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.

Posts about Lions

Thundery into Saturday - Drier Sunday - Hints of October by Monday

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: July 11, 2014 - 12:52 AM

All-Star Cliche

How often have you heard the following: "Oh, you live in Minnesota - it's really cold there huh?" I usually nod in agreement, then show them my polar bear tattoo, which makes them want to change the subject.

I would bet a small, well-equipped Winnebago that FOX-TV announcers will chat about "Minnesota's ridiculously chilly weather" during Tuesday's MLB All-Star game, reinforcing the tired stereotypes we've all grown up with.

According to meteorologist D.J. Kayser if the first pitch temperature is colder than 68F at Target Field it'll be the chilliest All-Star game since 1980. It'll be very close.

If you're connecting the dots and tracking the trends early next week will be more evidence that the jet stream is seriously misbehaving; knocked out of alignment. Monday may be 20-25F cooler than average here, but 30-35F warmer than average over western Canada. More crazy extremes.

A few T-storms today give rise to 80s with some sun tomorrow (and a few more storms). Soak it any attempted warmth, because we start to cool off Sunday. Monday will feel like football weather: scrappy clouds and PM showers, 50s north and 60s south.

You may not believe me (I'm OK with that) but Monday morning there's a 60 percent chance you'll reach for a jacket.



MLB All-Star Weather Factoids. From Media Logic Group meteorologist D.J. Kayser:

Weather conditions for first pitch are available from official box scores on Baseball Reference. A good note, not every box score lists weather conditions. The vast majority have it, however, since the League Divisional Series started in the 90s. I went back to 1980, and the weather listed for the start of the game is included (if it wasn't "Unknown") in the attachment.

Since 1980, there have been 4 games with documented starting weather that had a gametime temp of 68°

  • 1990 - Wrigley Field (Chicago)
  • 1999 - Fenway Park (Boston)
  • 2002 - Miller Park (Milwaukee)
  • 2007 - AT&T Park (San Francisco)

Since 1980, there have been no documented games with a gametime temp of below 68°.


Weekend Meteogram. Expect more scattered showers and T-storms today and Saturday as dew point rise thru the 60s. Winds swing around to the northwest Sunday; the sunnier, drier, cooler day of the weekend as temperatures sink into the 40s - meaning less than half as much water in the air than Saturday.


Summer Siesta. The first few days of next week will feel more like late September than mid-July. Monday will be the chilliest day; highs in the low to mid 60s with scrappy clouds and PM instability showers. Gametime temperatures for the MLB All-Star game will be in the mid 60s after a Tuesday high near 70. The good news: summer stages a comeback by the end of next week - 80s return next weekend.


Arthur's Revenge? One theory circulating among meteorologists. A powerful cyclonic flow around ex-hurricane Arthur (which plowed into the Canadian Maritimes) helped to dislodge unusually chilly air and push it southward towards the USA. That's a plausible theory, but there's now little doubt that jet stream winds will buckle, allowing potentially record-setting chill to pour southward early next week. Typical for early October, but a little unusual for the dead of summer. 500 mb winds: HAMweather.


2-Meter Temperature Outlook. NOAA's NAM model shows highs topping 100F over the central and southern Plains, at the same time 50-degree air surges south across Manitba, treating much of the Upper Mississippi Valley to a bout of rare, mid-summer sweatshirt weather by Monday.


Exclusive: Coastal Flooding Has Surged In U.S., Reuters Finds. Here's an excerpt of an eye-opening story from Reuters at The Chicago Tribune: "...During the past four decades, the number of days a year that tidal waters reached or exceeded National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration flood thresholds more than tripled in many places, the analysis found. At flood threshold, water can begin to pool on streets. As it rises farther, it can close roads, damage property and overwhelm drainage systems. Since 2001, water has reached flood levels an average of 20 days or more a year in Annapolis, Maryland; Wilmington, North Carolina; Washington, D.C.; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Sandy Hook, New Jersey; and Charleston, South Carolina. Before 1971, none of those locations averaged more than five days a year. Annapolis had the highest average number of days a year above flood thresholds since 2001, at 34..."


Hurricane Storm-Surge Risks to Property Rise on Atlantic, Gulf Coasts, Study Finds. Here's the intro to a story at The Wall Street Journal: "More than 6.5 million homes along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are at risk of hurricane storm-surge damage, with New York City having the most homes and value at risk, according to a new report released Thursday by a company that analyzes property values. The study by CoreLogic found that the vulnerable homes represent $1.5 trillion in potential reconstruction costs, with nearly two-thirds - $986 billion - of that risk concentrated in 15 metro areas..." (File image: USGS).


Map: Every U.S. Hot Car Child Death in 2014. HLNtv.com has details on every one of the 16 hot weather-related child deaths in the USA so far this year. It's worth reminding (everyone) that you can't leave kids in a hot car, even for a minute or two, this time of year.


Flooded and Coming Back Stronger. I came across an amazing article about last year's devastating flood in Boulder, Colorado that's worth a look. Check it out in Headwaters: Colorado Foundation for Water Education.


Tornado Alley Migration? Traditional Tornado Alley runs from Texas to Iowa, but in recent years NOAA SPC has issued the most Tornado Watches for southern Alabama and Mississippi, the same area that has the highest tornado concentration and death toll. Not quite what I was expecting, and it's the topic of today's first Climate Matters segment.


Severe Storm Capital of the USA Since 2003: Asheville, North Carolina? I know, I did a double-take too, and 10 years may not be a long enough time to derive any meaningful statistical trends, but the Asheville area receives nearly 40 days/year, on average, with a tornado, severe wind storm or large hail within 25 miles of the city, according to NOAA SPC. That compares with 25 in Atlanta, 21 in Dallas and Denver, 10 in Chicago and roughly 16 in the Twin Cities. L.A. sees an average of 4 severe weather days, with only 1 in the Bay Area and San Diego. Sign me up. Source: NOAA SPC.


The Severe Weather Capital of the USA Since 2003 is....North Carolina? When, exactly, did that happen? The data set isn't very long (since 2003), but looking at tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds Asheville, North Carolina sees more than 3 times more "severe weather days" during an average year than Dallas or Wichita. That's the subject of a second Climate Matters segment: "40 days a year of severe weather makes..... Asheville, NC the severe weather capital of the United States? It's true. The Carolinas see almost 40 days a year with hail and wind gusts over 50 mph. That's a bit of a head scratcher."


It's Hurricane Season. Too Bad The Fed's Aircraft Fleet for Tracking Them Is Kind Of A Mess. Jill Aitoro has the story at The Washington Business Journal; here's a highlight: "...So what’s the problem? As reported by the Government Accountability Office, they’re overburdened. And they’re old. NOAA’s aircraft fly approximately 3,800 to 5,200 flight hours per year. And although most hurricane reconnaissance is conducted by Air Force aircraft, NOAA is required to make its P-3 Orion aircraft available if the Air Force is unable to meet the reconnaissance needs posed by severe weather events. One of NOAA’s two operating P-3 Orion planes must be configured and available to conduct reconnaissance each hurricane season from June 1 to November 30, the GAO noted, and the other P-3 Orion must be available from July 15 to Sept. 30. During these months, the P-3 Orion planes are generally not available for other uses...."

File image: AP.


Voices: Floridians Get Complacent About Hurricanes. It's been 9 years since a major, category 3 or stronger hurricane has hit the U.S. coastline. At some point the law of averages catches up with you. Here's a clip of an Op-Ed at USA TODAY: "...There are several reasons why Floridians have adopted a more casual approach to hurricanes in recent years. Part of it is a new wave of people moving to the state who have no experience with hurricanes or typhoons or anything of the sort. About 1 million people have moved to Florida since the last hurricane hit the state in 2005, according to the U.S. Census. Another factor is how quickly people can forget painful events. McCaughey likens it to childbirth: "We forget how much that hurts..." (Imagery: NASA).


Why New Orleans' Katrina Evacuation Debacle Will Never Happen Again. Next City has an interesting story focused on what New Orleans officials learned in the wake of Superstorm Sandy; how they are much better prepared for the next, inevitable hurricane. Here's an excerpt: "In New Orleans, evacuation requires decisions that must be made early before traffic builds, motels fill up, roads flood, or winds reach dangerous levels. In 2005, when Katrina loomed in the Gulf, most New Orleanians did leave town, but roughly 100,000 were left behind. Many lacked a car or money for transportation, or had special needs that made evacuation impossible. Others were stranded because they practiced “vertical evacuation,” staying with family that lived on higher ground or renting hotel rooms in buildings that had proven safe in the past. “We will never do that again,” said Lt. Col. Jerry Sneed, the city’s deputy mayor of Public Safety and Homeland Security..."


A Reason Millions of Bees are Dying. The Washington Post reports; here's the intro: "In the past several weeks, a spate of studies have appeared in scientific journals suggesting the culprit behind mass deaths of honeybees is widely used pesticides called neonicotinoids. On June 23, President Obama signed a memorandum establishing the first-ever federal pollinator strategy and the Agriculture Department announced $8 million in incentives to farmers and ranchers in five states who establish new habitats for honeybees..."


Bingeing on Bad News Can Fuel Daily Stress. After reading the previous story about bees I'm kind of depressed. This may not come as a shock (to anyone), but if you immerse yourself in a steady drumbeat of negativity and gloomy news, it probably won't help your stress levels. Here's a clip from NPR: "If you're feeling stressed these days, the news media may be partly to blame. At least that's the suggestion of conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health. The survey of more than 2,500 Americans found that about 1 in 4 said they had experienced a "great deal" of stress in the previous month. And these stressed-out people said one of the biggest contributors to their day-to-day stress was watching, reading or listening to the news..."

Illustration: Katherine Streeter for NPR.


85 F. high on Thursday in the Twin Cities.

84 F. average high on July 10.

83 F. high on July 10, 2013.


TODAY: Showers and T-storms likely, few downpours. Winds: S 10. High: near 80

FRIDAY NIGHT: Another T-shower. Low: 67

SATURDAY: Some sun, sticky. T-storms late. Dew point: 67. High: 82

SUNDAY: More sun, drier - cooler breeze. Wake-up: 64. High: 79

MONDAY: Early October. Clouds, PM showers. Wake-up: 60. High: 67

TUESDAY: More clouds than sun. DP: 47. Wake-up: 53. High: 70

WEDNESDAY: Bright sun. Beautiful. Wake-up: 55. High: 74

THURSDAY: Fading sun, a bit warmer. Wake-up: 59. High: 77


Climate Stories....

Global Warming Interactive. How Hot Will Your City Get? By the end of the 21st century, if there is no concerted global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, summers may be unrecognizable across muc of the USA, according to Climate Central and InsideClimate News; here's an excerpt: "...According to the research, U.S. cities could be up to 12 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than they are today by 2100. St. Paul, Minnesota could feel like Dallas, Texas. Las Vegas could feel like places in Saudi Arabia, with average temperatures of 111 degrees Fahrenheit. Phoenix could feel like Kuwait City, one of the hottest cities in the world, with average temperatures of 114 degrees Fahrenheit..."


Global Warming Creates Arctic Shipping Route Opportunity. Less ice up north? Here's one silver lining: we can ship stuff faster! Euronews has the video and story; here's an excerpt: "Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines says it going to run the first ever regular commercial shipping route through the Arctic Ocean. Starting in 2018 it plans to initially move liquefied natural gas from the huge LNG plant Russian is to build on the Yamal Peninsula to markets in Europe and Asia. In a joint venture with China Shipping, it will use three icebreakers, which have been ordered from South Korea’s Daewoo..."


Climate Change Solution: Scrap Subsidies, Fund Innovation. Seems like a good idea to me, although we've been subsidizing dirty fossil fuels for a long time, and continue to do so as a nation. Here's an excerpt from The Christian Science Monitor: "Ahead of next year's Paris climate talks, it's time for a new approach to climate change that supports making clean energy cheaper than fossil fuels without subsidies, writes Matthew Stepp of the Center for Clean Energy Innovation. The only way to do that is with more innovation..."


Global Warming Requires More Frequent Rethink of "Normal" Weather: UN. No kidding. As the weather becomes more volatile, responding to more energy and heat in the atmosphere-ocean-cryosphere, we're going to see more erratic swings in temperature and moisture. Here's an excerpt from Reuters: "The baseline for "normal" weather used by everyone from farmers to governments to plan ahead needs to be updated more frequently to account for the big shifts caused by global warming, the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization said on Wednesday. The WMO's Commission for Climatology believes rising temperatures and more heatwaves and heavy rains mean the existing baseline, based on the climate averages of 1961-90, is out of date as a guide, the WMO said in a statement. "For water resources, agriculture and energy, the old averages no longer reflect the current realities," Omar Baddour, head of the data management applications at the WMO, told Reuters..."


Climate Change: What Are The Risks to Corporations? Fortune has the details; here's an excerpt that caught my eye: "Extreme weather events appear to be getting more severe and more frequent, as the recent drought in California and floods in Europe reminded us. Weather events accounted for 90% of natural catastrophe losses in 2013, causing over $120 billion of losses, according to reinsurance company Munich Re. In 2012, the overall effect of climate events on the US and European economies is estimated at more than $5 trillion for each region, or over 30% of their GDP. The investment community – along with regulators – has woken up to this threat. It is demanding more information from companies about their exposure to climate events, as well as the prospective cost of their carbon emissions..."


Saving Water in California. California may be facing a slow-motion water disaster if El Nino-driven rains don't arrive next winter (which is no sure bet). Here's a clip of an Op-Ed from The New York Times Editorial Board: "...California is in the third year of its worst drought in decades. But you wouldn’t know this by looking at how much water the state’s residents and businesses are using. According to a recent state survey, Californians cut the amount of water they used in the first five months of the year by just 5 percent, far short of the 20 percent reduction Gov. Jerry Brown called for in January. In some parts of the state like the San Diego area water use has actually increased from 2013. Without much stronger conservation measures, the state, much of which is arid or semiarid, could face severe water shortages if the drought does not break next year..." (Image above: ThinkStock).

Warm Sun - Slight Severe Storm Risk Up North (June was Wettest Month in Minnesota History)

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: July 5, 2014 - 8:46 AM

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

I wish Mother Nature would kick back with a cold one and just take the holiday weekend off. Show a little mercy for weather-weary meteorologists slumped over a hot Doppler.

Please?

We live in a state of perpetual paranoia that peaks on major holidays, because we know more people are outside, following the forecast even closer than usual.

I'm up at our cabin north of Brainerd, anxious to disconnect from my laptop and spend some quality time on the pontoon. My goal is to NOT talk about the weather for 72 hours.

No such luck.

The latest warm front sparks a few T-storms today, but enough sun should leak through the haze for 80s. 90F isn't out of the question tomorrow; it would be the first of 2014. We cool off again by midweek, in fact the forecast is almost a carbon copy of last week; evidence of a 7-day storm cycle. After a welcome dip in dew point Wednesday & Thursday we heat up to near 90 again next Friday and Saturday.

Summer took it's sweet old time, but it's finally here.

Mark Seeley reports a statewide average 8.09 inches of rain in June, "A record historical high not only for June, but for any month of the year" he wrote. Glencoe saw 14.6", nearly 4 month's worth! Details below.

* photo credit above: Russ Latimer.


Slight Severe Storm Risk. NOAA SPC has much of northwest and north central Minnesota in a slight risk; the main threat being hail and damaging straight-line winds later today. In the metro area the best chance of showers and T-storms comes during the early morning; I expect enough PM sun for mid-80s (and noticeably higher dew points).


Weekend Details. A warm frontal passage sparks a few showers and T-storms this morning (best chance southern third of Minnesota). The sun should break through by midday and heat us up into the low to mid 80s by late afternoon. Dew points (lower graph) increase, peaking in the low 70s tomorrow before drying out next week). There's still a very good chance MSP will enjoy (?) the first 90-degree high on 2014 tomorrow. Graph: Weatherspark.


June: Wettest Month, Statewide, In Recorded Minnesota History. Dr. Mark Seeley has more details at Minnesota WeatherTalk; here's an excerpt of his latest post: "... On a statewide basis the average rainfall for June was 8.09 inches, a record historical high not only for June, but for any month of the year. The previous wettest months in Minnesota history on a statewide basis were June of 1914 and July of 1897 with values of 7.32 inches. Those individual climate stations setting records for the wettest June include:
Ada 9.20 inches
International Falls 10.24 inches
Littefork 9.23 inches
Waskish 8.93 inches
Kabetogama 11.58 inches
Benson 10.49 inches
Dawson 8.27 inches
Chaska 13.84 inches
Glencoe 14.61 inches
..."

Lightning photo credit: A.J. Pena.


"90-Less" So Far in 2014. Excerpt of an e-mail from Minnesota State Climatologist Greg Spoden:

"Advancing into July without a 90-degree max in the Twin Cities is a relatively common occurrence in the long-term record; roughly one-in-five summers. However, it is less common in recent decades: occurring only in 1974, 1981, 1993, 2003, and 2014 over the past 40 years. (see: http://climate.umn.edu/text/historical/mspmaxtge90.txt )

There have been three summers in the Twin Cities record where 90 degrees was never reached at all: 1902, 1915, and 1993. You may recall the summer of 1993. Like this year (thus far), the summer of 1993 was extraordinarily wet in the Midwest. It's interesting to note that the previous summer, 1992, reported only three 90-degree days. On average, 1992 was far colder than 1993. Similar to this year to-date, average temperatures in 1993 were propped up by elevated minimum temperatures due to the persistent cloudiness
..."


Outer Bank Mops Up and Counts Storm's Costs. The New York Times has a good overview of impacts from Arthur across North Carolina's Outer Banks; here's an excerpt: "...And here, as well as in the other small communities that together make up the Outer Banks and serve as a hub for tourism, there was a deep sense of relief. Although the center of the hurricane made a surprising shift to the west as it neared North Carolina, reports of damage were limited. The hurricane was the first of this season and the first Atlantic hurricane to make landfall in the United States since 2012..."

Photo credit above: "This Friday, July 4, 2014 aerial photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows flooding caused by Hurricane Arthur on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Arthur struck North Carolina as a Category 2 storm with winds of 100 mph late Thursday, taking about five hours to move across the far eastern part of the state." (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard, Petty Officer 3rd Class David Weydert).


Alerts Broadcaster Briefing: Issued Friday afternoon, July 4. Final update on Arthur.

Cleaning Up The Mess. Coast Guard helicopters captured the extent of storm surge flooding from Arthur across North Carolina's Outer Banks. Weather-related injuries have been kept to a minimum, but the damage toll from Arthur will almost certainly rise in the multiple millions of dollars.

  • Governor of NC says the beaches are open for business.
  • Repairs are underway and efforts are being remade to restore access to Highway 12 and Hatteras Island (More: http://darecountyem.com/repairs-underway-for-nc-highway-12-on-hatteras-island/). Until then, access to and from Hatteras Island on Highway 12 will remain closed.  This includes the Villages of Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco, and Hatteras.
  • The number of power outages continues to decrease across the area. Numbers as of 1:30 CT:
    • Duke Energy: 4,300+ customers across North Carolina
    • Dominion Electric: ~100 customers in North Carolina & 1,100+ customers in Virginia.
    • NC Electric Coops: ~23,000 AS OF 8:30 THIS MORNING - no updated number this afternoon as of yet
  • No reported casualties.
  • Ferry service to Ocracoke Island is resuming this afternoon, though with restrictions. More: https://apps.ncdot.gov/newsreleases/details.aspx?r=10059&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
  • The USCG Mid-Atlantic has great photos of flooding in the Outer Banks: https://twitter.com/uscgmidatlantic
  • Mass EMA says greatest impacts between 9PM and Midnight, with minor coastal flooding and beach erosion on north side of Nantucket. Widespread 3-5" rain amounts possible.

Category 1 Arthur Weakens Slowly, Lashing New England with Flooding Rains and Tropical Storm-Force Winds. After sparking moderate wind and wave-related damage across North Carolina's Outer Banks Arthur is still a formidable Category 1 storm capable of widespread weather disruptions tonight from Providence to Cape Cod to Boston, with rain/wind impacts spreading up the coast of Maine late tonight and early Saturday. Serious flooding has been reported around New Bedford, MA, where Doppler radar rainfall estimates have been as high as 5". As much as 7-10" may fall by midnight, sparking serious flash flooding and additional river flooding in the days to come. Arthur will gradually weaken to tropical storm status, losing many of its tropical characteristics late tonight as it lashes coastal Maine.



10 PM Tonight: Very Close Encounter for Cape Cod. Models still show 60-80 mph winds whipping around Arthur's eyewall later this evening, and wind gusts may be in the 30-50 mph range for much of Cape Cod, high enough to bring down tree branches and powerlines - expect sporadic power outages from near Providence and Nantucket to Cape Cod and much of Downeast Maine by Saturday morning.


Models Underestimating Rainfall from Arthur. Our internal models were printing out some 3-6" amounts for eastern Massachusetts and Downeast Maine, but near New Bedford and Hyannis, MA amounts may top 8", increasing the risk of serious flash flooding overnight, and 2-5 days of extensive river flooding into the middle of next week. Map: WeatherNation TV.


Potential for Significant River Flooding. The area we're watching extends from near Providence, Barnstable and New Bedford to Plymount and the suburbs of Boston. Many streams and rivers will be out of their banks for at least 72-96 hours, the resulf of 2+ month's worth of rain falling in less than 15 hours, all tropical moisture pumped north by Arthur.

Summary: Although damage across North Carolina's Outer Banks was moderate, no confirmed fatalities have been reported from Arthur, a testament to advance warning and local officials making the call for mandatory/voluntary evacuations. Arthur is still packing a formidable punch, and more weather-related impacts are likely across coastal New England into early Saturday, followed by rapid improvement tomorrow as the soggy remains of Arthur push toward Nova Scotia, the storm the rough equivalent of a severe wintertime Nor'easter. This will be the last update on Arthur unless we see a significant change in track or intensity.

Paul Douglas - Senior Meteorologist - Alerts Broadcaster


The AI (Artificial Intelligence) Boss that Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers. Why do I think we'll all be working for computers within 20 years? Maybe sooner, as computers become more powerful and learn over time. Here's an excerpt of an eye-opening story at New Scientist: "Just after midnight, the last subway car slips into its sidings in Hong Kong and an army of engineers goes to work. In a typical week, 10,000 people carry out 2600 engineering works across the system – from grinding rough rails smooth and replacing tracks to checking for damage. People might do the work, but they don't choose what needs doing. Instead, each task is scheduled and managed by artificial intelligence..."


Minneapolis: 4th "Least Stressed Out" City in America? That according to stumbleupon.com; here's an excerpt: "The winters may be a bear, but Minneapolis' residents enjoy a quality of life that's hard to beat. Less than 11% of the city's residents live below the poverty line, one of the lowest rates of all 55 metro areas that CNNMoney analyzed. Unemployment is also low, due in part to a number of large Fortune 500 companies, ranging from Target (TGT) and Best Buy (BBY) to Hormel Foods (HRL) and UnitedHealth Group (UNH)..." (Photo credit: Meet Minneapolis).


Is a Hot Dog a Sandwich? An Extended Meditation on the Nature of America. This guy is sure reading a lot into a simple hot dog (projecting a bit?) but I found his ruminations interesting on some level. Hot dog as a proxy for American reinvention and exceptionalism? Here's a clip from The Guardian: "...America is a country founded by people from someplace else on ideas borrowed from someplace else, ultimately to try to distinguish itself from every place else. It is a fraught balance of identity – to take and be of an other, yet define yourself by contrast to that other. This is the strange impulse of our "exceptionalism", to always borrow something and modify it slightly, then declare the end result definitively, uniquely American. You can see this at play with the hot dog: the sandwich and sausage were both invented elsewhere..."

Photo credit above: "Joey Chestnut is widely favored to win this year's International Hot Dog Eating Contest again. The contest speaks to hot dogs' portability and minimal mess." Photograph: Shannon Stapleton / Reuters.


V8 Wet Road: The Luxury Yacht of Personal Watercraft? Yes, every lake should have at least one, although for the record it's still "in development", but the specs show a top speed of 65 mph, traveling in singular style. Gizmag has more details: "If you're a millionaire who wants the ultimate in opulence for your sea voyages, you get yourself a luxury yacht. However, what about those times when you're just playing around? Currently, you get the same Jet Ski-type thing as everyone else ... although there may soon be an alternative. Yacht designer Kurt Strand has just announced his forthcoming Strand Craft V8 Wet Rod luxury personal watercraft..."


78 F. high in the Twin Cities Friday.

83 F. average high on July 4.

90 F. high on July 4, 2013.


TODAY: Partly sunny, more humid with a few T-storms, especially northern MN, where a few may be severe. Dew point: 66. Winds: S 15. High: 85

SATURDAY NIGHT: A few T-storms possible, still sticky. Low: 72

SUNDAY: Hot sun, isolated T-storm. High: near 90

MONDAY: Morning sun, PM T-shower risk. Wake-up: 68. High: 83

TUESDAY: Unsettled, lingering T-showers. Wake-up: 63. High: 81

WEDNESDAY: More sun, cooler and less humidity. Dew point: 54. Wake-up: 61. High: 78

THURSDAY: Intervals of sun, still pleasant. Wake-up: 58. High: 81

FRIDAY: Sunny, heating up again. Dew point: 66. Wake-up: 67. High: 89


Climate Stories...

Obama Advisory on Front Lines of Climate Fight. The New York Times has the story - here's a clip: "...But it also acknowledged a truth: Mr. Holdren has this president’s ear, perhaps more than any White House science adviser in recent memory, at a time when climate change has been thrust to the forefront of national politics and could help shape Mr. Obama’s legacy. Mr. Holdren’s influence can be seen in many of the administration’s policies, including its biggest on climate change — the plan to cut power plant emissions of carbon dioxide, the main contributor to global warming..."


The Declaration of Interdependence and Jefferson's Brilliant "Statement of Intergenerational Equity". Do we have a moral responsibility, as Americans, to future generations? Thomas Jefferson sure thought so. Here's an excerpt from a story at Think Progress: "...By saying that it is a self-evident truth that all humans are created equal and that our inalienable rights include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, our Founding Fathers were telling us that we are all in this together, that we are interdependent, that we have a moral duty to protect these inalienable rights for all humans. President Lincoln, perhaps above all others, was instrumental in making clear that the second sentence of the Declaration was “a moral standard for which the United States should strive,” as Wikipedia puts it. The double appeal to “Nature” — including the explicit appeal to “the laws of Nature” in the first sentence — is particularly salient..."

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons.


Ignorance is Bliss. Thanks to David Horsey at The Los Angeles Times for highlighting the idiocy of our carbon-fueled global joy ride.


Climate Report Focuses on Midwest Flooding, Storms and Region's Future. Here's a clip from an interesting read at EcoWatch: "Here are some facts in the report, issued by five scientists: 

  • Precipitation in the Midwest has been increasing since the ’30s, including increases in overall precipitation and an increase in extreme precipitation events.
  • Midwest flooding presents a major economic risk in the Midwest—the 1993 Mississippi flood was the costliest flood in modern times after Hurricane Katrina. In 2008, another flood in Cedar Rapids incurred over $10 billion in damages.
  • These historic floods were caused by persistent heavy rainfall. Research shows that the trend towards heavier rainfall events has resulted in an overall increase in flood risk across the region.
  • The risk of levee failure is a significant hazard, as the Midwest contains nearly 4,000 miles of levees, many of which are in poor condition. 

Photo credit above: "An Island Press report expounds on the dangers climate change is presenting and will continue to present in states like Iowa." Photo credit: National Climate Assessment.


Hot Zone. Is Climate Change Destabilizing Iraq? This is why we need to pay attention to increasing climate volatility. Drought can quickly become a force-multiplier, setting revolutions (and new caliphates in Iraq) into motion. Here's an excerpt from a story at Slate: "...Drought is becoming a fixture in the parched landscape, due to a drying trend of the Mediterranean and Middle East region fueled by global warming. The last major drought in this region (2006-2010) finished only a few years ago. When taken in combination with other complex drivers, increasing temperatures and drying of agricultural land is widely seen as assisting in the destabilization of Syria under the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Before civil war broke out there, farmers abandoned their desiccated fields and flooded the cities with protests. A series of U.N. reports released earlier this year found that global warming is already destabilizing nation states around the world, and Syria has been no exception..."

File photo from Mosul, Iraq: Moises Saman/The New York Times.


Climate Change Affects U.S.'s Anti-Terrorism Efforts. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed from a former Army Officer at The Des Moines Register: "...Some of the least stable states in the world will face changing weather patterns that reduce arable land and fresh-water supplies, in turn driving mass-migration, provoking resource conflicts and fostering global health threats. As a former Army officer, I have seen firsthand how “climate disruption” puts more of my fellow soldiers at greater risk. Both the creeping effects of climate change, producing gradual shifts over time, as well as the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters pose unique threats to global security..."


The Disaster We've Wrought On The World's Oceans May Be Irrevocable. Talk about a harrowing read. Here's a clip from Newsweek's cover story: "...The last is the least understood of these phenomena. Along the coasts and out in the deep, huge “dead zones” have been multiplying. They are the emptiest places on the planet, where there’s little oxygen and sometimes no life at all, almost entirely restricted to some unicellular organisms like bacteria. Vast blooms of algae—organisms that thrive in more acid (and less alkaline) seawater and are fed by pollution—have already rendered parts of the Baltic Sea pretty much dead. A third of the marine life in that sea, which once fed all of Northern Europe, is gone and may already be beyond hope of recovery. “There’s a profound game-changing event going on in the life of the sea,” says Callum Roberts, a professor of marine conservation at the University of York, England..."

Happy 4th of July! Fine Weather Holds - Saturday T-storms - Tracking Hurricane Arthur

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: July 4, 2014 - 11:22 AM

Better Than Average

At the rate this year is going I half expected to see a freak 4th of July blizzard or Tropical Storm Bubba chugging up the Mississippi, maybe a small sharknado on Lake Minnetonka.

Instead we'll enjoy lukewarm sun with highs near 80F and a very comfortable dew point in the 50s. Not bad for the biggest holiday of summer.

A surge of warmer air may ignite a few T-storms tonight; timing is a bit tricky, but the risk of thunder increases by morning with a few scattered storms Saturday, with creeping humidity levels and enough murky sun for low 80s.

If the sun stays out most of Sunday the mercury may hit 90F for the first time this year. According to Greg Spoden at the MN Climate Office only 4 other years since 1974 have been "90-less" as of July 2. Spoden adds that 3 years - most recently 1993 (another very wet summer) - experienced NO 90s at all in the Twin Cities. More details below.

We cool off again next week before heating back up the following weekend. No sustained heat or humidity is on tap and I suspect the worst of monsoon season is behind us now.

Meanwhile Category 2 Arthur is chewing up the Outer Banks this morning, about to brush New England.

Our lakes are looking even better.


June: Wettest Month, Statewide, In Recorded Minnesota History. Dr. Mark Seeley has more details at Minnesota WeatherTalk; here's an excerpt of his latest post: "... On a statewide basis the average rainfall for June was 8.09 inches, a record historical high not only for June, but for any month of the year. The previous wettest months in Minnesota history on a statewide basis were June of 1914 and July of 1897 with values of 7.32 inches. Those individual climate stations setting records for the wettest June include:
Ada 9.20 inches
International Falls 10.24 inches
Littefork 9.23 inches
Waskish 8.93 inches
Kabetogama 11.58 inches
Benson 10.49 inches
Dawson 8.27 inches
Chaska 13.84 inches
Glencoe 14.61 inches
..."


"90-Less" So Far in 2014. Excerpt of an e-mail from Minnesota State Climatologist Greg Spoden:

"Advancing into July without a 90-degree max in the Twin Cities is a relatively common occurrence in the long-term record; roughly one-in-five summers. However, it is less common in recent decades: occurring only in 1974, 1981, 1993, 2003, and 2014 over the past 40 years. (see: http://climate.umn.edu/text/historical/mspmaxtge90.txt )

There have been three summers in the Twin Cities record where 90 degrees was never reached at all: 1902, 1915, and 1993. You may recall the summer of 1993. Like this year (thus far), the summer of 1993 was extraordinarily wet in the Midwest. It's interesting to note that the previous summer, 1992, reported only three 90-degree days. On average, 1992 was far colder than 1993. Similar to this year to-date, average temperatures in 1993 were propped up by elevated minimum temperatures due to the persistent cloudiness
..."


Alerts Broadcaster Briefing: Issued Friday morning, July the 4th.

* Arthur is now a Category 1 hurricane, accelerating into the North Atlantic, slowly weakening over colder water.

* A close brush with Cape Cod and coastal Maine tonight will produce tropical storm-force wind gusts, 2-4" rains and some (minor) storm surge flooding. High tide at Chatham, MA is 6 PM this evening, when some low-lying areas may flood.


NC-12 at Mirio Beach this morning. Here is the latest data on Arthur's strike on the Outer Banks:

* Hyde County EMA says no power on Ocracoke, likely won't be restored until Sunday.

  • Some county state of emergencies starting to be rescinded, including New Hanover and Pender Counties in North Carolina.
  • Bonner Bridge will not reopen in Dare County, NC until it has been assessed by NCDOT.
  • NC Gov will give press conference at 9:30 AM ET.
  • NCDPS reports 41,000 without power in Carteret, Dare & Hyde Counties (besides Duke on Dominion, there are a bunch of Electric Coops that are harder to find on my end).


* As of around 8 AM ET: 21,000+ customers without power in NC & SC in Duke Energy territory, 8,000+ in NC and VA in Dominion Electric territory.

* As of 8am, 41,500 without power in Carteret, Dare and Hyde counties.

* Duke Energy: http://outagemap.duke-energy.com/ncsc/default.html

* Dominion Power: https://www.dom.com/storm-center/dominion-electric-outage-summary.jsp


Latest Coordinates. Hurricane Arthur will slowly lose its hurricane characteristics over the next 24 hours, resembling a severe winter Nor'easter by tomorrow at this time. The threat to the Outer Banks and Virginia Tidewater region has passed, but Arthur will still brush coastal New England with 30+ mph winds, heavy rains and (minor) storm surge flooding later today and tonight. Latest details from NOAA NHC:

...ARTHUR BEGINS TO WEAKEN AS IT PULLS AWAY FROM NORTH CAROLINA...
SUMMARY OF 900 AM EDT...1300 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...37.1N 74.0W
ABOUT 130 MI...205 KM E OF NORFOLK VIRGINIA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...90 MPH...150 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NE OR 40 DEGREES AT 23 MPH...37 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...976 MB...28.82 INCHES

 
ENVIRONMENT CANADA HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WARNING FOR NOVA
SCOTIA FROM DIGBY TO PORTERS LAKE.
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...
A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* OCRACOKE INLET NORTH CAROLINA TO THE NORTH CAROLINA/VIRGINIA
BORDER
* EASTERN ALBEMARLE SOUND
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* THE NORTH CAROLINA/VIRGINIA BORDER TO CAPE CHARLES LIGHT
VIRGINIA...INCLUDING THE MOUTH OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY
* WESTERN ALBEMARLE SOUND
* NANTUCKET
* CAPE COD FROM PROVINCETOWN TO WOODS HOLE
* DIGBY TO PORTERS LAKE NOVA SCOTIA

Gradual Weakening. All models show a steady decrease in sustained winds with Arthur, forecast to reach tropical storm strength within 24 hours.


Close Call for Cape Cod and Islands. Heavy rain bands from Arthur will spread up the coast into New Jersey, metro New York City and much of New England by this evening, Arthur passing close enough to Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket for 30-45 mph wind gusts capable of minor power outages. Flash flooding can't be ruled out, even a few isolated tornadoes as the center of circulation passes just south and east of Hyannis, MA. ECMWF forecast: WSI.


A Windblown Saturday for Maine. Coastal Maine will experience very heavy rains and winds as high as 30-50 mph as (Tropical Storm) Arthur passes just to the east. Impacts will be minor to moderate, with some power outages and flash flooding from Arthur's ragged outer bands. Map source: WSI.


Greater Detail: Arthur Approaches Coastal New England. NOAA's HRRR model shows the center of circulation about 250 miles east-southeast of Cape May, NJ by 2 PM, Arthur still a Category 1 hurricane, whipping up significant swells from Bethany Beach, DE and Ocean City, MD across the coast of New Jersey and Long Island, NY. Some lowland flooding is possible, especially close to high tide (around 6 PM). Source: NOAA and WeatherNation TV.


8 PM This Evening. Winds increase as the day goes on across coastal New England, but the core of strongest winds surrounding a dissipating eye will pass south and east of Cape Cod early tonight.

Midnight Tonight. By midnight Arthur is accelerating north/northeast, still producing heavy rain and gale to tropical storm force winds from Cape Cod and Boston into Portland. Arthur should weaken to tropical storm force and become an extratropical low pressure system later Saturday morning as it pushes rapidly toward Nova Scotia, Canada. Source: Baron Services, WeatherNation TV.


Rainfall Potential. NOAA's 4 km WRF model print sout some 2-4" rains from Cape Cod into far eastern Maine, capable of flash flooding from this evening into Saturday morning. Source: Weather Bell.

Summary: Residents of coastal North Carolina are waking up to significant damage from storm surge flooding overnight. Although not a devastating, Sandy-like strike, Arthur's damage toll will inevitably climb well into the millions. It appears that the southern communities of the Outer Banks, closer to Ocracoke Island, bore the brunt of the storm, along with Morehead City, Beaufort and Newport, NC.

Arthur will continue to weaken, but not before brushing coastal New England with tropical storm force winds and flooding rains later today and tonight. I expect more power outages from Martha's Vineyard and Cape Cod northward to coastal Maine by Saturday morning. Arthur's impacts will be gone by Saturday afternoon as winds over coastal New England finally begin to subside.

In spite of tracking foul weather on a major holiday I hope you and yours have a very happy and safe 4th of July.

Paul Douglas - Senior Meteorologist - Alerts Broadcaster


Tracking Arthur - And Another Thundery Warm Front for the Upper Midwest. You can see the soggy, windblown swirl of moisture associated with Hurricane Arthur pushing from the Outer Banks into the North Atlantic, but not before giving Cape Cod a glancing blow later today and tonight. Meanwhile the next surge of warm, humidifed air sparks more T-storms from the Dakotas into Minnesota and Wisconsin; the best chance of a few storms Saturday. 84 hour NAM Future Radar: NOAA and HAMweather.


More Big Swings in Dew Point. The mercury approaches 80 F. today, mid 80s Saturday with a few T-storms possible, especially northern Minnesota and Wisconsin. By Sunday afternoon we could see our first 90-degree high of the season in the Twin Cities. Temperatures gradually cool next week; the dew point forecast to drop from a sauna-like 75 midday Sunday to near 50 Wednesday night and Thursday, meaning less than half as much water in the air. Any fresh air will be fleeting - we heat up again by next weekend.


Flooding Causes $32 Million in Damage to Public Infrastructure in Minnesota. Here's a video clip and story excerpt from KTTC-TV: "Recent flooding across Minnesota caused at least $32 million in damage to public infrastructure. Gov. Mark Dayton and his emergency managers provided the estimate Tuesday.  Flooding damage was seen in nearly half of Minnesota's counties. Carver County, southwest of the Twin Cities, has the biggest damage total so far at $9.2 million because of problems with roads and a wastewater treatment plant. The state has a $3 million relief fund to help match federal disaster aid. Dayton says it's possible a special legislative session will be needed if the state account is tapped out..."


Will "Into The Storm" Become The Next Cult Movie for Weather Fanatic. No Helen Hunt? I may have to see this anyway - coming to a theater near you in August. Meteorologically accurate? No way, but the special effects may be worth the price of admission. Jason Samenow at Capital Weather Gang has a link to the trailer and excerpt: "...A safe prediction: meteorological purists will despise this movie for its outrageous scenarios and lack of realism, but fans of over the top disaster drama and extreme special effects will love it. Whether it has the allure of the Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton classic is up in the air – right there with the flying cows..."


The Outrage Is Not So Much Over Inequality But All The Dubious Ways The Rich Got Richer. Here's an excerpt of an interesting essay at Quartz: "...Wealth and income inequality are a topic of perennial fascination. But the heat has been turned up not only by increases in such inequality, but also by the feeling that the 2008 financial crisis and the Great Recession suggest that something is fundamentally wrong with our economic system. Among the many reasons to redesign the monetary plumbing of our economic system to avoid a repeat of the Great Recession, one of the most important is to help us gain clarity on the many long-run issues we face, of which economic inequality is one of the most difficult to deal with."


Minneapolis: 4th "Least Stressed Out" City in America? That according to stumbleupon.com; here's an excerpt: "The winters may be a bear, but Minneapolis' residents enjoy a quality of life that's hard to beat. Less than 11% of the city's residents live below the poverty line, one of the lowest rates of all 55 metro areas that CNNMoney analyzed. Unemployment is also low, due in part to a number of large Fortune 500 companies, ranging from Target (TGT) and Best Buy (BBY) to Hormel Foods (HRL) and UnitedHealth Group (UNH)..." (Photo credit: Meet Minneapolis).




78 F. high in the Twin Cities Thursday.

83 F. average high on July 3.

84 F. high on July 3, 2013.

July 3 Minnesota Weather History. Source: MPX National Weather Service:

1999: Windstorm knocked down millions of trees in the BWCA, 19 people were injured.

1977: An intense squall line, or derecho, brought 115 mph winds to northern Wisconsin as the storms traveled from Minnesota to Lake Erie. A tremendous amount of forest was destroyed during the blowdown

1962: Downpour at Jackson, where 7.5 inches of rain fell in two hours.


4th of JULY: Partly sunny, pleasant most of the day with low humidity. Dew point: 55. Winds: S 15. High: near 80

FRIDAY NIGHT: More clouds, risk of a T-storm, especially late. Low: 65

SATURDAY: Some sun, scattered T-storms. Dew point: 64. Winds: S 15. High: 84

SUNDAY: Hot sun, T-storms pop later. First 90F reading of 2014? Dew point: 72. Wake-up: 71. High: near 90

MONDAY: A bit cooler, stray T-shower possible. Wake-up: 67. High: 83

TUESDAY: Still unsettled. PM T-showers pop up. Wake-up: 63. High: 80

WEDNESDAY: More sun, big drop in humidity. DP: 56. Wake-up: 61. High: 79

THURSDAY: Mostly sunny and pleasant. Wake-up: 59. High: 81


Climate Stories...

Ignorance is Bliss. Thanks to David Horsey at The Los Angeles Times for highlighting the idiocy of our carbon-fueled global joy ride.


Climate Report Focuses on Midwest Flooding, Storms and Region's Future. Here's a clip from an interesting read at EcoWatch: "Here are some facts in the report, issued by five scientists: 

  • Precipitation in the Midwest has been increasing since the ’30s, including increases in overall precipitation and an increase in extreme precipitation events.
  • Midwest flooding presents a major economic risk in the Midwest—the 1993 Mississippi flood was the costliest flood in modern times after Hurricane Katrina. In 2008, another flood in Cedar Rapids incurred over $10 billion in damages.
  • These historic floods were caused by persistent heavy rainfall. Research shows that the trend towards heavier rainfall events has resulted in an overall increase in flood risk across the region.
  • The risk of levee failure is a significant hazard, as the Midwest contains nearly 4,000 miles of levees, many of which are in poor condition. 

Photo credit above: "An Island Press report expounds on the dangers climate change is presenting and will continue to present in states like Iowa." Photo credit: National Climate Assessment.


Hot Zone. Is Climate Change Destabilizing Iraq? This is why we need to pay attention to increasing climate volatility. Drought can quickly become a force-multiplier, setting revolutions (and new caliphates in Iraq) into motion. Here's an excerpt from a story at Slate: "...Drought is becoming a fixture in the parched landscape, due to a drying trend of the Mediterranean and Middle East region fueled by global warming. The last major drought in this region (2006-2010) finished only a few years ago. When taken in combination with other complex drivers, increasing temperatures and drying of agricultural land is widely seen as assisting in the destabilization of Syria under the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Before civil war broke out there, farmers abandoned their desiccated fields and flooded the cities with protests. A series of U.N. reports released earlier this year found that global warming is already destabilizing nation states around the world, and Syria has been no exception..."

File photo from Mosul, Iraq: Moises Saman/The New York Times.


Climate Change Affects U.S.'s Anti-Terrorism Efforts. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed from a former Army Officer at The Des Moines Register: "...Some of the least stable states in the world will face changing weather patterns that reduce arable land and fresh-water supplies, in turn driving mass-migration, provoking resource conflicts and fostering global health threats. As a former Army officer, I have seen firsthand how “climate disruption” puts more of my fellow soldiers at greater risk. Both the creeping effects of climate change, producing gradual shifts over time, as well as the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters pose unique threats to global security..."


The Disaster We've Wrought On The World's Oceans May Be Irrevocable. Talk about a harrowing read. Here's a clip from Newsweek's cover story: "...The last is the least understood of these phenomena. Along the coasts and out in the deep, huge “dead zones” have been multiplying. They are the emptiest places on the planet, where there’s little oxygen and sometimes no life at all, almost entirely restricted to some unicellular organisms like bacteria. Vast blooms of algae—organisms that thrive in more acid (and less alkaline) seawater and are fed by pollution—have already rendered parts of the Baltic Sea pretty much dead. A third of the marine life in that sea, which once fed all of Northern Europe, is gone and may already be beyond hope of recovery. “There’s a profound game-changing event going on in the life of the sea,” says Callum Roberts, a professor of marine conservation at the University of York, England..."

June Rainfall Record About to be Broken? 1-2" Additional Rain This Weekend

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: June 26, 2014 - 11:40 PM


Breaking news: we may have to sacrifice this weekend for a blue-sky, 3-star, award-winning 4th of July. That's the weather headline.

Our in-house statistician informs me that the first 26 days of June brought 86 percent of the moisture we normally see during an ENTIRE meteorological summer; June 1 to August 30. We've picked up 82 percent of the moisture we see during an entire year, on average.

Translation: our state is seriously saturated and any heavy rain this weekend will almost immediately run off into streets and streams. Models print out 1-2 inches of additional rain by Monday, but that's an average. Some communities will see more, others less.

T-storms with downpours arrive today and Saturday; a few storms Sunday may spark damaging winds, hail and an isolated tornado - as highs surge well into the 80s and an unstable atmosphere begins to bubble and boil.

A strong surge of cooler, drier Canadian air arrives next week. Sweatshirts may be required by midweek up north, but an expansive bubble of high pressure treats us to bright sun, light winds and low humidity July 3-4, then (wait for it..) more T-storms next weekend.

Think of it as karma. We've earned a memorable 4th.

* Photo credit upper left: Brad Birkholz.


1.26" rain predicted for MSP (00z NAM model).

1.6" rain by Monday (12z ECMWF model).

2.9" rain forecast for the next 16 days (18z GFS model).


10.85" rain so far in June in the Twin Cities.

11.67" all-time June rainfall record (1874).


A Glitch in the Matrix? I sure hope Alexandria doesn't pick up 17-20" of rain. The odds of that actually verifying are slim to nil. But it shows you how moist the atmosphere will be; precipitable water amounts 2 to 3 times higher than average, resulting in a potential for more downpours. The 4 km WRF model shows thhe best chance of heavy 2-4" rains by Saturday evening over west central and far southern Minnesota. Source: Weather Bell.


Rainfall Projections by Sunday Evening. NOAA's 12 km NAM model shows some 1-2" rainfall amounts in a wide swath from Walker and Brainerd into the Twin Cities and south central/southwestern Minnesota, which seems realistic by Sunday evening. Locally, some farms and gardens could pick up twice that amount.


Another Weekend - Another Sloppy Front. A very slow-moving cool frontal boundary limps across the Dakotas into Minnesota this weekend, sparking showers and heavy T-storms. I still believe Saturday will be the wetter day, overall. Expect more sun and warmer temperatures Sunday, when a few storms may turn severe. 84-hour Future Radar from NOAA.


Big Swings in Moisture and Temperature. After a tropical weekend with T-storms and dew points near 70 a vigorous (for late June) cool front pushes cooler air out of Canada by the middle of next week. Some guidance keeps highs in the 60s to near 70F Wednesday before temperatures mellow into the mid and upper 70s on the 4th of July; 80s with more T-storms by Saturday, July 5. Graphic: Weatherspark.


Historic Data: Warmest Day of the Year? Here's an interesting graphic from NOAA NCDC, showing the statistical (mean) date of the warmest day of the year, ranging from August 3 in North Dakota and the Red River Valley to July 18 at St. Cloud, July 8 in the Twin Cities and much of southern Minnesota to August 13 at Houston and late August along the California coast.


Mississippi River Flooding to Impact Communities, Port Operations. AccuWeather.com has a good summary of the muddy consequences of historic levels of rain in recent weeks across the Upper Midwest; here's an excerpt: "High water will continue to impact communities and barge operations along the upper Mississippi River into early July as more rain moves into the area. Low-lying areas not protected by levees, such as farmland, homes, businesses and some roadways, are being inundated as river levels surpass flood stage. Excessive rainfall, in some cases near a foot over the past month, has pushed the upper Mississippi River past flood stage from Minnesota and Wisconsin to Iowa, Illinois and northern Missouri..."


U.S. Tornado Warning System Far Surpasses Canada's. CBC News in Saskatchewan has the article; here's the introduction: "Environment Canada’s severe weather warning system is lagging far behind the American system in several ways, potentially putting lives at risk. That’s the conclusion of Saskatchewan storm chaser Greg Johnson, who has tracked tornadoes on both sides of the border for a decade. Johnson says that Environment Canada has “a communication problem where they don’t just readily share the information, it’s not available quickly.” “They don’t have a really good mechanism for getting that information that they do have out to the public.” Johnson said that compared with the United States, it’s as though Canada has no warning system at all..."

Photo credit above: "A roof was torn off a home on the Kawacatoose First Nation in Saskatchewan after a tornado struck in 2010." (CBC)


School Buys Tornado Helmets. This story from AP and krmg.com made me do a double-take, but it makes perfect sense: a relatively low-cost, high-impact way to cut down on blunt force head trauma. Most tornado-related injury and death is related to flying debris; wearing a helmet, any helmet, can help to lower the risk. This school district is the third in Oklahoma to invest in helmets. Here's an excerpt: "The Duncan Board of Education has approved the purchase of 4,500 skateboard helmets for students and employees to wear in case of a tornado. The board spent $34,650 on the helmets with funds raised by the Cover Our Kids campaign in Duncan. The campaign was created in response to the May 2013 tornado in Moore, which killed seven schoolchildren..."


4 Maps Uncover Summer Tornado Hotspots. Colorado in June. Who knew? Here's an excerpt from the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang: "...June is the most active of the summer months for tornadoes (intensity and frequency) and  - more than the other summer months – geographically concentrated in the Plains, as shown in these cartograms of total tornado count by county by month. The counties are distorted based on their total tornado count in each month relative to a national average. Solid red counties have 25 or more tornadoes in the month shown..."

Map credit: Jordan Tessler.


USDA Forecasts Higher Fruit, Dairy Prices Due To Bad Weather, Disease. The Wall Street Journal has the story - here's a clip: "U.S. consumers face higher prices for oranges and other fresh fruit because of adverse weather and widespread disease in Florida and California, federal forecasters said Wednesday. The Agriculture Department said fresh fruit prices will rise between 5% and 6% this year, a sharp increase over its estimate last month of 3.5% to 4.5%. The government also elevated its forecast for dairy prices after an especially chilly winter curbed milk output in the Midwest, and it warned that prolonged drought in California could have significant, lasting effects on fruit, vegetable, dairy and egg prices..."


Rumble in the Jungle: Does High Humidity Trigger More Hamstring Injuries? Here's an excerpt of an interesting story at USA Today: "...Hamstring injuries occur when the quadriceps muscle that contracts to move the leg forward overpowers the hamstring. Athletes playing in higher-than-normal heat and humidity could be at greater risk to injury because those conditions cause greater fatigue, Casa said. “I believe that most of the 32 teams underutilize science to prevent injury and maximize performance when it comes to maximizing intense exercise in the heat,” he said..."

Photo credit above: "United States' DaMarcus Beasley is taken off the field with an injury during the group G World Cup soccer match between the United States and Portugal at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, Sunday, June 22, 2014." (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez).


Texas Breaks Wind Power Production Record. Wind power providing 29% of the state's energy needs at a single snapshot in time? This is impressive; here's an excerpt from a story at Climate Central: "Texas, the nation’s largest wind power producer, hit a major milestone in March when it produced more wind power in a given moment than ever before, according to a new Energy Information Administration report. It may have set a national record for a state’s wind power production, too. The Lone Star State hit “peak wind” at 8:48 p.m. on March 26, when the state’s wind farms produced 10,296 megawatts of electricity. At that moment, wind turbines provided enough electricity to supply power for 29 percent of the total electricity load of the state’s main power grid..."

Map credit above: "Texas' wind farms are concentrated mostly along the Gulf Coast in the Panhandle region, and in far West Texas." Credit: EIA.


Tesla Model X On Track To Ship. Full disclosure: I am a (very happy) Tesla owner. My car insurance has come down by $600/year, and I have yet to see any significant increase in electricity rates, even though I plug my car in every night (in my garage) and have 200 miles of range the next day. But an all-wheel drive SUV? It seems better suited for Minnesota's highways; snow-covered 5-6 months out of the year. And as prices continue to fall and as battery technology becomes cheaper and more efficient, I suspect more people will be driving without stopping at their favorite local gas station. My goal: put solar panels on the roof, a big battery in the garage, and drive for free, year-round. Free has a nice ring to it. Here's an excerpt from The Los Angeles Times: "...Development of Tesla’s second model had suffered through some delays the company worked on the design of the vehicle’s distinct gullwing doors and other features. The Model X will give Tesla a much-needed second model while it develops a less expensive, smaller electric car that expects to help the automaker ramp up its sales to hundreds of thousands of vehicles annually, Irwin said.  Tesla currently sells only the Model S, an electric sports sedan that starts at about $71,000 and climbs above $100,000 depending on options and features..."

Image credit: Tesla Motors, which has more information on the 2015 Tesla Model X here.


Google Launches Android Wear, Hoping For A Wearable Revolution. Just tell me when I can install the implants directly into my brain ok? Here's a clip from Gizmag: "...Android Wear is the company's software platform for linking smartwatches from companies including LG, Samsung and Motorola to Android phones and tablets. A preview of Wear was introduced this spring, but today Google provided more details on how it will work and made it clear that the company is investing heavily in the notion that wearables are the future, even as early smartwatches have failed to impress most consumers. Android Wear takes much of the functionality of Google Now and makes an attached smartwatch the home for receiving notifications and context-based information and suggestions that currently live within Now on Android devices..."


New York Is The Most Welcoming City In The World, And Paris Is The Least. Here's a clip from an interesting story at Huffington Post: "...In a recent survey, money-saving site Coupon Codes Pro asked thousands of "global travelers" which cities they've found the most -- and least -- welcoming on their travels. The site provided globetrotters with a list of world cities and asked them to pick the "most welcoming" ones, as well as call out any places that had been particularly "unwelcoming" to them in the past (a highly scientific process, no?)..."


81 F. high in the Twin Cities Thursday.

82 F. average high on June 26.

89 F. high on June 26, 2013.


TODAY: Mostly cloudy and unsettled, few T-storms likely. Dew point: 68. Winds: SE 15. High: 82

FRIDAY NIGHT: More showers and T-storms, some heavy. Low: 70

SATURDAY: Sticky and windy with lot's of clouds, numerous T-storms. Winds: S 15-25. High: 83

SUNDAY: Sunny start, severe PM T-storms? Wake-up: 71. High: 87

MONDAY: Partly sunny, cooler and drier. Wake-up: 67. High: 82

TUESDAY: Fresh Canadian air. AM sun - PM clouds. Wake-up: 64. High: 78

WEDNESDAY: Sun & clouds. Hints of September in the air. Dew point: 47. Wake-up: 59. High: 69

THURSDAY: Bright sun, less wind. Perfect. Wake-up: 51. High: 74

4th of July: Sun dimmed by high clouds, still comfortable. Winds: SW 5-15. High: 79


Climate Stories...

What Are They Teaching Your Kids About Global Warming? The National Journal takes a look at the fine line many high school science teachers are being forced to walk when discussing the science of climate change; here's a clip: "...All this puts science teachers in an awkward position: Scientists insist that teaching the controversy—and not the consensus—is a dereliction of duty and a propagation of falsehood. But a powerful conservative coalition opposes any effort to standardize a consensus curriculum, and they've had success in blocking such a standard from taking effect. The end result: a patchwork of climate instruction guidelines that largely leaves teachers to their own devices, facilitating massive disparities in global-warming education from school to school and state to state. "There's a lot of variability in how this is taught right now," said Minda Berbeco, the National Center for Science Education's programs and policy director. "What's really troubling is a lot of students are not receiving accurate scientific information..."


Rising Temperatures Drive People To Relocate. Here's a snippet of an interesting article at Scientific American: "...A new study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences follows more than 7,000 households in Indonesia over 15 years to conclude that sudden disasters in fact have a much smaller impact on provincial migration than heat stress. Rainfall, it finds, also affects decisions to move, but far less so than rising temperatures. "We can now say something intelligent about the conditions under which people move," said Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University and a co-author of the study..."


These Maps Show How Many Brutally Hot Days You Will Suffer When You're Old. But what if you're already old? Make sure the retirement home has a good cooling system, preferably powered by renewables, just in case the grid goes down. Here's an excerpt from Climate Desk: "...If you’re aged 4-33 right now, the map above shows you how many very hot days—those with temperatures over 95 degrees Fahrenheit—you’re likely to experience by the time you’re elderly. It comes from a new report by the economics research firm Rhodium Group, which was commissioned by former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Henry Paulson, the Republican Treasury Secretary under George W. Bush; and Tom Steyer, the billionaire Bay Area entrepreneur and environmentalist. The report’s primary focus is the economic impact climate change will have on the US, and the dollar figures are just as extreme as the temperature data: up to $507 billion worth of property below sea level by 2100, and up to $108 billion per year in property damage from hurricanes..." (Image credit: Risky Business).


Global Warming To Disrupt Economy By Mid-Century, Report Finds. The Christian Science Monitor has a story and video recap of this week's "Risky Business" report focused on economy/business impacts of climate volatility; here's an excerpt: "If global warming continues unchecked, it is likely to cost the US economy hundreds of billions of dollars in lost productivity, inundated housing and infrastructure along coasts, and plunging crop yields in key farming regions by mid-century. Those are among the conclusions of a report, notable for its bipartisan representation, released Tuesday on the economic risks the US faces from climate change. Participants include business leaders, current and former investment executives, and former US Cabinet secretaries..."

Waterworld, the sequel. Flash Flood Watch Today - Another 1-3" Next 7 Days?

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: June 22, 2014 - 9:28 AM

"..In a future with more severe storms, deeper droughts, longer fire seasons and rising seas that imperil coastal cities, public funding to pay for adaptations and disaster relief will add significantly to our fiscal deficit and threaten our long-term economic security. So it is perverse that those who want limited government and rail against bailouts would put the economy at risk by ignoring climate change..."

- Henry Paulson Jr, former Treasury Secretary (2006-2009) in an Op-Ed at the New York Times below.


Weather 2.0

Some might call it job security, but it's getting to the point where I'm afraid to come to work and check the maps. From Polar Vortex to Waterworld, The Sequel. If Kevin Costner comes sloshing up to my door I'm putting my house on the market. What's next?

Another day, another sluggish, limping frontal boundary, igniting a new tropical treadmill of T-storms. Check. More red blobs on Doppler, capable of pushing us over the June 1874 rainfall record of 11.67 inches by Friday?

Yep.

And if my sons are reading this, no, your old man doesn't remember June, 1874. Note quite.

But some days I do feel like the proverbial canary in the coal mine. Are other meteorologists seeing what's happening? Am I just imagining slower jet stream winds? Upper level steering currents are sluggish and erratic, more prone to odd dips and detours that prolong the cold or the rain or whatever weather-weirdness comes next.

Growing up weather systems moved with consistent regularity. Storms and fronts still stalled, but not nearly as often. This feels different.

An inch of rain may fall from today's slow-motion frontal passage; another sluggish warm front sparks more downpours late week.

Me? I'm going fishing - in my basement, then feeding the mosquitoes.

Good luck out there.


* photo from Delano courtesy of Craig Mizzoute and Twitter.

** more details about recent research by Dr. Jennifer Francis at Rutgers explaining how rapid warming of the Arctic may be impacting jet stream winds and configurations from Climate Central and NPR.


1.03" additional rain predicted by Monday morning in the Twin Cities (00z NAM model).


Flash Flood Watch. The local Twin Cities office of the National Weather Service has issued another Flash Flood Watch from this afternoon into late tonight. With standing water and rising rivers any additional heavy rain will complicate recovery efforts. Here are more details:

...FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM CDT THIS AFTERNOON
THROUGH LATE TONIGHT...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF CENTRAL MINNESOTA...SOUTH
  CENTRAL MINNESOTA...SOUTHWEST MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL
  MINNESOTA...INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS...IN CENTRAL
  MINNESOTA...MCLEOD...RENVILLE AND SIBLEY. IN SOUTH CENTRAL
  MINNESOTA...BLUE EARTH...BROWN...FARIBAULT...LE SUEUR...
  MARTIN...NICOLLET AND WATONWAN. IN SOUTHWEST MINNESOTA...
  REDWOOD. IN WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA...YELLOW MEDICINE.

* FROM 1 PM CDT THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH LATE TONIGHT

* HEAVY RAIN IS EXPECTED FROM SLOW MOVING THUNDERSTORMS THIS
  AFTERNOON AND EVENING. AN INCH OR TWO OF RAIN IS POSSIBLE IN A
  SHORT PERIOD OF TIME FROM THESE STORMS WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR
  HIGHER AMOUNTS. GIVEN THE VERY MOIST SOIL CONDITIONS ACROSS THE
  WATCH AREA...FLASH FLOODING WILL BE POSSIBLE AND MAY ALSO RENEW
  RIVER FLOODING OR AGGRAVATE EXISTING FLOODING.

* DRIVING AT NIGHT DURING FLASH FLOOD SITUATION IS EXTREMELY
  DANGEROUS AS DRIVERS MAY UNDERESTIMATE THE DEPTH OF THE WATER OR
  MAY COME ACROSS AREAS PRONE TO WASHOUTS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD
TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION.

HRRR: 5 PM Today. Here is NOAA's HRRR model output valid 5 PM today, showing more heavy showers and T-storms rotating into the MSP metro; heaviest, soaking rains over southern Minnesota and Iowa.


No Swimming In The Parking Lot Please. I snapped this photo from the (flooded) parking lot of a swimming beach on Lake Minnetonka yesterday. More lake - less beach.


Flash Flood Guidance. According to NOAA models just an inch of rain over a 3-hour period would be enough to trigger flash flooding in Ramsey county, closer to 1.4" in Hennepin county and 1.6" in Goodhue county. Stating the obvious: soils are saturated, waterlogged - it won't take much additional rain for flooding problems to worsen, especially central and southern Minnesota.


Moderate To Major Flooding. Is it really late June? Because this flood update map courtesy of NOAA's River Flood Forecast Center in Chanhassen looks like something out of April. Click here for the latest crest forecasts for area rivers.


Make. It. Stop. 7-day rainfall guidance from NOAA suggests another 2-3" rain from the eastern Dakotas and Minnesota into western Wisconsin and northern Iowa. More downpours are likely from Kansas to Texas. Our atmospheric holding pattern will hold a little while longer.


Not Much Relief. From the storms or the humidity. Today's sluggish cool frontal passage sparks heavy T-storms; a reinforcing push of Canadian air sparks a few PM showers and T-showers Tuesday, followed by relatively comfortable air Wednesday with dew points in the 50s. But hot air comes charging north again the latter half of the week, igniting more T-storms Wednesday nignt into Thursday. By Saturday highs may be approaching 90F.





85 F. high in the Twin Cities Saturday.

81 F. average high on June 21.

82 F. high on June 21, 2013.

June 21 in Minnesota Weather History: Source: NOAA

1988: The sky was smoky across much of Minnesota due to wild fires during the '88 drought.

1919: 2nd most deadly tornado in Minnesota history hits Fergus Falls. 59 people died. Like the #1 killer tornado for Minnesota (St. Cloud), it struck on a weekend.

1917: Downpour at Grand Meadow. 4.98 inches fell in just less than a day. Corn crops were badly damaged by the water.


TODAY: Muggy, heavy T-storms likely. Winds: SW 8. High: 82

SUNDAY NIGHT: Lingering T-storms, locally heavy rain possible. Low: 66

MONDAY: Unsettled, stray shower or T-shower - but not as wet. High: 81

TUESDAY: Sunny start, few PM showers? Wake-up: 62. High: 79

WEDNESDAY: Some sun, nighttime T-storms. Wake-up: 59. High: 78

THURSDAY: Warm & sticky; spotty T-storms. Wake-up: 64. High: 84

FRIDAY: Hot sun, late-day pop-up storm. Wake-up: 68. High: 86

SATURDAY: Sweaty sunshine, lake-worthy. Dew point: 70. Wake-up: 70. High: near 90

* photo above: residents of Tonka Bay, near Excelsior on Lake Minnetonka were sandbagging yesterday, in response to the highest lake water levels ever observed.


Climate Stories...

The Coming Climate Crash. Is there an analog to the financial crash of 2008? Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed from Henry Paulson Jr. at The New York Times: "...For too many years, we failed to rein in the excesses building up in the nation’s financial markets. When the credit bubble burst in 2008, the damage was devastating. Millions suffered. Many still do. We’re making the same mistake today with climate change. We’re staring down a climate bubble that poses enormous risks to both our environment and economy. The warning signs are clear and growing more urgent as the risks go unchecked..."


Climate Change Puts The World's Energy Systems At Risk. Here's a clip from a story from The Guardian at Climate Central: "Rising sea levels, extremes of weather and an increase in the frequency of droughts and floods will all play havoc with the world's energy systems as climate change takes hold, a new report has found. Energy companies are more often cited as part of the problem of climate change, generating the lion's share of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, amounting to around 40 percent of the total. But they will also suffer as global warming picks up pace, as generators - from nuclear reactors to coal-fired power plants - feel the brunt of weather changes..."

Photo credit above: "This power plant in Nebraska was not operational when the Missouri River flooded in 2011. If it was, the consequences could have been dire." Credit: Nebraska Power


Our Voice: Climate Change is Real. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed from The Palm Springs Desert Sun: "...The effects of this change can be found in many ways. Joshua trees, the iconic symbol of our national park, are slowly dying out in parts of the park where young seedlings have become rare. Desert tortoises, lizards and insects are vanishing from areas where they once thrived. Warmer winters have allowed pine bark beetles to flourish, killing millions of drought-stressed ponderosa and pinyon pines and increasing the severity of wildfires. The water level at Lake Mead, the nation’s largest reservoir, is dropping 1 foot a week. The lake is projected to reach its lowest level on record next month. As California begins the summer of its worst drought in a generation, it’s clear that its residents need to live with less water..."


Siberian Global Warming Meets Lukewarm Reaction in Russia. Inter Press Service has the story - here's an excerpt: "People in Siberia must prepare to face frequent repeats of recent devastating floods as well as other natural disasters, scientists and ecologists are warning, amid growing evidence of the effects of global warming on one of the world’s most ecologically diverse regions. More than 50,000 people were affected by floods in the Altai region and Khakassia and Altai republics in southern Siberia at the end of May and early June. These came just over half a year since the worst floods in Siberia in living memory. But while floods caused by snowmelt are not uncommon to Siberia, these most recent ones were caused by excessive rainfall – a phenomenon global warming is expected to make much more frequent in future..."

Photo credit above: "Climate change will cause the Siberian permafrost to thaw." Credit: Softpedia/Celsias.


Shrinking Arctic Ice Prompts Drastic Change in National Geographic Atlas. Here's an excerpt from a story at National Geographic Daily News: "The reduction in multiyear ice—commonly defined as ice that has survived for two summers—is so noticeable compared with previous editions that National Geographic Geographer Juan José Valdés calls it "the biggest visible change other than the breakup of the U.S.S.R." As the ocean heats up due to global warming, Arctic sea ice has been locked in a downward spiral. Since the late 1970s, the ice has retreated by 12 percent per decade, worsening after 2007, according to NASA. May 2014 represented the third lowest extent of sea ice during that month in the satellite record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC)..."

Image credit here.


Summertime Blues. U.S. Seeing Red as Temps Rise. The long-term temperature trends, with a few exceptions, are warmer for the vast majority of the United States. Here's an excerpt from Climate Central: "...The summer solstice is right around the corner this Saturday and temperatures around the U.S. have started to rise to the occasion. But it’s not just a warmup from spring to summer that’s occurring: summer temperatures have been steadily rising since 1970. On average, temperatures have increased at a rate of about 0.4°F per decade in the contiguous U.S. since 1970, or nearly 2°F overall. But some areas have been warming much faster, and others more slowly. The fastest warming “climate divisions,” or localized areas within regions, are in southern California and Nevada in the western region. There, temperatures have risen by as much as 1.32°F per decade, or more than 5°F overall since 1970..." 


The New Environmentalism Will Lead Us To Disaster. Is there such a thing as a "Good Anthropocene"? Here's a snippet of an Op-Ed at Scientific American: "...Some climate science deniers believe only God can change the climate; ecopragmatists, by contrast, see humans as “the god species.” Here is what the god species and this kind of thinking are certain to give us: an atmosphere with 500 ppm of CO2 (probably closer to 700 ppm) and a climate that is hot, sticky and chaotic. It will indeed take omnipotence to fix the problem without calamity. For those who prefer orthodox climate science, such unbounded optimism is dangerous, wishful thinking." (Image credit: NASA).