65 F. average high on May 4.
69 F. high temperature observed on May 4, 2015.
May 5, 1965: At least 7 tornadoes hit southern Minnesota. This outbreak is a preview of what would happen the next day…
Back to the Future: 80s Friday, a B+ Weather Weekend
Growing up on Star Trek reruns I'm disappointed with how the future has turned out.
Instead of flying cars and clones (with better attitudes) we have little supercomputers buzzing in our pockets.
Instead of another useless app - would someone hurry up and perfect "transporter" technology that can beam us anywhere, anytime? Elon Musk, are you listening? Future generations will marvel at the utter inefficiency of wasting time crawling to work in our cars; work that most of us could be doing from home. There has to be a better way.
The forecast calls for construction - and a nice warming trend over the next 36 hours. Upper 70s today; mid-80s tomorrow before a wind shift sparks a few growls of thunder late Friday. Skies quickly clear Saturday with temperatures in the 60s; even a few whitecaps on your favorite lake. Winds ease Sunday with enough sun for low 70s. Cooler, showery weather returns next week - another free watering for lawns and fields.
The same wildfire forcing the evacuation of Ft. McMurray, Alberta may give our sky a hazy, milky appearance the next few days.
From wildfire smoke, central Wisconsin frost this morning to temperatures near 90F tomorrow afternoon in the metro, there's something for everyone in today's outlook.
Photo credit above: "Officials say temperatures will continue to rise in the coming weeks, after reaching 44C (111F) on Monday." Photograph: Harish Tyagi/EPA.
India's Water Crisis. A combination of factors are in play, as described by The New York Times: "Some 330 million people — about one quarter of India’s population — are reeling from a drought that has turned vast areas of the subcontinent into a dust bowl, withering crops and forcing farmers from their lands. Coal-fired power plants — the major source of India’s electricity — have had to suspend output because there is not enough water in nearby rivers to generate steam. Armed guards are being posted at dams to prevent desperate farmers from stealing water. Part of the problem is El Niño, the climate pattern that puts extra heat into the atmosphere. But much of the problem is a result of years of mismanagement of water resources, a failure to crack down on corruption and dithering by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government on taking action to help those affected..."
Map credit above: "Flood deaths by state, January 2015 - April 2016." Please note that this data is preliminary."
New Record Set for World's Cheapest Solar, Now Undercutting Coal. Moore's Law continues to drop prices, down 80% since 2007. Bloomberg has the story.
The Awe-Inspiring Growth of the U.S. Solar Industry. A few very interesting and encouraging statistical nuggets in a Huffington Post story; here's an excerpt: "...Solar’s costs have come down to the point that we regularly see contracts for utility-scale solar power under 5 cents per kilowatt-hour – making solar, in many cases, a cost-competitive option for utilities. Last year our country added more solar than new natural gas capacity for the first time ever – and you can bet it won’t be the last. In fact, there have been times this year when California, one of the world’s largest economies, has gotten third of its power from the sun. It hasn’t always been sunny on the road to a million solar installations. Although there is sustained double-digit market and job growth, there have also been naysayers, big-moneyed opposition, nasty electoral politics, and stumbles from an industry in its early stages..." (Image credit: Solar City).
TODAY: Partly sunny, lukewarm. Winds: SW 8-13. High: 77
THURSDAY NIGHT: Clear and mild. Low: 57
FRIDAY: Warm sun, late-day T-shower possible. Winds: SW 10-20. High: 85
FRIDAY NIGHT: Risk of a few showers, T-storms. Low: 58
SATURDAY: Gradual clearing, cooler breeze. Winds: N 10-20. High: 68
SUNDAY: Partly sunny, less wind. Winds: E 5-10. Wake-up: 49. High: 73
MONDAY: Unsettled, showers develop. Winds: E 10-20. Wake-up: 54. High: 67
TUESDAY: Lingering showers, clap of thunder? Winds: E 10-20. Wake-up: 53. High: 68
WEDNESDAY: Atmospheric holding pattern, instability showers. Winds: SW 10-15. Wake-up: 51. High: 66
Photo credit above: "Smoke rises from a wildfire outside of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Tuesday, May 3, 2016." Image: Mary Anne Sexsmith-Segato/The Canadian Press via AP.
Photo credit above: "Global direct action began with hundreds of environmental activists invading the UK’s largest opencast coal mine in south Wales on Tuesday." Photograph: Kristian Buus for the Guardian.
Price Water or Prepare for a Thirstier, Poorer Planet. Here's an excerpt from a story at Climate Home: "The future will be thirsty unless governments place a price on water. That’s the stark warning in a World Bank report published on Tuesday, urging lawmakers to make water conservation a national and international priority. Rising populations, soaring energy demand, expanding agricultural lands and climate change are making water increasingly scarce, driving hunger, conflict and economic woes..."
Photo credit above: "Fatuma has lost 190 sheep and goats and 23 cattle because of the drought. She now has 10 goats and sheep and 2 cattle." (Pic: Abiy Getahun/Oxfam).
Resettling the First American "Climate Refugees". Here's an excerpt from an analysis by The New York Times: "...In January, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced grants totaling $1 billion in 13 states to help communities adapt to climate change, by building stronger levees, dams and drainage systems. One of those grants, $48 million for Isle de Jean Charles, is something new: the first allocation of federal tax dollars to move an entire community struggling with the impacts of climate change. The divisions the effort has exposed and the logistical and moral dilemmas it has presented point up in microcosm the massive problems the world could face in the coming decades as it confronts a new category of displaced people who have become known as climate refugees..."
Image credit above: "" Credit Josh Haner/The New York Times.
Editorial: A Climate Plan for Conservatives. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed at TheLedger.com: "Our planet is now setting records for setting records about the heat. Earth has set monthly heat records for 11 months in a row, a record in itself, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced last week. As global warming causes such changes, researchers told the Associated Press that they're worried the public is become desensitized to the drumbeat of broken records. The same could be said for other worrisome trends involving climate change..."