Saturday: More clouds than sun, cool northwest wind at 8-13, rising barometer. Highs: 61-66
Sunday: More sun, southeast breeze at 10-15, slowly falling barometer. Highs: 68-73
.40" rain predicted early today (NAM model).
Sprinkles possible Saturday, especially east of the St. Croix River Valley.
T-storms: possible by Tuesday/Wednesday of next week as high temperatures climb to near 80.
Dry Weekend. We're waking up to big puddles, but skies should dry out later today, a mostly-dry sky expected this weekend (although clouds may leak a few stray sprinkles Saturday). Dry weather should be the rule from Saturday into Tuesday morning, followed by an increasing chance of a few T-storms by the middle of next week.
Saturday: "Dirty High". The latest WRF model is suggesting that rising pressures on Saturday may not result in a rapid clearing. Low-level moisture may be trapped in the lowest few thousand feet of the atmosphere, meaning stratocumulus clouds, even a stray renegade spriinkle or two. I suspect the sun will be peeking through by afternoon, especially over northern and central Minnesota.
Minnesota Twins Are Now "Stormready". It's one of my biggest nightmares (right up there with a cross-country trip with Anthony Weiner or Snooki showing up on Jeapardy - how do you protect 30,000 Twins fans if a tornado is tracking toward Target Field? It's a non-trivial problem, moving that many people (quickly and efficiently) to shelters. Kudo to the Twins and Target Field for drafting a viable plan to keep fans, players, staff and vendors safe during severe weather. More details about the Stormready plan from the local National Weather Service: "Stormready is a National Weather Service program through which counties and communities develop plans to protect residents from severe weather. This includes informing residents of the threats, promoting readiness through community outreach and education, developing a hazardous weather plan that includes weather spotter training and emergency exercises, having multiple ways to receive and distribute warnings, and having a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center. Businesses, schools, and other entities are encouraged to embrace the goals of the StormReady program by adopting and promoting principles and guidelines of severe weather safety and awareness plans, and becoming a supporter of the StormReady program. The Minnesota Twins had to fulfill specific recommendations of the National Weather Service and the local StormReady Board. Upon doing so, the Minnesota Twins and Target Field were recognized today as the first StormReady Supporter in Minnesota, as well as the first StormReady Supporter in the American League."
Take The Survey. I'm biased, but I've been working with these men and women for the better part of 27 years now. We are blessed with an extraordinary local National Weather Service office. I've lived in other cities where I couldn't make that claim. If you're happy with the services you're receiving from the local Chanhassen office of the National Weather Service, their web site, NOAA Weather Radio, mobile products - take a few minutes and complete this survey. I don't take this level of service for granted - neither should you.
Chile: 100 Homes Damaged In Resort By Hurricane-Force Winds And Hail: The AP has more details: "ANTIAGO, Chile — An unusual storm bringing hurricane-force winds, heavy rain and hail has damaged more than 100 homes in a Chilean lake resort. Emergency officials were already dealing with a volcanic eruption in the region. Winds blew at nearly 125 mph (200 kph), the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane, ripping off roofs in Villarrica in southern Chile. Several people were injured. Chile's meteorology centre said Tuesday's storm was a strange had some "characteristics of a tornado."
Strategy. Since 1953, China has framed its macro objectives in the context of five-year plans, with clearly defined targets and policy initiatives designed to hit those targets. The recently enacted 12th Five-Year Plan could well be a strategic turning point – ushering in a shift from the highly successful producer model of the past 30 years to a flourishing consumer society.
Commitment. Seared by memories of turmoil, reinforced by the Cultural Revolution of the 1970’s, China’s leadership places the highest priority on stability. Such a commitment served China extremely well in avoiding collateral damage from the crisis of 2008-2009. It stands to play an equally important role in driving the fight against inflation, asset bubbles, and deteriorating loan quality."
Cool & Gray. Thursday highs were at least 10 degrees cooler than average, under a (rare) overcast sky - unusual for June. Highs ranged from 56 at Duluth to 64 up at St. Cloud, 68 in the Twin Cities. A trace of rain was reported at Duluth and Redwood Falls.
It's true that we can't really validate a GCM in the strictest sense, but why should we wait to act given the potentially dire consequences? In the meantime, we can do two things: 1) examine how well a GCM reproduces observed climate; 2) test each component of that model. GCMs do an excellent job at modeling the last 150 years of observed climate. We may have built the models to match the observations, however, so while encouraging, this doesn't guarantee their ability to predict future events. We can validate the GCM components that represent systems governed by physical (e.g. conservation of energy) or empirical relationships (e.g. how quickly rain forms in clouds). Climatologists validate individual components. For example, does cloud formation occur in the same way in the tropics as in the Arctic? (The answer is no.) Climatologists then make new measurements, develop refined relationships, and then refine the model. A GCM is therefore validated piece by piece.
If the Earth is really warming, why is the stratosphere cooling?
The stratosphere is indeed cooling, but it does so because of global warming, not in spite of it. Earth's lower atmosphere is divided into two layers, the troposphere—where we live—and the stratosphere above it, which can be reached by powerful jet planes (~32,000 feet). Observations of the stratosphere by weather balloons indicate a cooling trend. This cooling was predicted by global warming scientists. Here's how it works: Incoming solar energy is trapped in Earth's atmosphere. Some of that energy is radiated back into space. When CO2 increases in the troposphere it traps a greater amount of heat in this layer, lowering the amount of energy radiated outwards into, and adsorbed by, the layers above it. (Extra energy trapped by CO2 in the upper reaches of the stratosphere also radiates heat, much of which goes back out into space.) Since we are now trapping greater amounts of heat in the troposphere, there is more energy leaving the stratosphere than entering it, which causes stratospheric cooling. Stratospheric cooling, predicted and observed by climatologists, is thus evidence for, not against, global warming."