60 F. high temperature in St. Cloud on Tuesday.
71 F. average high on May 23.
78 F. high on May 23, 2016.
May 24, 1925: After seeing a high of 99 degrees two days earlier, the Twin Cities picks up a tenth (.10) of an inch of snow.
May 24, 1908: Tornadoes hit the counties of Martin and Blue Earth.
Always Err On The Side of Caution: Rent the Tent
A friend asked me about the forecast for June 3, when 80 friends and family will gather in his yard for a bat mitzvah celebration. I told Adam the Twins would beat the Angels 6 to 4. The NASDAQ will have just closed 14 points higher. And June 3 will be warm & steamy with heavy T-storms nearby. Uh huh.
Confidence levels are low this far out, but my advice for anyone planning a grad party or outdoor wedding hasn't changed. Rent. The. Tent. If you don't you're DARING Mother Nature to rain on your parade.
Remember, the weather owes us no favors.
The emerging pattern leads me to believe this will NOT be a stinking-hot summer. If anything I see a wet bias with temperatures at or below average. We'll see.
The sun returns today, but a nagging atmospheric holding pattern keeps a T-shower risk going over the holiday weekend. Right now the best outdoor days look like Friday and Saturday, with some sun and highs in the low 70s. Afternoon instability showers blossom Sunday & Memorial Day with highs in the 60s as a cold storm in the upper atmosphere keeps our skies unsettled.
Not disastrous but hardly postcard-perfect either. It's a holiday, keep your expectations low.
Image credit: "The Doppler on Wheels (DOW) scans a severe thunderstorm in eastern Colorado while a Scout vehicle equipped with tornado pods waits instruction."
Thumbnails above courtesy of the Twin Cities National Weather Service, which has more information on the May 22, 2011 North Minneapolis tornado here.
Photo credit: Kristan Lieb - Missourian File Photo. "An area of the city of Joplin lies in shambles on May 24, 2011, after an EF5 tornado flattened a mile-long swath of Joplin and killed 161 people two days earlier."
Remembering Joplin. The wedge tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri on May 22, 2011 was a reminder of the limitations of technology. Here are a few of the take-aways from NOAA: "...This was the single deadliest tornado in U.S. history since modern record-keeping began in 1950. Rated EF-5 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, this mile-wide tornado was the largest and most powerful type, and it traveled 22 miles on the ground. The report includes a number of key recommendations:
- Improve warning communications to convey a sense of urgency for extreme events. This will compel people to take immediate life-saving action;
- Collaborate with partners who communicate weather warnings to develop GPS-based warning communications, including the use of text messaging, smart phone apps, mobile communications technologies, in addition to upgrades to the Emergency Alert System and NOAA Weather Radio;
- Collaborate more throughout the weather enterprise to ensure that weather warning messages sent via television, radio, NOAA Weather Radio, local warning systems such as sirens – are consistent to reduce confusion and stress the seriousness of the threat; and
- Continue to increase community preparedness..."
Image credit: "Radar image showing the tornado as it exits Joplin. A debris ball is present in the top left corner image in pink. Radar image was taken around 7pm ET."
Did Someone Predict the Recent Wisconsin Tornado? Meteorologists can tell when atmospheric conditions are ripe for tornadic storms, but we still can't pin down where individual thunderstorms will spin up funnels more than 20-30 minutes in advance. Here's an excerpt from Madison.com: "We cannot yet forecast tornado occurrence with any accuracy. One problem is the small size of a tornado, which is a narrow column of strong winds that rotate around a center of low pressure. Over the last 60 years, forecasts of the development of large-scale low-pressure systems, which often organize the ingredients needed to form a tornado, have steadily improved. Because of these advances, meteorologists are better able to predict those conditions a few days in advance, enabling forecasters to identify counties where there is a threat of severe weather sometimes as many as three days in advance. Two days in advance of the recent EF-2 tornado that hit southeastern Polk County, the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center’s convective outlook issued a slight-risk for the area..."
Photo credit: "Naval Air Station Pensacola Air Ops personnel remove cargo straps on one of several pallets of belongings to Hurricane Matthew evacuees from Guantanamo Bay, Oct. 2, 2016." (U.S. Navy photo/Cathy Whitney)
Graphic credit: "Artist's rendition of Earth's magnetosphere." Source Wikipedia, image in public domain.
Photo credit: "
Photo credit: "Bill Ford Jr., right, executive chairman of Ford Motor Company, introduces Jim Hackett as CEO on Monday, May 22, 2017."
Image credit: "Typically, consumers by electricity from a centralized utility. LO3 Energy is making it possible for them to buy power directly from their neighbors." Source: Nexus Media/Freepik.
Photo credit: Abita Springs, Louisiana.
How AI Is Changing Your Job Hunt. Here's a snippet of an interesting story at Fortune: "...It isn’t just startups using such software; corporate behemoths are implementing it too. Artificial intelligence has come to hiring.Predictive algorithms and machine learning are fast emerging as tools to identify the best candidates. Companies are using AI to assess human qualities, drawing on research to analyze everything from word choice and microgestures to psycho-emotional traits and the tone of social media posts. The software tends to be used in the earlier part of the process, when companies are narrowing a pool of applicants, rather than in the later stages, when employers place a premium on face-to-face interaction and human judgment..."
Photo credit: Ian Allen.
Image credit: Guinness World Records.
“Success is something you attract by the person you become.” — Jim Rohn
TODAY: Partly sunny, a nicer day. Winds: NE 7-12. High: 64
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and cool. Low: 48
THURSDAY: Sunny start, late-day shower possible. Winds: SE 7-12. High: 71
FRIDAY: Decent lake day. Intervals of sun. Winds: W 8-13. Wake-up: 56. High: 75
SATURDAY: Lukewarm sun, late-day T-shower risk. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 58. High: 73
SUNDAY: More clouds, more numerous showers PM hours. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 53. High: 68
MEMORIAL DAY: AM sun, risk of a PM shower or two. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 55. High: 69
TUESDAY: Mostly cloudy, still cooler than average. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 51. High: 67
Scientists Planting 400 Acres of Minnesota Pines to Survive Climate Change. Will our grandchildren and great grandchildren have the same up north experience with pine trees, loons and eagles? The jury is still out, but I wouldn't take anything for granted. Star Tribune reports: "...This summer they’re embarking on a project to plant 400 acres with cold-loving evergreens like jack pine and tamarack in carefully selected “conifer strongholds” — places that they predict will stay cooler or wetter or have better soil, increasing the chances that a few of each species will survive for the next generation as Minnesota grows warmer. “We are trying to get us in better shape for the centuries to come,” said Meredith Cornett, a forest scientist with the Nature Conservancy in Minnesota who is heading up the project. The aim is to preserve northern forest species — not just the trees but also the mosaic of plants and animals that rely on them — to maintain biodiversity. Both will be exceedingly difficult thanks to a double whammy of the region’s past and it’s future..."
Significant Global Climate Events in April. Here's an excerpt from NOAA: "For the third consecutive month, the monthly temperature and year to date ranked second warmest in the 138-year record. At the poles, sea ice extents were at or near record low levels. The average global temperature for April 2017 was 1.62 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 56.7 degrees, according to the analysis by scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. This was the second highest for April in the 1880-2017 record, behind last year by 0.31 degrees..."
See the Fortune 500 Companies Doing the Most to Stop Climate Change. An article at Fortune caught my eye: "President Trump has made it clear that boosting business is his priority, not combating climate change. In March Trump signed an executive order to undo Obama’s Clean Power Plan, and he’s vowed to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement. But the biggest companies in the U.S. continue to embrace clean energy policies. So says a new report by Calvert Research, CDP, Ceres, and World Wildlife Fund called “Power Forward 3.0.” The study found that 240 companies in the 2016 Fortune 500 had climate-related goals, up from 215 a few years ago. Here, the 2015 CO2-equivalent savings of the 56 companies in the Fortune 100 that reported results in 2016..."
Graphic credit: Nicolas Rapp.
NATO Lawmakers Warn Climate Change May Worsen Middle East Security Risks. Reuters has the story: "Climate change will worsen food and water shortages in the Middle East and north Africa, and risk triggering more conflict and mass migration, with serious implications for the wider world, lawmakers from NATO's Parliamentary Assembly said Monday. "The long-term prospects for food and water security in the MENA region are dire," said Osman Askin Bak, a member of the Turkish Parliament who will present the draft report on Saturday at the Parliamentary Assembly - a gathering of senior parliamentarians from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's 28 member states. "Climate change will worsen the region's outlook," he added..." (File image: NASA MODIS).
Why Scientific Consensus is Worth Taking Seriously. Here's a clip from Bloomberg View: "Following the pack is not part of the scientific method. The point is to follow the evidence. And that leaves room for ambiguity in interpreting the survey results showing that 97 percent of climate scientists agree that global warming is real and that human-generated greenhouse gases are a major cause. The National Academy of Sciences, American Physical Society, American Chemical Society and other relevant scientific organizations all agree, too. For some, this consensus proves that climate change is real and that humans must take immediate action against it. But others, citing history, say the consensus view has been wrong before. Why should we believe it now? For example, scientists once believe the earth was headed into an ice age. So why should we trust them when they say the globe is warming?..."
How Inaction on Climate Change Puts America's Economy at Risk. Here's an excerpt at TheHill: "...History suggests we are making a big mistake. A White House budget report under the Obama administration provided evidence that among all types of regulations benefits exceeded cost by the largest margin for environmental initiatives. The recently enacted Mercury and Air Toxics Standards was estimated to cost $8.1 billion annually, but benefits came in at $28 billion to $77 billion. The same regulation was estimated to have modest net positive impact on employment, precisely because of the new jobs in the pollution abatement and control industry. Clean energy has the potential to be much larger. Policy, for instance in the form of a price on carbon dioxide, would prompt a reorganization of economic activity towards cleaner sources of energy. Once policy sends a clear signal, if past is prologue, American businesses will rise to the challenge and, in doing so, prepare to lead in a future low carbon world."
A new scientific analysis finds that the Earth’s oceans are rising nearly three times as rapidly as they were throughout most of the 20th century, one of the strongest indications yet that a much feared trend of not just sea level rise, but its acceleration, is now underway. “We have a much stronger acceleration in sea level rise than formerly thought,” said Sönke Dangendorf, a researcher with the University of Siegen in Germany who led the study along with scientists at institutions in Spain, France, Norway and the Netherlands. Their paper, just out in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, isn’t the first to find that the rate of rising seas is itself increasing — but it finds a bigger rate of increase than in past studies. The new paper concludes that before 1990, oceans were rising at about 1.1 millimeters per year, or just 0.43 inches per decade. From 1993 through 2012, though, it finds that they rose at 3.1 millimeters per year, or 1.22 inches per decade..."
File photo: Skeptical Science.
A Conservative Answer on Climate Change. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed at The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "...Our conservative plan would attack pollution the way that Milton Friedman, a captain of modern conservatism, told us to attack it years ago: Tax it. A carbon tax would attach the cost of pollution to products so that the marketplace could see and rightly judge all of the costs of those products — the costs that the producer’s marketing department would let us see and the costs that they’d rather secretly slough off to the suckers who have to breathe their soot. If those costs were internalized on a level playing field, unsubsidized clean energy would beat unsubsidized dirty energy. Under this plan, all the carbon tax money would go back to taxpayers through offsetting, dollar-for-dollar cuts to existing taxes or through dividend checks. There would be no growth of government..." (File image: Star Tribune).
Arctic Security Poses Icy Chess Game with Russia, China. Here's an excerpt from TheHill: "...The promise of resource exploitation has already motivated Russia and, in some instances other countries, to assert greater territorial rights, enhance Arctic military capabilities and make investments to facilitate commercial activity. Unfortunately, the United States has remained a relative bystander to this expanding Arctic activity. With the disappearance of the snow and ice, the region is at risk of veering from its history of cooperation. A Department of Defense report issued in December 2016 predicted that “competition for economic advantage and a desire to exert influence over an area of increasing geostrategic importance could lead to increased tension.” In what may be a prelude, the region is already witnessing increased shows of Russian military might..."
File photo credit: US Army National Guard, Staff Sgt Balinda O 'Neal Dresel.
Photo credit: "