.61" rain fell on MSP Saturday (most of that fell between midnight and 6 am).
87 F. high in Dallas/Fort Worth Saturday, the first time in 79 days the high at DFW has been below 90.
Bad Odds. According to tornado researcher Chuck Doswell, the odds of surviving a violent tornado in a mobile home are roughly 1/20th the odds, living in an ordinary frame home (with a basement and foundation). Doswell writes:
"...The mobile home manufacturing industry has been successful in blocking state legislation requiring mobile home park operators to provide shelters – this means they’re putting the lives of mobile homeowners at risk for the sake of their profits!"
.37" rain fell on Midland, Texas Thursday. That's more rain than fell on Midland the previous 10 months combined!
Cape Hatteras, NC 91
Apalachicola, FL 97
Lakeland, FL 96
San Angelo 0.99”
Oakland, CA 50
* 4 now confirmed dead, estimated winds of 60-70 mph reported before the stage went down.
*reported railroad tie being picked up and damaging a fence ALSO an aluminum flagpole being snapped in half @ Towanda in Butler, CO KS
*T’storm wind gust of 85mph out of Harper CO, KS
*half-dollar sized hail (1.25”)
*tree limbs down & “damaged” trees
*tree downed on mobile home 8-12” in diameter & power lines down @ Tahleqah, OK
*60mph outflow gusts
*Trees down & tree limbs broken
*house struck by lightning @ Greenwood, AR
Sunday Severe Risk. A vigorous eastbound cool front will spark strong to severe T-storms from the D.C. area and Wilmington southward to Raleigh, Charleston and the Atlanta area, according to SPC.
"A report from the Natural Resources Defense Council counts more than 2,000 code orange alerts in U.S. communities and national parks from Jan. 1 to early August. One reason for the high numbers may be the extreme heat waves over much of the country. In 1994, another year with lots of heat waves, it "was a notorious example of a bad air year. I'm betting this year will be a notorious year too," he says. It's not surprising that the highest number of code orange days are in California, given the large number of vehicles in the greater Los Angeles area. It also means that smog can spill across the mountains around L.A. into some of the deserts. "We don't expect to find pollution there," Walke says. Some of the numbers included eastern San Bernardino County, with 54 code orange days, Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks with 44, Joshua Tree National Park with 39 and Atlanta with 28. The numbers are based on early EPA raw data obtained by NRDC."
Word From Space: Missouri River Flood, August 2011. Here's an interesting story from NASA, USGS and irishweatheronline.com: "Floods lingered along the Missouri River between Nebraska City and Hamburg, Iowa, in early August 2011. The Thematic Mapper on the Landsat 5 satellite captured these natural-color images on August 10, 2011 (top), and August 23, 2010 (bottom)."
"Thursday afternoon's visible satellite imagery was very cool as two holes in a large area of cumulus clouds persisted over south central Illinois. To understand why these holes appeared, the process of cumulus cloud formation must be understood. Below is a schematic showing the earth's surface and air near the surface being heated by the sun. As the temperature increases rapidly, air parcels begin to rise because they are warmer than their surroundings. If you combine the rising air with enough moisture, clouds are created because the air slowly saturates as it rises and cools. Cumulus clouds are formed! The reason there were no clouds over the large lakes is because water does not heat up as fast as the land does during daytime heating, and therefore air parcels were not rising high enough to create clouds over the lake."
Polar Scientist Charts Melting Caused By Climate Change. Here's an excerpt of a story from VOA, the Voice of America: "Michael Gooseff follows water to the end of the earth. The Pennsylvania State University hydrologist works in remote regions of the Arctic and Antarctic, where ice and frozen ground are thawing. He expects polar warming and melting to continue at an accelerating pace if no significant reductions are made in climate-changing greenhouse-gas emissions. At the annual convention of the Ecological Society of America in Austin, Texas this week he posed this question: “How are those polar systems responding to climate change?” The answer is based on his on-going research into how water crosses landscapes and what happens to it above and below ground. “In the northern regions, of course, we have sea ice, but a smaller surface area than in the Antarctic where we have very large ice sheets. And that actually plays into the differences in climate change responses that we’re seeing at both of those places.” According to Gooseff, the two regions also differ widely geologically and ecologically. He says the Antarctic McMurdo Dry Valleys station where he’s based “appears like a polar desert system with open exposed soils, with no vascular plants at the surface and with glaciers coming down from the mountains, whereas in northern Alaska, we have a lot of plants. The tundra is actually dense with vegetation and very green.”
A Polarizing Polar Bear Investigation. The story from the New York Times: "A modest scientific observation about a few drowning polar bears has enmeshed a government wildlife biologist in an investigation into whether he is guilty of scientific misconduct. The investigation has taken on symbolic importance in the debate over global warming. Skeptics about global warming cite the investigation as evidence that shoddy science is raising undue alarms. The scientist’s defenders believe he is being scrutinized for honest observations that tend to support the scientific consensus that global warming threatens the planet. In 2006, Dr. Charles Monnett and a colleague published a seven-page paper in Polar Biology, a peer-reviewed journal. The paper described a whale surveillance flight over Alaska’s Beaufort Sea in 2004, during which they spotted four polar bear carcasses floating in open water far from land or the receding ice pack. They speculated that as many as 27 bears in all might have died in the same stormy period in the entire relevant habitat. They urged scientists to consider whether such drownings are an overlooked cause of bear mortality that might become worse if Arctic ice continues to recede during part of the year." (photo credit: National Geographic).
Feeding A Hotter, More Crowded Planet. Here's an interesting Q&A from NPR:
"IRA FLATOW, host: You're listening to SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. The American Southwest is beginning to resemble the Dust Bowl of the Depression. Cotton crops have crumbled. It hasn't rained much in over a year.
The situation is even worse in East Africa. Droughts there have devastated harvests, and according to the U.N., over 11 million people there are at risk of starvation. I'm sure you've seen the pictures on the nightly news and online.
Is this sort of thing going to become the norm? Because climate models predict that extreme weather events, like droughts and floods, will become more common in the future, threatening farmers' ability to produce reliable harvests.
And not only will growing the food become more difficult, but the farmers will need to produce more of it because by the year 2050, there will be another two billion people on the planet, meaning we'll have over nine billion mouths to feed.
So how are we going to grow more food than ever on a planet with more frequent droughts, floods and heat waves? Are high-tech solutions like genetically modified crops the answer? Or do we need to look back toward more traditional farming techniques, like getting fertilizer to farmers who can't afford it or to keep the soil healthy and fertile? Maybe a little bit of both?"
Learning From Bastardi's Mistakes. Joe Bastardi is a meteorologist who recently went on Fox News and made some (scientifically unsound) statements about climate change. A thorough debunking of his rant can be found here: "For the sake of those with the guts to face hard science, who are willing to invest enough actual thought to learn something more complicated than soundbites and platitudes, we’ll address some of the mistakes in Joe Bastardi’s comment. There are too many to address them all in one blog post. So let’s start small, with just the first paragraph: "When one pushes an empty cart and then stops pushing, the cart keeps moving until the work done on it is dissipated. How is it, that the earths temperature has leveled off, if co2 continues to rise and it is supposed to be what is causing the rise.. The answer is obvious. it is the earths temperature which is driving the co2 release into the atmosphere. That is what Salby opines, and he is correct."
Congratulations, Joe, you’ve managed to squeeze quite a few fallacies into a single paragraph. Impressive indeed."
* photo credit for Bastardi image here.
Climate Change Affecting Atlantic Mackerel. This one from the UPI: "NARRAGANSETT, R.I., Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Environmental factors have affected Atlantic mackerel from Cape Hatteras, N.C., to Newfoundland, shifting them northeast into shallower waters, researchers say. Scientists with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration say mackerel, which migrate great distances on a seasonal basis to feed and spawn, are sensitive to changes in water temperature and the finding could have significant implications for U.S. commercial and recreational mackerel fishing activities that mostly occur during late winter and early spring." (photo credit: floridiannature.com).