82 F. average high for June 27.
77 F. high on June 27, 2011.
99 F. at New Ulm yesterday.
97 F. reported at St. James.
* no, it didn't get quite as hot as I thought it might yesterday. A strong south/southwest wind never developed (favored for hottest temperatures). Patchy clouds and high dew points may have also prevented the mercury from climbing above 93 F. in the metro. Soil moisture levels are high - some of the sun's energy went into evaporation instead of heating up the air near the ground. Caveats and lame excuses aside, it was hot enough for most folks.
Dew Point Prediction:
58 F. Today
61 F. Friday
66 F. Saturday
"When you have Mother Nature in that kind of situation with those 3 factors that affect fire behavior: fuels, topography and weather, when those three are in alignment, there's nothing anyone can do." - from the PBS News Hour Wednesday evening.
Photo credit above: "A helicopters flies over as the Waldo Canyon Fire continues to burn Wednesday, June 27, 2012, in Colorado Springs, Colo. The wildfire doubled in size overnight to about 24 square miles (62 square kilometers), and has so far forced mandatory evacuations for more than 32,000 residents." (AP Photo/Bryan Oller)
Photo credit above: "Smoke from the Waldo Canyon Fire engulfs Interstate 25 north of Colorado Springs, Colorado, as the blaze burns out of control Tuesday, June 26. The 6,200-acre Waldo Canyon Fire has caused 32,000 residents to be evacuated. At least six other fires are active in Colorado." Photo: Reuters.
Photo credit above: "Tanya Winters cools off in a fountain at Butler Park in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday June 26, 2012. Tuesday's high temperature of 109 was the highest ever recorded in June in Austin." (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman/MC
Photo credit above: Dave Martin/AP. "A flooded business in Live Oak, Fla., is inspected from the outside on Wednesday."
Photo credit above: "Residents of the Suncoast Gateway Mobile Village in New Port Richey, Fla., leave in a rowboat as Tropical Storm Debby sends floodwaters in." (Associated Press / John Raoux / June 26, 2012)
How Rainfall is Mapped:
Data from several TRMM instruments are used to create rainfall images at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Rain rates in the center of image swaths are from the TRMM Precipitation Radar (PR), while those in the outer swaths are from the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI). The rain rates are then overlaid on infrared (IR) and visible data from the TRMM Visible Infrared Scanner (VIRS). TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA."
Image credit above: "In this image of rainfall on June 24, 2012, created by NASA's TRMM satellite, a large band of intense rain (darker red) lies just off Florida's western shore, while light (blue areas) to moderate rain covers a broad area of the Florida peninsula. Moderate rain (shown in green) north and east of the center extends from near Tampa Bay all the way around to near Panama City. Tornado symbols mark the locations of tornado reports." Credit: SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce
Graphic credit above: "24-hour precipitation totals between June 25 and June 26 across northern Florida. Click on the image for a larger version." Credit: NOAA/NWS.
Photo credit above: "Dust is kicked up as a possible tornado touches down in Taber, Alberta on Tuesday June 5, 2012. A strong storm cell moving north out of Montana triggered several tornado warnings and watches between Coaldale and Taber." (AP Photo/Shannon Reynolds, The Canadian Press)
"Dear Paul - I truly appreciate your efforts to raise awareness about climate change. This is a hugely important issue that, unfortunately, is not covered enough by journalists. Do you have any advice for people who would like to get involved (beyond lowering their own carbon footprint) but are unsure how to do so?"
Peter Groynom, Minneapolis
Peter - thanks for your note, and a thoughtful question. It can be an overwhelming topic to consider. How can one person make a difference? By setting an example, by making a series of small changes in your behavior that just might, over time, rub off on friends and family members. You're right about taking steps to lower your carbon footprint: consider buying a more fuel efficient vehicle, make sure your home is well insulated and operating at peak efficiency. The most important thing you can do as a citizen? Make sure your elected officials know that this is an important subject to you. Politicians respond to public opinion and a (loud) and passionate electorate. I asked a few climate scientists for their suggestions; here is a small sampling of what they said:
"Coordinated collective action is the only way to get out of this mess. Small individual actions are feel-good Band-aids that wealthiest, international-traveling, beef-eating, more-than-replacement-level-children-having, exurb-living, SUV-driving, McMansion-inhabiting, motorized-recreation-loving, big-box-shopping, drive-through-fast-food-buying, single-occupant-vehicle-commuting, kid-schlepping Americans do to feel good about themselves.
If you do all that, it doesn't matter if you use paper or plastic (or recycled bags).
There has to be a fundamental change in the way we do things. The price of fossil fuels MUST include the cost of externalities associated with the loss of environmental services. These services are a fundamental property rights, and cannot be taken without just compensation. That's how we need to pitch it from now on. Carbon dumping fee with dividend to those whose property rights are being taken is the only way out."
- Mark Boslough
"As we try to live a climate-friendly life, we face a seemingly endless series of decisions: what to drive, what to wear, what to eat, what technologies to use. Meanwhile, we're bombarded with often conflicting messages from advertisers and the media about what products and lifestyle choices can lower our carbon footprint. What we really need is a reliable source of practical, science-based advice to help us make smart choices about the things that matter most. And now we have it. Based on an in-depth, two-year study, Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living (May 2012, Island Press) shows you the most effective strategies for reducing your global warming emissions, and how to take action at work, in your community, and politically."
9 Beliefs Of Remarkably Successful People. Here's a snippet of an article at Inc.com that caught my eye: "I'm fortunate enough to know a number of remarkably successful people. Regardless of industry or profession, they all share the same perspectives and beliefs. And they acto on those beliefs:
1). Time doesn't fill me. I fill time.
Deadlines and time frames establish parameters, but typically not in a good way. The average person who is given 2 weeks to complete a task will instinctively adjust his effort so it actually takes 2 weeks. Forget deadlines, at least as a away to manage your activity. Tasks should only take as long as they need to take. Do everything as quickly and effectively as you can. Then use your "free" time to get other things done just as quickly and effectively."
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
SATURDAY NIGHT: Muggy with a slight chance of a T-storm. Low: 70
Photo credit above: "The Evangelical Environmental Network's TV spots highlight the extreme weather that has been plaguing the United States and point out that the poor in lesser developed nations are and will continue to experience more frequent and intense heat waves, droughts, floods and other harmful impacts due to climate change."
What's an Evangelical to Do?
Though on opposite sides of the issue, Beisner and Cizik made similar claims. They both agreed that atmospheric carbon causes the Earth to get warmer. They both appealed to scientific evidence and believe the evidence is on their side. And, they both displayed concern for the poor and vulnerable. Perhaps the biggest difference between them has to do with how they view the Earth – fragile or robust. Beisner views the Earth as robust, able to handle the human-caused changes to the atmosphere. Cizik believes the Earth is fragile and too much human tinkering will have catastrophic effects."