July Warmth, But Minnesota Avoids the Worst Heat
"If you count all your assets, you always show a profit" wrote Robert Quillen. Yep. Some days I feel frustration and exhaustion, but most days the prevailing sentiment is gratitude. I feel very lucky to have been born in this country, by parents who instilled a sense of curiosity and purpose.
Whatever challenges you're facing I hope you find time to give thanks for the many blessings in your life.
Add weather to a long list of things to be grateful for. It was a minor meteorological miracle: 4 pretty nice days in a row! Whew.. Considering we could have been blasted by incandescent heat or hail the size of hens eggs, we dodged a bullet.
The next couple of days will be sticky, with highs near 90F and scattered T-storms. A cooler front arrives Friday - pop-up T-showers can't be ruled out for Saturday PM. It's early, but Sunday looks like the sunnier, drier day right now.
We may approach 90F a few days next week, but a series of Canadian "fresh-front" invasions take the edge off the heat looking out 2 weeks.
Most of America will bake, but not Minnesota. Grateful for that too.
- Much above-normal temperatures for parts of the western U.S. along with the northern and central Great Plains, Fri-Tue, Jul 7-11.
- Heavy rain for parts of the Northeast and central Appalachians, Fri, Jul 7.
- Heavy rain for parts of the Carolinas, Sat-Sun, Jul 8-9.
- Much above-normal temperatures for the upper Yukon Valley of Alaska, Fri-Sun, Jul 7-9.
- Flooding occurring or imminent across parts of Oklahoma and Missouri.
- High risk of much above-normal temperatures for portions of the northern Great Plains, Wed, Jul 12.
- Moderate risk of much above-normal temperatures for portions of the northern Rockies and northern to central Great Plains, Wed-Fri, Jul 12-Jul 14.
- Slight risk of much above-normal temperatures for portions of the western U.S., northern and central Great Plains, and upper Mississippi Valley, Wed-Tue, Jul 12-18.
- Severe Drought across the Southern Plains, California, Hawaii, the Northern Plains, and the Southwest..."
Implications of Dakota Drought - Wheat Crop Rated Worst in 29 Years. Grist has more details: "Farmers in the Upper Midwest got a big dose of bad news Thursday: The extent of the region’s ongoing “extreme” drought has more than tripled in the past week. Temperatures are expected to reach as high as 107 degrees next week in parts of the Dakotas, more than 20 degrees above normal. In large swaths of the Dakotas and eastern Montana, spring rains have been less than half of normal. On Monday, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum declared a statewide fire and drought emergency. In the longer term, the region’s wheat harvest is in serious jeopardy — and that may have global implications. This year’s American wheat crop is currently rated the worst in 29 years...."
Photo credit: United Nations Photo
Photo credit: "Rescuers row as they transfer residents with a boat at a flooded area in Guilin, Guangxi province, China on July 2." (Reuters).
Historical Odds of Actually Seeing the August 21 Eclipse? Here's an interesting explainer, focusing on cloud climatology and where you stand the best chance of good (clear) weather for the total solar eclipse, courtesy of NOAA: "...Historically speaking, cloudiness may factor into each location’s chance for a good viewing. NOAA’s NCEI and the Cooperative Institutes for Climate and Satellites–North Carolina (CICS-NC) reviewed past cloud conditions for August 21. We found that the coasts could be susceptible to cloudier conditions and that increased cloud cover may be possible as the eclipse travels across the country east of the Mississippi River. Although the picture doesn’t particularly bode well at the coasts of Oregon and South Carolina, the chance for clearer skies appears greatest across the Intermountain West. If historical conditions hold true, Rexburg, Idaho, a two-hour drive west of Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, has a good chance for clearer skies. Casper, Wyoming, also holds promise. Other historically clear locations include Lincoln, Nebraska, and Carbondale, Illinois..."
Map credit: "The darker the dot, the greater the chance for cloudiness at the hour of peak viewing during the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. Dots represent automated weather stations that reported the cloudiness data and show the 10-year cloudiness average for August 21, 2001–2010." Map developed by CICS-NC in cooperation with NOAA NCEI, Deborah Riddle.
Think You Know Lightning? Think Again. New varieties of lightning are still being discovered and researched, as described in an informative NOAA post: "...Large thunderstorms are capable of producing other kinds of electrical phenomena called transient luminous events (TLEs) that occur high in the atmosphere. They are rarely observed visually and not well understood. The most common TLEs include red sprites, blue jets, and elves.
Red Sprites can appear directly above an active thunderstorm as a large but weak flash. They usually happen at the same time as powerful positive CG lightning strokes. They can extend up to 60 miles from the cloud top. Sprites are mostly red and usually last no more than a few seconds, and their shapes are described as resembling jellyfish, carrots, or columns. Because sprites are not very bright, they can only be seen at night. They are rarely seen with the human eye, so they are most often imaged with highly sensitive cameras.
Blue jets emerge from the top of the thundercloud, but are not directly associated with cloud-to-ground lightning. They extend up in narrow cones fanning out and disappearing at heights of 25-35 miles. Blue jets last a fraction of a second and have been witnessed by pilots..."
Illustration credit: "An illustration of different kinds of transient luminous events (TLEs)."
The Science Behind the Colors. The image above lists the elements that go into various fireworks to get the desired color. I didn't know that...
File photo: Luis Sinco, Los Angeles Times.
Texas Is Too Windy and Sunny For Old Energy Companies To Make Money. A nice problem to have - for consumers. Here's a clip from Bloomberg: "...In the cut-throat Texas energy market, the construction of these coastal wind turbines—some 900 in all—has had a profound impact. It’s been terrific for consumers, helping further drive down electricity bills, but horrible for natural gas-fired generators. They had ramped up capacity in recent years anticipating that midday price surge would mostly be theirs, not something to share with renewable energy companies. Without that steady cash influx, the business model doesn’t really work, the profits aren’t there and companies including Calpine Corp., NRG Energy Inc. and Exelon Corp. are now either postponing new gas-fired plants or ditching them all together. Wind power “is a disruptive technology and it’s increasing,” said Paul Patterson, a utility analyst at Glenrock Associates LLC in New York. “That’s a problem for other resources that are competing in that market...”
Photo credit: "Wind turbines at Avangrid Renewables’ Baffin Wind Power Project." Photographer: Eddie Seal/Bloomberg.
Mower County Ranks First in Wind Tax Revenue. All that wind power is helping to balance budgets, according to Post Bulletin: "Mower County continues to outpace state competitors in wind energy generation. Mower County ranked first in state wind energy production tax revenue in 2016. During a press conference Friday, wind industry representatives presented a $2,373,932 check to county officials for the generated tax revenue. The money will go toward funding local roads and bridges and keeping taxes down for residents. Energy representatives and state officials attended the conference, touting the benefits wind energy brings to the state's economy. The payment to Mower County was the largest to any county in Minnesota, and was a 26.5 percent increase from last year's payment..."
Photo credit: "Mower County ranked first in state wind energy production tax revenue in 2016. Wind industry representatives on Friday presented a $2,373,932 check to county officials." Ken Klotzbach, Post Bulletin.
Photo credit: "
Photo credit: "Will machines take over jobs? We've been wondering for hundreds of years."(REUTERS/Francois Lenoir).
Illustration credit: "George Wilson, shown walking on a road lined with people, 1815." Wellcome Images, London/CC BY 4.0
TODAY: Sticky sun, stray T-storm possible. Winds: SW 7-12. High: 88
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy, mild and muggy. Low: 70
THURSDAY: Hot and steamy. Strong PM T-storms. Winds: SW 8-13. High: near 90
FRIDAY: Fresh air! Sunny and much more comfortable. Winds: N 8-13. Wake-up: 64. High: near 80
SATURDAY: Sun much of the day. Late shower? Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 59. High: 81
SUNDAY: Sunny and drier. Low humidity. Winds: NE 7-12. Wake-up: 61. High: 82
MONDAY: Warm sunshine, quite pleasant. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 63. High: 84
TUESDAY: Sticky sun, few T-storms in the area. Winds: S 8-13. Wake-up: 65. High: 85
A map published in the New York Times shows the potential losses from 2080 to 2099, which would range between 10 to 15 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, to South Florida.
For every 1 degree Fahrenheit rise in global temperature, researchers predict the U.S. will lose 0.7 percent of GDP – with global warming hitting southeastern and midwestern states harder than northeastern and western states.