70 F. high in Fairmont, Minnesota Sunday afternoon.
72 F. high in St. James, Minnesota yesterday.
No major storms likely looking out 1-2 weeks.
Halloween Preview: Clear to partly cloudy, highs in the low 50s on Oct. 31, Trick or Treat temperatures in the mid to upper 40s under a dry sky.
Winter Storm Watch posted for metro Denver - over 6-8" may fall on some western suburbs by late Tuesday. More from the Denver office of the National Weather Service here.
Texas Outlook: More Dust Storms. The story from sfgate.com: "Meteorologists say people living on Texas’ parched plains could see more dust storms as a record drought tightens its grip across the Southwest. At least six sandstorms hit Phoenix this summer, with the most powerful striking on July 5 and measuring a mile high. But experts say another Dust Bowl is unlikely thanks to modern irrigation and farming techniques aimed at holding soil in place. Dust storms form when wind whips up loose soil. They aren’t unusual in West Texas, although the size and speed of Monday’s cloud was rare. Typically, the wall of dirt climbs to only about 1,000 feet in that area, not the 8,000 feet seen with the latest storm, experts said. The thing that is scary is this exact type of dust storm is the same type of dust storm from during the 30s,” said Tom Gill, a geology professor at the University of Texas-El Paso who has studied dust storms for years." (Lubbock, Texas haboob courtesy of earthsky.org).
Tsunami Debris About To Reach Hawaii? Debris from the Japanese quake and tsunami may wash up ashore on the Hawaiian islands shortly, according to KITV-TV: "HONOLULU — It could be the first official report of tsunami debris from Japan nearing Hawaii. A new report coming from a Russian ship have UH researchers changing their predictions. Since the March 11th earthquake and tsunami, researchers have been predicting it would take about two years for the debris from Japan to hit Hawaii’s west-facing beaches. “We have a rough estimate of 5 to 20 million tons of debris coming from Japan,” said UH computer programming researcher Jan Hafner. An average of 10 million tons of debris, the same amount released into the north Pacific basin in one year, was dislodged and set adrift in one day. “Hawaii is just in the path,” said Hafner. Since the disaster, Hafner has been watching and calculating that wave of debris on a specialized computer program that follows and analyzes the currents." (photo courtesy of MSNBC.com, which has more on the tsunami debris here).
Tropical Storm Rina? There's a good chance an intensifying tropical depression in the western Caribbean will become Rina today, possibly hitting Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula as a strong tropical storm or minimal hurricane by Wednesday afternoon. The GFDL model has sustained winds close to 72 mph by Wednesday. Data courtesy of NOAA - map courtesy of Ham Weather.
Deadly Tornado Destroyed Town, Not Spirit, Of Smithville, Mississippi. The inspirational story at The Commercial Appeal: "At 3:47 p.m. on April 27, an EF-5 tornado with wind speeds of more than 200 mph leveled the town of Smithville, Miss., population 942. Seventeen people died in Monroe County, about 130 miles southeast of Memphis. The tornado destroyed Town Hall, the police station, the post office, four churches, more than 150 homes and nearly every business. Over the past six months, The Commercial Appeal spent time with townspeople, listening as they recounted their 10 seconds of terror, the haunting aftermath of the storm and what some described as the harrowing, heroic, even hallowed day that changed their lives and their small-town way of life. These are the stories they shared."
The Story Behind The Story Of Dixie Alley. The Birmingham Examiner has the fascinating story: "From 1950 through 2006, Alabama reported more F5 tornadoes than any other state. We now of course know that as a an enhancement to the overall Fujita scale, we now call all tornadoes “E” something. For example, the tornado that obliterated Hackleburg, Alabama on April 27th 2011 was an E-F5. Similarly, the storm that ravaged Tuscaloosa a couple hours later was labeled as an E-F4. At any rate, any tornado above an E-F3 calls for below ground action. It is virtually impossible to survive a large violent tornado such as the one mentioned above unless you are under underground. It does happen though. That’s why we constantly preach for everyone to get in the lowest floor of their home and to put as many windows between yourself and the outside as possible. That advice is ONLY if that is your only option. A storm Shelter or safe room is definitively the safest place to be when dealing with a monstrous E-5 Tornado."
NASA, NOAA: Significant Ozone Hole Remains Over Antarctica. Here's the latest from NOAA: "The Antarctic ozone hole, which yawns wide every Southern Hemisphere spring, reached its annual peak on September 12, stretching 10.05 million square miles, the ninth largest on record. Above the South Pole, the ozone hole reached its deepest point of the season on October 9 when total ozone readings dropped to 102 Dobson units, tied for the 10th lowest in the 26-year record. The ozone layer helps protect the planet’s surface from harmful ultraviolet radiation. NOAA and NASA use balloon-borne instruments, ground instruments, and satellites to monitor the annual South Pole ozone hole, global levels of ozone in the stratosphere, and the manmade chemicals that contribute to ozone depletion. “The upper part of the atmosphere over the South Pole was colder than average this season and that cold air is one of the key ingredients for ozone destruction,” said James Butler, director of NOAA’s Global Monitoring Division in Boulder, Colo. Other key ingredients are ozone-depleting chemicals that remain in the atmosphere and ice crystals on which ozone-depleting chemical reactions take place. “Even though it was relatively large, the size of this year's ozone hole was within the range we'd expect given the levels of manmade, ozone-depleting chemicals that continue to persist," said Paul Newman, chief atmospheric scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center."
Why Is The CIA Keeping Climate Change Secret? The story (more of a blurb than an actual story) from Scientific American: "Climate change is hard to hide, but the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency is trying anyway. Back in 2009, the CIA established a Center on Climate Change and National Security dedicated to researching the implications of rising sea levels, declining agricultural yields and other climate change impacts. A National Security Archive historian asked the CIA for a copy of any impact studies or reports the center has done in March 2010. But the CIA responded (pdf) this September that such material is quote "currently and properly classified and must be denied in its entirety." claims to be concerned about the "protection of intelligence sources and methods, names, official titles, salaries, and numbers of personnel." But is it a secret that satellites and ground observations show a meltdown in Arctic sea ice that will open new shipping lanes—and security concerns—for the first time in recorded history? To take just one example."