75-78 F. dew points possibly by afternoon.
Slight risk of severe storms later today over west central Minnesota.
13 days above 90 this summer, 9 of those 90-degree days in July.
29 days above 100 at Dallas/Ft. Worth (second longest 100-degree streak in history).
18" rainfall deficit in Houston since January 1.
Stormy Panorama. This was the scene Saturday afternoon in St. Cloud. SCSU meteorologist D.J. Kayser (a part-time employee at WeatherNation) snapped this ominous photo.
"...Here in 2011, the average dew point since June 1st has been 59.6 F, which is a little over 4 degrees above normal. In July the moisture has been even more pronounced. The average dew point this month through the 27th has been 64.5 F. This is actually higher than the normal July low temperature." - from the local MSP National Weather Service, details below.
"...Since roughly 1980, the United States has seen a total of 107 weather-related disasters of over $1 billion each in damage, with total losses exceeding $750 billion."
"....The economic impact of severe weather events is only projected to grow," Senator Dick Durbin said at a hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Financial Services and Government, which he chairs. "We are not prepared. Our weather events are getting worse, catastrophic in fact." - Reuters article on extreme weather. Details below.
Saturday Record Highs:
Augusta Regional Airport, GA 103
Charlotte, NC 101
New Bern, NC 101
Cape Hatteras, NC 94
Willmington, NC 101
SATELLITE IMAGES INDICATE THAT THE SHOWER ACTIVITY ASSOCIATED WITH A LARGE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM CENTERED ABOUT 750 MILES EAST OF THE LESSER ANTILLES HAS CONTINUED TO BECOME BETTER ORGANIZED...AND A TROPICAL DEPRESSION COULD FORM LATER TONIGHT OR SUNDAY. THIS SYSTEM IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST AT 15 TO 20 MPH AND HAS A HIGH CHANCE...90 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. AN AIR FORCE PLANE IS SCHEDULED TO INVESTIGATE THIS DISTURBANCE SUNDAY AFTERNOON. INTERESTS IN THE LESSER ANTILLES SHOULD CLOSELY MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS SYSTEM.
"Using the Twin Cities climate records since 1980, the normal number of days each year with dew points of 70° F or higher is 23. The all-time record year for dew points of 70° F or higher is 2002 with 48 days. Courtesy of the Minnesota State Climatology Office.
Heavy Rains Cause Mississippi River Rise In Iowa. Reuters has the story - here's an excerpt: "Torrential rains in the Mississippi River town of Dubuque, Iowa earlier this week will cause the river to go above flood stage as the water moves south, a federal official said on Friday. "The crest is working its way down the river," said Ron Fournier, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Rock Island, Illinois. "The communities down the river are looking at an increase in river levels down to Davenport, Iowa." Fournier said he expects the river to crest in the Davenport area at 16.2 feet by Sunday, up from about 11 feet before Wednesday's rains. He said this would bring "moderate flooding" -- possibly causing water in some streets and parks -- before it started dissipating. Storms Wednesday night dumped a record amount of rain on parts of the Midwest, including more than 10.2 inches on Dubuque, Iowa, causing evacuations and at least one death in the area."
"The excessive heat that enveloped much of North America during the last half of July has certainly caused a variety of short-term impacts for businesses and consumers. Companies that sell air conditioners, fans, cold beverages, swimwear and other similar products have benefited from a surge in demand. On the other hand, consumers looking to beat the heat scaled back on certain products, services and activities.
As the extreme heat subsides and more normal summer temperatures return, there are some longer-term, lasting effects that the recent weather will have on the economy.
August Electricity Bills = Higher Costs & Reduced Spending Power
Planalytics’ Power Weather Index (a measure that isolates the impact of temperatures on electric demand) is showing the following for the U.S. as a whole:
- +2% vs. July 2010 (Note: last year was the second warmest July in 50 years!)
- +6% vs. the 10-year average
- Many metropolitan areas in the Midwest & Northeast saw even larger increases during the last half of the month (St. Louis +16%, Chicago +14%, Cleveland +11%, Philadelphia +11% vs. the 10-year average)
Economic impacts for households and businesses include:
- Significantly higher August utility bills will claim a greater share of household disposable income leaving fewer dollars to spend on dining out, back-to-school shopping, etc.
- For many, disposable income has already taken a hit with unplanned purchases of air conditioners and fans or repair/servicing costs for home and car air conditioners that malfunctioned under the strain of heavy use.
- Higher electricity bills will increase manufacturing costs for many businesses, putting upward pricing pressure on finished goods sold at retail.
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
SUNDAY NIGHT: T-storms diminish. Low: 73
Then And Now Glacier Photos Illustrate Global Warming. The story from the Chico Enterprise Record "CHICO -- After flying through the air over some of the world's most impressive glaciers, photographer David Arnold said the images he captured are "shocking." "Al Gore low-balled what's happening," the photographer said. "It's happening much faster." Arnold spoke at Chico State University Wednesday night to discuss his photographs that are currently part of the Gateway Science Museum's exhibits on climate change. The photographs, taken this decade, are paired with photos taken by Bradford Washburn 50-80 years ago. Washburn was a "gentleman explorer" who lugged around a 50-pound high-quality camera, documenting glaciers in Switzerland and Alaska. Arnold worked for the Boston Globe for 25 years and more recently has worked as a freelance writer, photographer and video producer."
— 14% of the general public doesn’t worry about climate change at all, but among CWMs the percentage jumps to 39%.
— 32% of adults deny there is a scientific consensus on climate change, but 59% of CWMs deny what the overwhelming majority of the world’s scientists have said.