83 F. Twin Cities average high on July 3.
80 F. high temperature on July 3, 2016.
July 4, 1999: Severe winds knock down millions of trees in the BWCA, injuring 19 people.
July 4, 1962: An extremely heavy downpour falls at Jackson, dumping 7.5 inches of rain in two hours.
Risk of An Atmospheric Firecracker Later Today
"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others" wrote Nelson Mandela. I hope you and yours have a memorable and safe 4th of July, regardless of the weather.
And for the record, I'm just a (reluctant) messenger. There is a small but vocal minority of people who believe meteorologists are somehow responsible for the weather. "If you just kick the Doppler or fiddle with your dials you COULD make it better!" If only. Truth be told, I don't want that responsibility. Earth's weather patterns were put into motion eons ago; we just manage to get in the way.
Much of today looks nice, with some sun dribbling through the clouds. T-storms bubble up later in the day, best chance west of the MSP metro. Have a Plan B but hope for the best. After nudging 90F Thursday T-storms flare up ahead of a cooler front arriving Friday & Saturday; another welcome dip in humidity. Soak it up, because models pull overheated air from the west into Minnesota next week.
I could see a multi-day streak of mid-90s next next week. Hello Dog Days!
- Heavy rain across portions of the Northeast, the Appalachians, the Mid-Atlantic, the Great Lakes, and the Ohio Valley, Thu-Fri, Jul 6-Jul 7.
- Heavy rain across portions of the Carolinas, Sat-Sun, Jul 8-Jul 9.
- Much above-normal temperatures across portions of the central and northern Plains, the Great Basin, the northern and central Rockies, the Middle and Upper Mississippi Valley, California, and the Pacific Northwest, Thu-Mon, Jul 6-Jul 10.
- Flooding occurring or imminent across portions of the Middle Mississippi Valley.
- High risk of much above-normal temperatures for portions of the Northern Plains, Tue-Wed, Jul 11-Jul 12.
- Moderate risk of much above-normal temperatures for portions of the central and northern Plains, the Great Basin, the northern and central Rockies, and the Upper Mississippi Valley, Tue-Fri, Jul 11-Jul 14.
- Slight risk of much above-normal temperatures for portions of the central and northern Plains, the Great Basin, the northern and central Rockies, the Middle and Upper Mississippi Valley, California, and the Pacific Northwest, Tue-Mon, Jul 11-Jul 17.
- Severe Drought across the Southern Plains, California, Hawaii, the Northern Plains, and the Southwest..."
Putting 115 Degrees Into Perspective. While we've been enjoying free Canadian A/C much of America is baking under a July sun. On Sunday I called one of my oldest buddies, Paul Magers, who just retired from KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, to see how he was coping with real heat out in his new home in Palm Springs. "It's forecast to be 115F in a few days. So you walk around thinking - hey - 107F doesn't feel so bad!" he laughed. I reminded him he was living in a desert. "Look, 80F is considered good sleeping weather out here." The thing is, no matter where we live, we all tend to rationalize our weather, no matter how good or bad it is on a regular basis. "Hey, it's not THAT bad!" I think it may be part of the human condition. There's no place on Earth with "perfect weather". Although Maui comes pretty darn close...
At Least 2 Tornadoes Confirmed in Maine Saturday. Details via WCSH6.com: "The National Weather Service confirms at least two tornades occurred in Maine on Saturday. Another possible tornado occurred near Harrison. Meteorologists say a high-end EF-1 tornado hit Bridgton. Several structures and vehicles were damaged by snapped trees on the west shore of Long Lake in the vicinity of Obelazy Lane. The tornado began on the southeast shore of Highland Lake before crossing through Bridgton..."
Xiangjiang, a major tributary of the Yangtze river, has exceeded its record flood level in the Hunan capital of Changsha. Floods in the city have swamped houses, uprooted trees, damaged cars and submerged roads. Across Hunan, the flooding has forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate, damaged crops and destroyed houses, causing a total direct economic loss of 8.26 billion yuan ($1.22 billion), the provincial civil affairs office said. In Guangxi, 16 people have been confirmed dead and 10 are missing after a flood hit the southwestern region after a storm, the official Xinhua news agency cited authorities as saying. Southern provinces produce some of China’s major crops..."
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.
Photo credit: "Six of the eight damaged RC-135 surveillance planes had been returned to s ervice a week after the storm." U.S. Air Force.
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)."
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.
Graphic credit: "The decline of Fossil Fuels, fast but not fast enough to save our oceans." Bloomberg.
Photo credit: "Will machines take over jobs? We've been wondering for hundreds of years."(REUTERS/Francois Lenoir)
Photo credit: Metformin pills. Will Warasila for WIRED.
Image credit: "Vernon Reid found the music of Jimi Hendrix after he discovered Carlos Santana. He talks with The Post's Geoff Edgers about how the two guitar icons influenced his playing style." (Erin Patrick O'Connor/The Washington Post).
Illustration credit: "George Wilson, shown walking on a road lined with people, 1815." Wellcome Images, London/CC BY 4.0
4TH OF JULY: Mild sun, PM T-storm possible. Winds: SE 7-12. High: 82
TUESDAY NIGHT: Hit or miss for fireworks. Few T-storms taper. Low: 67
WEDNESDAY: Sticky sun, scattered T-storms in the area. Winds: S 5-10. High: 86
THURSDAY: Hot sun gives way to late T-storms. Winds: SW 8-13. Wake-up: 70. High: near 90
FRIDAY: Sunny, breezy and less humid. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 64. High: near 80
SATURDAY: Sunny and comfortable. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up: 59. High: 81
SUNDAY: Intervals of sun, trending warmer again. Winds: S 7-12. Wake-up: 62. High: 84
MONDAY: Free sauna! Plenty hot & humid. Winds: S 8-13. Wake-up: 68. High: 92
Photo credit: "
Some international perspective:
Satellite Data Show Global Warming Worse Than Thought. Financial Tribune explains: "Climate change deniers have long pointed to satellite data showing lower temperatures than those recorded on the ground. However, new research has found an explanation for this apparent discrepancy, The Independent reported. The orbit of satellites around the Earth gradually decays over time due to friction in the Earth’s atmosphere and this gradually changes the time they pass over any one spot and this obviously has a significant effect on the temperature. Using information from the satellites, the scientists, Carl Mears and Frank Wentz, of Remote Sensing Systems, a California-based research company, developed a new method of correcting for the changes. And what they found was startling. The rate of warming was about a third higher at 0.174 degrees Celsius per decade between 1976 and 2016, compared to 0.134°C per decade..."