Slight severe storm risk later today over much of central and southwestern Minnesota.
Saturday: nicer day of the weekend with high pressure over southern Minnesota, low humidity, highs in the mid 70s.
August: 2.6 degrees F. warmer than average in the Twin Cities (no 90s yet this month).
9 separate billion-dollar disasters across the USA so far in 2011. That ties the all-time record of 9 set in 2008 (NCDC).
2011: 2 billion-dollar plus floods, 5 separate billion-dollar tornado outbreaks, and a billion dollar blizzard. This year severe T-storms have cost $20 billion, double what's normal. Source: AP.
108 separate billion dollar plus disasters across the USA since 1980. Total damage estimate: $750 billion (NCDC).
$5.2 billion: estimated cost of the record heat and drought to Texas farmers so far in 2011.
Hurricane Harvey approaching the southeastern USA next week? Details below.
"...This drought will have a lasting impact on Texas agriculture," said Travis Miller, an agronomist with the AgriLife Extension Service. "The most remarkable thing is the extent and the severity of the drought combined." More than 90 percent of Texas is listed by the U.S. Drought Monitor as being in either "extreme" or "exceptional" drought, the two worst categories. - MSNBC article on the record drought in Texas below.
"It was a freakish act of God," fair spokesman Andy Klotz said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon, "and I don't know how it could have been prevented." - article below from Indystar.com about the 3 days of weather alerts leading up to Saturday's tragic stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair.
* photo credit above: investigators on Tuesday surveyed the wreckage of the Indian State Fair Granstand stage, where five people were killed Saturday night. Matt Detrich/The Star.
* there have been 3 stage collapses this year: Oklahoma, outside Toronto (Cheap Trick concert), and now the Indiana State Fair. Evidence of severe weather or shoddy construction? The reality: these temporary stages are simply not engineered to be able to withstand near-hurricance force gusts.
“...It’s all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight. Al Gore is a prophet all right, a false prophet of a secular carbon cult, and now even moderate Democrats aren’t buying it.” - Texas Governor Rick Perry.
Thursday Severe Threat. According to SPC a few storms may exceed severe limits (58 mph winds and/or 1"+ diameter hail) from central Minnesota southward to Kansas City.
Saturday: Sunnier, Drier Day Of The Weekend. The GFS model brings a well-timed bubble of high pressure over southern Minnesota during the day Saturday. The result should be generous sunshine, highs in the 70s, with dew points in the 50s. Not bad...
Sunday: Slight Thunder Risk. According to the GFS model the best chance of heavy T-storms will come over far northern Minnesota, but a stray late-day shower or T-storm can't be ruled out farther south, with the best chance south/east of MSP.
- Houston, TX reached 100+ Wednesday, marking the 17th consecutive 100+ day. #2 on the list is 14 days in 1980.
- Wichita Falls, TX surpassed 100+ Wednesday, extending the record for the number of 100+ days in a calendar year to 81 days. Previous record, 79 days in 1980.
- Waco, TX hit 100+ Wednesday, marking the 65th day of 100+ highs. The previous record was 63 in 1980.
- Dallas, TX had a low Wednesday of 85, breaking the record of 80+ lows in a year. The current number is 40 days. The previous record was 39 in 1998.
Hot & Wet. According to NOAA the USA has seen 1,594 records in the last week, the focus of intense heat over Texas and Louisiana, but record 24-hour rainfall reports (green dots) have been numerous from the Great Plains to New England. Meanwhile, parts of the west are experiencing record nighttime lows and cool daytime highs. A lop-sided weather map. Click here to see an interactive map from Ham Weather.
- Vero Beach 8.70”
- St. Petersburg 7.51”
- West Palm Beach 7.50”
- Key West 6.34”
- Fort Pierce 6.22”
- Miami 5.73”
- Tampa 5.23”
- Orlando 5.12”
- Fort Meyers 4.57”
- Daytona Beach 4.41”
- Jacksonville 4.27”
- Ft. Lauderdale 4.24”
- Gainesville 3.01”
NOAA's National Weather Service Taking Action To Build A "Weather-Ready" Nation. Here's a press release from NOAA: "NOAA is launching a comprehensive initiative to build a “Weather-ready” nation to make America safer by saving more lives and protecting livelihoods as communities across the country become increasingly vulnerable to severe weather events, such as tornado outbreaks, intense heat waves, flooding, active hurricane seasons, and solar storms that threaten electrical and communication systems. NOAA is also announcing that the United States has so far this year experienced nine separate disasters, each with an economic loss of $1 billion or more — tying the record set in 2008. The latest event to surpass the $1 billion price tag is this summer’s flooding along the Missouri and Souris rivers in the upper Midwest. This year’s losses have so far amounted to $35 billion. “Severe weather represents a very real threat to public safety that requires additional robust action,” said Jack Hayes, director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “The increasing impacts of natural disasters, as seen this year, are a stark reminder of the lives and livelihoods at risk.” In partnership with other government agencies, researchers, and the private sector, the National Weather Service is charting a path to a weather-ready nation through:
- Improved precision of weather and water forecasts and effective communication of risk to local authorities;
- Improved weather decision support services with new initiatives such as the development of mobile-ready emergency response specialist teams;
- Innovative science and technological solutions such as the nationwide implementation of Dual Pol radar technology, Integrated Water Resources Science and Services, and the Joint Polar Satellite System;
- Strengthening joint partnerships to enhance community preparedness;
- Working with weather enterprise partners and the emergency management community to enhance safety and economic output and effectively manage environmental resources."
Alaskan Thunderstorms. This is a bit unusual: strong storms over Alaska - pretty far north for mid August. Unusual, but not unprecedented. Here's a Facebook post from the Alaska office of the National Weather Service: "Yesterday was one of the more active thunderstorm days this summer over southcentral Alaska, with quite a few storms in the Matsu Valley and Talkeetna Mountains. Here is an animation of the thunderstorms late yesterday from various webcames across Southcentral."
Another Perfect Day. A subjective analysis? Yes - but it would be tough to find a nicer example of fine August weather. No fog, no humidity, generous sun with light breezes, highs ranging from 73 at Grand Marais to 80 in St. Cloud, 84 in the Twin Cities (urban heat island adding a few degrees, I suspect).