By: Paul Douglas
Some very odd and potentially troubling things are unfolding at the top of the world. The new "CryoSat-2" low-orbiting satellite, launched by the European Space Agency, shows a loss of 900 cubic kilometers of ice in the last year. That's 50 percent more than computer models predicted would melt.
A lack of ice is good news for shipping, and oil and gas exploration, but dark ocean water warms the air above more than reflective ice, a "positive feedback" that accelerates warming. Research suggests the Arctic is warming 2-4 times faster than the rest of the Northern Hemisphere. So what? This warming is nudging the jet stream north, to the tune of 1 mile a year, 18 feet/day. This summer may have been a preview of coming attractions: blazing heat over the USA, farm-soaking rains detouring north into Canada. This shift in the (slowing) jet stream may explain why our weather has been so bizarre, with weather patterns "stuck" for months at a time.
Warm sun gives way to T-storms tomorrow night; another push of free A/C Thursday. A taste of September lingers Friday into the weekend; low to mid 70s at your favorite lake. We heat up late next week but no extended heat waves are in sight.
Todd's Conservation MN Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
TUESDAY: Warm sun, a fine summer day. Dew point: 52. High: 82
TUESDAY NIGHT: A few more clouds, slight chance of a passing shower or clap of thunder. Low: 63
WEDNESDAY: Muggy and hot with fading sun. Strong T-storms late. Dew point: 63. High: 89
THURSDAY: Partly sunny with a passing shower. Cool breeze. Dew point: 55. Low: 62. High: 72
FRIDAY: Cool sun, low humidity - more hints of September. Dew point: 48. Low: 55. High: 71
SATURDAY: Fading sun, lukewarm. Dew point: 50. Low: 55. High: 73
SUNDAY: Slight chance of a late day shower/storm. Dew point: 56. Low: 55. High: 76
MONDAY: More sun, comfortable day. Dew point: 55. Low: 58. High: 78
* Light showers, moderating temperatures for United States
* Weather shift to slow crop deterioration
* Corn already damaged, some late soy to benefit
CHICAGO, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Light showers and cooler temperatures forecast for the next week will bring welcome relief to drought-stressed corn and soybean crops in the U.S. Midwest but serious damage has already been done to crops, an agricultural meteorologist said on Monday.”
Read more from Reuters HERE:
“-Drought crop damage worsens, ethanol waiver urged
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The worst drought in more than 50 years has caused more damage than expected to corn and soybean crops, the government said on Friday, heightening calls for a suspension of ethanol quotas to head off another global food crisis.
While benchmark corn and wheat futures closed lower in Chicago, experts say food prices appear set to keep rising after a 6 percent jump last month, escalating a food-versus-fuel debate centered on a law that dictates that about 40 percent of the corn crop must be converted into ethanol.”
Corn production is down 13 percent from 2011. Based on conditions as of August 1, yields are expected to average 123.4 bushels per acre, down 23.8 bushels from 2011. If realized, this will be the lowest average yield since 1995.”
Fair officials are optimistic, but ag officials say supply might be tight toward the end of the month.
During our year of weather weirdness, the stalks were head-high on the 4th of July near Waconia. Soon afterward, sweet corn lovers started enjoying one of the earliest huskin’ seasons in recent memory.
But — there always seems to be a “but” when such a wondrous happenstance unfolds — an early start might mean an early finish, especially with continuing hot weather.
“Availability might be tight in late August,” said Jeff Coulter, corn agronomist with the University of Minnesota Extension Service.
That would be late August, as in State Fair time.”
The waterspout first was spotted about 11:05 a.m. Thursday two miles off Park Point, powered by a “strong surge of northeast winds” and enhanced by “very warm Lake Superior water temps near 70F.”
Six minutes later it skipped from the water onto Park Point and officially became a tornado. About 30-40 feet wide, it churned across the runway at Sky Harbor Airport, where witnesses say it picked up two 500-pound float plane pontoons and rotated them before setting them back down.
The tornado became a waterspout again two minutes later when it dropped off the point and into the harbor. But six minutes later, at 11:19 a.m., it was a tornado once more as it touched down on Barker’s Island. But that’s also where it fell to pieces.”