Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Taste of Dog Days (how might weather forecasts become more personalized in the years ahead?)

92 F. high in the Twin Cities Saturday.
84 F. average high on July 6.
102 F. high on July 6, 2012.
Trace of rain fell yesterday at KMSP.

Low 90s expected again today and Monday.

50-degree dew points return the latter half of this week - much more comfortable air.

Personalized Weather

Where is the weather business heading? I wish I knew with certainty.

Yesterday, while waiting for lunch in Nisswa, I saw a woman in a nearby booth peering out a rainy window, checking radar on her smartphone, trying to calculate what time the sun would come out. Weather for one.

One vision: Apple's "Siri", only this computerized voice knows your location, your commute, calendar; anticipating your needs in advance.

"Rain ends at 2:35 on Gull Lake. Some sun between 3 to 7 PM as south winds gust to 18 - lightning in your vicinity after 9:45. Oh, and your golf tee time Sunday looks soggy."

We will see, but checking TV, radio or web sites, trying to INTERPRET weather for your GPS location and needs, may evolve to unique "One-Casts" on mobile devices, well-timed bursts of hyper-localized and personalized information coming in during the day when you need to make weather-related decisions and choices.

Storms are pushing into Wisconsin, with early clouds and fog, but the sun should peek out much of today, even up north. Highs approach or top 90F in the metro later, low 90s possible Monday before more numerous storms arrive Tuesday. We dry out the latter half of the week; warming near 90 again by next weekend.

Meanwhile fires are burning out of control near Las Vegas, while the Gulf & East Coast is stuck in a bizarrely soggy holding pattern - over 20" of rain near Panama City, a tropical storm's worth.
A Warmer, Somewhat Drier Pattern. I have a hunch July won't be as wet as June. We'll see our fair share of T-storm rains, but the core of the jet stream if finally pushing far enough north for us to see fairly consistent 80s, with a few 90s (but nothing like last summer). Showers and T-storms are most likely Tuesday of this week, another chance of a few T-storms next weekend, based on ECMWF guidance above.

Midweek Comfortable Front. All the models show a significant dip in dew point on Wednesday as winds swing around to the northwest. Dew points in the 50s will feel great by Thursday and Friday.

Doldrums of Summer. Weather fronts are just limping along, more soaking rains for the Gulf Coast and Appalachians today, a very slow-moving cool front sparking T-storms over the Upper Midwest Tuesday - pushing into New England and the Ohio Valley by midweek. Meanwhile the west stays persistently dry. 84 hour NAM loop: NOAA.

Soggy Southeast. Some counties in southeastern Minnesota have seen over 24" of rain since April 1, more than twice the normal amount. According to Dr. Mark Seeley in this week's WeatherTalk Newsletter, the very wet spring has had major implications for agriculture: "For southeastern Minnesota crop producers many acres remain unplanted due to the wet spring conditions. Weeds are prolific and large in these fields and pose a long term concern due to the amount of their seed production. According to Dr. Jeff Gunsolus, weed specialist with Extension control of these weeds by mowing or tillage would be a good strategy to deploy at this time. You can read more on this topic in the Crop Newsletter at..."

Image credit above: Brad Birkholz.

El Nino Weather Could Be Forecast A Year Ahead. USA Today has the interesting details; here's an excerpt: "An international meteorology team on Monday unveiled a way to forecast El Niño weather a year ahead of time, double the lead time experts currently have.  El Niños strike every decade, driven by warm Pacific Ocean water piling on the West Coast and affecting weather worldwide, triggering floods, droughts and heat. The most recent El Niño ended in 2010. A strong El Niño brings heavy rains to North and South America and drought to Australia, making its prediction something long sought by weather forecasters..."

Homes Threatened Due To Massive Fire. A major blaze is underway north of Las Vegas - here's the latest from The Las Vegas Review-Journal: "The blaze that until late this week crept along rugged rims of Mount Charleston grew to as many as 9,000 acres Friday and swept into Kyle Canyon, threatening hundreds of homes. The Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources reported that 400 structures were in danger as the uncontained, wind-fueled wildfire moved north and south along a ridge overlooking the canyon and devoured dry vegetation atop the mountain range, one of Las Vegas’ most popular and temperate destinations. Police and fire officials ordered more than 500 residents to evacuate as hundreds of firefighters — most of whom specialize in attacking aggressive, wind-whipped blazes in steep, rocky terrain — made their way up the mountain..."

Photo credit above: JEFF SCHEID/LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. "Smoke from Carpenter Canyon fire shrouds Mountain Charleston at the Snow Mountain exit and U.S. Highway 95 on Friday. The 5-day-old fire has grown to more than 9,000 acres and swept into Kyle Canyon. More than 500 people have been evacuated an hundreds of homes and business are threatened."

Homes Keep Rising In The West Despite Growing Wildfire Threat. Here's a snippet from a recent story at The New York Times: "...Just as many Easterners resist stepping back from their increasingly flooded coast, Westerners build where they want to build. In a report last September, CoreLogic, a business analytics company, estimated that 740,000 homes in 13 Western states, with a total value of $136 billion, were at high or very high risk of burning up. Nationwide, Oregon and Wisconsin researchers found, 98.5 million people lived in 43.7 million homes in what is known as the wildland-urban interface or WUI (pronounced woo-ee) in 2010. The sentiment that people should build where and how they choose is embedded in the Bitterroot Valley of western Montana, where a series of infamous 2000 blazes helped usher in the era of ever-more-dangerous Western wildfires..."

Photo credit above: Elaine Thompson/Associated Press. "In the summer of 2000, drought-fueled wildfires devastated the Bitterroot Valley in Montana."

Accuracy Of Flood Forecasting Called Into Question. After recent and historic floods across much of Alberta, including Calgary, some Canadians are questioning the accuracy of the river flood forecasts; details at CTV News: "With flood waters across the province backing down, questions about the accuracy of flood forecasting are on the rise. Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne said forecasting was way off this year, and he’s concerned it will affect citizen’s responses to future disasters. “What my concern is the old story, how many times can we cry wolf?” he said. “What I’m worried about is next time they say (the river will rise) 4.5 meters and nobody will do anything.” Last week a hydrology expert from the University of Saskatchewan also questioned the numbers, pointing out there were differences last week between how much water was coming out of Gardiner Dam and how much was flowing through Saskatoon..."

Photo credit above: "The mayor of Prince Albert is unhappy with the province's flood forecasting this spring."

A Trip To Camp To Break A Tech Addiction. Spend more than 4  hours a day on Facebook? Would you rather check Twitter than talk with your significant other? Sneak the iPad to bed (or bathroom?) You may have a serious technology addiction. Here's a clip from a story at The New York Times: "...This was Day 2 at Camp Grounded, an adults-only summer camp held on former Boy Scouts quarters in Navarro, Calif., about two and half hours north of San Francisco. A little more than 300 people had gathered there for three days of color wars, talent shows, flag-raisings and other soothingly regressive activities organized by Digital Detox, an Oakland-based group dedicated to teaching technology-addled (or technology-addicted) people to, in the words of its literature, “disconnect to reconnect.” The rules of Camp Grounded were simple: no phones, computers, tablets or watches; work talk, discussion of people’s ages and use of real names were prohibited..."

Soggy Nisswa. Some days I wonder if shop owners secretly pray for rain in some of these northern resort towns like Nisswa, Crosslake, Walker and Pequot Lakes? Yesterday's showery sky up north drove many into town to try their hand at shopping. Great fun.

TODAY: Early clouds, then sunny and hot. Winds:  W 5-10. High: 91

SUNDAY NIGHT: Clear to partly cloudy. Low: 72

MONDAY: Hot, steamy sun. Dew point: 72. HIgh: 92

TUESDAY: Wettest day in sight. Scattered T-storms likely. Wake-up: 71. High: 86

WEDNESDAY: Sunnier, drier, less humid. Dew point: 62. Wake-up: 66. High: 85

THURSDAY: Plenty of warm sun, dry. Wake-up: 65. High: 87

FRIDAY: Some sun, stickier again. Dew point: 68. Wake-up: 68. High: 88

SATURDAY: Thundery hot front. Dew point: 70. Wake-up: 71. High: 89 (90s possible south/west of MSP).
Climate Stories...

Vast Reservoirs Of Carbon Could Affect Global Warming. Here's a snippet from a story at NBC Southern California: "...During the summer thaw, the very top of the permafrost melts -- a few inches to no more than a few feet -- releasing only a small amount of the carbon that has built up over eons from the annual die-back of vegetation. It decomposes slowly in the tundra environment and historically is recaptured during the winter freeze. Enter global warming. “As temperatures warm, it’s thought that these organic materials could decompose more rapidly and give rise to gases such as carbon dioxide and methane," Miller said. “The anticipated release of carbon should accelerate climate change...I think the experts all agree that that’s the case. The question that we’re grappling with is how much carbon might be vulnerable to release, and how fast might it be released." One possible scenario is what scientists call a “positive feedback loop,” akin to what’s known in the more common vernacular as a vicious circle that feeds on itself..."

File image above: NASA.

Global Warming Solutions? Scientists Want To Store Carbon Dioxide Underground. Here's the intro to a story at Design & Trend: "A recent geological report suggests a promising way to cut down on carbon dioxide in the atmosphere: to inject it and store it in rocks underground. The U.S. Geological Survey conducted a detailed assessment and found 36 regions across the country that have proper subterranean conditions to store between 2,400 to 3,7-- metric tons of carbon dioxide underground.  "This is just one tool in a range of options that we have, but it's an important one to give us additional time to transition from fossil fuels to nonfossil fuel energy," Mordick told LiveScience..."

Photo credit above: "An aerial view of burning trees is seen during the haze in Indonesia's Riau province June 28, 2013. Indonesian investigators are building criminal cases against eight Southeast Asian companies they suspect of being responsible for raging fires that have blanketed neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia with hazardous smog." (Photo : REUTERS/Beawiharta )
WMO: "Unprecedented" Global Warming From 2000 To 2010. Here's a snippet from a story at The Summit County Citizens Voice: "...It was the warmest decade since the start of modern measurements in 1850, with more national temperature records broken than in any previous decade. Along with analyzing  global and regional temperatures and precipitation, the report took a close look at extreme events, including heat waves in Europe (2203) and Russia (201o), Hurricane Katrina in the United States of America, Tropical Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, droughts in the Amazon Basin, Australia and East Africa and floods in Pakistan. The decade was the warmest for both hemispheres and for both land and ocean surface temperatures. The record warmth was accompanied by a rapid decline in Arctic sea ice, and accelerating loss of net mass from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and from the world’s glaciers..."

American Renewable Energy Is Powering The American Energy Transformation. Here's a clip from an Op-Ed by Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn (USN, ret) at The Hill: "More so than any other time in history, Americans are focusing their attention on energy issues. From the president’s recent call to action on climate change to the possibility of finally attaining energy independence by the end of the decade, America appears to be entering a new golden age of energy development - great news for our energy security and economy. But for some policymakers on Capitol Hill, there is a need for a much better understanding that renewable energy is a significant and rapidly growing catalyst driving the American energy transformation. Across the country, the renewable energy industry is putting steel in the ground, increasing American energy security, competitiveness, and environmental quality. Simply put, renewables have earned their place in the sun – quite literally in the case of solar, which accounted for 48 perent of all new electricity generation capacity across the U.S. in the first quarter of 2013...." (File image: Wikipedia).

Climate Change Deniers Using Dirty Tricks From "Tobacco Wars". Here's an excerpt from a story at Science Daily: "...Environmental campaigner Sauven argues: "Some of the characters involved have previously worked to deny the reality of the hole in the ozone layer, acid rain and the link between tobacco and lung cancer. And the tactics they are applying are largely the same as those they used in the tobacco wars. Doubt is still their product." Governments around the world have also attempted to silence scientists who have raised concerns about climate change. Tactics used have included: the UK government spending millions infiltrating peaceful environmental organisations; Canadian government scientists barred from communicating with journalists without media officers; and US federal scientists pressured to remove words 'global warming' and 'climate change' from reports under the Bush administration..."

No comments:

Post a Comment