Saturday, July 2, 2016

Award-Winning Weather into Independence Day - No Carbon Tax in Clinton's Climate Change Action Plann

79 F. high in the Twin Cities Saturday.
83 F. average high on July 2.
77 F. high on July 2, 2015.

July 3, 1947: Tornadoes hit Marshall and Polk Counties.

Cabin Aerobics: "Some Maintenance Required"

"I'm not complaining, just explaining" I tell my wife, who just shrugs and shakes her head. When you buy a house or cabin nobody tells you about the ongoing maintenance that will be required. Stuff breaks, and it's almost a full-time job keeping everything working.

What's your M2E ratio? Maintenance to enjoyment. 5 to 1. 10 to 1? The thing is, keeping the cabin and various toys functioning is a sloppy form of exercise. In my mind I'm in much better shape when I'm up north, shutting off the digital distractions, putting my brain in neutral, fixing stuff.

Extraordinary weather lingers over Minnesota into the 4th of July with a light southeast breeze, comfortable dew points in the 50s and enough warm sun to go jump in a lake. Severe storms push across Iowa today; a few T-storms flare up over the Red River Valley Monday, but most Minnesota towns and lakes stay dry until Tuesday, when a line of strong to severe storms may bubble up. We may hit 90F later this week with a heat index in the oh-zone, but no lengthy heatwaves are brewing into late July.

Yes, we are lucking out this year.

Gradual Warming Trend. We should hit 80F today, with low to mid-80s on the 4th of July. You'll start to feel a rising dew point tomorrow, but the most uncomfortable days of the week are Tuesday and Wednesday, with a late-week cooling trend, according to ECMWF guidance. Source: WeatherBell.

Thunder Risk Red River Valley. 4 KM NAM Future Radar guidance from NOAA shows a few bands of heavy thunderstorms rumbling across the Red River Valley into far northern Minnesota counties, but most Minnesota and Wisconsin lakes should remain dry into Monday night. 60-hour loop: AerisWeather.

Rainfall By 1 AM Tuesday. NAM guidance prints  out some 1-2"+ amounts from near Grand Forks into the BWCA, but most areas remain (miraculously) dry into Monday night. We lucked out this year. 60-hour accumulated rainfall: NOAA and AerisWeather.

Reeking, Oozing Algae Closes South Florida Beaches. What a mess. Here's an excerpt from The New York Times: "...At play are many of the forces that define modern Florida: competing environmental, residential and agricultural interests, a failure by state officials to invest in managing the demands of growth, finger pointing between state and federal officials. The result has been an environmental nightmare playing out here, about 35 miles from the source of the problem in Lake Okeechobee. There, an aging dike system forces the Army Corps of Engineers to release controlled discharges through channel locks east and west from the lake to protect nearby towns from flooding. However, those discharges, which carry pollutants from agricultural lands that flow into the lake from the north, pour into rivers and lagoons downstream, which eventually dump into the ocean..."

Photo credit: "A green and blue algae bloom has overtaken a small neighborhood marina and other parts of the St. Lucie River in Stuart, Fla." Credit Greg Lovett/Palm Beach Post, via Associated Press.

This Disgusting, "Guacamole-Thick" Goop is Invading Florida's Coastline. More perspective at The Washington Post: "The green, putrid sludge coating south Florida’s usually scenic coastline and waterways looks a lot like what happens to leftovers abandoned in an unreachable corner of the refrigerator. In some places, the water seems to be growing thick, furry mold. The goop has been likened to the texture of chunky guacamole and compared to a festering, infected sore. And for those who watch “Game of Thrones,” the almost neon-green spillage seeping into the ocean could be best equated to a vat of wildfire. Aerial footage makes the smelly, pungent invasion look like a growing oil spill, but it’s not; it’s just algae, and lots of it..."

Photo credit: "Florida's waters are choking from algae, and the source of the growth is believed to be from polluted Lake Okeechobee. Residents say it smells like "a hundred dead animals" and some have complained of health problems." (Reuters)

What Are The Statistical Probabilities of Rain on the 4th of July? Across much of Minnesota it's 22-25% or roughly 1 in 4 are wet. Here's an explainer from NOAA: "NOAA’s National Weather Service is already issuing real forecasts for Independence Day (find your local forecast), but here’s a historical look at the probability that your Fourth of July picnic will be rained on, based on observations from 1981-2010. Double click on the map (or use controls at upper left) to zoom in. SIngle click on a dot to see the chances for rain based on a location's climate history. More explanation and static maps for download are available in this week's Beyond the Data blog post. Interactive by NOAA, based on U.S. Climate Normals data from Deke Arndt, National Centers for Environmental Informaiton."

Glory Index: Nice June, But Not as Remarkable as June 2015. Thanks to Kenny Blumenfeld at the Minnesota DNR for passing this nugget along: "The results are in, and June 2016, though occasionally quite lovely, was no June 2015. The month ended with 665.7 points on the Summer Glory Index (SGI), making it the 24th nicest June out of 114 on record. This otherwise respectable score is of course nowhere near the record-topping 905.5 points earned by June 2015. So, what was the difference between June 2015 and June 2016? Basically, it all comes down to a handful of less-than-ideal days that last June avoided but that this June fully embraced..."

Graphic credit: MNDNR, State Climatology Office.

Another Warmer Than Average Month in June. So reports Mark Seeley, in this week's installment of Minnesota WeatherTalk: "For most of Minnesota June was warm, with an average monthly temperature that ranged from 1 to 3°F greater than normal. A few areas of northern Minnesota reported slightly cooler than normal mean June temperature values. Extreme temperatures ranged from 100 degrees F at Madison (Lac Qui Parle County) on the 12th to just 28 degrees F at Embarrass (St Louis County) on the 8th. A few days with dew points in the 70s F pushed the Heat Index above 100 degrees F at several locations and caused the National Weather Service to issue several Heat Advisories..."

Claim That Jet Stream Crossing Equator is "Climate Emergency" is Utter Nonsense. Jason Samenow has the scientific take-down at Capital Weather Gang: "Two bloggers have made a stunning claim that has spread like wildfire on the Internet: They say the Northern Hemisphere jet stream, the high-altitude river of winds that separates cold air from warm air, has done something new and outrageous. They say it has crossed the equator, joining the jet stream in the Southern Hemisphere. One said this signifies that the jet stream is ‘wrecked‘, the other said it means we have a “global climate emergency.” But these shrill claims have no validity — air flow between the hemispheres occurs routinely. The claims are unsupported and unscientific, and they demonstrate the danger of wild assertions made by non-experts reaching and misleading the masses..."

Image credit: "High-altitude winds as analyzed by GFS model on June 30." (, adapted by CWG)

The Antarctic Ozone Hole Has Finally Started to "Heal", Scientists Report. Chris Mooney has details at The Washington Post; here's the intro: "In a major new paper in the influential journal Science, a team of researchers report strikingly good news about a thirty year old environmental problem. The Antarctic ozone “hole” — which, when it was first identified in the mid-1980s, focused public attention like few other pieces of environmental news — has begun, in their words, to finally “heal.” “If you use the medical analogy, first the patient was getting worse and worse, and then the patient is stabilized, and now, the really encouraging thing, is that the patient is really starting to get better,” said MIT atmospheric scientist Susan Solomon, lead author of the study, and former co-chair of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change..."

Image credit: "This false-color image shows ozone concentrations above Antarctica on Oct. 2, 2015." (Credits: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center).

A Fatality Forces Tesla To Confront Its Limits. Here's an excerpt from a New York Times story: "...The question now is how much longer Mr. Musk and Tesla can continue to defy auto industry convention in trying to stay so far ahead of the competition. A major point of contention is the Autopilot feature and the decision to make it available to car owners while it was in “beta test” mode — a term typically applied to software that a company releases on an experimental basis..."

It's a Boy Thing. Couples that have boys are more likely to stay together? I'd like to see the data please. Here's an excerpt from The Economist: "...People will also reveal to pollsters preferences they might keep from their families. In every Gallup poll since the 1940s, when asked which sex they would prefer if they could have only one child, Americans have consistently pulled for boys. Results from the most recent poll, in 2011, were startlingly similar to those from the first: Americans said they favour boys over girls by a margin of 12 percentage points. This preference is driven mainly by men; women are largely agnostic. “Most people will say in public that they are happy to have a boy or a girl, they just want a healthy child,” says Vienna Pharaon, a marriage and family therapist in Manhattan. “But in the therapy room, where people are more comfortable feeling vulnerable, there’s an overwhelming sense that men really do want to have a boy...”

Father Recreates His Kids' Selfies In The Most Ridiculous Dad Way. I don't know why but this made me laugh. I thought this was a creative form of fatherly intervention. Here's an explanation at Boing Boing: "So my daughter has been posting sexy selfies of herself and instead of telling her to stop, well, I thought of something better,” a dad from Washington state wrote on Instagram. Cassie Martin’s dad Burr re-created one of Cassie's photos, presented the images side by side, and posted the double image on Instagram. A meme was born..."

TODAY: Plenty of sunshine, lukewarm. Winds: SE 5-10. High: 80:

TONIGHT: Clear to partly cloudy. Low: 62

4TH OF JULY: Warm sun, a bit stickier - but dry. Winds: SE 8-13. High: 83

TUESDAY: Steamy, risk of strong/severe storms. Winds: S 8-13. Wake-up: 67. High: 88

WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny, still sticky. Winds: SE 5-10. Wake-up: 70. High: 89

THURSDAY: Showers, possible T-storms. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 69. High: 85

FRIDAY: Partly sunny, turning less humid. Winds: N 5-10. Wake-up: 64. High: 83

SATURDAY: Lot's of sun. Nicer day of the weekend. Winds: E 5-10. Wake-up: 63. High: 82

Climate Stories...

Hillary Clinton's Ambitious Climate Change Plan Avoids Carbon Tax. Here's the intro of a story at The New York Times: " Hillary Clinton, courting young voters and the broader Democratic base, has promised to one-up President Obama on climate change, vowing to produce a third of the nation’s electricity from renewable sources by 2027, three years faster than Mr. Obama, while spending billions of dollars to transform the energy economy. A half-billion solar panels will be installed by 2020, she has promised, seven times the number today, and $60 billion will go to states and cities to develop more climate-friendly infrastructure, such as public transportation and energy-efficient buildings. She would put the United States on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050. And, she says, she could achieve all that without new legislation from Congress..."

Image credit: "Hillary Clinton has promised to have a half-billion solar panels installed by 2020." Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times.

Exxon Mobil Backs Carbon Tax For Climate Change. Here's an excerpt from "...The Wall Street Journal reports that ExxonMobil has quietly been lobbying members of the U.S. Congress to implement a carbon tax, essentially viewing it as one of the least bad options to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The thinking inside the oil supermajor is that it can no longer be seen as opposed to all climate action. Complete intransigence could risk less desirable outcomes for the oil industry, such as more restrictive regulations on oil and gas production. A carbon tax is a more efficient way to deal with greenhouse gas emissions, both Exxon and independent economists argue. “Of the policy options being considered by governments, we believe a revenue-neutral carbon tax is the best,” Suzanne McCarron, Exxon’s vice president of public and government affairs, wrote in the Dallas Morning News in May..."

Did Exxon Lie About Global Warming? Here's a clip from a Rolling Stone article: "..."Just saying 'turn the taps off' is not acceptable to humanity." In other words, the world will not actually meet the Paris goals. So Exxon will be fine. The auditorium, packed mostly with corporate die-hards, erupts in applause, but the case against Exxon may turn on moments like this. Schneiderman does not have to show that the company injured a specific victim or conspired to hide what it knew about climate science from the public – just that it did not tell its own investors the truth about the risks climate change poses to its bottom line..."

Exxon Is Fighting for It's Right to Deny Climage Change. You can deny whatever you want - believe whatever you want, but when if you (knowingly) defraud investors your First Ammendment rights won't protect you. Here's an excerpt at WIRED: "...Robert Post, the dean of Yale Law School, argues that it is “irresponsible to invoke the First Amendment” to defend Exxon. “There are circumstances when scientific theories must remain open and subject to challenge, and there are circumstances when the government must act to protect the integrity of the market, even if it requires determining the truth or falsity of those theories,” wrote Post in a Washington Post op-ed last week. “Public debate must be protected, but fraud must also be suppressed...” (Photo credit: Mike Blake/Reuters).

Sea Level Rise Could Wash Away Our Natural and Cultural History. Climate Central takes a look at what's at stake over the long haul; here's an excerpt: "...Viewed separately, the Statue of Liberty and Gateway parks have little in common aside from a shared city. But they’re inextricably linked, being forced to deal with the impacts of climate change and sea level rise. Together, they’re growing threats that endanger the culture and history these parks were created to protect, not to mention billions of dollars in assets and the quality of life for millions. How the National Park Service prepares for and deals with those threats is a step into an uncertain future, one that could reshape the landscape for parks and communities along the coast and across the country..."

Wildfires Engulfing the West Coast are Fueled by Climate Change, Experts Warn. Here's a clip from a story at The Guardian: "...Wildfire experts said there are numerous indicators that warming temperatures have contributed to the fires by drying out vegetation and soils and causing an earlier spring melt of snow. Trees are also less resilient to fire due to infestations of beetles, which thrive in warmer weather. Over the past 30 years there has been a fourfold increase in the number of large forest fires in the American west, while the fire season has grown by 84 days to 220 days in this time. The amount of area burned has ballooned by 1,200%, with areas such as the northern Rockies and the north-west particularly badly hit..."

Image credit: "The amount of area burned has ballooned by 1,200%, with areas such as the northern Rockies and the north-west particularly badly hit." Photograph: Ryan Babroff/AP.

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