Monday Record Highs: 

97: Twin Cities (old record 94 in 1948)

95 St. Cloud (old record 93 in 2003)

94 Alexandria (old record 93 in 1976)



Late Summer Sizzle - Real Relief By Labor Day


I'm thinking of flying to Palm Springs to cool off - and torture my golf clubs. It was 15F degrees cooler in the deserts of southern California than it was in Minnesota yesterday. Two record highs in a row, but slight relief is likely by Thursday (with a good chance of T-storms and some badly needed rain).

ECMWF "Euro" guidance is hinting at a push of much cooler air coming sooner than expected; a big drop in temperature/dew point by Sunday and Labor Day.

And now comes word that the 2014 Farmer's Almanac is predicting a very cold winter for much of the USA - and an ominous prediction for the February Superbowl at New Jersey's (outdoor) Meadowlands stadium. What can possibly go wrong? I have my bootleg copy, but don't bet the farm based on a 6-9 month weather prediction. If anything we may be limping into a mild El Nino, which could temper the coldest winds of winter.

T-storms may pop up north again today - southern Minnesota stuck under a heat dome with more mid/upper 90s.

I'm having a deja vu moment: it's drying out nearly as fast as 2012. Let's not whine about rain anytime soon. The best chance: Thursday and late Saturday.

A welcome taste of autumn arrives next week.


Latest 80-degree Low Temperature On Record In The Twin Cities: Details from the Twin Cities NWS:





AUGUST  2 1955...80 DEGREE LOW.

AUGUST  6 2001...80 DEGREE LOW.

AUGUST 10 1944...80 DEGREE LOW.

AUGUST 22 1968...80 DEGREE LOW.




Relief 5 Days Away? The ECMWF model (courtesy of Weatherspark) shows muggy conditions into Friday, a cool frontal passage pumping drier, Canadian air into Minnesota Sunday and Monday as dew points drop into the 40s. If the "Euro" is to be believed highs may hold in the 70s by Labor Day.


Drought, Frost Among Farmers' Crop Concerns. The Gazette has the story - here's an excerpt: "The expanding drought has taken precedence of the "F" word, frost, as the leading threat to Iowa farmers' crops. "Farmers are talking about both drought and frost. An early frost absolutely matters in a year of late crop development, but it feels farther away when the weather turns hot." Bill Northey, secretary of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, said Thursday. "Heat will be the big difference maker now," said Brian Fuchs, one of the authors of the U.S. Drought Monitor, which in its latest report Thursday showed dry soils expanding in Iowa..."

* latest U.S. Drought Monitor for the Upper Midwest here.


5-Day Rainfall. It's amazing how fast Minnesota is drying out now - corn and bean fields under obvious stress. Just like August of 2012 rainfall has (almost instantly) become spotty and sparse, more rain for northern Minnesota and Wisconsin, but precious little rain for farms in central and southern portions of both states. We need rain (badly). NOAA HPC hints at some 2"+ amounts over northern Minnesota, but very little rain over far southwest Minnesota into Sunday.


"Ridge Riders". More T-storms will flare up along the northern boundary of a very slow moving heat bubble over the Upper Midwest, the best chance of some badly needed rain Thursday. Cooler air is building over Canada, relief that will finally sweep across the northern tier of the USA early next week. 84 hour NAM loop: NOAA.

The expanding drought has taken precedence over the “F” word, frost, as the leading threat to Iowa farmers’ crops.

“Farmers are talking about both drought and frost. An early frost absolutely matters in a year of late crop development, but it feels farther away when the weather turns hot,” Bill Northey, secretary of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, said Thursday.

“Heat will be the big difference maker now,” said Brian Fuchs, one of the authors of the U.S. Drought Monitor, which in its latest report Thursday showed dry soils expanding in Iowa.

- See more at:

The expanding drought has taken precedence over the “F” word, frost, as the leading threat to Iowa farmers’ crops.

“Farmers are talking about both drought and frost. An early frost absolutely matters in a year of late crop development, but it feels farther away when the weather turns hot,” Bill Northey, secretary of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, said Thursday.

“Heat will be the big difference maker now,” said Brian Fuchs, one of the authors of the U.S. Drought Monitor, which in its latest report Thursday showed dry soils expanding in Iowa.

- See more at:


Yosemite Wildfire Grows, Fueling Dangerous Winds. Here's an excerpt of an update from Reuters: "A colossal wildfire raging on the edge of Yosemite National Park has produced dangerous weather patterns by fueling thunderous pyrocumulus clouds that can alter the wind direction rapidly, potentially trapping firefighters, forest officials said on Sunday. The so-called Rim Fire grew to 134,000 acres by early Sunday morning, up 9,000 acres from the day before, with smoke columns rising more than 30,000 feet, said U.S. Forest Service spokesman Dick Fleishman. "That's a real watch-out situation for our firefighters when they see that kind of activity, they know that the wind could actually move that fire right back on them," Fleishman said. "That's been happening every afternoon..."

Photo credit above: "A sign on the edge of Yosemite National Park, California, is surrounded by a burn from the Rim Fire, August 23, 2013." REUTERS/Max Whittaker.


Wildfire Threatens San Francisco Power Grid. The flames have threatened water supplies, reservoirs and hydroelectric generators that provide electricity for San Francisco - here's an excerpt from Voice of America: "A massive wildfire in northern California has swallowed up the western edge of Yosemite National Park and is threatening the city of San Francisco's water and power supplies. More than 2,600 firefighters are battling the blaze, which is burning across about 52,000 hectares and threatens 5,500 homes. Some towns have issued voluntary evacuations. The governor of California called a state of emergency Friday for the city of San Francisco, which is about 240 kilometers away from the raging inferno.  Two hydroelectric plants in the area were shut down due to the fire..."

Photo credit above: "Firefighters battle a blaze at Yosemite National Park, California, August 24, 2013." Reuters.


Giant Wildfire Chars 15,000 Acres Within Yosemite National Park, May Grown In "Extreme" Way. Here's more information on the near-record blaze for California from NBC News: "...NBC Bay Area reported that the Berkeley Tuolumne Family Camp had been destroyed by flames. It said staff and campers were evacuated beforehand and no injuries were reported. The camp dates to 1922. NBC Los Angeles noted that the incident was closing in on the record-breaking 145,000-acre wildfire that burned over a three-week period in 1987. At close to 225 square miles, the blaze is more than four times the size of San Francisco. The fire was sparked last week in a remote canyon of the Stanislaus National Forest, with arid conditions feeding the flames. Statewide, more than 8,300 firefighters are battling nearly 400 square miles of fires..." (Image: NASA MODIS, University of Wisconsin).


Farmers Almanac Predicts A "Bitterly Cold" Winter. Stop the presses - we have the official forecast for the winter. It's understandable to be curious about the winter-to-come, but buyer beware. There's no scientific basis for this forecast, or if there is the Farmers Almanac has yet to release the methadology of their long-range predictions. Hey, I have a copy - there's great information in there, but I'm not convinced they (or anyone else) has cracked the riddle of a 6-9 month forecast. CBS News has the video and more details: "The Farmers' Almanac is using words like "piercing cold," "bitterly cold" and "biting cold" to describe the upcoming winter. And if its predictions are right, the first outdoor Super Bowl in years will be a messy "Storm Bowl." The 197-year-old publication that hits newsstands Monday predicts a winter storm will hit the Northeast around the time the Super Bowl is played at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands in New Jersey. It also predicts a colder-than-normal winter for two-thirds of the country and heavy snowfall in the Midwest, Great Lakes and New England. "We're using a very strong four-letter word to describe this winter, which is C-O-L-D. It's going to be very cold," said Sandi Duncan, managing editor. Based on planetary positions, sunspots and lunar cycles, the almanac's secret formula is largely unchanged since founder David Young published the first almanac in 1818..."

* Friend, colleague and meteorologist Jason Samenow has more on the Farmer's Almanac Outlook for winter and 2014, and a look back at how well they did last winter at The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang.

** "Note To CBS: This Is NOT News, It's Make Believe". Meteorologist Dan Satterfield has a sharp response to the desire to make this a big story. While you're at it, can you tell me how the  NASDAQ will be doing next February?


 More Horoscope Than Science?Hey, I like the Farmer's Almanac. It's like seeing an old (slightly crazy) friend every year. Truth: if you could accurately (consistently) predict weather 6-12 months in advance you'd have Romney money, or maybe even Elon Musk money.  Billions. You'd be able to buy your own island in the Caribbean. Thanks in large part to chaos theory and the sheer complexity of the atmosphere, predicting precipitation or temperature beyond 15-20 days is voodoo. It's equivalent to predicting what the price of Apple stock will be on February 3, 2014. Good luck. There's no skill. Zero. Sometimes an evolving La Nina or El Nino pattern can tilt the odds in a certain direction and we can issue trend forecasts "warmer in the east, drier in the west", but specificity beyond a couple of weeks is wishful thinking. And basing a long-range (weather) forecast on sunspots and other "factors"? They've never released the methadology behind these 6-12 month forecasts. Questionable at best. But as a source of interesting weather nuggets and curious prognistications the Farmers Almanac is a source of endless fascination. Disclaimer aside, the F.A. is predicting a cold, snowy winter east of the Rockies. Uh huh. Details in today's edition of Climate Matters: "WeatherNation TV Chief Meteorologist Paul Douglas looks at the long-range weather prediction just issued by the Farmer's Almanac. It forecasts a major storm for the Northeast, just in time for the Superbowl (in the outdoor Meadowlands stadium in New Jersey). Also, how common are the most extreme heat waves going to be in coming years?"


If It's Too Smoggy For Your Tourist Photos, Hong Kong Has A Fake Blue-Sky Background. Well, here's one way to solve the horrifica air pollution problem gripping much of China, as explained at Grist: "Air quality at Hong Kong famously hovers somewhere between "technically breathable" and "mainly motor oil with the occasional oxygen bubble". That's bad for people's lungs, but more importantly, it's bad for their photos. Tourists didn't pay good money to go to Hong Kong and have their vacation Instagrams ruined by light-impervious smog. That's why the city has set up a backdrop showing a skyling against a clear, blue, entirely fake sky..."

Photo credit: Alex Hofford/CFP.


Incredible Technology: How To Forecast Severe Storms. There's some good information in this story at Live Science; here's an excerpt: "...Forecasting a storm is a lot like practicing medicine, said meteorologist Greg Carbin at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, Okla. "You go to the doctor, you tell the doctor your symptoms and the doctor makes a diagnosis before he makes a prognosis," Carbin told LiveScience. "We need to diagnose the current state of the atmosphere as best we can before we can attempt to forecast." [Hurricanes from Above: See Nature's Biggest Storms]. The SPC is primarily concerned with forecasting thunderstorms and tornadoes in the continental United States..."

Image credit above: "NOAA's GOES-12 weather satellites captured this image of Hurricane Katrina at Category 5 strength on Aug. 28, 2005, at 11:45 a.m. EDT." Credit: NOAA.


97 F. record high Monday in the Twin Cities. Old record was 94 F. on August 26, 1948.

97 F. high reported at Appleton and Red Wing, Minnesota yesterday.

79 F. average high for August 26.

86 F. high on August 26, 2012.

+1 F. August temperatures are running 1 F. warmer than average, to date.

13% based on NWS Cooling Degree Days we've spent 13% more to cool our homes and businesses than average since June 1.


Hot Enough. Monday hights ranged from 78 at Grand Marais to 95 St. Cloud, 97 in the Twin Cities. Nearly half an inch of rain fell at Hibbing, almost 2.5" at Hayward, Wisconsin over the last 24 hours.



TODAY: Excessive Heat Warning. Free sauna with more hot sun. T-storms central and northern MN. Dew point: 71 Heat Index: 105. High: 96


TUESDAY NIGHT: Still warmer than average, not quite as sticky. Low: 74


WEDNESDAY: Slight dip in humidity, "cooler". Plenty of sun. Dew point: 65. High: 92


THURSDAY: Unsettled with scattered T-storms. Dew point: 69. Wake-up: 73. High: 88


FRIDAY: Intervals of sun, good lake day with lot's of sun. Wake-up: 71. High: 93


SATURDAY: Some sticky sun, passing T-storm. Wake-up: 73. High: near 90


SUNDAY: Sunny, cooler, less humid. DP: 60. Wake-up: 69. High: 86


LABOR DAY: Blue sky, September-like. DP: 52. Wake-up: 61 (50s in the suburbs). High: 76



Climate Stories....

”Science is what we do to keep from lying to ourselves” - Richard Feynman.


Cartoon credit: Mike Peters, Dayton Daily News.


"3 Sigma" Heat Waves To Increase In Coming Decades. Here's an excerpt from a recent paper which shows a doubling of (extreme) heat waves by 2020, a possible 4X increase by 2040. The frequency and intensity of future heat will depend on whether we can (globally) reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Here's an excerpt: "...We show that the frequency of summer months with extreme heat (3-sigma) and unprecedented heat (5-sigma) will strongly increase under expected future global warming. Even strong mitigation (RCP2.6) cannot stop the increase in occurrence-frequency of 3-sigma heat by a factor four in the near-term. Also, 5-sigma events will emerge and become common in some tropical regions. Mitigation, however, can strongly reduce the expected number of heat extremes in the second half of the 21st century..."

Graphic credit above: "Percentage of global land area during boreal summers with monthly temperatures beyond different sigma-thresholds for historic (left) and 21st century (middle and right). The CMIP5 multi-model mean (thick colored lines) accurately reproduces the observed increase in 1, 2 and 3-sigma extremes in the GISS temperature data (solid black lines). Future projections are given for 3-sigma (middle) and 5-sigma (right) for scenarios RCP2.6 and RCP8.5."


Environmental Campaign Suggests Naming Vicious Storms After Climate Change Deniers. Adweek has the story; here's an excerpt: "New York ad agency Barton F. Graf 9000 has turned its roguish attention to the issue of climate change, and helped activist group 350 Action with the amusing video below. According to the YouTube description: "Since 1954, the World Meteorological Organization has been naming extreme storms after people. But we propose a new naming system. One that names extreme storms caused by climate change, after the policy makers who deny climate change and obstruct climate policy. If you agree, sign the petition at" The snarky tone preaches to the choir, but it's hard to resist lines like, "If you value your life, please seek shelter from Michele Bachmann..."


Monarch Butterfly Habitat In Mexico Forests At 20 Year Low. has the story - here's the introduction: "The concern about the disappearance of monarch butterflies has intensified. In the northern spring of 2013, conservation organizations reported that the amount of Mexican forest the butterflies occupied was at its lowest in 20 years. The World Wildlife Fund, in partnership with a Mexican wireless company and Mexico’s National Commission of Protected Areas, found nine hibernating colonies occupied almost 3 acres during the 2012-13 winter, a 59% decrease from the previous winter. Illegal logging in the Mexican forests, where the butterflies spend the winter, is being blamed for the shrinking acreage. Climate change is also thought to contributing to the butterfly population crash; it is causing the disappearance of milkweed, the only plant on which monarchs lay their eggs and on which their caterpillars feed..."

Photo credit above: "Travis Brady, butterfly expert." Photo by Joe Larese. See this link for the Lake Nokomis Monarch Butterfly Festival:  


Siege Mentality. Experts Pan IPCC's Climate Report Strategy. Should there be more transparency, online and otherwise. Germany's Der Spiegel takes a look - here's an excerpt: "...But Beck adds that while the IPCC's "siege mentality" is intended to protect certain scientists from attacks by the industrial lobby, the it ultimately makes the organization itself more vulnerable. Renowned British climatologist Mike Hulme says this approach sows mistrust. The generation of the IPCC report should be organized in a more transparent fashion, says the InterAcademic Council (IAC), which the UN commissioned to review the IPCC's work. Now the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) is calling for the IPCC report to be published online so that it can be updated at any time. The current process disregards studies completed after a certain date, which means that UN climate data isn't up to date by the time its report is published, the institute says..."

Photo credit above: Corbis. "Lightning over an unnamed city. Climate change is a divisive issue, and experts are urging the IPCC to handle its information strategy differently."


Willfull Blindness. Here's a compelling TED video clip and explanation from (Republican) climate scientist Barry Bickmore: "...Now, I don’t have to tell my readers how I think this story relates to being a Republican Earth scientist who takes climate change seriously.  But watch the video and pay attention to how Heffernan describes the excuses people make for remaining willfully blind.  See if you don’t find eerie similarities with the excuses you hear coming from the “Do-Nothing-About-Climate” crowd..."


On Climate Change, Think For Yourself. Here's an excerpt from an Op-Ed at The Bangor Daily News: "...With the future looming, Americans are divided about whether climate change is a reality or is a hoax perpetuated by the liberal elites. Virtually the entire community of climate scientists is in agreement about the facts. Why then the continuing doubt of so many people? The fossil fuels industry and all those whose livelihood depends upon the fate of fossil fuels have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. They are the conservatives, whether Democrat, Republican or whatever. Pollution is, as Al Gore has named it, an “inconvenient truth” for them, and they deny its existence. Those conservatives are mainly the rich and powerful. They will squeeze the last drop of fossil fuels out of the earth as if their lives depended upon it, as indeed it does..."


14 U.S. Cities That Could Disappear Over The Next Century, Thanks To Global Warming. Miami is still at the top of the list, much of South Florida 3-6 feet above mean sea level. Superimpose rising seas and occasional storm surges from hurricanes and other major storms and you have a growing problem, as reported at Huffington Post: "There is really no way around it: Thanks to climate change, sea levels are rising. A huge question on the minds of many is, what does this mean for America? Will sea walls and city planning protect major metropolises, or are we bound to lose some national gems? Unfortunately, the latter is a significant possibility. Read on for 14 U.S. cities that could be devastated over the next century due to rising tides..." (Photo: Andrew Demp, Yale).


Barge Operators Struggle Along The Mississippi. New contracts that hedge risk for barge operators facing extremely severe weather, whiplash back and forth from flood to drought? Here's a clip from The Wall Street Journal: "...For the first time, privately held Canal Barge Co., which transports liquid cargoes like machine lubricants up the river from refineries in the South, has started to add "disruption clauses" to its contracts with shippers. The new clauses require customers to cover the cost of delays or other losses caused by high or low water, says Merritt Lane, president and chief executive. "I'm certainly concerned about the increasingly unpredictable weather patterns," says Mr. Lane. He says Canal Barge's profits fell sharply last year because of the drought. The low water halted river traffic in some places, held up grain shipments and reduced the loads that barges could carry..."

Photo credit above: "The Mississippi River overflowing this spring near LaGrange, Mo." Associated Press.

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Severe Storm Watch Central/Northern Minnesota until 1 AM

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Record 97F Monday (latest 80 degree low on record for MSP - relief by Sunday?)