Dry weather should prevail today and much of Friday, at least through the mid afternoon hours tomorrow.
.36" rain (and T-storms) predicted for Friday night and early Saturday.
Severe storm outbreak possible Sunday. Too early for specifics, but many of the ingredients are coming together.
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
Weekend Weather Preview:
Saturday: wet start, showers taper early, skies brighten by midday - a partly sunny, mild afternoon. Winds: light/variable. Falling barometer. High: 75-81. (plan on a cool, rainy Saturday along the North Shore for Grandma's Marathon. The latest NAM prints out nearly 1" of rain in the Duluth area Saturday. Wish I had better news - but for now prepare for cool and (very) wet and be pleasantly surprised if the rain holds off. Temperatures in Duluth: 55-65. East breeze off the lake at 8-15 mph.
Sunday: muggy, warmer, with more clouds than sun. Numerous T-storms expected, some potentially severe PM hours. Winds: SE 8-15, higher gusts in T-storms. Falling barometer. High: 80-86 (take an umbrella to "Back to the 50s" at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds - keep an eye on the sky, which may turn threatening by mid/late afternoon).
24 Hour Rainfall. NWS Doppler radar estimates show anywhere from .7 to 1.5" of rain across the Twin Cities metro area, lesser amounts over central and northern Minnesota. Over 4" soaked some counties in far southwestern MN, nearly 5" near Comfrey.
30 Day Rainfall. MRCC data shows some 3-6" rainfall amounts in the last month over central Minnesota, as much as 7-8" over southwestern Minnesota. The Golden Rain Gauge Award goes to southeastern Iowa, where some 15-18"+ amounts have been observed. That's 4-5 month's worth of rain in just the last 30 days.
"Waves" Of Showers/Storms. Models are hinting at two distinct surges of showers and T-storms, one line of weather moving in Friday night, lingering into early Saturday - a second (more severe) line of T-storms possible PM hours on Sunday.
Saturday: Slow Drying Trend. After a very wet start I'm predicting that skies will brighten up by midday, some sun possible PM hours (but rain will linger most of the day across Wisconsin and the Minnesota Arrowhead, making for a VERY wet Grandma's Marathon this year). If the sun does, in fact, come out - we should be good for highs in the upper 70s to near 80.
Sunday: Significant Thunder-Potential. It won't rain all day, but I suspect Sunday will be the stormier day of the weekend, the best chance of a few hours of (heavy) rain from mid afternoon into the nighttime hours. A severe storm outbreak is possible Sunday - too early to get specific, but many of the ingredients (low-level moisture, instability and wind shear) seem to be converging for a possible outbreak Sunday PM. I wouldn't be surprised to see a few isolated tornadoes Sunday evening.
Sunday - Monday Severe Risk. SPC's experimental long-range severe outlook shows a risk of severe storms over the eastern Dakotas, eastern Nebraska, western Iowa and a big chunk of Minnesota on Sunday and Monday.
The Warning Process Must Get Better. TV Meteorologist James Spann saved a lot of lives with his continuous coverage of the massive April 27 tornadoes that swept across Alabama. He makes some good points about the warning process (and the danger of too many people relying on sirens) in his Alabama weather blog: "I heard it over and over as people described their April 27 experience. “I hear those sirens all the time, and nothing ever happens”. The cry wolf syndrome is very real, and very dangerous. *Too many people believe they should hear a siren before a tornado strikes. I think the time has come to take them down. Sirens are not efficient, reach a limited number of people, and can’t be heard in most homes, schools, and businesses. And, in most counties, the sirens don’t sound only in the warned polygon, they sound county wide. In some cases, this means you are hearing a siren when the actual tornado threat is over 40 miles away. Sirens were born during the Cold War with the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1960s… their time has come and gone. If the sirens are taken down, then you KNOW you won’t hear one next time there is a tornado threat. Most southerners still have the “siren mentality”, and that no doubt killed people April 27. *NOAA Weather Radio must be upgraded to the polygon warning system soon, or it will become obsolete. Sure, it is the best thing we have now, and I still promote it heavily. But, why hasn’t NOAA upgraded their system so the receiver manufacturers can produce models with GPS included so they sound only when the receiver is a in a warning polygon? If something doesn’t change soon, the private sector will be the ones that push the warning process into the new technological era."
Are All Tornado Warnings The Same? Here's an interesting post about the thresholds for tornado warnings vs. "tornado emergencies". Should meteorologists issue a "probability of tornadoes?" Doppler-indicated tornadoes don't carry the same sense of (get to the basement!) urgency as warnings where an actual tornado has been spotted. For that reason an estimated 70% of all tornado warnings wind up being false alarms - Doppler picked up rotation, but no tornado ever spun up. That leads to complacency, a "cry wolf" syndrome, that leaves people thinking "they always issue warnings, but I never see anything. Maybe I won't go to the basement this time." That's a dangerous mind-set, one that killed scores of people from Joplin to Tuscaloosa to Raleigh in recent months: "Assuming that the presence of a storm is necessary to issue a warning, some threshold threat level has to be achieved in order for the warning forecaster to decide to go with a warning, and presumably this must include the perceived threat of a tornado if the storm may need to be covered with a tornado warning. As it now stands, there is no uniformly-defined threat level associated with any of the decisions a warning forecaster has to make -- every warning forecaster is more or less on their own. Obviously, not every forecaster is a carbon copy of every other forecaster. Some make warning decisions better than others. Recently, a new type of tornado warning has come into vogue -- the so-called "tornado emergency" (which has not been defined formally, either), presumably when a populated area is in the path of a very dangerous tornado. Implicitly, the perceived need for this is driven by the fact that the tornado threat varies from one situation to another. Yet another tough decision for a warning forecaster to make! In my view of things, warnings should use probability to express different levels of threat for different phenomena: wind, hail, tornadoes. This permits the forecaster to use the science to estimate the likelihood of various outcomes in the path of a storm. It's an established fact that forecasters can become quite good at estimating uncertainty. I don't yet know how best to formulate probabilistic warnings -- I believe years of research are needed to inform us how probabilistic warnings could be made most effective. This is a complex problem that involves far more than the science of meteorology."
Army Corp Of Engineers And Community Fight For Hamburg. The race is on - will a reinforced dike hold, or will the town of Hamburg, Iowa be inundated under 10 feet of muddy water from the Missouri River. Here's a YouTube clip from the Army Corp of Engineers: "The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is teaming up with local and state entities, including the Iowa National Guard, to bolster the defenses of Hamburg, Iowa, against flood waters. Video by Kevin Wingert, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District."
New large fires: 11
Large fires contained: 10
Uncontained large fires: 36
Area Command Teams committed: 1
NIMOs committed: 1
Type 1 IMTs committed: 7
Southwest Fires And Global Warming, Explained. A timely post from climatecentral.org: "For much of the Western US, wildfire season hits its peak near the end of summer, after months of hot and dry weather have increased the susceptibility of plants and trees, or “fuels” in wildfire parlance, to burning. But 2011 has already been a banner year for wildfires, in terms of acres burned to date, and the official start of summer is still one week away. At the rate things are going right now, this could be one of the worst wildfire years in recorded history. As with most extreme weather and climate events, and their related impacts, major wildfires require several factors to come together in order occur — typically some combination of dry and windy weather, abundant and dry vegetation, and a spark, which can range from a carelessly tossed cigarette to a lightning strike. Wildfires are a naturally occurring phenomenon closely tied to climate conditions, and as the world warms in response to rising amounts of greenhouse gases in the air, many studies show that wildfire frequency and severity will likely shift as well. In fact, retrospective analyses show that the marked increase in recent decades in wildfire activity in the Western US is largely explainable by changes in climate. And climate projections show expected further increases in wildfire extent in parts of the Western US, including some of the areas currently battling massive blazes."
The problem is, he is not a scientist. Even though his published biography lists his higher education credits from Moody Bible Institute, Anoka Ramsey Community College and Metropolitan State University and that he is working on his master's degree in environmental policy and that he has a background in biochemistry, it turns out he has never graduated from college. He doesn't have a bachelor's degree. He is an ordained minister, of sorts. But, although his official biography says he has a degree from Moody, he does not. In direct answer to my question, Jungbauer responded: "No I did not graduate. But I have a certificate." The truth is that Jungbauer was ordained by Christian Motor Sports International out of Gilbert, Ariz. His senate biography says the organization provides "chapel services, pastoral care, outreach and Christian fellowship at car races, car shows, cruise-ins and tractor pulls."
* Graph credit above: "Global mean temperature anomalies 1900-2100 relative to the period 1961-1990 for the A2 scenario. The red line represents temperature change for current solar levels, the blue line represents temperature change at Maunder Minimum levels. Observed temperatures from NASA-GISS until 2010 are also shown (black line) (Feulner 2010)."
- ABC News directly connects global warming and extreme weather.
- Public Radio International doesn't just connect carbon pollution and changes in weather patterns -- it asks if enough is being done to prepare communities for future disasters.
- NPR's Science Friday had as a guest Joel Achenbach, who recently predicted that the 2100s will be the Century of Disasters.
- Reuters asks if the insurance industry can survive the new era.
• depositing massive quantities of iron filings into the oceans;
• bio-engineering crops to be a lighter colour to reflect sunlight; and
• suppressing cirrus clouds.
Other proposals likely to be suggested include spraying sea water into clouds to reflect sunlight away from the Earth, burying charcoal, painting streets and roofs white on a vast scale, adding lime to oceans and finding different ways to suck greenhouse gases out of the air and deposit heat deep into oceans."