SATURDAY NIGHT: Evening thunder, very warm and muggy overnight. Low: 79
74 F. high in the Twin Cities on Thursday.
.13" rain fell yesterday at MSP, .66" at St. Cloud.
81 degree dew point predicted for Saturday afternoon, heat index tops 110.
105-115 heat index possible every afternoon from Saturday through at least Tuesday.
Heatwave Expands North. The predicted heat index (factoring temperature and dew point) is expected to top 100 from southwestern Minnesota southward to Texas and much of the south later today. The culprit: dew points forecast to range from 75-80, as humid as it ever gets. Map courtesy of Ham Weather.
Hottest Air Of Summer In The Twin Cities? Check out the predicted heat index: 105-110 Saturday and Sunday, closer to 110-115 on Monday, no real relief until the very end of next week at the earliest. Take the heat seriously - I have a hunch next week is going to be a tough one (for almost everyone, but especially for people who work outside in the heat).
Friday Severe Threat. The greatest risk of severe storms later today will come from Denver northeastward to Omaha, the eastern Dakotas and much of Minnesota - intense to severe storms forming on the northern edge of an expanding heatwave. Stay tuned for watches and warnings.
Weather Models. 1 pm today, from the WRF/NAM model. More heavy thunderstorms dropping beneficial rains over Dixie, with some 1-3" amounts from the parishes of Louisiana eastward into Georgia and the Florida panhandle. The rains are putting a dent in the drought, but farmers in Texas and Oklahoma continue to suffer through some of the worst heat and drought since the Dust Bowl years of the mid 1930s.
Weather Models, 7 am Saturday. Strong/severe storms are forecast to rumble across Minnesota, more tropical downpours along the Gulf coast, lighter showers from Seattle to Portland - dry, relatively comfortable weather lingering over much of New England.
- Quivira National Wildlife Refuge’s Big Salt Marsh in Stafford County is dry and cracked. It smells of death from hundreds of rotting fish.
- The drought is so severe, it even caused the Kansas Legislature to ease some of the restrictions on western Kansas irrigators, acknowledging the drought is quickly eating up their yearly water allotments.
- Roads have been closed due to drifting sand, blocking access to gas and oil wells and causing some companies to shut the wells down temporarily.
- A 10 to 15 mph wind will cause the horizon to dim; at 30 to 40 mph, it darkens the sky and visibility is less than a 100 feet.
- Much of Morton County (most southwestern county in the state) is in an exceptional drought, the driest rating, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Already it is drier than the driest years of the Dust Bowl.
- Since last September — 10 months ago — Morton County near Elkhart has received 2.99 inches of moisture. The normal average rainfall for that corner of Kansas is about 19 inches.
Calgary Tornado. A (rare) tornado hit Calgary, Alberta late Wednesday. More details from the Vancouver Sun. Here are a few details:
- Calgary saw its first tornado since 2009 last night.
- Environment Canada meteorologists are now saying a tornado briefly touched down.
- It is categorized as an F0, the smallest category of tornado, which has winds of 40 mph to 71 mph.
- This is the 9th tornado since 1970 in Calgary.
Huge Sinkhole Opens, Causing Fatal Utah Crash. Recent flooding has created a series of deadly sinkholes in Utah, as reported by the AP and MSNBC: "SALT LAKE CITY — A 15-year-old girl is dead after heavy rains caused a huge sink hole to open on a northeastern Utah highway, swallowing one vehicle and causing her father's SUV to careen off the road. Authorities said the crash that killed Justine Barneck and injured her father, Michael Barneck, late Wednesday night happened when the road collapsed in front of them, leaving a patch of asphalt on the edge of the hole that the vehicle hit, causing the fatal accident. At about the same time, a second car actually went into the 40-foot-wide, 30-foot-deep hole, said Utah Highway Patrol Cpl. Todd Johnson. The driver of that vehicle, 37-year-old Helen Paulson, was hurt, but the extent of her injuries was not immediately clear."
- As of Thursday afternoon local time, the typhoon featured maximum sustained winds of 105 mph, with higher gusts.
- equivalent to a strong Category 2 hurricane
- Storm movement, towards the west on Thursday, is likely to become northwesterly or even northerly by the end of the week.
- Typhoon Ma-On forecast to reach super typhoon status early next week, make landfall in southern Japan shortly afterward
- Greater Tokyo is unlikely to feel the worst of the storm, no matter its ultimate track. Still, flooding rain and damaging winds could take place in the early to middle parts of the week.
- Likewise, in northeastern Honshu, at the site of the March tsunami and nuclear disasters, there is the potential for heavy rain, high winds and rough seas next week.
- Storms like this can unload 10-20 inches of rain
- danger for mudslides and flooding upon reaching Japan
Record Number of People Dying Of Heatstroke In Japan. Extreme heat has grippled much of Japan in recent weeks. A few details:
- Cases of heatstroke in Japan have hit record levels as people switch off air conditioners in the summer heat to save power after the nuclear crisis.
- At least 26 people have died this month alone.
- The average temperature in Japan this summer is nearly 7° higher than usual, with some centers sweltering in 100° heat.
- The country's disaster management agency says that since the start of this month more than 13,000 people have been rushed to hospital because of heatstroke.
Global Temperature Highlights: June
- The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for June 2011 was the seventh warmest on record at 60.94 F (16.08 C), which is 1.04 F (0.58 C) above the 20th century average of 59.9 F (15.5 C). The margin of error associated with this temperature is +/- 0.13 F (0.07 C).
- Separately, the global land surface temperature was 1.60 F (0.89 C) above the 20th century average of 55.9 F (13.3 C), which was the fourth warmest June on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.23 F (0.13 C). Warmer-than-average conditions occurred across most of Russia, Europe, and China, the Middle East, eastern Canada, Mexico, and the southern United States. Cooler-than-average regions included the northern and western United States, part of western Canada, and most of Australia.
- Lists of all employees, key customers and clients along with their phone numbers and addresses
- Insurance policies and agent contact information
- Electronic data back-up
- Equipment, computer software/hardware, and furniture inventories
- A list of emergency vendors, such as plumbers and restoration contractors
- Copies of essential business policies, plans, and agreements
- Photographs of the business and equipment, both inside and out"
Last Semi-Comfortable Day In Sight. With persistent clouds and morning/midday showers, temperatures were 5-10 degrees cooler than average, ranging from 68 at Alexandria and St. Cloud to 74 in the Twin Cities, 78 at Redwood Falls. More climate information here, courtesy of the National Weather Service.
Climate Change Already Altering Great Lakes, Report Says. Here's a Star Tribune article, by way of the Miami Herald: "MINNEAPOLIS -- Isle Royale in Lake Superior used to be too cold for deer ticks. But not anymore. The ticks, which carry Lyme disease, have been found for the first time on the island off the coast of northern Minnesota. And by the end of the century, nesting loons may disappear altogether from most of the Great Lakes. Those are some of the findings of a new report on the impact of climate change on the Great Lakes' five largest national parks made public Wednesday by two environmental groups, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization. It was the latest in a series of studies they have conducted on the current and future effects of a warming global climate on national parks from California to Virginia. The report, the authors said, provides an early look at what's to come if the Republican-led Congress continues to thwart federal efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Republicans this week tried and failed to repeal new standards for more energy efficient light bulbs, and are resisting the new federal rules regulating greenhouse gas emissions expected later this summer. They say the rules are unnecessary intrusions on freedom, and job killers. "We have an increasing partisan divide on this," said Stephen Saunders, president of the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and a former national parks official with the Department of the Interior. "If people pay attention to how the places they know and love respond to climate change, I hope that makes people aware of what we should be doing differently." The authors analyzed a century's worth of temperature trends for the great lakes area drawn from two weather stations on Lake Michigan, and found that both show more rapid change than the global averages. The one near the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, near Chicago, showed that in the last decade average temperatures have increased by 1.6 degrees, and the one near Picture Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan showed an average increase of 2.7 degrees."
This claim by Monckton has two parts that are important to the discussion of climate change:
- Was the MWP global in extent and warmer than today?
- Does the presence of the MWP call into question human-caused global warming?