77 F. average high on June 14.
85 F. high on June 14, 2015.
.99" of rain fell at St. Cloud on Tuesday.
June 15, 1989: Scattered frost develops across Minnesota, with the coldest reading of 29 at Isabella.
Drying Out - A Little Severe Storm Perspective
Yesterday was a subtle (yet blunt) reminder that, historically, June is Minnesota's wettest, most severe month of the year. Arguably the worst time for outdoor weddings and grad parties, too.
The approach of juicy, super-heated air from the south, coupled with twisting winds aloft, can create an environment where thunderstorms begin to spin. These rotating "supercells" can travel for hours, a protected updraft sparking large hail, even tornadoes.
Perspective is important: out of 100 thunderstorms only 10 will reach severe limits (58 mph plus winds and/or 1-inch diameter hail), and only 1 will ever produce a tornado.
Yesterday's weather drama is fading as a drying northwest breeze chases storms into Wisconsin today. The sun comes out later, and stays out into most of Sunday with a gradual warming trend.
ECMWF guidance hints at mid-90s Sunday with a heat index that may leave you fleeing in search of a cool body of water.
But it can always be worse. Sunday's predicted high in Phoenix is 118F, just shy of the all-time record of 122F, set on June 26, 1990. Truly gasp-worthy.
Early Count: 7 Minnesota Tornadoes. This will change as NOAA conducts site surveys, but there may have been (at least) 7 separate tornado spin-ups yesterday across southern and west central Minnesota. I suspect most of these were smaller tornadoes, EF-0 and EF-1 but I wouldn't be surprised to see swaths of greater damage. Check out the details at NOAA SPC.
You Will Never Guess What Kind of Weather is the Deadliest. Cities, with additional heat provided by the urban heat island, are most vulnerable to heat-related ailments. Here's an excerpt from weather.com: "There are a number of significant weather events that residents of this great nation have to endure every year. Given three guesses as to which one produces the greatest number of fatalities, what would your answer be? Violent winds from a hurricane or tornado, lightning from thunderstorms, and rising floodwaters come to mind. But the weather event that actually produces the greatest number of fatalities is heat..."
Graphic credit: "Weather Fatalities Per Year." (30 Year Average) (NWS).
Hottest Days on Record in Phoenix. Feel free to forward this to a friend in Scottsdale. 120F looks increasingly likely (air temperature) Sunday afternoon. Like Venus, with drive-thru restaurants. Graphic credit: AerisWeather.
Photo credit: "Car baked turkey (left) and a “control” piece. Pan stayed in a car for 1 hour." Photo courtesy of Dr. Marshall Shepherd.
Image credit: "Global mean surface temperature for El Nino years." Data source: GISS NASA
The Weather-Predicting Tech Behind $62 Billion Monsanto Bid. Yahoo Finance has the story - here's an excerpt: "...Signs of the transformation abound: drones providing bird’s-eye views of fields; mapping software locating underground water sources; sensor- laden tractors monitoring harvests in real time. It’s happening outside the fields, too. Cows’ meal portions are adjusted automatically based on their milk output. Infrared cameras identify chickens with fevers, protecting flocks. Adoption of digital tools comes amid concerns that food production isn’t keeping up with the world’s appetite. Crop yields have remained relatively flat in recent years, even as demand is increasing because of population growth and the rising middle class in developing nations such as China..."
Save the Climate and Protect America: Build an "Underground Energy Interstate" Now. I found an Op-Ed at Capital Weather Gang fairly convincing; here's the intro: "The two greatest threats the United States (and other nations) face could be solved by a single infrastructure project that could be done now with existing technology. The threat the Democrats see is climate change. The threat the Republicans see is terrorism on a massive scale. There are weapons, called Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) nuclear bombs, currently in the hands of nations such as North Korea that could be in the hands of terrorists in 15 years. An EMP bomb placed high above Kansas City, Kan., could wipe out the U.S. electric system and much of our digital electronics..."
File photo credit: "
In an analysis last year, the NPCA found that even parks with the most protection under the Clear Air Act—icons like Mesa Verde, Everglades, Yosemite, Acadia and Sequoia—continue to experience pollution that can affect wildlife and human health, as well as the climate. According to the National Park Service’s own data, ozone levels on the peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains, for example, are nearly twice those in nearby cities like Atlanta. Up to 90 percent of black cherry trees in the park (depending on location) have sickly yellow leaves and other signs of ozone damage, and visitors with asthma can have trouble breathing. In California, Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks regularly have ozone pollution that exceeds the 70 parts per billion standard set by the Environmental Protection Agency..."
Photo credit: "The view looking into the Shenandoah Valley can be hugely obscured by haze." (NPS photo).
Coal and Gas to Begin "Terminal Decline" In Less Than a Decade, Bloomberg Says. You could make a strong argument that the decline has already begun. Here's an excerpt at ThinkProgress: "...It’s been clear for a while that coal demand is plateauing, if it hasn’t already peaked. But BNEF explains that of the “eight massive shifts coming soon to power markets,” #1 is “There Will Be No Golden Age of Gas.” Here is the core finding of BNEF’s “annual long-term view of how the world’s power markets will evolve in the future,” their New Energy Outlook (NEO):
Cheaper coal and cheaper gas will not derail the transformation and decarbonisation of the world’s power systems. By 2040, zero-emission energy sources will make up 60% of installed capacity. Wind and solar will account for 64% of the 8.6TW [1 Terawatt = 1,000 Gigawatts] of new power generating capacity added worldwide over the next 25 years, and for almost 60% of the $11.4 trillion invested.File photo credit: Shutterstock.
Graphic credit: Sam Ori. You can see the full data here.
Apple is Making So Much Clean Energy it Formed a New Company to Sell It. The Verge has details; here's the intro: "Apple has created a subsidiary to sell the excess electricity generated by its hundreds of megawatts of solar projects. The company, called Apple Energy LLC, filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to sell power on wholesale markets across the US. The company has announced plans for 521 megawatts of solar projects globally. It's using that clean energy to power all of its data centers, as well as most of its Apple Stores and corporate offices. In addition, it has other investments in hydroelectric, biogas, and geothermal power, and looks to purchase green energy off the grid when it can't generate its own power. In all, Apple says it generates enough electricity to cover 93 percent of its energy usage worldwide..." (File photo: Apple Inc.)
Net Neutrality Rules Upheld by Federal Court. Internet is, in fact, a utility, at least according to the courts. Here's an excerpt at The New York Times: "High-speed internet service can be defined as a utility, a federal court has ruled, a decision clearing the way for more rigorous policing of broadband providers and greater protections for web users. The decision from a three-judge panel at the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday comes in a case about rules applying to a doctrine known as net neutrality, which prohibit broadband companies from blocking or slowing the delivery of internet content to consumers..."
TODAY: Partly sunny - a drier, milder day. Winds: W 10-15. High: near 80
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and more comfortable. Low: 61
THURSDAY: Plenty of sunshine, less humid. Winds: NE 7-12. High: 80
FRIDAY: Warm sunshine. Take a comp day. Winds: SE 10-15. Wake-up: 65. High: 85
SATURDAY: Sticky sunshine, plenty hot. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 67. High: 88
SUNDAY: Stinking hot, T-storms late? Heat index near 100? Winds: SW 10-15. Wake-up: 72. High: 94
MONDAY: Storms taper, a bit of relief. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 75. High: 84
TUESDAY: Plenty of sun, cooler and less humid. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 66. High: 75
Photo credit: "Wetlands formed by thawing permafrost in northern Sweden." Credit: distantranges/flickr
Photo credit: "Grafferner Glacier defines part of the border between Italy and Austria. The GPS tracking devices monitor the glacier's melt and, in turn, that border's movement." Photos by Delfino Sisto Legnani.
Photo credit: "Children play amid icebergs on the beach in Nuuk, Greenland, June 5, 2016." Reuters/Alister Doyle.
Photo credit: "People watch the flood water levels of Seine river from Pont de l’Alma bridge with the partially submerged statue ‘Le Zouave’ in Paris, France, June 3." Photo credit: EPA / Jeremy Lempin.
* Check out the podcast interview with author Shawn Otto at Ikonocast.
The Mistrust of Science. Continuing the the theme, here's an excerpt of a recent New Yorker article: "...To defend those beliefs, few dismiss the authority of science. They dismiss the authority of the scientific community. People don’t argue back by claiming divine authority anymore. They argue back by claiming to have the truer scientific authority. It can make matters incredibly confusing. You have to be able to recognize the difference between claims of science and those of pseudoscience. Science’s defenders have identified five hallmark moves of pseudoscientists. They argue that the scientific consensus emerges from a conspiracy to suppress dissenting views. They produce fake experts, who have views contrary to established knowledge but do not actually have a credible scientific track record. They cherry-pick the data and papers that challenge the dominant view as a means of discrediting an entire field. They deploy false analogies and other logical fallacies. And they set impossible expectations of research: when scientists produce one level of certainty, the pseudoscientists insist they achieve another..."
Photo credit: "Peabody Energy has funded dozens of groups that question climate science, analysis shows." Photograph: Jeff Roberson/AP
Its presence loomed larger this year, as 65 percent of survey respondents reported being concerned about the potential impact of climate change and rising sea levels on the real-estate market. According to the survey, buyers did not share the sentiment; only 22 percent mentioned it as an issue.Image credit: Miami Herald.