Sunday, October 12, 2014

Indian Summer Alert - 2014: Third Warmest Worldwide, To Date

61 F. high in the Twin Cities Sunday.
60 F. average high on October 12.
58 F. high on October 12, 2013.

October 12 in Minnesota Weather History. Source: MPX National Weather Service:
1917: Record low temperatures occurred across central Minnesota with temperatures ranging from the low to mid teens to the upper teens and lower 20s. St. Cloud had the coldest temperature of 10 degrees Fahrenheit; likewise, Mora recorded a low of 13 degrees Fahrenheit.
1880: An early blizzard struck southwest and west central counties in Minnesota. Huge drifts exceeding 20 ft in the Canby area lasted until the next spring.
1820: Snowstorm at Ft. Snelling dumps 11 inches.

Everybody Sells

"Hey Paul, remember me? You came to my 4th grade class 27 years ago. I was the guy in the back of the room!" Um, no. But I'll pretend if it makes you happy.

My short-term memory is a mess but I remember my 11th grade English teacher, Mrs. Eisenhart. "Use action words!" she instructed. "It's not fair but people will judge you by how well you speak" she added. She was right.

Whether selling products or services, advancing public policy or just trying to convince your 16 year old to take AP math, the words you choose are critical.

Substance matters. So does effective communication. That's why public speaking is so critical - learning to tame those inner butterflies.

After a weekend frost/freeze the growing season is over, statewide. Bugs, pollen and drippy dew points are a thing of the past.

A frontal passage sparks a few hours of showers today; a major storm over the southern Plains pushes a pinwheel of showers into Wisconsin later this week. Highs top 60F much of this week, and after a flurry of weekend jackets (highs near 50F) a warm ridge of high pressure returns next week. I see more 60s, even a 70-degree high or two in late October.

My Halloween costume this year? I think I'll go as "Al Nino".

Blah Monday - Then Touch of Indian Summer. Now that we've had our first frost/freeze we can (officially) call it Indian Summer. Showers keep temperatures in the 50s today, but the sun returns Tuesday into Thursday morning, with highs in the low 60s, even a few mid-60s are possible close to home. Winds swing around to the northwest by late week - weekend jackets give way to another warming trend. By the end of next week highs may be in the 60s to near 70F.

Flash Flood Potential. Models are printing out 3"+ rains for Atlanta, Chicago and Kansas City, as a large, slow-moving storm pushes from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes.

Full Latitude Trough. A slow-motion swirl of cold air aloft lifts a swirl of heavy showers and T-storms across the Plains into the Mississippi Valley, Ohio Valley and East Coast by Thursday. Heavy rain pushes into the Pacific Northwest, but no significant rain brewing for California - yet. 60-hour NAM accumulated rain courtesy of NOAA and HAMweather.

Tornado Potential Index. A rare mid-October outbreak of severe storms and possible tornadoes is likely later today from near Houston to Shreveport, Little Rock and Memphis as this storm spins up. TPI Index: HAMweather. NOAA SPC may have to upgrade the risk from "slight" to "moderate".

384 Hour Outlook. The map above shows 850 mb winds (3,500 feet or so) two weeks from tomorrow, on October 28. GFS guidance whips up an impressive storm for New England, but it looks like a mild zonal flow for the western half of the USA, with a mild bias from the Dakotas into Minnesota. We'll see more 60s, and I don't think we've seen the last of the 70-degree warmth just yet. 90? Dream on.

First Metro Seattle Tornado Warning in 45 Years? A swarm of waterspouts were spotted near Tacoma on Saturday; more details from "...The tornado warning was called off within the same hour it was issued. It is the first tornado warning for the Metro Seattle region in nearly 45 years, KOMO News reports. For the Metro Vancouver, the last confirmed tornado sighting was in 1962. An unconfirmed event also happened in 1988 on the eastern fringes of the region..."

Brazil Drought Crisis Deepends in Sao Paulo. Much of Central and South America is experiencing drought conditions; here's an excerpt from The BBC: "The governor of the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo has asked for emergency clearance to siphon the remaining water out of the main reservoir serving Sao Paulo city, which has almost run dry. After nine months of unprecedented drought, 95% of the water has gone. Geraldo Alckmin, re-elected in last week's elections, has been criticised for not imposing water rationing to tackle the crisis. Twenty-nine other Brazilian cities have been affected by the drought..." (Photo: AP).

Not Just California. Droughts Extend Across Americas. More perspective from NBC News; here's a clip: "...A dry spell has killed cattle and wiped out crops in Central America, parts of Colombia have seen rioting over scarce water, and southern Brazil is facing its worst dry spell in 50 years. In the U.S., the few who have taken notice of this wider water scarcity include a former director of the U.S. Geological Survey. Now editor-in-chief of the journal Science, Marcia McNutt last month penned an editorial highlighting what she called “a drought of crisis proportions” across the Americas..." (Photo credit: Andre Penner, AP).

Is California Headed To "Megadrought"? UT San Diego has the story, looking at previous dry spells across the western USA; here's an excerpt that caught my eye: "...In a study published this month, Cornell University researcher Toby Ault and some of his colleagues calculated the risk of a megadrought happening this century. Ault is a professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell University. He and the other researchers concluded that natural circumstances and climate change combine to put the likelihood of a decade-long drought in the Southwest at 50 percent to 80 percent. And they estimate that the chance of a megadrought, which they define as a 35-year dry period, is 10 percent to 50 percent by the end of this century..."

Photo credit above: "In this photo taken Oct. 6, 2014, a dock sits high and dry at the end of a boat ramp yards away from the edge of Folsom Lake near Folsom, Calif. The California Department of Water Resources reported Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014, the largest monthly decline in water use this year as the severity of California's drought hits home. Water suppliers reported that consumption fell 11.5 percent in August compared with the year before." (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli) The Associated Press.

University of Miami's New Research Tank May Hold Key to Hurricane Forecasts. A monstrous aquarium that can simulate Category 5 hurricane winds and waves? You could sell tickets to this experience (life insurance policies too). Here's the intro to a story at The Miami Herald: "When hurricanes sweep across the ocean’s surface, they whip up a foamy mix of sea and air, swapping energy in a loop that can crank up the force of powerful storms. The physics of that exchange — nearly impossible to measure in the dangerous swirl of a real storm — has remained largely a mystery, vexing meteorologists who have struggled to improve intensity predictions even as they bettered forecast tracks. Now scientists have a shot at solving that puzzle with a new 38,000-gallon research tank unveiled this month at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami..."

Not Even George Clooney Can Change The Weather. Yes, think twice before buying a luxury manor home on the banks of the Thames River in England. Here's an excerpt from the U.K. Mirror: "...George Clooney and new wife Amal may have just had the wedding of their dreams - but they're now suffering a headache over their marital home. The actor, who married the British lawyer in a lavish ceremony in Italy last month, bought Grade II-listed Aberlash Manor in Sonning, Berkshire, unaware he would have to spend about £50,000 on flood defences because it's so close to the Thames..."

Read more here:

Read more here:

Our Sun In A Halloween Mood? Check out this article from Tech Times: "...Scientists at NASA got this ghoulish image by combining several images of active regions on the sun. "The active regions appear brighter because those are areas that emit more light and energy — markers of an intense and complex set of magnetic fields hovering in the sun's atmosphere, the corona," according to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center...."

Image credit above: NASA / GSFC / SDO.

TODAY: Cool and damp. Few hours of showers. Winds: N 5-10. High: 56
MONDAY NIGHT: A few more showers and sprinkles, mainly east metro. Low: 46
TUESDAY: Partly sunny and pleasant. High: 63
WEDNESDAY: Plenty of sun, no complaints. Wake-up: 43. High: 62
THURSDAY: Clouds increase. Wisconsin showers. Wake-up: 44. High: 63
FRIDAY: Intervals of sun, turning breezy and cooler. Wake-up: 48. High: 58
SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy, jackets return. Wake-up: 41. High: near 50
SUNDAY: Early sun, PM showers. Wake-up: 37. High: 51

Climate Stories...

Simmering September. It's not official, but it would appear, based on NASA GISS data that after the warmest August on record, worldwide, September may also have the distinction of being the warmest on record. Check out the temperature anomalies over Antarctica above, as much as 4-9C warmer than average.

* Preliminary NASA GISS data suggests that 2014 (January - September) is the 3rd warmest on record, worldwide.

After Record Heat in August. August was the warmest ever observed over global land and water, according to NASA GISS. Once again look at the temperature anomalies over the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

"...Bogus scepticism does not centre on an impartial search for the truth, but on a no-holds-barred defence of a preconceived ideological position. The bogus sceptic is thus, in reality, a disguised dogmatist, made all the more dangerous for his success in appropriating the mantle of the unbiased and open-minded inquirer..." - Richard Wilson in an article at NewStatesman; details below.

The Gathering Storm. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed from Secretary of State John Kerry at Huffington Post that got my attention: "...Admiral Samuel J. Locklear, who leads the U.S. Pacific Command, said climate change "will cripple the security environment." Vice Admiral Lee F. Gunn (Ret.), the president of the American Security Project, wrote that "addressing the consequences of changes in the Earth's climate is not simply about saving polar bears or preserving the beauty of mountain glaciers. Climate change is a threat to our national security. Taking it head on is about preserving our way of life." General Gordon R. Sullivan (Ret.) -- the former Army chief of staff -- said that "climate instability will lead to instability in geopolitics and impact American military operations around the world..." (File photo: AP).

These 14 States Have a Climate Action Plan - The Rest Of You Are Screwed. Possibly my favorite headline of the week. Minnesota is catching up, the state seems to be taking adaptation and resilience seriously. Here's an excerpt from The Atlantic CityLab: "...Researchers at the center, a D.C. policy research group based at Georgetown University's law school, surveyed states' climate adaptation policies—plans to build sea walls, for example, or to shift hazardous waste facilities out of flood zones. They found that only a minority of states—14 right now—have fully fledged adaptation plans with specific goals in place. Nine more have adaptation plans in the works. The rest have not developed statewide adaptation plans (though a number of these states do have plans in place at the local or regional level)..."

Against The Evidence. What's the critical difference between doubt and dogmatism? Here's an excerpt of an interesting story at NewStatesman: "...In a sceptical age, even those disseminating wholly bogus ideas - from corporate pseudo-science to 9/11 conspiracy theories - will often seek to appropriate the language of rational inquiry. But there is a meaningful difference between being a "sceptic" and being in denial. The genuine sceptic forms his beliefs through a balanced evaluation of the evidence. The sceptic of the bogus variety cherry-picks evidence on the basis of a pre-existing belief, seizing on data, however tenuous, that supports his position, and yet declaring himself "sceptical" of any evidence, however compelling, that undermines it..."

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