Monday, July 25, 2016

Near 90F Today - More 90s Next Week. Did Earth Just Set a New High Temperature Record?

87 F. high in the Twin Cities Monday.
83 F. average high on July 25.
86 F. high on July 25, 2015.

July 26, 1981: A chilly morning occurs across the Northland, with 33 degrees at Roseau and Wannaska.

Another Streak of 90s Brewing On The Horizon

"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it" wrote Russel Baker. Between the urban heat island, "corn sweat" and a dew point pushing 80 degrees, last week's heat index of 112F in the metro was an acquired taste. And there's growing agreement among weather models that a second wave of gasp-worthy heat is shaping up for early August.

A steep lapse rate (temperatures cooling more rapidly with altitude) sparks a few spotty showers and T-showers Tuesday night into Friday. Probably no sustained tropical soakers, and temperatures this week trend closer to average for late July.

Warm sunshine returns for the weekend and by early next week neighbors may be griping about the heat once more, with highs near 90F and dew points in the 70s. Some of the models build another heat dome, a bubble of hot high pressure, directly above the Midwest by the second week of August, potentially capable of a second round of sustained heat & humidity.

MSP has enjoyed 10 days of 90- plus heat in 2016. Average is 13 for the year. At the rate we're going I could see a total of 15-20.

Warm Tuesday, Cooler Late Week - Heating Up Next Week. After flirting with 90F today temperatures cool off into the low 80s by the end of the week, before heating up again early next week. A few models hint at a heat index over 100F by Monday of next week. Graphic: NOAA and Aeris Enterprise.

ECMWF Data. Here's the 12z Monday forecast from the European model, confirming a cool-down the latter half of this week; moderating temperatures next week (although not as hot as some of NOAA's models) Source: WeatherBell.

Another Wave of Persistent Heat? I want to see a few more model runs but NOAA's GFS ensembles and NDFD data show air temperatures close to 100F one week from today. A real summer this year? Imagine that.

Heat Dome, The Sequel. Looking 2 weeks over the horizon GFS guidance predicts another heat-pump high pressure bubble stretching from the Midwest to the Carolinas by the second week of August, hinting at another streak of 90s, even a stretch of 100-degree heat for the Ohio Valley.

2 Middle East Locations Hit 129 Degrees, Hottest Ever in Eastern Hemisphere, Maybe the World. Jason Samenow reports at Capital Weather Gang: "The temperature in Mitribah, Kuwait, surged Thursday to a blistering 129.2 degrees (54 Celsius). And on Friday in Basra, Iraq, the mercury soared to 129.0 degrees (53.9 Celsius). If confirmed, these incredible measurements would represent the two hottest temperatures ever recorded in the Eastern Hemisphere, according to Weather Underground meteorologist Jeff Masters and weather historian Christopher Burt, who broke the news. It’s also possible that Mitribah’s 129.2-degree reading matches the hottest ever reliably measured anywhere in the world. Both Mitribah and Basra’s readings are likely the highest ever recorded outside of Death Valley, Calif..."

Map credit: "Temperatures simulated by the GFS model in the Middle East on Friday reached 129 degrees (54 Celsius)." (

Your Air Conditioner is Making the Heat Wave Worse. Here's an excerpt from a Washington Post explainer: "...Between 1993 and 2005, when the increase in house size was reaching its zenith, total consumption of electricity for residential air conditioning nearly doubled, from 134 billion kilowatt-hours to 261 billion, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration surveys. The Energy Department says air conditioners use about 5 percent of all the electricity produced in the country each year, costing homeowners more than $11 billion. It’s not too late to reduce our dependence on air conditioning, especially in rural areas, small towns and leafy suburbs. Even in big cities, homeowners can plant shade trees and other vegetation, install whole-house fans, sleep in the basement..."

Despite Roadblocks for Tesla, Elon Musk Is Moving Full Speed Ahead. Here's a clip from a New York Times article: "...Jeff Nesbit, former head of legislative and public affairs at the National Science Foundation under Presidents Obama and George W. Bush, said Tesla’s value could also be measured by the pressure it places on other car companies to match it. “He’s driving everybody else,” Mr. Nesbit said. “That’s the power Musk has.” Utilities, whatever their resentments, are paying attention, too. “Elon is truly the archetype of the disruptive entrepreneur,” said Andrew Beebe, a former electric industry executive who is now a venture capital investor. “Utilities and utility executives, because of the success on the vehicle side, are absolutely taking note...”

Photo credit: "The site of the Tesla Gigafactory, which the company says will eventually put out more lithium-ion batteries each year than were produced globally in all of 2013." Credit Jason Henry for The New York Times.

The End of Advertising, As We Know It. The disruption continues - here's an excerpt of a fascinating article at MediaPost: "Eighty-eight percent of Fortune 500 companies that were around in 1955 no longer exist today. Industries get disrupted. How’s that working out for advertising? Until relatively recently, the ad industry has been dominated by the same media that dominated it in 1955: print, radio and TV. Only TV still dominates today, but its grip on media buyers is slipping. It’s hanging on by its fingernails. That’s about to change. Cataclysmic forces are shifting corporate culture and disrupting pent-up organizational malaise..."

VHS is Dead, But At Least It Outlived Betamax Tapes by 9 Months. Here's a snippet from The Guardian: "The 40-year-war between Betamax and VHS is finally over, but while victorious 28 years ago, the VHS video cassette recorders only managed to outlive its rival’s tapes by 9 months. The last VHS VCR will roll off the production line at the end of this month. It’s the end of the home analogue magnetic video tape era. Japan’s Funai Electric, the last remaining VCR manufacturer after Panasonic pulled out several years ago, has ceased production citing a sharp decline in sales and trouble sourcing parts..."

Photo credit: "The humble VHS VCR is finally dead, outliving its arch-rival Betamax’s tapes by 9 months." Photograph: Dan Chung for the Guardian.

TODAY: Partly sunny, sticky. Winds: SW 8-13. High: 87

TUESDAY NIGHT: Humid, risk of a T-storm. Low: 70

WEDNESDAY: Unsettled, a few T-showers nearby. Winds: SW 5-10. High: 83

THURSDAY: A few more showers may sprout. Winds: NE 5-10. Wake-up: 68. High: 80

FRIDAY: Stray shower, cooler breeze kicks in. Winds: NE 10-15. Wake-up: 66. High: 79

SATURDAY: Intervals of sun, T-storm up north. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 63. High: 83

SUNDAY: More sun, warming up again. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 65. High: 86

MONDAY: Hot sun, feels like upper 90s. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 69. High: near 90

Climate Stories...
“A man may imagine things that are false, but he can only understand things that are true.”—Isaac Newton

Sizzling Midwest Feels a Preview of a Hotter Future Climate. InsideClimate News offers up some perspective: "Extreme heat waves like the current string of scorching days in the Midwest have become more frequent worldwide in the last 60 years, and climate scientists expect that human-caused global warming will exacerbate the dangerous trend in coming decades. It comes with potentially life-threatening consequences for millions of people. Research has shown that overall mortality increases by 4 percent during heat waves compared to normal days in the U.S. A study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives in 2011 suggested that rising summer temperatures could kill up to 2,200 more people per year in Chicago alone during the last two decades of the 21st century..."

Map credit: "This June was the hottest ever, and July has brought even more heat, particularly in the Midwest." Credit: NOAA.

Earth on Track for Hottest Year Ever as Warming Speeds Up. Reuters reports: "The earth is on track for its hottest year on record and warming at a faster rate than expected, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Thursday. Temperatures recorded mainly in the northern hemisphere in the first six months of the year, coupled with an early and fast Arctic sea ice melt and "new highs" in heat-trapping carbon dioxide levels, point to quickening climate change, it said. June marked the 14th straight month of record heat, the United Nations agency said..."

Photo credit: "A man walks through a dried-up Sarkhej lake on a hot summer day in Ahmedabad, India, April 21, 2016." Reuters/Amit Dave/File Photo.

Life On The Front Line of Climate Change. Here's an excerpt from Horizon Magazine: "...Observations show that the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of world; an alarming trend given its understood role as the world’s barometer of environmental health. Its summer sea ice cover has decreased by about 50 % since the late 1970s, a loss larger than the landmass of India. With sea ice loss outstripping modelled predictions and complete summer loss being a realistic possibility within decades, ICE-ARC is also working to better understand the local and global economic impact of this. The researchers are using their understanding of community vulnerabilities and resilience, along with data collected from sources including autonomous robot platforms, data-sampling buoys and submersibles, to predict what physical and living marine resource changes can be expected — and how fast..."

Photo credit: "Measurement tools on dog sleds will tell researchers and the local Inuit population the ice thickness in northwest Greenland." Image courtesy of ICE-ARC.

Crisis on High. Over a billion people rely on water melting from the Himalayas, a water source under increasing distress, according to the ABC Network in Australia: "Deep in the Himalayas sits a remote research station that is tracking an alarming trend in climate change, with implications that could disrupt the lives of more than 1 billion people and pitch the most populated region of the world into chaos. The station lies in the heart of a region called the Third Pole, an area that contains the largest area of frozen water outside of the North Pole and South Pole. Despite its relative anonymity, the Third Pole is vitally important; it is the source of Asia's 10 largest rivers including the Yellow, the Yangzi, the Mekong, the Irrawaddy and the Ganges — and their fertile deltas..." (Photo credit: Wayne McAllister).

How Big Oil Taught Big Tobacco to Bend Science. Vice News reports: "Over the past year, revelations about what the giants of the US petroleum industry knew decades ago about climate change have had a familiar ring to them. Several observers picked up an echo of the same pattern that forced the American tobacco industry into a multi-billion-dollar court settlement in the 1990s: trying to cast doubt on the risks of the product, and denying publicly the hazards their own scientists told companies about privately. Turns out there may be a reason for that..."

Photo credit: "A file photo dated 19 June 2010 showing oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill being corralled and burned on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana." Photo by Bevil Knapp/EPA.

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