84 F. average high on July 18.
88 F. high on July 18, 2016.
July 19, 1987: The town of Floodwood lives up to its name with nearly 6 inches of rain in two days.
A Noisy Sauna Here in the Jungles of Minnesota
“What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance” wrote Jane Austen. That's putting it mildly.
I should be serving towels with this sauna-friendly forecast. Temperatures aren't close to record highs, but it's the amount of water in the air that has us all hot and bothered.
Which gets into the argument of "relative humidity vs. dew point." Relative humidity is, as the term implies, relative (to the temperature). A RH of 90% on a day when it's 65F doesn't feel so bad, but a 40% RH on a day when it's 95F is intolerable.
On the other hand dew point is an ABSOLUTE measure of how much water is in the air. A 60F dew point is humid, 70F is tropical, 80F is unbearable & dangerous.
Models bring more gangs of noisy T-storms into town tonight; another inch or two of rain is possible. A wave of T-storms ripple along a stalled frontal boundary again Friday, but models still bring a welcome push of cooler, drier, cleaner Canadian air into Minnesota this weekend. By Sunday we'll all be breathing easier!
While much of the east coast fries above 100F. Better them than us.
Forecast for Heat
Witnesses Recount Horrific Flash Flood That Killed 5 Kids, 4 Adults in Arizona. It's easy (now) to look back with 20-20 hindsight and remind readers that the NWS issued warnings in advance. But the reality is, especially when people are swimming, they don't have access to apps on their smart phones or their AM/FM radios in their vehicles. It's a real problem. When you're swimming in a stream or river during the summer months situational awareness is critical, keeping an eye on what's happening with the weather upstream. My only advice: check radar on your phone before you take that dip in your favorite creek. CBS News reports: "...The National Weather Service estimated up to 1.5 inches of rain fell over the area in an hour. The thunderstorm hit about 8 miles upstream along Ellison Creek, which quickly flooded the narrow canyon where the swimmers were. Hornung noted that the National Weather Service had issued a flash flood warning about 1 1/2 hours before, "but unless they had a weather radio out there, they wouldn't have known about it. There is no cell phone service out here." The swift waters gushed for about 10 minutes before receding in the narrow canyon, Hornung said. "One witness said all they heard was this tremendous roar," Water Wheel Fire and Medical District Fire Chief Ron Sattelmaier told CBS News correspondent Mireya Villarreal..."
File photo credit: " " Leslie Jones/AP Photo.
Extreme Weather Forecasting: Looking Years, Even Decades Into The Future, Could Soon Be a Thing. My strong advice: don't hold your breath. But in the spirit of full disclosure and getting our hopes up, here's an excerpt of a story at news.com.au: "...Dr May’s team are now researching if the ensemble method can be used to predict weather events far into the future. By entering in variables, such as possible climate change scenarios, they can test different outcomes. “We’re making use of big data, four petabytes that’s as much as eight million laptops and we need the equivalent of 20,000 laptops joined up to generate that data,” he said. It could lead farmers to move livestock around that might be at risk, for emergency services to bolster civilian cyclone defenses or prepare for bushfires..."
Experts Uncover the Origins of 10 Common Weather Terms. AccuWeather has an interesting post, including an explainer on how tornadoes got their name: "...Navigators exploring the tropics during the 16th century likely derived tornado from the Spanish word “tronar,” or, “to thunder,” according to linguist, teacher and author Janina Klimas. “There’s [also] a word that’s derived from that called ‘tronada,’ which is a thunderstorm,” said Klimas. “It seems that the ‘r’ and the ‘o’ got mixed up, and that’s where you get ‘tornado.’” Harper added that tornado also stems from both “tornar,” which means “to turn” in Spanish, and the Latin word “tornāre.” “At first, it was a very general word for a violent, windy thunderstorm in the tropics that gradually got the sense of turning into it, and it became our word for the funnel cloud storm,” he said..."
Tornado simulation: NCAR.
- Includes the latest available imagery (GOES-16)
- Select products to display by category, name, and time
- Pan and zoom map interface dynamically
- Display current location on map
- Adjust transparency and composite multiple layers
- Animate by relative or absolute time steps
- Save custom favorites..."
Photo credit: "Lightning strikes inn Socorro County." Colleen Gino for El Defensor Chieftain.
Photo credit: " " Photo: brian snyder/Reuters.
TODAY: Murky sun, seasonably warm and sticky. Severe risk by evening. Winds: SE 7-12. High: 85
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: T-storms likely, some severe with locally heavy rain. Low: 71
THURSDAY: Becoming sunny and plenty hot. Winds: E 3-8. High: near 90
FRIDAY: More showers and heavy T-storms likely. Winds: SE 5-10. Wake-up: 72. High: 85
SATURDAY: Damp start, then partial clearing. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 71. High: 87
SUNDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, low humidity! Winds: N/NE 7-12. Wake-up: 68. High: 81
MONDAY: Plenty of sun, still comfortable. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 59. High: near 80
TUESDAY: Hazy sun, few T-storms north. Winds: SE 8-13. Wake-up: 61. High: 83
Photo credit: "
In a study published on July 17 in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers at Princeton University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory used satellite data from 2003-2015 to resolve some of the lingering uncertainty on prior dust activity models. Their research projects that “climate change will increase dust activity in the southern Great Plains from spring to fall in the late half of the twenty-first century – largely due to reduced precipitation, enhanced land surface bareness, and increased surface wind speed.” In other words, deforestation and the mega-droughts which are increasingly becoming a feature of our changing climate are likely to create conditions ideal for the return of massive dust storms..."
File photo: "A dust storm in April 1935 about to give Stratford, Texas a very bad day." Photo Courtesy NOAA
Great Plains to See More Dust Storms in Second Half of the 21st Century. UPI has more perspective on the study referenced above: "Climate change will bring more dust storms to the Great Plains in the latter half of the 21st century, according to the latest prediction models. According to new models developed by climate scientists at Princeton University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, already dry and dusty regions, like southwestern deserts and the central plains, will become drier and dustier in the second half of the 21st century. The increase in dry, dusty conditions in the southern parts of the Great Plains is expected to encourage an increase in the prevalence of dust storms. Global warming is expected to bring warmer temperatures to most of the globe, but the impacts of rising greenhouse gas concentrations on precipitation is more nuanced and geographically dependent. Some places are likely to experience more rain, while other places will get drier..."
File image: PBS.
Photo credit: "A display installed along the shore of Richardson Bay in Mill Valley shows sea level projections." (Alan Dep/Marin Independent Journal).
Photo credit: Associated Press.
Curbelo's Gang of Moderate Republicans Defeats Anti-Climate Change Legislation. Grandpa, what's a moderate Republican? Good for Rep. Curbelo - gives me renewed hope for a sane, science-centric future. Here's a clip from Miami Herald: "Carlos Curbelo touts himself as a rare Republican in Washington willing to criticize Donald Trump and conservative members of his own party. And after months of talk and lots of tweeting, Curbelo’s effort to build a bloc of moderate Republicans capable of swaying anti-climate-change legislation appears to have paid off. Curbelo’s Climate Solutions Caucus, a group of 24 Republicans and 24 Democrats who are concerned about the impacts of climate change, voted en masse on Thursday against a proposal to nix a Defense Department report on the threats posed by climate change to military installations. “A bipartisan majority of Members are on the record saying climate change and sea level rise must be taken into account when planning for our national defense,” Curbelo said in a statement. “With military bases like Naval Air Station Key West extremely vulnerable to sea level rise, this vote was a huge win for our coastal military communities..."
Graphic credit: "Weather stations in the U.S. that are having a warmer than normal, colder than normal and record hot year."
The Uninhabitable Earth. This story at New York Magazine set off a furor, even among many notable climate scientists who warned against presenting an overly bleak (worst-case) scenario for fear that readers will shut down. There will be disruptions and tipping points that nobody saw coming. Here's an excerpt: "...Until recently, permafrost was not a major concern of climate scientists, because, as the name suggests, it was soil that stayed permanently frozen. But Arctic permafrost contains 1.8 trillion tons of carbon, more than twice as much as is currently suspended in the Earth’s atmosphere. When it thaws and is released, that carbon may evaporate as methane, which is 34 times as powerful a greenhouse-gas warming blanket as carbon dioxide when judged on the timescale of a century; when judged on the timescale of two decades, it is 86 times as powerful. In other words, we have, trapped in Arctic permafrost, twice as much carbon as is currently wrecking the atmosphere of the planet, all of it scheduled to be released at a date that keeps getting moved up, partially in the form of a gas that multiplies its warming power 86 times over..."
File image: NASA.
Boreal forest file photo: NASA.
Image credit: "Aerial view of sea side Miami." Photograph by George Steinmetz, National Geographic Creative.