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.

Thunder-ware Advised (6-7 weeks worth of rain near Welch Sunday)

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: August 17, 2014 - 11:26 PM

Perpetual Thanksgiving

"I just want to celebrate - another day of living" sang Rare Earth in 1971. The older I get the less I take for granted. Like a wife who hasn't kicked me to the curb in 30 years, great friends, and a father who just turned 84 - still able to travel & recall stories that leave me shaking my head in wonder.

With the daily challenges and setbacks of life it's easy to lose sight of a simple truth: we were all very lucky to have been born in this time and place. Most of the planet would love to have our problems.

America is also home to the most severe weather on Earth. Why? No east-west mountain range like the Alps in Europe - nothing to block the movement of cold and hot; setting up a recipe ripe for meaty, momentous storms.

That temperature tango plays out overhead this week, sparking a Conga Line of storms. The NAM prints out 1-2 inches rain today; 90s and even a few 100-degree highs to our south over Iowa later this week. No blast-furnace heat here, but expect a muggy start to the State Fair with a few thundery lumps, especially Saturday. Canada flushes cooler, drier air south of the border by Sunday with a dew point in the 40s.

I wonder if Canadians complain about "American Air"?


Sunday Soakers. As much as 4-5" of rain was reported near Welch, far southeast metro, triggering flash flooding, even a few roads washed out from the sudden deluge. 1-2" amounts were common over the far southern and southwest suburbs, with 4-5" reported near Montevideo, nearly 4" at Glenwood, from slow-moving thunderstorms. Doppler radar rainfall estimates courtesy of the MPX National Weather Service.


A Volatile Atmosphere. Drier air pushing southward (dew points in the 50s over northern Minnesota) created a sharp frontal boundary Sunday; dew points in the low 70s over much of southern Minnesota - truly tropical air. A cold twist of air aloft helped to ignite thunderstorms, and although they were below severe criteria, relatively slow forward motion created significant rainfall amounts south and west of the Twin Cities. More storms fire along that same boundary again today. Sunday afternoon visible loop: NOAA and HAMweather.


A Fleeting June Flashback. No, this won't be a rerun of June, historically the wettest month on record, statewide, for Minnesota. But slow-moving storms will drop another 1-3" of rain today, with the heaviest amounts south of the Minnesota River. Heavy showers and storms push into the Great Lakes, another swarm spreading from the Ohio Valley and Mid South into the Carolinas. 4 KM NAM accumulated rainfall: NOAA and HAMweather.


A Sticky Week - September Breeze by Sunday? Long-range guidance shows the best chance of showers and T-storms today; again Saturday. Expect a sticky week with dew point consistently in the 60s to near 70 thru Saturday, highs pushing well into the 80s again later in the week (probably warmer than displayed above, especially Thursday and Friday when mid and upper 80s are possible). European guidance suggests a sharp cool frontal passage late Saturday with dew points tumbling into the 40s, even some 30s by Sunday and Monday. Right now Sunday looks like the better/drier/sunnier, more comfortable day to troll the Minnesota State Fair.


An End To The Midsummer Dry Spell over Southern Minnesota? Farmers were beginning to worry a bit, fearing another "flash drought" similar to August of 2013. Sunday's rains helped alleviate some of those fears, and more heavy showers and storms today should put a dent in the recent dry spell. The Minnesota DNR explains that between June 15 and August 12 rainfall amounts over parts of southern MN were 2-5" below average: "...As of August 12, the Drought Monitor shows that a small area of south central Minnesota has been categorized as "Abnormally Dry". So why has the drought been slow to return to Minnesota? There are two main reasons. One is that this summer dry spell came on the heels of the wettest June on record for the state, and secondly it hasn't been too warm. The preliminary statewide average temperature departure for July 2014 was the same as the Twin Cities at 2.3 degrees below normal. August so far has had a pattern of near normal temperatures, with a lack of extreme heat. So far for the Twin Cities, there have only been two days of 90 degrees or more. By this time in 2013 there were nine by August 14..."


U.S. Forest Service Chief Talks Wildfires, Funding. Here's some information I didn't know, an excerpt of a story at The Desert Sun: "...We have 31 uncontained large fires in Idaho, California, Washington, Oregon and Montana. The number of fires compared to the past 10 years is a little bit lower. However, when you look at last year, where we had a very active fire season, we had fewer fires (at) this time than we have today. We're seeing very large fires. Washington is having the largest wildfire in the history of the state. This tracks with what we've been seeing almost every year. There's a new state record. Last year, (it) was California. The year before that it was New Mexico. Arizona two or three years ago set a record..."

File photo above: Reuters.


The Internet's Original Sin. The inventor of (hated) pop-up ads talks about the transition from advertising to surveillance to monetize (free) web use. Or as I remind people if the service is free you're the product. No, the NSA has nothing on Facebook and Google. Here's an excerpt from a fascinating article at The Atlantic: "...The fiasco I want to talk about is the World Wide Web, specifically, the advertising-supported, “free as in beer” constellation of social networks, services, and content that represents so much of the present day web industry. I’ve been thinking of this world, one I’ve worked in for over 20 years, as a fiasco since reading a lecture by Maciej Cegłowski, delivered at the Beyond Tellerrand web design conference. Ceglowski is an important and influential programmer and an enviably talented writer. His talk is a patient explanation of how we've ended up with surveillance as the default, if not sole, internet business model..."

Image credit above: "Hendrik Goltzius' "The Fall of Man" (1616)"  (Wikimedia Commons).



81 F. high in the Twin Cities Sunday.

81 F. average high on August 17.

82 F. high on August 17, 2013.

.22" rain fell at MSP International Airport as of 7 PM Sunday.

August 17, 1953: Four heifers near St. Martin were lucky; a tornado picked them up and set them back down again, unharmed.


TODAY: T-storms likely, locally heavy rain. Dew point: 70. Winds: SW 10. High: 81

MONDAY NIGHT: More T-storms, some heavy. Low: 66.

TUESDAY: More clouds than sun. Lingering storms, mainly over Wisconsin. High: 79

WEDNESDAY: Fading sun. Late night storms? Wake-up: 63. High: 81

THURSDAY: Steamy sun, almost hot. Dew point: 67. Wake-up: 66. High: 88

FRIDAY: Sticky sun, isolated storm. Dew point: 68. Wake-up: 69. High: 87

SATURDAY: Drippy humidity levels. More numerous T-storms. Dew point: 70. Wake-up: 70. High: 83

SUNDAY: Better Fair day. Cool sun, fresh breeze. Dew point: 42. Wake-up: 57. High: 73


Climate Stories...

Why We're Definitely Not Headed For Another Ice Age. In spite of a relatively dormant sun and steadily dropping levels of solar radiation in recent decades another ice age appears unlikely anytime soon, argues the author at Newsweek. Here's an excerpt: "...Climate science is also not that simple. Despite what a layman might intuit, a docile sun does not necessarily mean cold weather. Temperatures can soar in one part of the world even as another shivers, regardless of what is happening on the surface of our closest star, about 150 million kilometres into space. As for global warming, that is another matter entirely. A slight, temporary change in the sun’s activity cannot mitigate many years of suffocating emissions, whatever the deniers would have us believe..."

Photo credit above: "Climbers trek on Argentina's Perito Moreno glacier near the city of El Calafate, in the Patagonian province of Santa Cruz, December 16, 2009." .


Stunning Before And After Photos Reveal The Damage We've Done To The Glaciers. It turns out some of the melting would have occurred without human influence, but the burning of fossil fuels has resulted in 69% of the estimated melting since 1991. Here's an excerpt from Salon: "...For the study, which was published Thursday in the journal Science, climate scientists in Austria used climate models and an international inventory of glacial measurements to determine how much of what we’re seeing can be attributed to the burning of fossil fuels, and how much is just natural variation. What they found is that since the mid-19th century, humans have been responsible for about 25 percent of the observed melt. But when you look at what’s happened just during the period from 1991 to 2010, that number jumps up to 69 percent..."

Photo credit above: "Iceberg Lake, 8/14/2008." (Credit: Lisa Mckeon, USGS)


Why Global Warming Leaves Most Of Us Cold. Confirmation bias, resorting to the Internet Echo Chamber and trying to please our peers; all compelling reasons to sit on our hands, in spite of compelling scientific evidence. So argues a story at Canada's Maclean's, a look at how our brains are wired to ignore climate change; here's an excerpt that caught my eye: "...Most importantly, humans have evolved to deal with short-term dangers, where our rational and emotional brains work in tandem. But climate catastrophe is a long way off—in terms of human danger signals—and every specialist Marshall spoke to agreed that we have still not found a way to effectively involve our emotional brains in it. Deniers and believers are fully engaged, but most people are still in wait-and-see mode, with their rational brains aware there is a problem and their emotional brains looking about them to see how to respond. But “both of their brains are sufficiently detached that they do not have to deal with the problem unless actively compelled to do so...”


Climate Change Reflected in Altered Missouri River Flow, USGS Report Says. Here's an excerpt from a story at The Los Angeles Times: "...Climate shifts may be causing the disparate changes in the Missouri River Basin, the USGS report says. The scientists noted that higher stream flow in the Dakotas had occurred even as water use increased. In addition, they said, lower stream flow in some areas could be related in part to groundwater pumping. "Understanding stream flow throughout the watershed can help guide management of these critical water resources," said USGS hydrologist Parker Norton, lead author of the report that focuses on stream flow. The study is part of his doctoral research, which will analyze precipitation patterns, temperatures and their effects..."

Photo credit: "The Missouri River winds through the countryside near Williston, N.D. The river's streamflow has changed significantly over the last 50 years." (Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated Press).

Soaking up Summer

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: August 16, 2014 - 9:37 PM

Soaking up Summer
By Todd Nelson

I'm staring cross-eyed at the calendar right now in disbelief that the Fair starts this week... Somebody pinch me! I'm holding on to summer with a firm grip now, but it's slipping fast. I actually heard my first cicada of the year a few days ago and according to legend, the first frost is only 6 weeks away! So I guess I'll mark my calendar for a mid/late September cool snap that'll be nipping the buds off my flowers.

We've actually had a fairly quiet summer. Despite the record rains in June, the severe weather threat and extreme summer heat has been kept to a minimum. According to NOAA, the average (1981-2010) of 90° days is around 11. We've only seen 2 this year! Minnesota has also had 20 tornado reports, which is below the average annual (1991-2010) count of 45.

Big swings in the jet stream have had weather systems stalling across the country this year. The western U.S. has been hot and mostly dry, while the eastern U.S. has been cool and soggy. However, the upper level winds will change later this week bringing with it a surge summery air just in time for the start of the Fair. It looks sweaty next weekend; I guess I'll have to limit my corn dog intake. -Todd Nelson

===========

SATURDAY NIGHT: Lingering shower/storm early. Low: 65.

SUNDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, cooler with another shower or two, mainly in southern MN. High: 77. Winds: ESE 5-10

SUNDAY NIGHT: More clouds, slight chance of an isolated rumble of thunder. Low: 65

MONDAY: Soggier start to the work week. High: 82

TUESDAY: A few afternoon storms bubble up, mainly east. Wake-up: 65. High: 80

WEDNESDAY: Cloudier start, more late day sun. Wake-up: 63. High: 82

THURSDAY: Warm and muggy start to Fair. Wake-up: 66. High: 85.

FRIDAY: Increasing late day thunder chance, mainly western MN. Wake-up: 68. High: 86.

SATURDAY: Sweaty day at the Fair. Spotty PM Storms. Wake-up: 69. High: 86

===========

This Day in Weather History
August 17th

1946: A tornado kills 11 people in the Mankato area around 6:52PM. A 27 ton road grader was hurled about 100 feet. Another tornado an hour later destroys downtown Wells.

“The cloud dipped down to the ground when it reached the Minnesota valley, just at the place where the tourist camp was. I came in sight of the camp in time to see three cabins go. They just flew into pieces. When I pulled up, some people were lying around. Others were walking around dazed. We put as many injured into the track as we could and I brought them into town.”

Read more about the 1946 tornado from www.GenDisasters.com HERE:

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Average High/Low for MSP
August 17th

Average High: 81F (Record: 100F in 1947)
Average Low: 62F (Record: 42F in 1962)

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Sunrise/Sunset Times
August 17th

Sunrise: 6:17am
Sunset: 8:16pm

Daylight lost since Summer Solstice (June 21st) ~ 1 hour 38 minutes

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Moon Phase for August 17th at Midnight
0.8 Days After Last Quarter

=================

Minneapolis Temp Trend

After a fairly mild Saturday, temperatures will take a bit of a dip Sunday and into early next week. However, there are some indications of a warming trend heading into the end of the week/weekend. If you're planning on heading to the Fair next weekend, it could be quite summery! The less reliable extended forecast is still suggesting a bit of a cool down later in the month.

===================

Weather Outlook

Check out the precipitation outlook from AM Saturday through PM Monday and note the 'heavier' pockets of rain that pop up over the state through the rest of the weekend (not a washout). Some of the showers and storms that develop yet through the end of the weekend could produce isolated areas of heavy rainfall. However, the best chance of heavier and more widespread rainfall comes in early next week, Monday especially.

Pickle Pack 2014

One of my favorite memories as a young kid was pickle packing day with the family at Grandma's house! It started early in the morning with a trip to the Farmers Market and ended with dozens and dozens of beautiful jars of pickles that we divvied up between the family. As everyone got older and busier, we quit one of my favorite family traditions. A few years ago, I got into canning and brought the tradition back! Yes, it can be a long and tedious job, but in the dead of winter, there's nothing better opening a jar of something you worked hard to preserve from the summer before!

If you're interested, here's my Grandma's recipe that I'm sure you'll enjoy:

After you've sanitized all your jars/lids/etc., pack your pickle jars with fresh dill, garlic and some peppers. In each jar we use:

1 to 2 sprigs of dill at bottom (depending on size)
1 to 2 cloves of garlic at bottom (depending on size)
1 slice of Jalapeno or thai chili at bottom (depending on your heat tolerance, add little to none or more if you'd like)

Start (tightly) packing pickles in your jar and in the middle or near the top add one more sprig of dill, 1 more clove of garlic and perhaps even some additional peppers (if you like them HOT)! According to the Scoville Scale, thai chili peppers are hotter than jalapenos so use caution and don't add if you don't like spicy pickles, but I LOVE the look of the red thai chili after you've canned!

Pickle Brine:

1 quart of white vinegar
3 quarts of water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (kosher/canning) salt

Bring to boil & stir until all salt/sugar has dissolved. Fill your packed jars with brine and leave about 1/2" to 1" head room. In your water bath canner, submerge and process for recommended time (based on your altitude). Then, take out of water bath and set on counter and let the sealing process continue... You should start to hear little 'pings' or 'clicks' as jar/lid seals - this is one of my favorite sounds while canning! Wait about 6 weeks to 2 months and eat away!!

There is a big procedure to canning, so make sure to read more on how to correctly process food safely. HERE is a quick pickle processing link from the Colorado State University:

Enjoy and let me know if you get a chance to try the recipe!

Sunday Weather Outlook

Sunday will definitely be a cooler day across the region, especially near the shores of Lake Superior. The front that sparked spotty showers/storms on Saturday, will drift south and stall from the Dakotas through Iowa and generally keep any lingering showers/storms in that area for Sunday.

Close Call...

Thanks to @Labelldame for this incredible photo near Denver, CO in late July!

2014 Lightning Deaths

According to NOAA, there have been 19 lightning deaths this year (average per year is 51). The state with the most lightning deaths this year is Florida with 6, but Wisconsin has had 3 deaths this year!

See more stats about the 2014 lightning deaths from NOAA HERE:

The National Weather Service has coined the term: "When thunder roars, go indoors!" Keep in mind that if you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance!

See more lightning safety tips from NOAA HERE:

Soggy St. Louis

It was a very wet start to the day in St. Louis on Saturday. The image below from Washington University AM Saturday showed the soggy scene. St. Louis will be an area that could see significant rainfall through early next week.

View the current webcam HERE:

Weather Outlook

The impulse of energy responsible for the heavier rain in the midsection of the nation on Saturday, will continue to slowly push into the Ohio Valley on Sunday with additional heavy rainfall potential.

Sunday Thunderstorm Potential

According to NOAA's SPC, there will be an enhanced thunderstorm risk across parts of the Dakotas and also in the middle of the country. Although there doesn't appear to be a widespread severe weather threat on Sunday, a few strong to severe storms could pop up with gusty winds and large hail.

Sunday Rainfall Potential

According to NOAA's HPC, the rainfall potential for Sunday looks quite heavy across parts of the Ohio Valley. Some spots near Cincinnati could see 1" to 2" from AM Sunday to AM Monday

U.S. Tornado Count Through August 15th

According to NOAA's SPC, the PRELIMINARY 2014 U.S. tornado count of 863 is running below the 2005-2013 average of 1,156. 2011 and 2008 were very active years for tornadoes. In fact, at this time during those years, there had been more than 1,700 preliminary tornado reports. 2008 ended up with more than 2,000 preliminary tornado reports for the year.

2014 Tornado Reports

Here's a map of all the PRELIMINARY tornado reports across the country so far this year. April 28th was the most active tornado day this year with 121 reports across the Gulf Coast States where several people lost their lives. 8 different tornadoes during the month of April killed 35 people this year. In 2011, there were 43 different tornadoes that killed more than 300 people in some of the same areas.

Minnesota Tornado Count

According to NOAA's SPC, there have been 20 PRELIMINARY tornado reports this year across the state. Keep in mind that according to NOAA's NCDC, the average number of tornadoes per year in Minnesota (1991-2010) is 45. Through the rest of the year, MN would typically average 6 more tornado reports. June and July are the most active months averaging 18 and 12 tornadoes respectively. 

Average Annual Number of Tornadoes

According to NOAA's NCDC, the average annual number of tornadoes (1991-2010) for Minnesota is 45. Nationwide, that number is 1,253 with the greatest number of tornadoes in Texas. Texas, by the way, has seen only 58 tornado reports this year and averages about another 32 reports through the rest of the year, which would still put them below average by nearly half.

Average Number of Severe Weather Days

This is kind of an interesting map. It shows the average number of severe weather days from 2003-2012. Note that some of the most active areas have been in the Southeastern U.S.. Minnesota ranges from a couple of severe weather days per year in the northeastern part of the state to as many as 15 to nearly 20 across the southern half of the state.

Cooler Than Average Temperatures

One reason for the lack of excessive tornadoes this year in the central and eastern part of the country may be due to the fact that there has been a near persistent weather pattern so far in 2014. The image below suggests the temperature anomaly thus far in 2014. The warmer oranges/reds have been quite common due to a near persistent ridge of high pressure in the western U.S. keeping things mostly dry and mostly warm. Meanwhile, the eastern two-thirds of the country has been cooler than normal due to frequent/stationary troughs of low pressure. In 2011, the upper level winds were nearly reversed with a trough of low pressure in the western U.S. with a ridge of high pressure in the eastern U.S.. This helped to allow several storm systems to track from southwest to northeast across the country, especially in the spring. The 2011 weather pattern was more active and thus more conducive for tornadic activity.

Persistent Pattern

This is what the 500mb vorticity map looked like AM Saturday. Note the near similar look the weather pattern now to what we've seen nearly the entire year thus far. When certain weather patterns set up, it tends to be hard to break out of those patterns. Hot/dry weather patterns or cool/rainy weather patterns can lingering for several days/weeks, before something mixes that up.

Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's CPC, the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook (August 23-29) shows a slight change in what we've been dealing with. Note that chances of cooler than average temperatures will move into the Northwest, while chances of warmer than average conditions move into the eastern two-thirds of the nation. This could potentially be a setup for a little more thunderstorm activity in the central U.S.

Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's CPC, the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook (August 23-29) suggests chances of above normal precipitation returning to parts of the High Plains/Midwest and Southeastern U.S.

7 Day Rainfall Potential

According to NOAA's HPC, the 7 day rainfall potential suggests a fairly decent swath of moisture from the High Plains to the Ohio Valley from AM Saturday to AM Saturday (next weekend). Some of this heavier rainfall potential could cause some flooding concerns, but for areas that have been dry as of late, some of this moisture could help with the lawns and gardens!

Celestial Happenings

The Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded an Earth directed CME (coronal mass ejection) on Friday, which means that northern latitude sky watchers should be on the lookout for northern lights. The lights may be visible as early as Sunday night through Monday!

"A magnetic filament snaking down the middle of the solar disk erupted during the late hours of Aug. 15th. The eruption split the sun's atmosphere, hurling a CME toward Earth and creating a "canyon of fire," shown here in a movie recorded by the Solar Dynamics Observatory:"

Read more from www.Spaceweather.com HERE:

See the movie HERE:

Northern Lights

Here's a neat site that I found that has a lot of neat tools to help you identify when the northern lights may be active. www.rossellet.com has put together this Aurora Tracker has a number of great links that can help/teach you a little more about the phenomenon.

See the link HERE:

Thanks for checking in and have a great rest of your weekend! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWNTV

From Drenched to Dry

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: August 15, 2014 - 9:50 PM

From Drenched to Dry
By Todd Nelson

"Summer breeze, makes me feel fine." Ahh, the faint hum of a distant lawn mower and the occasional buzz of a covert cicada are sounds I wish I could bottle up now and open during a cold dark January day.

Who could forget the soaked, mosquito-ladened start to our summer... Good grief, you could barely go outside without getting eaten alive by those bloodsucking beasts! June was the wettest on record for the state. Minneapolis had it's 2nd wettest June on record with 11.36" of rain, only 0.31" behind the wettest on record set in 1874! Since then, we've endured 7 weeks of dry weather. In fact, according to the State Climatology Office, "parts of southern MN have had one of its driest June 25 to August 12 periods on record! Most of central and southern MN are nearly 2" to 5" below normal rainfall."

The weekend appears to be somewhat unsettled with spotty thunder chances bubbling up during the afternoon/evening hours. However, early next week could bring a little more relief for lawns and gardens.

We will dry out just in time for the start of the MN State Fair Thursday. Mild temps and a hint of summer humidity will be served on a stick late this week.

==============================

FRIDAY NIGHT: A few T-storms, especially far southern MN. Low: 65

SATURDAY: Sticky sun, T-storms by afternoon/evening. Winds: ENE 5-10. High: 86

SATURDAY NIGHT: Lingering shower/storm early. Low: 62.

SUNDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, cooler with another shower or two, mainly in southern MN. High: 78

MONDAY: Soggier start to the work week. Wake-up: 62. High: 80

TUESDAY: A few afternoon storms bubble up. Wake-up: 65. High: 80

WEDNESDAY: Cloudier start, more late day sun. Wake-up: 65. High: 82

THURSDAY: Warm start to the MN State Fair. Wake-up: 66. High: 84.

FRIDAY: Increasing late day thunder chance. Wake-up: 65. High: 84.

============================

This Day in Weather History
August 16th

1981: Chilly across Minnesota with Tower reporting a low of 33 degrees.

===========================

Average High/Low for MSP
August 16th

Average High: 81F (Record: 99 in 1988)
Average Low: 62F(Record: 47 in 1962)

===========================

Sunrise/Sunset Times

Sunrise: 6:16am
Sunset: 8:17pm

===========================

Moon Phase for August 16th at Midnight
1.2 Days Before First Quarter

=============================

Minneapolis Temp Trend

A quick glance at the temperature trend below for MSP, guidance suggests that we hover just above average highs over the next several days with a slightly warmer trend toward the end of next week. The somewhat less reliable extended forecast suggests cooler conditions moving in for the first full week of the MN State Fair.

===========================

2014 Fair Foods

Thanks to www.MNStateFair.org for a look at the NEW 2014 Fair Foods!! With the start of the fair quickly approaching, my taste buds are going through withdrawals. I've got my eyes set on the French Toast PB&J at the Robbinsdale OES Dining Hall!

See the new fair foods HERE:

Great Day for Golf!

Thanks to my brother-in-law Wade for the image below from the 1st fairway at Baker National Golf Course. What a stunning day for golf it was on Friday!

Duluth, MN

Another stunning image from Duluth, MN. Thanks to my good friend Susie Martin for the picture and have a great time!

Saturday Weather Outlook

It'll be a warm and summery Saturday with temps in the mid 80s across the central and southern part of the state. Northern MN will be cooler with highs in the mid/upper 70s as a cool front slides in from Canada. This front will also kick off a few isolated afternoon showers/storms with perhaps a few heavy downpours here or there.

Weather Outlook

The loop below suggests the accumulated precipitation from AM Friday through PM Sunday. Note that the entire state is not expected to get a washout, but there could be pockets of heavy rain with any of the spotty thunderstorms that pop up. Some of the heaviest rain will be found across South Dakota and perhaps across southern Minnesota.

Dry Weather

No doubt, the start of our summer was extremely wet! In fact, June was considered to be the wettest on record for the state. Minneapolis saw it's 2nd wettest June with 11.36" of rain, the wettest was set in 1874 at 11.67". For the past 7 weeks, we've been extremely dry across much of the state. Lawn and gardens have been struggling quite a big unless you've been diligently working on your sprinkler skills. I know my lawn looks a little stressed/brown and my flowers have looked better. According to the MN State Climatology Office, parts of central and southern MN are nearly 2" to 5" below average rainfall from June 25th to August 12. Parts of southern MN have actually had one of its driest June 25 - August 12 periods on record!

"The Dog Days of Summer occur roughly from July 3 to August 11 timed with the appearance of the "Dog Star" Sirius. The 2014 "Dog Days" have been characterized by a long stretch of dry weather and generally mild temperatures. The last seven weeks have been dry. In fact, from June 25 to August 12 most of central and southern Minnesota was from two to five inches short of normal. As of August 12, the Drought Monitor shows that a small area of south central Minnesota has been categorized as "Abnormally Dry"."

Read more from the MN State Climatology Office HERE:

Minnesota Drought Monitor

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, due to the recent dry weather, a little sliver of southern MN has once again been put back into "Abnormally Dry" conditions. However, the rest of the state is drought free.

Here's a blurb from the U.S. Drought Monitor about our recent dry weather:

"However, in areas that missed the heavier precipitation, some areas of abnormal dryness were introduced, specifically in western Nebraska, western South Dakota, southwestern Wisconsin, north-central Iowa and adjacent Minnesota, and north-central Missouri. These areas generally received well under half of normal rainfall since mid-July, and 60-day shortages of 2 to almost 4 inches affect north-central Missouri, north-central Iowa and adjacent Minnesota, and southwestern Wisconsin."

Read more from the U.S. Drought Monitor HERE:

National Weather Outlook

Looking at the national weather from PM Friday through PM Sunday, note the next bubble of high pressure sliding into the Great Lakes Region. This is will help to push most of the heavier rainfall potential from the Dakotas into Iowa. This has been a fairly common occurrence over the last several weeks with most of Minnesota missing out of some of the heaviest rainfall potential. These high pressure bubbles tend to bring a glancing blow of slightly cooler than normal temperatures. You'll notice a slightly cooler/less humid air mass moving in by Sunday.

Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's HPC, the 3 day precipitation outlook suggests the heaviest precipitation across the Midwest bypassing Minnesota by way of the Dakotas to Iowa and eventually down into the Ohio Valley. Thanks to an area of high pressure sliding into the Great Lakes Region, most of the heavy rainfall potential will be blocked from making it into the Upper Mississippi Valley through much of the weeend.

I See Russia!

Thanks to my good friend and colleague, Bryan Karrick for the image below who is on an amazing trip across Alaska. Here's a more recent photo from Wasilla, AK where you can actually see Russia! Thanks Bryan! Have a great time!

Heavy Rain in Florida

Thanks to my good friend Bay Scroggins for the image below out of Doral, FL where heavy rain fell earlier this week. Interestingly, there were a number of significant rainfall records last week from the Ohio Valley to the Great Lakes and into the Northeast.

Significant Rainfall Past 7 Days

There were several rainfall records last week as a slow moving storm system crossed through the eastern half of the country. Note all the big red blobs, which indicate near 5" of rain or more.

Here are some of the more impressive rainfall records from the last several days.

Lexington, KY: 5.38" (Sunday, August 10th) - (2nd wettest August day in history)
Detroit, MI: 4.57" (Monday, August 11th) - (Read more on historic flooding HERE)
Baltimore, MD: 6.30" (Tuesday, August 12th) (2nd wettest day in history)
Islip, NY: 13.51" (Wednesday, August 13th) (Wettest 24 hour period in NY State history)

The Landscape of a Comet

Here's an interesting look at a comet from close range.

"On August 6th, Europe's Rosetta spacecraft rendezvoused with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and began to fly alongside it. Seven days later, mission scientists released this spectacular view of the comet's double-lobed core. A closer look reveals many interesting features: While the comet's head (in the top half of the image) is scored with parallel linear features, the neck is peppered with boulders resting on a smooth underlying terrain. In comparison, the comet's body (lower half of the image) is jagged and dimpled by crater-like depressions. Now imagine this magnificent landscape ruptured by dozens of geysers spewing dust and gas into space. Future pictures may show exactly that. Rosetta will follow this comet for more than a year as it approaches the sun. In 2015, if not sooner, solar heating will activate the comet's icy core, creating a riot of activity the likes of which no spacecraft has ever seen before. Stay tuned for that."

See more from Spaceweather.com HERE:

Thanks again for checking in and have a great weekend ahead! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWNTV

Back Into The Soup: July Flashback into Next Week

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: August 15, 2014 - 9:53 AM

A Slippery Outlook

Dan Spencer summed it up best. "On cable TV they have a weather channel — 24 hours of weather. We had something like that where I grew up. We called it a window." That window comes in handy.

One of the frequent complaints I hear out on the street: "Paul, with all due respect, you're a bonehead. How can I read the paper and watch TV and get 5 different forecasts? Aren't you guys all using the same models?"

Good point. The best forecasts still use a man-machine mix. People and experience guide which models are have the best chance of approximating reality. And much like a financial planner sifting through Wall Street data, it all comes down to interpretation. In some countries meteorologists HAVE to use the official government forecast. Here in the USA we are free to disagree. We have the freedom to be wrong.

Storms prowl the state today; the best chance of getting wet south/west of MSP. The weekend looks sunnier, drier and warmer; highs surging into the 80s.

The maps look more like mid-July - a sluggish jet stream pumping tropical air north, sparking more beefy thunderstorms next week. We may even hit 90F once or twice.

Summer started slow but we're making up for lost time.


Dry Today - Late PM Thunder on Saturday. NAM's high-res 4 KM model shows thunderstorms flaring up over central and southern Minnesota by late afternoon Saturday as slightly cooler air pushes south, a few leftover showers spilling over into Sunday morning. Source: NOAA and HAMweather.


Increasingly Thundery Midwest: Flash Flood Potential Omaha & Sioux City. A surge of tropical air sets off T-storms over southwestern Minnesota today; a better chance of storms reaching the MSP metro late Saturday as highs surge well into the 80s to near 90F. Cooler air follows on Sunday, before temperatures heat up again next week. A stalled cut-off low keeps cool, showery weather over New England; orographic storms flaring up across the Rockies; more storms capable of flash flooding from near Daytona Beach to Miami. 4 KM NAM 60-hour rainfall accumulation: NOAA and HAMweather.


A Sticky Rut. Temperatures drop off a bit Sunday and Monday, but latest NAM guidance is hinting at upper 80s Saturday, again the end of next week. With frontal boundaries lurking nearby we'll have a low-grade thunder risk into next week; the best chance of storms late Saturday, again Monday. Dew points will be noticeable, brushing 70F much of next week. Don't write summer heat & humidity off just yet.


45 Photo of Hurricane Camille 45 Years Later. Camille may still have the distinction of being the most severe hurricane to hit the U.S. coast in recent history; an extreme Category 5 with sustained winds over 200 mph. NOLA.com in New Orleans takes a look back at this remarkable and terrifying display of nature at its worst; here's a clip: "...That was hardly the case on the Gulf Coast, where the Category 5 storm struck early the next morning between Bay St. Louis and Pass Christian after its rains had inflicted heavy flooding upon Plaquemines Parish. Some reports put Camille's top wind speed at 200 mph, but the exact velocity will never be known because the storm destroyed the measuring instruments. Camille laid waste to the coast. New Orleanians empathized, not only because they had endured massive hurricanes, too - most notably Betsy in 1965 - but also because the Gulf Coast had always been a place to smile about..."

Photo credit above: "Pass Christian, Miss., Civil Defense Director Parnell McKay looks over the town's main business district after Hurricane Camille vlew through." (Photo by Jack Thornell, Associated Press)


It's Mid-August. Where Are All The Atlantic Hurricanes? Bloomberg has a reality check - here's an excerpt: "...So, what’s with the Atlantic? After just about two and half months, hurricanes Arthur and Bertha are all the Atlantic has managed to come up with. While it may seem as though the Atlantic is failing to keep up with the larger ocean, the basin is pretty much on pace in terms of the long-term average. The Atlantic can usually be expected to produce its third storm of the season, which began June 1, by today, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. Of course, if the recent past is considered, the Atlantic looks almost anemic..."


A Tornado-Proof Home? That may be too much to hope for if a stray EF-5 passes overhead, but tornado-resistant? Possibly. My next home will be shaped like a flying saucer, capable of sinking underground at the flip of switch, with a periscope so I can check to see if it's safe to go outside. That sounds cozy. Here's an excerpt from a video and story at KFOR.com in Oklahoma City: "Round shaped buildings have gained ground in Oklahoma. Residents might recognize the dome shaped buildings that have been around for a while like the Gold Dome in Oklahoma City and the Red Barn in Arcadia. Now, monolithic domes are acting as safe houses. Designers and builders also claim they are tornado proof..."


The Growing Threat From An EMP Attack. To paraphrase George Carlin, don't sweat the thundershowers. nuclear explosion high above America could knock out communications and electricity to most of the USA, knocking us back to the mid-1800s. And most or all of the risk posed to America's power grid could be removed for around $2 billion, roughly what we give to Pakistan every year, according to this Op-Ed at The Wall Street Journal; here's a clip: "...In December 2012, the North Koreans successfully orbited a statellite, the KSM-3, compatible with the size and weight of a small nuclear warhead. The trajectory of the KSM-3 had the characteristics for delivery of a surprise nuclear EMP attack against the U.S. What would a successful EMP attack look like? The EMP Commission, in 2008, estimated that within 12 months of a nationwide blackout, up to 90% of the U.S. population could possibly perish from starvation, disease and societal breakdown..."


Crowd-Powered Journalism Becomes Crucial When Traditional Media Becomes Unwilling or Unable. Twitter once again transformed the news cycle with events unfolding in Ferguson, Missouri. Here's an excerpt from Gigaom: "Amid all the trolling and celebrity hoo-ha that takes place on Twitter and other social-media platforms, occasionally there are events that remind us just how transformative a real-time, crowdsourced information platform can be, and the violent response by local police to civil protests in Ferguson, Missouri on Wednesday is a great example. Just as the world was able to see the impact of riots in Tahrir Square in Egypt during the Arab Spring, or military action against civilians in Ukraine, so Twitter provided a gripping window into the events in Ferguson as they were occurring, like a citizen-powered version of CNN..."



All The Myths That Are Fit To Print: Why Your News Feels Familiar. News repeats itself in regular, almost predictable cycles? That's news to me, but I found this story at Reuters interesting; here's an excerpt: "...Sometimes the news actually repeats itself, as in the case of Clinton. Such man-made cycles as elections, the Olympics, and wars lend themselves to retreaded coverage, as do the natural cycles of hurricane and tornado seasons, droughts and floods, and summer forest fires. Reporters and editors pack new events into old, familiar templates. But the periodicity of the news has another cause, as press scholar Jack Lule discovered more than a decade ago in his book Daily News, Eternal Stories. Lule proposed that the news was less a pure journalistic creation than it was the modern expression of ancient myths..."


What Does The Exploding Rate of Boomer Suicide Say About Us? Like many of us, I've seen the shockwaves created by suicide, the tsunami of pain this causes family, friends and colleagues. Here's a clip from a timely but disturbing article from PBS's Next Avenue: "...Whether it’s biochemical or situational, the net result is the same: People are stressed to the max, financially struggling, pessimistic about their prospects and don’t have the traditional means of support previous generations relied on to get them through wars, epidemics and economic downturns. In the past, people had family and community to turn to for support and strength and hope. Today we’re a fractured society, with families strewn around the country or globe, and our ancestors' belief that “family is glue” all but eroded. Even people who didn't have close family had strong religious convictions or a network of neighbors. We’re a Velcro society, and we all know what a weak substitute that is..."


Dr. Drew on Media Coverage of Depression: "Stop Thinking About It As A Sensitive Topic." Amen. We don't stigmatize people who have diabetes. "You don't need insulin - just get over it!" Depression is no different - it's a chemical imbalance in the brain, and the message is clear: treatment options are available that can help. Here's a clip from a story at TVNewser: "...And one cable news host with expertise on the subject has a message for TV news talent and journalists. “Stop thinking about it as a sensitive topic,” Dr. Drew Pinsky told TVNewser in an interview this afternoon. “Think of it like a topic like any other medical condition, like a cardiac problem, or a lung problem; it just happens to affect the brain.” “It’s disturbing to me we talk about things like inner demons, which, for God’s sake, is sort of a language that comes out of the Middle Ages. They’re not inner demons; it’s a brain state precipitated by complicated interactions with the environment and it’s a biology that has a medical treatment...”


The Future of College. Is "Minerva" the future of higher education, guest lectures and frat parties optional? What would we possibly do without college football on Saturday. "Read?" Here's an excerpt of a great story and compelling vision of the future at The Atlantic: "...Indeed, the more I looked into Minerva and its operations, the more I started to think that certain functions of universities have simply become less relevant as information has become more ubiquitous. Just as learning to read in Latin was essential before books became widely available in other languages, gathering students in places where they could attend lectures in person was once a necessary part of higher education. But by now books are abundant, and so are serviceable online lectures by knowledgeable experts..."

Illustration credit above: Adam Voorhes.


SeaWorld Stock Tanks as "Blackfish" Controversy Cuts Into Profits. Here's an excerpt from AP and Huffington Post: "Shares of SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. (SEAS) fell Wednesday after the theme park operator reported second-quarter profit and sales that missed Wall Street expectations and cut its outlook for the year. The Orlando, Florida-based company also said it believes attendance during the period was hurt by negative publicity surrounding its treatment of killer whales, which are trained to perform tricks. A documentary last year called "Blackfish" suggested that the company's treatment of the killer whales provokes violent behavior from them, which in turn has led to the death of trainers..."


Salmon Canon Fires 40 Fish a Minute. No, not a new, unfortunate 4th of July custom and much different than a Salad Shooter. Think fish migration. Here's a clip from CNET: "...Artificial water constructions -- such as dams -- can therefore pose a serious problem. Fish can become disoriented, or get injured or killed due to turbines or spillways, and their travel times can get longer due to the disruption of natural water flow. One solution is the fish ladder, a structure that is designed to help migratory fish negotiate the changed waterways. Or you could just fire them through a cannon..."

Photo credit above: Michelle Starr/CNET.



80 F. high in the Twin Cities Thursday.

81 F. average high on August 14.

78 F. high on August 14, 2013.

August 14, 1936: St. Paul swelters with a high of 108.


TODAY: More clouds, a few T-storms, best chance south/west Minnesota. Dew point: 64. High: 82

FRIDAY NIGHT: A few T-storms, especially far southern MN. Low: 65

SATURDAY: Hot sun, T-storms by Saturday night. Winds: NE 8. High: 88

SUNDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, cooler with another shower or two. DP: 64. Wake-up: 67. High: 79

MONDAY: Sticky, PM T-storms. Dew point: 68. Wake-up: 69. High: 83

TUESDAY: Some sun, lingering T-shower. Wake-up: 67. High: 84

WEDNESDAY: Intervals of sun, feels like July. Wake-up: 68. High: 86

THURSDAY: High humidity. Steamy sun. DP: 69. Wake-up: 69. High: 88


Climate Stories....

Rising Sea Levels Could Threaten Global Megacities Soon, Says Study. The rate of ice melt has been faster than climate models predicted 20-30 years ago. When we say we're in uncharted waters, we mean it quite literally. Here's an excerpt from International Business Times: "...Antarctica was until recently seen as a player only in the long-term. Glaciers in the Amundsen Sea region contain enough water to raise global sea levels by 4 feet (1.2 meters), according to a NASA report in May. Another report in the National Geographic had quoted a recent study that the oceans can rise up to 6.5 feet (2 metres) by 2100, enough to submerge many cities along the US East Coast. A complete meltdown of the Greenland ice sheet could submerge London, it said..."


Global Warming is Moistening The Atmosphere. The Guardian had a story that confirmed my suspicions; here's a clip: "...The authors show that the long-term increase in water vapor in the upper troposphere cannot have resulted from natural causes – it is clearly human caused. This conclusion is stated in the abstract,

Our analysis demonstrates that the upper-tropospheric moistening observed over the period 1979–2005 cannot be explained by natural causes and results principally from an anthropogenic warming of the climate. By attributing the observed increase directly to human activities, this study verifies the presence of the largest known feedback mechanism for amplifying anthropogenic climate change.


Heavy Downpours Increasing: Scientists. No kidding. Wet areas are getting wetter, dry areas drier. Where have you heard that before? Oh right, the climate models predicted this 30 years ago. From climate theory to reality. Here's an excerpt from ABC News: "...Record-breaking rain storms like the ones this week, climate scientists say, are something people should get used to as they continue to warm the planet. It doesn’t take much warming to have a significant impact on rain storms. For every one degree of temperature rise, the atmosphere can hold 7 percent more evaporated moisture, say scientists. (Temperatures in the U.S. have risen by as much as 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit since 1895.) “When it rains, it pours,” says Kevin Trenberth, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. “Global warming encourages what would have been a normal rainstorm to become a real downpour and increases the risk of flooding...”

Increasingly Sticky & Thundery - Monsoon Season Out East

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: August 13, 2014 - 11:11 PM

The Monsoons of August

Most of us lead impossibly hectic, over-stimulated lives, on call 24/7. The idea of a more volatile, extreme climate often elicits a shrug. "Paul, I barely have time to brush my teeth. I don't want to ponder big issues I have no control over."

And that's the thing about climate change. It only hits home...when it hits home. For me there was no overnight epiphany. It was a series of puzzle pieces locking into place over 20 years.

This week record flooding hit Detroit, Baltimore and Long Island. Islip picked up over 13 inches of rain as a line of storms stalled, "training echoes" dumping 4-5 months of rain in a few hours. More symptoms of a warmer, wetter climate.

New research suggests changes in the Arctic are having a domino effect on jet stream winds, as more elongated and amplified "Rossby Waves" create conditions more favorable for extreme heat and record rains.

Meanwhile Minnesota's weather has been stunning; postcard-perfect. Expect a run of 80s into next week as weather we should have enjoyed in July finally shows up. A few T-storms bubble up Friday night into next week.

With any luck they won't stall and flood. We already got a big, sloppy taste of the new normal back in June.


* Twitter image above courtesy of WPRI-TV in Providence, Rhode Island.


Historic Detroit Floods of August 11, 2014. Here's an excerpt of a good recap of what just happened in the Detroit area, courtesy of the National Weather Service Central Office: "A historic rainfall event unfolded over Southeast Michigan on Monday, August 11, leading to significant flooding and major road closures.  This event was caused by a low pressure system moving over the area and with the atmosphere being very moist created the heavy, continuous rains that were seen.  The hardest hit areas included Metro Detroit and surrounding communities, along with Flint and the Saginaw Valley areas.  Wayne, Southern Oakland and Macomb counties saw the worst of the flooding as 4 to 6 inches of rain fell over a 4 hour period..."


Water, Water Everywhere: The Anatomy of Tuesday's Flash Flooding Event. The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang has some eye-popping details of Tuesday's instant-monsoon; here's an excerpt: "On Tuesday morning around 10 a.m., an area of very intense rainfall set up over the Washington-Baltimore region, and then parked there for the rest of the afternoon. The precise location of the heaviest rain accumulation was not anticipated in advance, as is often the case in summertime, flash flood-producing storms – an unfortunate shortcoming of even our best forecasting efforts. By the end of the day, over 10 inches of rain fell south of Baltimore in northern Anne Arundel County, which was the hardest hit area. In D.C., over two inches of rain fell. Dozens of water rescues were made throughout Tuesday’s event, and numerous incredible flash flood images were documented on social media..."


New York State Rainfall Record? Over 13" of rain doused Islip, on Long Island. According to Andrew Rosenthal at Earth Networks the 24-hour rainfall record in New York State is 11.6" in Tannersville NY, so the 13.51" at Islip marks a new 24-hour rainfall record for The Empire State. Here's a summary at The New York Times.

Map credit: New York City National Weather Service.


Burlington Flood: Cities Face "New Breed" of Storms, Climatologist Says. CBC in Hamilton, Canada has the story - this is part of the same flooding system that swamped much of Detroit in recent days. Here's a clip: "...Canadians are facing a "new breed" of storms, and governments should change the way they plan for the kind of wild weather that caused a flash flood in Burlington, Ont., on Monday, says Dave Phillips, Environment Canada's senior climatologist. "These [once in] 50-year floods are occurring every 10 years, because our climate has changed," he said. Phillips added that planning for weather based on the past 100 years "masks" recent events that have dramatically changed how much rain falls. He said in the aftermath of the Toronto floods of August 2013, a look into the last 25 years of rainfall showed that there were three 100-year storms, and six 50-year storms..."

Graphic credit above: "The heavy rain over Burlington, Ont., on Aug. 4 was an isolated event, but climate change seems to be accompanied by more extreme storms that overwhelm infrastructure and cause flooding."


Back into A Warm, Thundery Soup. The last few days have been flawless - about as good as it gets. Ever. Dew points rise to near 70F by the weekend, and remain in the upper 60s to low 70s into next week. A few storms may flare up Friday (especially Friday night), another round of rumbling Monday and Tuesday. Long-range guidance hints at highs near 90F by the end of next week.


Holding Pattern. The same storm that triggered historic flooding from Long Island into much of New England stalls over Quebec, keeping showery rains into northern New England into Saturday. A few T-storms push across the Dakotas into Minnesota by Friday, monsoon-driven instability T-storms providing slight, temporary relief from the heat across the Rockies. No rain for California. Same old story. 4 KM NAM guidance: NOAA and HAMweather.


Accumulated Rainfall. 60-hour data (4 KM NAM) shows heavy rains tapering over New England, heavy T-storms capable of flash flooding over the Rockies, another band of moderate rain from New Orleans to Savannah between now and 2 AM Saturday. Animation: NOAA and HAMweather.


Global Crop Update. China's breadbasket may be facing one of its worst droughts since 1951, which may impact prices in the weeks to come. USDA has the latest report here.


A Real-Life Blazing Inferno. Photo courtesy of Amanda Nand and National Geographic: "Smoke rises above the mountain range near a helicopter base in Banff National Park."


It's Mid-August. Where Are All The Atlantic Hurricanes? Bloomberg has a reality check - here's an excerpt: "...So, what’s with the Atlantic? After just about two and half months, hurricanes Arthur and Bertha are all the Atlantic has managed to come up with. While it may seem as though the Atlantic is failing to keep up with the larger ocean, the basin is pretty much on pace in terms of the long-term average. The Atlantic can usually be expected to produce its third storm of the season, which began June 1, by today, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. Of course, if the recent past is considered, the Atlantic looks almost anemic..."


What's The Worst Hurricane You Remember? If it wasn't for Tropical Storm Agnes which flooded out my boyhood home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania back in 1972 I might have a real job by now. Jason Samenow asks a good question at Capital Weather Gang: "Comic artist Randall Munroe, creator of the wildly popular (and awesome) “webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language” known as xkcd, posts this offering today..."


There's a Hexagonal Hurricane on Saturn. I suspect the laws of physics are pretty much the same on Saturn - no Earthly idea how this can happen, but this story at Mental Floss got my attention. Here's a clip: "...On Saturn, a giant hexagonal storm rages around the north pole. The storm is so big, you could fit four Earths in it. We photographed the storm in the very early 1980s, when the Voyager probes flew by. But for years, the storm has been hard to view because it has been tilted away from the sun, making infrared photos the only option. Now that springtime has returned to Saturn's north pole, we're looking again at this bizarre, endless, and oddly-shaped storm..."

Image credit above: YouTube / The New York Times.


The Growing Threat From An EMP Attack. To paraphrase George Carlin, don't sweat the thundershowers. nuclear explosion high above America could knock out communications and electricity to most of the USA, knocking us back to the mid-1800s. And most or all of the risk posed to America's power grid could be removed for around $2 billion, roughly what we give to Pakistan every year, according to this Op-Ed at The Wall Street Journal; here's a clip: "...In December 2012, the North Koreans successfully orbited a statellite, the KSM-3, compatible with the size and weight of a small nuclear warhead. The trajectory of the KSM-3 had the characteristics for delivery of a surprise nuclear EMP attack against the U.S. What would a successful EMP attack look like? The EMP Commission, in 2008, estimated that within 12 months of a nationwide blackout, up to 90% of the U.S. population could possibly perish from starvation, disease and societal breakdown..."


Dr. Drew on Media Coverage of Depression: "Stop Thinking About It As A Sensitive Topic." Amen. We don't stigmatize people who have diabetes. "You don't need insulin - just get over it!" Depression is no different - it's a chemical imbalance in the brain, and the message is clear: treatment options are available that can help. Here's a clip from a story at TVNewser: "...And one cable news host with expertise on the subject has a message for TV news talent and journalists. “Stop thinking about it as a sensitive topic,” Dr. Drew Pinsky told TVNewser in an interview this afternoon. “Think of it like a topic like any other medical condition, like a cardiac problem, or a lung problem; it just happens to affect the brain.” “It’s disturbing to me we talk about things like inner demons, which, for God’s sake, is sort of a language that comes out of the Middle Ages. They’re not inner demons; it’s a brain state precipitated by complicated interactions with the environment and it’s a biology that has a medical treatment...”


Intelligent Blinker Bracelet Automatically Gives Cyclists Flashing Turn Signals. I'm spending more time on my bike (I run when chased, cycling seems more fun - especially going downhill). Here's a great little innovation featured at Gizmag: "As any serious bicycle commuter will tell you, it's important to let drivers know what you're doing by signaling your intention to turn. Needless to say, the more visible your hand signals are, the safer you should be. That's why a group of doctoral students at Switzerland's EPFL research institute created the Intelligent Blinker. It's a wrist bracelet that automatically starts flashing when the wearer raises their arm to signal..."


I Think I'll Swim In The Lake, Thank You. Huffington Post has a story that serves as a blunt reminder why you want to shower before and after you enter a public swimming pool. Remind me to wear my wet suit. Here's an excerpt: "...That sign in the locker room is not a mere suggestion. While very few of us would skip a post-swim shower (got to get that icky chlorine off!), we should probably follow the pre-swim rules with a little more vigor. "If we don't shower before we get in the water, we're going to carry in whatever's sitting on our skin," says Michele Hlavsa, RN, MPH, an epidemiologist and the chief of Healthy Swimming and Waterborne Disease Prevention at the CDC. That includes natural oils, sweat, makeup and other personal care products, urine and, yep, fecal matter..."


Does This Come With a Surgeon? I'm looking forward to hanging out at the Minnesota State Fair, and bulking up a little for winter. What you see above is but a small sample of some of the new, heart-healthy foods available this year. Come early, and bring your pacemaker!


83 F. high in the Twin Cities Wednesday.

81 F. average high on August 13.

76 F. high on August 13, 2013.

August 13, 1978: Boundary Waters area hit by a tornado, some of the damage could still be seen 10 years later.


TODAY: Lukewarm sun, still nice. Dew point: 57 Winds: SE 8. High: 82

THURSDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy, still dry. Low: 65

FRIDAY: Humid with more clouds. T-storms likely. Dew point: 64. High: 83

SATURDAY: Sticky sun, few T-storms. Wake-up: 68. High: 84

SUNDAY: July-like. Mix of sun and storms. Wake-up: 69. High: 83

MONDAY: Muggy, more numerous T-storms. Wake-up: 68. High: 82

TUESDAY: Unsettled, lingering storms. Dew point: 67. Wake-up: 67. High: 84

WEDNESDAY: Some sun, still steamy. DP: 69. Wake-up: 66. High: 87


Climate Stories....

Global Warming is Moistening The Atmosphere. The Guardian had a story that confirmed my suspicions; here's a clip: "...The authors show that the long-term increase in water vapor in the upper troposphere cannot have resulted from natural causes – it is clearly human caused. This conclusion is stated in the abstract,

Our analysis demonstrates that the upper-tropospheric moistening observed over the period 1979–2005 cannot be explained by natural causes and results principally from an anthropogenic warming of the climate. By attributing the observed increase directly to human activities, this study verifies the presence of the largest known feedback mechanism for amplifying anthropogenic climate change.


Heavy Downpours Increasing: Scientists. No kidding. Wet areas are getting wetter, dry areas drier. Where have you heard that before? Oh right, the climate models predicted this 30 years ago. From climate theory to reality. Here's an excerpt from ABC News: "...Record-breaking rain storms like the ones this week, climate scientists say, are something people should get used to as they continue to warm the planet. It doesn’t take much warming to have a significant impact on rain storms. For every one degree of temperature rise, the atmosphere can hold 7 percent more evaporated moisture, say scientists. (Temperatures in the U.S. have risen by as much as 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit since 1895.) “When it rains, it pours,” says Kevin Trenberth, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. “Global warming encourages what would have been a normal rainstorm to become a real downpour and increases the risk of flooding...”


Siberian Crater Mystery Solved? Here's a video clip and story excerpt at EcoWatch: "...The show revealed that Russian researchers “have linked the Siberian craters to the abnormally hot summers … of 2012 and 2013 which were warmer than usual by an average of 5 degrees celsius. As temperatures rose, the researchers suggest, permafrost thawed and collapsed, releasing methane that had been trapped in the icy ground.” Mann said that, while the percentage of methane found inside these craters has been as high as 9 percent compared to an atmospheric level of fraction of a fraction of a percent and methane is more closely linked to warming than carbon emissions, it’s premature to throw up our hands and give up. And he explains why continuing to focus on reducing carbon emissions is essential..."


The Frustrating Climate Change Memes That Just Won't Die. They just get recycled, regurgitated. Here's a clip from New Republic: "...Climate deniers twisted NASA atmospheric scientist Norman Loeb’s words last week when he tried to explain that the recent slowdown in temperature rise, something scientists have observed for a while, is very much consistent with global warming. The reason: Oceans are heating up, while surface temperatures are still at their hottest. The deniers never tell that part.It’s not the only climate denier myth that lives on despite reality. Deniers love to say that scientists predicted “global cooling” before they found global warming. Again, that was never true..."