66 F. high temperature Monday.
69 F. average high on May 15 in St. Cloud.
66 F. maximum temperature on May 15, 2016.
May 16, 1934: An extreme hot spell results in temperatures over 100 across parts of Minnesota, and record highs of 94 in St. Cloud and Minneapolis.
Soggy, Potentially Severe Holding Pattern
Growing up the weather had a distinct rhythm, a fairly predictable ebb & flow. Things clicked, most of the time. Lately, the Symphony of the Seasons has sounded more like a bored, talent-free 2nd grade orchestra, screeching away. America's manic weather has been playing out of tune since the late 90s, and I've been talking about it ever since.
Rapid warming of the Arctic may be impacting the configuration of the jet stream with a subsequent slowing of patterns - a greater tendency for systems to stall, for weather to get stuck for days or even weeks at a time. Record flooding in Montreal; a record wet winter for California's Sierra Nevada, after a record 7-year drought; another 1,000 year flood for Missouri?
Our weather gets stuck this week, with repeated waves of T-storms and heavy rain. A few storms may turn severe today; models print out 3 inches of new rain by Wednesday night. By Saturday night totals may push 3-5 inches for some communities.
Expect 50s for highs later this week, but 60s return next week with a drier sky; maybe 70s by Memorial Day? My fingers are crossed.
* 84-hour rainfall prediction above (NAM model) courtesy of NOAA and Pivotalweather.com.
Tuesday Severe Threat. The best chance of large hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes later today will come from the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandle into central Kansas, but strong to severe storms are possible as far north as the Twin Cities and Eau Claire.
Month's Worth of Rain Next 84 Hours. Most spots will pick up an inch or two of additional rain, but NAM guidance suggests as much as 4", especially south and east of the Twin Cities and the Nebraska Panhandle. Animation: Pivotalweather.com.
National Drought Recedes to Record Low Level. NOAA has the details: “April showers bring May flowers,” or so the saying goes. Perhaps a more appropriate description this year might be, “Heavy April showers bring record flooding.” All that rain helped shrink the drought footprint for the contiguous U.S. to the lowest level since the nationwide Drought Monitor program began in 2000. It also caused loss of life and extensive property destruction in many communities. Last month, the average contiguous U.S. temperature was 53.8 degrees F, 2.7 degrees above the 20th-century average. The month ranked as the 11th warmest April in the 123-year period of record, according to scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information..."
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..."
Large Floods Can Flood Aging Sewer Systems with Harmful Bacteria, Viruses. Well here's an implication of more heavy rain events I hadn't pondered before, courtesy of terradaily.com: "Researchers have discovered a worrying link between heavy rainfall and upticks in infections caused by bacteria and viruses carried by human waste. The correlation was identified in cities with aging sewer systems. Modern sewer systems separate human waste and storm runoff. But in many old sewer systems, a single pipe handles both. Environmental scientist Jyotsna Jagai has spent several years studying the human health risks associated with "combined sewers," which are found in more than 70 major American cities. In 2014, Jagai began comparing rainfall data with hospital records in Massachusetts between 2003 and 2007. In cities with combined sewers, Jagai found heavy rains led to an 13 percent increase in gastrointestinal disorders linked to human waste-borne bacteria and viruses..."
Photo credit: "Vehicles like the BMW i3 electric car are a future that is coming fast according to a report out the US."
“It gives them a chance to try them out, take a car for a test drive, actually practice plugging in the charger and see what that feels like and learn about all their options in a stress free environment...”Photo credit: "Inside the Go Forth Electric Showcase." (Image Credit: flickr via Zax9000).
Map credit: The Atlantic, Institute for Spatial Economic Analysis, University of Redlands.
File photo: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters.
Photo credit: "
Photo credit: "Turns out that humans aren't the only animals that contagiously yawn." iStockphoto.
TODAY: Muggy and warm with T-storms, some severe. Winds: S 15-25. High: 85
TUESDAY NIGHT: Humid with a risk of thunderstorms. Low: 64
WEDNESDAY: Rain, heavy at times. Flash flood risk. Winds: SE 8-13. High: 73
THURSDAY: Cooler and drier. Peeks of sun. Winds: NE 8-13. Wake-up: 49. High: 59
FRIDAY: Clouds return, more showers. Winds: E 10-15. Wake-up: 42. High: 56
SATURDAY: More rain, potentially heavy. Winds: SE 10-15. Wake-up: 43. High: 58
SUNDAY: Not as squishy. Sun may come out. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 44. High: 63
MONDAY: Breezy, chance of a late day shower. Winds: W 10-20. Wake-up: 45. High: 65
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.
Denying Climate Denial. I like Bret Stephens, but on the subject of climate change and the cost of inaction he's wrong. Andrew Winston takes a look at semantics, and makes a convincing case that denial is, in fact, the right word to use. Here's a clip at Medium: "...People like Bret Stephens suggest more discussion and debate about whether action is really necessary and worth the “cost” (ignoring — and, yes, denying — that if we do nothing it will likely cost the world many trillions more than if we build the clean economy). Let me be clear: denying that we need to act aggressively and immediately is still denial. And it’s really dangerous. So let’s call it climate action denial. Denial in the form of faux support for reasoned discussion is just a more nuanced technique for defending the status quo. Of course we need discussion, but about how we move forward and take carbon out of the economy — and maybe even out of the atmosphere — in the most economic way. And we need to discuss how to help those left behind as the clean economy sweeps through the world.."
Photo credit: "Eileen DeDomenicis on the patio of her home on Arizona Avenue as a high tide and rain cause flooding in parts of Atlantic City." Credit: Ted Blanco/Climate Central.
Nash: Yes, Virginia the Threat of Climate Change is Real. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed that caught my eye in The News & Advance in Lynchburg, Virginia: "...Both Democrats and Republicans have a serious case of the slows, perhaps hoping the problem will just go away. Ask your political representatives, or candidates in the upcoming elections, why that is and what they’ll do about it. Compared to other states, we fail to push for rapid conversion to solar power and other renewable energy sources, aggressive fuel economy requirements for cars, and planning for the changes we will face. Already, Norfolk and Virginia Beach have chronic flooding — about half of it the result of sea level rise from record melting of the Earth’s icecaps. Our coastal waters will be about 1.5 feet higher sometime between 2030 and 2050. That’s enough to drown several billion dollars’ worth of commercial and residential real estate, dozens of miles of highways and rails, and a third of our port facilities..."