9 days at or above 90 so far in 2012 in the metro.
83 F. average high for July 29.
86 F. high temperature one year ago, on July 29, 2011.
8 days in a row at or above 90 F? I don't see any break from 90s until (maybe) Sunday of next week.
100 F. in the metro Monday? There's a 1 in 3 chance....
32 communities from Colorado to Indiana just posted their hottest temperatures ever recorded from June 28-29.
118 F. at Norton Dam, Kansas Thursday - 2 degrees hotter than the July average for Death Valley. Details from The Christian Science Monitor below.
Dew Point Prediction:
97 F. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
101 F. Georgetown, Delaware
102 F. Washington D.C. (Dulles)
103 F. Roanoke, Virginia
103 F. Indianapolis, Indiana
104 F. Danville, Virginia
104 F. at Charlotte, North Carolina
109 F. at Nashville, Tennessee
Death Valley Heat In Kansas? How The End Of June Got So Hot. Here's an excerpt of a fascinating story from The Christian Science Monitor: "...Between June 27 and June 28, 32 communities stretching from Colorado to Indiana posted the highest temperatures on record ever for their locations – with a handful tying or topping records set only a few days before, according to data kept by the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. Norton Dam, Kan., for instance, recorded an all-time record of 118 degrees F. on Thursday, two degrees above Death Valley's July average. The 118-degree reading shattered Norton Dam's previous record of 113 degrees F. – set just three days before. More than 350 sites across a broad swath of the continent's interior have posted daily record highs since June 27, with heat advisories on Friday covering all or parts of 23 states from Kansas east to the Carolinas and into the Northeast, and from Wisconsin south to Mississippi and Alabama."
Map above courtesy of the College of Dupage meteorology department.
“We’re seeing a window into what global warming really looks like. It looks like heat, it looks like fires,” Oppenheimer said." - from a story at The Summit County Citizens Voice; details below.
- from an MSNBC.com article, details below.
Map credit above: "The maximum heat index forecast for June 30. Click on the image to see a larger version." Credit: NWS.
"New Record Low Annual Heating Degree Days for the Twin Cities"
"The Minnesota State Climatology Office noted this week as the annual Heating Degree Day (HDD) season (July 1 to June 30) comes to an end, that 2011-2012 brought a new record low number for HDD with only 5852. The previous record low value was 6611 recorded in 2005-2006. HDD are calculated using the mean daily temperature when it falls below a base of 65 degrees F. Thus on a day with a mean daily temperature value (maximum + minimum/2) of 50 F, the HDD value would be 15. These are accumulated daily as an index for energy use to heat homes and commercial buildings."
Peak Wind Gusts Friday:
Photo credit above: "This aerial photo shows the destructive path of the Waldo Canyon fire in the Mountain Shadows subdivision area of Colorado Springs, Colo., Thursday, June 28, 2012. Colorado Springs officials said Thursday that hundreds of homes have been destroyed by the raging wildfire." (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti)
|Estimated Containment Date||Monday July 16th, 2012 approx. 12:00 AM|
|Fuels Involved||Brush, hardwood slash, Mountain shrub, oak, grass, Pinon juniper, Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, spruce, Limber pine, White pine|
|Fire Behavior||Active surface fire with unassisted burning of interior islands. Isolated single and group tree torching. Conditions have been favorable for burnout to secure line construction.|
|Significant Events||Two civilian fatalities have been reported by the city of Colorado Springs. Structure damage assesment continues with 346 reported destroyed and 24 damaged. Evacuees were allowed to return late yesterday afternoon and evening to most of the evacuation area in west Colorado Springs. Two large interior islands to the west of the Air Force Academy burned off late in the afternoon. Thunderstorm outflow winds tested containment lines. Direct line construction and a small burnout in Division D began early in the morning and is expected to be successful. Spotfires north of Rampart Reservior are expected to be lined today. Crews worked with Colorado Springs to ensure that all structures that were destroyed present no threat of fire spread.|
HYSPLIT Model: www.arl.noaa.gov/HYSPLIT_wildfire.php
NOAA air quality website: airquality.weather.gov
How much water falls during a rainstorm?Have you ever wondered how much water falls onto your yard during a rainstorm? Using a 1-inch rainstorm as an example, the table below gives example of how much water falls during your storm for various land areas.
Once on the land, rainfall either seeps into the ground or becomes runoff, which flows into rivers and lakes. What happens to the rain after it falls depends on many factors such as:
- The rate of rainfall - A lot of rain in a short period tends to run off the land into streams rather than soak into the ground.
- The topography of the land - Topography is the lay of the land -- the hills, valleys, mountains, and canyons. Water falling on unlevel land drains downhill until it becomes part of a stream, finds a hollow place to accumulate, like a lake, or soaks into the ground.
- Soil conditions - There is a lot of dense clay in the southeastern United States that rain has a hard time soaking into. Contrast that to the sandy soils in more desert areas, which allow water to quickly be absorbed, at least initially.
- Density of vegetation - It has long been known that plant growth helps decrease erosion caused by flowing water. If you look at hills without vegetation you'll see gullies dug out by running water. Land with plant cover slows the speed of the water flowing on it and thus helps to keep soil from eroding.
- Amount of urbanization - As a city is being built, a lot of money and construction goes into moving water out of built-up areas. Roads, pavement, and parking lots create impervious areas where water can no longer seep into the ground. Rather, water is funneled into creeks and streams that were never meant by nature to handle so much runoff. This can cause problems in urban areas.
* photo above: ThinkStock.
My wife, not recognizing sarcasm, thinks it's a hint. So my birthday comes and I unwrap a nice, big gift and what do I find? A "Royal" typewriter. It's a relic, a museum piece, and now it's in my office, displayed proudly. Yes, I'm a Tech-Luddite, but when all the computers go down, the grid gets fried by some Romanian hacker, I'll be the only one able to get word out. On my "typewriter". Ugh.
Then again, there's always the ongoing zombie threat....
Dog Days, Part II. Thanks to
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
Image credit above: "In this Wednesday June 27,2012 photo released by NASA showing wild fires burning at the south end of the Wyoming Range in southwestern Wyoming taken aboard the International Space Station, 240 miles above earth. These particular fires, of unknown cause, are burning at the south end of the Wyoming Range in southwestern Wyoming, and have affected 17,000 acres." (AP Photo/NASA)
Colorado: Global Warming A Factor In Severe Wildfires. Here's an excerpt from a story at the Summit County Citizens Voice: "A rapidly intensifying fire season across the West is a warning of what to expect in a world that’s heating up, according to a panel of climate scientists and environmental advocates who this week held a teleconference to point out links between global warming and wildfires. “We know that climate is already warming. The disastrous fires we’ve seen fit into a pattern of increased fire risk … it’s a vivid image of what we can expect more of as the world warms more, said Princeton professor Michael Oppenheimer, a long-time member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change."
Photo credit above: "Firefighters in Summit County, Colorado, battle a small fire in late March, 2012, while standing on a berm of snow, a testament to unusually early wildfire conditions." Photo by Bob Berwyn.
Graphic credit above: "Trend in the reflectivity of high elevation ice in Greenland, showing the record low as of June 26, 2012." Credit: Meltfactor.org.
Confirming The Human Footprint In Global Ocean Warming. Much of the warming has been in the world's oceans; Think Progress has a story about the implications - here's an excerpt: "Although over 90% of overall global warming goes into heating the oceans, it is often overlooked, particularly by those who try to deny that global warming is still happening. Nature Climate Change has a new paper by some big names in the field of oceanography, including Domingues, Church, Ishii, and also Santer (Gleckler et al. 2012). The paper compares ocean heat content (OHC) simulations in climate models to some of the newest and best OHC observational data sets from Domingues (2008), Ishii (2009), and Levitus (2009) which contain important corrections for systematic instrumental biases in expendable bathythermograph (XBT) data. The paper makes several important points.
- The 0-700 meter layer of the oceans warmed on average 0.022°C to 0.028°C per decade since 1960."
Photo credit above: Bazuki Muhammad / Reuters. "It's an engineering problem and there will be an engineering solution," ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson said of climate change."
Photo credit above: "A casualty of summer heat. Credit: Flickr user Neil Fitzgerald, via a Creative Commons license."
Benefits vs. risks of hydro-fracking for natural gas:
Photo credit above: "The pump and collection hose can be seen in a private lake at a Chesapeake Energy Corporation water collection station at a sand and gravel pit on May 31, 2012, in Carroll County, Ohio." (Mike Cardew/Akron Beacon Journal/MCT)
Graphic credit above: "Natural-gas operations could release far more methane into the atmosphere than previously thought." [Source: Nature]
Dear EarthTalk: "Renewable energy production in the solar and wind markets currently receives about $7 billion in government subsidies annually, but is still not competitive against fossil fuels on a large scale. To what extent should the U.S. continue to prop up these industries as they compete against dirty energy?"
-- Jack Morgan, Richmond, VA
"Given the importance of abundant amounts of energy for Americans, the federal government tends to subsidize all forms of energy development, including fossil fuels and renewables. A recently released report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that in 2011 the federal government spent $16 billion of our tax dollars in subsidies for the development of renewable energy and increased energy efficiency, and only $2.5 billion in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry in the form of tax breaks. But this breakdown in favor of larger subsidies to alternative renewables is a recent product of President Obama’s stated goal of cutting back on subsidies to the hugely profitable oil industry."