80 F. high temperature on Tuesday.
69 F. average high on May 16.
63 F. high on May 16, 2016.
May 17, 1915: Old man winter's last hurrah dumps 5 inches of snow along the western shore of Lake Superior.
Beware of Electrical "Bolts From The Blue"
"Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work" mused Mark Twain.
In my quest to know any (future) grand kids I have a healthy respect for lightning. The first growl of thunder I duck into a building or vehicle. 38 Americans were killed by lightning in 2016, almost all these deaths ultimately preventable.
I've run into coaches who don't move kids to safety until they can "see the lightning". Which is just asking for trouble. Because lightning can travel up to 10 miles, horizontally. People have been struck and killed with blue sky directly overhead, a distant thunderhead on the horizon. There's a reason why the expression "bolt from the blue" exists.
A Conga-line of sloppy storms will antagonize farmers and construction crews into the weekend. Surface winds shift to the northeast today, lowering the risk of severe thunderstorms. But more heavy rain is expected this afternoon - another stormy surge on Saturday. Sunday may be salvageable, but don't get your hopes up.
A/C will be optional, with highs in the 50s Thursday into Saturday. A cool, showery bias lingers into next week. Yes, spring MAY arrive any day.
Classic Hook Echo. I issued the tweet above at 4:48 pm yesterday, when it was apparent that a tornadic, supercell thunderstorm was pushing toward Barron. You can see the cell, which looked like the number "6", in the upper right of this image. A Tornado Warning was in effect at the time.
April Relapse. Yesterday felt like July 16; Thursday will feel like April 16. Makes perfect sense. Unusually cool weather spills into the weekend, but 60s may return next week. Twin Cities ECMWF data: WeatherBell.
Just Imagine: 1.5 Million in Evacuation Gridlock as a Hurricane Aims at Tampa Bay. The west coast of Florida has been (supernaturally) lucky in recent decades. Pondering a worst-case scenario for the Tampa area gives emergency planners the chills, explains TBO.com: "...Nearly every scenario seems nightmarish: In Pinellas County, a Level D evacuation gives 585,000 people — half the county's population — 36 hours to crawl across the Courtney Campbell Causeway, Howard Frankland and Gandy bridges. In Pasco County, a Level B evacuation means nearly 175,000 people would have 24 hours to flee east along just two roads, State Roads 52 and 54. And if a monster hurricane takes aim at the bay area, the highest evacuation level in Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas and Manatee counties would result in a total of 1.5 million — half the region — ordered to leave their homes over two full days. The Tampa Bay area has a booming population but a busted road network. Emergency management officials wonder how a region that can't handle rush-hour traffic will deal with the realities of a major hurricane evacuation. The bay area hasn't had a direct hurricane strike in nearly a century and hasn't had a major evacuation in more than a decade..."
Photo credit: "Vehicles pack the northbound lanes of the Howard Frankland Bridge heading toward Tampa during the evacuation for powerful Hurricane Charley on Aug. 12, 2004." Times (2004)
U.S.Drought Monitor courtesy of The National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
April 27 Was Second Warmest on Record, Worldwide. NASA GISS has the details: "April 2017 was the second warmest April in 137 years of modern record-keeping, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York. Last month was 0.88 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean April temperature from 1951-1980. The two top April temperature anomalies have occurred during the past two years. April 2016 was the hottest on record, at 1.06 degrees Celsius warmer than the April mean temperature. April 2017's temperature was 0.18 degrees Celsius cooler than April 2016. This past April was only slightly warmer than the third warmest April, which occurred in 2010 and was 0.87 degrees warmer than the mean..."
Farmers Scramble to Adapt to Volatile Weather. The Wall Street Journal reports: "U.S. farmers are putting aside politics and arming themselves for volatile weather that they expect will be the new normal. Intense heat waves, droughts and floods have led to erratic yields in California, Michigan, Illinois, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and other agricultural states. Expecting that trend to continue, farmers big and small are investing in ways to preserve water in their soil, plant crops more quickly and irrigate more efficiently. “We are watching springs dry up,” says Pat O’Toole, a Savery, Wyo., rancher, who uses portable, solar-powered pumps to retrieve groundwater for his 6,000 sheep and 1,000 cows. “We are aggressively looking at our whole operation.” The year 2012, with its record-setting heat wave and drought, was a turning point for many. Growers in 22 states suffered what federal agencies considered “crop failure,” the worst agricultural calamity since a severe dry spell in 1988..." (File photo: Rob Koch).
1 in 1,000 Year Rainfall Caused Missouri Floods. By my count the USA experienced at least 5 separate thousand-year rains in 2016, a number that may be topped this year. Here's an excerpt from USA TODAY: "The massive amount of rain that caused the devastating flooding in the past few weeks in Missouri was a rare 1-in-1,000-year event, meteorologists said Friday. Most of the “once-in-a-millennium” rainfall from late April to early May occurred in Texas and Howell counties in southern Missouri, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. Some areas picked up over a foot of rain within a few hours April 29. "This incredible rainfall resulted in widespread and historic flooding," the National Weather Service in Springfield, Mo., said. "Numerous roads, bridges and buildings were destroyed." Other portions of the state, as well as parts of Illinois and Indiana, experienced less extreme rainfall, on the order of 1-in-200 and 1-in-500-year levels..."
Photo credit: WKYT-TV.
Photo credit: "Williams College astronomer Jay Pasachoff prepares for a solar eclipse in Argentine Patagonia in February. He plans to observe this summer's total eclipse from western Oregon." (Photo courtesy of Jay Pasachoff)
Photo credit: Inhabitat.com.
Photo credit: "Vehicles like the BMW i3 electric car are a future that is coming fast according to a report out the US."
Minnesota's Governor Dayton Vetoes State Legislature's Attempt to Gut Renewables. Here's an excerpt at ThinkProgress: "Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton has locked horns with Minnesota’s Republican-led legislature over a set of budget bills that must pass before the session ends next week, or the state risks a shut-down. On Monday, the governor vetoed five omnibus bills over concerns that the legislature is cutting too much, too quickly — including a successful solar program. The energy and commerce omnibus bill would have eliminated the state’s renewable development fund — replacing it with an energy fund that could be used to fund a broad range of projects — and would have eliminated the state’s Made in Minnesota solar rebate program..."
Graphic credit: Solar Energy Industries Association.
Image credit: "
Map credit: The Atlantic, Institute for Spatial Economic Analysis, University of Redlands.
File photo: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters.
Photo credit: "
Illustration credit: "An illustration from the Illustrated Police News, Saturday 11 May 1889." All Images: © The British Library Board. All rights reserved/ Courtesy The British Newspaper Archive
TODAY: Showers and T-storms likely, cooler. Heavy rain likely Winds: NE 8-13. High: 69
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: More rain, heavy at times. Low: 51
THURSDAY: Showers taper early, clouds linger - cool breeze. Winds: NE 10-20. High: 57
FRIDAY: Dry start, another round of showers. Winds: NE 10-15. Wake-up: 44. High: 56
SATURDAY: More rain, potentially heavy. Winds: NE 10-20. Wake-up: 46. High: 57
SUNDAY: Damp start, then sunny peeks. Better. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 47. High: 59
MONDAY: Sunny start, few PM pop-up showers. Winds: W 10-15. Wake-up: 46. High: 67
TUESDAY: Still cool, few instability showers. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 48. high: 63
Trump Country is Flooding, and Climate Ideas Are Shifting. E&ENews has an eye-opening article focused on changes being witnessed in the Mississippi River Valley: "...The politics of climate change make it challenging for mayors south of St. Louis to discuss it openly, said Colin Wellenkamp, executive director of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative. They talk about disaster mitigation or disaster resilience — often code words for how they're responding to climate change without saying the words. Counts and other mayors understand that disasters are on the rise, though. Counts laughs when Wellenkamp is asked whether there's such a thing as a 100-year flood anymore. Wellenkamp trots out familiar statistics: Since 2011, the 10-state Mississippi River corridor has seen $50 billion in natural disaster impacts, including a 100-year flood, a 200-year flood, a 500-year flood, a 50-year drought and two hurricanes. The 75 cities in his network are learning how to live with the river, Wellenkamp said, "not make the river live with us." "Our focus has been: How do we really increase the number of solutions that are on the table?" he said. "And how many of those solutions can work in the long term?..."
Image credit: "A flooded home on stilts near Thebes, Ill." Photo by Erika Bolstad.
Managing Risk in a Changing Climate. WPSU-TV at Penn State has a description and link to the documentary: "Climate change poses real threats that call for tough choices under deep uncertainty. Louisiana has been called “the canary in the coal mine” for climate impacts as it reports rates of relative sea level rise among the highest in the world as more and more land disappears into the Gulf of Mexico. The public television documentary Managing Risk in a Changing Climate examines how Louisiana decision makers engage with researchers and stakeholders to inform choices about how to manage risks driven by changing sea levels and storms. Featuring some of the nation’s leading climate experts and narrated by Peter Coyote, Managing Risk in a Changing Climate examines one of humanity’s most pressing challenges through the lens of the many academic disciplines needed to address the impacts and surrounding economic, social, and environmental issues that come with managing risk in a changing climate..."
Photo credit: "A growing body of scientific research suggests extreme flooding like that seen in Kelowna this month will become a lot more common in the future." (Manjula Dufresne/CBC).
STEPHANIE SY: The fossil fuel industry has actually come out in favor of some sort of carbon pricing. Do you view them as genuine allies on climate action?
SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE: No. Every part of the fossil fuel industry’s and Big Oil’s political apparatus is still lined up to say, ‘If you dare talk about a carbon price, we are coming after you..."
Image credit: "Climate change is one of many issues seen as dividing Democrats and Republicans. A dominant wing of the GOP has denied climate change exists, as some Democrats have tried to reduce air pollution and push for alternative forms of energy. But meanwhile, some Republicans are also pushing for climate action." NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent Stephanie Sy reports.
Under Fire, Climate Scientists Unite with Lawyers to Fight Back. The New York Times reports.