69 F. average high on May 16.
72 F. high at KSTC on May 16, 2015.
May 17, 1915: Old man winter's last hurrah dumps 5 inches of snow along the western shore of Lake Superior.
One of the Best Weather Weeks of 2016?
"I'm not an economist and we all know economists were created to make weather forecasters look good" quipped Rupert Murdoch. Add stock brokers and the pointy-headed political pundits who failed to forecast the meteoric rise of Bernie and The Donald.
Predicting the future is not for the faint of heart. Frankly, I prefer to tell people what already happened. Much safer.
TV meteorologists pointing to their magical green-screens may be at a rare (and welcome) loss for words this week; arguably one of the best of 2016. An atmospheric holding pattern will park a contented bubble of high pressure above the Midwest, forcing big storms south of Minnesota, keeping us sunny and balmy into next weekend.
Last week was the definition of cool, wet and foul. This week will be a rush of atmospheric euphoria. Expect 70s by Wednesday; we could see some low 80s in our zip code by Sunday and Monday. Have an extra comp day? Take it on Friday. I'll write you a note.
Models hint at a stickier, stormier pattern returning next week.
But forget next week. Put the weather-blinders on. Try to enjoy the here and now!
Map credit: "Sea surface temperature anomalies on May 12, 2016." Image: NOAA.
Image credit above: "Doppler radar image of the supercell thunderstorm that contained a large EF3 cyclonic tornado (the Sulphur tornado) and a weaker EF1 anticyclonic tornado (the Roff tornado). The reflectivity image (top, with reds indicating heavy precipitation) shows the classic hook echo in connection with the EF3 tornado (labeled in the velocity image at bottom). The anticyclonic tornado (labeled in the bottom image) is firmly embedded in the heavy rain core along the storm’s forward flank, as shown in the top image. Image credit: Courtesy Roger Edwards and his Weather or Not blog."
After Fort McMurray, Where Are The World's Most Fire-Prone Cities? Here's a clip from an article at The Guardian: "...There’s no definitive list of the world’s most fire-prone cities, mostly because of the many and often compounding factors that can increase the likelihood of fires. As well as the growing vulnerability caused by climate change and poor urban management, other factors range from the prevalence of dry vegetation and use of flammable building materials to widespread open-flame cooking and, all too frequently, arson. But there is one relatively straightforward indicator of fire risk that can be tracked and mapped. It’s what researchers and foresters call the wildland-urban interface: areas where naturally fire-prone wilderness areas such as forests and shrublands are close to, or even intermingled with, housing developments, neighbourhoods or even – as in the case of Fort McMurray – entire cities..."
Photo credit: "A mobile phone image of the wildfire raging through the Canadian city of Fort McMurray on 3 May." Photograph: Twitter.com/Jerome Garot/EPA.
DNR Questions $2 Billion Fargo Flood Project. The Star Tribune reports: "The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is taking a hard look at a $2 billion federal project that would protect Fargo from floods by diverting the water onto Minnesota lands instead. The DNR has compiled a 568-page study of the proposed Fargo-Moorhead Diversion and the effect it would have on Minnesota’s water quality, environment and people. The state has “significant concerns” about the project, DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr said Monday..."
Graphic credit: Red River Diversion Project, Mark Boswell.
Lloyd's of London Urges U.S. Government To Stop Insuring Floods. Financial Times ran an article that made me do a double-take; here's an excerpt: "Lloyd’s of London insurers have called on the US government to stop providing cover for flood damage, arguing that state support has become unsustainable and encourages irresponsible housebuilding. The national flood insurance programme has 5.2m policyholders, takes in about $3.4bn in premiums a year and covers $1.3tn worth of assets. But it has racked up debt of $23bn, mainly because of the costs from disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy..." (File photo: NOAA).
Photo credit: "
Map credit: Center for Public Integrity analysis of Federal Communications Commission, Census Bureau data. Road map by Stamen Design (CC BY 3.0), OpenStreetMap contributors.
Postponing the Olympics is the Safe Course of Action. Safety of athletes and spectators should obviously come first, but when there's this much money on the line? I wouldn't hold my breath. Here's a snippet of an Op-Ed at The New York Times: "...Many emergency care facilities are operating on reduced schedules and lack basic supplies because of the withholding of resources to save money for the demands of the Olympics. This is happening during a severe outbreak of dengue fever in Rio de Janeiro, which remains one of the epicenters of the Zika virus with 26,000 suspected cases. The governor of Rio de Janeiro State announced a state of emergency for the public health sector in December, indicating that Rio´s health system is inadequate for the daily needs of the population, much less the extra stresses on the public health system that the Olympics would bring..."
TODAY: Sunny, spectacular. Winds: NE 5-10. High: 65
TUESDAY NIGHT: Clear and cool. Low: 46
WEDNESDAY: Postcard-perfect. Outdoor lunch? Winds: SW 3-8. High: 70
THURSDAY: Blue sky, a bit milder. Winds: S 5-10. Wake-up: 50. High: 73
FRIDAY: Partly sunny, no complaints. Winds: SE 10-15. Wake-up: 52. High: 74
SATURDAY: Perfect day for the lake or pool. Winds: SE 8-13. Wake-up: 55. High: 76
SUNDAY: Sunny, breezy, more humid. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 59. High: 81
MONDAY: Sticky sun, T-storms at night. Winds: S 10-20+ Wake-up: 60. High: 82
Global Warming Worsens With Record Temps, Widespread Coral Bleaching. Hey, what's on TV tonight? Better yet let me call up my Facebook feed and distract myself beyond recognition. Here's a clip from USA TODAY: "...In the planet's Northern Hemisphere, where most of the world's population lives and burns fossil fuels, a benchmark reading from the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii reached a monthly average of 407.42 parts per million in April. In the slightly cleaner Southern Hemisphere, readings from an Australian measuring station surpassed 400 parts per million last week, according to Australian scientists. The rate of 400 parts per million is significant because the planet hasn't seen that much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for millions of years. "This is the new normal. This isn't going away," said Pieter Tans, chief greenhouse gas scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration..."
Graphic credit: "National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). As of May 16, 2016.
Global Warming Won't Just Change the Weather - It Could Trigger Massive Earthquakes and Volcanoes. I HOPE this is alarmist hype, but just in case - here's a clip from Quartz: "...By his estimation, carbon dioxide emissions from human activity since industrialization began have changed the trajectory of earth’s climate for the next 100,000 years. We are already experiencing the mayhem and destruction that these changes can wreak, and, in the long term, things are only going to get worse. On the face of it, the hypothesis that a few degrees’ rise in the average temperature of the atmosphere can cause the earth’s tectonic plates to move sounds ludicrous. Yet, McGuire, professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, shows through careful analysis of historical records that the relationship between the weather and the “solid” earth is incontrovertible..."
Photo credit above: "The raging earth." (Reuters/Cristobal Saavedra/Kyoto).
Ice Caps Melt, Prehistoric Virus Escapes. No, It's Not a Movie. We don't know what we don't know. Here's an excerpt from Huffington Post: "A couple of months ago I talked about the connection between global warming and the Zika virus. Today I would like to discuss another interesting side effect we might observe in the next decades thanks to global warming. The ice caps will melt. Big deal, we already knew that. But have you ever thought of the stuff trapped in that ice that’s going to thaw? What if some of that stuff isn’t really dead, just dormant, waiting to come back? Sounds like fiction, but it’s not..."
Photo credit: University of Washington.
Photo credit: "Food supplements for Asthma." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAad9rc2xCk)
Photo credit: " ERIC THAYER.
Photo credit: "U.S. Representative Kevin Cramer (R-ND) talks at the public launch of the U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba while at the National Press Club in Washington, January 8, 2015." REUTERS/Larry Downing/File photo.
Graphic credit: "Global mean surface temperature for El Nino years". Data source: GISS NASA.
Graphic credit: "Global mean temperature anomaly (vs 1951-1980 mean), month of April only." CREDIT: NASA.