Thursday, May 26, 2016

Thundery Lumps in our Tropical Holiday Stew

Early Morning Severe Storms on Thursday in SE Minnesota
A fairly significant line of strong to severe storms rolled across southern Minnesota Wednesday night/early Thursday morning. Heavy rain and loud thunder clipped the southern metro, but there were a few severe storm reports in south-central Minnesota.
Storm Reports
Some of the severe storm reports from PM Wednesday to AM Thursday shows that 1.25" diameter hail fell in Courtland as well as thunderstorm wind damage in Blue Earth and Ellendale.

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Tornado on Wednesday?
Going back to Wednesday. An isolated storm developed in the afternoon near Villard, MN and was actually responsible for spawning a tornado. There were reports of: BOATS FLIPPED ... SHED DAMAGED AND SHINGLES OFF ROOFS NEAR AMELIA LAKE.

Radar From Tornadic Storm Wednesday Afternoon
This is what the radar looked like as the storm passed over the Lake Amelia area. Note the radar on the left shows a fairly small "hook" near Villard and Amelia Lake, while the screen on the right shows the inbound/outbound winds and a fairly tight couplet (red and green close together). This would indicate tight rotation within the storm.

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Thundery Lumps in our Tropical Holiday Stew
By Paul Douglas

After listening to people complain about the cold for the better part of 5 months I'm in no mood to complain about a little warmth and humidity. Make my sauna medium-rare, please.

I'm trying to keep a sense of perspective. We're not tracking the tornadoes that have carved up Kansas and Oklahoma in recent days. We're not stuck on a barrier island off the Carolina coast, wondering if a clump of thunderstorms over the Bahamas will strengthen into Tropical Storm Bonnie by Sunday. Minnesota's weather won't be as awe-inspiring as last weekend, but it can always be worse.

Studying the models I still think Sunday and Monday will be the best outdoor-days of the holiday weekend, with enough hazy sun for 80 degrees. Showers and T-storms will be heaviest and most widespread today and Saturday as a weak, slow-moving trough of low pressure pushes across the Plains. No all-day washouts, but you would be well-advised to have a Plan B later Friday and Saturday.

No heatwaves brewing, in fact a a push of cool Canadian air may keep us in the 60s by late next week. Free A/C courtesy of Manitoba.
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Extended Forecast

THURSDAY NIGHT: Increasing clouds with a showers and storms late. Low: 64. Winds: WSW 5.
FRIDAY: More T-storms with locally heavy rain. High: 80. Wind: S 10-15 mph.
FRIDAY NIGHT: Showers and storms. Low: 63. Winds: SSE 5.
SATURDAY: Wettest day, numerous T-storms. High: 76. Wind: S 10-15 mph.
SUNDAY: Lake worth. Drier with more sun, another T-storm. Wake-up: 63. High: 81. Wind: W 10-15 mph.
MEMORIAL DAY MONDAY: Peeks of sun. Late day thunder risk. Wake-up: 64. High: 83. Wind: E 7-12 mph.
TUESDAY: Shocker: more t-storms. Sticky. Wake-up: 65. High: 78. Winds: SE 8-13mph.
WEDNESDAY: More T-storms, some strong? Wake-up: 63. High: 77. Winds: SE 10-20mph
THURSDAY: Partly sunny, cooler and less wind. Wake-up: 58. High: 70. Winds: W 10-15mph.
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This Day in Weather History
May 27th

1930: The Great Empire Builder Tornado occurs. A direct hit derails a famous train in Norman County.
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Average High/Low for Minneapolis
May 27th

Average High: 73F (Record: 95F set in 1969)
Average Low: 52F (Record: 34F set in 1907)
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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
May 27th

Sunrise: 5:33am
Sunset: 8:47pm

*Daylight Gained Since Yesterday: ~1min & 40secs
*Daylight Gain Since Winter Solstice: ~6hours & 30mins
*Length of Day: ~15hours & 16mins
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Moon Phase for May 27th at Midnight
1.2 Days Before Last Quarter

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Extended Forecast

Good news warm weather fans! Warmish weather looks to continue throughout much of the rest of May with highs in the upper 70s and 80s. These warm temps will also be accompanied by muggier dewpoints, so by Minnesota standards, this might be a little too warm... Note the slightly larger cool down as we head into the early part of June with highs dipping into the 70s.


6 to 10 Day Temperature Outlook

While we are getting indications of a slight cool down into the early part of June, NOAA's CPC 6 to 10 day temperature outlook is still suggesting a fairly decent chance of warmer than average temps across the Upper Midwest/Great Lakes Region from May 31 to June 4.


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Friday Weather Outlook

Warmer than average temperatures continue on Friday with highs in the 70s across the state. Temps will be running about 5 degrees above average or so with dewpoints in the 50s and 60s, which means that it will feel like another summer day. Note that the first day of Meteorological Summer doesn't start until June 1st, while the first day of astronomical summer doesn't start until June 20th.


Friday Weather Outlook

Friday appears to be another unsettled day across the Upper Midwest with spotty showers and storms rolling through the state. There doesn't appear to be as much sunshine as there was on Thursday either. However, even with cloudier skies and rain chances, it'll feel lukewarm and muggy.


Friday Weather Outlook

As our next impulse of energy rolls into the region with scattered showers and storm, winds will be on the increase. Note that winds on Friday will be out of the east as the low approaches from the southwest.  Overall wind speeds don't look like a big issue, but there could be a few gusts that approaches 15mph across parts of the state at times.


Simulated Radar

The simulate radar below from AM Thursday to 7pm Saturday shows mostly quiet weather conditions from earlier Thursday to a more unsettled outlook PM Thursday into Friday and Saturday. Keep in mind that there doesn't appear to be any widespread severe storms, but there could be a few isolated strong ones with heavy rainfall chances.


Precipitation Potential

The rainfall potential shows a fairly good soaking across much of Minnesota and Wisconsin through 7pm Sunday. This will come by of numerous swarms of showers and storms from PM Thursday to Saturday


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National Weather Outlook

As another impulse of energy rolls northeast through the middle part of the country through PM Saturday, widespread showers and storms will produce strong to severe storms and areas of heavy rainfall. While the best chance of severe weather with this particular storm system was on Thursday, there will still be a decent chance of strong to severe storms on Friday and Saturday in the Central U.S... There will also be areas of potential flooding that develop with this system too.


Severe Threat Friday
...SUMMARY...
   SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WITH ISOLATED LARGE HAIL AND WIND DAMAGE WILL
   BE POSSIBLE OVER PORTIONS OF EASTERN TEXAS INTO EASTERN OKLAHOMA ON
   FRIDAY...WITH ISOLATED SEVERE STORMS FROM WESTERN OKLAHOMA INTO
   CENTRAL KANSAS. MARGINALLY SEVERE STORMS MAY ALSO OCCUR FROM CENTRAL
   NEW YORK INTO WESTERN NEW ENGLAND.

   ...SYNOPSIS...
   A SHORTWAVE TROUGH WITH 40-50 KT MIDLEVEL SPEED MAX WILL EJECT NEWD
   FROM THE SRN PLAINS ON FRI INTO THE MID/UPPER MS VALLEY BY SAT
   MORNING WITH A QUASI-STATIONARY SFC TROUGH EXTENDING FROM ERN NEB TO
   A CNTRL KS LOW AND WITH A DRYLINE EXTENDING SWD INTO WRN TX. AN
   EXPANSIVE AREA OF MID TO UPPER 60S F DEWPOINTS WILL EXIST ACROSS THE
   CNTRL AND SRN PLAINS WITH AMPLE INSTABILITY TO SUPPORT STRONG TO
   SEVERE STORMS. 

Severe Threat Saturday
...SUMMARY...
   MARGINALLY SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WITH HAIL AND STRONG WIND GUSTS WILL
   BE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE SOUTHERN PLAINS...ARKLATEX...OZARKS AND LOWER
   MISSOURI VALLEY.

Rainfall Potential

Widespread showers and storms will continue across the central part of the country over the next several days with chance of strong to severe storms and heavy rainfall. Take a look at NOAA's WPC 5 day rainfall forecast through AM Tuesday. Note the widespread 2" to 4"+ from parts of the Upper Midwest to the Coastal Bend of Texas. Areas of flooding can't be ruled out as heavy rainfall from convective storms continue into the weekend.


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Invest 91L

Take a look at the blob of clouds seen on the IR satellite loop below. While it may not look like much at first, this batch of clouds has a pretty good chance of tropical development within the next couple/few days. Interestingly, this mass is moving slowly NW toward the Lower 48 and could impact parts of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states over the Memorial Weekend Holiday.

 

Tropical Development?

Interestingly, this particular area of low pressure has caught the attention of the National Hurricane Center. They are deeming this particular system as having a high chance of tropical development within the next 5 days! Note that the system seems to be tracking NW toward Georgia and South Carolina. Stay tuned...
1. Shower activity associated with the low pressure area located
between Bermuda and the Bahamas has become somewhat better 
organized since yesterday, and the circulation of the low has become 
a little better defined.  Environmental conditions are expected to 
be generally conducive for a tropical or subtropical cyclone to form 
on Friday or Saturday while this system moves west-northwestward or
northwestward toward the southeastern United States coast.  All
interests along the southeast coast from Georgia through North
Carolina should monitor the progress of this low.  An Air Force
Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate the
low on Friday afternoon.  The next Special Tropical Weather Outlook
on this disturbance will be issued by 8 AM EDT Friday morning. For
additional information on this system, see High Seas Forecasts
issued by the National Weather Service.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...high...80 percent
* Formation chance through 5 days...high...80 percent

High Seas Forecasts issued by the National Weather Service can be
found under AWIPS Header NFDHSFAT1 and WMO Header FZNT01 KWBC.

Forecaster Kimberlain

 

Coastal Storm This Weekend

The extended forecast shows that particular area of low pressure snuggling up to the Coast of South Carolina by 7pm Saturday. This would potentially bring heavy rainfall, gusty winds and heavy surf along the coast just in time for the upcoming Memorial Weekend Holiday.


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Space weather is a hidden risk to Arctic cruises, and it could be a significant one

Here's an interesting story from the WashingtonPost regarding Space Weather and how it could impact Arctic cruises.

“Space weather” refers to huge eruptions of radiation and plasma from the surface of the sun. The eruptions can cause geomagnetic storms here on Earth that spark brilliant auroras near the poles, but they can affect or even bring down the electrical grid, radio communications, GPS and other satellite services. The storms can last days to weeks, depending on its strength. And to make matters even more precarious, space weather forecasting is about as mature in 2016 as weather forecasting was in 1930. So as the Serenity journeys through the Arctic on a route that no other cruise ship has yet succeeded in sailing, a strong geomagnetic storm could bring down its GPS and communication with the rest of the world. High wind, heavy seas and, most menacingly, sea ice could necessitate a rescue, and communications and positioning are necessities in bringing emergency responders."



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Thanks for checking in and have a great weekend ahead! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Warm & Muggy Thursday. Storms Return Friday & Saturday

Strong Kansas Tornado on Tuesday
Tuesday featured a very strong and photogenic tornado near Dodge City, KS. This particular tornado got a lot of air time and was featured on many websites and news organizations. Take a look at the video link below from Reed Timmer @reedtimmerTVN.

See more from @reedtimmerTVN HERE:



See more from @reedtimmerTVN HERE:



Dodge City, KS Tornado
Thanks to @USTornadoes for the radar grab below. Note the "hook" on the left edge of the screen. This is what a tornado look like on radar. This particular tornado passed eerily close the the Dodge City, KS National Weather Service radar (black circle).



Storm Reports Tuesday
There were several severe weather reports across Kansas, but note all the tornado reports (red dots). According to the Storm Prediction Center, there were 30 tornado report across the country, most of which occurred in Kansas.


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PRELIMINARY Tornado Count for 2016
According to NOAA's SPC, the PRELIMINARY 2016 tornado count (thru May 24) is 539. Note that the 2005 to 2015 average is 733.

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Wednesday Morning Storms

Wednesday featured a could of round of storms across parts of the state. Here was the morning round that brought a few rumbles of thunder and heavy downpours, but nothing severe.


Wednesday Afternoon Storms
The second round of storms was a little widespread, but it came in the form of a few individual cells that dropped hail and even spawned a tornado warning NW of St. Cloud.

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Severe Weather Awareness When You're Camping
By Paul Douglas


All this week we've been reviewing severe storms and situational awareness. A shelter (home, office, store) offers considerable protection - but what happens when you're in the woods, surrounded by flashing lightning and trees swaying ominously?

I rely on smartphone apps that key in on my GPS location. I also have an escape route when thunderstorms are approaching. Worst case: a mad dash to my vehicle, which offers some protection. Otherwise I would get out of my tent and seek shelter in a service building or restroom. Stating the obvious: you don't want to stand under a tree during an electrical storm.

Skies brighten Thursday, a brief break before the next swirl of showers and T-storms arrives Friday into Saturday. Have a Plan B (indoors) for Saturday, but models hint at some sun on Sunday with low 80s. ECMWF guidance brings in more T-storms on Memorial Day.

Unlike a March storm I don't expect an all-day rain event, but there will be storms around town the next few days.

Swarms of storms, an invasion of bugs, dew points up in the "oh-zone"? Sounds like a holiday to me.
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Extended Outlook

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy with a few passing storms. Low: 62. Winds: SSE 5mph
THURSDAY: Damp start, then some sticky sun. High: 84. Wind: SW 8-13 mph.
THURSDAY NIGHT: Increasing clouds with a showers and storms possible late. Low: 65. Winds: WSW 5.
FRIDAY: More T-storms with locally heavy rain. High: 80. Wind: S 10-15 mph.
SATURDAY: Wettest day, numerous T-storms. Wake-up: 65. High: 76. Wind: S 8-13 mph.
SUNDAY: Best day? Sticky sun. Lake worth. Wake-up: 64. High: 83. Wind: W 8-13 mph.
MEMORIAL DAY MONDAY: Some sun. Watch for late day storms. Wake-up: 64. High: 83. Wind: W 7-12 mph.
TUESDAY: What a sock: more t-storms. Sticky. Wake-up: 65. High: 80. Winds: SE 8-13mph.
WEDNESDAY: Wet start, then slow clearing. Wake-up: 64. High: 77. Winds: NW 10-20mph
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This Day in Weather History
May 26th

1929: A tornado rakes Freeborn County and causes 10,000 dollars of damage to farms.
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Average High/Low for Minneapolis
May 26th

Average High: 72F (Record: 96F set in 1978)
Average Low: 52F (Record: 34F set in 1992)
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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
May 26th

Sunrise: 5:33am
Sunset: 8:47pm

*Daylight Gained Since Yesterday: ~1min and 44secs
*Daylight Gained Since Winter Solstice: ~6hours and 28mins
*Note that we will gain an additional ~23mins of daylight by Summer Solstice (June 20th)
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Moon Phase for May 26th at Midnight
3.2 days before last quarter 


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Extended Weather Outlook
No doubt summer stickies have arrived. With high temperatures in upper 70s and 80s with a dew point in the upper 50s and 60s, this is almost too hot by Minnesota Standards. The extended forecast continues to keep temperature readings in that range through what appears to be the end of May/early June.



6 to 10 Day Temperatures Outlook
According to NOAA's CPC, the 6 to 10 day temperature outlook suggests that there is a good chance of warmer than average temperatures continuing from May 30th to June 3rd.



Thursday Weather Outlook
Thursday looks like one of the warmest days of the year thus far with highs approaching the mid/upper 80s across the southern half of the state. Dewpoints will once again be in the mid to upper 50s, so it'll be a little muggy, but not unbearable.



Thursday Weather Outlook
For the most part, Thursday looks like a dry day with some sunshine, but there may be a few late day storm that pop up with as much heat and humidity as there will be around the area.



Thursday Weather Outlook
The impulse of energy that worked through the region yesterday responsible for sparking showers and storms across the region will lift into Canada Thursday. The winds on the southern flank of this low pressure system will be out of the WSW and may be a little breezy across NW Minnesota.


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Simulated Radar
The simulated radar from midday Wednesday to Friday night shows heavier rainfall exiting the region on PM Wednesday to somewhat quieter weather returning on Thursday. However, with as warm and sticky as it'll be later this week, spotty showers and storms can't be ruled out. The next "bigger" wave and showers and storms looks to arrive late Friday into Saturday.



Rainfall Potential Thru 7pm Saturday
Rainfall potential through 7pm Saturday still looks fairly impressive with widespread 1"+ amounts across parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Keep in mind that most of this rain looks to slide through PM Friday through Saturday.



Extended Minnesota Rainfall
The extended GFS rainfall forecast through 7pm Monday suggests fairly widespread 1" to 2" rainfall tallies across Minnesota and Wisconsin. Note that most of this rainfall appears to move in from PM Friday through Saturday. Sunday looks like the nicer day of the holiday weekend as a few late storm storms may pop up on Memorial Day Monday.



National Weather Outlook
Active weather looks to continue across the Central U.S. with numerous showers and storms continuing through the end of the week. Keep in mind that some of the storms could be strong to severe with areas of heavy rainfall and flooding.



Severe Weather Concerns Thursday
...SUMMARY...
   SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAPABLE OF TORNADOES AND VERY LARGE HAIL ARE
   EXPECTED ACROSS MUCH OF SOUTHERN NEBRASKA INTO NORTHERN KANSAS FROM
   LATE AFTERNOON INTO EARLY EVENING ON THURSDAY...WITH MORE ISOLATED
   SEVERE STORMS EXTENDING SOUTHWARD INTO WESTERN OKLAHOMA AS WELL AS
   INTO NORTHEASTERN COLORADO. OTHER MARGINALLY SEVERE STORMS WITH HAIL
   AND STRONG WIND GUSTS MAY OCCUR ACROSS PARTS OF THE MID TO UPPER
   MISSISSIPPI VALLEY AND SOUTHWESTERN GREAT LAKES REGION.

   ...SYNOPSIS...
   AN UPPER TROUGH WILL MOVE INTO THE CNTRL AND SRN PLAINS ON THURSDAY
   WITH UPPER LOW CENTERED OVER CO AT 00Z AND A 50-60 KT MIDLEVEL JET
   MAX MOVING INTO WRN TX. AT THE SURFACE...LOW PRESSURE WILL DEEPEN
   ALONG THE CO/KS BORDER WITH A WARM FRONT BECOMING ESTABLISHED NEAR
   THE KS/NE BORDER BY LATE AFTERNOON. THE DEEPENING LOW WILL BACK SFC
   WINDS ACROSS NEB...WITH THE BETTER LOW-LEVEL MOISTURE EXTENDING WWD
   INTO NERN CO. TO THE S...A DRYLINE WILL EXTEND SSEWD FROM THE LOW
   INTO WRN OK...THEN BECOMING STATIONARY AND RETREATING INTO WRN TX
   LATE. THE WARM SECTOR WILL REMAIN EXTREMELY UNSTABLE WITH UPPER 60S
   TO NEAR 70 F DEWPOINTS BENEATH STEEP LAPSE RATES ALOFT. DEEP LAYER
   WIND FIELDS WILL SUPPORT SEVERE STORMS WITH A 50+ KT LOW-LEVEL JET
   DEVELOPING NEAR OR AFTER 00Z PERHAPS SUPPORTING A FEW STRONG
   TORNADOES ACROSS MAINLY SRN NEB INTO CNTRL KS ALONG WITH VERY LARGE
   HAIL.

   ANOTHER AREA OF SEVERE STORMS IS LIKELY INTO SWRN/CNTRL TX LATE IN
   THE DAY INTO THE EVENING AS THE BASE OF THE UPPER TROUGH SPREADS
   OVER A VERY MOIST AND UNSTABLE AIR MASS. 


Severe Threat Friday
...SUMMARY...
   STRONG TO SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE POSSIBLE OVER PORTIONS OF
   TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA ON FRIDAY.  OTHER MORE ISOLATED STRONG TO SEVERE
   THUNDERSTORMS ARE FORECAST FROM THE CENTRAL PLAINS INTO PARTS OF THE
   MIDWEST.

   ...SYNOPSIS...
   A CNTRL U.S. MID-LEVEL TROUGH AND ASSOCIATED LOW NEAR CO/NM WILL
   LIFT NEWD AND WEAKEN WITH TIME AS IT MOVES ACROSS THE SRN-CNTRL
   PLAINS.  A SURFACE LOW WILL MIGRATE NEWD FROM THE CNTRL PLAINS INTO
   THE UPPER MS VALLEY WITH A COLD FRONT MOVING ACROSS THE N-CNTRL
   STATES.  A RESIDUAL DRYLINE/LEE TROUGH WILL EXTEND SWD INTO THE SRN
   PLAINS. 

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Heavy Rainfall Potential
According to NOAA's WPC, the 5 day rainfall forecast suggests heavy rainfall of up to 4" to 5"+ across parts of the Central U.S. through Memorial Day Monday. This heavy rainfall cloud lead to areas of flooding from parts of the Upper Midwest to Texas.


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Invest 91L
While the blob of clouds in the IR satellite below doesn't look like much, it is actually being watched by the National Hurricane Center as an area of possible tropical development.



Tropical Development?
Well Well Well... Look at what's happening in the Atlantic Basin. The National Hurricane Center is keeping an eye on a disturbance north of the Bahamas moving northwest toward the southeastern U.S. coast. Interestingly, the NHC has a 60% of tropical development with the next 5 day!



Developing Coastal Storm?
Take a look at the forecast for PM Saturday! The area of concern in the north of the Bahamas now looks to continue drifting northwest toward the Carolinas with the of heavy rain, strong winds and heavy surf for the Memorial Weekend. Stay tuned...


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"10 Ways Climate Science Has Advanced Since An Inconvenient Truth"
"The aughts were an inconvenient time for environmentalism. President George W. Bush declared the Kyoto Protocol, the first international treaty meant to address climate change, dead. Environmentalists charged widespread political interference in climate change science conducted at federal agencies. Most people had not heard of global warming. Then former Vice President Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” landed with a thud on the public’s consciousness. It grossed $24 million, won two Academy Awards and earned Gore the Nobel Peace Prize. With the 10-year anniversary of “An Inconvenient Truth” coming up this week, ClimateWirerewatched the film to see if the science still held up and found a number of its predictions have since come true. In some cases, the reality is even worse than the forecasts. And a few times, Gore got it wrong. Here, a decade after its release, are 10 ways our knowledge of the planet has evolved since Gore’s movie"

Read more from ScientificAmerican.com HERE:

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Thanks for checking in and have a great rest of your week! Don't forget  to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX