11th warmest summer since 1891 for MSP.
14 days above 90 this year (average is 13 days).
60 F. high in the Twin Cities Friday.
Today: drier day of the weekend, highs topping 60 over southern MN.
Sunday: 4-7 hours of showers, rainfall amounts under .25"
Have A Nice Day! Yes, NOAA confirms we're sliding back into a (minor) La Nina cooling phase of Pacific Ocean water, which correlates with somewhat colder and snowier winters for the northern tier states of the USA. I still don't believe we'll see 86" of snow this upcoming winter, but we may pick up more than usual (which is about 55"). The CPC, Climate Prediction Center, is predicting a slight bias toward colder than average temperatures from Montana to Minnesota into the Great Lakes for December, January and February. Place your bets.
"...This is just one of the many reasons it is inconceivable for an entire scientific community to conspire en masse to mislead the public. In fact, if climate scientists truly wanted to maximize funding, we would be claiming that we had no idea why the climate is changing - a position that would certainly attract bipartisan support for increased research." - from a Houston Chronicle Op-Ed from Texas A&M climate scientist Andrew Dessler below.
Firefighters Gird For BWCA Blaze To Wake From 2-Day "Nap". The cooler weather and higher relative humidity levels helped firefighters make some progress with the BWCA blaze. But winds are forecast to increase, with a drop in humidity, and that may create more problems (and a larger fire) by early next week. One wild card: the MN Arrowhead may see as much as half an inch of rain late Saturday night into Sunday morning. That may be a God-send for firefighters. More from the Star Tribune: "ELY, MINN -- Firefighters were bracing Friday for a strengthening of the blaze that has engulfed more than 100,000 acres in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. With temperatures expected to reach 60 degrees, strong winds from the south and dry conditions in the forecast, fire crews were racing into position on the northern edge to contain the blaze. The fire could become even more unruly if it continues to creep north and reaches millions of dead trees from the 1999 blowdown. The fire's been "taking a nap the last two days," said Doug Anderson, spokesman for the fire command center in Ely. "But today it's going to wake up and we don't know what kind of mood it will be in." Firefighters have not contained any area of the blaze. Anderson said it could take months - and a heavy snowfall - before the fire is fully extinguished. About 500 firefighters are now in place to tackle it. Teams of the nation's most elite firefighters, called "hot shots," were making their way to the northwestern edge of the blaze to begin trying to get it under control. Some are being brought in with bush planes and others are paddling in with canoes."
Photo credit above: NASA's Earth Observatory. "Large fires can do more than scorch vegetation and clog the skies with smoke. They can actually create their own weather. By heating the air overhead, fires push the warmed air upward. Mixed with smoke, the air rises high enough for its water vapor to condense and form clouds. If the air rises fast enough, the water vapor forms ice crystals that charge the cloud with electricity, and lightning often results. These fire-provoked thunderstorm clouds are known as pyrocumulonimbus clouds. Minnesota Public Radio reported that the plume from the Pagami Creek Fire was picked up by doppler radar."
Photo credit above: "Their bulbous noses almost touching, NASA’s two Global Hawks lined up nose-to-nose on the ramp at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center on Edwards Air Force Base. Bearing NASA tail numbers 871 and 872, the two autonomously operated unmanned aircraft will be flown during the coming multi-year HS3 hurricane study. (NASA / Tony Landis)"
Strange But True: FEMA Determines How Bad A Hurricane Is By Seeing If Waffle House Is Open. Something from the Onion? Nope. Sadly, this one appears to be true. Gizmodo.com has the details: "This seems lifted from The Onion but it's not. According to the WSJ, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate uses a 'Waffle House Index' to help him determine how destructive a hurricane has been to an area. If a Waffle House is closed, you're probably screwed. Specifically, in Fugate's interpretation: Green means the restaurant is serving a full menu, a signal that damage in an area is limited and the lights are on. Yellow means a limited menu, indicating power from a generator, at best, and low food supplies. Red means the restaurant is closed, a sign of severe damage in the area or unsafe conditions. This is real life, people! If the Waffle House is closed get the hell out of Dodge. Or as Fugate puts it, "If you get there and the Waffle House is closed? That's really bad."
Feels Like Autumn. Under a mostly cloudy sky (central and southern MN - the sun was out most of the day over the northern third of the state) temperatures were about 10 degrees cooler than average, ranging from 55 at Rochester and Grand Marais to 59 in St. Cloud, 60 in the Twin Cities and 62 at International Falls (where the sun was out all day).
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
Perry Shoots The Messenger On Climate Change. Here's a Houston Chronicle Op-Ed from Texas climate scientist Andrew Dessler at Texas A&M: "Texas Gov. Rick Perry stirred up a controversy recently when he dismissed the problem of climate change and accused scientists of basically making up the problem. As a born-and-bred Texan, it's especially disturbing to hear this now, when our state is getting absolutely hammered by heat and drought. I've got to wonder how any resident of Texas - and particularly the governor who not so long ago was asking us to pray for rain - can be so cavalier about climate change. As a climate scientist at Texas A&M University, I can also tell you from the data that the current heat wave and drought in Texas is so bad that calling it "extreme weather" does not do it justice. July was the single hottest month in the observational record, and the 12 months that ended in July were drier than any corresponding period in the record. I know that climate change does not cause any specific weather event. But I also know that humans have warmed the climate over the last century, and that this warming has almost certainly made the heat wave and drought more extreme than it would have otherwise been. I am not alone in these views. There are dozens of atmospheric scientists at Texas institutions like Rice, the University of Texas and Texas A&M, and none of them disputes the mainstream scientific view of climate change. This is not surprising, since there are only a handful of atmospheric scientists in the entire world who dispute the essential facts - and their ranks are not increasing, as Perry claimed."