Monday, August 13, 2012

Tuesday Weather Window

Uncharted waters

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
Blog For Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Thanks to Jenna Dorsey for this picture of a rainbow across a backdrop of cumulonimbus clouds in Hagerstown, MD this weekend.

Much Needed Rain!
Thanks to a more progressive weather pattern across the eastern two-thirds of the country, we’ve been able to pick up some much needed rain. ‘Cool’ fronts will be common this week with one sliding through the Ohio/Tennessee Valley today with severe weather chances and another front dropping into the Upper Midwest by midweek. The image below represents the radar estimates of rainfall over the past 7 days. Some of the red blobs indicate radar estimates up to 5 inches!

Progressive Fronts & Severe Weather Chances

Here is the severe weather threat for Tuesday – As the storm system slides east, strong thunderstorms possible of severe hail and high winds will be more likely in the Eastern Great Lakes region through the Delmarva Peninsula.

Here is the severe weather threat for Wednesday – A new front will sag south of the International border on Wednesday and bring a risk of strong thunderstorms to areas of the Upper Mississippi Valley, especially around Minnesota.

5 Day Rainfall Forecast
NOAA’s HPC rainfall forecast over the next 5 days suggests heavier rain along these fronts east of the Rocky Mountains. This is good news for folks in the central part of the country that have been so hot and so dry for so long this summer season!
Little Too Late?
It’s nice to see the rain and cooler weather, but significant heat and dry weather this summer may be beyond repair…
“-Drought relief but no bonanza for US crops
* 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.”
-New USDA Crop Report: Production Estimates Bad for Corn
It’s been 56 years since the U.S. last experienced a drought  as bad as the one this year.  And according to an Agriculture Department report released today, the drought has drastically reduced production estimates for corn and soybean.
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.”
(Image credit: Scott Olson/GettyImages )

Minnesota State Fair Corn Roast
Being from Minnesota, I LOVE THE MINNESOTA STATE FAIR! One of the best foods is sweet corn from the Corn Roast booth. Word on the street is there may be a limited amount of sweet corn to go around… this could be disastrous if it’s true.
-Will sweet corn bounty last till State Fair?
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.”
(Image Credit:

Follow the MN State Fair on Twitter: @MinnStateFair

Duluth, MN Waterspout/Tornado
Did you hear about the Duluth, MN waterspout/tornado last Thursday? According to the National Weather Service in Duluth, this becomes the FIRST RECORDED TORNADO IN DULUTH’S HISTORY!
For the record, here is the complete history of Duluth’s first tornado, as recorded by the National Weather Service:
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.”
This is probably one of the best pictures I’ve seen from the rare waterspout/tornado, which was shared by Vana LesleePhotography – great picture!!

My good friend, Dan Miller (Science and Operations Officer) at the National Weather Service in Duluth, MN has a wonderful and more in depth look on this VERY RARE event… Great write-up Dan! See HERE for more.

What’s Your Vector Hector?
Hector continues to churn away in the Eastern Pacific, drifting slowly east, concerning only ships and slow moving whales. Hector is not expected to threaten any land mass.

This week is Shark Week! Not sure why Shark Week on Discovery Channel gets so much traction, but I want to thank @embelina317 for this picture… LOL… I got a good laugh, thank you!

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

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