"...Throughout the Missouri River Valley and other parts of the upper Midwest, there's simply no place left for any more water. That brings a new threat to the nation's water-logged midsection: more rain. In a region already struggling with historically high water, the return of heavy storms could intensify the flooding and turn a soggy summer into a tragic one for a dozen states that drain into the Missouri. " - article on massive, ongoing flood risk for the Missouri River below.
"...A mandatory evacuation was ordered for the town of Los Alamos, which has a population of about 12,000. The speed at which the fire has grown surprised fire officials." - from a N.Y. Times article on the massive wildfire engulfing the nuclear-testing facility in New Mexico (details below). (Photo Credit: T. J. Shankland)
6th wettest June on record in Des Moines.
100 mph+ straight line winds near Fort Dodge, Iowa Sunday night.
Record low relative humidity Monday in Las Vegas: 1%
Winter Weather Advisory: above 8,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California. What month is this again?
$32 billion in estimated damage from floods, tornadoes and wildfires through June 25 (NCDC). This is the most damaging year for weather disasters since NCDC first started tracking weather-related damage in 1980.
$9.9 billion in weather-related damage reported for 2010, the entire year, across the USA.
A Mostly-Dry Week. So far this June 5.28" of rain has soaked the Twin Cities (1.38" more than average, to date). Models keep most of Minnesota dry into Saturday, although a few T-storms may flare up north/west of MSP late Thursday and early Friday. The chance of scattered T-storms will increase late Sunday and (naturally) on the 4th of July.
Monday Severe Storm Reports. Large hail was reported on Denver's Front Range, a few funnel clouds in southern Ohio, wind damage in the Carolinas, and flash flooding over the Arrowhead of Minnesota. Click here to see an interactive NWS map with all the details.
Tuesday Highs. What a strange, baffling (and vaguely troubling) weather rut we're in. Highs today will range from 59 at Marquette, Michigan to 104 at Amarillo, Texas and 112 at Phoenix. Graphic courtesy of Ham Weather, a division of WeatherNation.
Tuesday Puddle-Potential. An eastbound cool front will spark heavy T-storms from Syracuse and Washington D.C. to Atlanta and Huntsville, Alabama, a clearing/cooling trend for the Great Lakes and Ohio River Valley. Expect bright sun for the Upper Midwest and Great Plains, as well as the southwestern USA. A few pop-up T-storms sprout along Denver's Front Range, an eastbound front sparking showers from the San Francisco Bay Area north to Spokane, Washington. Florida will see numerous T-storms - good news, considering 87% of the Sunshine State is suffering through a drought.
Tuesday Severe Threat. A few isolated severe storms are possible east of Denver, and from Little Rock to Jackson, Mississippi and Huntsville, Alabama - a quieter day overall nationwide. Map courtesy of SPC.
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DES MOINES IA
1005 AM CDT MON JUN 27 2011
...2011 MOVES TO 6TH WETTEST JUNE ON RECORD...
THE DES MOINES AIRPORT HAS RECORDED 10.28 INCHES OF RAINFALL THUS
FAR THIS MONTH. THIS PLACES JUNE 2011 AS THE 6TH WETTEST JUNE ON
RECORD. RAIN CHANCES FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE MONTH WILL BE
MINIMAL. SO CHANCES OF MOVING UP THE LIST ARE UNLIKELY. THE 5TH
WETTEST JUNE ON RECORD OCCURED IN 1882 WITH 12.16 INCHES.
* According to the Southeast Regional Climate Center, Savannah, GA has had a high of 90° or higher for 38 consecutive days. The record for Savannah is 44 days. By all means, this record could be broken later this week.
Wildfire Reaches U.S. Los Alamos Nuclear Facility: another update from Reuters:
* Los Alamos ensures reliability of US nuclear arms
* Officials say facility is "very well protected" (Updates throughout)
"SANTA FE, N.M., June 27 (Reuters) - A raging wildfire on Monday briefly entered the property of the preeminent U.S. nuclear facility, Los Alamos National Laboratory, a vast complex that houses research laboratories and a plutonium facility. A mandatory evacuation was ordered for the town of Los Alamos, which has a population of about 12,000. The speed at which the fire has grown surprised fire officials. The laboratory, which ensures the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, is a national security research facility located in the Jemez mountains of northern New Mexico. It was set up in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project to create the first atomic bomb and still maintains the nation's largest nuclear weapons arsenal. Firefighters were able to douse flames on a one-acre (0.4 hectare) "spot fire" just inside the southwestern boundary of the lab site, about 25 miles (40 km) outside Santa Fe, authorities said. Buildings still have not been touched by flames, and authorities said there was little threat to sensitive areas of the 28,000-acre complex (11,000 hectare)."
* CNET has more details on the fire at Los Alamos here. The entire city of 12,000 was evacuated late Monday.
Record Low Relative Humidity At Las Vegas. Just when you think you've seen it all: flooding, tornadoes, record heat, record drought, wildfires, now this: a report of the lowest relative humidity ever measured at Las Vegas: 1% Talk about lip chapping! Details from the local NWS office:
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LAS VEGAS NV
445 PM PDT MON JUN 2 2011
...ALL-TIME RECORD DEW POINT DEPRESSION SET AT LAS VEGAS TODAY...
AT 432 PM PDT TODAY THE DEW POINT DEPRESSION AT MCCARRAN
INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IN LAS VEGAS REACHED 129 DEGREES. THE DEW
POINT DEPRESSION IS DEFINED AS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AIR
TEMPERATURE AND THE DEW POINT TEMPERATURE. IN THE CASE OF TODAY THE
AIR TEMPERATURE WAS 107 DEGREES AT 432 PM AND THE DEW POINT
TEMPERATURE WAS -22 DEGREES. THIS MADE FOR A RELATIVE HUMIDITY OF 1
PERCENT AT THE TIME. THE PREVIOUS ALL-TIME RECORD DEW POINT
DEPRESSION FOR LAS VEGAS WAS 120 DEGREES SET ON JULY 2ND 2007.
THE ABOVE INFORMATION IS PRELIMINARY AND IS SUBJECT TO A FINAL
REVIEW BEFORE BEING CERTIFIED BY THE NATIONAL CLIMATIC DATA CENTER.
Late June Snowfall. Meanwhile, unusually cool (snowy) weather is predicted for the higher elevations of California!
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
Lightning Strike Leaves Its Mark. This is why you don't want to be on or near a golf course (or field, beach or body of water) during an electrical storm. The story from Bloomington, Illinois and pantagram.com: "Ironwood Golf Course superintendent Rob Hale looks at the Hole No. 9 green after it was hit by lightning during an early morning storm Monday, June 27, 2011, in Normal. The blast didn’t leave any damage on the green or strike the flagstick, but a lightning image usually seen in the sky was left as an imprint that stretches about 20 feet across on the front of the green. (The Pantagraph/Jim Benson)."
Tropical Storm Arlene? According to NHC there is a 50% probability that a tropical wave entering the Bay of Campeche, in the Gulf of Mexico, will develop enough of a circulation to create sustained 39 mph winds - strong enough to become the first official tropical storm of the season. Go ahead, flip a coin.
Projected Track. Most of the models push a developing tropical depression into interior Mexico; one model (GLP5) brings it due north toward Houston, which (compared to all the other solutions) seems unlikely.
* From UrtheCast's web site: "UrtheCast is launching the world’s first ever high definition, streaming video platform of planet Earth. The camera will be installed on the outside of the International Space Station through a joint effort with the Russian Space Agency. The camera will provide a 40 km wide, high resolution, color image down to as close as 1.1 metres."
The Gadgetization of Cars Is Kind Of Ruining Them. I have mixed feelings about this - increasingly younger car buyers are insisting that their vehicle remain "connected" on the highway - which could be a bad thing (if you're checking your FB posts instead of merging onto 494). More than ever we're dependent on software to power our vehicles. Which is great, when the computers actually work as advertised. Gizmodo.com has more: "The antique Thunderbird parked outside on my street right now will run, approximately, forever. Unlike my Honda Civic Hybrid, which will be in the scrapheap before my baby daughter hits college. Why? Because the gadgetization of cars is ruining them. As the L.A. Times reports: A key auto quality study found that new or redesigned 2011 models were less reliable than the previous year's line, much of it because of new high-tech navigation systems that didn't work properly. J.D. Power found that overall auto quality dropped in 2011, especially among American-made vehicles, largely due to the onboard electronics like in-dash touchscreen navigation systems that can befuddle and flummox users. Or the computerized transmission systems that are designed to give better fuel economy, but feel like hesitating ninnies to consumers. Back to my own Honda Civid Hybrid, it has never run as well after its most recent software update. Think of that. As a part of routine maintenance now, I have to update my vehicle's firmware."
Monday Clearing Trend. Violent storms rumbled south of Minnesota, across much of Iowa, Sunday night. Yesterday heavy showers and T-storms lingered over northern Minnesota - a few turned severe during the morning north/west of Duluth with hail (and some 1-1.5" rainfall amounts). Highs ranged from 63 at Hibbing to 75 at St. Cloud, 77 in the Twin Cities, a balmy 78 at Rochester.
Global Warming Decreasing Salt In Sea. iol.com's scitech desk has the story: "London - Climate change will turn the Baltic Sea into an increasingly freshwater sea and devastate its marine life, according to scientists. A multinational study has found that an increase in precipitation in the region would lead the water in the Baltic to become less salty. Such a decrease in salinity would change the make-up of sea life, which is already suffering from over-fishing and harmful chemicals. Professor Chris Reid, of the Marine Institute, University of Plymouth, who was involved in the study, said: “Due to global warming, it is predicted there will be an increase in precipitation in the river basins that flow into the Baltic Sea. As a result - because it's an enclosed sea with a very narrow exit - the sea will become fresher. We predict this will happen over the next 100 years.” Transformations to the Baltic's ecosystem is among a number changes reported in the research project, led by Climate Change & European Marine Ecosystem Research (Clamer) which has collated more than 13 years' worth of reports, involving 17 marine institutes from 10 European countries. Another alarming discovery is the arrival of a new species of plankton in the north Atlantic from the Pacific. The microscopic species had disappeared from the region 800,000 years ago. As the melting Arctic icecap has opened the Northwest Passage, the plant has drifted back across the pole."