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.

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

Posted by: Paul Douglas under Lions 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).

Summer On Hold Early Next Week - Coolest MLB All-Star Game on Record?

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: July 10, 2014 - 1:15 PM

"July-tober"

Not much surprises me anymore. Numbing cold followed by record rains as weather patterns slow and our climate becomes more volatile? A 4th of July blizzard would have gotten my attention.

Welcome to the "new normal".

Even so next week's weather map made me do a double-take. During what is typically the hottest week of the year a hunk of October-like air will hurtle south. Minnesotans will be wandering around in light jackets & sweatshirts on Monday and early Tuesday, mourning the (temporary) death of summer.

1816 was "A Year Without a Summer", due to low solar activity and volcanic eruptions. Heavy snows were reported into June; ice "thick enough to support the full weight of a duck" into July over New England.

This summer? Not quite that extreme, but the jet stream is still misbehaving and I suspect it's related to rapid warming of the Arctic. We'll see.

A comfortable Thursday gives way to a few T-storms Friday, the wettest day in sight. Soak up 80s Saturday because an autumn-like cool front arrives late Sunday. By Monday "highs" may hold in the 50s north, 60s south with a discernible whiff of crisp mid-summer wind chill.

Just when you thought things couldn't get any stranger around here.


* Monday 1 PM temperature anomalies across the USA courtes of Weather Bell. Temperatures may be 26 F. cooler than average across much of Minnesota; as much as 30-34 F. warmer than normal across western Canada. More crazy extremes.


.28" rain predicted for MSP tonight and early Friday. Source: NOAA NAM model


Reinforcing Tired Stereotypes. "Oh, you're from Minnesota. It's really cold up there, huh?" Raise your hand if you've ever heard that before. Plan on hearing more of it after Tuesday's MLB All-Star game, which may wind up being the coolest on record, with gametime temperatures in the 60s under a mostly clear sky. Light jacket or sweatshirt weather. But not as chilly as Monday, when 10-20 mph winds, coupled with ragged clouds and PM showers will make you SWEAR it's October. Something to look forward to. A meager warm front sparks a few showers and T-showers tonight into Friday morning. Summer takes a siesta next week.


Risk of a Smoky Sunset. Visible satellite imagery Wednesday showed a plume of smoke sweeping across the Dakotas, from wildfires blazing over Canada's Northwest Territories. Some of that smoke may reach Minnesota in the coming days, giving the sky a milky, hazy cast - possibly sparking an extra-red sunrise or sunset. Image: Des Moines office of the National Weather Service and Twitter.


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.


Steps To Reduce The Risk of Tornado Damage in Commercial Structures. Here's an excerpt of an interesting story at DisasterSafety.org that caught my eye: "...The strongest category of tornadoes can generate maximum wind speeds of greater than 250 mph, which is enough to destroy most buildings and structures in their path. These maximum wind speeds generate forces that are about twice as large as those generated by the strongest hurricanes. Only a few specialty buildings are designed to withstand the direct impact of a severe tornado. However, well engineered, large and tall commercial structures are not likely to suffer structural collapse. For smaller commercial structures, good construction choices can give added protection and increase the likelihood that at least part of the structure will remain standing to provide shelter. Buildings that have been strengthened in critical areas and particularly at connection points, such as between the roof and walls and walls and foundation, would have a good chance of surviving intact or with minor cosmetic damage if subjected to the outer edges of a tornado..."


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.


Severe Thunderstorm Winds Days Per Year Since 2003. The same trends are evident with thunderstorm generated straight-line winds, with a peak frequence over the western Carolinas and the Tennessee Valley. On average the Twin Cities have picked up an average of 8-9 severe wind days/year since 2003.


Want To Avoid Hail? Move North. Cool breezes off Lake Superior inhibit the largest, hail-producing thunderstorms much of the summer season: 1-3 large hail days a year for Duluth, on average, but less than 1 for much of the North Shore and Minnesota Arrowhead. That compares with 3-6 large hail days for Minneapolis - St. Paul, and over 8 hail days/year for Kansas City and the Denver area.


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."


Be Prepared! What To Do Before, During, And After a Hurricane. RedOrbit has a timely article with some useful information and links; here's an excerpt: "From June 1 to November 30 of each year, the Atlantic hurricane season flexes its muscles. In an effort to help keep people alive and safe, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) keeps a Hurricane Preparedness website that is full of great information to help with hurricane health and safety. The CDC provides important tips to help before, during, and after a hurricane. Before: The first tip is to prepare for a hurricane. If you live in a place that could be hit, it is best to prepare now rather than wait for a hurricane to be imminent. Before a hurricane, the CDC identifies two steps: make a plan and get supplies. In making a plan, the CDC gives these readiness suggestions..." (Hurricane Irene file photo: 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..."


What's The Difference Between a Hurricane, Cyclone and Typhoon? Of course they are one in the same, but some of the classifications are slightly different, as explained at wsav.com; here's a clip: "...To be classified as a hurricane… typhoon or cyclone… a storm must reach wind speeds of at least 74 miles per hour. If a hurricane's winds reach speeds of 111 miles per hour… it is then upgraded to a major hurricane. If a typhoon hits 150 miles per hour then it becomes a super typhoon..."


I Was a TSA Agent, And The New Airport Cellphone Rules Wouldn't Stop an iBomb. Well this is reassuring as I board the plane (clutching my Bible tightly). Here's an excerpt from The Guardian: "...This is the real conundrum that accompanies most post-9/11 airport security rules: the logic behind them is a race to the bottom. Consider...

  • If a group of terrorists is clever enough to pack explosives inside a laptop to make them undetectable by current technology, wouldn't they be clever enough to devise an explosive laptop that can do all of this ... and still appear to power up?
  • If US intelligence next announces that terrorists have become clever enough to engineer the faux-power laptop bomb, and passengers are then required to prove their laptops can connect to airport WiFi, how long until murky intelligence warns of a hotspot-enabled iBomb?..."

Image credit above: "'During the security examination, officers may also ask that owners power up some devices, including cell phones,' the TSA warned. 'Powerless devices will not be permitted onboard the aircraft." Photograph: Leanne1985 / Flickr via Creative Commons.


Decades-Old Forgotten Vials of Smallpox Found In Storage Room. So don't sweat the thundershowers tomorrow OK? Here's a clip from an AP story at Huffington Post: "A government scientist cleaning out an old storage room at a research center near Washington made a startling discovery last week — decades-old vials of smallpox packed away and forgotten in a cardboard box. The six glass vials were intact and sealed, and scientists have yet to establish whether the virus is dead or alive, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday. Still, the find was disturbing because for decades after smallpox was declared eradicated in 1980, world health authorities said the only known samples left were safely stored in super-secure laboratories in Atlanta and in Russia..."

Image credit above: "This 1975 file electronmicrograph from the Centers for Disease Control shows the smallpox virus. Government officials say workers cleaning a storage room at the National Institute of Health's campus in Maryland made a startling discovery last week: decades-old vials of smallpox forgotten in a cardboard box." (AP Photo/CDC, File)


Seoul's Eccentric Mayor is Building Hotels for Insects. Yes, Insects. Great! One less city on my travel bucket list. GlobalPost has the curious details; here's a clip: "As part of its greening efforts, Seoul is embarking on a campaign to establish 27 “insect hotels” in parks and public areas, offering the bug population a refuge in this gray, cyberpunk Asian mega-city, protecting them against the spread of insecticide. City officials are enthusiastic. “Seoul was developed very fast, and it wasn't regulated. We don't have a diverse species of bugs,” explained Yang Gyoung-gyu, a city environmental advisor. “The effect of the insect hotel is to expand the diversity of species...”


California Screaming. The tech industry made the Bay Area rich. Why do so many residents hate it? Nathan Heller has an interesting read at The New Yorker; here's an excerpt: "...Many people in San Francisco today worry that the tech industry is behaving like Coyote, professing to nurture and provide while actually hoarding. San Francisco has a real-estate shortage. Some speculators, looking to capitalize on growing demand, have started circumventing rent control using buyouts: lumps of cash given if long-term tenants leave. Others have invoked a 1986 California law known as the Ellis Act, which permits evictions when landlords want to go out of business permanently..."


"Cloud" Brings Thunder and Lightning Inside Your Home. I'm going to need a few of these, especially in the guest bathroom, right above the toilet. Details at gizmag.com: "Cloud, by New Zealand-based designer Richard Clarkson, is an interactive lamp designed to mimic a thundercloud. It brings the outside inside, providing an audiovisual show that looks and sounds like thunder and lightning ... but thankfully rain isn't included in the package..."


Student-Designed Device Reduces Gas Lawnmower Air Pollution by Over 90 Percent. Yes, our kids will save us from ourselves; here's another example of the kind of innovation we're going to need from Gizmag: "Gas-powered lawnmowers are notorious polluters. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, running a new gas mower for one hour produces as much air pollution as would be generated by 11 typical automobiles being driven for the same amount of time. Switching to an electric or reel mower is certainly one option, but for those applications where it's gotta be gasoline, a team of engineering students from the University of California, Riverside are developing another: an attachment that they claim reduces noxious emissions by over 90 percent..."


When "Sprinkles" are Newsworthy. My friend, Bill Stein, lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, and sent me this tweet yesterday. Yes, in a severe, historic drought a few drips from the sky constitute "breaking news". His comments: "I thought you might get a slight laugh out of the attached pic. I raced to grab a photo of sprinkles here in Pleasanton and tweeted it to the Bay Area NWS. They retweeted the picture and the next thing I know San Fran's NBC station wants to run the picture. Of sprinkles!!! (Though Stockton, CA actually set a record with .01" of rain today.)"


79 F. high in the Twin Cities Wednesday.

84 F. average high on July 9.

87 F. high on July 9, 2013.

July 9, 2002: Intense rainfall causes extensive street flooding in St. Cloud. 2.70 inches of rain fell in 1 hour 45 minutes at St. Cloud State University. Persons were stranded in their cars and had to be rescued by the fire department.


TODAY: Sunshine gives way to increasing clouds late. Dew point: 60. Winds: S 10. High: near 80

THURSDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy with a good chance of T-storms late. Low: 65

FRIDAY: Unsettled and more humid, few T-storms likely. Dew point: 64. High: 80

SATURDAY: Sunny start, lake-worthy much of the day. Late T-storm south. Wake-up: 69. High: 84

SUNDAY: Patchy clouds, turning cooler late. Wake-up: 67. High: 79

MONDAY: July wind chill. Cloudy & windy. Feels like Autumn. Wake-up: 57. High: 65

TUESDAY: Partly sunny, comfortably cool. Wake-up: 50. High: 70

WEDNESDAY: Sunny and pleasant. DP: 48. Wake-up: 55. High: 75


Climate Stories....

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).


The Climate Optimists. It's tempting to rail against Big Government. Until a freak storm levels your home, or flooding paralyzes your community, or a withering drought brings business as usual to a screeching halt. Then the free-market advocates usually come crying to the very same Big Government to bail them out and clean up the mess. Which will happen with greater frequency if climate scientists are correct. According to Will Oremus at Slate attending a climate denier conference in Las Vegas, conservatives have a new line on climate change: "It's real, but it's nothing to worry about!" Here's an excerpt: "...It’s tempting to find irony in the spectacle of hundreds of climate change deniers staging their convention amid a drought of historic proportions. But, as the conference organizers are quick to tell you, they aren’t actually climate change deniers. The majority of this year’s speakers readily acknowledge that the climate is changing. Some­ will even concede that human emissions are playing a role. They just think the solutions are likely to be far worse than the problem..."

More Weather Weirding - Sweatshirt Weather Next Week?

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: July 8, 2014 - 11:29 PM

Weather Adventures

It's all in your mind. If you tell yourself you're miserable - chances are you will be. I prefer a glass-half-full approach. Yes, our weather is increasingly volatile. There are many days Mother Nature seems intent on murdering us in our sleep. But isn't this fun!

Cue the crickets.

Kari Kennedy is a producer at TPT's "Almanac" program. She's been canoeing up north and has seen it all in 2014: a heat wave just days after ice-out, no June campfires because of monsoon rains, yet she's heading back for more. "We only had pea-sized hail on our canoe trip so we managed OK!" It’s always an adventure to live here in Minnesota" she e-mailed me. That's the right attitude to have living in The Superbowl of Weather, Land of 10,000 Weather Atrocities.

Nothing violent is brewing, although more T-storms flare up Friday, again Sunday PM hours. Saturday still looks like the better day of the weekend for outdoor fun.

We're heading into what is historically the hottest 2 weeks of the year, so don't take 70s for granted today. Next week's cool frontal passage looks like something out of late September. Highs in the 60s by Tuesday & Wednesday?

Hey, it's not a Canadian Smack. Think of this as free A/C. And a break from the bugs, I pray.


An Early Autumn? I should censor myself - of course there's PLENTY of summer left, but next week we get a premature taste of late September. By midweek temperatures dip into the 50s, even some 40s outside the Twin Cities metro, with highs in the 60s to near 70 F. by Tuesday. But first we warm up into the 80s this weekend; the best chance of T-storms early Friday, again Sunday PM hours. Dew points peak in the mid to upper 60s this weekend before dropping off dramatically next week. Source: Weatherspark.


Temperature Departures. By next Tuesday morning at 12z temperature anomalies may be as much as 20 F. cooler than average for mid-July from the eastern Dakotas into western Wisconsin. Light jackets and sweatshirts during what is, historically, the hottest week of summer? The jet stream is still unusually erratic for mid summer. Source: Weather Bell.


A July Polar Vortex. Why not? Nothing much surprises me any more. No wait, a raging blizzard in mid-July would shock me, otherwise I'm becoming numb to crazy extremes and climate volatility. NOAA CPC shows a huge temperature imbalance next week: record heat out west, with potentially record-setting chill from the Upper Mississippi Valley into the Great Lakes. Source: HAMweather.


Another Sloppy Warm Front. The squall line that produced wind damage across New York state and Pennsylvania yesterday (straight-line winds gusting over 70 mph in some towns) sails out into the Atlantic with clearing skies from the Great Lakes to New England. Meanwhile the next warm front pushes heavy T-storms across the Midwest Thursday night and Friday, setting the stage for low to mid 80s this weekend. Enjoy the warmth; a big cool-down arrives next week. 84 hour NAM Future Radar: NOAA and HAMweather.


Storm Chasers Fight Accusations of Bad Behavior as "Chasertainment" Comes of Age. As is often the case, a few bad apples make it harder on everyone else who is trying to be responsible and do the right thing. Here's an excerpt from an interesting story at Examiner about the proliferation of storm chasing in the age of Twitter and increased competition to hit Media Gold: "...Well-respected storm chaser and research meteorologist Chuck Doswell wrote in his blog following the Pilger tragedy: “Storm chasing is being flooded with a large infusion of folks out there chasing that are, as my friend (deleted name) says, mostly about themselves and not so much about the storms. ‘Look at me!’ they shout. ‘I'm special because I chase storms [stupidly!].’ They thumb their noses at the very notion of chasers being responsible to others. They wallow in their uncaring “outlaw’’ status, joyful as a pig in a mud puddle when they get publicity for their "exploits..."


Why Hurricane Arthur is a Weather Forecaster's Worst Nightmare. Models do a pretty good job with hurricane tracks, but predicting intensity at landfall is another challenge altogether. The nightmare scenario: a tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane that blows up into a Category 4 overnight, leaving little time for people to evacuate vulnerable barrier islands. Here's an excerpt of a Mashable story from Andrew Freedman: "...Storms like this instill fear in the hearts of hurricane forecasters because they spotlight how — despite satellites, radars, "hurricane hunter" aircraft and their legion of dropsondes, and other technological wizardry — the puzzle of what makes such storms rapidly intensify remains a mystery. And more so in this case than in others, so does how to solve the challenge of communicating to the public what all of the implications of forecast uncertainty are..."


Five Beautiful GIFS of Hurricane Arthur Show Nature's Terrifying Power. Gawker has an interesting article with some terrific graphics; here's the intro: "When Hurricane Arthur made landfall on the North Carolina coast last weekend, it was the strongest hurricane to strike the United States since Hurricane Ike hit Texas in 2008. The storm was downright impressive visually, and these gifs document the latent beauty of nature's power. The top image shows the wind movement in the hurricane using streamlines shown using "earth" on nullschool.net. The website is actually really interesting, offering users the ability to overlay atmospheric winds (from the upper-levels to the surface), temperatures, moisture, and pressure to show the true interconnectivity of the global atmosphere..."


What Do Scientists Think Was Trapped In Hurricane Arthur Off The Carolina Coast? With Dual Polarization Doppler radar we're seeing things we never saw before; here's an excerpt of an interesting story at WSPA.com: "Scientists have captured images of Hurricane Arthur just off the NC coast that show what they believe is a huge flock of birds caught in the eye of the storm. The severe weather and radar research group at the University of Alabama at Huntsville has studied various radar images from last week’s storm. They also followed reports of birds appearing in odd places in the US after the storm..."

Image credit: "Radar of Arthur from National Weather Service."


Bird Notes. Hurricane Arthur Brought Unusual Birds Up North Carolina Coast. Trapped in the relatively calm eye and then deposited over North Carolina - thousands of birds caught a free (and harrowing) ride from Arthur. Here's a clip from MyrtleBeachOnline.com: "...While the passage of tropical storms or hurricanes often leaves unusual seabirds in their wake, such was not the case with the passage of Arthur in the Myrtle Beach area last week. However, a few miles up the coast at Wrightsville Beach, N.C., a Leach’s storm-petrel was serendipitously photographed and a sooty tern observed. Farther north, a magnificent frigatebird was observed at Beaufort, N.C., while a bridled tern was seen at Lake Mattamuskeet, N.C., a sooty tern at Nags Head, N.C., and a dead great shearwater at Topsail Beach, N.C..."

Photo credit above: "Painted buntings continue to visit feeders at Huntington Beach State Park’s Nature Center." By Gary Phillips - for The Sun News.


Five Hazardous Weather Myths Debunked. AccuWeather has an interesting story, focusing on weather-related myths. Here's an excerpt, answering the question: Is humid air heavier than dry air? "Dry air is actually heavier than humid air, AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Steve Wistar said. There are more molecules of water in humid air which are lighter than molecules of air, he said. "You can really feel the presence of humid air, but it is less dense," he said. An airliner will need a larger runway length in dry air because there is more air resistance, and a baseball will go farther in humid air..."


Defeating The Downburst: 20 Years Since The Last U.S. Commercial Jet Accident from Wind Shear. The threat of rapidly shifting winds in the vicinity of airport runways has been well documented for some time; new high-resolution Doppler capabilities and onboard radar can help pilots avoid the most dangerous forms of turbulence during take-off and approach. Here's a clip of of a good explanation and perspective from meteorologist Mike Smith, writing for The Washington Post: "...Downburst-driven wind shear, for many years, was the leading cause of airline accidents. Not listed above was a near-miss involving Air Force One carrying President Reagan. A downburst occurred immediately after it landed at Andrews Air Force Base in August, 1983. The airfield anemometer (wind speed instrument) clocked a peak gust of 150 mph. That such a close call involving Air Force One could occur was evidence of the deep skepticism involving Dr. Fujita’s hypothesis..." (Image credit: NOAA).


Who Turned Out The Lights? The Coming Mega Sun Storm. It's usually the stuff you're not expecting and not planning for that bites you in the butt, along with a "cascade of unintended consequences". Bloomberg Businessweek takes a look at what an X-Class solar flare could do to the grid and communications; here's an excerpt: "...A 2008 report published by the National Academy of Sciences drew attention to the risks. It cited Kappenman’s earlier work, which said a severe storm could disable hundreds of the U.S. grid’s high-voltage transformers, leaving more than 130 million people in the dark for months. The reinsurance industry has recently begun to raise concerns about the fallout from a major sun storm. A 2013 report by Lloyd’s of London warned that such an event could, among other things, disrupt financial markets, food supplies, transportation systems, and hospital services at an economic cost of as much as $2.6 trillion..."


During Natural Disasters, Hospitals Must Bounce Back, Health Officials Say. Resilience won't be optional for most businesses, including first responders and hospitals. Here's a clip from a story at jacksonville.com: "...Members of the American Meteorological Society, or AMS, have recently added their concerns about hospital resilience in the aftermath of “high-impact” weather events throughout the country. The meteorological society suggestions include having medical centers look at their structural designs and, in some cases, relocate critical components to higher ground. When Katrina left large stretches of low-lying New Orleans submerged for weeks, it demonstrated the importance of having facilities that remain functional and accessible..."



Read more here: http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/2014/07/08/4341183/bird-notes-hurricane-arthur-brought.html?sp=/99/123/#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/2014/07/08/4341183/bird-notes-hurricane-arthur-brought.html?sp=/99/123/#storylink=cpy

A Correction Is Coming. Predicting the future is challenging, from weather to world events to inevitable economic downturns. Here's an excerpt from one of my favorite financial writers, Barry Ritholtz, at Bloomberg View: "...As we have detailed far too many times, people are terrible at making predictions. You draw conclusions from a single data point. You don’t know what the economy is going to do, or where interest rates are going. You can't even forecast your own behavior. Forecasting the stock market is even harder. Yet people constantly try to time the market, pick the exact points to jump in and out. No one does this especially well, and that is before we consider costs and taxes..."

Photo credit: "That's a lot of red." Photographer: Dario Pignatelli - Bloomberg.   


Welcome to the Everything Boom, or Maybe the Everything Bubble. Neil Irwin at The New York Times takes a look at how prices for nearly everything are going up; here's a clip: "...Welcome to the Everything Boom — and, quite possibly, the Everything Bubble. Around the world, nearly every asset class is expensive by historical standards. Stocks and bonds; emerging markets and advanced economies; urban office towers and Iowa farmland; you name it, and it is trading at prices that are high by historical standards relative to fundamentals. The inverse of that is relatively low returns for investors..."

Photo credit above: Richard Drew/Associated Press.


Uber's Brilliant Strategy to Make Itself Too Big To Ban. Wired has a fascinating look at how Uber may be following the Amazon model: be not afraid to lose money in the short term if you can gain market share quickly; here's a clip: "...Consider Uber’s kinship with Amazon. The comparison isn’t obvious at first, since Uber doesn’t sell goods, just a service. But their stories are similar. A startup led by a brash, charismatic CEO catches a creaky old industry unaware. It grows quickly, and its popularity explodes as its brand becomes nearly synonymous with the disruptive service it’s offering. Amazon grew—and is still growing— because it’s not afraid to lose money. Low prices and free shipping deals eat away at profitability, but they also keep customers coming back..." (Image credit: Uber).


For Taylor Swift, The Future of Music is a Love Story. You don't have to love Taylor Swift's music to appreciate her take on the industry she adores, and some of the jaw-dropping trends in recent years. It's harder than ever to be a working musician, without having that part-time barista gig. Here's an excerpt from an interesting Wall Street Journal article: "..Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for. It's my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album's price point is. I hope they don't underestimate themselves or undervalue their art..."



77 F. high in the Twin Cities Tuesday.

84 F. average high on July 8.

89 F. high on July 8, 2013.


TODAY: Comfortable sunshine. Dew point: 53. Winds: NW 10. High: 77

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and cool. Low: 59

THURSDAY: Clouds increase, T-storms at night. High: 81

FRIDAY: Few T-storms, some heavy. Wake-up: 65. High: near 80

SATURDAY: Partly sunny, the nicer day. Wake-up: 68. High: 83

SUNDAY: Early sun. PM Showers, T-storms. Wake-up: 67. High: 82

MONDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, much cooler. Wake-up: 57. High: 74

TUESDAY: Sunny and cool. Who turned off the heat?. Wake-up: 53. High: 70


Climate Stories...


Changing Antarctic Winds Could Accelerate Sea Level Rise. We don't know what we don't know, but the scientific method is shedding new light on how complex systems, like Antarctic ice, react with increasingly warm water (and changing wind currents aloft). Here's an excerpt from Science 2.0: "Changes to Antarctic winds have been implicated in southern Australia's drying climate but a new estimate says they may also have a profound impact on warming ocean temperatures under the ice shelves along the coastline of West and East Antarctic. Projected changes in the winds circling the Antarctic may accelerate global sea level rise significantly more than previously believed. Most sea level rise studies focused on the rate of ice shelf melting due to the general warming of the ocean over large areas..."


Climate Change Hits America in the Gut. What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow, especially as water supplies become increasingly stressed by weather-whiplash, oscillating back and forth between flood and drought. Here's an excerpt from The Daily Climate and The Jackson Free Press: "...Corn, the biggest U.S. agricultural crop by far, is at risk because its thirst for water is growing at a time when the threat of drought is increasing, the report says. Ceres said corn production especially is imperiled by its reliance on stressed aquifers—in particular, the High Plains aquifer that spans eight Great Plains states and California's over-extended Central Valley aquifer. "Escalating corn production for our food, livestock and energy industries has put the corn sector on an unsustainable path," said report author Brooke Barton, water program director at Ceres. Even though just one-fifth of the U.S. corn crop is irrigated, water demand has grown as overall corn production has skyrocketed. Barton said 87 percent of U.S. production is in water-stressed areas..." (File photo: Jim Reed, Corbis).


Blueprints for Taming the Climate Crisis. How might a cleaner energy future unfold, and would it be as expensive as critics assert? Here's the introduction to a story at The New York Times: "Here’s what your future will look like if we are to have a shot at preventing devastating climate change. Within about 15 years every new car sold in the United States will be electric. In fact, by midcentury more than half of the American economy will run on electricity. Up to 60 percent of power might come from nuclear sources. And coal’s footprint will shrink drastically, perhaps even disappear from the power supply..."


How To Convince a Republican: Use a Pie Chart! If only it were that simple. Here's a clip from a story at Mother Jones: "...The strategy has its critics, including Yale science communication researcher Dan Kahan, who contends that the approach will backfire among conservative ideologues. A new study just out in the journal Climatic Change, however, suggests not only that the "97 percent consensus" message can be effective, but that it will work best when expressed in the form of a simple phrase or (eat your heart out, USA Today) a pie chart. Like this one, which is an actual image designed to spread the "97 percent" message..."

Image credit above: SkepticalScience.com


Global Warming Skeptics Seek Own Documentary, 8 Years after "Inconvenient Truth". It's prudent to be skeptical (about everything), but heavily financed, manufactured doubt? Here's an excerpt of an Andrew Freedman article at Mashable: "Eight years after Al Gore's Academy Award-winning climate-science documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, a prominent climate-skeptic group announced a crowdfunding initiative on Tuesday to produce a documentary that will provide their perspective on the issue. Of course, nearly the entire climate-science community disagrees with this perspective. The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), a conservative group, announced its filmmaking endeavor in Las Vegas at an annual meeting of global-warming skeptics, which is being hosted by libertarian group The Heartland Institute. The conference began Monday, and ends on Wednesday..."

Photo credit above: "The coal-fired Plant Scherer is shown in operation early Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Juliette, Georgia." Image: John Amis/Associated Press.


Most Popular Climate Denial "Arguments". For the complete list and details click over to Skeptical Science.