84 F. average high on July 17.
84 F. high on July 17, 2016.
July 18, 2000: Fall apparel makes an early debut with a 60 degree high temperature at the Twin Cities, 54 at Brainerd and 52 at Cambridge.
July 18, 1970: A tornado slices right through the center of Miltona.
July 18, 1867: The greatest 'unofficial' rainstorm in Minnesota history is reported. 36 inches of rain is recorded in 36 hours near Sauk Center. Disastrous flooding occurs in central Minnesota. The Pomme De Terre river becomes impassable; a courier attempted to cross on horseback and drowned. Flooding also occurs on the Mississippi, with millions of logs lost on the river.
A Place That Makes Minnesota Seem Pleasantly Mild
I just got back from my first glimpse of Alaska. It was relentless - overwhelming; everywhere I turned there was another Eureka Moment.
In addition to seeing Denali through a pall of smoke from distant wildfires, we spent some time in Fairbanks, the coldest city in the USA. You can plug in your vehicle, which makes sense considering the mercury dips below -40F at least 11-12 nights a year.
Kids have outdoor recess until the air temperature goes below -20F. Now that's hardy, and it almost makes Minnesota look like Club Med. Almost.
Today is the wettest day in sight; over 1 inch of rain from heavy thunderstorms sloshing across the state. Minnesota teeter-totters on the northern edge of a sprawling heat bubble, meaning uncomfortable humidity levels and sporadic T-storms into Saturday.
Right now Sunday looks like the sunnier, drier, more comfortable day of the weekend as Canadian air splashes south, cooling us off before the next inevitable heat spike later next week.
We shouldn't be surprised. On average the hottest weather of the year arrives roughly 3-4 weeks after the Summer Solstice. No kidding.
* The photo of a grizzly bear was taken on the Alaskan Highway about an hour out of Whitehorse, Yukon Territories. I was behind glass, so the bear couldn't hear me screaming hysterically. The black wolf shot was taken in Denali National Park, roughly the size of Massachusetts. Staggeringly beautiful. I panned for gold in Fairbanks ($74 in gold flakes!) and witnessed one of 26 amazing glaciers in Prince William Sound. If you haven't been to Alaska you owe it to yourself to see what is truly America's Final Frontier. There are no words...
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..."
Graphic credit: "Weather stations in the U.S. that are having a warmer than normal, colder than normal and record hot year."
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: " " Photo: brian snyder/Reuters.
TODAY: Steamy with heavy T-storms likely. Localized flooding risk. Winds; SW 8-13. High: 85
TUESDAY NIGHT: Muggy with more T-storms around. Low: 68
WEDNESDAY: More sun, drier. Storms return late in the day/night. Winds: SE 7-12. High: 87
THURSDAY: Damp start, then sticky, hazy sun. Winds: E 5-10. Wake-up: 70. High: 89
FRIDAY: Still steamy, more heavy T-storms. Winds: SE 8-13. Wake-up: 71. High: 85
SATURDAY: Partly sunny, stray T-shower (best chance north). Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 70. High: 88
SUNDAY: Plenty of sun, breathing easier again. Winds: N 8-13. Wake-up: 68. High: 82
MONDAY: Sunny and spectacular. Low humidity. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 66. High: 81
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." Photograh by George Steinmetz, National Geographic Creative.