Heat Index Surges into the Danger Zone

Every year we hear tragic, heartbreaking stories of kids succumbing to extreme heat, after being locked inside vehicles. We all know how hot the inside of a car can get. An outside temperature of only 80F can heat up the inside of vehicle to 109F after only 20 minutes. Resist the temptation to leave kids (or pets) inside a car, even if you think it's "only for a few minutes". Don't tempt fate.

Today's forecast challenge is how hot it's actually going to get. All this moisture in the air will fuel convection: scattered T-storms which may (temporarily) cool the environment later today. But models suggest 100 degree (air temperature) near Granite Falls by late afternoon. Low 90s in the Twin Cities with a dew point of 72F will create a heat index near 100F by late afternoon. It may feel gasp-worth out there later on.

More storms form tonight along the leading edge of a dying cool front, capable of providing a little Saturday relief from the muggies up north. But low 90s are expected again Saturday; more numerous storms Sunday may keep us a few degrees cooler.

Highs in the 70s next week will feel like a cheap vacation.

Vehicular Greenhouse Effect. Even at 80F, temperatures can quickly rise inside a vehicle, reaching 109F within 20 minutes, 123F within an hour. Imagine the implications today with temperatures in the 90s.

4 PM Friday. Guidance continues to hint at 100-degree air temperatures over portions of west central and southwestern Minnesota by late afternoon (near Granite Falls and Redwood Falls) with low 90s around the metro. Throw in a dew point in the low to mid 70s and it will feel like a bad sauna - minus the towel. 4 KM NAM guidance: NOAA and AerisWeather.

Heat Advisory In Effect. The combination of low 90s and dew points creeping into the mid 70s will create a potentially dangerous heat index by afternoon; approaching 100F in some towns. Here's the latest from NOAA:


Air Pollution Advisory. Debilitating heat? Check. Severe storm risk later? Check. Smog? Yep. Other than that it should be a lovely day. Here's the latest from the MPCA, The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency: "Forecasted temperatures in the low 90s, mostly sunny skies, and light south-southwesterly winds will promote the creation of ozone in the advisory area. As a result, the Air Quality Index (AQI) is forecasted to reach into the low to mid-90s during the day on Friday, which is approaching a level considered unhealthy for sensitive groups. Ozone concentrations will be lowest in the morning hours on Thursday and will rise quickly in the late morning/early afternoon hours. Ozone concentrations will begin to decline overnight Friday as thunderstorms move into the area, but may increase again on Saturday...."

Hottest Day: Today. Models show a predicted heat index ranging from 97F to 106F by 3 pm today. 106F seems rather extreme but if storms hold off until late afternoon or evening I could absolutely see a heat index around 100F. Source: NOAA and Aeris Enterprise.

Slight Severe Thunderstorm Risk. NOAA SPC has much of Minnesota in a slight risk of storms today; the greatest risk is large, damaging hail and straight-line winds as a squall line bubbles up after 5 PM.

Severe Storm Potential Later Today. NOAA's 4 km NAM model initiates a squall line by 5 or 6 pm, the combination of extreme levels of heat and humidity coupled with the approach of a weak cool frontal boundary; a wind shift to the northeast that will drop dew points a bit by Saturday. Future radar: AerisWeather.

Sliding Back Into a Wetter Pattern? Models predict some rather extreme amounts of rain by the end of next week, as much as 3-6" of additional water. We'll see if this verifies, but all those wet basements may take a while to dry out.

Tropical Rains Reported Wednesday Night. The leading edge of tropical air ignited hefy nocturnal T-storms Wednesday night and Thursday morning with some 2-3" rainfall amounts south and west of the Twin Cities; as much as 4" reported from Doppler radar estimates near Kenyon. Many reports of flooded basements.

Alaska Continues to Bake, On Track for Hottest Year. Here's the intro to a Climate Central story: "Alaska just can’t seem to shake the fever it has been running. This spring was easily the hottest the state has ever recorded and it contributed to a year-to-date temperature that is more than 10°F (5.5°C) above average, according to data released Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Lower 48, meanwhile, had its warmest spring since the record-breaking scorcher of 2012. While May as a whole was only slightly above average — thanks in part to whiplashing weather from the beginning of the month to the end — every state in the contiguous U.S. had warmer-than-normal temperatures for the spring as a whole..." (Image credit: NOAA).

Europe to America: Your Love of Air Conditioning is Stupid. Here's an excerpt from The Washington Post: "...Overall, it's safe to say that Europe thinks America's love of air-conditioning is actually quite daft. Europeans have wondered about this particular U.S. addiction for a while now: Back in 1992, Cambridge University Prof. Gwyn Prins called America's love of air-conditioning the country's "most pervasive and least-noticed epidemic," according to the Economist. And according to the Environmental Protection Agency, it's getting worse: American demand for air-conditioning has only  increased over the past decades...."

Photo credit: "Jean-Philippe Hugues, left, fills a  store shelf with summer air conditioning products in Marseille, southern France, on July 3, where the temperature rose to 89.6F." (Claude Paris/AP).

How Guilty Should We Feel About our Air Conditioners? Keeping the theme going here's additional perspective from VICE NEWS Motherboard: "...Now, every indoor space I occupy in the summer is cooled, often to the point of discomfort. In 2009, the year with the most recent statistics available, 87 percent of US homes were air conditioned. But the experiences of my childhood, and my knowledge of climate change, cause a pang of guilt whenever I crank on my A/C at home, and I’m not the only one who feels like this..."

Terrifying Footage of Deadly Tornado in Oklahoma. Yahoo has the details and link to the video clip: "This extended piece of footage tracks a tornado near Katie, Oklahoma, as it embarks on a path of destruction. The informative and often frightening commentary gives a sense of the scope and power of the tornado, and the bravery of the crew as they get remarkable footage of the tornado itself, and of the damage it left behind..."

Video credit: YouTube/TwistingFury

"Unprecedented" Severe Weather Outbreaks Across Central Europe. My German is a bit rusty, but my 86-year old father was born in Germany - he's still fluent, and he translated the gist of a story at Germany's Tagesschau: "The headline says 3000 severe weather warnings/alerts in two weeks. The text says this is unprecedented for central Europe. It never happened since records were started, which dates back to the late 1800s..."

El Nino, Rising Sea Spur Record "Clear-Sky" Flooding. USA TODAY reports: "El Niño and rising sea levels linked to global warming spurred a record number of days of "nuisance flooding" last year in seven coastal U.S. cities, according to a federal report. Wilmington, N.C., recorded an all-time high of 90 days, or one-quarter of the year, partly underwater from the "clear-sky" flooding, which isn't caused by heavy rain from a storm, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said in the report released Wednesday. Charleston, S.C., also topped its record with 38 days and Key West, Fla., with 14 days..." (File image: Andrew Demp, Yale).

Jobs Threatened by Machines: A Once "Stupid" Concern Gains Respect. Is this period of disruption different from previous times when it comes to employment? I want to be the guy in charge of maintaining the robots. Here's an excerpt from The New York Times: "...If we are facing a not-so-distant future of robot-fueled growth and rising potential for mass disemployment, maybe it’s time to start thinking about how to provide a lot more income that isn’t directly tied to a job. Jeffrey D. Sachs of Columbia University has been working with a series of colleagues on an economic model of a world in which robotization both raises economic output and immiserates workers, pushing them out of their jobs. It is not a theoretical impossibility..."

Solar Makes Up Most of New U.S. Power Capacity for First Time. Here's a clip from a story at Bloomberg: "The U.S. solar industry had a record first quarter, accounting for the majority of new power generation for the first time. The 1,665 megawatts of solar power that came online in the first three months of the year represented 64 percent of new capacity, and wind provided 33 percent, analysts at GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association said in a statement Thursday. The U.S. solar industry will add 14.5 gigawatts this year, mainly with large utility-scale power plants, almost double the 7.5 gigawatts installed last year..." (File image: Chris Carlson, AP).

Alaska Air Flights Using Fuel Made from Fermented (Minnesota) Corn. The Seattle Times has the story; here's a clip: "...The biofuel on Tuesday’s flights was developed by Gevo, a company based in Englewood, Colo. Gevo produces isobutanol — a form of alcohol — at its fermentation plant in Luverne, Minn., in a manner similar to the longstanding production of ethanol. It converts the alcohol into renewable jet fuel at a bio­refinery in Silsbee, Texas. At 1:45 p.m., Alaska Flight 2 from Seattle to Washington, D.C., took off powered by the same fuel mix. Alaska has set a goal to use sustainable aviation biofuel on all flights at one or more of its primary airports by 2020. The challenge is to produce the biofuel on a large scale and at a price similar to regular jet fuel..."

Photo credit: "Resky Killion, a fueler at Sea-Tac International Airport, watches as fuel fills tanks on the wing of an Alaska Airlines jet in December 2015." (Ellen M. Banner/The Seattle Times).

Norway Becomes First Nation to Ban Deforestation: How Will That Work? The Christian Science Monitor has the story: "Norway has announced a complete ban on deforestation, making it the first country to commit to a zero deforestation policy. Products that contribute to deforestation will not be used in the country, EcoWatch reports. The pledge comes two years after the country issued a joint declaration with Germany and Britain at the UN Climate Summit committing to "promote national commitments that encourage deforestation free supply chains, including through public procurement policies to sustainably source commodities such as palm oil, soy, beef and timber..."

Photo credit: "A tract of Amazon jungle cleared by loggers and farmers in 2012 in Brazil. Norway has pledged to ban products that contribute to deforestation." Stian Bergeland/Rainforest Foundation Norway/Reuters.

Can We Learn to Live Without Death? Don't hold your breath, but some of Silicon Valley's biggest companies are jumping into the life-extension movement. Here's an excerpt of a good read at How We Get To Next: "...In short, our culture seems to suggest that if we radically extend our lifespans, we’re destined to become hedonistic demigods, kill ourselves, or wind up watching Friends repeats until the sun burns out. But de Grey, who has little time for the idea that an increased lifespan will inevitably lead to increased enervation and tedium, quotes a remark made by one of his friends in response: “If I’ve got a choice between Alzheimer’s at 80 or being bored at 150, I know which one I’d chose..."

Photo credit: Paul Kline // CC BY 2.0

5 Things Publishers Can Learn From How Jeff Bezos Is Running the Washington Post. Here's an excerpt from an interesting article at NiemanLab: "...The Post these days sometimes seems like a technology company as much as it does a news organization, although the focus is on how technology can serve journalism rather than the other way around. The Post’s website and mobile apps are a pleasure to use; the apps have been designed to serve different audiences depending on whether they are traditional Post readers or are instead interested in a more viral product offered at a lower price and that omits local news..."

Netflix Studied Your Binge-Watching Habits: That Didn't Take Long. Here's a clip from a story at The New York Times: "...While Netflix contends that the binge model is what viewers want, some traditional network and cable executives continue to argue that their week-to-week rollout of original programming keeps their shows in the cultural conversations for months at a time. Bingeing is obviously an option at other streaming services; several contacted Wednesday did not have comparable data, or did not respond to requests for it. But Ms. Holland said the study proved to the company that, yes, Netflix viewers were inclined to binge, and reinforced the company’s faith in its policy of releasing all the episodes of an original series at once..."

Passenger Drone Taxi Cleared for Take-Off in U.S. Trials. The idea of a super-sized drone flying me above the traffic snarls on I-494 sounds pretty good most days. Here's an excerpt from CNET: "A drone taxi that can carry a passenger has been cleared for take-off over Nevada. The EHang 184 pilotless passenger drone carries a single person and has been approved for testing this year in the US. The Chinese-Built drone stole technology trade show CES 2016 in Las Vegas in January, and it won't have to go far from sin city for tests...."

File photo credit: "The EHang can travel at about 60mph for 23 minutes on battery power." EHang.

84 F. high temperature in the Twin Cities Thursday.

77 F. average high on June 9.

92 F. high on June 9, 2015.

.54" rain fell at KMSP yesterday.

June 10, 1926: An intense downpour falls on Mahoning. 3.05 inches fell in 45 minutes.

TODAY: Steamy with hot sunshine, watch for late-day storms. Heat Index near 100 by late afternoon. Winds: S 8-13. High: 93

FRIDAY NIGHT: Tropical, a few T-storms in the area. Low: 72

SATURDAY: Hot sun, a bit less humid. Winds: NE 5-10. High: 91

SUNDAY: Mix of sun and clouds. Feels like upper 90s. Late T-storms. Winds: S 7-12. Wake-up: 68. High: near 90

MONDAY: Early showers, then partial clearing. Winds: NE 7-12. Wake-up: 70. High: 82

TUESDAY: Partly sunny with comfortable, quiet weather. Winds: E 7-12. Wake-up: 61. High: 79

WEDNESDAY: Showers develop, storms possible. Winds: E 10-15. Wake-up: 60. High: 76

THURSDAY: Showers taper, quickly drying out. Winds: NE 10-15. Wake-up: 62. High: 77

Climate Stories...

Is a Warmer Climate Elevating the Natural "Speed Limit" of Hurricanes and Typhoons? Check out the latest video at Climate Denial Crock of the Week: "As the 2016 hurricane season gets underway in the northern hemisphere, the new “This is Not Cool” video features interview footage shot in December with Kerry Emanuel, one of the most widely quoted and well known hurricane experts in the world. Nutshell: A warmer climate is expected to elevate the natural “speed limit” on hurricane/Tropical Cyclone wind speeds, and accompanying storm surge and destructiveness.  We may already be seeing this play out..."

NATO Secretary General: "Climate Change is Also a Security Threat". Here's a clip from a story at The Center for Climate and Security: "...However, it’s important to note that climate change is not necessarily distinct from these other security risks, but rather, an important factor placing strains on the broader security environment in which these risks play out. Climate change will multiply stress on factors related to peace and state stability, such as water, energy, food, and migration, all of which are key elements of instability in NATO’s backyard. As NATO changes and adapts, how climate change will challenge NATO’s core missions should be a priority. As the Secretary General continues to help steer the NATO alliance, it will be important for him to connect these dots, as history will likely not be kind to a historic summit that fails to do so..."

For The Tourism Industry, There's No Vacation from Climate Change. GreenBiz has the story; here's an excerpt: "Vacations are supposed to be spent in paradise — on sun-kissed beaches with palm trees gently swaying overhead and clear blue waters that extend to the horizon. This is a narrative (PDF) that many tourists have come to believe — and that industry marketers have nurtured in their advertising. But climate change is making it harder for resort owners and tour operators to make good on this promise. Climate change is having more of an impact on tourist destinations by eroding beaches and bleaching coral reefs. Mountain destinations are not immune either, as a warming climate melts glaciers and snow pack..."

Arctic's Melting Ice Creates Vicious Warming Circle. The very definition of a positive feedback loop, with negative implications for weather patterns and subsequent volatility in the planet's weather systems. Here's the intro to a USA TODAY story: "Arctic sea ice hit a record low in May as scientists discovered the first-ever link between melting ice in Greenland and a phenomenon known to warm the area faster than the rest of the Northern Hemisphere. The occurrence is called "Arctic amplification" and until now, scientists didn't know Greenland was linked to it, according to a study published Thursday in the British journal Nature Communications. The phenomenon is fueled by a feedback loop where rising temperatures melt Arctic sea ice, which leaves dark open water that absorbs more warmth from the sun, thereby warming the Arctic even more...." (Image credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center).

Increased Extreme Weather Events Predicted Due to Effect of Climate Change on the Arctic. Here's the intro to a summary at Common Dreams: "The effects of climate change on the Arctic — including melting ice and sea level rise — may possibly alter weather patterns in the northern hemisphere. These effects could include hotter, drier summers in some areas, wetter summers in other areas, and cold, stormy winters in others, according to studies compiled by the Greenpeace Research Laboratories in the report, “What happens in the Arctic doesn't stay in the Arctic” which is published today...."

Unabated Global Warming Threatens West's Snowpack, Water Supply. InsideClimate News has the story; here's an excerpt: "Low-elevation snowpack across the Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Nevada and the Cascades will disappear in the coming decades if global warming continues unabated, according to a new study. The changes will cause water shortages in the region and dry out forests and grasslands, the study's authors say. According to the research, the snow line—the altitude above which it snows, and below which it rains—will climb as much as 800 feet in the Colorado Rockies, and 1,400 feet in the Rockies of Idaho and Wyoming by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate..."

Climate Change Will Affect Farmers' Bottom Line. Here's a clip from a story at phys.org: "...What's new about the work is that the team used an economic model that allowed them to look across production systems, so they could evaluate farmland values for soybean producers and cattle ranchers alike. The model, knows as the Ricardian approach, also allowed for adaptation on the part of the farmer. "Farmers are smart; you can't assume that in 100 years they're going to still be farming corn like they are now,' Dall'Erba says. "Climate is changing, new practices and new technologies develop, so they may switch to another production system. The Ricardian approach assumes farmers will adapt..."

Photo credit: "Southwestern US  farmland values will change with changing climate." Credit: Katelina Creative commons CC0 Public Domain.

Southwestern US farmland values will change with changing climate. Credit: Katelina Creative commons CC0 Public Domain

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-06-climate-affect-farmers-bottom-line.html#jCp

China Says Important Glacier is Melting Due to Climate Change. Here's a story excerpt from Reuters: "A glacier that is one of the largest at the source of China's Yangtze River is fast retreating because of climate change, state media said. The Jianggudiru Glacier on Geladaindong Mountain in a remote part of the western province of Qinghai has shrunk 34 meters (38 yards) over the past six years, Pu Jianchen, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told the Xinhua news agency. The glacier started to shrink slowly in the 1970s, then expanded between 1989 and 1994 before retreating more quickly from 1995, Pu said, Xinhua reported late on Tuesday..."

Photo credit: "A man stands near the Jianggudiru Glacier on Geladaindong Mountain, in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China, September 1, 2006." Reuters/Stringer.

Is Your House Causing Global Warming? Seeker.com has an interesting post; here's an excerpt: "...In today's DNews special, Trace Dominguez considers the matter of air conditioners and other home appliances, in regard to energy usage. Reducing energy waste in the home is a fast and simple way to increase efficiency, save money, and -- while you're at it -- confront the single most lethal crisis our species has ever faced. What's not to like? Let's start with a little quick math -- don't worry, it only stings for a second: According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average annual energy consumption for a residential home is 15,497 kilowatt-hours (kWh). About one third of U.S. homes still use coal to generate those kilowatts. It takes 1.04 pounds of coal to generate one kilowatt-hour, which also generates 2.13 pounds of carbon dioxide..." (File image: Midwest Energy News).

Energy Conscious Buildings Across America. Why wouldn't you want your appliances, home, office or church to be as energy-efficient as possible? You'll reduce energy consumption - and save money in the process. Here's an excerpt from saveonenergy.com: "...The U.S. population is about 319 million people, and it’s projected to reach a whopping 400 million by 2051. As our population grows each year, so does our impact on the environment in a number of dramatic ways. Americans’ increasing need for energy is certainly an environmental hurdle we will need to jump over. Fortunately, there are existing programs that encourage people and companies alike to reduce their energy consumption. One primary example is Energy Star, which is administered by the EPA and provides guidance and certifications to companies demonstrating a desire to control and reduce energy usage..."

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Jungle-Like Heat & Humidity Friday into Sunday: Heat Index Near 100F

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Enhanced Severe Thunderstorm Risk by Afternoon: Hail and Damaging Winds Possible