By Paul Douglas
Polar amplification. Climate volatility. Weather becoming "stuck" for prolonged periods of time, turning up the volume on floods, heat, fire and drought. 30s over the Arrowhead, while fish-killing heat grips Alaska, Europe sets new record highs and China bakes thru the worst heat wave in 140 years.
17 states are enduring historic floods as storms swarm along a stalled front, while huge fires smolder out west. What's going on?
The Arctic is warming twice as fast as mid-latitudes. Researchers link this uneven warming to a drop in jet stream winds, one capable of slowing the progression of storms around the Northern Hemisphere - with more of a tendency for weather systems to stall or "cut off". Massive looping kinks in the steering winds force chilly air south while shoving record heat north, prolonging & magnifying extremes. It's not your imagination - patterns are shifting.
Storms brush far southern Minnesota today; elsewhere a morning shower gives way to some PM sun. Upper 70s? Just mild enough for a (quick) dip. A dry, comfortable week is on tap - highs in the 70s.
You could have scripted this months ago: after a cool August highs may hit 90F for Day 1 of The State Fair.
Todd Nelson's StarTribune Weather Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota
SUNDAY: Morning showers, then PM clearing. Winds: W 5. High: 79
SUNDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy, nothing rough. Low: 59.
MONDAY: More sun, less humid. Dew point: 56. High: 77
TUESDAY: Blue sky, feels like mid September: Wake-up: 56. High: 75
WEDNESDAY: Sunny and warmer. Wake-up: 55. High: 78
THURSDAY: Warmer, closer to average. Wake-up: 58. High: 80.
FRIDAY: Some sun, more humid. Wake-up: 61. High 81.
SATURDAY: Sunny intervals, feels like summer. Wake-up: 63. High: 85.
Soggy Start to Sunday?
The first of of Sunday could be a little soggy for some across the far southern part of Minnesota. Models have been trending this weak wave even farther south than previously thought, so don't be surprised if you go through the first part of Sunday and stay dry. The 2nd half of Sunday shouldn't have any major problems either. This would be perfect Fair weather, wouldn't it? Cool with low humidity. If we could only be so lucky... it's only 2 weeks away - YIKES!
2 Day Precipitation Potential
NOAA's HPC 2 day precipitation potential shows very minimal precipitation potential through early next week. Most of the Sunday preciptation potential looks to be whisked off to the south along the MN/IA/WI border.
The Perfect Job?
I can honestly say I love what I do. Weather is not only my job, but it is my hobby. Finding two passions in a job, well that's rare. How about golf and weather? That would be AMAZING!! Say hello to one of my good friends and old college classmate, Brad Nelson, who seems to have a pretty sweet gig. He's the PGA tour meteorologist! I am very proud of my dear friend and had to brag about him a bit. Here are some of his pictures from the weekend as he spent time at the Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, NY for the 2013 PGA Championship. Congrats Brad and keep up the good work!
"Put out the lawn chair, set the alarm and maybe bring something to wet your whistle while you gaze into the nighttime sky — the year's best shooting star show has started.
August's annual Perseids meteor shower peaks Sunday and Monday, promising perhaps 70 meteors an hour those evenings.
"The Perseids are the good ones," says meteorite expert Bill Cooke of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala."
Thanks to PBrooks Photography who captured this on Saturday night near Buffalo Prairie, IL.
The Best of the Best
Why is this meteor shower the best of the best? NASA research says so, that's why!
"New research by NASA has just identified the most magical nights of all.
"We have found that one meteor shower produces more fireballs than any other," explains Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "It's the Perseid meteor shower, which peaks on August 12th and 13th."
Using a network of meteor cameras distributed across the southern USA, Cooke's team has been tracking fireball activity since 2008, and they have built up a database of hundreds of events to analyze. The data point to the Perseids as the 'fireball champion' of annual meteor showers."
2013 Tornado Drought
No doubt, 2013 has been a lackluster year on severe weather. According to the Storm Prediction Center, we are currently sitting at the lowest number of preliminary tornado reports since 2005! Through August 9th, there had been only 712 preliminary tornado reports. The 2005-2012 average is nearly 1,200!
A Closer Look
Here's a little closer look at the tornado count so far in 2013 vs. the past couple of years. Keep in mind that 2013 tornado numbers are preliminary.. Interesting to see January 2013 start off so strong and then just fall off in the spring when it should have been ramping up. A cooler spring was part of the reason for the lack of severe weather/tornadoes during that time.
According to Hamweather.com, there have even been nearly 300 cold temperature records either tied or broken over then past week compared to only 168 warm temperature records either tied or broken.
The Worst Skeeters in the World?
It is said that the Alaska state bird is the Mosquito. After this story, I'm beginning to think that could be true. Get ready to be creeped out!
"Think mosquitoes are bad in your neck of the woods this summer? It could be worse. Just ask researcher Jesse Krause, who just spent 78 days working at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Toolik Field Station on the North Slope. Krause has returned with images of mosquito hordes that will make your skin crawl."