"Watch This Pine Tree Unleash a Huge, Fluffy Pollen Cloud"
OMG - have you seen this viral video? Nightmare for spring allergy sufferers - YIKES!!
"At first, there seems to be nothing out of the ordinary about the pine tree featured the viral Facebook video. A backhoe approaches the tree and gives it a little tap. Suddenly, billowing puffs of pollen furl out from the pine’s branches and float through the air like a fluffy, yellow cloud. As Briana Montalvo of ABC News reports, Eric Henderson of Cumberland County, New Jersey, drove the backhoe that sparked the pollen explosion. And his wife, Jennifer Henderson, posted a video of the mind-boggling pollen plume on Facebook, where it has since garnered nearly 5 million views."
Pollen Count - HIGH
The extended forecast through May 26th & 27th shows mild temperatures over the next coulple of weeks. The week ahead could feature highs in the 70s and low 80s with a slight dip next weekend. However, more importantly, it looks like overnight lows will be quite mild and above freezing in the Twin Cities into Memorial Weekend. We'll have to keep an eye on overnight lows next weekend for folks in central and northern MN, but overall it's looking like a great stretch of weather... (Hopefully)! The images below suggest the GFS (American model) and ECMWF (European model) temperature outlook. Note that the GFS forecast keeps temps a little warmer next week with highs in the low 80s on Tuesday and Wednesday, while the ECMWF keeps us a little cooler with highs only in the 70s. Next weekend is looking a little cooler though with both models suggesting highs only in the 60s.
2018 Lightning Fatalities
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, 2 people have died from lightning; 1 in Texas and 1 in Florida. Interestingly, from 2008-2017, 221 males have died, while only 62 females have died.
According to NOAA's SPC, there have been 322 preliminary tornadoes so far this year (May 11th), which is less than what we had at this time over the last couple of years. Interestingly, there were 1,064 tornadoes at this time in 2011; that year ended with 1,897 tornadoes, which is nearly 500 more than the short-term 2005-2015 average.
Average Tornadoes in May By State
Here's the average number of tornadoes during the month of May by state. Texas sees the most with 43, but interestingly, Minnesota averages 6 tornado this month. Comparitively, Minnesota averages 15 tornadoes in June and 11 in July, so we are entering our typical severe weather season here over the next few months.
3-7 Day Hazard Forecast
1.) Periods of heavy rain over Florida and adjacent parts of Georgia, Mon-Fri, May 14-18.
2.) Heavy rain for the Middle Mississippi Valley and eastern Nebraska, Mon-Tue, May 14-15.
3.) Heavy rain from the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys to the southern Appalachians, Wed-Thu, May 16-17.
Heavy rain over the Northeast, Wed-Thu, May 16-17.
4.) Much above normal temperatures across the south-central Plains, much of the Lower and Middle Mississippi Valley, the southern Ohio Valley, the Tennessee Valley, and parts of the interior Southeast (excluding Florida), Mon-Tue, May 14-15.
5.) Much above normal temperatures for much of Washington and Oregon, Mon-Tue, May 14-15.
6.) Flooding possible, likely, imminent, and/or occurring over parts of the northern Rockies and northern Intermountain region, portions of the northern half of the Mississippi River Valley, and along much of the Yukon River Valley in central Alaska.
7.) Slight risk of much above normal temperatures over the southern half of the Mississippi Valley, and portions of neighboring states, Mon-Fri, May 21-25.
8.) Slight risk of heavy precipitation for parts of the Southeast and southern mid-Atlantic, Sat-Wed, May 19-23.
9.) Moderate risk of heavy precipitation for the Carolinas and Georgia, Sat-Wed, May 19-23.
10.) Severe Drought across parts of the Southeast, Great Plains, Southwest, and California.
Temperature Anomaly on Saturday
The temperature anomaly across North America from Saturday, showed above average temperatures across a large chunk of the Southern US and across parts of Canada, while cooler than average temps were in place across the northern tier of the nation and Eastern Canada.
The 850mb temperature anomaly from Sunday to AM Wednesday shows warmer than average temperatures starting to move in across much of the country as we head into the 3rd week of May. However, parts of southern California will remain a little cooler than average.
Weather Outlook Ahead
Weather conditions over the next few days will remain somewhat active across the middle tier of the nation as a stalled frontal boundary continues to keep things unsettled there. Snow will continue in the mountains out west, while scattered showers and storms will conitnue in the Central and Eastern US; some of the storms could be strong to severe. Meanwhile, heavy rain and thunder will build in across Florida as we head into the 2nd half of the weekend and into early next week.
7 Day Precipitation Outlook
According to NOAA's WPC, the 7-day precipitation outlook suggests areas of heavy precipitation across parts of the Eastern US as well as parts of the Central US. Note that some of the heaviest will be along a stalled frontal boundary from the Front Range of the Rockies to Northeast, while another blog of even heavier rain will be found in the Southeast and mainly in Florida. Also note that the Southwest will remain completely dry over the next 7 days...
US Drought Outlook
Here is the national drought map from Thursday, May 8th, which shows extreme and exceptional drought conditions across much of the Four-Corners region and into the Central and Southern Plains. Hopefully we'll be able to pick up some much needed precipitation in these areas as we head through the rest of spring!
Spurts of Lukewarm Sun for Mother's Day
By Paul Douglas
"It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future" mused baseball-playing philosopher Yogi Berra. Amen brother. We do a better job detecting tornadoes and tracking hurricanes. There is some accuracy out to 10 days, depending on the pattern.
But in spite of shiny Dopplers and humming supercomputers, the forecast for tomorrow is often off, in spite of best intentions. Some days the chaos that is weather is nearly impossible to tame.
We do a better job predicting temperatures than precipitation. If you're on the edge of a storm, good luck. Many days the "art" is knowing which weather model to believe - or ignore.
As much of Minnesota falls deeper into a dry rut there are some signs of heavier, statewide rain late in the week.
The sun pokes holes in the clouds today and daytime highs kiss 80 degrees Monday into Thursday. A T-storm may fire up late tomorrow, especially southern Minnesota. Again. At least we salvaged a decent Mother's Day. My late mother once told me "Don't buy me anything, even a cheesy card. What I want most is a little face-time." Good advice.
SUNDAY: Sunny breaks. Milder. Winds: SW 3-8. High: 71.
SUNDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy and quiet. Winds: W 5. Low: 55.
MONDAY: Warm sunshine. T-storm possible late. Winds: S 5-10. High: 80.
TUESDAY: Even more sun. Probably dry. Winds: SE 5-10. Wake-up: 59. High: 81.
WEDNESDAY: Plenty of summer sun. Winds: SE 3-8. Wake-up: 61. High: 82.
THURSDAY: Clouds increase, chance of PM T-storms. Winds: S10-15. Wake-up: 60. High: 78.
FRIDAY: Scattered showers and T-storms. Winds: NE 8-13. Wake-up: 58. High: 70.
SATURDAY: Round of heavier showers & T-storms? Winds: NE 10-20. Wake-up: 56. High: 67.
This Day in Weather History
1872: A hailstorm hits Sibley County. Hail up to the size of pigeon eggs is reported. Lightning burns down a barn near Sibley, killing a horse tied up inside.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
Average High: 69F (Record: 92F set in 2007)
Average Low: 48F (Record: 29F set in 1953)
Record Rainfall: 0.98" set in 1962
Record Snowfall: Trace set in 1935
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Hours of Daylight: ~14 hours & 47 minutes
Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 2 minutes & 21 seconds
Daylight GAINED since winter solstice (December 21st): 6 Hour 00 Minutes
Moon Phase for May 13th at Midnight
1.2 Days Before New Moon
Temp Outlook For Sunday
Sunday will be a warmer day across the region with highs tipping 70s across much of Minnesota. Some across the Red River Valley could warm close to 80F by the afternoon. Doesn't look too bad for Mom, enjoy!
According to NOAA's CPC, May 19th - May 25th will be warmer than average across much of the eastern two-thirds of the country, while a few areas in the Intermountain West will be cooler than average.
"Days, Weeks, Years? Scientists Say Hawaii Volcano Eruption Has No End In Sight"
"The eruption at Hawaii's Kilauea volcano continues. The lava has now destroyed at least 35 structures and covered the equivalent of more than 75 football fields. Scientists have been tracking this event since it started last week — but there are still big unanswered questions, the biggest of which is when it will end. The Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has been erupting for more than 30 years. Lava levels in the Pu'u O'o crater and the volcano's summit rose in recent weeks, says Wendy Stovall, a volcanologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. They were "inflating like a balloon, because magma was getting backed up from below," she says. Then last week, the magma at Pu'u O'o plummeted. "The whole bottom of the crater floor dropped out and the magma completely drained away from that system," says Stovall. Scientists don't know what started this latest event, but there are two possibilities, says Stovall: "Either there's an increase in magma supply, or something blocked the system, something blocked the pathway out of the system."
"A TORNADO'S SECRET SOUNDS COULD REVEAL WHERE IT'LL STRIKE"
"ALONG WITH THE roar of a grizzly bear and a crack of lightning, the sound of a tornado is among the most terrifying natural sounds on Earth. Depending on the twister and where you’re standing, it can sound like a hiss, a buzz, a rumble, or even a freight train. It’s the auditory manifestation of trouble. But tornadoes also seem to emit low-frequency sound waves called infrasound that the human ear can’t hear. What’s more, storms may emit characteristic infrasounds perhaps an hour before they develop into tornadoes. How great would it be if scientists could detect these sounds, pinpoint the size and location of an impending twister, and better warn communities?"
"ELECTRIFYING - What are the chances of being struck by lightning and what happens if you’re hit during a thunderstorm?"
"It is an often-said phrase, but what are the actual chances of being struck by lightning and how can you avoid it? Here's what you need to know... How likely am I to be struck by lightning? A lightning strike is when an electric discharge from the atmosphere is sent down into an earth-bound object. Most lightning strikes do not touch humans and the odds of being struck by lightning are very low. In fact the chances of being struck by lightning are 300,000 to one and it is estimated that around 24,000 people are killed each year worldwide as a result of lightning. In the UK, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) says that on average three people are killed each year by lightning - making the odds 66 times shorter than the global average."
"Northern lights shine over Michigan's Mackinac Bridge"
"Bright green colors reflected off the Straits of Mackinac – the waterway that flows under Michigan's Mackinac Bridge, connecting Lake Michigan and Lake Huron – as the Northern lights paid a welcome visit to the area over the weekend. Dustin Dilworth, of Gaylord, Michigan, located about an hour south of the Mackinac Bridge, was one of many who traveled to Mackinaw City to witness the stunning phenomenon Sunday night. He shared a 43-second timelapse of the event on his photography Facebook page Monday morning. The post went viral with more than 5,700 shares and 133,000 video views as of Tuesday afternoon."
"Strong Hurricanes Intensify Faster Now Than They Did in the 1980s"
"The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was brutal, featuring strong weather systems that morphed into severe and treacherous hurricanes in a remarkably short period of time. This phenomenon, known as rapid intensification, is now happening with greater ferocity than it did three decades ago, according to new research. With the names Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria now indelibly etched into our memories, scientists are now seeking to understand the reasons behind their rapid growth, and whether the pace at which they accumulated their strength is indicative of a larger trend. New researchpublished today in Geophysical Research Letters presents evidence showing that a subset of hurricanes, namely those that undergo rapid intensification, are now doing so at rate that’s faster and with greater strength compared with 30 years ago."
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