84 F. average high on July 15.
72 F. high on July 15, 2014.
.01" rain fell at MSP International Airport Wednesday.
July 15, 1980: Straight-line winds of nearly 100 mph causes enormous damage, mainly in Dakota County. 43 million dollars in damage was reported and 100 thousand people were without power.
July 15, 1881: A family of tornadoes, likely up to F5 in strength, was on the ground for 40 miles in southern Minnesota. Five farms had every building completely swept away. One of the tornadoes was about to pass just of the west of New Ulm, but then turned and plowed into the town. Twenty people were killed along the entire path length, including 6 in New Ulm.
Tim Morin from Shorewood asked me what NOAA was doing flying a WP-3D Orion "Hurricane Hunter" aircraft into Sunday night's developing derecho above Minnesota. I checked with Twin Cities National
Weather Service boss Dan Luna, who reminded me of "PECAN", the Plains Elevated Convection at Night project now underway. We have a reasonably good grasp of afternoon instability T-storms; how and why they form. But nighttime storms are more problematic, responding to different dynamics, like low level jet stream winds and boundaries leftover from daytime convection. Some of
Minnesota's heaviest (and most fickle) rains develop at night along warm fronts from May to July.
NAM guidance prints out an inch of rain from storms today but the ECMWF (European) model pushes the heaviest storms south, over Iowa. Comfortable 70s today give way to upper 80s Friday and low 90s Saturday, when a dew point in the 70s will push the heat index into the oh-zone.
Another bumper crop of sprouting thunderstorms late Saturday gives way to a puff of slight relief Sunday as humidity levels drop and skies clear.
Moderately warm weather lingers the next 2 weeks - no sign of any extended heatwaves. It'll be just warm enough.
Troubling Severe Weather Trends With The Grid. A 10-fold increase in incidents on the USA power grid triggered by extreme weather - according to the Energy Information Administration. Here's an excerpt from a summary at The U.S. Global Change Research Program: "The number of incidents caused by extreme weather has increased tenfold since 1992. The portion of all events that are caused by weather-related phenomena has more than tripled from about 20 percent in the early 1990s to about 65 percent in recent years. The weather-related events are more severe, with an average of about 180,000 customers affected per event compared to about 100,000 for non-weather-related events (and 50,000 excluding the massive blackout of August 2003). The data shown include disturbances that occurred on the nation’s large-scale “bulk” electric transmission systems. Most outages occur in local distribution networks and are not included in the graph. Although the figure does not demonstrate a cause-effect relationship between climate change and grid disruption, it does suggest that weather and climate extremes often have important effects on grid disruptions. We do know that more frequent weather and climate extremes are likely in the future, which poses unknown new risks for the electric grid." Image Reference above: EIA"
El Nino Doesn't Guarantee California Gets Drought-Relieving Rain. Bloomberg Business has the article; here's the introduction: "El Nino can mean devastation for some parts of the world. For California, this year, it means hope. The hope is the state will get drenched and a four-year drought will release its grip. After all, Texas and Oklahoma got soaked in May and June and their multiyear droughts just faded away. For that to happen in California would probably be a long shot. “They didn’t get into this drought in one year and it takes time,” said Brian Fuchs, a climatologist at the National Drought Mitigation Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. “Texas and Oklahoma being the exception, typically you come out of it just as slow as you went into it...”
Image credit: "
Image credit above: "Tesla broke ground on its Gigafactory in June 2014 outside Sparks, Nevada." Photo credit: Tesla Motors
TODAY: Unsettled, few T-storms around. Locally heavy rain. WInds: SE 10-15. High: 75
THURSDAY NIGHT: A few leftover storms. Low: 66
FRIDAY: Hazy sun, sticky again. Dew point: 70. High: 88
SATURDAY: Steamy, more T-storms. Dew point: 75. Wake-up: 73. High: 92
SUNDAY: Warm sun, less humid. Dew point: 64. Wake-up: 74. High: 87
MONDAY: Sunny start, late-day thunder? Wake-up: 68. High: 86
TUESDAY: Hint of dog days. Hazy sun. Wake-up: 67. High: 87
WEDNESDAY: Thunder-wear recommended. Again. Wake-up: 70. High: 88
Photo credit above: "Flames and smoke cover the hillsides near Yucca Valley in California during a June wildfire." (NPS/Brad Sutton).
States Cut Power Plant Emissions Ahead of New EPA Rule. There is an important decoupling going on. Translation: you can still have economic growth while reducing CO2 emission levels. Here's an excerpt from Climate Central: "...Coal-fired power plants are the largest source of the greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change, but their dominance has begun to wane as federal emissions standards have forced some coal plants to shut down and the U.S. shale gas boom has brought natural gas prices down. In April, natural gas, which releases roughly half the carbon dioxide as burning coal, surpassed coal as the dominant fuel for electric power generation in the U.S. for the first time in history. Nationwide, carbon dioxide emissions rates from electric power plants were 14 percent higher than 1990 levels, but declined 12 percent between 2008 and 2013. Among the nation’s largest utilities, coal accounts for nearly four-fifths of their carbon emissions. Natural gas accounts for just one-fifth, according to the report..." (Map: CERES).
Photo credit above: "Crevassed glacier terminus in West Greenland." Credit: Sam Doyle.
* University of St. Thomas professor and climate scientist John Abraham has additional perspective on what's happening in Greenland, courtesy of The Guardian.