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.
Severe Storm Risk This Morning. NWS Doppler radar at 9:23 am shows severe storms in the Little Falls/Brainerd area, capable of 1-2" diameter hail and damaging winds over 65 mph; an isolated tornado can't be ruled out. This cluster of severe storms is moving southeast at 20, and may impact the Twin Cities between 9:45 am and 11 am. The latest from the NWS:
BULLETIN - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
853 AM CDT TUE JUL 19 2011
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN THE TWIN CITIES HAS ISSUED A
* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
EASTERN BENTON COUNTY IN CENTRAL MINNESOTA...
SOUTHERN MILLE LACS COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL MINNESOTA...
SOUTHEASTERN MORRISON COUNTY IN CENTRAL MINNESOTA...
* UNTIL 1015 AM CDT
* AT 850 AM CDT...RADAR INDICATED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM...CAPABLE OF
PRODUCING LARGE DAMAGING HAIL UP TO GOLF BALL SIZE AND DAMAGING
WINDS IN EXCESS OF 65 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR PIERZ...OR
ABOUT 14 MILES EAST OF LITTLE FALLS...AND MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 20
LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE...
THIS IS A DANGEROUS SITUATION. IF YOU ARE IN THE PATH OF THIS
STORM...PREPARE IMMEDIATELY FOR DESTRUCTIVE HAIL...WHICH CAN
SIGNIFICANTLY DAMAGE WINDOWS...SIDING AND VEHICLES. DAMAGING WINDS
ARE ALSO EXPECTED...WHICH WILL UPROOT TREES AND DOWN POWER LINES.
SEEK SHELTER NOW INSIDE A STURDY STRUCTURE AND STAY AWAY FROM
SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAN PRODUCE TORNADOES WITH LITTLE OR NO ADVANCE
WARNING. PREPARE TO MOVE TO A PLACE OF SAFETY IN A STURDY STRUCTURE
SUCH AS A BASEMENT OR SMALL INTERIOR ROOM IF A TORNADO IS SPOTTED.
* Flash Flood Warnings posted for Morrison and Mille Lacs counties - some 3.5" rainfall amounts reported. Details from the NWS here.
98 F. at 3:49 pm yesterday, just 3 degree shy of an all-time record in the Twin Cities.
95 F. predicted high today (more clouds and a few T-storms should keep it a few degrees cooler).
80 F: maximum dew point reported at MSP yesterday (2 am).
80 F. predicted dew point once again today, resulting in a heat index close to 110 by afternoon.
Severe storms possible later today, especially north/east of the Twin Cities.
96-100 F predicted high on Wednesday, possibly the hottest day of the hottest week of summer. No storms to cool things off (temporarily) tomorrow.
58 F dew point returns by Thursday afternoon, meaning lless than HALF as much water in the air as today.
* 25% of America is under some sort of heat warning, an area roughly the size of Mexico (CNN).
9.1" rain in the Twin Cities metro since June 1; that's 2.39" wetter than normal, just about 1" wetter than 2010 as of July 18.
URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
725 PM CDT MON JUL 18 2011
EXCESSIVE HEAT AND HUMIDITY THROUGH MUCH OF THE WEEK AHEAD...
DUE TO A PROLONGED PERIOD OF THE HEAT AND HUMIDITY...AN EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN MINNESOTA...INCLUDING THE TWIN CITIES...AND ALL OF WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN...THROUGH 9 PM ON WEDNESDAY. AFTERNOON HEAT INDICES WILL EXCEED 105 DEGREES FOR SEVERAL HOURS BOTH TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON...WITH OVERNIGHT LOW TEMPERATURES ONLY FALLING INTO THE MIDDLE 70S TO LOWER 80S.
THE COMBINATION OF HOT TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY WILL COMBINE TO CREATE A DANGEROUS SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE LIKELY. DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS...STAY IN AN AIR-CONDITIONED ROOM...STAY OUT OF THE SUN...AND CHECK UP ON RELATIVES...NEIGHBORS...AND PETS.
EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM CDT WEDNESDAY...
* TEMPERATURE...OVERNIGHT LOW TEMPERATURES WILL ONLY FALL INTO THE MIDDLE 70S TO LOWER 80S...WITH TUESDAY AFTERNOON HIGHS ONCE AGAIN RISING INTO THE 90S.
* HEAT INDEX...OVERNIGHT HEAT INDICES AROUND 80 TO 85...WITH TUESDAY AFTERNOON HEAT INDICES OF 108 TO 118 DEGREES.
* IMPACTS...THESE HOT AND HUMID CONDITIONS WILL LEAD TO A HEIGHTENED RISK OF HEAT RELATED STRESS AND ILLNESSES.
TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS IF YOU WORK OR SPEND TIME OUTSIDE. WHEN POSSIBLE...RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR EVENING. KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT STROKE. WEAR LIGHT WEIGHT AND LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING WHEN POSSIBLE AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. TO REDUCE RISK DURING OUTDOOR WORK...THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION RECOMMENDS SCHEDULING FREQUENT REST BREAKS IN SHADED OR AIR CONDITIONED ENVIRONMENTS. ANYONE OVERCOME BY HEAT SHOULD BE MOVED TO A COOL AND SHADED LOCATION. HEAT STROKE IS AN EMERGENCY...CALL 9 1 1.
AN EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING MEANS THAT A PROLONGED PERIOD OF DANGEROUSLY HOT TEMPERATURES WILL OCCUR. THE COMBINATION OF HOT TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY WILL COMBINE TO CREATE A DANGEROUS SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE LIKELY. DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS...STAY IN AN AIR-CONDITIONED ROOM...STAY OUT OF THE SUN... AND CHECK UP ON RELATIVES...NEIGHBORS...AND PETS.
Heat Warnings. Much of the Upper Midwest is under an Excessive Heat Warning - the heat forecast to slowly spread to the east coast by the end of the week.
Scorching. A 114 degree heat index in the Twin Cities later today? Hotter than Dallas, even Phoenix? That doesn't happen very often in mid July. 100-degree heat indices are forecast as far east as Raleigh and Norfolk as the heatwave begins to push east. Source: Ham Weather.
Hot Weather Factoids:
* Texas A&M University researchers determined the period from February to June was the driest such period on record in Texas, with a statewide average of 4.26 inches of rain. The next driest February-to-June stretch was in 1917, with a 6.45-inch rain average.
* The Schwan's USA Cup youth soccer tournament in Blaine, Minn., suspended play for a time Sunday because of heat indexes that soared to 110 degrees. Tournament spokesman Barclay Kruse said organizers wanted to avoid any heat-related health issues before they developed.
* Oklahoma City temperatures have been 90 degrees or more for 47 straight days, topping a hundred nearly every day this month. With triple-digit heat possible through September, the city is on pace to break its record for such days (50, set in 1980).
* Heat advisories and warnings are in place in 17 states, from Texas to Michigan, as temperatures and humidity combine to make being outside uncomfortable for millions.
* Mobile, AL had a record streak of 50 consecutive 90 degree days. It ended yesterday with a high of 82. The previous record 35 days in 1999.
Minnesota Climate Extremes. According to the Minnesota State Climate Office the all-time heat record for Minnesota is 114, set in Beardsley and Moorhead. Few other spots on Earth can go from 114 to -60, a 174 temperature spread in one state!
Sunday Heat Indices Across The Upper Midwest:
COUNCIL BLUFFS 124
ORANGE CITY 117
SIOUX CITY 116
DES MOINES 111
ST JAMES 111
SIOUX FALLS 115
VOLK/CAMP DOUGLAS 114
EAU CLAIRE 112
GREEN BAY 110
State Softball: 3 Umpires Leave Games In 95-Degree Heat. A story underscoring the suffocating heat in the Des Moines Register: "Fort Dodge, Ia. — Three umpires were removed from state softball tournament quarterfinals this afternoon after 95-degree temperatures produced heat-related problems for the men. The heat index rose to a high of 120 degrees during games at Rogers Sports Complex. Home-plate umpires Mark Peterson and Randy Morris both left their Class 1-A quarterfinals in the fourth inning.Cary Griffith was carted off the field after collapsing in the sixth inning. Peterson clung to the backstop fence, hunched over, trying to catch his breath during the Lynnville-Sully vs. North Sentral Kossuth/Armstrong-Ringsted game. He was replaced by Tony Sauer."
A "Few" Records. O.K. There have been 2813 records since Monday, July 11, mostly record warm daytime highs and nighttime lows. Green dots show record 24-hour rainfall reports, a few low-temperature records for California. Map courtesy of Ham Weather.
Outlook: Core Of Heatwave Shifts East. By Friday heat indices are forecast to be as high as 110-115+ from the eastern Carolinas to D.C. and Philadelphia - some (slight) relief for the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest. Map courtesy of NOAA NCEP.
Tuesday Severe Threat. SPC is forecasting a few isolated severe storms from Duluth and the Twin Cities to Madison, Chicago, Louisivlle, eastward to Washington D.C. and Raleigh, a second area of strong/severe storms from Boise to Billings, Montana.
Tropical Storm Bret. Water temperatures are in the low to mid 80s, warm enough to support tropical development. Luckily for residents of the southeast USA, Tropical Storm Bret's 50 mph winds are being whisked out to sea.
* Map above courtesy of the University of Wisconsin CIMSS blog, an animated GIF here.
Bret's Track. Almost all the models whisk Tropical Storm Bret into the Atlantic, very little risk of a direct strike along the east coast of the USA. Map courtesy of NHC and Ham Weather.
25 Years Ago, A Tornado Made Broadcasting History In The Twin Cities. Broadcast historian Tom Oszman has a good write-up of the July 18, 1986 Brooklyn Park tornado, the one coverage (live) by KARE-11's helicopter. Here's an excerpt from a comprehensive Minnpost story: "July 18, 1986 — a Friday — was a typically sultry Minnesota summer day, the kind we forget about a week later. But there would be no forgetting this afternoon because 25 years ago, the Twin Cities television audience — and later the entire nation — was able to view one of nature's most destructive phenomena: a F-2 tornado. It all happened live on television — start to finish, for half an hour — in an unprecedented TV event that is still one of the most infamous, talked-about and vivid memories of a natural disaster in the Twin Cities area. KARE's television coverage was historic for a number of reasons. It was the first live broadcast of the entire life-cycle of a tornado. The broadcast and the video captured by KARE's chopper pilot Max Messmer and photographer Tom Empey gave meteorologists invaluable new insights. And it was the watershed moment that turned a perennial third place station, KARE-TV, into a bona fide competitor to WCCO and KSTP."
Thoughts On The July 18, 1986 Brooklyn Park Tornado. I put together a quick YouTube clip with some thoughts and recollections of the tornado broadcast live during KARE-11's 5 pm newscast.
"Coronal Hole" In The Sun. No need to worry (much). A few details from NASA:
"A dark gap in the sun's atmosphere--a "coronal hole"--is spewing solar wind toward Earth. Estimated time of arrival: July 19th. This morning, UV-filtered telescopes onboard NASA's Solar Dynamics Obervatory photographed the opening. Coronal holes are places where the sun's magnetic field opens up and allows hot gas to escape. A million mile-per-hour stream of solar wind flowing from this hole could spark polar geomagnetic storms when it arrives early next week. High-latitude sky watchers should be prepared for auroras."
* The result of all this solar activity may be an increased chance of seeing the aurora this week. Keep an eye out. To see where the Aurora Borealis is visible right now click here, courtesy of Alaska's Geophysical Institute.
Heat Setting Off Home Smoke Alarms. KCCI-TV has a remrkable story - hot enough to set off alarms? Good grief: "LE MARS, Iowa -- Authorities said it was so hot inside at least two northwest Iowa homes this weekend that their smoke detectors went off.Le Mars authorities said the house walls were hot, but there wasn't any smoke or fire inside.Le Mars Fire Chief David Schipper told Sioux City television station KTIV that to avoid such false alarms, residents should keep the air moving inside their homes and regulate the inside temperature.Schipper said any smoke detector is susceptible to such false alarms, no matter how old or new it is. He also said alarms should be kept free of cobwebs and dust."
ISS And Atlantis Seen In Broad Daylight! Discover Magazine has the story: "How cool is that? This looks legit to me. This video was taken about 1.25 hours after the Sun rose! Atlantis is the glowing white object at the top of the ISS. You can clearly see the solar panels on the station, and get a hint of other structures too. The two dark donuts are dust motes on the camera detector; they are out of focus and optical effects make them look like rings — you see these a lot in astrophotography, but they’re generally not noticed because the background is dark. In this case, the morning sky makes them more obvious. Ferguson used a 20 cm (8 inch) telescope and a video camera optimized for astrophotography. He also used software that predicted the position and path of the two orbiting spacecraft; though the ISS can get about as bright as Venus, it’s very hard to see during the day, so having a solid prediction was critical. He used guiding software which he had to assist by hand, which is remarkable. As he told me, he was hoping to get a night-time pass, but there weren’t any at his location. Rather than give up, he saw an early morning pass, so gave it a shot… and wound up with this astonishing footage."
Two Sailors Dead As Boat Capsizes In Mackinac Race. Reuters has the story: "Two sailors died when their 35-foot sailboat capsized in a storm, while six crew members were pulled from Lake Michigan by another boat competing in the annual Race to Mackinac, the Coast Guard said on Monday. The midnight storm generated four- to six-foot waves and "WingNuts," a boat registered out of Saginaw, Michigan, capsized and issued a distress signal. The crew from the boat "Sociable" radioed authorities and pulled six people from the temperate lake waters, Coast Guard Petty Officer Lauren Jorgensen said. Two Coast Guard vessels and a helicopter found WingNuts overturned 13 miles northwest of Charlevoix, Michigan, and the bodies of the two sailors were discovered close by. The victims were WingNuts captain Mark Morley, 51, and Suzanne Bickel, 41, both of Saginaw, race organizers said. Morley had 44 years of sailing experience, including six Mackinac races."
Radar, Wind Graphs: "Cheap Trick" Ottawa Stage Collapse. AccuWeather's Weather Matrix blog has more information on the severe storm that caused quite a scare in Ottawa, Canada during a Cheap Trick concert last Sunday: "The stage collapsed during a Cheap Trick concert at Ontario Canada's Bluesfest last night around 8 PM Eastern time, causing some injuries. More information and videos are available in our news story. The Ottawa international airport gusted to 60 mph at 7:30 PM as the storms moved through, and it's likely the city took on some of the strongest winds in the storm, at the tip of the "bow echo" radar signature. Winds at or above 60 mph could have easily caused major damage to the venue."
As Weather Becomes The Big Story, TV Forecasters Play The Hero. Yes, TV meteorologists have gotten a workout this year. 2010-2011 may go down in the record books as the 2 most severe years on record, nationwide. The New York Times has the story: "As the nation moves through a year of remarkable floods, drought and its deadliest tornado season in half a century, the broadcast meteorologist has emerged as an unlikely hero. Increasingly, the weather is becoming a bigger part of the national conversation. As scientists explore the implications of climate change and severe weather’s effect on everything from crops to urban infrastructure, broadcast meteorologists like Mr. Burns are the ones who bring it home every day in eye-popping computer graphics. “The weather is more extreme, the floods are wetter and the droughts are drier,” said Chris Vaccaro, a spokesman for the National Weather Service. “That’s going to have real implications on society, and it elevates the need for more information and a need for those on-air personalities. It’s beyond what to wear for the day or do I need to carry an umbrella.” Gone are the days when the local weather guy had to climb on a tricycle at the clown parade, and Diane Sawyer, who got her start delivering forecasts in Louisville, Ky., was called a weather bunny. Now, the forecaster is the egghead of the newsroom. Most have advanced degrees that include courses in calculus and atmospheric thermodynamics."
Man Builds His Own Million Dollar Bugatti Supercar By Hand. Yep, I could do that (in my dreams). Pretty impressive - details from Yahoo News: "The Bugatti Veyron is a modern automotive legend. The sleek speedster from Volkswagen boasts a top speed of over 260mph, making it the fastest road-legal car in the world, and it has a stunningly large $1.5 million price tag to match. Because of this astronomical cost of entry, only a few hundred of the vehicles have ever been built, meaning your chances of owning one are rather slim. That is, unless you're Mike Duff, an ambitious 25-year-old from Florida who decided to build his very own Bugatti with his bare hands. Starting with a complete 2002 Mercury Cougar coupe, Duff set to work transforming the vehicle's entire exterior into that of a world-class supercar. He used fiberglass and composite material to create the Veyron's iconic lines, and laid it all over a tubular steel frame. After a professional paint job and plenty of buffing, the car was ready for the showroom, but Duff wasn't done yet. He then took to the Cougar's interior, covering everything from the seats to the dashboard in genuine leather. When we spoke with him, he said the project took him a full 9 months from start to finish. The detailed doppelgänger even sports usable back seats, which is something the real million-dollar ride completely lacks. Speaking of price, that's another area where this fantastic fake beats out its original counterpart. Duff currently has the vehicle up for sale with a price of $89,000 — less than 1/10th the price of a genuine Veyron."
Blazing Sunshine. Yes, it was "hot enough for me". 98 in the Twin Cities, where the "urban heat island" added a few degrees to the air temperature, more asphalt and concrete heating up the metro area. Temperatures ranged from 75 at Grand Marais to 94 at St. Cloud and 96 at Redwood Falls.
Paul's Star Tribune Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
TODAY: Excessive Heat Warning. Tropical sunshine, potentially dangerous levels of heat & humidity. Few PM storms, some severe, especially north/east of MSP. Dew point: 79. Winds: S 10. High: 95 (Heat Index: 110-118)
TUESDAY NIGHT: Warm, jungle-like humidity levels. Low: 81
WEDNESDAY: Hottest day? Sunny. Dew point: 76. High: 99. (Heat Index: 115)
THURSDAY: Partly sunny, slight drop in humidity. Dew point: 64. Low: 74. High: 89
FRIDAY: Sunny north, few T-storms south, still humid. Low: 71. High: near 90
SATURDAY: Still steamy. Few T-storms around, some potentially strong. Low: 74. High: 91
SUNDAY: Sunnier day of the weekend, less humidity. Low: 73. High: near 90
MONDAY: Partly sunny, still sticky. Low: 70. High: 83
My windows are fogging up & my drip-dries are drooping. The scene outside my window looks like Bangladesh (with pine trees). Welcome to historic levels of water in the air floating over Minnesota.
Sunday evening the Twin Cities tied the all-time dew point record (81). Madison, MN reported a Sunday evening dew point of 86, creating a ghastly heat index of 119. It was so hot in northwest Iowa that smoke alarms went off.
Jungle-like heat and humidity continues into midweek; what will in all probability be the hottest weather of the summer. Upper 90s are possible, 100 can't be ruled out in the metro area Wednesday, where some of that "urban heat island" (more concrete & asphalt) will make it 2-5 degrees hotter than the suburbs.
An area of the USA the size of Mexico (25% of the lower 48 states) are under a heat advisory or warning - a heat index of 115 is possible today and tomorrow. Before you invest in real estate in Anchorage here's some good news: winds shift to the northwest by Thursday; Canadian air dropping temperatures and dew points to more tolerable levels (only 90). T-storms may pop up today, again Saturday.
By the weekend you may be praying for a cooling shower.
Infographic: Map Reveals Effects Of Climate Change In Your Neighborhood. Smart Planet has the story: "Whenever a wildfire breaks out, we put it out. An immediate danger requires an equally urgent response. It’s that simple. But what about a growing wave of fires that flare up in disparate regions over a lengthy period of time, perhaps decades or even centuries? This type of phenomenon can sometimes seem so vast and complex, the events can just as easily be chalked up as a coincidence. It’s called climate change. And one of the biggest challenges for scientists is impressing upon the public just how dire and serious the problem is. Whether it’s the slow-moving nature of global warming or people’s tendency to primarily concern themselves with threats within their local vicinity, raising a stink isn’t enough. That’s why the Union of Concerned Scientists created the Climate Hot Map, which displays all the various already-occurring consequences a warming planet is having on their neck of the woods and beyond."
Global Warming, Ice Sheets and Sea Level Rise. Here's an interesting post (with some great resources for further research) from gcaptain.com: "Whales know that ~70% of the surface of the earth is covered in water. Penguins know that about 10%, or six million square miles is covered in ice. For now. Those values will change as the earth continues to warm and the ice sheets melt at an accelerated rate. There are three major repositories of ice left on the earth – the ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland, and various small mountain glaciers and ice caps. Between Greenland and Antarctica, they contain 99% of the fresh water on our planet. Just how much ice is sitting in Antarctica and Greenland? The answer is staggering. The volume of ice in Antarctica is around 30 million cubic kilometers (7.2 million cubic miles), spread over around 14 million square km, or an area about the same size as the United States and Mexico combined (5.4 million square miles). About 2.2 million cubic kilometers of this ice lies trapped in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (530,000 cubic miles). It is so massive that is has depressed the rocks on which it lies by around 0.5 to 1 km (Anderson, 1999). Up north, the Greenland ice sheet has a volume of ~2.9 million km3 (695,000 cubic miles)."
Naomi Oreskes: Fierce Defender Of Climate Change Science - And Scientists. Here's an article on a researcher who has painstakingly documented the climate disinformation (and oil-fueled skepticism) going on right now. The complete story is at the Christian Science Monitor: "Postcard after postcard came addressed to Naomi Oreskes after she wrote her first book on how scientists study the movement of continents. A groundswell of attention, perhaps? Not exactly. Her mother wrote them all, dashing off each postcard after finishing a chapter. Outside the worlds of science and academia, the book didn't attract much attention. But 12 years later, the Manhattan-raised historian is traveling a much more public path, drawing both praise and condemnation. She's a fierce defender of scientists and a leader in the vanguard of those who strongly advocate that the world must acknowledge and deal with global warming. "Professor Oreskes has turned vilified scientists into the heroes they deserve to be," says John Abraham, an associate professor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. She's performing a service regarding global warming by showing "how a few organized and influential people were able to confuse the country long after the science was settled," he says. Oreskes, a professor of history and science studies at the University of California, San Diego, acknowledges that she's trying to save the world. Earlier, though, her goal was simpler. She wanted to understand scientists by studying their past, in terms of both their findings and their funding."
Confessions Of A Climate Change Convert. Some very well-known and outspoken climate critics are now acknowledging the fact their initial skepticism was misplaced. They caught up with the facts and have now come to realize that 97.4% of peer-reviewed climate scientists may be right about climate change. Climate Denial Crock Of The Week has more: "Some of the most passionate advocates for educating the public on climate change are individuals who, after years of climate change skepticism, simply found themselves overwhelmed by the force of the evidence, and had the objectivity and honesty to look reality squarely in the face. Admiral David Titley, the US Navy’s Chief Oceanographer, told a TEDx Pentagon audience his story last year, and I posted the video. More recently, Conservative writer D.R.Tucker wrote a widely noticed piece in the FrumForum, (former George W. Bush assistant) David Frum’s conservative blog, “dedicated to the modernization and renewal of the Republican party and the conservative movement.” Tucker’s piece is reposted below in its entirety, with permission.
I was defeated by facts.
It wasn’t all that long ago when I joined others on the right in dismissing concerns about climate change. It was my firm belief that the science was unsettled, that any movement associated with Al Gore and Van Jones couldn’t possibly be trusted, that environmentalists were simply left-wing, anti-capitalist kooks. It wasn’t until after I read Stanford University professor Morris Fiorina’s book Disconnect (2009) that I started to reconsider things. Fiorina noted that while environmentalism is now considered the domain of the Democratic Party, for many years it was the GOP that was identified with conservationist concerns. I was curious as to how the political climate shifted with regard to environmentalism—and whether there was something to all this talk about climate change."
The Difference Between Scientific Debate And Phony Talkfests. A story from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation: "Science is debate. Whether at conferences or in the peer-reviewed literature, scientific debates are a crucial part of the error prevention and correction process that has served science and the public well for centuries. Tellingly, so-called climate "sceptics" refuse to participate in scientific debates: by and large, they do not contribute to the peer-reviewed literature and they do not present their views at scientific conferences - such as the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) General Assembly, which attracted 3,200 of the world's leading experts to Melbourne earlier this month to debate the state of the planet and its future. Vaudevillian climate "sceptic" Lord Monckton, who is currently scouring Australia for venues for his theatrical performances but has given wide berth to the IUGG meeting, has a life-long record of refusing to enter a scientific debate, not having published in the peer-reviewed literature. The public suffers when good science is replaced by voodoo artists who shirk debate, as the tragic South African experience demonstrates, when president Thabo Mbeki fought AIDS with garlic and beetroot rather than antiretroviral drugs, thus contributing to the deaths of hundreds of thousands. Likewise, the global public will suffer for many years to come if the views of people who refuse to enter a scientific debate on climate lead to delayed action on climate change. Notwithstanding their refusal to participate in scientific debate, so-called climate "sceptics" crave attention and want to engage in phoney talkfests, preferably with real scientists, at their public showings."
Life On The Edge: Climate Change And Reproductive Health In The Philippines. The story from New Security Beat: "High population growth and population density have placed serious stress on natural resources in the Philippines. No one lives far from the coast in the 7,150-island archipelago, making the population extremely dependent on marine resources and vulnerable to sea-level rise, flooding, and other effects of climate change. The coastal megacity of Manila – one of the most densely populated in the word – is beset by poor urban planning, lack of infrastructure, and a large population living in lowland slums, making it particularly vulnerable to increased flooding and natural disasters. The Philippines is now home to 93 million people and by 2050 is expected to reach 155 million, according to the UN’s medium fertility variant projections. Development programs in the country have made great strides towards increasing access to family planning and reproductive health services as well as improving management of marine resources, but the underlying trends remain troubling."
Monday Night Slop-Fest. If you tuned into ESPN for the big Vikes-Jets game Monday night you were treated to a rare rain delay: severe thunderstorms swept through the New York area with high winds, frequent lightning, enough nickel-size hail to cover the ground in some suburbs. Warnings were issued and Jets officials moved players and fans off the field as the worst of the weather rumbled overhead. Unusual for October 11 in New York City? You bet. That's what happens when you get Brett Favre and Randy Moss wearing purple and gold for the first time - fireworks, atmospheric and otherwise!
El Nino & La Nina: Tropical Troublemakers. Meteorologists at the WMO, the World Meteorological Organization, are predicting that El Nino (cooling of Pacific Ocean water) will strengthen in the months ahead. That could mean colder, snowier than average weather for much of the USA this upcoming winter. The jury is still out. El Nino correlates with milder winters for Minnesota and much of the Upper Midwest. La Nina winters tend to be colder and (sometimes) snowier, but every La Nina pattern is different - there are no guarantees that the upcoming winter will be harsher than average - but it appears that (statistically) odds favor a colder-than-normal winter east of the Rockies. Stay tuned. More from USA Today here.
SLICE. Sustaining Lakes In A Changing Environment. Minnesota's fragile lake ecosystem is changing, transitioning, due to a variety of factors: urbanization, changing fish populations, fewer native aquatic plants. The Section of Fisheries of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is leading a statewide, collaborative effort to develop a system to monitor and record biological and chemical changes that occur in a sample of lakes that are representative of the state's most common aquatic environments. Information gathered will be used to develop management approaches that can mitigate or minimize negative impacts caused by conventional "high-impact" residential development and agriculture, aquatic plant removal, invasive species and climate change. Click here for more information, and an interactive MN map showing the specific lakes that are being studied.
Tremors in Arkansas? Monday brought a flurry of small earthquakes north of Little Rock - growing concern among seismologists that this could be precursor for a potentially more significant quake along the New Madrid Fault. More from the Arkansas Geological Survey here.
Floods Hit Queensland, Australia. The BBC reports on severe thunderstorm flooding near Brisbane, as much as 10" of rain from severe storms that swept through Queensland - numerous people had to be evacuated from their vehicles.
Hurricane Paula? NHC is predicting that "Paula" will become a hurricane, probably sometime today, with sustained winds of at least 74 mph. Computer models bring Paula over the western tip of Cuba, possibly brushing far southern Florida with tropical storm or even hurricane-force winds within 72 hours. Graphics courtesy of NHC and Ham Weather.
"Aug-tober Continues." 80 on the 11th day of October? That's 19 degrees above average, and 40 degrees warmer than a year ago (when 2.5" of snow fell on October 12). Highs ranged from 77 at Eau Claire, WI to 80 in St. Cloud, to 81 at Redwood Falls. MSP missed an all-time record by only 4 degrees.
Surplus Of Records. Click here to see a week's worth of records across the Upper Midwest, courtesy of Ham Weather, a division of WeatherNation. All those red dots: all-time record highs. The yellow dots: records for the warmest nighttime lows ever recorded.
* Monday was the 4th day in a row above 80 in the Twin Cities, the 7th day in a row above 70, typical weather for late August.
* Statewide October temperatures are running 6-10 degrees above normal.
Paul's Star Tribune Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota
Today: Partly sunny, slight chance of a shower (even a T-shower over Wisconsin by afternoon). Winds: W/NW 15-25. High: 71
Tuesday night: Partly cloudy, turning cooler. Low: 45
Wednesday: Mix of clouds and sun, closer to average for mid October - still very pleasant. High: 62
Thursday: Plenty of sun, a few degrees milder. High: 65
Friday: Lot's of sun, warmer than average again. High: 66
Saturday: Blue sky, pretty spectacular. High: near 70
Sunday: Sun fades behind increasing high clouds. High: 65
Monday: More clouds, growing chance of a few showers. High: 59
Perspective. A year ago we were waking up to a brisk 28 F. The high was only 36. A total of 2.5" of SNOW fell on the Twin Cities. Do you remember? Talk of an early winter? Commuters were irritable - just about everyone was irritable. There was no "easing into winter" last year, El Nino or no El Nino.
A year later we're still basking in the afterglow of a remarkable spell of weather. Last week was arguably the best week of the entire year. Today will probably be the 8th DAY IN A ROW ABOVE 70 in the Twin Cities! We've just experienced 4 days in a row above 80. In mid October? Remarkable.
There isn't much "weather" out there to dwell on - a cooler front arrives today, starved for moisture we'll be lucky to see a fleeting shower ot two, even a rare October T-shower possible, especially east of the St. Croix this afternoon along the wind-shift line. Behind the front a brisk northwest wind keeping highs in the upper 50s (north) and low 60s (south) Wednesday - the coolest day of the week. We're still in a modified "zonal" flow, jet stream steering winds blowing from west to east, a mild (dry) pattern for Minnesota hanging on straight through the weekend. Winds shift around to the south the latter half of the week, meaning some upper 60s, even another shot at 70 by Friday and Saturday.
I still don't see anything even remotely resembling a "storm" looking out the next 1-2 weeks. Long-range GFS guidance shows a noticeable cool-down after October 27th, at least a few days with highs in the 40s and low 50s (jacket weather). But nothing I'd call a cold front, certainly no arctic air looking out the next 15-20 days. Odds favor a chillier front in time for Halloween (I doubt we'll be basking in the 60s or 60s for Oct. 31).
Welcome to the Year Without An October. Will we pay for this in November? Possibly. Maybe this is atmospheric payback for a cooler, wetter, stormier-than-average September. Enjoy another amazing week here in the Land of 10,000 Weather Extremes. It's turning into one of the nicest autumns in recent history - and that trend will continue for at least another week.
Minnesota Company Launches Storm Tours In The "New Tornado Alley". Oklahoma storm chasing tours must be at least a little nervous - this summer Minnesota experienced an eye-opening 145 tornado reports. Local meteorologist Andy Revering is taking advantage of an apparent northward shift in tornado alley (however temporary) by launching F5 Tours. The catch? You can chase with "celebrity meteorologists", including WeatherNation's very own Rob Koch (formerly of KSTP fame). More on next spring's storm-chasing options here.
Toxic Sludge From Space. The reservoir of toxic alumina that burst on October 4 was tracked by a low-orbiting satellite from NASA's Earth Observatory System, EO-1. The river of chemical waste swept away cars, inundated homes, a wall of red (toxic) water 6-7 feet deep. More from NASA here.