97 F. high predicted for today. A dew point near 72 will make it feel like 100-105 F. by mid afternoon.Slight severe risk later today (best chance central and northern Minnesota).
Saturday: warmest day of the holiday weekend (highs near 80). Risk of a late-day shower or T-shower. Winds: West at 10-15, dew point: 54. High: 75-80.
Sunday: Windiest (cloudiest) day. Windy and cooler with more clouds than sun, a few PM sprinkles up north. Winds: Northwest at 10-20, dew point: 50. High: 66-71.
Labor Day: less wind, bright sun, low humidity. Dry weather statewide. Winds: SE 5-10, dew point: 49. Highs: 68-73.
Thursday Severe Risk. An eastbound cool front may spark strong to severe storms from Minnesota into eastern South Dakota later today and tonight - a few storms capable of large hail and damaging winds. Source: SPC.
"A LARGE AREA OF DISORGANIZED CLOUDINESS AND THUNDERSTORMS OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN GULF OF MEXICO IS ASSOCIATED WITH A TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE. UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE CURRENTLY UNFAVORABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT...BUT ARE FORECAST TO BECOME MORE CONDUCIVE ON THURSDAY...AND THIS SYSTEM COULD BECOME A TROPICAL DEPRESSION DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO. THIS SYSTEM HAS A HIGH CHANCE...60 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT MOVES SLOWLY NORTHWESTWARD. INTERESTS ALONG THE ENTIRE NORTHERN GULF OF MEXICO COAST SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS DISTURBANCE."
Solution 1: Landfall Over Louisiana. The NAM model brings "Lee" into coastal Louisiana and Mississippi late in the week. The map above is valid 7 pm Friday evening.
Solution 2: Landfall over Texas? The WRF solution develops a strong tropical storm or possible hurricane in the western Gulf of Mexico later this week. The map above is valid 7 am Saturday morning, showing what appears to be a minimal hurricane (complete with eye) off the coast of Galveston. Yes, there is at least a slight chance of a drought-busting storm for Texas by the weekend.
- At least 44 deaths have been reported in 13 states and an estimated 2 million people remained without electrical power Wednesday.
- Vermont officials are making some headway trying to deliver supplies to flooded communities. One Vermont official is calling this the worst natural disaster in the state’s history.
- Roads were open to at least emergency vehicles across the state, though some communities including Stratton and Rochester were still barely accessible
- Federal emergency officials are scheduled to tour Upstate New York and New Jersey later in the day.
- In New Jersey, the Ramapo, Pompton and Passaic rivers crested and started to slowly recede, More than 10,000 evacuees were still waiting to return to their homes
- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office reported
- that power had been restored to about 78% of the areas that were hit by Irene.
- Early Wednesday, President Obama declared a major disaster in New York, freeing up federal recovery funds for people in eight counties. Governor Cuomo says damage in New York is likely to hit 1 billion.
- NJ TRANSIT restored rail service Wednesday morning on the Northeast Corridor from Trenton Transit Center to New York Penn Station.
NASA Measures Irene's Record Rainfall Totals From Space. Some of the rainfall amounts (derived from satellite sensors) are staggering, as much as 225-250 millimaters). WIRED.com has more details: "NASA has totaled the impressive rainfall from Hurricane Irene using highly precise microwave measurements from a satellite. The map, created using data recorded by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite from Aug. 20-29, reveals rainfall in some bands of the now-dissipated 10-day-long storm exceeded 2 inches per hour. “Hurricane Irene was dropping tremendous amounts of rainfall over the eastern United States during a part of this period,” said TRMM team member Hal Pierce of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in a press release. To gauge rainfall levels, the satellite relies on an instrument that measures microwave radiation. Flat water looks cold because of it doesn’t emit microwave radiation as readily, but round raindrops falling from clouds do and appear warm. By running calculations of the cold/warm contrast over oceans, TRMM can accurately assess rainfall totals. Over land the situation is trickier. Soil, plants and other materials on the ground emit microwave radiation almost as efficiently as water droplets, providing poor contrast to detect rainfall. But ice crystals present at the tops of most rain-making clouds are different enough in microwave-detected temperatures to allow the satellite to infer rainfall intensity and levels."
Rainfall Amounts From Irene:
- Virginia Beach Va., 20.40 inches
- Jacksonville, N.C., 20.00 inches
- Bunyan, N.C., 15.66 inches
- New Bern, N.C., 14.79 inches
- Williamstown, N.C., 14.27 inches
- Leonardtown, Md., 13.35 inches
- East Durham, N.Y., 13.30 inches
- Washington, N.C., 13.11 inches
- Plum Point, Md., 12.96 inches
- Ft. Eustis, Va., 12.52 inches
- Mt. Washington, N.H., 120 mph
- Cedar Island, N.C., 115 mph
- Fort Macon, N.C., 92 mph
- Sayville, N.Y., 91 mph
- Hatteras, N.C., 88 mph
- Conimicut, R.I., 83 mph
- Barrington, R.I., 82 mph
- Buxton, N.C., 79 mph
- Soyosset Mobile, N.Y., 79 mph
- Cape Lookout, N.C., 78 mph
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Finds Despair In Flood Zone Tour. Here's a story from the Boston Herald and CBS News: "TRENTON, N.J. – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ordered the gates of the Pompton Lake Dam to be opened nine hours before Hurricane Irene arrived – dropping the water level by 3 feet – hoping to avoid what turned out to be inevitable. In previous floods, officials had kept the gates shut, and flooding occurred. Christie said he didn’t know if his actions had any effect and would wait until an independent review of the dam is completed in February before judging the dam’s role in recent floods. The Army Corps of Engineers installed floodgates in 2007 as part of a project to reduce flooding. "I don’t believe the Army Corps of Engineers did anything up there that was trying to intentionally hurt people or make matters worse," Christie said. "But you learn in life that sometimes people make mistakes."
Washington Monument Leaking After Irene. The details from NBC Washington: "Walking into the Washington Monument on Monday after Hurricane Irene blew through, standing water was found puddled inside the iconic structure's interior. That water could indicate more cracks in the monument than were previously detected, Park Service spokesperson Carol Johnson told News4. An outside engineering has been working with the Park Service to evaluate breaks in the marble structure's upper triangle, detected after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake shook the nation's capital on August 23. A helicopter inspection following the quake revealed a 4-inch crack on one of the monument's upper triangular faces last week. A follow-up evaluation conducted by architectural firm Wiss, Janney, Elsner Associates detected at least 3 more large cracks in the monument."
Photo credit above: "WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 24: Security guards and a U.S. Park ranger stand on the temporary fence circling the base of the Washington Monument on the National Mall August 24, 2011 in Washington, DC. The Washington Monument will remain indefinitely closed after Tuesday's 5.8 magnitude East Coast earthquake left cracks near the top of the 555-foot-tall obelisk." (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
FEMA Chief To Tour Flood-Ravaged New Jersey; Looting Reported. An update from NBC New York: "Raging floodwaters continued to ravage parts of northern New Jersey as the nation's top emergency management officials Wednesday planned to view the damage left by Hurricane Irene. Flooding continued to besiege Paterson, Little Falls and Montville Township even after the state's rain-swollen rivers crested and slowly receded. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate planned to visit flood-damaged Lincoln Park, in Morris County, late Wednesday afternoon. The raging Passaic River crested Tuesday, bringing a new round of evacuations and more misery in places like Lodi and Paterson, where the first incident of looting was reported Wednesday. A resident identifying herself only as Jackie told NBC New York that a pack of as many as 20 or 30 youths jumped a fence into a backyard and tried to break into the rear of several homes that occupants had been forced to flee by the rising waters of the Passaic River."
Photo credit above: "About 85 Progress Energy workers work in the field in Alliance, N.C. trying to restore the power in the region east of New Bern, N.C. Monday, Aug.29, 2011. Thousands were still without power in eastern North Carolina in the wake of Hurricane Irene." (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Takaaki Iwabu)
Special Report: Hurricane Irene Wallops Flood Insurance Program. The details from Reuters: "The only thing worse than getting flooded out of your home once is getting flooded out of it twice. Or, for that matter, over and over again. Margaret Wert bought her Wayne, New Jersey house in 1999, relying on assurances from her realtor that any occasional flooding would only amount to an inch or two of water. A week after closing, Hurricane Floyd put four feet of water in her basement. Earlier this year, Wert, 45, got flooded again and received a payout of $5,000 on her government flood insurance, which costs her $1,200 a year. It wasn't enough to cover her bills, but it helped with the new stove, refrigerator and boiler. But all of Margaret Wert's new appliances and much of her house are now ruined, after Hurricane Irene flooded broad swathes of New Jersey. This time, though, she has a message for the government insurance program. "If they don't buy me out and give me what I want, I am going to walk away, and they can keep it. I will tell the insurance company 'give the check to the bank.' You can do the repairs. You can live there in mold, you can live there in smell, I am done."
Photo credit above: " " (Liz Dory).
11:15am At a press conference held by Palo Pinto County Sheriff Ira Mercer 5,130 acres have burned in the wildfires that started on Tuesday. He is reporting that 25-30 homes have been destroyed. For those who have lost thier homes or forced to evacuate, the Red Cross has set up a shelter at First Baptist Church. There is concern about the weather leading into the early afternoon between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. If the humidity drops and the wind picks up and it gets drier, the sheriff said they may be in more trouble."
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
TODAY: Hot sun, windy and uncomfortably humid. Dew point: 72. Heat index: 103. Winds: S 20+ High: 97
THURSDAY NIGHT: T-storms possible (especially central and northern MN). A few may be severe. Low: 71
FRIDAY: Few showers, turning windy and cooler. Dew point: 58. High: 78
"I don't think the word "proof" is what you're looking for. "Evidence," or "a result of"? Yeah. Yeah. Now here's what the people will tell you who run these climate models. Now everybody, the word "model" in this usage is a computer program, a very sophisticated computer program. So you take data from satellites about the thickness of clouds and the extent of cloud cover over the sea. You take data about the temperature of the sea surface. You take data about the existing weather in let's say, North America or the Gulf of Mexico, as the storm moves into it, then you compute how much rain fell out of it, how much energy must have been put into it to create that much rain and it takes many months to analyze an event like Irene. Now, climate colleagues that I have will tell you that they cannot tell you today that Irene is evidence or a result of climate change, but check in with them in about March, next year, after they have a few months to collect all these millions and millions of data from weather services and satellites and compile them and run a climate model and show that Irene was a result of the world having more energy in its atmosphere."
Irene is an opportunity to assess a range of political and policy issues.
We know from many studies that coastal areas have sensitive “critical infrastructure” including airports, railroad tracks, power plants, subways and tunnels, fuel and chemical storage facilities, ports, sewage treatment plants and military bases. These become extremely vulnerable when a huge storm hits the East Coast of the United States. The West Coast is somewhat different, but substitute tsunami for hurricane."