Sunday, September 14, 2014

Best of September Yet to Come - Warming Trend into Next Week

65 F. high in the Twin Cities Sunday.
73 F. average high on September 14.
73 F. high on September 14, 2013.

September 14, 1939: The high for Minneapolis was 98 degrees Fahrenheit.
September 14, 1916: St. Paul's earliest snow ever.

Relatively Safe

The most boring city in America to be a meteorologist? Probably San Diego, which has the distinction of having America's best climate. "Forecasting the marine layer and what time fog will burn off is my biggest daily challenge" a friend who works in TV out there volunteered. That, and what SPF sunscreen to apply, I guess.

But according to CoreLogic, California is the 4th riskiest state in the USA, behind Florida, Rhode Island & Louisiana. They factored all natural disasters, including wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes & earthquakes.

For the record: Minnesota came in 40 out of 49 states in overall risk. The safest state? Michigan. I'm feeling better about the cold fronts to come.

A reinforcing cool front sparks a morning shower or sprinkle; skies clear this afternoon as winds begin to ease. A dry sky lingers into Friday, when a warm frontal passage may spark a few T-showers (and complaints about the dew point).

Expect 70s next weekend with less humidity - I wouldn't be surprised to see 80F warmth Friday, again a few days next week.

Nature rarely moves in a straight line. Saturday's premature frost was a jolt to the system, but don't pack away the shorts & t-shirts just yet.

We are # 40! Out of 49 states analyzed by CoreLogic, so this is actually a positive development for Minnesota. Note how the risk drops off as you head into far northern Minnesota and Wisconsin, where (large) tornadoes are relatively rare, at least for now. The map above shows risk from (all) natural hazards; here's an excerpt from a recent CoreLogic report: "...For every geocoded location across the U.S, the CoreLogic HRS is compiled using data representing nine natural hazards: flood, wildfire, tornado, storm surge, earthquake, straight-line wind, hurricane wind, hail and sinkhole. Locations with higher risk levels are exposed to multiple hazard risks and will, therefore, receive higher scores when the risk analysis is aggregated. Subsequently, locations with minimal risk levels have lower exposure and receive lower scores. Geocoded locations are generated at the property-address level using latitude and longitude coordinates and include both residential and commercial properties..."

Cold Rain Southern Minnesota. The best chance of morning showers comes over the southern suburbs, a period of heavier, steadier rain closer to Mankato, Rochester and Winona. Skies should begin to clear by afternoon as a drying northwest wind kicks in behind this disturbance. 60-hour rainfall prediction: NOAA and HAMweather.

Mellowing Trend. This is about as cool as it's going to be over the next 7-10 days. Temperatures struggle to near 60F today, but 70s are likely from Wednesday into much of next week. I wouldn't be surprised to see temperatures near 80F Friday, again a day or two next week. We certainly haven't seen the last of lukewarm weather. After morning showers the next chance of rain comes Friday in the form of a few T-showers. MSP Meteogram: Weatherspark.

Steve Jobs Was A Low-Tech Parent. All-you-can-eat tech is good for you? Maybe not. Moderation is key, according to a surprising story at The New York Times; here's an excerpt: "...Since then, I’ve met a number of technology chief executives and venture capitalists who say similar things: they strictly limit their children’s screen time, often banning all gadgets on school nights, and allocating ascetic time limits on weekends. I was perplexed by this parenting style. After all, most parents seem to take the opposite approach, letting their children bathe in the glow of tablets, smartphones and computers, day and night. Yet these tech C.E.O.’s seem to know something that the rest of us don’t..."

TODAY: Early showers (southern MN), then slow clearing. Winds: NW 10+ High: 61
MONDAY NIGHT: Clear skies, cooling off. Low: 43
TUESDAY: Plenty of lukewarm sun. Dew point: 43. High: 69
WEDNESDAY: Blue sky, balmy. Wake-up: 49. High: 71
THURSDAY: More wind - clouds increase. Wake-up: 51. High: 73
FRIDAY: Sticky, passing T-storm. Dew point: 67. Wake-up: 57. High: 78
SATURDAY: Partly sunny, less humid. DP: 56. Wake-up: 63. High: 77
SUNDAY: Sunny & spectacular. Light winds. Wake-up: 57. High: 72

Climate Stories...

In A Warming World We Can't Keep Depending On The Same Few Crops. Monoculture depends heavily on (fossil fueled) herbicides and pesticides; leaving agriculture more vulnerable to pests and more extreme swings in temperature and moisture. Here's an excerpt from Live Science: "...The recent IPCC (2014) report predicts that, without adaptation, temperature increases of above about 1 C from pre-industrial levels will negatively affect yields on the major crops in both tropical and temperate regions for the rest of the century. These impacts need to be seen in the context of crop demand, which is predicted to increase by about 14% per decade until 2050. In a recent study in Nature, an international team of scientists found that iron and zinc concentrations were substantially reduced in wheat, rice, soybean and pea crops grown under the CO2 levels expected by 2050. In other words, climate change will reduce both the yield and the nutritional content of the world’s major crops – leaving many hungry and malnourished..." (Photo credit: Tim McCabe, USDA).

Russia's Militarization of the North Pole Has U.S. Lawmakers On Edge. With rapid warming and melting of the polar ice cap we can expect more jostling over mineral and shipping rights at the top of the world. Here's an excerpt from National Journal: "...A break in cooperation has not slowed Russia's pursuit of national interests inside the Arctic Circle, however. Russia already has the biggest military footprint there of any Arctic nation, and it's beefing it up at a much faster rate than the U.S. and Canada. The country's Northern Fleet is getting new nuclear attack submarines. Restoration of Soviet-era defense infrastructure is underway. And this week, Russia announced it has begun building a complex of military bases in the region, The Moscow Times reports, the first new facilities in the area since Soviet posts were abandoned at the end of the Cold War..."

A Climate Movement That Can't Be Ignored. Huffington Post has the story - here's the introduction: "The New York state elections just concluded, and the national midterms are still weeks away, but there is a campaign office in downtown Manhattan that has just gone into overdrive. Volunteers there are hard at work on another deadline: September 21. That's the day of the People's Climate March, what promises to be the largest demonstration for action on climate change in world history. The march has brought together over 1,100 organizations at last count, from the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance to the Georgia Climate Change Coalition. A coalition that's both staggering in size and diversity..."

Evangelical Christian Tells Bill Moyers Not All Christians are Climate Change Deniers. Here's a video and excerpt from EcoWatch: "...Hayhoe is the director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, where she teaches. She’s been attacked by Rush Limbaugh and gotten floods of hate mail and even threats after a right-wing blogger publisher her email address. But she says, “Caring about climate is entirely consistent with who we are as Christians. We have increasingly begun to confound our politics with our faith. To the point where instead of our faith dictating our attitudes on political and social issues, we are instead allowing our political party to dictate our attitude on issues that are clearly consistent with who we are...”

Too Much Carbon, Not Enough Time. Here's a clip from an Op-Ed at The Baltimore Sun: "...The latest numbers are a reminder that it's time to stop listening to the climate change deniers and accept that rising levels of greenhouse gases are a serious, man-made threat that must be addressed for the sake of humanity. The cost of delaying action to stem climate change is high — potentially four percentage points in gross domestic product worldwide by 2030, according to a UN report issued earlier this year. That's not alarmist, it's a matter of being prudent. Considering the other positive effects of embracing renewable energy, conservation and other remedies from cleaner air and water to new jobs in the "green energy" economy, the U.S. should be moving farther and faster. According to the WMO, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are now 142 percent higher than they were before the Industrial Revolution while methane is up more than 250 percent. There's just so much abuse a planet can take before the consequences are disastrous and potentially irreversible."

The Good and Bad Climate News from Permafrost Melt. Climate Central has an update; here's the introduction: "Earth’s subterranean carbon blisters are starting to pop. Carbon inside now-melting permafrost is oozing out, leaving scientists scrambling to figure out just how much of it is ending up in the atmosphere. Whether recent findings from research that attempted to help answer this question are good or bad climate news might depend on whether you see an Arctic river basin as half full of mud — or half empty. Frozen soils known as permafrosts can be found across the planet, and they’re concentrated heavily in the Arctic, which has been warming since the 1980s at twice the global rate. Taken together, permafrosts contain more carbon than is already in the atmosphere..."

Photo credit above: "Coastal permafrost eroding in Alaska." Credit: USGS

Naomi Klein: The Hypocrisy Behind The Big Business Climate Change Battle. Here's an excerpt of a Guardian book review that resonated: "...A great many of us engage in this kind of denial. We look for a split second and then we look away. Or maybe we do really look, but then we forget. We engage in this odd form of on-again-off-again ecological amnesia for perfectly rational reasons. We deny because we fear that letting in the full reality of this crisis will change everything. And we are right. If we continue on our current path of allowing emissions to rise year after year, major cities will drown, ancient cultures will be swallowed by the seas; our children will spend much of their lives fleeing and recovering from vicious storms and extreme droughts. Yet we continue all the same..."

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