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.

Heat Spike: Excessive Heat Warning Issued for Monday

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: July 20, 2014 - 8:35 AM

Monday Hot Front

The weather has always been extreme. The notion of "average weather" is a statistical pipe-dream; it rarely happens in real life.

But tracking daily weather over the last 40 years I've noticed an increase in the frequency and intensity of weather extremes, not just here at home, but worldwide. Insurance companies and the Department of Defense are tracking these same trends; an apparent spike in instability, volatility and weather-whiplash.

Here's another example: factoring in dew points in the mid-70s and temperatures in mid-90s tomorrow's heat index could reach 100-105F. An Excessive Heat Watch is posted. That's one week, to the day, after a miniature vortex of October-like air had Minnesotans reaching for jackets & sweatshirts. From wind chill to heat index in 7 days; a 60 degree jump in apparent "feels-like" temperature? That's highly unusual for mid-summer.

Expect more sun (and heat) today, the warm-up act for Monday's scorcher. T-storms Monday night and Tuesday may turn severe; the best chance of hail and damaging winds up north. We cool off by midweek before another warm surge sparks T-storms next Friday.

Tomorrow? A subtle (yet blunt) reminder that summer heat usually peaks in mid-July.


THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN HAS ISSUED
AN EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM TO 9 PM
CDT MONDAY. THE EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT. 
* TEMPERATURES...HIGHS IN THE LOWER 90S WITH HEAT INDICES AROUND
105 DEGREES.
* IMPACTS...THIS IS THE FIRST SIGNIFICANT HEAT WAVE OF THE
SEASON...IN A YEAR THAT HAS BEEN COLDER THAN NORMAL. MANY WILL
NOT BE ACCLIMATED TO THE HEAT. THESE CONDITIONS MAY LEAD TO A
HEIGHTENED RISK OF HEAT RELATED STRESS AND ILLNESS...ESPECIALLY
FOR THE YOUNG AND ELDERLY...AND THOSE WITHOUT AIR CONDITIONING.

Heat Advisory Issued for Southern Half of Minnesota. An advisory has been issued from Alexandria, Wadena and Brainered southward to Mankato; upgraded to an Excessive Heat Warning for the immediate Twin Cities metro, where the urban heat island will add to the heat.


Monday: 4 PM Predicted Temperatures. NOAA's NAM model predicts highs in the mid-90s in the Twin Cities metro, some upper 90s possible over far west central Minnesota. 100-degree heat is possible from South Dakota across much of the Great Plains. Graphic: HAMweather.


Monday Dew Points. What takes Monday into "Heat Watch" territory is the combination of heat and humidity. NOAA NAM dew point forecasts show readings in the mid to upper 70s. That should make for a heat index in the 100-105F range by mid and late afternoon, increasing the potential for heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Graphic: Weather Bell.


Monday Highs. GFS is predicting 91F, but if the sun stays out most of the day and winds blow from the south NOAA's NAM model may be closer to verifying with some mid-90s in and around the Twin Cities. Graphic: HAMweather.


Monday Severe Risk. An MCS (meso-convective) system may bubble up along the leading edge of broiling, tropical air late Monday and Monday night, pushing across central and northern Minnesota, where the severe risk may be greatest Monday night into Tuesday. A few strong T-storms may brush the Twin Cities early Tuesday, but Little Falls, Brainerd and Duluth stand a better chance of hail and damaging winds. Map: NOAA SPC and HAMweather.


One Uber-Uncomfortable Day, Then Relief. Monday will be a poignant reminder of just how hot (and humid) it can get at this northerly latitude, but after a close call with strong to severe storms Tuesday winds swing around to the north/northeast, pushing much more comfortable air into town by midweek; dew points dropping into the 40s. Another warm front sparks T-storms Friday; right now next Saturday appears to be the better lake day with a small risk of T-storms. A week from Sunday? Don't ask. Meteogram: Weatherspark.


Don't Count on Another Dry July and August in Minnesota. For the record I agree - the pattern looks drier than June, but that isn't saying much; I still expect above normal rainfall amounts into much of August. No "flash drought" this summer. Here's an excerpt from The Star Tribune: "The past three summers have suggested a new weather adage for Minnesota: “In late July, the land gets dry.” Wet springs and early summers have given way to drought anxieties by State Fair time for the past three years. But in 2014, the wettest June on record statewide may have overpowered the budding trend. There’s simply too much water around — in saturated soils and wetlands, in brimful lakes and streams, in the very air itself — to break the rainy cycle, said University of Minnesota Extension meteorologist Mark Seeley..."

Photo credit above: Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune. "Jeff Eagon, of Blaine, and his dog Zeus negotiated a waterlogged patch of ground near Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis last week."


Record Cool Spell for Mid-July. There was no confirmed frost up north Wednesday morning, but we came very close. Dr. Mark Seeley highlights some of this past week's weather oddities, specifically the record cool spell that swept southward out of Canada Monday into Wednesday. Here's a highlight of this week's Minnesota WeatherTalk: "...The cold air took residence for about 48 hours and brought new record cold mean daily temperatures (average of the maximum and minimum values for the day) to many communities on Tuesday, July 15th. Some of these records include: 55 F at Pipestone; 57 F at Windom; 58 F at Waseca and Grand Meadow; 59 F at Zumbrota, Austin, and Winnebago; and 60 F at Rochester. Finally, clear skies, high pressure, and calm winds brought some record minimum temperature values on Wednesday morning to northern and western parts of Minnesota. Some of the new records included; 35 F at Brimson; 38 F at Hibbing (tied 2007); 39 F at International Falls, Silver Bay, Crane Lake, Eveleth, and Orr; 45 F at Wheaton; and 46 F at Marshall and Worthington..."


2014 Wildfire Season Worse Than Usual Across the West. Here's an update from The Christian Science Monitor: "...As of the weekend, there were 32 large active fires, most of those in the Pacific Northwest (18 in Oregon, four in Washington). So far this year, firefighters have had to deal with 30,151 blazes covering a total of 1,146,493 acres, and the forecast is for more of the same, according to the fire center: “Above normal fire potential will persist over much of California, the Northwest and the Great Basin in July…. In August, above normal fire potential will continue over most of California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Idaho..."

Photo credit above: "Forrest Harrison with his daughter Avery, 5, looks over the remains of his home. A fire racing through rural north-central Washington destroyed about 100 homes as it blackened hundreds of square miles." Elaine Thompson/AP.


Worst Wildfire Season in Decades in Canada's Northwest Territories. It's the source of the milky-white pall of smoke drifting over Minnesota and much of the rest of the USA. Alaska's Dispatch News has the article; here's an excerpt that caught my eye: "...According to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center, there have been 31 new fires in the past 24 hours across Canada, over 2,500 so far this year and well over 2.47 million acres burned to date, early in the season. According to Flannigan, in recent years, about 8,000 fires burn about 4.9 million acres of land each year in Canada. That’s about double the annual average of just 40 years ago, he says. Canada’s senior climatologist, Dave Phillips, says the southern Northwest Territories is experiencing the hottest, driest summer in some 50 years..."

Photo credit above: "This Tuesday, July 15, 2014 aerial photo provided by Canada's Wildfire Management Branch shows the Mount McAllister wildfire in the northeastern region of the British Columbia province of Canada. An evacuation order has been issued for the District of Hudson's Hope in northeastern British Columbia ahead of the wildfire which is threatening the community of about 1,150 residents." (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, B.C. Wildfire Management Branch).


Erratic Polar Jet Stream Contributing to Historic Fires Across Canada & Siberia? Robert Scribbler has a very interesting post, focusing on the severity and aerial extent of fires raging unusually far north for July. Is polar amplification, triggered (in theory) by rapid Arctic warming, a factor? Here's an excerpt: "...According to reports from Canada’s Interagency Fire Center, total acres burned to date are more than six times that of a typical year. A rate of burning that, according to a recent scientific study, is unprecedented not just for this century, but for any period in Canada’s basement forest record over the last 10,000 years..."

Photo credit above: NWT Fire Facebook.


Wind Turbines Could Rule Tornado Alley. Yes, we have the potential wind power to provide a significant percentage of a (revamped) power grid with wind energy from the Great Plains, where winds blow with amazing regularity, with or without tornadoes. Here's an excerpt of an interesting story at Forbes: "...So wind has become our fifth largest power generator, and will capture fourth place from hydropower before 2030 since we’ve basically tapped out hydro in this country. However, although wind turbines are strewn throughout America, most of this generation is coming from Tornado Alley (Wind Electricity Generation In Tornado Alley; EIA). In the Tornado Alley states of Kansas, South Dakota and Iowa, wind generated 20%, 26% and 27% of the total electricity produced, respectively, and is now the second-largest electricity source in those states (EIA States). Some advantages of putting large numbers of wind turbines in Tornado Alley is they are ideally shaped to withstand extreme winds, they generally displace coal, and they don’t need to be on pristine natural lands..."


Hurricane Season: Beware of this $50 Billion Threat. The Motley Fool has an article that highlights the risk of (inland) flooding. Higher sea levels mean storm surges can push farther inland, threatening areas that aren't accustomed to hurricane flooding. Here's a clip: "...Though most homeowners aren't aware, typical home insurance policies don't cover damage from flooding. One of the reasons that flooding tops the threat list, over physical damage from hurricanes or tropical storms, is its ability to spread further than a storm's footprint. While a storm surge (water pushed inland by strong winds) has a huge, direct impact on coastal areas, the same surge can effect areas much further inlandDue to rising sea levels, water levels are already elevated, allowing flooding to spread further than in past years..."


Apps for Hurricane Season. GeekBeat.tv has a good overview of apps and web site resources for people living in Hurricane Alley; here's a clip: "To get your information straight from the National Weather Service or National Hurricane Center you’ll need a Third Party App like NOAA Now for Android or “MyFoxHurricane” for both iOS and Android which bundles Fox News video along with the National Weather Service maps and information. For Windows Phone users there’s an unofficial Weather.Gov App. It pulls in maps and forecasts from the National Weather Service site. If you’d like to bypass third party apps and still get your information straight from the National Hurricane Center or the National Weather Service, just use the full mobile versions of those sites. They’ll work on any smartphone and are ad-free. Bookmark them today; you’ll thank us later..."


Seeing Things More Clearly. NOAA's National Ocean Service has a story about how the agency used a new technique for obtaining aerial photographs in the wake of Hurricane Arthur, and why this is a step forward. Here's an excerpt: "...These missions marked the first time that surveyors collected oblique imagery, or images taken at an angle rather than straight down, in response to a tropical cyclone. The advantage to this type of approach is that it allows the team to photograph a wider area and also improves the visibility of vertical structures, such as the sides of buildings, as opposed to only the tops of buildings as typically seen in traditional imagery.  In addition to the photos collected along the coast, the survey team evaluated a GoPro® to collect video during the flight. The goal of this new layered approach in aerial video and photo documentation is to provide and evaluate better visual context that might be missing in vertical photography alone — the sole type of imagery gathered by NOAA surveyors in past missions..."

Photo credit: A New Angle. "Imagery collected by NOAA in the aftermath of Hurricane Arthur tested new photographic techniques that may lead to more comprehensive post-storm surveys in the future. Shown here: the North Carolina coast near Rodanthe shortly after Hurricane Arthur passed through the area."


Which Colors Do You Smell? I thought this curious article at Huffington Post was worth a mention; here's an excerpt: "...A group of international researchers, led by Carmel A. Levitan at Occidental College, tested whether our association of colors with smells is universal (hard-wired in our brains) or based on cultural factors like language and frequent association between objects and smells. Previous studies are inconclusive: Some researchers have shown that connections between odors, musical notes, and geometric shapes are hardwired into our brains. But the color-odor connection isn’t always consistent; Canadians consistently associate almond smell with the color red, but in a separate study, Australians smelled blue..."



79 F. high in the Twin Cities Saturday.

84 F. average high on July 19.

86 F. high on July 19, 2013.

July 19 in Minnesota Weather History:

1951: Tornado hits Minneapolis and Richfield killing five.

1909: 10.75 inches of rain fell in 24 hours at Beaulieu in Mahnomen County. This record would stand for over 50 years. Bagley received an estimated 10 inches.


TODAY: Hot sun, windy. Dew point: 67. Winds: S 15-25. High: 87

SUNDAY NIGHT: Warm and sultry. Low: 72

MONDAY: Excessive Heat Warning for the MSP metro, Heat Advisory southern Minnesota. Sunny, dangerously hot. Dew point: 75. Feels like 103F. High: 93

TUESDAY: T-storms likely, some severe up north. Wake-up: 78. High: 88

WEDNESDAY: Sunny and more comfortable. Dew point: 54. Wake-up: 66. High: 79

THURSDAY: Partly sunny, still pleasant. Wake-up: 62. High: 78

FRIDAY: Sticky, a few heavy T-storms. Wake-up: 61. High: 79

SATURDAY: More sun, pop-up PM T-storm? Wake-up: 64. High: 83


Climate Stories....

Water and Climate Change. As much as we need to methodically de-carbonize our economy over time; we have to find ways of powering the economy, keeping the lights on and adding new jobs with less water, as pointed out in this excerpt of an Op-Ed at The New York Times: "..Any blueprint for grappling with climate change must simultaneously factor in the water use involved in the technological options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a fact inadequately addressed in the United Nations report cited by Mr. Porter. Electricity technologies are no exception. As noted in a 2011 report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, low-carbon-emitting electricity technologies are not necessarily low-water use. We need to carefully consider the carbon/water trade-offs..." (Image: ThinkStock).


Grim Harvest: Climate Change Sweeps Iowa Farms. Many farmers, initially skeptical about climate change, are reconsidering their views, considering their experiences out in the fields in recent years. Climate volatility has gone from theory to reality. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed at Live Science: "...He's seen disease outbreaks when conditions are too wet, and lower yields when it's too dry. Until recently, he was pretty skeptical that climate change had anything to do with it. "Before the last three or four years, I guess my vision of the world of climate change was about a few people trying to make money on the deal," Gaesser said. He figured people were just marketing high-efficiency this and low-carbon-emission that, just to make a buck. "But as a farmer, in the last several years, we are actually seeing those changes happen here on the farm..." (File photo: Pascal Rossignol, Reuters).


White House Announces New Climate Change Initiatives. National Geographic has the story; here's a clip: "...The National Journal runs down the individual efforts by agency, which include a more than $236 million award to fund eight states’ efforts to improve rural electric infrastructure and a new guide by the Centers for Disease Control that will help local public health departments assess their area’s vulnerabilities to health hazards associated with climate change..." (File photo: Matt Brown, AP).

Excessive heat watch for Monday; heat index could break 100

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: July 19, 2014 - 8:54 AM

Extra Aqua

It's been a curious summer.

I've developed a new exercise routine: dock-raising calisthenics, followed by aerobic basement-mopping and vacuuming.

According to the National Weather Service 2014 is still the wettest year on record, to date, in the Twin Cities.

For fun? I put on waders to ford my flooded lakeshore and sit in my boat. It's the one with the cobweb racing stripe. OK, it's more floating than boating. In the evening I watch a cherry-red sun slip below the northwest horizon and marvel at the massive gunmetal-gray smoke plume high overhead.

Canada's Interagency Fire Center reports total acres burned more than 6 times the usual number, which may be unprecedented looking back 10,000 years.

The same surreal jet stream pattern that brought June floods and 35F to Brimson, Minnesota Wednesday morning is sparking 80s and lightning strikes near the Arctic Circle. The 7-Day calls for smoke, heat & storms.

Monday may be the hottest day yet this summer: low to mid 90s possible, with another swarm of jungle-like downpours (and potentially severe thunderstorms) by Tuesday, especially central and northern Minnesota.

A stray T-shower may bubble up for today's Aquatennial Events in Minneapolis. Sunday should be the sunnier, drier day to enjoy a smoky sunset, served medium rare.


Excessive Heat Watch. Highs in the low to mid 90s, coupled with a dew point predicted to reach the mid 70s, means a potential heat index above 100F by Monday afternoon and evening with a significant risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Details from the Twin Cities NWS:

...DANGEROUS COMBINATION OF HEAT AND HUMIDITY POSSIBLE ACROSS THE
TWIN CITIES METRO MONDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING...

AN EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR MONDAY AFTERNOON AND
EVENING FOR THE TWIN CITIES METROPOLITAN AREA. HIGH TEMPERATURES
ARE EXPECTED TO REACH THE LOWER 90S MONDAY AFTERNOON. THIS
COMBINED WITH DEW POINTS IN THE MIDDLE 70S WILL RESULT IN HEAT
INDICES REACHING 105 DEGREES. IN ADDITION...IT WILL REMAIN QUITE
WARM MONDAY NIGHT WITH LOWS IN THE MIDDLE 70S.

...EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MONDAY AFTERNOON
THROUGH MONDAY EVENING...

AN EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MONDAY AFTERNOON
THROUGH MONDAY EVENING.

* TEMPERATURE...HIGHS MONDAY AFTERNOON IN THE LOWER 90S WITH
  HEAT INDICES REACHING 105 DEGREES.

* IMPACTS...THE HOT AND HUMID CONDITIONS MAY LEAD TO A
  HEIGHTENED RISK OF HEAT RELATED STRESS AND ILLNESS...
  ESPECIALLY FOR THE YOUNG AND ELDERLY...AND THOSE WITHOUT AIR
  CONDITIONING.

Extended MSP Meteogram. European model guidance suggests Sunday will be the warmer day of the weekend, with temperatures probably peaking Monday afternoon in the low 90s. A stray T-shower can't be ruled out today along the leading edge of this next sticky airmass, but Tuesday looks like the most volatile day with a possible severe storm outbreak, followed by a slight dip in dew point the middle of next week.


Tuesday Severe Storm Outbreak? Leveraging CIPS Analog Threat Guidance from Saint Louis University confirms my theory that Monday night into Wednesday morning of next week may be a very active period for locally heavy rainfall and a potential severe T-storm outreak as a surging warm front, high dew points and significant instability combine with ample wind shear aloft. I would bet a stale bagel we'll see severe storm watches and warnings next Tuesday.


2014: Still Wettest Year for MSP, To Date. Meteorologist D.J. Kayser confirmed with the local Twin Cities National Weather Service that it's still the soggiest year on record, to date, looking back to 1871. 27.65" of precipitation as of July 18, even wetter than 1965 and 2013.


Record Cool Spell for Mid-July. There was no confirmed frost up north Wednesday morning, but we came very close. Dr. Mark Seeley highlights some of this past week's weather oddities, specifically the record cool spell that swept southward out of Canada Monday into Wednesday. Here's a highlight of this week's Minnesota WeatherTalk: "...The cold air took residence for about 48 hours and brought new record cold mean daily temperatures (average of the maximum and minimum values for the day) to many communities on Tuesday, July 15th. Some of these records include: 55 F at Pipestone; 57 F at Windom; 58 F at Waseca and Grand Meadow; 59 F at Zumbrota, Austin, and Winnebago; and 60 F at Rochester. Finally, clear skies, high pressure, and calm winds brought some record minimum temperature values on Wednesday morning to northern and western parts of Minnesota. Some of the new records included; 35 F at Brimson; 38 F at Hibbing (tied 2007); 39 F at International Falls, Silver Bay, Crane Lake, Eveleth, and Orr; 45 F at Wheaton; and 46 F at Marshall and Worthington..."


Worst Wildfire Season in Decades in Canada's Northwest Territories. It's the source of the milky-white pall of smoke drifting over Minnesota and much of the rest of the USA. Alaska's Dispatch News has the article; here's an excerpt that caught my eye: "...According to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center, there have been 31 new fires in the past 24 hours across Canada, over 2,500 so far this year and well over 2.47 million acres burned to date, early in the season. According to Flannigan, in recent years, about 8,000 fires burn about 4.9 million acres of land each year in Canada. That’s about double the annual average of just 40 years ago, he says. Canada’s senior climatologist, Dave Phillips, says the southern Northwest Territories is experiencing the hottest, driest summer in some 50 years..."

Photo credit above: "This Tuesday, July 15, 2014 aerial photo provided by Canada's Wildfire Management Branch shows the Mount McAllister wildfire in the northeastern region of the British Columbia province of Canada. An evacuation order has been issued for the District of Hudson's Hope in northeastern British Columbia ahead of the wildfire which is threatening the community of about 1,150 residents." (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, B.C. Wildfire Management Branch).


Fire Hotspots. Hundreds of fires are burning from the Pacific Northwest into much of western and northern Canada, in response to record heat and drought. The Canadian Wildland Fire Information System has the location of the most significant wildfires.


Erratic Polar Jet Stream Contributing to Historic Fires Across Canada & Siberia? Robert Scribbler has a very interesting post, focusing on the severity and aerial extent of fires raging unusually far north for July. Is polar amplification, triggered (in theory) by rapid Arctic warming, a factor? Here's an excerpt: "...According to reports from Canada’s Interagency Fire Center, total acres burned to date are more than six times that of a typical year. A rate of burning that, according to a recent scientific study, is unprecedented not just for this century, but for any period in Canada’s basement forest record over the last 10,000 years..."

Photo credit above: NWT Fire Facebook.


Seeing Things More Clearly. NOAA's National Ocean Service has a story about how the agency used a new technique for obtaining aerial photographs in the wake of Hurricane Arthur, and why this is a step forward. Here's an excerpt: "...These missions marked the first time that surveyors collected oblique imagery, or images taken at an angle rather than straight down, in response to a tropical cyclone. The advantage to this type of approach is that it allows the team to photograph a wider area and also improves the visibility of vertical structures, such as the sides of buildings, as opposed to only the tops of buildings as typically seen in traditional imagery.  In addition to the photos collected along the coast, the survey team evaluated a GoPro® to collect video during the flight. The goal of this new layered approach in aerial video and photo documentation is to provide and evaluate better visual context that might be missing in vertical photography alone — the sole type of imagery gathered by NOAA surveyors in past missions..."

Photo credit: A New Angle. "Imagery collected by NOAA in the aftermath of Hurricane Arthur tested new photographic techniques that may lead to more comprehensive post-storm surveys in the future. Shown here: the North Carolina coast near Rodanthe shortly after Hurricane Arthur passed through the area."


Hurricane Arthur Losses Will Not Exceed $250 Million: RMS. Claims Journal has a recap on damage to North Carolina from Hurricane Arthur; here's an excerpt: "...Arthur is the first hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. What is unusual about Arthur, particularly for this time of year, is that it rapidly deepened to become a category 2 hurricane,” said Brian Owens, senior director, business solutions at RMS. “It’s also rare for hurricanes to form in early July, which climatologically is the quietest time of the hurricane season...”


Typhoon Rammasun Comes Ashore. Although sparing Hong Kong, Rammasun was estimated by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center to be a very strong Category 3-4 hurricane as it pushed into southern China Friday.

Image credit: ga2.cira.colostate.edu


Radar Track of Rammasun. Here's an impressive radar animation showing reflectivity and accumulated rainfall estimates from the Super Typhoon that hit southern China. Animation credit here.


July 18, 1986 Brooklyn Park Tornado Coverage. Tom Oszman at TC Media Now has done a terrific job archiving video clips from local TV broadcasts over the last 40+ years; here's a compilation of the coverage from July 18, 1986, the day KARE-11's helicopter tracked a tornado from beginning to end. To this day I still look at the footage and shake my head in wonder.


Japan Earthquake Has Raised Pressure Below Mount Fuji, Says New Study. Guardian Weekly has the story; here's the introduction: "Mount Fuji, or Fujisan as it is known in Japanese, is the highest point on the archipelago (rising to 3,776 metres) and the national emblem, immortalised in countless etchings. In June last year Unesco added it to the World Heritage list as a "sacred place and source of artistic inspiration". But it is still an active volcano, standing at the junction between the Pacific, Eurasian and Philippine tectonic plates. Though it has rarely stirred in recorded history, it is still potentially explosive..."

Map credit above: "Proximity of Mount Fuji to the epicentre of the March 2011 earthquake." Christine Oliver/Guardian Source: Le Monde.


A Real-Time Picture of How Flights Are Now Avoiding Ukrainian Airspace. The Washington Post's Wonkblog has the article; here's a clip: "In the wake of the crash of Malaysian Flight 17, likely shot down over the Eastern part of Ukraine, several airlines have announced they will be routing flights around Ukrainian airspace. Real-time data from aviation firm FlightRadar24 seems to confirm this: it currently shows just a handful of flights over Ukraine. Many flights appear to be skirting around the eastern and western edges of the country, with just a small handful in Ukrainian airspace proper..."


Heart Rate-Sensing Car Seats Could Alert Sleepy Drivers. Gizmag has the story - here's a clip: "Falling asleep at the wheel is extremely dangerous both for the driver, and for others sharing the road with them. A team of researchers at Nottingham Trent University are working on a solution to this driving threat. They're doing it with sensors in a car seat that detect the driver's heart rate, and alert the driver if they start dozing off..."


Which Colors Do You Smell? I thought this curious article at Huffington Post was worth a mention; here's an excerpt: "...A group of international researchers, led by Carmel A. Levitan at Occidental College, tested whether our association of colors with smells is universal (hard-wired in our brains) or based on cultural factors like language and frequent association between objects and smells. Previous studies are inconclusive: Some researchers have shown that connections between odors, musical notes, and geometric shapes are hardwired into our brains. But the color-odor connection isn’t always consistent; Canadians consistently associate almond smell with the color red, but in a separate study, Australians smelled blue..."


“Correction does much, but encouragement does more.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

79 F. high in the Twin Cities Friday.

84 F. average high on July 18.

94 F. high on July 18, 2013.

July 18 in Minnesota Weather History:

2000: A National Weather Service cooperative observer south of Tower reported a morning low of 29 degrees. Embarrass reported 31 degrees.

1987: The town of Floodwood lives up to its name with nearly 6 inches of rain in two days.


TODAY: Some sun, isolated T-storm possible. Dry for most towns. Dew point: 62. Winds: S 15+ High: 81

SATURDAY NIGHT: Isolated thundershower, a bit more humidity. Low: 67

SUNDAY: More sun, warmer & drier. Dew point: 67. High: 86

MONDAY: Excessive Heat Watch. Sizzling sun. Feels like 100-105F DP: 75. Wake-up: 73. High: 93

TUESDAY: T-storms with heavy rain. Risk of a few severe storms. Dew point: 72. Wake-up: 74. High: 85

WEDNESDAY: Sunnier, less humid. DP: 63. Wake-up: 69. High: 84

THURSDAY: Typical July weather. Warm sunshine. Wake-up: 67. High: 85

FRIDAY: Some sun, spotty T-storms. DP: 68. Wake-up: 68. High: 84


Climate Stories....

Grim Harvest: Climate Change Sweeps Iowa Farms. Many farmers, initially skeptical about climate change, are reconsidering their views, considering their experiences out in the fields in recent years. Climate volatility has gone from theory to reality. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed at Live Science: "...He's seen disease outbreaks when conditions are too wet, and lower yields when it's too dry. Until recently, he was pretty skeptical that climate change had anything to do with it. "Before the last three or four years, I guess my vision of the world of climate change was about a few people trying to make money on the deal," Gaesser said. He figured people were just marketing high-efficiency this and low-carbon-emission that, just to make a buck. "But as a farmer, in the last several years, we are actually seeing those changes happen here on the farm..." (File photo: Pascal Rossignol, Reuters).


White House Announces New Climate Change Initiatives. National Geographic has the story; here's a clip: "...The National Journal runs down the individual efforts by agency, which include a more than $236 million award to fund eight states’ efforts to improve rural electric infrastructure and a new guide by the Centers for Disease Control that will help local public health departments assess their area’s vulnerabilities to health hazards associated with climate change..." (File photo: Matt Brown, AP).


Mysterious Siberian Crater Found at "End of the World" - Is There a Larger Story Here? Daily Kos has an article speculating on the cause of a crater recently created in Siberia - is it really a possible signal of underground methane explosions as that region of Russia continues to warm? Here are a couple of excerpts: "...A mysterious crater almost the size of a football field discovered in a remote part of Siberia's Yamal peninsula known as the end of the world may have profound implications about the stability of Arctic methane  and catastrophic climate change...Permafrost in this area is melting in response to the rapid warming of the Arctic. The most likely cause of this crater is a methane explosion. See the update at at the end for a discussion that this crater was caused by the melting and collapse of an ice dome called a pingo. An Australian expert on Arctic landforms suggested pingo collapse created this crater, but Russian experts have not yet commented on his hypothesis..."


The Giant Siberian Hole: Yep, Media Does a Crap Job Reporting. It's good to be skeptical (of everything) and Doubtful News takes a second look at the mysterious Siberian crater and counters some of the initial alarmism: "...The Arctic has experienced this melting of permafrost creating what is known as thermokarst - an alteration of the land surface due to the melting below. Russia’s permafrost areas have been measured to be warming from 0.03 to 2.8 degrees C per year. Make no mistake: This is significant and causes damage. There is no reason to think of this hole as the end of the world or the bottomless pit to hell. Smack the person who suggests this has something to do with UFOs. But, it is not doubtful news that the planet is warming catastrophically and methane explosions are realities. Closer inspection will reveal clues to whether that is what happened in this case..."

Smoked Sunshine Served Hot - July About To Stage a Comeback

Posted by: Paul Douglas under Lions Updated: July 17, 2014 - 10:43 PM

As you slather on your SPF 50 sunscreen and stare up at a hazy-milky blue sky, realize that smoke from Canadian wildfires is drifting over Minnesota - swept along by jet stream winds aloft. Extreme heat is baking much of western Canada and the USA, sparking a rash of wildfires 1,500 miles upwind. The smoke plume is too high to smell anything unusual, but a few cherry-red sunsets are possible in the days ahead.

What was probably the most comfortable week of summer gives way to a warming trend in the coming days; highs top 90F by early next week. Weather models hint at a few spotty T-showers Saturday & Sunday - maybe a severe weather outbreak next Tuesday as superheated, tropical air sparks an MCS system; a statewide swarm of strong to severe storms.

That's pure speculation, but there's little doubt drippy dew points will top 70F by Monday and Tuesday. Men will sweat, women will glow, pets will pant. July the way we always knew it could be.

Note to self: the ability to tan or burn has nothing to do with temperature, and everything to do with sun angle; how high the sun is in the southern sky. You can get thoroughly fried in July, even when temperatures are in the 60s and 70s.


Tracking The Smoke. NOAA has a suite of online tools that display the latest position of significant smoke plumes from western fires.


Oregon, Washington Declare States of Emergency To Battle Wildfires. Here's the lead to a story at The Christian Science Monitor: "Worsening wildfire activity prompted the governor's offices in both Washington and Oregon to declare a state of emergency, a move that enables state officials to call up the National Guard. Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has issued an emergency declaration in response to wildfires, Wednesday..."

Photo credit above: "Plumes of smoke from the Leavenworth wildfire arc in the sky as seen from Highway 2 at Highway 207, west of Leavenworth, Wash. on Thursday, July 17, 2014. Worsening wildfire activity has prompted the governor's offices in both Washington and Oregon to declare states of emergency." (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Mike Siegel).


Building Heat. 100s over the Dakotas this weekend? It looks increasingly likely that the heat dome gripping the east will migrate into the Plains and Upper Midwest; highs brushing or topping 90F in Minnesota and much of the Midwest again by early next week. Meanwhile New England enjoys fresh, clean Canadian air. 2-meter NAM Future Temperatures: NOAA and HAMweather.


Rough T-storms Southern USA to Carolinas. NOAA's Future Radar product (12 km NAM) shows strong storms from Oklahoma City and Little Rock to Nashville and Raleigh over the next 72 hours; a few T-storms popping over northern and central Minnesota by the weekend as steamy air returns. Loop: HAMweather.


California Farms Are Sucking Up Enough Groundwater To Put Rhode Island 17 Feet Under. Here's an excerpt of a story at Mother Jones that shows the severity of the rolling drought in California: "...In a normal year, about one-third of California's irrigation water is drawn from wells that tap into the groundwater supply. The rest is "surface water" from streams, rivers, and reservoirs. This year, the state is losing about one-third of its surface water supply. The hardest hit area is the Central Valley, a normally fertile inland region. Because groundwater isn't as easily pumped in the Valley as it is on the coasts, and the Colorado River supplies aren't as accessible as they are in the south, the Valley has lost 410,000 acres to fallowing, an area about 10 times the size of Washington D.C...."

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Risk of Earthquake Increased For About Half of USA. Say what you will about our increasingly erratic, jaw-dropping weather, but at least Minnesota is earthquake-free! We have that going for us. Here's an excerpt from The Kansas City Star: "This undated handout image provided by the US Geological Survey (USGS) shows an updated federal earthquake risk map. A new map dials up the shaking hazard just a bit for about half of the US and lowers it for nearly a quarter of the nation. The U.S. Geologic Survey updated Thursday its national seismic hazard maps for the first time since 2008, taking into account research from the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami off the Japanese coast and the surprise 2011 Virginia temblor."

Image credit: USGS/AP Photo.


Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/government-politics/article750263.html#storylink=cpy

45 Years Ago We Landed Men on the Moon. How is that even possible, especially considering the onboard computers during the Apollo missions had a fraction of the computing power your smartphone has today? The Atlantic has a terrific pictorial walk down memory lane, focused on the awe-inspiring journey of Apollo 11; here's a clip: "...Years of effort, dangerous experiments, and bold missions led up to the Moon landing, an event watched on live television by millions around the world. Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin "Buzz" E. Aldrin left the Earth on a Wednesday, landed on the Moon on that Sunday, spent a bit more than two hours walking on its surface, deploying experiments and collecting samples, then splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean the following Thursday, after 8 days off-planet. Collected here are 45 images of that historic mission, a "giant leap for mankind," 45 years ago..." (Image: NASA).


NASA Air Traffic Control Software To Improve Spacing Between Planes. Gizmag has an interesting story - here's an excerpt: "As with all technology, the tools used for air traffic control are always improving. Recently, for example, it was announced that the first remote air traffic control tower would open in Sweden. In a smaller evolution, NASA has provided the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with software to better manage the spacing between planes..."


Your Sunscreen Is Really Out of Date. Here's What Congress Is Doing About It. Another reason to take the sun, like everything else, in moderation. NationalJournal has an article that made me do a double-take; here's a clip: "The U.S. may finally catch up to other countries in sunscreen technology. The ingredients that make their sunscreen superior have been awaiting approval—or any sort of decision—from the Food and Drug Administration for at least 12 years, with the last over-the-counter sunscreen ingredient approved by the agency in the 1990s. There are currently eight such ingredients stuck in the system. Meanwhile, these technologies have been available in Europe, Asia, and Central and South America, sometimes for more than 15 years. As a result of the backlog, American consumers have been unable to buy the sunscreens that provide the most effective protections against harmful rays..."


A Fish Oil - Alzheimer's Connection? Yahoo News has a story about new research showing a possible connection between fish oil and a lowered risk of Alzheimer's. Here's a clip: "Fish oil is touted as a magical potion that boosts fertility, heart health, and weight loss and promotes a clear complexion, while lessening the effects of depression, ulcers, diabetes and many more conditions. But there’s another benefit to these glossy little capsules: They may prevent Alzheimer’s disease. .."


Our Bees, Ourselves. All around the world colonies of honey bees are dying and the causes may be manifold. We should be paying close attention, according to a story at The New York Times; here's an excerpt: "...But in the midst of crisis can come learning. Honeybee collapse has much to teach us about how humans can avoid a similar fate, brought on by the increasingly severe environmental perturbations that challenge modern society. Honeybee collapse has been particularly vexing because there is no one cause, but rather a thousand little cuts..." (File photo: Wikipedia).


79 F. high in the Twin Cities Thursday.

84 F. average high on July 17.

94 F. high on July 17, 2013.


July 17 in Minnesota Weather History. Source: Twin Cities NWS:

2000: Fall apparel made an early debut on this cold day with a 60 degree high temperature at the Twin Cities, 54 at Brainerd and 52 at Cambridge.

1986: A KARE TV news helicopter captured live footage of a tornado as it hit the northern suburbs of Minneapolis. It touched down in Brooklyn Park and continued to Fridley. The tornado, an F-2 in magnitude, caused $650,000 in damages

1970: Tornado slices right through the center of Miltona.

1867: Possibly the greatest "unofficial" rainstorm in Minnesota history. 36 inches was recorded in 36 hours near Sauk Center. Disasterous flooding in central Minnesota. The Pomme De Terre river was impassible. A courier attempted to cross on horseback and drowned. Flooding was also on the Mississippi with millions of logs lost on the river.


FRIDAY: Partly sunny, warm breeze. Dew point: 57. Winds: S 15. High: 81

FRIDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Low: 65

SATURDAY: Warm sun, isolated T-shower late? High: 82

SUNDAY: Sticky sun, stray PM storm. Dew point: 67. Wake-up: 67. High: 87

MONDAY: Sunny and stinking hot. Dew point: 72. Feels like 98. Wake-up: 72. High: 91

TUESDAY: Steamy, T-storms - some severe? Wake-up: 75. High: 83

WEDNESDAY: Clearing, less humid. Dew point: 63. Wake-up: 69. High: 85

THURSDAY: Intervals of sun, still feels like July. Wake-up: 70. High: 87


Climate Stories...

NOAA: Climate Change Is Getting Worse. No warming in 15 years? Think again - much of the additional warming is going into the world's oceans (and cryosphere - melting Arctic and Greenland ice faster than computer models predicted). Here's the introduction to a story at The Hill: "Changes in the earth's climate are increasing at a steady rate, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) warned Thursday in a new report. Greenhouse gas emissions, sea levels, global temperatures and super storms are all trending upward, NOAA said. "These findings reinforce what scientists for decades have observed: that our planet is becoming a warmer place." NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan said in a statement Thursday..."


Is Global Warming Causing Extreme Weather Via Jet Stream Waves? The Guardian has the story; focusing on trends I've seen with the jet stream, especially since 2010 or so - more high-amplitude waves capable of accelerating heat/drought and flooding, since these long, looping kinks in the upper level wind flow tend to move slower. Here's a clip: "...People who follow this site and the climate literature no doubt are aware that a hotly debated topic has arisen in recent years. I have written about studies that have linked loss of Arctic ice and warming of the Arctic region to more severe undulations in the jet stream. That research is still in its infancy and consequently, very exciting. While the idea that global warming increases jet stream undulations have been challenged by others, it is clear that some recent observations support the hypothesis..."

Image credit: Climate Reanalyzer (http://cci-reanalyzer.org), Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, USA.


Global Warming Threatens Chicago Tourism. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed at The Chicago Sun Times: "...Severe rainstorms also have the power to frustrate business. As the river rises because of rainfall, it becomes challenging for tour boats to fit underneath Chicago’s many bridges. This in turn means the Chicago Harbor Lock may have to open the gates that separate the Chicago River from Lake Michigan to restore the river to safe levels and protect residents from basement flooding. In the past 25 years all Chicago River lock gates were opened six times for flood control purposes. The worrisome part of that statistic is that four of these six times have occurred since 2008 with the latest just occurring on July 1..."


Top 10 Warmest January – July Periods. Global temperature anomalies courtesy of NASA GISS:

2010       .73C

2007       .69C

1998       .69C

2002       .68C

2014       .65C

2005       .64C

2004       .57C

2013       .56C

2009       .55C

2004       .54C


White House Unveils Climate Change Initiatives. Here's an excerpt from The New York Times: "...One of the projects involves shoring up the power supply during climate catastrophes, and the Department of Agriculture on Wednesday will award $236.3 million to improve electricity infrastructure in the rural areas of eight states. A government study released in May concluded that climate change will strain utility companies’ ability to deliver power as extreme weather damages power lines and hotter temperatures drive surges in demand..."


Global Warming Reaches New Records. Voice of America reports; here's an excerpt: "Scientific evidence about the rising of average global temperatures seems to be piling up. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, average global temperatures in April, May and June this year were the highest since the beginning of official records, in 1891..." (Image: NASA).

Atmospheric Perfection - Shot at 90 Early Next Week

Posted by: Paul Douglas under Lions Updated: July 16, 2014 - 10:28 PM

Tell Me a Story

That newfangled gadget (productivity tool) you just bought is obsolete by the time you unwrap it. Technology evolves, but one thing stays fairly consistent: people still respond to a good story.

Maybe it's in our caveman DNA, but we still love to gather around the fire, TV or nearest smartphone and tell each other stories.

Will computers ever remove the need for meteorologists to be involved in the weather story? Will Apple's Siri (version 6.3 in 2021) tell you what's happening outside and why? Maybe.

In 1976 there was 1 weather model (LFM). Today we have a firehose of data; hundreds of models to choose from. We are drowning in data and simulations of what (should) happen.

Studies suggest the best weather forecasts use computers and meteorologists, who rely on historical performance, intuition and gut feel. Stuff you can't program into a computer, at least not yet.

Some of the nicest weather of summer lingers into the weekend as cool exhaust from Monday's "vortex" lingers. Dew points rise into the steamy 70s next week as a hot front approaches.

The next chance of widespread T-storms comes Tuesday, so take full advantage of this extended dry spell.

And for the record: there's plenty of warm, summer weather left to enjoy.

Trust me, I'm a weatherman.


Warming Trend. Enjoy comfortable dew points in the low 50s today and early Friday, because long-range models show dew points topping 70F early next week. The good news: dry weather spills over into the weekend as temperatures rise into the 80s; a shot at 90F in the metro area early next week before cooling off a bit by midweek. Meteogram: Weatherspark.


Sweatshirt Nights for New England While Western USA Broils. NAM 2-meter temperatures show a cooling trend for much of the Northeast, while the Midwest and Plains heat up into the weekend, and temperatures continue to top 100F over much of Texas and the Southwest. 84-hour forecast: NOAA and HAMweather.


Top 10 Warmest January – July Periods. Global temperature anomalies courtesy of NASA GISS:

2010       .73C

2007       .69C

1998       .69C

2002       .68C

2014       .65C

2005       .64C

2004       .57C

2013       .56C

2009       .55C

2004       .54C


Top 10 Cities At Risk For Hurricane Damage. Insurance Business America has the article; here's a clip: "...Unsurprisingly, Florida leads the way for the highest number of homes at risk (2.5 million), containing the second- and third-ranked metro areas of Miami and Tampa. New York City represents the highest number of homes at risk (687,412) as well as the highest total value of homes exposed ($251 billion). With that level of risk, producers in the following 10 metro areas have a powerful case to present to home and business owners who have not yet purchased the proper coverage..." (Image above: NASA).


A Tornado "Lifejacket"? Keep in mind most serious, life-threatening tornado-related injuries are the result of blunt head trauma from flying debris. Could the right (reinforced) blanket really provide adequate protection during a tornado? Here's an excerpt of a story at AccuWeather.com: "...Made from heavy-duty nylon, an impact gel product and Dyneema®, a high-tech body armor material, and modeled after the old Roman phalanx shields, the duo created a product dubbed BODYGUARD™. The product is a blanketlike, protective shield designed to "provide superior protection for children and teachers while at school..."

Image above courtesy of StormGuard and Protecht.


45 Years Ago We Landed Men on the Moon. How is that even possible, especially considering the onboard computers during the Apollo missions had a fraction of the computing power your smartphone has today? The Atlantic has a terrific pictorial walk down memory lane, focused on the awe-inspiring journey of Apollo 11; here's a clip: "...Years of effort, dangerous experiments, and bold missions led up to the Moon landing, an event watched on live television by millions around the world. Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin "Buzz" E. Aldrin left the Earth on a Wednesday, landed on the Moon on that Sunday, spent a bit more than two hours walking on its surface, deploying experiments and collecting samples, then splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean the following Thursday, after 8 days off-planet. Collected here are 45 images of that historic mission, a "giant leap for mankind," 45 years ago..." (Image: NASA).


A Huge New Craters is Found in Siberia, And The Theories Fly. NPR has the story and video; here's an excerpt: "The area of Russia is said to be called, ominously enough, the end of the world. And that's where researchers are headed this week, to investigate a large crater whose appearance reportedly caught scientists by surprise. The crater is estimated at 262 feet wide and is in the northern Siberian area of Yamal. The crater has been a magnet for attention and speculation since aerial footage of it was posted online last week, showing a gaping hole and what looks to be rocks and earth that exploded from within it..."


Your Sunscreen Is Really Out of Date. Here's What Congress Is Doing About It. Another reason to take the sun, like everything else, in moderation. NationalJournal has an article that made me do a double-take; here's a clip: "The U.S. may finally catch up to other countries in sunscreen technology. The ingredients that make their sunscreen superior have been awaiting approval—or any sort of decision—from the Food and Drug Administration for at least 12 years, with the last over-the-counter sunscreen ingredient approved by the agency in the 1990s. There are currently eight such ingredients stuck in the system. Meanwhile, these technologies have been available in Europe, Asia, and Central and South America, sometimes for more than 15 years. As a result of the backlog, American consumers have been unable to buy the sunscreens that provide the most effective protections against harmful rays..."


Our Bees, Ourselves. All around the world colonies of honey bees are dying and the causes may be manifold. We should be paying close attention, according to a story at The New York Times; here's an excerpt: "...But in the midst of crisis can come learning. Honeybee collapse has much to teach us about how humans can avoid a similar fate, brought on by the increasingly severe environmental perturbations that challenge modern society. Honeybee collapse has been particularly vexing because there is no one cause, but rather a thousand little cuts..." (File photo: Wikipedia).


Getting Rid of Cable TV: The Smartest Ways to Cut The Cord. Yes, the old-fashioned TV antenna is staging a comeback. In fact broadcast signals in HD are often sharper over the air than via cable. If you're sick of paying hundreds of dollars for channels you never watch, check out this article at The Wall Street Journal; here's an excerpt: "...I hadn't thought about a TV antenna since 1985, but it may be time to go back to the future. Today, the network channels  you can get free over the air can be crisp. And unlike that giant antenna that used to dominate Uncle Louie's roof, today's antennas, like the $70 Mohu Leaf 50 and the $90 Winegard FlatWave Amped, are slim enough to fit on a bookshelf..."


Free Broadcast TV Signals At Your Address. Check out this terrific on-line tool at tvfool.com, plug in your address and height of the (prospective) antenna above the ground and you get an instant (confidential) report on what (free) TV signals are available at your home. Pretty slick.


The Myth of Wealthy Men and Beautiful Women. The Atlantic has an interesting article that may challenge how you think about couples pairing up; here's an excerpt: "...The study concludes that women aren’t really out for men with more wealth than themselves, nor are men looking for women who outshine them in beauty. Rather, hearteningly, people really are looking for ... compatibility and companionship. Finding those things is driven by matching one's strengths with a partner who’s similarly endowed, rather than trying to barter kindness for hotness, humor for conscientiousness, cultural savvy for handyman-ship, or graduate degrees for marketable skills...."


Tesla Reveals Its Next Electric Car Will Be Called Model 3, Which Should Retail For Under $35,000 in 2017. The prices are coming down - I have a hunch many of our kids and grandkids won't think twice about driving EV's, especially if they can save money (and clean up the air) in the process. Here's a clip from The Next Web: "...Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk told Auto Express in an interview that the new vehicle will rival the BMW 3 Series. Though Musk wanted to name the car ‘Model E’ at first, his plans were derailed when Ford threatened to sue it, saying it wanted to use the name — so Model 3 it eventually became. The Model 3 will be smaller than the Model S, with Musk saying it should retail for around $35,000 (or around £30,000 in the UK) due to the use of cheaper batteries that Tesla will likely build in its upcoming Gigafactory..."


77 F. high in the Twin Cities Wednesday.

84 F. average high on July 17.

92 F. high on July 17, 2013.

July 17 in Minnesota Weather History:

2001: Lightning struck a Minnesota National Guard field training site located in Camp Ripley. Nearly two dozen Marine Corps reservists were sent to hospitals. Most were released after treatment

1952: 5.20 inches of rain fell in 3 1/2 hours at Moose Lake. Numerous basements were flooded and Highway 61 was impassable at Willow River.

1934: Frost damages crops across the north with 34 in Baudette and Roseau.


TODAY: A perfect day. Sunny. Dew point: 51. Winds: SW 8. High: 78

THURSDAY NIGHT: Clear and comfortable. Low: 59

FRIDAY: Sunny, breezy & warmer. Dew point: 56. High: 81

SATURDAY: Warm sunshine. Dew point: 60. Winds: S 15+ Wake-up: 61. High: 83

SUNDAY: Sticky sun, lake-worthy. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 63. High: 85

MONDAY: Mexican Vortex. Hot sun. Dew point: 68. Wake-up: 67. High: near 90

TUESDAY: Slight relief, few T-storms likely. Wake-up: 68. High: 86

WEDNESDAY: More sun, a bit less humid. DP: 60. Wake-up: 64. High: 84


Climate Stories...

White House Unveils Climate Change Initiatives. Here's an excerpt from The New York Times: "...One of the projects involves shoring up the power supply during climate catastrophes, and the Department of Agriculture on Wednesday will award $236.3 million to improve electricity infrastructure in the rural areas of eight states. A government study released in May concluded that climate change will strain utility companies’ ability to deliver power as extreme weather damages power lines and hotter temperatures drive surges in demand..."


Global Warming Reaches New Records. Voice of America reports; here's an excerpt: "Scientific evidence about the rising of average global temperatures seems to be piling up. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, average global temperatures in April, May and June this year were the highest since the beginning of official records, in 1891..." (Image: NASA).