Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Disaster Prone?

Todd's Conservation MN Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota

THURSDAY: More blue sky, very pleasant. High: 79

THURSDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear, cool and quiet. Low: 60

FRIDAY: Another beauty. High 81

SATURDAY: Quiet. More sun with only a few passing clouds. Low: 59. High:80

SUNDAY: Increasing clouds, stray PM Shower? Mostly dry. Low: 59. High: 80

MONDAY:  Unsettled. Spotty afternoon thunder possible. Low: 61. High: 75

TUESDAY: Mostly sunny. Low: 55. High:68

WEDNESDAY: Still coo, less wind and more sun. Low: 52. High: 67

As we enjoy several days of sun through the first full week of September, folks near big bodies of water are watching the tropics closely as we are in, what typically is, the most active time for hurricanes. Irene, Katia, lee (and now possibly Maria) have been making waves in news as heavy rain, winds and even tornadoes ravaged parts of the south and east. Hurricane Irene alone was responsible for an estimated $3 billion in damage from the Caribbean to the New England states. Clean up and rebuilding costs have gone up exponentially over the past several years, not necessarily due to stronger and more frequent storms, but contributing to that cost is the widespread development of housing and businesses along coastlines and in major cities around the globe. It's a controversial subject... Are our storms getting stronger and becoming more frequent because of climate change or are we over developing natural disaster prone locations? There will always be strong storms: tornadoes, hurricanes, earth quakes, etc. It's just a matter of time before another big one hits a big city, let's just hope we're ready... Hey, it's Thursday, one day closer to the weekend, enjoy! Todd Nelson

Getting An Early Start
Thank to Bryan Karrick, a good friend and colleague of mine, for sending me this picture from the Gunflint Trail in northeastern MN. He noted that most of the trees are still green, but this (looks like a sugar maple) tree is getting a head start. By the way, did you know that there was a wildfire burning in the BWCA right now? 

Fall Color Update From the MN DNR
The MN DNR runs a fantastic website that is updated regularly with pictures and updates on how the color is across parts of the state. The reports say whether or not an area is close to peak, past peak, etc.
The latest report still shows that the state is only 0-10% of its fall color.
An Acceleration Towards Peak Color
Nature has a unique way of knowing when to get ready for the upcoming winter season. A lower sun angle and longer nights have already prompted small changes in the outdoor world near you even if it's not all too obvious. The real kicker, especially when it comes to fall colors, are the colder overnight lows, which have been prevalent so far this week across northern Minnesota. Both Monday and Tuesday mornings, Embarrass, MN dipped to 26F - Wednesday morning, some spots still dropped into the 30s, but it wasn't as cold. A few more nights like that and those colors will really start popping!
Wednesday Morning Low Temps

Wednesday Morning Low Temps - Great Lakes Region
The core of the coldest air shifted a little farther east Wednesday morning. Northern Wisconsin and Michigan sampled some of the colder overnight lows that Minnesota had earlier this week.
NFL - It's Game Time
Not sure if you are a fan of the NFL or not... you can skip this part if you don't give a rat, but I know there are a lot of people out there who have been waiting for this week and for this Thursday Night as the first game of the regular season begins. The 2010-2011 Super Bowl Champs, the Green Bay Packers vs. the New Orleans Saints face off at 7:30pm CDT at Lambeau Field. It's not just an interest for some folks in Wisconsin, it's a way of life - In fact, kids in Green Bay will only have a half day of school to get ready for the game Thursday Night - Here's the full story
Lambeau Field Forecast

National Weather Headlines
The national satellite and radar shows the same 3 weather features that have been in place for the past few days now. A big bubble of high pressure over the Upper Midwest is being held up by the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane Katia.

Remnants of Lee
Lee appears to be a storm that doesn't want to die. It's a slow moving, very wound up system that has been able to tap into copious amounts of tropical moisture. There were reports of nearly 16" of rain in the Gulf Coast states over the Labor Day weekend and nearly 8" of rain over parts of the Mid-Atlantic states through early this week. Flooding concerns are still ongoing for many in the Northeast as that tropical moisture lifts through already saturated ground after Hurricane Irene dumped nearly 20" of rain in spots nearly 2 weeks ago.
More Lee Rainfall Amounts

Tropical Depression #14 Turns Into Maria
How do you solve a problem like Maria? Maria could become a problem and I am a little more than concerned looking at her track into the upcoming weekend.

Maria Tracks West Towards the Caribbean
The good news is that Maria looks to stay on the weaker side of tropical systems, but warm water temperatures cold certainly bump Maria into hurricane strength over her lifespan. What I'm more concerned with is the track, which seems to be more reminiscent of where Hurricane Irene tracked... I hope I'm wrong.

Tropical Storm Nate
This is getting a little crazy right now. Can you believe that we've already reached "N" in the alphabet for storm names this season? The good news is that we've really only had to deal with Irene and Lee in terms of significant effects across the U.S. - but it sure has been active. Nate will perhaps become a category 1 hurricane as he churns around the Gulf of Mexico (Bay of Campeche)
Could Nate Bring Rain to Texas?
I still think there is a small chance that we could get a little rain from Nate in Texas, but it looks like a long shot at this point. Rain is needed in Texas would be an understatement at this point. It has been so dry for so long, it is going to take several inches/feet of rain to break the widespread drought. While we wait to here the outcome of Nate, Texas continues to burn with large wildfires showing no signs of slowing up.

Big Solar Flares Erupt on Surface of Sun
Two big solar flares erupted on the surface of the sun earlier this week. If you live in the northern latitudes, you might be able to see some northern lights if you're lucky!

Thanks for checking in, enjoy the rest of you week!
Meteorologist Todd Nelson

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