Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Maps More May Than July - Will China Make Serious Strides Toward Reducing CO2 Emissions?

77 F. high temperature at KMPX Tuesday.
83 F. average high on June 30.
81 F. high on June 30, 2014.

June 30, 1982: Frost hits St. Louis County. Kulger Township falls to 27 degrees and Meadowlands bottoms out at 32.
June 30, 1871: Large hail fell in Meeker County. Some of the stones were 6 inches in circumference. Many windows were broken on the north sides of houses.
June 30, 1863: Note written on 1863 meteorological form at Ft. Ripley: Drought is very severe. The grass upon the prairie is nearly or quite dried up. The Mississippi River at this point is lower than was ever known before. The amount of moisture which fell during the last 6 months ending June 30, 1863 was 4.27 inches


Toasted, not Burnt

"Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability" riffed Sam Keen. With a few notable exceptions (Monday's "hailers" come to mind) it's been quiet and lukewarm. No fuss. No drama. Summer the way it was meant to be.

The drought is over - farmers as content as they're ever going to get - and we have yet to see newsworthy levels of heat and humidity. Get used to it.

This is turning into "The Perfect Summer" with just enough warmth for the lake or pool but no debilitating heatwaves or outrageous dew points. Staring at the weather models I still don't see a hot front into mid-July.

The hottest weather of the year usually comes in mid-July, about 3 weeks after the Summer Solstice; there's a built-in "lag" in the atmosphere. Could we still see 90s in late July and August? Absolutely.

But the same persistent ridge of hot, dry air sparking hundreds of wildfires in Alaska and Washington State, and historic drought for California, is turning our prevailing winds to the northwest, with a fresh supply of Canadian air every couple of days. Smoke too.

That milky sky draped overhead is a smoke plume from fires thousands of miles upwind.

Oh, the 4th of July still looks great; plan for Sunday T-storms.

More May Than July. It's July, at least on paper. Mother Nature hasn't gotten the memo yet. As far as the atmosphere is concerned we're stuck in early or mid May. I'm not complaining; I don't miss the 90s one bit, but once again the pattern is stuck; the bloated ridge stretching from San Diego to Anchorage continues to dominate the weather across North America, pushing our winds around to the northwest every 2-3 days, pulling another puff of cooler, drier air into Minnesota - and I don't see any evidence the core of the heat will push east anytime soon. The 4th of July still looks miraculously nice with warm sun and low 80s. Watch for T-storms rumbling in Sunday; followed by highs in the 70s to near 80 much of next week.

240 Hour Extended Outlook. Here is NOAA's GFS model looking out 10 days, showing a nice Saturday with southerly winds and temperatures near normal under a hazy blue sky. Showers and T-storms arrive Sunday, with a cooling trend much of next week.

Mid-July: Moderately Warm. Not hot, not here in the Upper Midwest, but if the GFS 500 mb forecast comes close to verifying much of the west and southern USA will be sizzling by mid July, which is - historically - the hottest time of the year, nationwide. Source: GrADS:COLA/IGES.

July 4 Fireworks Spark Astonishing Spike In Air Pollution, NOAA Study Finds. Here's an excerpt of a fascinating story at The Washington Post: "Every July 4, the 14,000-plus dazzling fireworks displays across the nation have a toxic effect on our atmosphere. A new NOAA study shows they temporarily increase particulate pollution by an average of 42 percent. The first of its kind study, published in the journal Atmospheric Environment, analyzed concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) at 315 U.S. air quality monitoring stations between 1999 and 2013..."

Image credit above: "Concentrations of PM2.5 just before, during and after fireworks displays across the nation." (NOAA).

June Has Been Wet - Just Like Normal. No, this shouldn't come as a shock, considering June is (historically) the wettest month of the year. Here's an excerpt of a good post from AerisWeather meteorologist D.J. Kayser: "The rain bucket has been quite busy across the state again this month so far, with some areas of Minnesota picking up over 5″ of rain with only a few days left of June. So far, the top rain amount reported this month (through early on the 26th) was 8.00″ 0.3 miles SW of Ellendale by a CoCoRaHS observer. A COOP observer in Melrose has reported 7.65″ – and another COOP observer 3 miles southeast of Albert Lea has picked up 7.56″ so far. Any area in red above shows observed precipitation of 5″ or more through the month so far..."

Smoke From Alaska and Canada Fires Dives into Continental USA. Yes, that was smoke dimming the sun yesterday, from fires thousands of miles upwind. Details from NOAA: "The InciWeb Incident Information System is following 18 fires in Alaska that are contributing, along with 49 uncontrolled fires under surveillance by the Canadian Wildland Fire Information System, to vast areas of visible smoke throughout Canadian provinces and stretching into northern U.S. states. This image from the Suomi NPP satellite's VIIRS instrument was taken from NOAA View on June 28, 2015. The smoke from these fires can also be seen in NOAA View as Aerosol Optical Thickness, a measure of how aerosols, such as smoke from wildfires, scatter and absorb sunlight." (Image: NOAA/NASA).

Is Major League Baseball Taking Storms Seriously Enough. Probably not. Meteorologist Craig Edwards is the former MIC (Meteorologist in Charge) of the Twin Cities National Weather Service. He attends every Twins home game, making sure they get the weather call right, protecting fans and players from lightning, hail and damaging winds. But other stadiums? I would be surprised if they take the same precautions. It was a close call in St. Louis Sunday night. Here's an excerpt of a Jason Samenow story at The Capital Weather Gang: "...If a tornado warning is issued when fans are in the stadium, does each park have a plan to quickly evacuate the stands and adequately shelter fans? Can it get fans underground or inside interior rooms (like bathrooms)? In other words, does every tornado-vulnerable stadium have tornado shelters that are well-labeled (like some airports do, like Denver)? MLB has a responsibility to have very good, thoughtful answers to these questions in the vital interest of its fans safety."

* I addressed this threat (to major sporting events) in The Huffington Post in April of 2012.

Strong El Nino Expected To Linger Into Winter of 2015-2016. Will we enjoy another relatively mild winter? All El Nino events are different, but the majority of these warm phases in the Pacific do correlate with slightly warmer winters for Minnesota, the Dakotas and Pacific Northwest. According to NOAA there's a 90% chance the current (strong) El Nino will linger into autumn; an 85% chance it will carry over into next winter.

Lightning Deaths So Far In 2015. Here's an NOAA update on lightning fatalities so far this; a majority of deaths from people near trees, on rooftops or boats. You don't want to be near tall objects and you certainly want to avoid open areas like fields, lakes, fields or golf courses, where you may be the tallest thing in the area. The best advice: when you hear the first growl of thunder (or see storms approaching on a Doppler app on your phone) head inside - a building or even a vehicle offers sufficient protection from lightning.

Hurricane Planes Get Overhaul As NOAA Eyes Next Generation. Just like the military expect an accelerated transition to drones in the years ahead. Here's an excerpt of a story from Tampa Tribune at TBO.com: "Miss Piggy is flying again. But even as the lumbering P-3 Orion aircraft takes part in its first mission since getting two new engines in a life-extending overhaul, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is looking for the next generation of hurricane hunting aircraft. Miss Piggy and NOAA’s other Orion, named Kermit, are stationed at MacDill Air Force Base. Each plane was put into service during the mid-70s and has flown more than 10,000 hours, into more than 80 hurricanes. They are long, grueling missions, often subjecting the crew to zero gravity as the aircraft lurch up and down in buffeting winds. With the pounding they’ve taken, the planes need the $42 million refurbishing to stay on the job during the June through November hurricane season and beyond..."

File photo above: Chris Urso, staff.

The Perils of Weather Prediction. Think the forecasts are bad now? It's a step up from what passed for weather forecasts in the 18th and 19th centuries. Here's an excerpt of an interesting article at The Daily Beast: "Growing up, I was advised that one of the better careers to seek out was that of weatherman—they managed to get plenty wrong and yet keep their jobs. In reality, the modern weather prediction we largely take for granted is pretty reliable, certainly when contrasted with conditions two centuries ago, when even the slightest degree of predictability was utterly impossible. The tortuous and heated chase to understand—and predict—the weather is the tale Peter Moore tells in his fascinating new book, The Weather Experiment: The Pioneers Who Sought to See the Future..."

The Underfunded, Disorganized Plan To Save Earth From The Next Giant Asteroid. OK. I officially have enough to worry about now - no wonder I wander the land in a perpetual state of paranoia. Here's an excerpt from Motherboard: "...After this arguably close brush with total annihilation, Congress asked NASA to prepare a report on the threat posed by asteroids. The 1992 document, "The Spaceguard Survey: Report of the NASA International Near-Earth-Object Detection Workshop," was, suffice it to say, rather bleak. If a large NEO were to hit Earth, the report said, its denizens could look forward to acid rain, firestorms, and an impact winter induced by dust being thrown miles into the stratosphere. In the initial moments following impact, the impact site—which is generally 10 to 15 times the size of the asteroid—would be vaporized..."

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Works Globally To Fight Antismoking Measures. I wonder what the local chapters of the Chamber of Commerce think about this? Here's an excerpt from an infuriating story at The New York Times: "...From Ukraine to Uruguay, Moldova to the Philippines, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its foreign affiliates have become the hammer for the tobacco industry, engaging in a worldwide effort to fight antismoking laws of all kinds, according to interviews with government ministers, lobbyists, lawmakers and public health groups in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States..."

Photo credit above: "Protesters displayed fake body bags at a tobacco trade show at Pasay, the Philippines, in 2013." Credit Bullit Marquez/Associated Press.


TODAY: Some sun, isolated PM shower, especially south/west of MSP. Winds: East 5-10. High: 76

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Clear to partly cloudy. Low: 59

THURSDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, a dry sky. High: 78

FRIDAY: Sunny and seasonably warm, risk of road construction. Wake-up: 62. High: 82

4TH OF JULY: Partly sunny, lake-worthy. Better day of the holiday weekend. Wake-up: 63. High: 83

SUNDAY: Cloudier, stickier. Few T-storms. Wake-up: 66. High: 84

MONDAY: Blue sky, fresh breeze. Less humid. Wake-up: 64. High: 79

TUESDAY: Sunny and spectacular. Dew point: 53. Wake-up: 59. High: 76

* photo credit above: Marlo Lundy.

Climate Stories...

China Pledges To Halt Growth of Carbon Emissions in Climate Plan. We'll see if the actions match the words, but this could be another encouraging step, taken at face value. Here's the intro to a story at The New York Times: " China, the world’s biggest greenhouse gas polluter, pledged on Tuesday to wean its economy off dependence on fossil fuels as it grows, and said it would halt the growth of its emissions as soon as it could. How quickly and how much China’s emissions will grow is crucial to the arithmetic of global climate change, and the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that are driving that change, especially carbon dioxide. China’s motor vehicles, factories, power plants and boilers released 29 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions in 2013 — twice the amount released by the United States, the world’s largest economy and second-largest carbon polluter..."

Melting Arctic Sea Ice Could Be Disrupting The Oceans' Circulation - With Major Consequences. It turns out we're conducting an experiment on the atmosphere, and the oceans. Here's an excerpt from The Washington Post: "...A weakened Atlantic overturning circulation has the potential to cause some unexpected consequences. If the current slows down and less warm water gets transported north, then less heat will be transferred in regions such as Western Europe. According to Moore, Europe could actually experience a cooling effect in the future as a result of this — although how pronounced this cooling will be remains unclear. Climate change is expected to continue raising temperatures across the globe, so overturning-related cooling effects in Europe will likely be offset by global warming. It may be that Europe will continue to heat up, but at a slower pace than the rest of the world...."

Image credit above: "This NASA animation shows what happens globally to create the large, slow current called the thermohaline circulation." (NASA).

European Climate At Mercy of Retreating Sea Ice. Following up on the research above here's additional perspective from Gizmag: "An international team of scientists has found that retreating sea ice between the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans is linked to weakened air-sea heat exchange in the region. This, it warns, could result in a cooler climate in western Europe and an altered or slower Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), which would have knock-on effects for the Gulf Stream and consequently for the atmosphere..." (Image credit here).

10 Coastal Destinations Most At Risk From Sea Level Rise. Here's an excerpt of a story at EcoWatch: "...Most endangered are the low-lying barrier parks on the country’s southeastern Atlantic seacoast. The cost of rebuilding or replacing historic structures such as lighthouses and tourist centers at North Carolina’s Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina alone is estimated at nearly $1.2 billion—without even factoring in loss of lands and tourist income. Ten NPS national seashores listed most at risk are popular destinations for millions of Americans including some of its most visited and beloved beach areas.

They include:

1. Assateague (Maryland/Virginia)
2. Cape Cod (Massachusetts)
3. Fire Island (New York)
4. Cape Hatteras (North Carolina)..."

Of Course Climate Change Is A Moral Issue. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed at The Wausau Daily Herald that got my attention: "...But the most important aspect of the encyclical is the pope's insistence that climate change is a religious and moral issue. By recklessly pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, we are wounding creation itself. And those who have contributed least to carbon pollution, the poor, will increasingly suffer the most from it effects, while those in the future will inherit a degraded and dangerous environment. If we value creation and if we feel moral responsibility to our fellow humans, we need to take actions to dramatically reduce greenhouse gases and reshape our economy so that it does not imperil the planet..."

Image credit above: "Smoke rises from a wildfire in the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge in southwest Alaska." (Photo: Matt Snyder/Alaska Division of Forestry via AP).

Oil Companies Played Hardball In Bid To Defeat Climate Outsiders. Responsible governance that takes future risk into account? Why start now. Here's an excerpt from Reuters: "...The 15 victories at energy companies show that investors think the companies must do more to address climate change risks - which range from shortages of water needed for drilling to hefty carbon taxes governments could impose on fossil fuel producers, fund managers said..."

File photo of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson courtesy of Evan Vucci, Associated Press.

Coal Shares Jump After Supreme Court Rejects Mercury Rule. Here's a snippet from a story at Bloomberg Business: "...Beleaguered U.S. coal producers were thrown a lifeline after the Supreme Court struck down the Obama administration’s rule on mercury and acid gases from power plants, saying it hadn’t considered the billions of dollars in costs before issuing the rule..."


Supreme Court Blocks Obama's Limits on Power Plants. The New York Times reports; here's the introduction: "The Supreme Court on Monday blocked one of the Obama administration’s most ambitious environmental initiatives, one meant to limit emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants from coal-fired power plants. Industry groups and some 20 states challenged the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to regulate the emissions, saying the agency had failed to take into account the punishing costs its regulations would impose..."

Pope's Activism Sets Stage For Awkward Visit To Capitol Hill. The Hill has the story; here's the introduction: "Congressional Republicans say they are ready to welcome Pope Francis to Capitol Hill this fall — even if he uses part of his speech to challenge them on issues like climate change or income inequality. Francis’s climate change encyclical last week was just the latest example of his willingness to wade into contentious political debates, often with positions that seem to fall on the liberal side of the spectrum. The pope’s nods to progressive politics have put some Republicans in an awkward spot. While many are Catholic and conservative, they are loath to be seen as criticizing the head of the church..."

Will Catholic Republicans Side With The Pope on Climate Change? Here's a snippet from a story at The Washington Post: "... Are Catholics likely to change their views on climate change in order to align with Pope Francis? For some hints, it may be helpful to look at the shift in how Catholics viewed the death penalty following the Catholic Church’s involvement more than two decades ago. There is evidence that links an uptick in Catholics opposing capital punishment after Pope John Paul II issued an encyclical that discouraged the use of the death penalty in 1995. One study found that support for the death penalty had been higher among Catholics than non-Catholics in the 1970’s; by 2004 the opposite was true..."

File photo: Luca Zennaro, AP.

Isolating The Underlying Causes of Extreme Weather. Here's a shocker: it's related to continued warming of the planet; we're putting more energy into the climate system and then acting surprised and indignant when the weather bites back. Here's an excerpt summarizing new research at Stanford University: "...Worldwide news reports of extreme weather events – oppressive heat, parching droughts, destructive storms – are increasingly common. A new study co-authored by Stanford and Princeton University researchers finds that trends in atmospheric circulation patterns can partially explain Earth’s increasingly severe weather. While scientists had previously surmised that the link existed, robust empirical evidence was lacking. The study finds that overall increases in hot extremes and decreases in cold extremes in the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes are driven by a combination of changes in the amount of heat and moisture in the atmosphere as well as changes in atmospheric circulation patterns. Changes in the heat and moisture content of the climate system – called “thermodynamics” – can account for the majority of the observed changes in extreme temperature..."

Recap of Severe Monday - More Evidence of Link Between Climate Change and Extreme Weather

83 F. high in the Twin Cities Monday.
83 F. average high on June 29.
85 F. high on June 29, 2014.

June 29, 1982: Frost hits St. Louis County. Kulger Township falls to 27 degrees and Meadowlands bottoms out at 32.
June 29, 1871: Large hail fell in Meeker County. Some of the stones were 6 inches in circumference. Many windows were broken on the north sides of houses.
June 29, 1863: Note written on 1863 meteorological form at Ft. Ripley: Drought is very severe. The grass upon the prairie is nearly or quite dried up. The Mississippi River at this point is lower than was ever known before. The amount of moisture which fell during the last 6 months ending June 30, 1863 was 4.27 inches.


Pushing the Weather

It's human nature. We plan out our summers, scheduling outdoor events with grim determination, praying for divine intervention. "I'm going to get this in even if it kills me!" Careful what you wish for.

In recent days Minnesotans have been struck by lightning; some of these injuries were avoidable.
Although we can't eliminate risk altogether there are steps you can take to reduce the threat of being struck. When you hear the first growl of thunder head indoors; any building or even a vehicle offers solid protection.

Lightning is lazy; it takes the easiest path from cloud to the ground. Which means you don't want to be the tallest thing in the area. Avoid lakes, fields, golf courses, swimming pools and loitering near tall trees. If you want to live a long life don't push the weather.

We salvage a rare dry, thunder-free Tuesday with 70s, a fresh breeze and less humidity. Considering we could be broiling in the 90s there's nothing wrong with this forecast: highs in the 70s and low 80s ; not a hot front in sight.

My nervous twitch is back. 4th of July - what can possibly go wrong? No promises but it still looks good: partly sunny, low 80s, probably dry.

I am cautiously optimistic.

* File photo above courtesy of Bob Israel at RJI Photography.

Serious "Hailers". The photos above showed the size of the hail that hit the northwest metro. Sheena Nelson snapped the upper left photo in Rogers. Her brother, Aaron Weidner in Otsego took the photo of quarter size hail in the upper right. There were some reports of 2"+ diameter hail in some suburbs. Details below.

Mixed Up Storms. 90 to 95% of the time "weather" approaches from the southwest, west or northwest. Yesterday steering currents aloft were blowing from the north-northeast, circulating around a cold upper level low over Wisconsin. As a result hail-producing storms moved in from the NNE, catching many people off-guard. At 8:47 PM NWS Doppler radar shows reports of 1-2" diameter hail and a vivid outflow boundary, a miniature cool front sparked by rain and hail-cooled air, pushing westward out ahead of the severe cells.

Here is a preliminary (chronological) list of severe weather reports in the metro area. Click here for even more reports.

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
1011 PM CDT MON JUN 29 2015

..TIME...   ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...     ...LAT.LON...
..DATE...   ....MAG....      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
            ..REMARKS..

0230 PM     HAIL             EAU CLAIRE              44.82N 91.49W
06/29/2015  M0.50 INCH       EAU CLAIRE         WI   BROADCAST MEDIA

            REPORTED BY WQOW TV METEOROLOGIST. ALSO REPORTED 0.55
            INCHES OF RAIN IN 20 MINUTES.

0236 PM     FUNNEL CLOUD     PRINCETON               45.57N 93.59W
06/29/2015                   MILLE LACS         MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            REPORTED JUST WEST OF HIGHWAY 169.

0315 PM     HAIL             OTSEGO                  45.29N 93.61W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       WRIGHT             MN   PUBLIC

            HAIL OCCURRED FOR 10 MINUTES. REPORTED VIA FACEBOOK.

0315 PM     HAIL             CADOTT                  44.95N 91.15W
06/29/2015  M0.50 INCH       CHIPPEWA           WI   TRAINED SPOTTER

            SMALL BRANCHES ALSO REPORTED DOWN.

0320 PM     HAIL             2 NNE ROGERS            45.22N 93.54W
06/29/2015  M0.75 INCH       HENNEPIN           MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0320 PM     HAIL             3 SSW ELK RIVER         45.29N 93.59W
06/29/2015  E1.75 INCH       WRIGHT             MN   PUBLIC

0320 PM     HAIL             4 SSW ELK RIVER         45.28N 93.58W
06/29/2015  E1.75 INCH       WRIGHT             MN   PUBLIC

0333 PM     HAIL             ROGERS                  45.19N 93.55W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       HENNEPIN           MN   BROADCAST MEDIA

            REPORTED VIA TWITTER.

0345 PM     HAIL             MAPLE GROVE             45.09N 93.43W
06/29/2015  M0.50 INCH       HENNEPIN           MN   PUBLIC

            REPORTED VIA TWITTER.

0350 PM     HAIL             ELK RIVER               45.33N 93.57W
06/29/2015  M0.75 INCH       SHERBURNE          MN   PUBLIC

            REPORTED VIA TWITTER.

0350 PM     HAIL             MAPLE GROVE             45.09N 93.43W
06/29/2015  M1.25 INCH       HENNEPIN           MN   PUBLIC

            REPORTED VIA TWITTER.

0353 PM     HAIL             MAPLE GROVE             45.09N 93.43W
06/29/2015  M1.25 INCH       HENNEPIN           MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            ALSO REPORTED 3 TO 4 INCH DIAMETER BRANCHES DOWN. HAIL
            AND BRANCHES DOWN NEAR DALLAS AND BERKSHIRE ROADS.

0354 PM     HAIL             MAPLE GROVE             45.09N 93.43W
06/29/2015  M0.88 INCH       HENNEPIN           MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0355 PM     HAIL             5 NNW PLYMOUTH          45.08N 93.50W
06/29/2015  M2.00 INCH       HENNEPIN           MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0408 PM     HAIL             PLYMOUTH                45.02N 93.46W
06/29/2015  M0.75 INCH       HENNEPIN           MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            OCCURRED NEAR INTERSTATE 494 AND COUNTY ROAD 6.

0409 PM     HAIL             PLYMOUTH                45.02N 93.46W
06/29/2015  M1.75 INCH       HENNEPIN           MN   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            OCCURRED NEAR INTERSTATE 494 AND COUNTY ROAD 6.

0411 PM     HAIL             PLYMOUTH                45.02N 93.46W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       HENNEPIN           MN   PUBLIC

            REPORTED NEAR SOUTHEAST CORNER OF I-494 AND HIGHWAY 55.

0414 PM     HAIL             MINNETONKA              44.91N 93.50W
06/29/2015  M0.75 INCH       HENNEPIN           MN   PUBLIC

            OCCURRED JUST EAST OF INTERSTATE 494 BETWEEN MINNETONKA
            BLVD AND HIGHWAY 7. REPORTED VIA FACEBOOK.

0416 PM     HAIL             PLYMOUTH                45.02N 93.46W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       HENNEPIN           MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            OCCURRED NEAR INTERSTATE 494 AND HIGHWAY 55.

0423 PM     HAIL             EDEN PRAIRIE            44.85N 93.46W
06/29/2015  M0.88 INCH       HENNEPIN           MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            OCCURRED ONE QUARTER MILE SOUTHEAST OF HIGHWAY 62 AND
            BAKER ROAD.

0430 PM     HAIL             ELK MOUND               44.88N 91.69W
06/29/2015  M1.50 INCH       DUNN               WI   TRAINED SPOTTER

0444 PM     HAIL             PRIOR LAKE              44.73N 93.43W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       SCOTT              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0447 PM     HAIL             EDEN PRAIRIE            44.85N 93.46W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       HENNEPIN           MN   PUBLIC

            REPORTED VIA TWITTER.

0451 PM     HAIL             SHAKOPEE                44.80N 93.53W
06/29/2015  M0.88 INCH       SCOTT              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            MEASURED IN WALMART PARKING LOT.

0452 PM     HAIL             PRIOR LAKE              44.73N 93.43W
06/29/2015  M1.50 INCH       SCOTT              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            OCCURRED NEAR HIGHWAY 13 AND COUNTY ROAD 44.

0453 PM     HAIL             PRIOR LAKE              44.73N 93.43W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       SCOTT              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            OBSERVED NEAR COUNTY ROAD 16 AND EAGLE CREEK BLVD.

0455 PM     TSTM WND DMG     4 W RUSH CITY           45.68N 93.05W
06/29/2015                   CHISAGO            MN   PUBLIC

            DAMAGE TO SIDING. REPORTED VIA FACEBOOK.

0455 PM     HAIL             4 W RUSH CITY           45.68N 93.05W
06/29/2015  M1.75 INCH       CHISAGO            MN   PUBLIC

            REPORTED VIA TWITTER.

0459 PM     HAIL             RUSH CITY               45.68N 92.97W
06/29/2015  M0.88 INCH       CHISAGO            MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0459 PM     HAIL             4 NE RUSH CITY          45.72N 92.91W
06/29/2015  M0.75 INCH       CHISAGO            MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0500 PM     HAIL             4 W RUSH CITY           45.68N 93.04W
06/29/2015  M2.00 INCH       CHISAGO            MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            OCCURRED ON SHOREWOOD CIRCLE E.

0501 PM     HAIL             RUSH CITY               45.68N 92.97W
06/29/2015  M3.00 INCH       CHISAGO            MN   PUBLIC

            REPORTED VIA TWITTER.

0517 PM     HAIL             OTSEGO                  45.29N 93.61W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       SHERBURNE          MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            LOCATED AT INTERSECTION OF COUNTY ROAD 42 AND COUNTY ROAD
            39.

0520 PM     HAIL             1 NE NORTH BRANCH       45.52N 92.96W
06/29/2015  M1.75 INCH       CHISAGO            MN   LAW ENFORCEMENT

0522 PM     HAIL             4 NE RUSH CITY          45.72N 92.91W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       CHISAGO            MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0531 PM     HAIL             NORTH BRANCH            45.51N 92.98W
06/29/2015  M1.50 INCH       CHISAGO            MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0531 PM     HAIL             2 SSE NORTH BRANCH      45.50N 92.96W
06/29/2015  M2.50 INCH       CHISAGO            MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            MEASURED AFTER HAIL HAD ENDED

0600 PM     HAIL             WYOMING                 45.33N 93.00W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       CHISAGO            MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0600 PM     HAIL             2 S CHISAGO CITY        45.34N 92.89W
06/29/2015  M0.75 INCH       CHISAGO            MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0604 PM     HAIL             FOREST LAKE             45.28N 92.99W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       WASHINGTON         MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0605 PM     HAIL             NEW RICHMOND            45.12N 92.54W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       ST. CROIX          WI   TRAINED SPOTTER

0613 PM     HAIL             WYOMING                 45.33N 93.00W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       CHISAGO            MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0616 PM     HAIL             EAST BETHEL             45.34N 93.20W
06/29/2015  M0.88 INCH       ANOKA              MN   PUBLIC

0620 PM     HAIL             5 SW SCANDIA            45.20N 92.88W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       WASHINGTON         MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            OCCURRED NEAR BIG MARINE LAKE.

0626 PM     HAIL             4 E HUGO                45.15N 92.87W
06/29/2015  M1.25 INCH       WASHINGTON         MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0630 PM     HAIL             5 E HAM LAKE            45.26N 93.10W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       ANOKA              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            OCCURRED IN COLUMBUS.

0630 PM     HAIL             3 SE HUGO               45.13N 92.92W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       WASHINGTON         MN   PUBLIC

0632 PM     HAIL             FOREST LAKE             45.28N 92.99W
06/29/2015  M0.75 INCH       WASHINGTON         MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0637 PM     HAIL             2 ESE HAM LAKE          45.25N 93.16W
06/29/2015  M1.50 INCH       ANOKA              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0640 PM     HAIL             HUGO                    45.16N 92.96W
06/29/2015  M0.50 INCH       WASHINGTON         MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            OCCURRED NEAR I-35 AND COUNTY ROAD 14.

0650 PM     HAIL             LINO LAKES              45.16N 93.08W
06/29/2015  M1.50 INCH       ANOKA              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0650 PM     HAIL             LINO LAKES              45.16N 93.08W
06/29/2015  M0.75 INCH       ANOKA              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            OCCURRED NEAR HIGHWAY 23 AND 35W.

0651 PM     HAIL             LINO LAKES              45.16N 93.08W
06/29/2015  M0.75 INCH       ANOKA              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0655 PM     HAIL             6 ESE ANOKA             45.18N 93.28W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       ANOKA              MN   STORM CHASER

            LASTED FOR 5 MINUTES.

0657 PM     HAIL             BLAINE                  45.17N 93.21W
06/29/2015  M1.25 INCH       ANOKA              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            COUNTY ROAD 14 AND RADISSON BLVD.

0700 PM     HAIL             ANOKA                   45.21N 93.39W
06/29/2015  M0.88 INCH       ANOKA              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            OCCCURED ON 7TH ST.

0704 PM     HAIL             BLAINE                  45.17N 93.21W
06/29/2015  M1.25 INCH       ANOKA              MN   PUBLIC

0706 PM     HAIL             COON RAPIDS             45.17N 93.31W
06/29/2015  M0.88 INCH       ANOKA              MN   AMATEUR RADIO

            OCCURRED AT HIGHWAY 47 AND HIGHWAY 610.

0706 PM     HAIL             BLAINE                  45.17N 93.21W
06/29/2015  M0.75 INCH       ANOKA              MN   AMATEUR RADIO

            OCCURRED AT 109TH AND RADISSON ROAD.

0710 PM     HAIL             COTTAGE GROVE           44.82N 92.93W
06/29/2015  M0.75 INCH       WASHINGTON         MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0710 PM     HAIL             BLAINE                  45.17N 93.21W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       ANOKA              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            OCCURRED IN SOUTHERN BLAINE AND LASTED FOR 15 MINUTES.

0712 PM     HAIL             FRIDLEY                 45.08N 93.26W
06/29/2015  E1.25 INCH       ANOKA              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            OCCURRED NEAR HIGHWAY 65 AND MOORE LAKE ROAD.

0716 PM     HAIL             NEW BRIGHTON            45.06N 93.22W
06/29/2015  M0.75 INCH       RAMSEY             MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            SOUTHWEST CORNER OF 694 AND 35W.

0716 PM     HAIL             COLUMBIA HEIGHTS        45.04N 93.28W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       ANOKA              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0717 PM     HAIL             FRIDLEY                 45.08N 93.26W
06/29/2015  M1.50 INCH       ANOKA              MN   AMATEUR RADIO

            NEAR UNIVERSITY AND 73RD.

0718 PM     HAIL             FRIDLEY                 45.08N 93.26W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       ANOKA              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            AT I 694 AND UNIVERSITY ROAD.

0719 PM     HAIL             ARDEN HILLS             45.07N 93.17W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       RAMSEY             MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            NEAR I-35W AND HWY 96.

0730 PM     HAIL             4 ENE BROOKLYN CENTER   45.08N 93.24W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       ANOKA              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            OCCURRED AT FRIDLEY MOORE LAKE.

0740 PM     HAIL             3 E BROOKLYN CENTER     45.07N 93.26W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       ANOKA              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            OCCURRED IN SOUTH FRIDLEY.

0741 PM     HAIL             BLAINE                  45.17N 93.21W
06/29/2015  M1.25 INCH       ANOKA              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            HAIL DAMAGE TO VEHICLES IN LOWES PARKING LOT. OCCURRED
            NEAR HWY 65 AND 117TH AVE.

0751 PM     HAIL             NEW BRIGHTON            45.06N 93.22W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       RAMSEY             MN   PUBLIC

0808 PM     HAIL             MAPLE GROVE             45.09N 93.43W
06/29/2015  M1.25 INCH       HENNEPIN           MN   STORM CHASER

            OCCURRED NEAR BASS LAKE ROAD AND LAWNDALE.

0810 PM     HAIL             PLYMOUTH                45.02N 93.46W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       HENNEPIN           MN   BROADCAST MEDIA

0810 PM     HAIL             PLYMOUTH                45.02N 93.46W
06/29/2015  M2.00 INCH       HENNEPIN           MN   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            REPORTED NEAR VICKSBURG RAD AND COUNTRY ROAD 6.

0815 PM     HAIL             PLYMOUTH                45.02N 93.46W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       HENNEPIN           MN   PUBLIC

            REPORTED VIA TWITTER NEAR I-394 AND ROCKFORD ROAD.

0820 PM     HAIL             MINNETONKA              44.91N 93.50W
06/29/2015  M0.75 INCH       HENNEPIN           MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            REPORTED NEAR HWY 7 AND COUNTY RD. 73.

0825 PM     HAIL             MINNETONKA              44.91N 93.50W
06/29/2015  M1.50 INCH       HENNEPIN           MN   PUBLIC

            REPORTED NEAR I-494 AND I-394. VIA FACEBOOK.

0827 PM     HAIL             MINNETONKA              44.91N 93.50W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       HENNEPIN           MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            REPORTED ONE MILE NORTH OF HWY 7 AND TANKAWOOD.

0835 PM     HAIL             1 NE ST PAUL AIRPORT    44.94N 93.04W
06/29/2015  M0.75 INCH       RAMSEY             MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0838 PM     HAIL             EDEN PRAIRIE            44.85N 93.46W
06/29/2015  M1.25 INCH       HENNEPIN           MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            OCCURRED ON BOYD AVE.

0838 PM     HAIL             1 NE ST PAUL AIRPORT    44.94N 93.04W
06/29/2015  M1.50 INCH       RAMSEY             MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0844 PM     HAIL             NWS CHANHASSEN          44.85N 93.57W
06/29/2015  M1.25 INCH       CARVER             MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            LARGER HAIL STONE FOUND AT THE NWS FORECAST OFFICE.

0845 PM     HAIL             6 WSW DOWNTOWN ST PAUL  44.90N 93.19W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       RAMSEY             MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0849 PM     HAIL             SHAKOPEE                44.80N 93.53W
06/29/2015  M0.75 INCH       SCOTT              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            LASTED FOR 2 MINUTES.

0850 PM     HAIL             SHAKOPEE                44.80N 93.53W
06/29/2015  E1.00 INCH       SCOTT              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            NICKEL TO QUARTER DIAMETER SIZE. REPORTED NEAR 169 AND
            MARSCHALL RD.

0850 PM     HAIL             SHAKOPEE                44.80N 93.53W
06/29/2015  M0.50 INCH       SCOTT              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            REPORTED NEAR SHAKOPEE HIGH SCHOOL.

0852 PM     HAIL             SHAKOPEE                44.80N 93.53W
06/29/2015  M1.00 INCH       SCOTT              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            REPORTED NEAR SHAKOPEE HIGH SCHOOL.

0856 PM     HAIL             SHAKOPEE                44.80N 93.53W
06/29/2015  M0.88 INCH       SCOTT              MN   PUBLIC

Thunder and Smoke. You can clearly see the veil of smoke surging southward into the Dakotas and Minnesota yesterday, and the strong to severe T-storms approaching from Duluth and Spooner, intensifying as they passed over the relatively warm Twin Cities metro. A cold pool aloft meant that the freezing level was much lower than usual, closer to the ground, allowing more (big) hailstones to survive the trip to the surface. Afternoon visible loop: NOAA and AerisWeather.

Severe Storm Streaks. NWS Doppler radar from the Twin Cities (Chanhassen to be exact) shows estimated rainfall totals; in excess of 1-2" from the east metro into much of western Wisconsin.

A Ration of Dry Weather? European guidance shows dry weather today and Wednesday, with a few showers and T-showers returning late Thursday before drying out again Friday and Saturday. That's right, the 4th of July still looks pretty good with sunshine and highs near 80F, maybe low 80s. Sunday doesn't look nearly as special, meteorologically - an approaching front sparking numerous showers and T-storms.

Smoke From Alaska and Canada Fires Dives into Continental USA. Yes, that was smoke dimming the sun yesterday, from fires thousands of miles upwind. Details from NOAA: "The InciWeb Incident Information System is following 18 fires in Alaska that are contributing, along with 49 uncontrolled fires under surveillance by the Canadian Wildland Fire Information System, to vast areas of visible smoke throughout Canadian provinces and stretching into northern U.S. states. This image from the Suomi NPP satellite's VIIRS instrument was taken from NOAA View on June 28, 2015. The smoke from these fires can also be seen in NOAA View as Aerosol Optical Thickness, a measure of how aerosols, such as smoke from wildfires, scatter and absorb sunlight." (Image: NOAA/NASA).

Hundreds of Fires Underway. Data from Natural Resources Canada shows the extent of fires stretching from Quebec to Alaska; an unusually high concentration of western Canada and Alaska, the result of unusual levels of heat (and little rain) in recent weeks.

A Smoky Forecast. It's a little early in the summer to be tracking 5,000 mile long smoke plumes, but that's exactly what's on display from NOAA's Hazard Mapping System.

Is Major League Baseball Taking Storms Seriously Enough. Probably not. Meteorologist Craig Edwards is the former MIC (Meteorologist in Charge) of the Twin Cities National Weather Service. He attends every Twins home game, making sure they get the weather call right, protecting fans and players from lightning, hail and damaging winds. But other stadiums? I would be surprised if they take the same precautions. It was a close call in St. Louis Sunday night. Here's an excerpt of a Jason Samenow story at The Capital Weather Gang: "...If a tornado warning is issued when fans are in the stadium, does each park have a plan to quickly evacuate the stands and adequately shelter fans? Can it get fans underground or inside interior rooms (like bathrooms)? In other words, does every tornado-vulnerable stadium have tornado shelters that are well-labeled (like some airports do, like Denver)? MLB has a responsibility to have very good, thoughtful answers to these questions in the vital interest of its fans safety."

* I addressed this threat (to major sporting events) in The Huffington Post in April of 2012.

Strong El Nino Expected To Linger Into Winter of 2015-2016. Will we enjoy another relatively mild winter? All El Nino events are different, but the majority of these warm phases in the Pacific do correlate with slightly warmer winters for Minnesota, the Dakotas and Pacific Northwest. According to NOAA there's a 90% chance the current (strong) El Nino will linger into autumn; an 85% chance it will carry over into next winter.

Wettest June and 4th Wettest Month On Recored For Illinois. As wet as it's been across Minnesota and Wisconsin it's been even wetter across Illinois. Here's an excerpt from the Illinois State Climatologist: "The statewide average for June is now 8.97 inches. That is based on rainfall data collected around the state through yesterday. I’m sure we will see that number move up as we include last night’s rainfall. Right now June 2015 is the fourth wettest month on record for Illinois. If you look at the top 5 wettest months in Illinois history (below), all the other wet months were in the fall..."

Lightning Deaths So Far In 2015. Here's an NOAA update on lightning fatalities so far this; a majority of deaths from people near trees, on rooftops or boats. You don't want to be near tall objects and you certainly want to avoid open areas like fields, lakes, fields or golf courses, where you may be the tallest thing in the area. The best advice: when you hear the first growl of thunder (or see storms approaching on a Doppler app on your phone) head inside - a building or even a vehicle offers sufficient protection from lightning.

Over 300 Wildfires Are Burning In Alaska Right Now. That's An Even Bigger Problem Than It Sounds. Here's an excerpt of a Chris Mooney update at The Washington Post: "Following on a record hot May in which much snow cover melted off early, Alaska saw no less than 152 fires erupt over the weekend of June 21-22. The numbers have only grown further since then, and stood at 319 active fires Sunday, according to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center, with more than a million acres burned in June alone. “Given the high number of fires and the personnel assigned to those fires, the state’s firefighting resources are becoming very limited, forcing fire managers to prioritize resources,” noted the state’s Department of Natural Resources Tuesday..."

* Here is a link to a video explainer focused on the research highlighted above at YouTube.

Isolating The Underlying Causes of Extreme Weather. Here's a shocker: it's related to continued warming of the planet; we're putting more energy into the climate system and then acting surprised and indignant when the weather bites back. Here's an excerpt summarizing new research at Stanford University: "...Worldwide news reports of extreme weather events – oppressive heat, parching droughts, destructive storms – are increasingly common. A new study co-authored by Stanford and Princeton University researchers finds that trends in atmospheric circulation patterns can partially explain Earth’s increasingly severe weather. While scientists had previously surmised that the link existed, robust empirical evidence was lacking. The study finds that overall increases in hot extremes and decreases in cold extremes in the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes are driven by a combination of changes in the amount of heat and moisture in the atmosphere as well as changes in atmospheric circulation patterns. Changes in the heat and moisture content of the climate system – called “thermodynamics” – can account for the majority of the observed changes in extreme temperature..."

Hurricane Planes Get Overhaul As NOAA Eyes Next Generation. Just like the military expect an accelerated transition to drones in the years ahead. Here's an excerpt of a story from Tampa Tribune at TBO.com: "Miss Piggy is flying again. But even as the lumbering P-3 Orion aircraft takes part in its first mission since getting two new engines in a life-extending overhaul, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is looking for the next generation of hurricane hunting aircraft. Miss Piggy and NOAA’s other Orion, named Kermit, are stationed at MacDill Air Force Base. Each plane was put into service during the mid-70s and has flown more than 10,000 hours, into more than 80 hurricanes. They are long, grueling missions, often subjecting the crew to zero gravity as the aircraft lurch up and down in buffeting winds. With the pounding they’ve taken, the planes need the $42 million refurbishing to stay on the job during the June through November hurricane season and beyond..."

File photo above: Chris Urso, staff.

Pakistan Heat Wave Kills Over 1,000, Sparks Anger. The death toll is now over 1,200 and rising - here's the intro to a story at VOA, Voice of America: "Extreme heat in southern Pakistan has killed more than 1,000 people and the death toll is growing. On Saturday, as the temperature reached 45 degrees Celsius in Karachi, many Pakistanis blamed the government and utility companies for what they've called a woefully inadequate response. "More than 1,000 people have died in this city due to heat, scarcity of water, power outages," said Abdullah Hussain Haroon, a social activist and former ambassador to the United Nations..."

The Underfunded, Disorganized Plan To Save Earth From The Next Giant Asteroid. OK. I officially have enough to worry about now - no wonder I wander the land in a perpetual state of paranoia. Here's an excerpt from Motherboard: "...After this arguably close brush with total annihilation, Congress asked NASA to prepare a report on the threat posed by asteroids. The 1992 document, "The Spaceguard Survey: Report of the NASA International Near-Earth-Object Detection Workshop," was, suffice it to say, rather bleak. If a large NEO were to hit Earth, the report said, its denizens could look forward to acid rain, firestorms, and an impact winter induced by dust being thrown miles into the stratosphere. In the initial moments following impact, the impact site—which is generally 10 to 15 times the size of the asteroid—would be vaporized..."


TODAY: Partly sunny, comfortable. Winds: N 10. High: 78

TUESDAY NIGHT: Clear and comfortable. Low: 59

WEDNESDAY: Intervals of sun, probably dry in the MSP area. High: 77

THURSDAY: Fading sun, few T-storms late? Wake-up: 61. High: 81

FRIDAY: T-storms taper, slowly drying out. Wake-up: 63. High: 79

SATURDAY: A pleasant 4th of July? Warm sunshine. Wake-up: 64. High: 83

SUNDAY: Sunny start, severe PM T-storms? Wake-up: 68. High: 84

MONDAY: Comfortable again, blue sky returns. Wake-up: 65. High: 81

* photo credit above: NOAA.

Climate Stories...


Supreme Court Blocks Obama's Limits on Power Plants. The New York Times reports; here's the introduction: "The Supreme Court on Monday blocked one of the Obama administration’s most ambitious environmental initiatives, one meant to limit emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants from coal-fired power plants. Industry groups and some 20 states challenged the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to regulate the emissions, saying the agency had failed to take into account the punishing costs its regulations would impose..."

Pope's Activism Sets Stage For Awkward Visit To Capitol Hill. The Hill has the story; here's the introduction: "Congressional Republicans say they are ready to welcome Pope Francis to Capitol Hill this fall — even if he uses part of his speech to challenge them on issues like climate change or income inequality. Francis’s climate change encyclical last week was just the latest example of his willingness to wade into contentious political debates, often with positions that seem to fall on the liberal side of the spectrum. The pope’s nods to progressive politics have put some Republicans in an awkward spot. While many are Catholic and conservative, they are loath to be seen as criticizing the head of the church..."

Will Catholic Republicans Side With The Pope on Climate Change? Here's a snippet from a story at The Washington Post: "... Are Catholics likely to change their views on climate change in order to align with Pope Francis? For some hints, it may be helpful to look at the shift in how Catholics viewed the death penalty following the Catholic Church’s involvement more than two decades ago. There is evidence that links an uptick in Catholics opposing capital punishment after Pope John Paul II issued an encyclical that discouraged the use of the death penalty in 1995. One study found that support for the death penalty had been higher among Catholics than non-Catholics in the 1970’s; by 2004 the opposite was true..."

File photo: Luca Zennaro, AP.

Redford: Time To Step Up Game on Climate Change. Here's an excerpt of a Robert Redford Op-Ed at CNN.com: "...As Pope Francis has told us, we have a moral obligation to be responsible stewards of the earth and all it supports. That means protecting future generations from the dangers of climate change.  I know the fossil fuel industry and its political cronies are saying the Pope's no expert on science. Please. The science speaks for itself. We know what's happening to the planet. The question is, what are we going to do about it? The Pope's an expert on belief and conscience. It's time to stand up for what we believe. The fact is climate change is a moral imperative..."

National Parks at Risk from Climate Change and Rising Seas. To the tune of an estimated $40 billion, according to a press release from Interior Department; here's the intro: "In advance of the two-year anniversary of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today released a report revealing that national park infrastructure and historic and cultural resources totalling more than $40 billion are at high risk of damage from sea-level rise caused by climate change. The report was conducted by scientists from the National Park Service and Western Carolina University and is based on an examination of 40 parks – about one-third of those considered threatened by sea-level rise – and the survey is on-going..."

Dalai Lama On Need To Speak Out on Climate Change. Here's an excerpt from The Guardian: "...He praised the pope’s recent encyclical on climate change, which warned of the unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, adding that it was the duty of people to “say more – we have to make more of an effort, including demonstrations”. The Dalai Lama, who will turn 80 next Monday, called for more pressure to be put on international governments to stop the burning of fossil fuels and mass deforestation and invest more in green energy sources..."