Longest Stretch of 70F Highs on Record for MSP

Most crops are ahead of schedule, thanks to the second warmest growing season on record - second only to 1988. The local National Weather Service office in Chanhassen reports 107 consecutive days with an MSP metro high of 70F or warmer; the longest such stretch on record. Nobody can complain we didn't get our money's-worth out of summer this year.

While much of Wisconsin mops up from extreme flooding (potentially another 500-year flood) our weather remains relatively quiet, with a slight risk of severe storms south/west of the Twin Cities Friday.

2 small EF-0 tornadoes touched down in Goodhue County Monday evening. Based on preliminary NOAA SPC numbers, it looks like 15 tornadoes across Minnesota so far in 2018; roughly half the average number.

No complaints.

Daylight hours today should stay dry, but more T-storms prowl the state tonight into Friday night. A small percentage may be rough with downpours, small hail and gusty winds.

The best chance of holiday weekend storms will come on Sunday and Labor Day. The best chance of a suntan? Saturday, with weekend highs close to 80F each day. 


Adding Insult to Injury. The 00z NAM model prints out 2-4" rainfall amounts by Saturday night from Des Moines and the Quad Cities to Madison and Rockford, potentially sparking more flash flooding. Parts of Wisconsin are already cleaning up from a 500-year flood. Stating the obvious: the ground is saturated; any additional rain will almost immediately run-off into streets and streams. And yes, this is a bit unusual for the very end of August. Map: NOAA and pivotalweather.com.


Friday Severe Risk. NOAA SPC has issued a slight risk which extends into southwestern Minnesota, where wind and moisture profiles may be favorable for large hail and potentially damaging winds.



Dribbles of Canadian Air. No blasts of chilled air showing up just yet on NOAA's long-range GFS forecast. In fact much of the eastern USA may be frying into mid-September.

Endless Summer. NOAA's CFSv2 is fairly consistent, forecasting a milder than average September for much of the USA and southern Canada. Stay tuned. Map credit: WeatherBell.


2 Small Tornadoes Touch Down in Goodhue County Monday Evening. They were EF-0 in strength, but then again any tornado is a fairly big deal. Details via KARE-11: "The National Weather Service confirms at least two brief tornadoes touched down in southern Minnesota Monday night, but damage in Red Wing was caused by straight-line winds. The two tornadoes are both considered EF-0. One of them hit just east of Nerstrand in Rice County and another hit the small town of Vasa in Goodhue County. A Damage Survey Team moved on to Red Wing to assess the damage, and to see if a third tornado touched down. On Tuesday evening, NWS Twin Cities confirmed on Twitter that the team determined the damage there was caused by straight-line winds..."


Tornado Details. Iowa Environmental Mesonet has details on Monday's EF-0 tornadoes in Goodhue County. More perspective from the Twin Cities National Weather Service: "On August 27, 2018 a line of storms moved across eastern Minnesota into Wisconsin. These storms caused widespread wind damage and produced two EF-0 tornadoes in Rice and Goodhue Counties. These tornadoes were short-lived and formed out of a mesovortex-like feature. Downburst wind damage was also found along the path of the mesovortex. Portions of the city of Red Wing had extensive wind damage with the Red Wing Airport automated station measuring a wind gust of 82 mph."


Historic Flooding for Wisconsin. Praedictix Briefing: Issued Wednesday, August 29th, 2018:

  • Two days of heavy rain has led to flooding across parts of southern Wisconsin – with historic flooding occurring in some areas.
  • Parts of I-90/94 near Mauston are closed as water is over the road.
  • Governor Scott Walker added Fond du Lac, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Vernon, and Washington Counties yesterday to a previous state of emergency issued last week for Dane County due to the recent severe weather and flooding.
  • Across the Northeast, extreme heat continues today with Heat Advisories and Excessive Heat Warnings in effect.

Past 48 Hour Rainfall. Multiple rounds of heavy rain across parts of southern Wisconsin over the past two days have led to numerous reports of flash flooding and water rescues across the region. Top rainfall totals so far have included:

  • 9.98” near Westby
  • 9.14” in Union Center
  • 8.66” in Melvina
  • 8.58” near Kendall
  • 8.38” in Mauston

Parts Of I-90 And I-94 Closed. Numerous roads have been closed across parts of southern Wisconsin due to water over the roads, including eastbound I-90/94 between mile marker 69 and 79 and I-90 westbound at the I-39 split in Portage. Map: https://511wi.gov/

The Wisconsin DOT has put together lists and maps of roads that are closed due to flooding:


Record Flooding Along The Kickapoo River. This heavy rain has led to rising rivers across parts of southern Wisconsin. This includes along the Kickapoo River, where historic flooding is occurring. Numerous Kickapoo River hydrologic sites have observed the river rise above its previous record crest. NWS La Crosse has a link to the hydrographs of river height for these locations: https://www.weather.gov/arx/kickapoo_river


Ongoing River Flooding. It’s not just the Kickapoo River, though. Every dot on this map represents a river flood gauge (30 in total) that is either in action or flood stage across southern Wisconsin.


Flood Warnings In Effect.  Flood Warnings continue to be in effect for numerous areas of southern Wisconsin as major flooding is still occurring across the region due to the heavy rain.


Risk Of Flooding Again Friday. The good news for these rain-soaked areas is that there will be a break in the rain today into Thursday. However, as we head toward Friday and Friday Night a new system will be pushing into the region, bringing the threat of more rain along with it. Already the Weather Prediction Center has issued a Slight Risk of Excessive Rain for Friday that could lead to flash flooding across parts of the upper Midwest, including hard-hit southwest Wisconsin.


Excessive Heat In The Northeast. Excessive heat and humidity will continue across the Northeast today before a cold front finally moves through cooling down the region. Numerous Heat Advisories and Excessive Heat Warnings are in effect, including in the following locations:

  • Portland, ME: Heat Advisory through 8 PM today
  • Burlington, VT: Heat Advisory through 8 PM today
  • Boston, MA: Excessive Heat Warning through 9 PM today
  • New York City: Heat Advisory through 9 PM today
  • Philadelphia, PA: Heat Advisory through 8 PM today
  • Baltimore, MD: Heat Advisory through 8 PM today
  • Washington D.C.: Heat Advisory through 8 PM today
  • Norfolk, VA: Heat Advisory through 7 PM today

Forecast Highs. Highs will climb into the 90s from Washington D.C. to Boston today, before cooling a touch on Thursday. Relief from the heat won’t completely move in until Friday after a cold front moves through the region tomorrow.


Forecast Heat Index. Heat index values above 100 are expected up the East Coast today, with it feeling more like 107 at times this afternoon in Philadelphia. These peak heat index values will be cooler later this week once that cold front moves through.

D.J. Kayser, Meteorologist, Praedictix



What a Strange Summer It's Been in Minnesota. It's been an oddly disconcerting summer across the great state of Minnesota. Mercifully few violent tornadoes to report on. Instead, meteorologists have been tracking smoke plumes and air pollution, with potentially toxic algae showing up from western Minnesota to Lake Superior and yet another rash of extreme rainfall events. Monday night as much as 10 inches of rain soaked Vestby, in Vernon County, Wisconsin. Summer floods struck the Mora area, and some farms in southwest Minnesota were underwater for days on end. Dr. Mark Seeley reports the growing season in 2018 is the second warmest on record, trailing only 1988. The new normal? I hope not.


A recent Tel Aviv University study suggests that weather patterns that lead to flash floods may one day be tracked and anticipated by our smartphones.

"The sensors in our smartphones are constantly monitoring our environment, including gravity, the earth's magnetic field, , light levels, humidity, temperatures, sound levels and more," said Prof. Colin Price of TAU's Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, who led the research. "Vital atmospheric data exists today on some 3 to 4 billion smartphones worldwide. This data can improve our ability to accurately forecast the weather and other natural disasters that are taking so many lives every year."

Prof. Price collaborated with TAU master's student Ron Maor and TAU doctoral student Hofit Shachaf for the study, which was published in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics.



Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-08-smartphones-weather.html#jCp

A recent Tel Aviv University study suggests that weather patterns that lead to flash floods may one day be tracked and anticipated by our smartphones.

"The sensors in our smartphones are constantly monitoring our environment, including gravity, the earth's magnetic field, , light levels, humidity, temperatures, sound levels and more," said Prof. Colin Price of TAU's Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, who led the research. "Vital atmospheric data exists today on some 3 to 4 billion smartphones worldwide. This data can improve our ability to accurately forecast the weather and other natural disasters that are taking so many lives every year."

Prof. Price collaborated with TAU master's student Ron Maor and TAU doctoral student Hofit Shachaf for the study, which was published in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics.



Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-08-smartphones-weather.html#jCp

A recent Tel Aviv University study suggests that weather patterns that lead to flash floods may one day be tracked and anticipated by our smartphones.

"The sensors in our smartphones are constantly monitoring our environment, including gravity, the earth's magnetic field, , light levels, humidity, temperatures, sound levels and more," said Prof. Colin Price of TAU's Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, who led the research. "Vital atmospheric data exists today on some 3 to 4 billion smartphones worldwide. This data can improve our ability to accurately forecast the weather and other natural disasters that are taking so many lives every year."

Prof. Price collaborated with TAU master's student Ron Maor and TAU doctoral student Hofit Shachaf for the study, which was published in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics.



Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-08-smartphones-weather.html#jCp


Lane: Second Wettest Tropical System to Impact U.S. Since 1950. Above is a special statement from the Hawaii office of the National Weather Service, highlightingthe 52.02" rainfall amount from Hurricane Lane in Mountain View, on the Big Island of Hawaii.


Misery Index. Extreme heat or extreme cold around the planet is highlighted in this interactive graphic from earth.nullschool.net.


Smart Phones May Be Used to Better Predict the Weather. Crowdsourcing weather? It's already happening. Here's a clip from a post at Phys.org: "...A recent Tel Aviv University study suggests that weather patterns that lead to flash floods may one day be tracked and anticipated by our smartphones. "The sensors in our smartphones are constantly monitoring our environment, including gravity, the earth's magnetic field, atmospheric pressure, light levels, humidity, temperatures, sound levels and more," said Prof. Colin Price of TAU's Porter School ofthe Environment and Earth Sciences, who led the research. "Vital atmospheric data exists today on some 3 to 4 billion smartphones worldwide. This data can improve our ability to accurately forecast the weather and other natural disasters that are taking so many lives every year..."

Photo credit: CC0 Public Domain.


Think Rivers Are Dangerous Now? Just Wait. So says Mother Jones with a summary of new research and projections into the future: "...As for damages, the global average from river flooding is currently about $110 billion a year. With a 1.5 degree rise, the models predict that could jump 240 percent; for 2 degrees it’s 520 percent, and for 3 degrees it’s a stunning 1,000 percent increase, or a new total of $1.25 trillion a year. Under a slightly more optimistic scenario, which projects slower economic growth, those figures would be lower by about a third. Still, not a good outlook. This does not mean, though, that every region will fare equally. The developing world, where infrastructure isn’t as strong, is more at risk..."

File image: NOAA.


Air Pollution is Making Us Dumber, Study Shows. Details via CNN.com: "Air pollution could be more damaging to our health than previously thought, according to a new study, which found that prolonged exposure to dirty air has a significant impact on our cognitive abilities, especially in older men. According to the study published Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, breathing polluted air causes a "steep reduction" in scores on verbal and math tests. Researchers at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) examined data from the national China Family Panel Studies longitudinal survey, mapping the cognitive test scores of nearly 32,000 people over the age of 10 between 2010 and 2014 against their exposure to short- and long-term air pollution..."

File image: Martin Meissner, AP.


    Hurricane Maria Caused an Estimated 2,975 Deaths in Puerto Rico, New Study Finds. CBS News has the latest: "Hurricane Maria killed far more people in Puerto Rico than initially thought, accounting for an estimated 2,975 deaths on the island from September 2017 through February 2018, according to a new analysis. The study found that those in low-income areas, and elderly men, were at greatest risk of dying.  The independent analysis was commissioned by the governor of Puerto Rico and conducted by researchers at George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health. CBS News obtained a report on the findings from Carlos Mercader, executive director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration. To arrive at the 2,975 figure, the study looked at historical death patterns from 2010 to 2017 to estimate how many people would have died had Hurricane Maria not hit the island. That figure was then compared to the actual number of deaths from September 2017 through February 2018..."



    Florida's Unusually Long Red Tide is Killing Wildlife, Tourism and Business. The Washington Post has an update: "...As the outbreak nears the year mark, with no sign of easing, it’s no longer a threat to just marine life. Business owners in the hardest-hit counties report they have lost nearly $90 million and have laid off about 300 workers because of the red tide and a separate freshwater algal bloom in the state’s largest lake. Together, the two blooms have caused a sharp drop in tourism. A pair of toxic algal blooms striking the state at the same time is rare and, in this case, especially lethal. A red tide is a natural phenomenon that develops miles offshore before making its way to the coast, where it feeds on a variety of pollutants, including phosphorus and nitrogen from fertilizer, along with other runoff and wastewater..."

    Photo credit: "Lifeguard Mariano Martinez wears a mask Sunday because of the red tide at Lido Beach in Sarasota, Fla." (Eve Edelheit for The Washington Post)


    A Southern Republican Mayor Is Going All-In on Solar. Is solar a fiscally-conservative solution? Yale Climate Connections has the story: "In the small town of Abita Springs, Louisiana, the historical town hall is getting a new roof with almost 200 solar panels. It’s the first stage of a multi-year plan, spearheaded by Republican Mayor Greg Lemons, to convert all the town’s buildings to solar. He also hopes to replace the street lights with solar-powered LEDs. Lemons says the switch to clean energy provides a practical and fiscally-conservative path for Abita Springs. Lemons: “We cannot continue to live off fossil fuel. First of all it’s not going to be there forever, and second of all, as the supply diminishes, the price will go up.” In contrast, clean energy systems are getting cheaper, and the upfront costs are paid off over time with lower electricity bills..."


    Data Reveals When Cops Give Out the Most Speeding Tickets. Here are a couple of interesting clips from a story at Big Think: "...Basically, every year you have a 16% chance of getting a ticket if you’re an average driver. Obviously, road maniacs—most commonly younger drivers and men—and anyone under the influence have a higher chance of being popped...Tickets are more often issued for speeding than anything else, but not by as much as you’d think: just 24.6%. Coming in a close second at 20.7% is documentation issues—lack of a license and registration papers, or other paperwork, presumably including insurance cards...However, a study of 224,915 tickets issued over three years in St. Paul, Minnesota found that only 3% went to people driving less than 10 mph over the limit, and most tickets went to drivers only slightly exceeding that: 12 mph...The end of the month as the most tickety time is supported by the statistics. Is it about meeting quotas? Maybe: the last four days of the month are among the top five days with the most tickets..."


    A Newbie at the Minnesota State Fair. A fairly glowing review from The New York Times this time around; heres an excerpt: "...One of the best tips I received before going to the fair was to save Sweet Martha’s for last. The bucket holds nearly four dozen cookies and isn’t exactly convenient to carry throughout the day. So, with a too-full stomach and sore feet, I joined a 45-minute line for baked goods. At one point, I heard a young boy scream exactly what all of us were feeling: “I just want to get cookies and go home!” The day had been long for everyone: the ride engineers, the butter models, the sow, the corn dog fryers and the cookie bakers. So, after I’d collected my bucket from Sweet Martha’s, I went home to rest — and digest."

    Photo credit: Matthew Hintz for The New York Times.


    72 F. high yesterday in the Twin Cities.

    78 F. average high on August 29.

    80 F. high on August 29, 2017.

    August 30, 1977: Flooding occurs on the southwest side of the Twin Cities, with MSP Airport getting 7.28 inches of rain in 4 1/2 hours.


    THURSDAY: Mild sunshine. Winds: S 10-15. High: 76

    THURSDAY NIGHT: A few T-storms likely. Low: 65

    FRIDAY: T-storms, some strong to severe. Winds: S 10-15. High: 81

    SATURDAY: Partly sunny and pleasant. Winds: W 5-10. Wake-up: 66. High: 82

    SUNDAY: Unsettled, a few T-storms in the area. Winds: SW 10-15. Wake-up: 65. High: 79

    LABOR DAY: Partly sunny, stray PM T-storm. Winds: SE 8-13. Wake-up: 64. High: 82

    TUESDAY: More numerous showers & T-storms. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 67. High: 78

    WEDNESDAY: Cooler with lingering showers. Winds: NE 7-12. Wake-up: 62. High: 74


    Climate Stories...

    Climate Change "Switchboard" Visualization Show Every Country on the Planet Turning Red-Hot. Jason Samenow explains at Capital Weather Gang: "In presentations of global warming, sometimes watching maps morph from blue (cold) to red (hot) grows tiresome. Talented data visualizers are finding new and creative ways to illustrate the warming of the planet.The latest visualization of the Earth heating up was built by Antti Lipponen, a research scientist at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, and it has caught fire. Just since Saturday, it has been shared 16,000 times on Twitter.  It reveals the majority of countries have warmed by at least one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit), and all but one (Kiribati) have warmed by at least 0.5 degrees (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit) since the late 1800s..."

    Image credit: "This climate visualization shows the temperature anomalies by country from 1880 through 2017, based on data from NASA."


    Climate Change is Creating an Affordable Housing Crisis in Miami. Climate Nexus has the article; here's an excerpt: "...Rising seas are depressing the value of waterfront property while inflating the cost of living further inland, in working-class communities of color like Little Haiti and Liberty City. Residents say that developers are targeting homeowners who are struggling financially, offering them buyouts or help relocating. Those are the lucky ones. Renters are more vulnerable to the whims of the market, and many are struggling as landlords ratchet up the cost of housing. “We’re experiencing an affordable housing crisis,” Arias said. “People are being displaced from neighborhoods where they settled years or decades ago — where they go to school, where they go to work, where they have neighbors and family members nearby...”


    Can We Turn Carbon Dioxide to Stone to Fight Climate Change? Another potential solution highlighted at NBC News: "...One group of researchers in Canada, taking the latter approach, may have hit upon a novel yet ancient idea: harness and accelerate the carbon-absorbing power of rocks. The oceans, soils and trees aren't the only tools nature employs to capture and store away carbon dioxide. Minerals soak up the gas, too. They just tend to do it over extremely long time frames — far too slow to keep up with the rate at which the world emits carbon dioxide, which is estimated to be about 40 billion tons a year. "We have to learn how to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, because we've already put too much into it," said Roger Aines, a senior scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's energy program, who was not involved in the research..."

    Photo credit: "It's estimated that human activities are responsible for emitting about 40 billion tons of carbon dioxide a year." Athit Perawongmetha / Reuters file.


    A Hot, Dry, Burning, Eroding, 'Apocalyptic' Sunshine State: Links and headlines via Climate Nexus: "Climate change will create a devastating new normal in California of intense heatwaves and destructive fires if nothing is done to curb emissions, a new state report finds. California's fourth-annual Climate Change Assessment finds that large fires like this summer's record-breaking Mendocino Complex and Carr fires will increase 50 percent by 2100 and burn 77 percent more land under a business-as-usual emissions scenario. The report also finds 31 to 67 percent of beaches could erode by 2100, deaths from heat waves in cities could double or triple by 2050, and water supply from snowpack could decline by two-thirds by 2050. "These findings are profoundly serious and will continue to guide us as we confront the apocalyptic threat of irreversible climate change," Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement." (LA Times $, SF Chronicle $, The GuardianInsideClimate News, Fortune)

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