78 F. average high on August 25.
73 F. high in the STC metro area on August 25, 2015.
August 26, 1915: Unseasonably cold air leads to killing frosts across Minnesota, with a low of 23 degrees at Roseau.
A Perfect Day For The Fair. Saturday? Not So Much
We often romanticize the past, but the good 'ol days weren't all that great. Exhibit A: The Minnesota State Fair has been canceled 5 times. In 1861 and 1862 the excuse was a Civil War, 1893 for the Columbian Exposition, 1945 for a fuel shortage related to WW II, and 1946 for a polio outbreak. Today we gripe when our gadgets break or traffic is bad - our ancestors might have found this amusing.
State Fair temperatures have ranged from 97F (1913 and 2003) to 36F in 1974. The Minnesota Climate Office reports an average of 3-4 days of rain during the fair's 12-day run. You may be relieved to hear that snow has never been reported during the fair!
Today is a good day to head over to Falcon Heights with comfortable sun and a light breeze. The approach of a warmer front sets off showers and a few heavy T-storms Saturday; some models hint at an inch of rain for MSP. Sunday looks sunnier and drier with low 80s. We could hit 90F late next week, so take advantage of a cool September breeze.
Meanwhile Florida is bracing for flooding rains from a potential Tropical Storm Hermine early next week.
Photo credit above: Minnesota Historical Society.
NOAA NHC has downgraded the storm a bit; there's now a 30% chance of tropical storm status within 48 hours, a 60% chance of tropical storm strength within 5 days.
Louisiana Governor: The State's "Historic" Flooding Is Being Ignored. TIME has the interview; here's a clip: "...The national media really has not given this story the focus that it needed to. This is historic, unprecedented, record-level flooding, with well over 100,000 homes damaged and tens of thousands of people that are not in their homes right now. But because of the Olympics, because of the presidential election, and I think because it was not a named storm, this wasn’t a hurricane that the nation was looking at. As a result, the attention of the American people has not been on this story. And they haven’t been as engaged and contributing to Red Cross as they normally would be. So we’re trying to make up for that..."
Image credit: NOAA Remote Sensing Division.
Recovering From Katrina: Will New Orleans Become the World's Climate Beacon? Deutsche Welle has an interesting read; here's a clip: "Vitally, too, the city has become a testing ground for innovative water management projects, including the construction of river gates to mimic flooding and create sediment. These will hopefully replace some of the 2,000 square miles of Louisiana's wetlands ecosystem that have disappeared due to erosion. In addition, the astounding Lake Borgne Surge Barrier - a 26-foot-high, 1.8-mile-long concrete- and steel-wall nicknamed by locals "The Great Wall of Louisiana" - was constructed to block deadly lake surges. "What's really resulted from Katrina is that now we have a better water management program," Musso said. "I believe that in a post-Katrina world, the right people turned up. I think that the city is going to be better in the future than it's ever been..." (File photo: Wikipedia).
Image credit: "The Post's Brady Dennis talks with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, about the process of getting a potential Zika vaccine tested and ready for the public." (Video: The Washington Post/Photo: Sammy Dallal for The Washington Post).
Exxon, The Olympics, and Greenwashing 2.0. Here's an excerpt from a story at GreenBiz: "...How much better off would all of us (and the planet) be if Exxon, with its immense political, technical and financial throw-weight, actually was committed to leading the way to the clean energy future? And how poetic would it be if Exxon led us to the clean-energy promised land using a workforce which, in totality, actually resembled the ethnically, racially and gender-wise perfectly diverse employee group featured in the commercial? Clean-energy leadership is probably too much to ask of this hydrocarbon colossus, but there still is a morality play here. Should Exxon as a leader of the foremost climate-damaging industry be applauded for pursuing new ventures and new sustainable technologies that ultimately might transform its business, and the energy sector with it?..."
Image credit: GreenBizPhotocollage.
The Falling Costs of Solar Power, In 7 Charts. Dave Roberts has the story at Vox; here's a link and excerpt: "The fate of the world depends on driving down the cost of solar power. Yes, that’s a melodramatic way of putting it. But it’s not wrong. Any scenario that has humanity avoiding the worst ravages of climate change involves explosive global growth in solar power. That’s why the US Department of Energy has a program, the SunShot Initiative, devoted entirely to driving down the cost of electricity generated by solar panels — the target is solar power with $1 per watt installed costs by 2020, a 75 percent reduction in costs from 2010. So how’s that going? Happily, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) releases a set of reports each year devoted to tracking solar prices; they’ve just released the latest editions. Long story short: Prices are steadily falling, more or less on schedule..."
Photo credit: "
Photo credit: "
TODAY: Sunny, spectacularly cool and comfortable. Winds: SW 3-8. High: 76
FRIDAY NIGHT: Clouds increase, T-storms late. Low: 61
SATURDAY: Showers and T-storms likely, some heavy. Winds: SE 8-13. High: 74
SUNDAY: Partly sunny; isolated T-shower risk. Nicer day of the weekend. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 62. High: 83
MONDAY: Sticky with a better chance of storms. Winds: S 8-13. Wake-up: 68. High: 85
TUESDAY: Warm sun, drying out. Winds: S 8-13. Wake-up: 69. High: 87
WEDNESDAY: Still muggy, few T-storms fire up. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 70. High: 88
THURSDAY: Hazy sun, feels like July. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 71. High: near 90
Photo credit: "In addition to releasing ancient microbes, melting layers of permafrost also release methane, a greenhouse gas 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide, that in turn causes further warming." Photograph: Murdo Macleod for the Guardian.
Photo credit: "Pools of melted ice form atop Jakobshavn Glacier, near the edge of the vast Greenland ice sheet." Photograph: Brennan Linsley/AP
This Chart Shows Why Insurers Are Climate Change Believers. When people ask if "I believe" I tell the the truth: I believe in God, I acknowledge and continually test the science surrounding climate volatility and weather disruption. Here's an excerpt at Fortune: "Whether they’re paying for hurricane cleanup or reimbursing farmers for lost livestock and crops, insurers foot much of the bill for disasters associated with climate change. The chart below shows just how big that bill can get; the cost of insured weather catastrophes has been soaring far faster than inflation. Just about every company in the property and casualty insurance business carefully tracks climate data these days (the data for the chart above, for example, comes from Swiss Re)..."
Photo credit: "Russia has invested in new Arctic ice breakers." (Pic: Christopher Michel/Flickr).