78 F. average high on August 26.
74 F. high on August 26, 2015.
August 27, 1992: A chilly night in Embarrass, where the temperature dips to 28 degrees.
Weather Maps Looks Summery Into Early September
Welcome armchair meteorologists. We've been expecting you! Technology has unleashed the democratization of meteorology.
20 years ago you watched TV or listened to the radio, hoping to get some idea how the weather would affect your plans. Legacy media isn't going away anytime soon but with web sites, social media and smartphone apps you can dial up the forecast on your schedule, interpret the latest Doppler radar screen centered on your GPS location, see tornado videos posted on Twitter and Facebook to gauge the level of risk. It's a brave new world out there.
Weather models continue to improve (slowly) but there's a maddening level of uncertainty around the storm pushing into the Bahamas. ECMWF (Euro) solutions brush the southeast coast as a minor storm, but NOAA models print out a big hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico next week.
Showers today are most likely up north; a few hours of rain (on-a-stick) may temporarily dampen spirits. 80s return Sunday and much of next week; 90F possible by next weekend.
Meteorological Autumn begins on Thursday. Tell that to the atmosphere.
Aeris Weather Briefings: Issued Friday morning, August 26, 2016.
* Invest-99 tropical depression still disorganized - not forming as rapidly as predicted - future track/intensity is an even bigger mystery than usual.
* High level of confidence that Invest-99 will impact Florida as a weak tropical storm by Sunday-Monday, with flash flooding and winds in the 30-50 mph range.
* From there confidence levels drop off. Latest ECMWF (European) model takes a tropical depression or weak Tropical Storm (Hermine) up the east coast of Florida, brushing the Carolinas with heavy rain, but no major intensification.
* NOAA models keep trying to strengthen Hermine into a potentially major hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico, where water temperatures are the rough equivalent of bathwater and wind shear is less - meaning more favorable conditions for strengthening early next week.
* Prepare Florida facilities for heavy rain, strong surf and sporadic power outages and keep an eye on latest briefings for a possible second (stronger) landfall next week along the Gulf Coast.
* We don't know what we don't know. For now any future Tropical Storm or Hurricane Hermine is an enigma wrapped in a riddle. We should pay attention to model trends, not panic, but also not let our collective guard down anytime soon.
Summary: The hurricane forecast is rarely black or white, but ususally some nebulous shade of gray. Such is the case this morning. We all want to err on the side of caution and safety and not over-hype (any) storm, but there's still a significant risk of a hurricane forming in the Gulf of Mexico next week; in my opinion a 50-50 probability. Either way Florida will experience flooding rains by early next week.
Another update Saturday morning. With any luck the situation will crystalize a bit.
Paul Douglas, Senior Meteorologist, AerisWeather
Map credit: "Princeton University-led research found that people's view of future storm threat is based on their hurricane experience, gender and political affiliation, despite ample evidence that Atlantic hurricanes are getting stronger. This could affect how policymakers and scientists communicate the increasing deadliness of hurricanes as a result of climate change. The figure above shows the wind speed of the latest hurricane landfall (left) on the U.S. Gulf Coast by county up to 2012, with red indicating the strongest winds. The data on the right show for the same area, by county, public agreement with the statement that storms have been strengthening in recent years, which was posed during a 2012 survey. Blue indicates the strongest agreement, while red equals the least agreement." (Image courtesy of Ning Lin, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering).
Soggy Days At The Minnesota State Fair. Expect puddles on Saturday at the fair, but it could be worse, as described by the Minnesota Climatology Working Group: "...The wettest fair was in 1977 with 9.48 inches, and the driest fair was 2003 with only .02 inch of rain... The largest rain event in the State Fair's history was 4.06 inches on August 30, 1977. At 8:20 pm heavy rains hit the State Fair. The U of M St. Paul Campus climate observatory ½ mile north of the fairgrounds saw 4.06 inches of rain. This caused some of the worst street flooding seen at the fairgrounds. The bulk of the rain fell in a 3 1/2 hour period from 8:15pm to 11:45pm. The grandstand show was cancelled, and people had great difficulty trying to leave the fair. The Twin Cities International Airport saw 7.28 inches from this event, second only to the 1987 'Superstorm." People driving on I-94 leaving the fair found water "up to their hood ornaments" in low areas under bridges..." (photo credit: Minnesota Historical Society).
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..."
TODAY: Showers and T-storms possible - patchy clouds. Winds: SE 7-12. High: 75
SATURDAY NIGHT: Few T-storms, potentially heavy. Low: 63
SUNDAY: More sun, warming up nicely. Few scattered T-storms. Winds: S 8-13. High: 84
MONDAY: AM sunshine, few PM T-storms. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 70. High: 85
TUESDAY: Sunnier and drier, still warm. Winds: NE 7-12. Wake-up: 67. High: 82
WEDNESDAY: Lot's of sun, very pleasant. Winds: SE 8-13. Wake-up: 62. High: 83
THURSDAY: Hazy sun, sticky again. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 63. High: 85
FRIDAY: Intervals of sun, almost hot. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 66. High: 88
Graphic credit: J. You/Science; (Data Source) Richard Heede.
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.