Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Cool, Showery Pattern Lingers into Late June - What NOT To Do In A Category 4 Hurricane

72 F. high temperature at KMSP Tuesday.
79 F. average high on June 16.
85 F. high on June 16, 2014.

June 16, 1992: A total of 27 tornadoes were reported across Minnesota, the second most in Minnesota history. Some communities that were badly damaged were Chandler, Lake Wilson, Clarkfield amd Cokato. The total damage was 80 million dollars. Presidential disaster declarations were made for many counties.

June 16, 1989: Frost across Minnesota with crops destroyed on high ground in southeast Minnesota. Preston got down to 32. Source: Twin Cities National Weather Service.

Adventures With Steve

The half billion dollar opening weekend for "Jurassic World" coupled with "Bill" coming ashore over Texas reminded me of a fleeting conversation with movie director Steven Spielberg, while filming the original "Jurassic Park" in 1992.

He told me something that left me temporarily speechless. During filming on Hawaii's island of Kauai a real hurricane approached, Category 4 Iniki. Officials at the hotel he and his crew were staying at guided them all into the BASEMENT to ride out the killer hurricane. "You realize you could have drowned. In a tornado you want to get below grade but in a hurricane you want to be on the 3rd floor or higher, to escape the storm surge, the sudden rise in water level!"

Spielberg's eyes got big - now it was his turn to be at a loss for words.

The soggy remains of Tropical Storm Bill will spark serious flash flooding hundreds of miles inland, days after landfall, as far away as Cleveland & Boston! I expect mostly light showers here today; a thundershower Saturday gives way to nicer, drier weather on Sunday.

A hot front approaches early next week with sticky 80s and a few waves of heavy T-storms. No extended, antiperspirant levels of heat brewing yet. Dog Day-free!

Tracking Bill. Although Bill will lose most of its tropical characteristics today, the combination of a firehose of Gulf moisture coupled with relatively slow forward motion will focus very heavy rains from Dallas into central and eastern Oklahoma, with some 5-10" amounts likely. Flooding from the soggy remains of Bill is possible as far away as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Source: Little Rock National Weather Service.

Tropical Plume. NOAA's ensemble 7-Day rainfall forecast shows some 4-5" amounts possible as far away as Indianapolis, Columbus and south Jersey by the end of the week, as moisture leftover from "Bill" gets swept up in the prevailing winds, which are fairly light, meaning slower forward motion and more flooding. Sometimes the most extreme floods come not from fast-moving hurricanes, but creeping tropical storms or depressions.

Will "The Brown Ocean Effect" Cause Bill To Temporarily Strengthen While Moving Inland? Dr. Jeff Masters takes a look at how wet soil and standing water can add (temporary) fuel to a dying tropical system. Here's an excerpt from a recent post at Weather Undeground: "...Tropical cyclones normally dissipate soon after coming ashore, but research over the last few years has shown how it’s possible for a tropical cyclone to maintain its strength or even intensify over land. The most dramatic example is Tropical Storm Erin, which weakened to a depression after landfall on the Texas coast before unexpectedly strengthening over west central Oklahoma three days later. On the night of August 18-19, 2007. Erin’s central pressure dropped from 1007 to 995 mb, and its peak sustained surface winds jumped from less than 25 mph to around 60 mph. A 2011 study in Monthly Weather Review led by Clark Evans (now at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee) found that large amounts of latent heat being released from unusually wet soils appear to have helped boost the storm’s intensity, although Evans is continuing to investigate the role of other factors..."

Image credit above: "Data from the NEXRAD radar near Oklahoma City shows Tropical Storm Erin as it formed a small eye-like feature during intensification at 1000 GMT on August 19, 2007." Image credit: Clark Evans, Russ Schumacher, and Thomas Galarneau, “Sensitivity in the Overland Reintensification of Tropical Cyclone Erin (2007) to Near-Surface Soil Moisture Characteristics,” Monthly Weather Review, doi:10.1175/2011MWR3593.1, American Meteorological Society, from NOAA/NWS data.

Seasonably Warm - Frequent Showers. The boundary separating cool, comfortable Canadian air from steamy, blast-furnace heat will set up across the Upper Midwest in the coming weeks, meaning frequent episodes of showers and T-storms, rainfall trending wetter than average, with temperatures at or even slightly below average for late June. Showers taper this morning, but the approach of a warmer, stickier airmass sets off T-storms Saturday; another round of thunder early next week. No drought this summer at the rate we're going.

El Nino 2015 Forecast To Intensify And Last Through Winter. Al.com has a good explainer on El Nino, and how the effects, especially a wetter trend for California where they desparately need rain, may kick in later in the year - here's an excerpt: "Looks like El Nino is going to stay with us for a while. A monthly report assessing El Nino's status, released this week, said there was a greater than 90 percent chance El Nino will continue through the fall, and an 85 percent chance it will last through the winter. El Nino is the term used for the warming of the equatorial waters of the Pacific off the west coast of South America. Those warmer waters can change global weather patterns. This El Nino could be a strong one, according to climate experts. But what does that mean for the United States?.."

The Latest Global Temperature Data Are Breaking Records. Dr. John Abraham at St. Thomas has an article for The Guardian; here's an excerpt: "Just today, NASA released its global temperature data for the month of May 2015. It was a scorching 0.71°C (1.3°F) above the long-term average. It is also the hottest first five months of any year ever recorded. As we look at climate patterns over the next year or so, it is likely that this year will set a new all-time record. In fact, as of now, 2015 is a whopping 0.1°C (0.17°F) hotter than last year, which itself was the hottest year on record. Below, NASA’s annual temperatures are shown. Each year’s results are shown as black dots. Some years are warmer, some are cooler and we never want to put too much emphasis on any single year’s temperature. I have added a star to show where 2015 is so far this year, simply off the chart..."

Image credit above: "Road markings appear distorted as the asphalt starts to melt due to the high temperature in New Delhi, India, 27 May 2015." Photograph: Harish Tyagi/EPA.

A Thirsty Colorado Is Battling Over Who Owns Raindrops. It's illegal to capture and use your own water? No, much of America is no longer taking water for granted. Here's an excerpt from The New York Times: "...But Colorado is one of the last places in the country where rainwater barrels are still largely illegal because of a complex system of water rights in which nearly every drop is spoken for. And when legislators here tried to enact a law this spring to allow homeowners to harvest the rain, conservationists got a lesson in the power of the entrenched rules that allocate Western water to those who have first claim to it. Even if it is the rain running down someone’s roof...

Photo credit above: "Jason Story, a regional manager of a beverage company, plans to use a 30-gallon drum to collect rainwater from his roof in Denver." Credit Michael Ciaglo for The New York Times.

Senate Bill Proposes Centralizing Weather Service Forecasting in 6 Regional Offices. Streamlining, cost-cutting, "achieving greater efficiencies". It may save a few bucks but you're losing the institutional memory and forecasting ability in each local NWS office. I don't see how this makes the forecasts (or warnings) any more effective, and it may wind up endangering public safety. Here's an excerpt from The Capital Weather Gang: "The Senate Commerce Committee is introducing a bill on Tuesday that would consolidate forecasting at 122 National Weather Service (NWS) forecast offices into six regional offices. The measure and its supporters argue that it would make NWS forecast operations more efficient and nimble while saving money. Opponents say it would reduce jobs and significantly compromise forecast quality by dispersing the trove of local knowledge within the nation’s forecasting network..."

Here's What NBC Can And Can't Do With Brian Williams. Vanity Fair has an update; here's an excerpt: "...After a flurry of media leaks, it appears Williams will not be returning to his old job at NBC Nightly News. The burning question now becomes if, as multiple media reports indicate, NBC really does want to keep Williams at the network in some other capacity, what on earth should they do with him? It’s a daunting problem, and one that the news division’s new chief, longtime Williams friend Andrew Lack, has, by most accounts, had his people studying for weeks. Lack’s directive, according to a report by CNN’s Brian Stelter, has been to “think creatively,” suggesting that almost any role other than the anchorman at Nightly News is on the table..." (File photo: Brad Barket/Invision/AP, File).

Music Is Free Now - And The Industry Only Has Itself To Blame. NewStatesman takes a look at something that would have seemed unthinkable as recently as the 1990s - here's a clip: "...Stephen Witt’s How Music Got Free details decades of foolishness in the industry and its decline in the 21st century by focusing on three simultaneous developments: the construction and massive growth of the Universal label, Brandenburg’s efforts to get the MP3 taken seriously and the contemporaneous development of the internet, on which a tiny group of hip-hop fans and computer geeks slowly dismantled a multimillion-pound industry..."

Image credit above: "Sound investment: the history of the record industry is a tale of technology, stars and shady deals." Photo Montage by Dan Murrell.

Neurosurgeon To Attempt World's First Head Transplant. Can I at least have a new head with more hair? And a more pleasant disposition?  Al Jazeera has the details, which sound like something you might find on the SyFy Channel: "...An Italian neurosurgeon has unveiled plans to perform the first human head transplant by the end of 2017. Dr Sergio Canavero announced his plan at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgeons in the US state of Maryland on Friday, saying he believes he has a 90 percent chance of success. He said his patient will be a 30-year-old Russian man, Valery Spiridonov, who has the muscle-wasting disease, Werdnig-Hoffmann..."

Paying Tribute to Minnesota's Military Families. I've had a few requests to post my comments from last Saturday's dedication of the Minnesota Military Fund Tribute at the State Capitol in St. Paul. I want to thank my friends, Bill and Teri Popp, for their vision: 7 years of fund-raising, planning, orchestrating and the sheer tenacity and drive necessary to make this happen, all without a dime of government money. For the record, here's what I said:

"Laurie and I are honored to be here today. I’m grateful for many things, including the fact it’s not snowing.

Our oldest son, Walt, is a digital marketing expert and lead guitar for The Lost Wheels. Thanks again guys! Well done. Our youngest son, Brett, is a Naval Academy graduate, flying the MH-60 Romeo, submarine attack helicopters for the Navy. He’s here in spirit.

My father in law was also in the Navy. My father grew up in Germany; he escaped communist East Germany to attend college in the United States as an exchange student. He once told me, “Most Americans take their freedom for granted. I will never, ever take my freedom for granted.”
It’s easy to take liberty for granted, when you’ve never had it taken away from you.

In a day and age when the mainstream media celebrates the alleged 1% - the wealthiest of all Americans – today we acknowledge the most important 1%. Actually it’s one half of one percent, the lowest rate since World War 2. That’s the percentage of Americans currently serving in the military:  1.3 million active duty service members, mostly invisible, sometimes ignored, often taken for granted.

That’s the real one half of one percent. Without them everything else – all the things we take for granted – wouldn’t be possible.

Most Americans are blissfully unaware of what it takes to keep this grand experiment called America, going…

But military families take nothing for granted. They know the sacrifice required to support their loved ones in harm’s way. They’re not looking for sympathy, hand-outs or lip service. There’s no secret handshake - but there is mutual admiration, respect and encouragement. We all share a quiet pride. We know what’s required to hold up the people we love; to honor their daily sacrifices, to help each other through good times and bad.

Life is a roller coaster, for everyone, but this is magnified 10-fold in the armed services. Our son, Brett, isn’t permitted to have an off-day in a $42 million Sikorsky helicopter. All our sons and daughters embody a spirit of accountability and excellence unmatched anywhere else on the planet.
At the Naval Academy Brett explained the down times, the dark days, how he coped. It required a grim determination, an ability to keep getting up, no matter how many times you were pushed down. There’s a term for it at the academy: “Embrace the suck” Brett explained. That’s what they do to accomplish their missions and keep the rest of us safe.

Embrace the suck. Words to live by. As a meteorologist I do that every day.

But our military sons and daughters do the impossible every day; they make “business as usual” possible for the rest of us. We complain about traffic and the weather and the latest news scandals. Our first-world problems are possible only because we have volunteer-warriors ready and willing to defend our way of life. None of this is an accident.

Joseph Campbell said “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself”. I want to salute the Gold Star families and thank them on behalf of our family, Blue Star families, and our extended military family here today. We take nothing for granted, especially your sacrifice, your unimaginable loss. Thank you doesn’t seem nearly enough – but thank you.

I asked Brett about sacrifice and he surprised me. He said “To be honest we don’t really like the recognition. We prefer to do our jobs and do our jobs well without notice. In my mind sacrifice is all about putting in the hours at work and home studying, getting good at fighting with our aircraft without the public knowing or being bothered by anything we do. It gets at the idea of being a quiet professional without the need for praise or empathy. Sacrifice, to me, is about doing a job that is difficult, a job that is physically taxing on your body and mind - without the need or expectation of recognition.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself…

Abraham Lincoln said “I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.”

We couldn’t be prouder of our sons and daughters, our husbands, wives, uncles and nieces who have stepped up, volunteered their blood, sweat and tears – so the rest of us can live the American Dream.
Blue Star Families: how will our loved ones be remembered? For their quiet sacrifice - protecting people they didn’t know, serving without complaint - helping, expecting nothing in return. That’s what our armed forces do every day. The measure of a man? Not what he has, but what he gives.
Military families, thank you for your gifts, the sacrifices you’ve already made, the sacrifices you’re making today, and those you’ll be forced to make tomorrow.

“Thank you for your service” doesn’t quite cut it. “Thank you for protecting and defending my freedom” seems a little closer to the mark.

We take nothing for granted, especially our families, our extended military family, and - our - liberty.
Thank you. May God bless and protect you and yours… and this remarkable experiment called America..."

TODAY: Showers likely, stray T-shower possible. Winds: SE 10. High: 74

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Showers taper, partial clearing. Low: 60

THURSDAY: Lot's of sun. No blobs on Doppler. High: 75

FRIDAY: Warm sunshine, probably dry. Wake-up: 59. High: 80

SATURDAY: Showers and T-storms nearby. Wake-up: 67. High: 79

SUNDAY: More sun, late day storm up north. Wake-up: 64. High: 81

MONDAY: Clouds increase, thunder late? Wake-up: 62. High: 82

TUESDAY: Steamy, few strong storms. Dew point: 64. Wake-up: 69. High: 86

Climate Stories...

Pope Calls For Action on Climate Change in Draft Encyclical. Will Pope Francis be able to ultimately move the needle? The optimist in me says yes, but nothing will come easily, or quickly. There's just too much money in play for it to happen without a fight. Reuters has the story; here's the introduction: "Pope Francis makes an urgent call for protection of the planet and repeats his view that global warming is mostly man-made in his keenly awaited encyclical, according to a draft published by an Italian magazine on Monday. The Vatican said the document, leaked in its Italian edition by the magazine l'Espresso, was not the final version, which would remain under embargo until its release on Thursday..."

Photo credit above: "Pope Francis delivers a speech during an audience for the participants of the Convention of the Diocese of Rome in St. Peter's square at the Vatican City, June 14, 2015." Reuters/Giampiero Sposito.

Pope: Climate Change a Moral Issue And Due To Human Activity. USA TODAY reports on the leaked copy of Pope Francis's Encyclical, due to be released on Thursday; here's an excerpt: "...The draft is broken into six chapters, with headings such as "what is happening to our house," "the human roots of the ecological crisis" and "integrated ecology." According to the leaked document, the pope says the world is addicted to a "culture of waste." The draft also says, "Humanity is called on to be aware of the need to change lifestyles, production and consumption." The pope describes a "scientific consensus … (about a) worrisome warming of the climate system..." (Apollo 8 file image: NASA).

Americans Are Again Getting More Worried About The Climate. Here's an excerpt from a story at The New York Times: "...About 69 percent of adults say that global warming is either a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” problem, according to a new Pew Research Center poll, up from 63 percent in 2010. The level of concern has still not returned to that of a decade ago; in 2006, 79 percent of adults called global warming serious. It’s impossible to know exactly why concern about the climate fell — and why skepticism that global warming was real increased — starting around 2008. Both economics and politics probably play a role. The financial crisis and recession made Americans more worried about the immediate condition of the economy, rather than about the long-term condition of the planet..."

Why Conservatives Can Actually Get Behind Pope Francis's Environmental Encyclical. The Washington Post has the Op-Ed, here's a snippet that got my attention: "...Stewardship uses power to promote the well-being of that which is cared for — in this case, the environment. It does not grant license to exploit the Earth and its resources for commercial enterprises. And in Genesis 2:15, we read, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to cultivate and keep it.” The word translated “cultivate” is abad, which means “to serve, to dress, cultivate, or tend”, while the word translated “keep” is shamar, meaning “bodyguard, watch, preserve.” According to the Scriptures, we are the guardians of the Earth..."

Neal DeGrasse Tyson On Larry King Now: Extreme Weather Events Will Be The "New Normal" In Coming Years. Here's a clip from a story at International Business Times: "...In March, when reports emerged that Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s administration had allegedly banned state workers from using the words “climate change,” Tyson had likened it to “repealing gravity because you gained 10 pounds last week.” “I don’t care what you believe. Believe whatever you want,” Tyson said on Monday, responding to a question about those who claim not to believe in climate change. “The problem comes about when you are in denial of an emergent scientific truth and you wield power over legislation. “That’s a recipe for disaster,” he added. “That is the end of an informed democracy...”

Naomi Oreskes, a Lightning Rod in a Changing Climate. Justin Gillis has the story at The New York Times; here's a snippet: "...Her core discovery, made with a co-author, Erik M. Conway, was twofold. They reported that dubious tactics had been used over decades to cast doubt on scientific findings relating to subjects like acid rain, the ozone shield, tobacco smoke and climate change. And most surprisingly, in each case, the tactics were employed by the same group of people. The central players were serious scientists who had major career triumphs during the Cold War, but in subsequent years apparently came to equate environmentalism with socialism, and government regulation with tyranny..."

Iconic Keeling Curve Designated a Landmark. Here's more background from Climate Central: "The American Chemical Society has named the graph that charts that rise — called the Keeling Curve, so named after the scientist who began the CO2 measurements — as a National Historic Chemical Landmark. “The Keeling Curve is an icon of modern climate science,” Thomas J. Barton, the most recent past president of the ACS, said in a statement. The recognition that CO2 levels were building in the atmosphere thanks to human activities underpins the science of global warming..."

The Weather Channel Confronts Republicans on Climate Change. Eric Holthaus at Slate takes a look at an ambitious new campaign to raise awareness - focused at conservatives; here's an excerpt: "...The series of short videos, called Climate 25, is surprisingly political for a venue like the Weather Channel, and most are aimed at making the case for urgent action from a conservative, Republican angle. Among the featured speakers are U.S. Army Gen. Charles H. Jacoby (Ret.); Henry Paulson, a former CEO of Goldman Sachs who served as secretary of the treasury under President George W. Bush from 2006 to 2009; and Paul Polman, the CEO of Unilever. At one point, Christine Todd Whitman, the EPA administrator under George W. Bush, addresses Republicans directly, saying, “It’s our issue...”

No comments:

Post a Comment