SATURDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy with a few heavy thunderstorms around. Low: 72
"...With the number of days of extreme heat and humidity of the current heat wave, it may be more significant and impact a larger area than the deadly 1995 heat wave." - story below on the unusual duration & intensity of America's heatwave.
17 states above 100 F.
40 states above 90 F.
34 states expected to experience a heat index above 100 today.
"...Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma are coping with their driest nine-month stretch since 1895. Yes, it has been a very hot summer after one of the most extreme-weather springs on record. It’s time to face the fact that the weather isn’t what it used to be." - article below from climate scientist Heidi Cullen in the New York Times.
"...The National Research Council explained in a recent report that heat waves are expected to become "more intense, more frequent, and longer-lasting" in the United States and around the globe as a result of human-induced climate change." - from a story below on media coverage of the heatwave as another symptom of a warming climate.
WeatherNation (new 24/7 national cable channel) now available on Facebook. The complete Reuters press release is here.
Heat Wave Breaks Records Of Both Duration And Intensity. USA Today has more details on the remarkable bout of heat and humidity gripping the eastern 2/3rds of America: "Make no mistake: This blistering heat wave now gripping much of the country remains remarkable both for its intensity and duration. "With the number of days of extreme heat and humidity of the current heat wave, it may be more significant and impact a larger area than the deadly 1995 heat wave," AccuWeather meteorologist Jim Andrews said. Chicago was ground zero in the 1995 heat wave, he said, where the death toll was 750 over the four-day episode. This week's heat wave has killed at least 22 people across the USA, a death toll that remains a far cry from the carnage of 1995. It begs the question why. The main reasons appear to be more community outreach, better communication of heat warnings and danger and greater awareness, community leaders said. In Chicago, "we want to make sure the patient comes in and immediately gets back to a bed and right to a doctor," said Kaleem Malik, the chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Saint Anthony Hospital. Everything else can wait, he said, such as taking down information or checking records. The city has seen no heat-related deaths yet in this heat wave, the Chicago Tribune reported."
Thursday Heat Index. The worst of the heat/humidity will break across the Dakotas and Minnesota, shifting east into the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and much of the east coast. The heat index may hit 100 as far north as Worcester, Massachusetts. In all 34 states are expected to see a heat index above 100 by Thursday afternoon. Map courtesy of Ham Weather.
Brief Respite From The Humidity. Today will be the only low-dew point day in sight. By Friday dew points return to the mid 70s, a shot at 80 degree dew points (again) by Saturday, again the middle of next week.
Heat Index Trend. By Saturday the combination of low 90s, and a projected dew point in the 75-80 range, could make for a heat index in the 100-110 range. After another brief break Sunday/Monday the heat index may return to the 100-degree range by Tuesday/Wednesday of next week.
Saturday: Have a "Plan B". Models are hinting at some very heavy T-storms Saturday, as much as 1-2" of rain may fall. Sunday looks dry, the sunner, nicer day of the weekend with a drop in dew point as winds shift to the west/northwest.
- On one of the hottest days of the year, the Chicago Park District ordered a swim ban on all its beaches Tuesday because of visibility problems for lifeguards caused by dense fog.
- An area of dense fog formed along the lake Tuesday morning after winds turned off the lake reducing the air temperature.
- The reduced air temperature and high humidity levels make it conducive for fog to form.
River Receding, Leaving A Mess Behind. The journalstar.com has the details: "There's not much measurable relief yet from flooding at the lower end of the dam and reservoir system on the Missouri River. Gavins Point, the last of six dams dealing with the 2011 deluge, still was releasing water at a rate of 160,000 cubic feet per second Tuesday along the Nebraska border. That's more than twice the previous record, and the pace is scheduled to continue through the rest of July. But at Fort Peck in Montana, the most upstream dam and the closest to mountain snowmelt, the Monday inflow was only 25,000 cubic feet per second, about half of what it was four weeks ago. "I do believe we've gained the upper hand," said Jody Farhat, based in Omaha as chief of the Water Management Division for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Farhat also could calculate progress on Tuesday with releases from the three biggest flood control checkpoints."
Exploding Storm Sewer Lifts Car. Here's an amazing video clip from MSN: "A car is sent into the air after a geyser of water exploded from a sewer in Montreal. It's amazing to see the force there! "
"WeatherNation" Is Now Streaming On Facebook! If you're interested in seeing the live, 24/7 stream (better yet, uploading photos or videos of weather where you are) go to your Facebook account, do a search for "WeatherNation", the channel, click on "WNTV 24/7 Video Stream in the upper left, and you'll get a live look at what's going over the air right now.
New Weather Channel For A New Century. "WeatherNation" is the only live, 24/7 weather news and information channel streaming on Facebook. We're hoping you'll stop by, check in from time to time, tell your friends and weather enthusiasts, and send us some pics and video clips of the weather in your town. This is your channel - we hope to hear from you!
Snow Ski In Summer? Unreal. The Star Tribune has a story about a local ski resort considering year-round skiing in the Twin Cities. Details: "On a 100-degree day, this might sound like a pretty cool idea. Hyland Ski and Snowboard Area in Bloomington is considering laying synthetic snow on its slopes that would allow for year-round skiing, no matter how high the temperature. Hyland, where 70 percent of users are under age 17, would become just the nation's second ski area to use the fake snow. Some local ski area operators scoff at the idea, but it has made year-round skiing a reality in Virginia and several locations in Europe. Officials at the west suburban Three Rivers Park District, which operates Hyland, also are considering other new features for Hyland, including sailing through the air via zip-line and riding an alpine-style coaster down the hill. Other attractions could include climbing and swinging through a challenge course and trick-bouncing on trampolines with harnesses. Three Rivers wants to "engage youth in the outdoors, and this is one way we think can do it," said Cris Gears, park district superintendent. The new attractions would come at a cost of about $29 million, including structures, improvements and parking."
Mini-Fridge Beer Canon. For the guy who has everything (including WAY too much free time). The StumbleUpon video clip says it all.
Sweaty Wednesday. Under a bright sun the mercury soared to 96 at St. Cloud and the Twin Cities, with a heat index as high as 105. Nearly 3" of rain soaked Grand Marais, very heavy thunderstorms raking far northern Minnesota.
Is The Heat Index A "Liberal Government Conspiracy?" I detect a note of shrill desparation coming from some of the big-mouth, no-nothing radio "personalities" who love to advocate conspiracy theories, while understanding precious little about science. Yes, heat index is a vast, left-wing conspiracy to emphasize just how how hot it feels out there - and wind chill is a right wing scheme to dupe Americans into believing that climate change is a hoax. Got it. Joe Romm at Climate Progress has the (laughable) story: "Wikipedia: “The heat index … combines air temperature and relative humidity in an attempt to determine the human-perceived equivalent temperature — how hot it feels…. The heat index was developed in 1978 … and was adopted by the National Weather Service a year later.” Rush Limbaugh: They’re playing games with us on this heat wave, again. Even Drudge, drudge getting sucked in here. Gonna be a 116 in Washington. No, it’s not. It’s going to be a 100, maybe 99. The heat index, manufactured by the government, they tell you what it feels like when you add the humidity in there. 116 - When’s the last time the heat index was reported as an actual temperature? It hasn’t been. But it looks like they’re trying to get away with doing that now. Yes, the black helicopters are after Limbaugh and the whole country now. Well, actually if there were UN helicopters, I’m sure they’d be white, since the black ones would just get too damn hot in this weather! In the real world, the heat index adds to the actual temperature the effect of humidity, which interferes with the body’s ability to perspire and carry away heat: “When the relative humidity is high, the evaporation rate is reduced, so heat is removed from the body at a lower rate causing it to retain more heat than it would in dry air.”
Rep. Waxman Urges Energy Secretary Chu To Lead National Campaign To Educate Public About Climate Change: "Washington, DC—Today Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman sent a letter to Secretary of Energy Steven Chu urging his leadership in educating the public about the causes and dangers of climate change. In the letter, Rep. Waxman states, “I ask you to investigate the disconnect that appears to be growing between the scientific and the public understanding of climate change. I hope you will then decide to lead a national effort to ensure the public is fully and accurately informed about the science of climate change and its implications for human health and welfare.”