.06" rain fell as of 8pm.
77 F. average high on August 28.
80 F. high on August 28, 2015.
August 29, 1948: An airliner crashes during a thunderstorm near Winona, killing 37 people on board.
August 29, 1863: A devastating killing frost affects most of Minnesota, killing vines and damaging corn.
Minnesota: Chilly But Blissfully Hurricane-Free
An old college professor told me that only Siberia experiences wilder swings in temperature and moisture than Minnesota. The most extreme weather occurs near the center of continents, well away from the moderating influence of ocean water.
But those oceans can spin up nature's biggest, most dangerous storms, fueled by deep layers of warm water.
Unlike tornadoes, where the safest place is below-ground, in a hurricane you want get UP; at least 3rd floor or higher. The biggest danger isn't wind or even flooding rains, but the storm surge - a rapid rise in water level that results in most of the fatalities.
I do love Florida, in small quantities. And later this week a tropical storm or weak hurricane may track north of Tampa. It's been over a decade since a Category 3 hurricane has smacked the USA. I suspect America's hurricane drought will end this year.
A thunderstorm may bubble up today, but dry, sunny weather prevails Tuesday into Friday. Models hint at T-storms flaring up again Labor Day weekend with highs near 80F. A long way from perfect but I see no storms with names.
Tornadoes In Unusual Places. Last night meteorologists were tracking large tornadoes in Polk County, near Flame and Gary. Heavy.com has a good chronology of social media photos and radar screen shots.
* Uncertainty remains high - confidence levels are low, but consensus is growing that the Gulf coast of Florida will be impacted by a tropical storm or hurricane (probably named "Ian") later this week. Timing is still problematic, but the most likely window for any landfall between Tampa and the Big Bend region of Florida is Wednesday into Friday morning.
* Florida will experience flooding rains from this system; the greatest potential for flash flooding and impact to facilities and staff from the Florida Keys to Sarasota, Tampa and the Panhandle. Areas that normally flood will experience flood-related challenges later this week.
* Tropical Depression forms southeast of the Carolinas - Tropical Storm Watch may be issued by NHC later today for Carolina Coast for "Hermine".
* We are heading into a much busier pattern for tropical storms and hurricanes. The hurricane drought (over 10 years since a Category 3 storm) may be coming to an end. Pay close attention in the coming days and weeks.
NOAA HWRF Model: Thursday Morning. NOAA's high-resolution hurricane model suggests landfall as a weak to moderate hurricane, just north of Tampa, sometime Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Look at the trends, not any one specific model track. Map: WeatherBell.
European Model: Wednesday Evening. The usually-reliable ECMWF (Euro) kills the storm again, bringinig a tropical depression into Florida by midweek with soaking/flooding rains, but little storm surge flooding; a sloppy, disorganized storm. It's an important data point. NOAA models continue to suggest a significant storm, but the ECMWF, which did such a good job with Sandy in 2012, is not impressed. Graphic credit: WSI.
Paul Douglas, Senior Meteorologist, AerisWeather
Map credit: "Projections of stagnant air days under continued heat-trapping gas emissions and warming show future increases in the number of these days in both the growing western U.S. and the highly populated eastern areas. As global temperatures warm, the difference between temperatures at the poles and the equator are decreasing, and this is projected to influence the jet stream, bringing an overall decrease in storm tracks through the midlatitudes (including areas over the continental U.S.) and decreasing windiness. The result could be longer spans of stagnant air hanging over U.S. regions."
Photo credit: Lockheed Martin.
Iowa Utilities Board Approves Huge Wind Energy Project. Some staggering statistics and projects for renewables south of the border, courtesy of AP and KCRG.com: "The Iowa Utilities Board has approved a wind turbine operation it says will be the nation's largest wind energy project. Des Moines-based MidAmerican Energy is behind the planned $3.6 billion wind turbine operation that will generate up to 2,000 megawatts of electricity. MidAmerican Energy said that is enough 800,000 homes and the project will see 85 percent of the company's Iowa customer needs met through wind energy by 2020..."
Photo credit: "The site of this former Ford assembly plant, now demolished, is among three locations around the Twin Cities being eyed for net zero (or close to it) development."
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: NASA.
TODAY: Sticky sun, few T-storms. Winds: S 10-15. High: 86
MONDAY NIGHT: Few T-storms in the area. Low: 66
TUESDAY: Damp start, then rapid clearing. Winds: N 7-12. High: near 80
WEDNESDAY: Sunny, good day to visit the fair. Winds: NE 5-10. Wake-up: 59. High: 80
THURSDAY: Partly sunny, very comfortable. Winds: SE 5-10. Wake-up: 57. High: 77
FRIDAY: Hazy sun, more humidity in the air. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 58. High: 79
SATURDAY: Warm sun, late T-storms. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 60. High: 82
SUNDAY: Spurts of sun, few T-storms pop. Winds: S 7-12. Wake-up: 63. High: near 80
File photo: Nati Harnik, Associated Press.
Graphic credit: J. You/Science; (Data Source) Richard Heede.