If You Don't Laugh You'll Weep. I took one look at this map, screen-captured Saturday afternoon in the Twin Cities, and I wanted to weep, or scream, or hurl. Or all of the above. Hey, it was one ill-timed, nearly historic, Saturday July cold front. Courtesy: WeatherNation TV.
Saturday Highs. The coolest daytime maxes were north/east of the Twin Cities, some mid-50s close to Duluth. Highs were milder farther west, nudging 70 over western counties, farther away from the cut-off low, where the sun was out part of the day. Map: MesoWest.
Coolest Since 1997. Unusual? Yes. Unprecedented? Probably not. According to NOAA records the last time Minneapolis - St. Paul saw July temperatures as cool as 49F. was 1997.
2). Answer: (a). Dew point is an absolute value, unlike relative humidity not dependent on the air temperature.
3). Answer: (c). Yes, fog is a lazy stratus cloud, one that forms on the ground.
4). Answer: (b) (c). Solar flares can disrupt radio communications and GPS, sparking dazzling displays of the Northern Lights. Especially strong X-class solar flares can even bring down portions of the power grid.
5). Answer: (b). To be considered severe a thunderstorm needs to produce 58 mph+ winds and/or 1" diameter (quarter size) hail.
6). Answer: (b).
7). Answer: (c). Local National Weather Service offices no longer issue warnings for entire counties, but portions of counties, using a polygon to define the "high threat area", the actual track of a tornado or severe storm.
8). Answer: (a) (b) (c). Pat Sajak was a Los Angeles weathercaster, David Letterman reported weather in Indianapolis, where he coined the expression "hail the size of canned hams") and yes, Diane Sawyer got her start reporting and pointing at weather maps.
Map above: SPC reports only 6 tornadoes in Minnesota so far in 2013.
Photo credit above: "Aurora Over Alaska: The digitally enhanced photograph taken in January 2005 shows a spectacular aurora borealis above the frozen landscape of Bear Lake, Alaska. The image was voted Wikipedia Commons Picture of the Year for 2006." Image: Joshua Strang, USAF, Wikipedia, caption via NASA.
Photo credit above: "
Photo credit above: "An iceberg carved from a glacier floats in the Jacobshavn fjord in south-west Greenland." (Photo: Konrad Steffen / Reuters).
Photo credit above: "Don’t want to move home?" MissTessmacher.
• The incidence of high-intensity tropical cyclones (Safir-Simpson categories 3-5) should increase, and the amount of rainfall in these storms should increase, upping the potential for freshwater flooding. These changes will not necessarily occur where tropical cyclones develop and thrive today. "Indeed," wrote Emanuel, "it is likely that there will be decreasing activity in some places, and increasing activity in others; models do not agree on such regional changes."
• Though experts disagree on this point, Emanuel's work suggests that weak events (tropical storms and Cat 1-2 storms) will become more frequent.
• "Very little work has been done on the problem of storm size," wrote Emanuel, "what little research has been done suggests that storm diameters may increase with global temperature. This can have a profound influence on storm surges, which are the biggest killers in tropical cyclone disasters..."
Photo credit above: "Joshua Tree National Park soon will share its California desert skies with a new close neighbor, a huge solar farm. It's part of a big renewable energy drive on public land." Photograph by Bill Hatcher, National Geographic.
Photo credit: "A drilling rig in North Dakota near the town of Stanley. Fracking is used in this area to tap oil reserves."
Photo credit above: " ." Photo: AFP
Photo credit above: "The huge Ivanpah solar plant is part of a push to expand renewable energy on U.S. federal land. The developer took steps to relocate a population of the endangered desert tortoise, below." Photograph by Jim West, Alamy.