Smoky Skies Continue Early Sunday
 
Thanks to several wildfires burning across the Western US and Canada, our skies have been painted orangish-red from the smoky haze. Sure the sunrises and sunsets have been pretty amazing, but air quality concerns have been an issue, especially for the very young, the very old and those with lung or heart ailments. I've even noticed a slight irritation to my eyes and scratchy throat. Thankfully a wind switch is expected on Sunday and it should take a majority of the smoke away from the Upper Midwest.
 
 
Air Quality Alert Through 12pm Sunday
 
An Air Quality Alert has been issued for northern Minnesota until noon Sunday. Smoke from Canadian wildfires is slowly moving into the region, making air quality unhealthy for sensitive groups and people who are active outdoors.
 
Detailed forecast from the MPCA: "High pressure is slowly moving east from Minnesota while a slow-moving cold front is located across the far northwest corner of the state. An expansive area of Canadian wildfire smoke is slowly moving into northwest Minnesota and will envelop much of the northern portions of the state by Friday morning. AQI conditions will change quickly from green (good) to yellow (moderate) to orange (unhealthy for sensitive groups) over the northern 1/2 of the state by Friday afternoon. An Air Quality Alert will be issued for the northern 1/2 of the state valid Thu night through Noon Sunday. The southern 1/2 of the state including the Twin Cities is expected to begin experiencing smoky conditions and degraded air quality by Friday evening. An air quality alert will likely be issued for this area tomorrow and valid for Friday night through Sunday."
 
For more information on the current air quality, visit the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency website HERE:
 
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"Smoky Skies in North America"

"In mid-August 2018, deadly blazes across the western United States and Canada continued to destroy structures and disrupt the lives of millions of people. But you did not have to be close to the fires to witness its effects. These images show just how far across North America winds have carried the thick plumes of smoke. The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite acquired this image (top) on August 15, 2018. Smoke is seen hovering over much of western North America and central Canada. Much of the smoke and associated pollution rises high into the atmosphere, where it does not pose an immediate threat to people. For example, the carbon monoxide released from California fires drifted high in the atmosphere toward eastern North America. (Eastern areas are more likely to be affected at the surface, as winds bring the pollutant back down.)"

See more from Earth Observatory HERE:

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Seasonal Allergies Running High
 
Yep - it's that time of the year again for seasonal allergy sufferers to start loading up on the allergy meds. According to Pollen.com, pollen levels across the state have been running at high to medium-high levels and will continue through the week ahead. The pollen forecast below for Minneapolis suggests a brief break from the itchy/sneezy weather as a little rain moves through late Sunday into Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday calls for more ACHOOs as pollen levels reach high levels once again. 
 
 
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Asthma Forecast
 
With all the recent crud in the air, folks with asthma may be dealing with more difficult breathing conditions. According to AZMA.com, the asthma forecast for Minneapolis below suggests medium levels over the next several days.
 
 
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Cicadas - Nature's Thermometers?

If you've been outside lately, chances are you've been hearing constant buzzing sounds coming from trees near you. The noises you've been hearing have been coming from bugs called cicadas, which are typically heard in late July and August! These dog-day cicadas are also surrounded by folklore, which states that when you hear the first buzz of a summer cicada, there's only 6 weeks until frost!

Here's a neat link about cicadas from Today's Island HERE:

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Canning & Preserving Time!

My garden has been producing at high volumes over the last several weeks, which is a very rewarding feeling after all the hard work over the last several months taking care of baby veggie plants since earlier this spring. Other than a few items, I had enough to can my annual and traditional Ball Zesty Salsa, which turns out wonderful every year! I ended up with 11 pints the first go around and am hoping to get another round in when I find time.

 

Farmers Markets Near Me

If you're interested in canning and preserving, but don't have access to a bountiful garden, you certainly can get wonderful produce from farmers markets near you! Minnesota Grown has a wonderful website to find your local farmers market (by city) and what days they run!

See more from Minnesota Grown HERE:

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Nordic Waffel, Rainbow Cloud Roll, UpNorth Pasty Puff, Oh My!

Those are just a few of the new food items at the Great Minnesota Get-Together this year. My mouth is already watering... I can't wait. BURP! Yes, the fair starts this Thursday - Uffda.

See a the full list of new foods and vendors HERE:

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US Drought Monitor - Minnesota

Dry weather across parts of the state have been helped to bring abnormally dry conditions back to 41% of the state, which is up from the 18% last week. Note that much of the metro is considered to be abnormally dry now, while 7% of the state is now under a Moderate drought.

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High Temps Sunday
 
Highs on Sunday will vary across the state as our next rain maker moves through the region. Prior to any rain moving in, highs could reach the low/mid 80s across the southern/southeastern part of the state, while folks in northern and northwestern part of the state will only warm into the 70s. It'll also be a little sticky with dewpoints in the low/mid 60s.
 
 
Weather Outlook
 
Weather conditions through the rest of the weekend and into early next week look to sour a bit as our next rain maker moves through the Midwest. While the center of the storm looks to stay well south of Minnesota, we should still be able to capatalize on some of the moisture potential as it gets pulled up into the Upper Mississippi Valley. However, it appears that the heaviest moisture will stay farther south with heavier tallies in Southern Minnesota.
 
 
Rainfall Potential
 
According to the latest NOAAs NDFD data, rainfall potential across the southern two-thirds of the state looks heavier than it does farther north. Some spots in far southern and southwestern Minnesota could see upwards of 1" rain through Monday, while folks in the Twin Cities could see upwards of 0.25" to 0.50" - Cross your fingers!
 
 
Thunder Threat Sunday & Monday
 
According to NOAA's SPC, there is a general thunderstorm risk across much of the state on Sunday & Monday.
 
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Extended Temperature Outlook
 
The extended forecast through the end of August suggests warm temperatures continuing through Sunday before a more substantial cool down early next week. While much of next week looks fairly comfortable, it does appear that warmer temps return by the end of the month. The GEFS forecast (top image) seems a little warmer than the ECMWF (bottom image), but both show warmer temps through the end of August.
 
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Soggy Sunday Night. Damp and Septemberish Monday
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas.

Nordic Waffles and Rainbow Cloud Rolls and UpNorth Pastry Puffs, OH MY!

Those are just a few of the new food items at the MN State Fair this year. I hate to say it, but my mouth is already watering... I can't wait - BURP!

Could the "Typhoon Rule" worsen wildfire concerns out west and bring shots of September-like air through the Midwest over the coming weeks? It's possible! The rule implies that if a recurving typhoon in the Western Pacific passes near Japan, the weather closer to home is connected and 6 to 10 days later, hot and dry weather would intensify out west, while cooler air moves into the Midwest.

Typhoon Soulik will approach the Southern coast of Japan on Tuesday with 115mph winds and will recurve along the Korean coast a few days later. Any bets on a chillier end of August/start of September? We'll see!

COUGH! Hazy, smoky skies persist this morning before irritable clouds arrive with some much needed rain during the PM hours. Monday looks cool, damp and a bit Septemberish. Hopefully lawns and gardens will get a good drink!
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Extended Forecast

SUNDAY: Dry start. PM T-storms. Winds: SSE 5. High: 85.

SUNDAY NIGHT: Chance of showers and storms. Winds: SE 5. Low: 65.

MONDAY: Cool and damp with lingering T-showers. Winds: NNE 10-15. High: 75.

TUESDAY: Septemberish. Sun returns, puddles dry. Winds: NNW 5-10. Wake-up: 59. High: 76.

WEDNESDAY: Dare I say perfect for late August? Winds: SW 5-10. Wake-up: 58. High: 80.

THURSDAY: Fair time! Dry with a nice breeze. Winds: SSW 10-15. Wake-up: 61. High: 83.

FRIDAY: Warmer and more humid. Chance of storms. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 65. High: 82.

SATURDAY: Looks a bit unsettled for fairgoers. Winds: S 7-12. Wake-up: 67. High: 85.
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This Day in Weather History
August 19th

1953: Four heifers near St. Martin were lucky; a tornado picked them up and set them back down again, unharmed.
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Average High/Low for Minneapolis
August 19th

Average High: 80F (Record: 97F set in 1976)
Average Low: 62F (Record: 39F set in 1967)

Record Rainfall: 3.19" set in 1997
Record Snowfall: NONE
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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
August 18th

Sunrise: 6:20am
Sunset: 8:12pm

Hours of Daylight: ~13 hours & 53 minutes

Daylight LOST since yesterday: ~2 minutes & 50 seconds
Daylight LOST since summer solstice (June 21st): 1 hour and 44 Minutes
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Moon Phase for August 19th at Midnight
2.0 Day Since First Quarter

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What's in the Night Sky?

According to EarthSky.org this is what will be visible in the night sky over the next several nights:


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Atlantic Outlook

According to NOAA's National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Ernesto in the Northcentral Atlantic is no longer and the rest of the basin remains quiet... for now. Keep in mind that the peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season is typically around the 2nd week of September and specifically September 10th. 
 
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Eastern Pacific Outlook
 
The NHC will continue issuing advisories for Hurricane LANE in the Eastern Pacific, which is the 12th named storm and the 6th hurricane of the season. There is also another wave that the NHC is watching, which has a low chance of tropical formation over the next 5 days.
 
 
Hurricane LANE
 
According to NOAAs NHC, Hurricane LANE became a major hurricane over the weekend and as of AM Saturday it was a category 4 storm with sustained winds of 140mph!
 
 
Tracking LANE
 
The good news is that LANE is expected to track south of the Hawaiian Islands, very similar to what HECTOR did a couple of weeks ago. With that said, high surf, breezy winds and even an uptick in humidity levels can be expected in the islands.
 
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Tropical Climatology
 
This is neat map from NOAA's NHC, which shows where we typically see tropical cyclones develop during the middle part of August. Note that in the Atlantic, we really start to see things heat up with many waves developing west of Africa, in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and along the East Coast of the US.
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Average Peak of Atlantic Hurricane Season

According to NOAA, the average peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season is on September 10th. Note that activity (on average) in late June and early July remains pretty tame. Things really start to heat up in August and September though!
 

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2018 Lightning Fatalities - FIFTEEN

Did you know that lightning ranks as one of the top weather related killers in the U.S.? An average of nearly 50 people are killed each year in the United States and so far this year, 15 people have died from lightning; 12 have been males and only 3 have been females. Interestingly, from 2008-2017, 232 males have died, while only 64 females have died.

See Lightning Safety Tips From NOAA HERE:

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PRELIMINARY Tornado Count This Year

According to NOAAs SPC, the PRELIMINARY tornado count across the US this year stands at 704 (through August 5th). Note that this is less than the last couple of years, but close to what we had in 2013. Keep in mind that the short-term average (2005-2015) suggests an average of more than 1,100 tornadoes.


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Average Tornadoes in August By State

Here's the average number of tornadoes during the month of August by state. Florida sees the most with 7, while Minnesota averages 5 tornadoes. During the dog days of Summer, the tornado count typically fades across the nation.

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3-7 Day Hazard Forecast

1.)Heavy rain across portions of the eastern portion of the Great Plains, Mississippi Valley, Sun, Aug 19.
2.) Heavy rain across portions of the Northeast, the Central Appalachians, the Middle Mississippi Valley, the Mid-Atlantic, the Upper Mississippi Valley, Great Lakes, and the Ohio Valley, Mon-Tue, Aug 20-Aug 21.
3.) Heavy rain across coastal portions of the Southeast and the Mid-Atlantic, Sun-Mon, Aug 19-Aug 20, and Wed-Thu, Aug 22-Aug 23.
Flooding occurring or imminent across portions of the Mid-Atlantic, the Lower Mississippi Valley, and the Southern Plains.
4.) Heavy rain across portions of the South Coat of Alaska and Kodiak Island, Sun-Wed, Aug 19-Aug 22.
Slight risk of heavy precipitation for portions of the Central Plains, the Northern Plains, the Great Lakes, the Middle Mississippi Valley, the Upper Mississippi Valley, and the Ohio Valley, Fri-Tue, Aug 24-Aug 28.
5.) Slight risk of heavy precipitation for portions of the Desert Southwest, Fri-Tue, Aug 24-Aug 28.
Severe drought for parts of the middle to lower Mississippi Valley, Great Plains, and western U.S., and the Big Island of Hawaii.

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 Temperature Anomaly on Saturday

The temperature anomaly across North America on Saturday showed temperatures well above average across the Western US and across Canada. Meanwhile, the central part of the country was a little cooler than average thanks to showers and thunderstorms.

Temperature Trend

Here's the temperature anomaly as we head through the 3rd weekend of August. Note that it'll initially be a little warmer than average in the Upper Midwest, but a blob of cooler than average temps will funnel across much of the Central US through next week. Meanwhile, much warmer than average temperatures will continue along the Western US and Western Canada.

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Weather Outlook Ahead

The weather loop below shows active weather continuing in the Eastern US through the rest of the weekend, while more active weather develops in the Central US late weekend and early next week. Keep in mind that the next storm moving through the Central US could be responsible for some isolated strong to severe storms along with locally heavy rainfall.

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7 Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's WPC, the 7-day precipitation outlook suggests areas of heavy rain across much of the eastern two-thrids of the nation with heavier pockets of rain possible east of the Mississippi River Valley. Some spots could see several inches of rain with isolated flood concerns, while most folks in the Western US will remain dry.


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US Drought Outlook

Here is the national drought map from August 14th, which shows extreme and exceptional drought conditions across much of the Four-Corners region and for a few areas in the Central and Southern Plains. The good news is that several locations in the Central and Southern US have had some fairly good rains over the recent days/week, so some improvement is being seen there. Also, the Monsoon season continues in the Southwest, so some locations should (hopefully) continue to see improvement there. 

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6 to 10 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's CPC, August 22nd - 26th will be cooler than average across a large chunk of the Central and Eastern US, while the Western US look to be warmer than average.

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"Dumb, angry and unhealthy: The weird, lesser-known effects of climate change"
 
"CLIMATE change has been in the headlines a lot recently and for very good reason – it feels like the world is burning. Consider the extreme weather events we’ve witnessed in just the last couple of months – a heatwave across the northern hemisphere; deadly forest fires blazing in California, Greece, and remarkably Finland; Tokyo and Toronto sizzling under record-setting heat as the death toll rises from heat exhaustion; Australia suffering its worst drought in living memory while others are lost to extreme flooding in India. All of this is happening at the same time on our little blue planet. And scientists warn it will only get worse if we don’t drastically pick up our pace when it comes to climate action."

See more from Asian Correspondent HERE:

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"Carr Fire’s horrendous tornado captured in newly released videos"

"Videos released Wednesday by California fire officials show the massive fire tornado that tore through Redding on July 26 as the Carr Fire entered the city. The tornado was 1,000 feet in diameter at its base — about the size of three football fields — and “surprised many highly experienced firefighters,” according to a report by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention. The tornado damaged large oak trees, lifted large steel power line towers from the ground, ripped off roofs, flipped vehicles and a steel marine shipping container. Its peak temperature likely exceeded 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit, the report said."

See more from SFChronicle HERE:

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"Wildlife, animals suffer in Europe's summer of extreme heat"

""The problem with a heat wave that goes on and on is that a lot of the plants the insects depend on dry up. Humans aren't the only things suffering during this summer's European heat wave. From hedgehogs to birds to insects, the extreme temperatures and lack of rain has taken a toll on animals of all sizes. The faster than usual evaporation of water has forced some animals in the U.K. to leave their natural habitats as they try to quench their thirsts."

See more from NBCNews HERE:

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"A ‘perfect storm’ of wildfires puts Seattle’s terrible air quality in the record books"

"If this week’s smoky skies seem unprecedented, that’s not far wrong: Thanks to an unusually unfortunate weather pattern, Seattle just recorded its worst 24-hour air quality in almost two decades of recordkeeping. University of Washington atmospheric scientist Cliff Mass called attention to the high levels in a blog post today. “I have been here a long time, and I have never seen anything this bad,” Mass wrote. How bad is it? Mass said particulate readings from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency’s Duwamish monitoring site have registered the worst 24-hour average air quality since the agency began keeping records in 2000.

See more from Geek Wire HERE:

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"Shocking 106-Year-Old Newspaper Article Predicts Global Warming"

"If you think the climate change debate is a recent issue, think again. For the past few years, an image of a 1912 article proclaiming that coal consumption can have a negative effect on the climate has circulated online. The image in question is from the August 14, 1912 issue of the New Zealand newspaper, Rodney and Otamatea Times, Waitemata and Kaipara Gazette. Skeptics will find the original article available in the digital archives of the New Zealand National Library. The article declares that, at the time, the 2 million tons of coal being burned a year add 7 million tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Even in 1912, the negative impact was clear. “This tends to make the air a more effective blanket for the earth and to raise its temperatures. The effect may be considerable in a few centuries.”

See more from My Modern Met HERE:

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Thanks for checking in and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX

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Not A Bad Weekend. Warm With T-Storms Late Sunday

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Rainy Monday - Nice Start To The Fair Thursday