ahead of the annual season when fires are typically more frequent: The state of Amazonas had 11,412 fires in August alone, compared to 16,587 in all of 2018. Across the Amazon overall last month, there were more than 66,000 fires, according to NASA."

"Let’s be grateful for NOAA’s Hurricane Dorian forecasting, but let’s make it better | Editorial"
"Here’s a banality you hear fairly often: The government can’t do anything right. Here’s something the government did pretty well in recent days: Forecasting Dorian. We can already hear the howls of protest from the crowd that thinks a storm’s path ought to be set in stone from the moment it forms. They’re disappointed Dorian didn’t get shredded by passing over mountainous Hispaniola on its way toward Florida. Or maybe they’re skeptical because a longer-range forecast at one point showed the scary hurricane coming ashore near West Palm Beach before shifting more to the east (thank goodness). Forecasting isn’t that simple. It’s the opposite of simple. As reported in the Tampa Bay Times, Hurricane Dorian was a tough puzzle to solve. The Bermuda high steering it toward Florida was slowly breaking down, but we haven’t figured out how to monitor and measure that high-pressure system’s changes very well because it’s over the sea, not land. Another complicating factor was that Dorian got really powerful really fast, and that can alter the way a hurricane behaves. But forecasters don’t completely understand what causes “rapid intensification” and how that affects a storm. Hurricane forecasting is a complex science that depends in large part on how much we choose to spend on people and technology. For example, researchers have developed disposable but costly drones that can fly into hurricanes and provide much better information than the small sensors that are parachuted into storms."
Thanks for checking in and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX

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Dorian Fades. Cool and Somewhat Soggy Weekend

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Rainy Stretch Of Weather Ahead - Up And Down Highs This Week