Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sticky and Unsettled Weekend Ahead!

Slow motion weather
By Paul Douglas
"There won't be much sweet corn by Labor Day" the gal at the vegetable stand whispered, shaking her head sadly. "The corn's getting picked now, before it fries in the fields."
Farmers are talking about another Dust Bowl. Even though I don't expect any mile-high swirls of dust showing up on Doppler anytime soon, this year's drought may rival the mid 30s, especially over the Central Plains.
The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the USA, and recent papers suggest this lop-sided warming is weakening jet stream winds, slowing weather systems over North America. Who cares? If this is a real trend storms & fronts may move slower, increasing the potential for flooding, while magnifying drought and heat.
Moisture has been baked out of the topsoil by 100-degree heat; there's no fuel left to evaporate into late-day storms. A vicious cycle.
I hope you enjoyed our "cool front", after 21 days in a row above 85 F (second most on record). We warm above 90 today; mid-90s possible Sunday & Monday. Steamy 90s linger into most of next week as a bloated, inflamed high pressure bubble stalls over Kansas.
America's weather is stuck. The Drought of '12 will get worse before it gets better.

Todd's Conservation MN Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:

FRIDAY: Lingering morning clouds, some afternoon sun. Ugh. Dew point: 65. Winds: S 7-12. High: 90

FRIDAY NIGHT: Increasing clouds, slight chance of a shower or storm. Low: 74

SATURDAY: Unsettled with intervals of sun; slight chance of a few T-storms. Dew point: 66. Winds: SW 8-13. High: 92

SUNDAY: Sunnier, a bit hotter. Slight chance of afternoon thunder. Dew point: 70 Winds: S 10-15. Low: 71. High: 92

MONDAY: Sticky sun, feels like 100 again by late afternoon. Low: 72. High: 93

TUESDAY: Still summery. Low: 72. High: 91

WEDNESDAY: Last sizzling day? Still sweaty with a few storms. Low: 68. High: 90.

THURSDAY: Lingering clouds and scattered showers. Cooler & less humid. Low: 68. High: 85.

Top Stories For Friday, July 20th, 2012
  • HEAT

Thanks to Paul Brooks for this picture out of Muscatine, IA. Thunderstorms rumbling through the Upper Mississippi Valley created vivid lightning and several wind damage reports.

(Photo Courtesy: PBrooks Photography) - See More HERE

Active Severe Weather Wednesday

Take a look at the PRELIMINARY severe weather report map from Wednesday. There were nearly 300 reports of hail and high winds (2 tornado reports), but most of these reports were east of the Mississippi Valley.

Wind Damage
This is just one of the many images from Wednesday... Thanks to Mitch Heller out of Danbury, CT

Heavy Rain

Thanks to Allison Fields for this picture out of Knott County, KY

Thanks to Cliff Torrence for this picture, also out of Knott County, KY

Rain Foot in the Concrete Jungle

This is probably one of the coolest pictures I've seen in quite some time! This rain shaft 'rain foot' was captured from a Delta flight over New York City on Wednesday.

(Picture courtesy: @DhaniJones)

Severe Threat Friday

The Storm Prediction Center has a SLIGHT RISK of severe weather on Friday for areas shaded in yellow. A cool front sliding through the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys will be responsible for a slight cool down into the weekend, but also bring about a hail and high wind potential into the afternoon/evening hours. Afternoon storms will also be possible in the Northwest, the main threat being hail and high winds.

5 Day Rainfall Forecast

NOAAs HPC over the next 5 days shows a similar weather patter to what we've been seeing in the recent past with showers and storms rotating in a clockwise fashion around the ridge of high pressure in the central part of the country. Pockets of heavy rain will be possible with any strong thunderstorms that pop up... unfortunately, widespread and soaking rainfall does NOT look likely in areas that continue to see worsening drought conditions.

Excessive Heat Continues

The National Weather Service continues Excessive Heat headlines for highlighted areas below. Heat Index values into the afternoon will surpass 100° making for another dangerously hot day. This heat looks to continue into the weekend for folks west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rockies!

Forecast Highs Friday
Several locations in the central part of the country continue daytime highs in the 90s and 100s...

The good news about 2012 is that the heat across Texas hasn't been as bad as it was last year! The image below compares the number of 100 degree day so far this July to last year.

"We all remember the heat from the summer of 2011. We focused a lot on the number of 100 degree days when recounting just how hot it was. While there is little difference in 99 degrees versus 100 degrees, I decided to use the arbitrarily HOT number of 100 degrees for comparison. Temperatures in 2012 have fared much better than last year's. Take a look at the graphic below..."

Drought Update

The U.S. Drought Monitor released it's weekly drought update on Thursday, showing that nearly 80% of the nation is considered to be abnormally dry. Last years drought was arguably much worse across the deep south, but this years drought is much more widespread and is affecting several more farming communities across the central part of the country. I hate to say it, but it may be a long ride as hot and dry conditions look to persist in those areas through the rest of July.

WeatherNation weather producer D.J. Kayser has a nice breakdown of the new updated from the U.S. Drought Monitor, which can be viewed HERE:

Drought Tightens Grip on Midwest

"(Reuters) - The most expansive U.S. drought in more than a half century grew more dire in the farming states of the Midwest and High Plains this week, wilting corn and soybean crops and sapping already-damaged yield potential, climate experts said Thursday.
More than 70 percent of the nine-state Midwest was in some stage of drought in the week ended July 17, up from 63 percent the prior week, according to the Drought Monitor, a weekly report on drought throughout the country compiled by climate experts."

"Corn plants are seen in a drought-stricken farm field near Evansville, Indiana, July 18, 2012." (Photo Courtesy: REUTERS/John Sommers II)

Thanks for checking in on this Thursday, have a great rest of your week!
Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWNTV

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