August 2, 1831: Unseasonably cool air moves into Minnesota with light frost reported at Ft. Snelling.
Take Steps To Lower Your Summer Weather Risk
If you're not a little paranoid you may not be paying attention.
Every day we live with risk, and we take steps to lower the potential for disaster. We wear seat belts and helmets; take our kids by the hand crossing busy intersections.
Your odds of becoming a weather statistic are exceedingly small but there are steps you can take to avoid tragically unpleasant surprises.
Come indoors when you hear the first growl of thunder. Lightning is an equal opportunity killer. In a building or car you're generally fine. In light of the Ellicott City, Maryland super-flood remember that flash flooding claims many people in their vehicles, especially at night. "Turn around - don't drown". If you're camping take along a portable NOAA Weather Radio, and have a shelter scoped out nearby. Avoid camping next to streams, which flood rapidly when heavy rains fall upstream.
The worst of the heat stays south of Minnesota into mid-August. T-storms flare up today; again Thursday before a late week dip in humidity. We hit 90F by midweek with drippy dew points, but I suspect the worst of the heat may be behind us.
Minnesota: Drought-Free, For Now. National Drought Monitor data shows South Dakota drying out rapidly, pockets of drought across Lower Michigan. But soil moisture across most of Minnesota and Wisconsin is in good shape, in spite of the transition from El Nino to La Nina, which is often accompanied by drought. Not yet. Map: Aeris Maps Platform.
Uncomfortable Wednesday and Thursday. Factoring highs near 90F both days with dew points rising into the 70s it may feel like mid to upper 90s across much of the region by midweek. Source: Aeris Enterprise Mobile.
Image credit: "Click this screenshot to watch an animation of GOES-West weather satellite images showing the blazing Soberanes Fire between July 22, 2016, when it started, and July 30th." (Source: RAMMB)
* At least 2 people died during severe flash flooding, according to the Baltimore Sun. More details and perspective from WJLA-TV in Washington D.C. - the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.
Photo credit: "Last year, California’s cities were required to cut their water usage by up to 35%." Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters.
Photo credit: "
Photo credit: University of Illinois-Chicago.
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TODAY: Leftover clouds, few passing T-storms. Winds: NW 5-10. High: 86
TUESDAY NIGHT: Partial clearing, drying out. Low: 68
WEDNESDAY: Sunny and drier - still hot and sticky. Feels like mid to upper 90s. High: 89
THURSDAY: Muggy with showers and T-storms likely. Wake-up: 73. High: near 90
FRIDAY: Sunny and less humid. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 65. High: 84
SATURDAY: Lingering sun, nicer day of weekend? Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 64. High: 83
SUNDAY: Chance of showers and T-storms. Winds: E 5-10. Wake-up: 66. High: 81
MONDAY: T-storms taper early, then some sun. Wake-up: 65. High: 82
Climate Change Divide Burst to Forefront in Presidential Campaign. Here's an excerpt of a New York Times story: "...Mrs. Clinton’s opponent in the November election, Donald J. Trump, has gone further than any other Republican presidential nominee in opposing climate change policy. He often mocks the established science of human-caused climate change and dismisses it as a hoax. The Republican platform calls climate change policy “the triumph of extremism over common sense.” The divide between the two parties over the issue is the widest it has been in the decades since it emerged as a public policy matter. That is all the more remarkable given that during the 2008 election, the Democratic and Republican positions on climate change were almost identical..."
Looking, Quickly, For The Fingerprints of Climate Change. Here's an excerpt from a fascinating New York Times article: "...David W. Titley, a professor of meteorology at Pennsylvania State University who was chairman of a National Academies committee that looked at developments in the field of climate-change attribution, said that at this point studies of heat waves and other extreme-temperature events appeared to produce the most reliable assessments. Studies of extreme rainfall are considered less reliable in finding links to climate change, and studies of events like wildfires and severe thunderstorms even less reliable. Still, Dr. Titley said, such studies are worth doing, as long as certain conditions are met..."
Image montage: Environment America.
The Middle East is Baking. An article at The Economist argues that climate change, even more than perpetual war, is making the Middle East increasingly uninhabitable: "...The UN’s Environmental Agency (UNEA) released a report in May calculating that the harsh climate claims 230,000 lives annually in West Asia (the Arabian Peninsula and the fertile crescent), making it a greater killer than war. By somewhere between 2070 and 2100, predicts Dr Elfatih Eltahir, professor of climate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the temperature in much of the Gulf could have reached levels beyond which any exposure for more than six hours would be intolerable even for the fittest of humans. Current highs might seem like a normal summer day. Mecca’s outdoor pilgrimage could become hazardous. “We’re seeing just the tip of the iceberg,” he adds. “Extreme temperatures will be much worse in the future...” (Photo credit: EPA).
Climate Threat to our Water Supplies. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed at The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "...What can we do? Climate change has been inadequately addressed in both management and policies, and there are gaps in knowledge. The major challenge in water governance is to align water use with demand at levels that protect the environment and to support and enforce effective legislation. People, who should pay for water, pay very little. Yet, the poorest in developing countries can pay up to 40% of their income for this basic necessity. Groundwater extraction must be regulated, and polluters should pay...."
Image credit: ThinkStock.
My Turn: Climate Change is a Moral Issue. An Op-Ed at Juneau Empire in Alaska resonated; here's an excerpt: "...Make no mistake: global warming is a religious issue. Climate change is a moral evil on many levels. It stems from overconsumption and is perpetuated by a heedless desire to continue a status quo we know is destructive. It’s a profound injustice, since its initial effects are falling hardest on the poorer members of human society who have done the least to cause it. It is also an injustice to generations newly arrived or yet-to-be born, as there is little harm greater than leaving our descendants a ravaged and exhausted environment. Finally, global warming’s ability to cause mass extinctions of the millions of creatures that share the earth with us reveals a sacrilegious contempt for the creation we were entrusted with. Some may say that this is simply God’s will. We profoundly disagree..."
Warming Waters. So far we haven't seen a significant uptick in hurricanes in the Atlantic basin, but the Pacific (bigger and even warmer) has seen record numbers of extreme category 5 hurricanes and typhoons in recent years. Graphics above: Climate Central.