81 F. average high for June 22.
70 F. high last year on June 22, 2011.
+3.7 F. June temperatures are running nearly 4 degrees warmer than average, to date.
10% of Duluth's roads and utility infrastructure damaged by Wednesday's historic flooding. 100+ roads still closed.
Photo credit above: "Lake Superior was filled with mud from flood runoff looking east from Duluth toward Wisconsin, Thursday, June 21, 2012." (Glen Stubbe/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT)
7.41" rain fell on Island Lake (St. Louis County) on June 20, the second state rainfall record so far in June. Source: Dr. Mark Seeley.
Photo credit above: "Residents of Cannon Falls, MInn. survey the damage to Minnieska Park and a swollen Cannon River in Cannon, Minn. Friday morning June 15, 2012 following over night rains that dumped over 8 inches of rain on the area causing many area rivers to overflow their banks." (AP Photo/The Rochester Post-Bulletin, Jerry Olson)
102 F. high in Denver, Colorado, a record high for June 22.
Photo credit above: "Youths cool down with an opened fire hydrant in New York, June 21, 2012. Record-high temperatures marked the second day of summer in the city." (Angel Franco/The New York Times)
Photo credit above: "The small town of Brookston, northwest of Cloquet, Minnesota was feeling the heat of the rising St. Louis River Thursday morning, June 21, 2012." (Photo by Brian Peterson/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT)
Photo credit above: "A submerged mail box is the only sign of the driveway for this flooded home on Lakeshore Drive in Moose Lake, Minn., Thursday, June 21, 2012. The waters of the Moose Horn river overflowed in to parts of Moose Lake after record rainfall hit the area." (AP Photo/The Duluth News-Tribune, Clint Austin)
Photo credit above: "RVs in the Moose Lake, Minn., city park and RV campground are stranded in water overflow from the nearby Moosehead Lake on Thursday, June 21, 2012. Damage assessment teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are expected to be in the area next week to start tallying the damage to public infrastructure in 14 counties and one Indian reservation." (AP Photo/The Duluth News-Tribune, Bob King)
A warmer atmosphere is now flavoring all weather events, making winter snows more sporadic, reducing the number of subzero lows, keeping ice on area lakes for fewer days, and increasing summer dew points and humidity levels, doubling the number of 3"+ downpours since 1961, according to a new study that came out in May. This warmer "background hum" is our new reality. It will continue to manifest itself in strange, and (at times) violent ways in the years to come. The truth: the rain isn't falling as gently as it did for our grandparents. This trend will ultimately impact everything from how we build our roads and homes to agriculture; engineering new strains of crops that are more resistant to downpours and (increasing) bouts of drought. The weather models we use are having a tough time keeping up with this brave new Weather 2.0 environment - the maps are crazy: just two months ago most of Minnesota was in an extreme drought - now we're faced with one of the wettest Junes in Minnesota state history. Just when you think you've seen it all...
Photo credit above: "The Lester River flows through a gash it created in Jean Duluth Road north of Duluth, Minn., Thursday morning, June 21, 2012. City, county and state officials spent Thursday assessing damage, while areas farther south continued to fight rising floodwaters. The town of Moose Lake was being described as "an island." (AP Photo/The News-Tribune, Bob King)
SATELLITE IMAGERY AND SURFACE OBSERVATIONS INDICATE THAT THE CIRCULATION ASSOCIATED WITH THE LARGE SURFACE LOW PRESSURE AREA LOCATED ABOUT 100 MILES NORTH OF THE NORTHEASTERN TIP OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA HAS CONTINUED TO BECOME BETTER DEFINED. SURFACE PRESSURES ARE STILL FALLING ACROSS THE AREA...AND SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY HAS BEEN STEADILY INCREASING OVER MUCH OF THE CENTRAL AND EASTERN GULF OF MEXICO TODAY. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO REMAIN CONDUCIVE FOR A TROPICAL DEPRESSION TO FORM DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO AS THIS LARGE DISTURBANCE DRIFTS SLOWLY NORTHWARD. THIS SYSTEM HAS A HIGH CHANCE...80 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. INTERESTS ALONG THE UNITED STATES GULF COAST SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS DISTURBANCE THROUGH THE WEEKEND. HEAVY RAINS AND LOCALIZED FLOODING ARE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE YUCATAN PENINSULA...WESTERN CUBA...AND SOUTHERN FLORIDA THROUGH SATURDAY.
Photo credit above: Climate Central and flickr/afagen
Photo credit above:
"Ask Paul". Weather-related Q&A:
Subject: Maybe it is rocket science
"Read your column today and I feel for you. For the last few months I have been working my way through a DVD course on meteorology (taught by Prof. Robert Fovell, if that means anything to you). I have gotten through 16 lectures and still haven't got to storms. Nonetheless, I no longer wonder why you guys don't always get it right. Instead, I wonder why you even try."
If it was just a matter of moving a storm or front from Point A to Point B the process would be straightforward and somewhat trivial. That's what many people assume. "Paul, it's raining in North Dakota today, it'll reach Minnesota tomorrow!" Duh. It's not that easy. Storms pop (literally) out of thin air; they mutate as they move along. Trying to predict which storm cells will grow and intensify, and which storms will fizzle and die, is a science within a science.
Most days we're like frazzled weather-doctors, looking at symptoms, trying our best to come up with a real-time meteorological diagnosis on the fly. Out of 100 storms on Doppler maybe 3-5 will mutate and become severe. These storms often give off tell-tale signs (sudden spike in lightning strikes, large hail, "right turners"). These are the storms that may cause damage and injury, so we focus on these. But most people just want to know "what time will it rain at MY HOUSE?? The analogy is looking at a traffic map on Google and trying to time precisely what time you'll walk in the door at home. You can get close, but there are thousands of variables, timing traffic lights, new traffic entering the pattern, etc - that ultimately impact your commute time. A few new NOAA weather models show promise (my favorite is the HRRR model, which goes out 12 hours). Most summer days we can give a 3-6 hour lead time, but if storms mushroom suddenly along a dormant frontal boundary we're often caught with our Dopplers down. That's what happened last Sunday (Father's Day). Long explanation - sorry. Thanks for the note, and for recognizing how difficult the forecast process is, especially during the summer months.
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
Photo credit above: "A hazy day in Wuhan, China, the country that has experienced a 240% increase in carbon emissions between 1992 and 2010." Photograph: Darley Shen/Reuters.
Photo credit: USGS.
The joys and perils of air conditioning....
Image above: NASA.
Graph credit above: Blok et al. "Bridging the greenhouse-gas emissions gap" Washington Post.