Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Weather Conspiracy Theories (and a slight severe risk - again)

Climate "Weapon"? O.K. This is a bit of a stretch, but a growing number of Russians believe that the recent heat/drought/fires was the result of a new U.S. climate weapon. A prominent Russian scientist published an article in a leading journal, pointing out the U.S. Defense Department's funding on a "HAARP" weapon (the same one mentioned by former MN Governor Jesse Ventura in yesterday's weather blog). The article is here - the conspiracy theorists are going to come crawling out of the woodwork.

Black Fawn. Thanks to loyal reader Mark Yuccas for sending in some amazing photos of a black fawn in the wild - no idea if this was taken in Minnesota. Pretty incredible!

Maybe He Was Just Measuring Wind Direction? A meteorologist for the BBC is in a spot of trouble - apparently he was using inappropriate finger gestures during a recent weathercast. It's not something you expect to see on the venerable BBC - the video clip is here. Yes, Tomasz - you are still #1 !

Paul's Conservation MN Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota

Today: Partly sunny, more humid - a few strong/severe storms possible later, especially over central MN. Winds: S 15-25. High: 83

Wednesday night: T-storms, locally heavy rain possible. Low: 64

Thursday: Unsettled, hazy and humid, a few isolated severe storms bubble up again. High: 84

Friday: More numerous showers and storms, some heavy rain likely, a few degrees cooler. High: 78

Saturday: Plenty of sun - probably dry. High: 82

Sunday: Hazy sun, sticky with more wind, a few degrees warmer. Isolated storm far northern MN. High: 84

Monday: Windy with fading sun, warming up. High: 89

Tuesday: A good chance of showers and T-storms. High: 82

I snuck out east for 18 hours, to surprise my dad, who just turned 80. He had no idea I was coming and I thought he was going to have a heart attack! 80 is a pretty big deal - I didn't want to have any regrets down the road, but getting to Lancaster, PA from MSP is easier said than done. It's Amish Country - and I have a strange, overwhelming urge to simplify my life - to get rid of most of my...stuff... and scale down. Maybe the urge will pass, but some days I do wonder why I keep moving my crap from one location to another to another. Anyway, Dad says hello. I've been blessed with amazing parents, and the older I get the more I appreciate mom & dad. This was the same pop who used to cut out newspaper clippings of storm-stories, odd statistics, amazing new technological breakthroughs. Every morning over Frosted Flakes I'd wade through a stack of articles from newspapers and magazines - he helped to fuel the fire, and it continues to this day (only now he sends me links via e-mail). Thanks Dad...and happy 80th. I hope I'm in as good shape as you are when I pass the big 8-oh (28 years from now, but who's counting?)

Tuesday was another fine day in weather-paradise. August, without the nasty side-effects, like drippy humidity, assorted twisters and make-up-melting levels of heat. The past few days have brought a welcome break from the Dog Days of Summer. We needed a break...

The first half of August got off to a tropical start: temperatures nearly 6.5 F warmer than average, 7 days above 90 F, 4.33" of rain in the metro area. Measurable rain fell on just 4 days (out of the first 15) but when it did rain it came down in buckets.

Not Again. We had a 4-day break from severe weather, but it's back, marginal conditions for a few isolated storms over central Minnesota later today. Tuesday a severe storm watch was issued for the Red River Valley - today the risk shifts farther south/east, closer to Brainerd and St. Cloud. For the latest from SPC click here.

Our siesta from "the muggies" is over, a southerly flow pumping sticky air back into Minnesota, a few stray showers and storms Wednesday & Thursday (mainly up north) with a MUCH better chance of statewide showers and storms by Friday - probably the wettest day of the entire week. Models are printing out 1-2" rainfall amounts late in the week, with some 2-4" amounts possible across southwestern and central counties of Minnesota.

The good news: good timing. We get our late-week (free) watering, then the heaviest cluster of showers/storms should slosh off to the east, toward Chicago, allowing the sun to come out and stay out for most of the weekend - amazingly! Highs should reach the low 80s southern counties, maybe holding in the upper 70s up north, where lake water temperatures may be nearly as warm as air temperatures. An isolated T-storm may bubble up near the Canadian border, especially Sunday, but the vast majority of the weekend looks dry and worthy of your outdoor plans.

Friday Puddles. The latest NAM/WRF model prints out just over 1.5" for MSP (most of it falling on Friday), closer to 2.83" for St. Cloud. Friday still appears to be the wettest day of the entire week.

It's all good. Enjoy a partly sunny Wednesday. Hold off on watering - within 36-48 hours there should be plenty of water outside your window, but right on cue: improving skies in time for the weekend. Trying to keep everyone happy, farmers and fishermen, commuters and bicyclists. For once we may be able to do just that.

Extreme Weather Unlikely To Help Climate Talks. The story in the Vancouver Sun is here.

Tropically Speaking, NASA Investigates Precipitation Shapes, Sizes For Sizes. It turns out all raindrops are NOT created equal. NASA is deploying an arsenal of new meteorological tools, flying a research plane through a hurricane at an altitude of 60,000 feet, trying to get a better understanding of the physics that drives hurricane formation and intensification. An interesting read here.

As Global Warming Becomes a Given, Solutions Seem More Distant. The Houston Chronicle attempts to connect the dots with this story.

* Twice As Many Record Highs As Record Lows Since 2000. It's a bit technical, but I wanted to include a recent paper on a growing trend - far more reports of record warmth than record chill around the planet - consistent with the fact (not theory) that the planet's atmosphere is, in fact, warming.

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