Paul Douglas is a nationally respected meteorologist with 33 years of television and radio experience. A serial entrepreneur, Douglas is Senior Meteorologist for WeatherNation TV, a new, national 24/7 weather channel with studios in Denver and Minneapolis. Founder of Media Logic Group, Douglas and a team of meteorologists provide weather services for media at Broadcast Weather, and high-tech alerting and briefing services for companies via Alerts Broadcaster. His speaking engagements take him around the Midwest with a message of continuous experimentation and reinvention, no matter what business you’re in. He is the public face of “SAVE”, Suicide Awareness, Voices of Education, based in Bloomington. | Send Paul a question.

Slow Warming Trend into Sunday - Risks of Tornado Amnesia

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: July 30, 2014 - 8:37 AM

Tornado Amnesia

Many residents of Revere, Massachusetts, about 5 miles northeast of Faneuil Hall in downtown Boston, were shocked that an EF-2 tornado could strike at 9:30 AM on a Monday morning. It was on the ground for 2 miles, ripping up 100 homes and businesses - a blunt reminder that tornadoes can hit cities and close-in suburbs.

A little concrete & asphalt doesn't protect you from nature's most fickle wind. The urban heat island and drier air over metropolitan areas may inhibit small tornadoes, but large twisters pull in moisture & energy from a 5-10 mile radius. A few high-rise buildings won't stop them from forming. A tornado is more of a process than an object. If you see large hail or rotation, even in the morning in a major city, start looking for an underground shelter.

July has been the deadliest month for U.S. tornadoes since 1978.

The next unusually strong southward bulge in the jet stream may treat us to 60s and 70s by the end of next week. Another premature puff of autumn.

Enjoy 80s into Sunday; the best chance of T-storms late Friday, again Monday. No sizzling heat or controversial dew points.

It's been an amazing week. And no, I take nothing for granted these days.


Photo credit above: "Master Auto manager Marie Annaloro, left, and Victoria Ohlson,right, sweep glass and debris in the service garage where the roof blew off in Revere, Mass. Monday, July 28, 2014, after a tornado touched down. Revere Deputy Fire Chief Mike Viviano says the fire department in that coastal city has received dozens of calls reporting partial building and roof collapses, and downed trees and power lines. Viviano says there are no immediate reports of deaths or serious injuries." (AP Photo/Elise Amendola).


July Spills Into The Weekend - Hints of Late September Next Week? Long-range guidance shows mid-80s over the weekend with dew points near 60F, sticky but not too oppressive. A few T-storms may sprout late Sunday, an approaching storm spreading heavier, steadier, almost autumnal rains into the state Tuesday into Thursday as temperatures fall thru the 70s into the 60s. Yeah, it's too early for this.


Flash Flood Potential. 60-hour accumulated rainfall predictions show some 3-6" amounts from near Denver to Oklahoma City and Tulsa, where Flash Flood Watches are already posted. Scattered instability T-showers pop up from Wisconsin into much of New England and the Carolinas into Friday morning. 4 KM WRF accumulated rain forecast courtesy of NOAA and HAMweather.


100 Homes Damaged As Tornado Jolts Revere. The photo above looks like something you might see in Kansas or Oklahoma. But it was from Revere, a close-in suburb of Boston, within 5-6 miles of Fanuil Hall, hit by an EF-2 tornado Monday morning. The Boston Globe has a remarkable look at the damage, including photos and videos; here's a link: "A tornado carrying winds as high as 120 miles per hour roared through Revere Monday, uprooting hundreds of trees, ripping roofs off houses, and spurring an intensive recovery effort that could last weeks..."

Photo credit above: Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff. "A look inside N.C.'s Auto Service in Revere after the storm on Monday."


EF-2 Tornado In Revere, Massachusetts: Damage & Debris But No Serious Injuries. Which is miraculous, considering the population density of the suburb impacted by Monday's tornado. Here's an excerpt from Public Safety Reporter: "The National Weather Service in Taunton, MA has confirmed that an EF-2 tornado touched down on the morning of July 28, 2014 in Chelsea and Revere in Suffolk County, MA. The tornado is unusual because of the geographic location that was hit, and the morning time frame that the tornado struck - about 9:32 AM to 9:36 AM EDT. The tornado had a path length of 2 miles and a path width of 3/8 of a mile. Maximum wind gusts were estimated at a range of 100 MPH to 120 MPH..."

Image credit: Courtesy of WCVB-TV in Boston. "Security cameras at a Revere school captured the moment a tornado hit the city Monday morning when trees were knocked down by winds from an EF-2 tornado."

* More details on the Revere EF-2 tornado from The Boston Herald.


USA Having Deadliest July For Tornadoes Since 70s. USA TODAY has some perspective on the sudden rash of tornadic storms in recent weeks; here's an excerpt: "...The ferocious tornado that roared through a campground in Virginia on Thursday morning, killing two people, raised the national death toll for July tornadoes up to six. That's the most tornado deaths in July since 1978, when tornadoes killed 11 people that month, according to meteorologist Harold Brooks of the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Okla. The worst July for tornadoes was 1893, Brooks said, when 73 people were killed..."

Photo credit above: "Michelle Ellison, left, is among those looking through debris from her home Monday, July 28, 2014, near LaFollette, Tenn. The National Weather Service confirmed a F-3 tornado packing winds of 140 mph slammed into the community Sunday night, leveling 10 homes and and a business." (AP Photo/Knoxville News Sentinel, J. Miles Cary).


Why The Sudden Uptick in Tornadoes? The jet stream is still misbehaving, dipping unusually far south for July; stalled in a hot, dusty and fiery "ridge" formation over the western USA and Canada. Tornado season should be winding down, but the last few days have brought a string of high-profile tornadoes, including the close-in suburbs of Boston - that's the subject of today's Climate Matters: "After a relatively quiet beginning to the season, what happened? Tornadoes along the front range, sure, but Boston? Just 5 miles north of Faneuil Hall?! WeatherNationTV Chief Meteorologist Paul Douglas goes over the data and tries to connect the dots."


Tracking Tornadoes For Your County Since 1950. The Midwestern Regional Climate Center (MRCC) has an impressive online tool that allows you to zoom into your county, or any county in the Midwest, to see all the tornadoes from 1950-2013, filtered by strength (EF-0 to EF-5).


Better Than A Siren: How New Technology Is Keeping People Safe From Tornadoes. Research suggests that if multiple media sources are (simultaneously) sending you the same tornado warning you may be more likely to act on that information - if not only TV and radio is displaying the warning, but you're getting texts, e-mails and alerts. Here's an excerpt from The Los Angeles Times: "...Capabilities exist today so that when a tornado is coming, people can simultaneously receive phone calls at home and work; texts and push notifications from their mobile phones/tablets; pop-up alerts on their laptops/desktops; messages via LED billboards and signs alongside roads and highways; and automated announcements via loudspeaker and intercoms at schools, athletic events, and malls.  Everything, all at the exact same time..."

Image credit: Aeris/HAMweather.

The National Weather Weather Service in Tuanton, Massachusetts has confirmed that an EF-2 tornado touched on the morning of July 28, 2014 in Chelsea and Revere in Suffolk County Massachusetts. The tornado is unusual because of the geographic location that was hit, and the morning time frame that the tornado struck — about 9:32 a.m. to 9:36 a.m. EDT.

The tornado had a path length of two miles and a path width of 3/8 of a mile. Maximum wind gusts were estimated at a range of 100 MPH to 120 MPH.

- See more at: http://www.publicsafetyreporter.com/2014/07/29/ef-2-tornado-in-revere-massachusetts-damage-and-debris-but-no-serious-injuries/#sthash.gIcdGYFC.dpuf

Annoying Minor Floods Are Increasing on U.S. Coasts. AP reports on the implication of astronomical forcing (tides) and storm surges from Nor'easters and tropical systems - coupled with slowly rising sea levels. Here's an excerpt of an AP story: "Along much of America's coasts, the type of flooding that is more annoying than dangerous has jumped more than fivefold in the last 50 years, the federal government reported Monday. Scientists blame rising seas, saying this is one of the ways global warming is changing everyday lives. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration studied coastal trends in what it calls nuisance flooding, where no one is hurt but people have to deal with flooded roads and buildings..."

File photo above: "This Oct. 30, 2012 file photo shows Sveinn Storm, owner of Storm Bros. Ice Cream Factory measuring flood waters outside his store in Annapolis, Md. in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy that passed through the East Coast. A new federal report says that along much of America’s coasts, the type of flooding that is more annoying than dangerous has jumped more than fivefold in the last 50 years. And scientists blame rising seas, saying this is one of the ways global warming is changing everyday lives. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration studied nuisance flooding, where no one is hurt but people have to deal with flooded roads and buildings." (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File).

* NOAA has more information on the increase in nuisance flooding along the coast here.


All Wet: USA's Top 10 Cities for "Nuisance" Flooding. USA TODAY has more details on the recent report; here's a clip: "...Sea level has risen nearly 8 inches worldwide since 1880, but it doesn't rise evenly. In the past 100 years, it has climbed about a foot or more in some U.S. cities. Depending on fossil-fuel emissions, scientists project global sea level will rise about one foot to slightly more than 3 feet (or 39 inches) by 2100, according to last year's Fifth Assessment Report by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Here are the 10 U.S. cities with the greatest percentage increases in "nuisance" flooding since the 1960s.

City / Percentage increase
Annapolis, Md. 925%
Baltimore 922%
Atlantic City, 682%
.
.."


Sea Level Rise And Nuisance Flood Frequency Changes Around The United States. The 66 page NOAA Technical Report (PDF) is here. (City Dock in Annapolis, MD courtesy of Amy McGovern).


Looking Back at Hurricane Andrew, Over 20 Years Later. KBTX.com takes a look back at a small but fierce Category 5 storm that struck just south of Miami in August, 1992; here's a clip: "Hurricane Andrew made landfall in South Florida in August of 1992. The community of Homestead, south of Miami, was one of the locations hardest hit by the Category 5 storm. According to the Miami - South Florida National Weather Service office, Hurricane Andrew caused an estimated $26 billion in damages -- making it the most expensive natural disaster in United States history, at that time. Andrew came on land on August 24th, with a sustained wind of 175mph. The storm caused 65 deaths, destroyed over 23,000 homes, and is estimated to have damaged an additional 108,000 more between South Florida and South Central Louisiana, where it made a second landfall after moving back into the Gulf of Mexico..."


El Nino Indicators Ease. Here's an excerpt of an update from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology: "Despite the tropical Pacific Ocean being primed for an El Niño during much of the first half of 2014, the atmosphere above has largely failed to respond, and hence the ocean and atmosphere have not reinforced each other. As a result, some cooling has now taken place in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, with most of the key NINO regions returning to neutral values. While the chance of an El Niño in 2014 has clearly eased, warmer-than-average waters persist in parts of the tropical Pacific, and the (slight) majority of climate models suggest El Niño remains likely for spring. Hence the establishment of El Niño before year's end cannot be ruled out. If an El Niño were to occur, it is increasingly unlikely to be a strong event..."


Weather Satellites Criticized Again, This Time For Security Risks. Could our weather satellites be hacked? The idea may not be as far-fetched as it sounds. Here's an excerpt from eenews.net: "...The data from weather satellites could be hacked because of "significant security deficiencies" in the information systems at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, according to a new internal report. The inspector general of the Commerce Department -- which houses NOAA -- released the report after Greenwire requested it through the Freedom of Information Act. It raises multiple concerns about the security of the systems that collect and disseminate weather data, raising the risk of cyberattacks..." (Image: NASA).


What Makes A Major Disaster? TheHill has an interesting Op-Ed; here's a clip: "What constitutes a major disaster?  The Senate Subcommittee on Emergency Management, Intergovernmental Affairs, and the District of Columbia takes up this question this week, and the answer significantly affects our nation’s response to disasters.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) currently responds to too many disasters, contributing to rising disaster loses.  Congress should significantly raise the threshold for federal disaster declarations to ensure the sufficiency of federal assistance when truly needed..."


Fukushima Study: Think About Unthinkable Disasters. From TMI to Fukushima to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 it's usually a cascade of unintented consequences, a domino effect of events that nobody could anticipate or model in advance, that magnify the impacts of a disaster in unimaginable and unpredictable ways. Here's an excerpt of a story from AP and NBC40.net in South Jersey: " A U.S. science advisory report says Japan's Fukushima nuclear accident offers a key lesson to the nation's nuclear industry: Focus more on the highly unlikely but worst case scenarios. That means thinking about earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, solar storms, multiple failures and situations that seem freakishly unusual, according to Thursday's National Academy of Sciences report. Those kinds of things triggered the world's three major nuclear accidents. "We need to do a soul searching when it comes to the assumptions" of how to deal with worst case events, said University of Southern California engineering professor Najmedin Meshkati, the panel's technical adviser. Engineers should "think about something that could happen once every, perhaps 1,000 years" but that's not really part of their training or nature, he said..."

File photo above: "In this March 12, 2011 photo provided by GeoEye, Fukushima, Japan is shown. Japan's nuclear crisis intensified Sunday as authorities raced to combat the threat of multiple reactor meltdowns and more than 180,000 people evacuated the quake- and tsunami-savaged northeastern coast where fears spread over possible radioactive contamination."


Ebola's Spread. It's a wonder any of us want to check news headlines after hearing about this one; The Economist has more on the disease and it's rapid spread, already the worst on record. Here's a clip: "..Ebola has no vaccine or cure, and kills up to 90% of those infected. It is transmitted to people by wild animals or by other infected patients. Fruit bats, often eaten by people living in West Africa, are thought to be a host for the virus, which starts with flu-like symptoms but can impair kidney and liver function, and in severe cases damages blood cells, leading to external and internal bleeding..."


Get Ready for Generation Z. Younger Americans tend to be more optimistic, altruistic and entreprenurial; here's an excerpt from Maclean's: "...The influential author and consultant Don Tapscott is a Gen Z optimist. His 2008 book, Grown Up Digital, features a study of 11,000 kids who were asked whether they’d rather be smarter or better looking: 69 per cent chose “smarter.” So is social researcher Mark McCrindle, of Sydney-based McCrindle Research, who has been looking at Gen Z for seven years. “They are the most connected, educated and sophisticated generation in history,” he says. “They don’t just represent the future, they are creating it...”


Girl's Galaxy S4 Smartphone Burns Under Her Pillow As She Sleeps. But was there a fire extinguisher app installed? Good grief. Yahoo Tech has the story; here's a clip: "...Last week, a 13-year-old North Texas girl plugged her Samsung Galaxy S4 in for its nightly juice-up before hitting the sack, only to be awoken by the smell of something burning hours later. When she got up and searched around for the source of the stench, she realized that she had wedged her charging phone under her pillow. And not only was the backside of the pillow scorched, but the phone was fried into an unrecognizable slab of plastic and melted components..." (Image above courtesy of Fox 4 in Tampa).


Part Car, Part Motorcycle, Polaris Slingshot Is The Inverted Trike Every Kid Dreams Of. I couldn't agree more. Here's an excerpt of a story at Gizmag: "...The noted Minnesota-based maker of all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles officially unveiled the new three-wheeled roadster this week in the United States and Canada. Because of its open cockpit, this two-seater reversed trike is officially classified as a motorcycle rather than a car, meaning you'll need a helmet and a motorcycle endorsement on your license to drive one. The unique combination of car and motorbike offers a driving experience that's also different from both, thanks to its broad stance, sport-tuned suspension and a chassis that rides just five inches above the road..."


81 F. high in the Twin Cities Tuesday.

83 F. average high on July 29.

79 F. high on July 29, 2013.

July 29, 1971: Cool spell across Minnesota with frost in north and freezing temperatures reported as far south as Pipestone.


TODAY: Lukewarm sun, pleasant. Dew point: 55. Winds: NW 10. High: 80

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy skies. Low: 61

THURSDAY: Plenty of sun. Hard to concentrate. High: 81

FRIDAY: AM sun, late PM T-storm? Dew point: 60. Wake-up: 63. High: 82

SATURDAY: Warm sun, very nice. Dew point: 58. Wake-up: 62. High: 84

SUNDAY: Sun fades, late-day T-storm risk. Wake-up: 67. High: 84

MONDAY: Front stalls, T-storms linger. Wake-up: 65. High: 78

TUESDAY: Still unsettled, scattered T-storms. Wake-up: 63. High: 77


Climate Stories...

General Mills Takes New Steps To Combat Climate Change. Here's a clip from a story at The Los Angeles Times: "General Mills said Monday it would take new steps to combat climate change, including expanding its emission reduction targets to include its vast network of suppliers and contractors. About two-thirds of General Mills’ greenhouse gas emissions and 99% of its water use comes from its indirect operations such as the farms it purchases raw materials from. The Minneapolis-based company known for brands such as Cheerios, Pillsbury and Haagen-Dazs pledged to include their supply chain in its emission reporting and greenhouse gas reduction targets..."

Photo credit above: "General Mills, one of the world's largest cereal brands, also promised not to contribute to deforestation in supply chains such as beef, soy and sugarcane where deforestation has been rampant. That expands on the company's existing pledge not to purchase palm oil from deforested land." (Rick Bowmer / Associated Press).


Global Warming May Increase With Rising Water Vapor In The Atmosphere. Scientists are observing an increase in water vapor 3-7 miles above the ground, but what's triggering this moistening trend aloft? Here's an excerpt from a story at Science World Report: "...The researchers measured water vapor in the upper troposphere collected by NOAA satellites. Then, they compared this data to climate model predictions of water circulation between the ocean and the troposphere in order to see whether the changes in water vapor could be explained by natural or human-induced causes. So what did they find? It turns out that the rising water vapor can't be explained by natural forces. Instead, it's probably due to increased greenhouse gases..."

Image credit above: "What might cause global warming to increase in the next few decades? It could be water vapor. Color enhanced satellite image of upper tropospheric water vapor." (Photo : NASA)


The Centerpiece of Obama's Energy Policy Will Actually Make Climate Change Worse. Will natural gas, which has roughly half the greenhouse emissions as coal, save us from ourselves? Naomi Oreskes has the Op-Ed at The Nation; here's the introduction: "Albert Einstein is rumored to have said that one cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that led to it. Yet this is precisely what we are now trying to do with climate change policy. The Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, many environmental groups and the oil and gas industry all tell us that the way to solve the problem created by fossil fuels is with more fossils fuels. We can do this, they claim, by using more natural gas, which is touted as a “clean” fuel—even a “greenfuel...."

Photo credit above: "A fracking operation in Mead, Colorado." (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley).


NBC Shows How To Report on the Economic Costs of Climate Change. Media Matters has the recap; here's an excerpt: "...The July 29 edition of NBC's The Today Show reported on the extreme costs of fighting the dozens of wildfires currently burning in Yosemite National Park and across California, and how they are connected to climate change. The fires, taking place during Yosemite's driest year on record, have destroyed 20 homes and forced over 1,200 people to be evacuated. NBC correspondent Miguel Almaguer stated that the dozens of California wildfires are "costing big money," expanding that the state of California will spend $1 billion to fight wildfires this year. Almaguer also highlighted how global warming has had a direct impact on the fire, citing firefighters who are working on "the front lines of climate change"...


World's Religions United For New York Climate Summit. The climate summit will be hosted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on September 21. Here's an excerpt from RTCC: "...Faith leaders of all religion are important voices for people all around the world. No matter what faith, whether Muslims, Christians, Hindus, they have a care for the creation. Gathering such leaders is an important space for creating a voice for this faith movement," said Mattias Soderberg from ACT Alliance, one of the groups sponsoring the event..."

Summer Time-Out from Heat & Humidity

Posted by: Paul Douglas under Lions Updated: July 28, 2014 - 10:30 PM

Summer Time-out

"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it" wrote Russell Baker. We've had a few severe storm outbreaks and brief flashes of summer heat, but it hasn't been all that bad.

NOAA SPC reports only 20 Minnesota tornadoes in 2014; 134 separate reports of severe wind damage.

Yes, June was the wettest month in recorded Minnesota history, statewide, but we've dried out in July. MSP rainfall in July is over an inch below average, for a change. Based on cooling degree days since June 1 we've spent about 12 percent less than average cooling our homes and offices.

June monsoons have given way to a fairly pleasant spell of weather, which lingers much of this week. One caveat: a whirlpool of cold air aloft stuck over the Great Lakes may set off a few late-day instability T-showers, especially north/east of the Twin Cities.

The atmosphere normally cools by 3-5F for every 1,000 feet of altitude. If it gets colder/faster, a "steeper lapse rate", the risk of late day storms rises. Dew points creep up as the week goes on; 80s next weekend with a small chance of late-day pop-up storms.

No stalled fronts, EF-4 tornadoes, biblical floods or beachball-size hail.

I'm OK with that.


A Relatively Quiet Week - Slow Warming Trend into Next Week. Long-range guidance shows comfortable dew points in the 50s much of toda and Wednesday, rising into the low 60s again by Saturday; possibly mid-60s by Monday. Highs rise above 80F by Thursday with some mid 80s from Sunday into the middle of next week. Although a few instability T-showers are possible (especially from the MN Arrowhead into Wisconsin) most towns will stay mostly-dry into the weekend. MSP Meteogram: Weatherspark.


60-Hour Rainfall Potential. NOAA's 4 km WRF model shows heavy showers and T-storms today across northern New England, another plume of heavy rain and potential flash flooding from the central Rockies into the southern Plains by Wednesday, where some 2-4" rainfall amounts are possible, helping to take the edge off the drought. Dry weather persists over California and most of the western USA. Source: HAMweather.


2014 Severe Weather, To Date. Here is data from NOAA SPC showing 20 confirmed tornadoes over western and south central Minnesota so far this year - no touchdowns in the immediate Twin Cities metro. Statewide there have been 134 severe wind reports (gusts over 58 mph) and 101 reports of 1"+ diameter hail.


What's The Hold Up, El Nino? The ocean-atmosphere system in the Pacific isn't in synch, and that is delaying the warming expected earlier this year. Here's an excerpt of a good explanation at NOAA's climate.gov: "In the July 10 update and ENSO discussion, we said the atmospheric part of ENSO doesn’t seem to be responding to the ocean.  El Niño requires that both be in sync and coupled with each other.  Why is the atmosphere acting aloof to the rather warm ocean?  This development may be especially surprising to folks given the rumors and speculation of a very strong El Niño that followed March’s oceanic Kelvin wave. In June, the Bureau of Meteorology in Australia made an interesting observation that might shed light on the lack of coupling between the ocean and atmosphere.  They pointed out that an anomalous sea surface temperature (SST) gradient was not in place across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.  Like the gradient of a hill on a highway, an SST gradient describes a change in temperature across the ocean surface from one location to another..."

Graphic credit above: "The typical evolution of sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies from April through December associated with El Niño.  These maps were created using lagged regression onto the wintertime Niño-3.4 index using monthly data from ERSSTv3b from 1980-2012.  The SST gradient is shown by the difference in near-to-below-average SST (white or blue) across the far western tropical Pacific and Indonesia and the above-average SST (red) across the central and eastern Pacific." Map by Michelle L'Heureux, Climate Prediction Center.


Parched West Is Using Up Underground Water. NASA JPL has the story - here's the introduction: "A new study by NASA and University of California, Irvine, scientists finds more than 75 percent of the water loss in the drought-stricken Colorado River Basin since late 2004 came from underground resources. The extent of groundwater loss may pose a greater threat to the water supply of the western United States than previously thought. This study is the first to quantify the amount that groundwater contributes to the water needs of western states. According to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the federal water management agency, the basin has been suffering from prolonged, severe drought since 2000 and has experienced the driest 14-year period in the last hundred years..."

Photo credit above: "Surface-water depletion in the Colorado River Basin has left this "bathtub ring" of mineral deposits on Lake Mead, but groundwater loss is invisible." Image credit: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.


A Satellite Image Tour of Planet Earth on Fire. Motherboard has a visual recap of fire season launching into full swing over the Northern Hemisphere; here's a clip: "Believe it or not, the 2014 wildfire season has not yet met its full potential given the widespread extreme droughts across the western United States. According to US Forest Service figures, the number of western fires to date is at about 70 percent of the 10 year average, while the total burned area sits at just less than half of the 10 year average. The tide is turning, however, with new fires bursting out nearly everywhere that they should be expected..." (Image: NASA).


Japan Heat Persists After Hottest Day of 2014 Leaves 11 Dead. Bloomberg has an update; here's the intro: "The Japan Meteorological Agency warned of extreme heat today in Tokyo and other areas after local media reported 11 people died and almost 1,900 were hospitalized yesterday on the country’s hottest day this year. A quarter of the agency’s 927 observation stations recorded 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher yesterday, the most so far this year, the Mainichi newspaper reported..."

Photo credit above: "A child stands under water fall to cool off at a park in Tokyo, Saturday, July 26, 2014. Heat wave continues in the metro areas as temperature goes up high at 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit), meteorological bureau said." (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara).


Bees At The Brink. If you missed this 2-part series at The Star Tribune it's definitely worth a read; here's an excerpt that got my attention: "...In a struggle that echoes the scientific discord over climate change, both are striving to win the public to their side in a fight over the pervasive use of pesticides and the alarming decline of bees. Because whoever captures the heart of the public could influence the fate of the honeybee long before scientists or government regulators render a verdict. “Perception becomes reality,” said David Fischer, director of pollinator safety for Bayer AG, a leading manufacturer of the insecticides under debate. “We are a science-focused company. But that’s not going to convince beekeepers and the public...”


The Energy-Efficient Way to Punish Putin - And Protect The Planet. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed at The Guardian: "..Energy efficiency makes sense not just to curb imports, but also to cut carbon emissions. The European commission’s work has shown that gas imports could be down sharply with a modest increase in ambition on renewables and energy efficiency. The technology is there: more renewable electricity; more biogas from waste; more insulation to curb heating demand; more ground- and air-source heat pumps to replace gas boilers at home; more solar thermal for hot water..."

Photo credit above: "A Gazprom employee at work in the Sudzha plant, just 200 metres from the Ukrainian border. 'The share of Russian gas in EU gas imports has been declining for many years.' Photograph: Maxim Shipenkov/EPA.


You Are Not Late. Afraid you missed the Internet Revolution? This author of this post at Medium happens to believe that we're just getting started, in fact we haven't even scratched the surface of what is possible, what's coming in the near term. There has never been a better time to take a swan dive into the deep end of the pool; here's a clip: "..So, the truth: Right now, today, in 2014 is the best time to start something on the internet. There has never been a better time in the whole history of the world to invent something. There has never been a better time with more opportunities, more openings, lower barriers, higher benefit/risk ratios, better returns, greater upside, than now. Right now, this minute. This is the time that folks in the future will look back at and say, “Oh to have been alive and well back then!...”


10 Things Americans Have Suddenly Stopped Buying. Time's Money.com has an interesting list of items that aren't nearly as in-demand as they used to be, including white bread, gum, razors and guns. Now there's a shopping list. Here's an excerpt: "America is just not the clean-shaven, gun-buying, soda-drinking, Chef Boyardee-eating place it used to be. For a variety of reasons—including but not limited to increased health consciousness, the harried pace of modern-day life, and plain old shifting consumer preferences,—Americans have scaled back on purchases of many items, sometimes drastically so. Here’s a top 10 list of things we’re not buying anymore, at least not anywhere near as frequently as we used to..."


In Photos: The Most Ridiculous Laws in America. Wired.com does a good job highlighting some of the best head-scratchers out there; here's a snippet of a funny article: "...If you know anything about Wisconsin, you could believe the state once required serving cheese with every slice of apple pie—something of an urban myth inspired by a short-lived law requiring cheese and butter be served with every meal. Some of the laws are totally reasonable anyway; you really shouldn’t fish with dynamite, and Rhode Island’s statute against transparent clothing is pretty clearly for the common good..."

Photo credit above: "In Nevada it is illegal for men who have mustaches to kiss women." Olivia Locher.


Walmart's Ice Cream Sandwiches Don't Melt In The Sun. Hey, right now that's the least of my concerns, but I did think this WCPO-TV story via Huffington Post was curious; here's an excerpt: "Last we checked, ice cream is supposed to melt if it isn't kept chilled. But Walmart's store-brand ice cream sandwiches don't even melt in the sun, according to a report from WCPO Cincinnati. The discovery was made by a local mom, Christie Watson, who noticed that a Great Value ice cream sandwich her son left out on their patio table hadn't fully melted -- even though it had been sitting out for 12 hours on an 80-degree day..."


77 F. high in the Twin Cities Monday.

83 F. average high on July 28.

75 F. high on July 28, 2013.

July 28 in Minnesota Weather History. Source: Twin Cities NWS:

1917: Hottest temperature ever recorded in Minnesota with 114.5 degrees at Beardsley.

1849: Severe storms between 3 and 5 AM at the newly constructed post of Ft. Ripley. W.J. Frazier, Head Surgeon noted: "Rain and hail with much thunder and lightning and very high winds breaking many trees."


TODAY: Partly sunny, few Wisconsin T-storms late. DP: 53. Winds: NW 10. High: 78

TUESDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear, still comfortable for late July. Low: 56

WEDNESDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, pleasant. Dew point: 54. High: near 80

THURSDAY: Warm sun, stray late-day T-storm. Wake-up: 59. High: 81

FRIDAY: Sun much of the day. Late thunder? Wake-up: 61. High: 82

SATURDAY: Sunny, very lake-worthy. Dew point: 60. Wake-up: 62. High: 83

SUNDAY: Hazy sun, few late PM storms. Wake-up: 64. High: 84

MONDAY: Some sun, murky and humid. DP: 64. Wake-up: 64. High: 83


Climate Stories...

California: Bring Your Own Water. Thanks to David Horsey at The Los Angeles Times.


Now Two New Large Holes Appear in Siberia. The Siberian Times has the story and photo; here's a clip: "Millions of people around the world glimpsed the first giant hole after it was revealed by The Siberian Times here and on The Siberian Times TV here. Now news has emerged of two new similar formations in the permafrost, prompting more intrigue about their creation. Theories range from meteorites, stray missiles, a man-made prank, and aliens, to an explosive cocktail of methane or shale gas suddenly exploding. The version about melting permafrost due to climate change, causing a release of methane gas, which then forces an eruption is the current favorite, though scientists are reluctant to offer a firm conclusion without more study..."


First Observations of Methane Release From Arctic Ocean Hydrates. Are the mysterious "holes" in Siberia the result of methane release or some other process? Stockholm University reports on new data findings showing methane release in the Arctic Ocean; here's a clip: "Just a week into the sampling program and SWERUS-C3 scientists have discovered vast methane plumes escaping from the seafloor of the Laptev continental slope. These early glimpses of what may be in store for a warming Arctic Ocean could help scientists project the future releases of the strong greenhouse gas methane from the Arctic Ocean..."


The Military Battles Climate Change. Here's a clip from a story at Huffington Post: "...Nationally, there are plenty of concerns in store. Our country's infrastructure is in for major challenges as a result of extreme weather, rising sea levels, and flooding. The Pentagon is taking the correlation between climate change and the national security extremely seriously. Coastal Navy installations are at risk, especially Norfolk, Virginia, home to the "world's largest naval base." Military readiness is diminished when troops are diverted to humanitarian concerns brought on by the ravages of nature. Emergency Responders often require the assistance of the federal government..."


What Is Climate Change Doing To Our Mental Health? Grist has the story; including this excerpt that mirrors my experiences with storm survivors here in the USA: "...When you think about what climate change does, it basically increases the risk of weather-related disasters of one sort or another,” she said. “What happens from a psychological point of view is people get knocked down. Whenever people are knocked down, they have to get up again and start over. And the more that happens, the more difficult it is to keep getting up...” (Image credit: Amelia Bates).


Would Jesus Accept Climate Science? An interesting theoretical question and of course the answer is unknowable. But that free will thing keeps coming up in my discussions with other Christians. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed at Huffington Post: "...Whom should a Christian believe? Should they assume all climate scientists are just furthering a government agenda when they conclude that climate change is real? Or should they accept the science? The answer to that question lies in the exercise of free will. God gave us brains to make good choices. It's just important to remember that every choice has consequences..."


Extreme Weather - Canadians Better Get Used to It. The Globe and Mail has the Op-Ed; here's an excerpt: "...Over the last six decades, Canada’s average temperatures have risen 1.5 degrees Celsius, with warming happening much faster in northern Canada. The frequency of cold nights has dropped; the frequency of warm days has increased. The country, as a whole, has become wetter; sea ice is declining (as everyone knows) in the Arctic but also along parts of the Atlantic coast..."