June 17, 2010: The largest single-day tornado outbreak in Minnesota history occurs with 48 tornadoes across the state. This outbreak would set the stage for a record breaking tornado year in Minnesota that finished with 113 tornadoes, the most of any state in the US that year. There were three EF-4 tornadoes and four EF-3 tornadoes in Minnesota. Four tornado fatalities occurred, which was the highest daily number since July 5, 1978.
Minnesota Outlook Calls For Free (Canadian) A/C
I wonder if Canadians refer to sweaty hot fronts as "American Air"? I'm calling my friends in Scottsdale, warning them not to leave their cool, underground bunkers. The predicted high temperature on Tuesday is 120F in Phoenix, within a degree or 2 of the all-time record high.
"But it's a DRY HEAT Paul!" they insist rather indignantly. Yeah, so is my oven, but I still don't stick my head inside.
Yes, Arizona is to summer what Minnesota is to winter. At least the old fashioned winters of the 1970s.
According to Mark Seeley the first half of June was unusually warm, statewide. Only 1933 and 1988 were hotter. And now it's time for the inevitable correction.
Get outside this morning; showers and T-storms become more numerous by afternoon and evening with highs in the upper 70s. Sunday should be drier but significantly cooler, with PM readings in the 60s. Temperatures mellow a little next week, but no extended, persistent heat is in sight between now and the 4th of July.
My semi-educated hunch? Record heat will grip much of the southern USA the next few weeks. We'll see flashes of heat, but Canada will burp a series of cooling fronts south of the border. No heatwaves here anytime soon.
Tuesday Highs. Hotter in Phoenix than Death Valley? Good grief. Be careful out there. Map: Aeris AMP.
Record Territory. High temperatures early next week in metro Phoenix will come within a couple degrees of the all-time record of 122F, set on June 26, 1990.
Waves of Heat. GFS guidance looking out 384 hours shows the hottest temperatures (white denotes 90s and 100s) from the Desert Southwest into the central and southern Plains into next week; a series of cooler fronts taking the edge off the heat across northern tier states. Temperature animation: Pivotalweather.com.
- Unusually hot summer temperatures have become more common across the contiguous 48 states in recent decades, with western regions setting records for several extreme heat events in the 2000s. They have a become a leading cause of weather-related mortality.
- There has also been a dramatic increase in nighttime temperatures in the US, reducing the number of critically important relief windows during heat waves.
- The more extreme the heat wave, the more likely the event is due to global warming. Eighty-five percent of recent record-hot days globally are now attributed to climate change.
Map credit: Aeris AMP.
Saturday Severe Storm Threat. Keep an eye on Kansas City and Des Moines to Chicago later today as a few swarms of strong to severe thunderstorms bubble up. Once again a few tornadoes are likely; expect tornado watches and a few warnings by late afternoon. Map: NOAA SPC.
Sizzling Heat and Persistent T-storms. It's a wet forecast east of the Mississippi River with frequent storms, while dry desert heat envelopes the southwest and southern Plains. The Pacific Northwest may even go a few days before the next slap of moisture. 84-hour NAM Future Radar: NOAA and Tropicaltidbits.com.
Predicted Rainfall by July 2. I'm not (yet) convinced that the Florida Panhandle and southern Georgia will pick up 8-12" of rain (that depends on whether a tropical system really does spin up in the Gulf of Mexico next week). As much as 5" of rain is predicted for Chicago; 3-5" amounts for New England as a series of Canadian fronts push south of the border.
Tropical Development? It's way too early to even speculate, but the 00z NAM model does try to spin up a tropical depression or storm in the Gulf of Mexico early next week. Confidence levels are about as low as they ever get. Consider this a desperate attempt to cover my....Doppler....just in case the forecast verifies.
Near-Record Warmth First Half of June. Like clockwork, Dr. Mark Seeley has details at Minnesota WeatherTalk: "In contrast to May, the first half of June has been unusually warm, near record-setting in many places across Minnesota. For the Twin Cities Metro Area the mean temperature for the first half of June has been about 74.9 degrees F. Only 1976 was warmer, with a mean temperature of 75.1 degrees F. On a statewide basis the mean temperature for the first half of June was 69 degrees F. Only 1933 (71.4°F) and 1988 (70.4°F) were warmer. Within the Minnesota climate observation network 45 stations have reported daily maximum temperature records tied or broken so far this month, and 46 stations have also reported daily warm minimum temperature records tied or broken so far. Many places have reported multiple days with 90°F temperatures, as high as 97 degrees F at Rosemount and Waseca. MSP set a new record warm minimum temperature on June 10th with a reading of 77°F, breaking the old record of 73 degrees F back in 1973. Milan also reported a record warm minimum on that date with a reading of 77°F. MSP also tied a record high dew point reading on June 13 with a reading of 74 degrees F..."
Warmer Than Average July For Most of USA? Here is the latest prediction from NOAA CPC, the Climate Prediction Center, calling for a very warm July (with the possible exception of the Pacific Northwest).
Oklahoma or Minnesota? 7 years ago today a swarm of 48 tornadoes strafed Minnesota in a single 24-hour period; 3 of them violent EF-4 strength. 2010 was the year Wadena was hit. We've been relatively lucky in recent years, but as we all know, at some point your luck runs out. It pays to stay a little paranoid, and never let your guard down.
Map above courtesy of the Twin Cities National Weather Service, which has more details here.
Photo credit: "Research being performed at OSU hopes to improve the metrics for tornado prediction through the use of drones." Photo courtesy of Dr. Jamey Jacob.
- Keep the current WWA system as is;
- Make small to moderate changes; or
- Make a transformational change to the WWA system..."
Committee Passes First Round of Flood Insurance Bills. Here's an excerpt of a press release from The House Committee on Financial Services: "The House Financial Services Committee met today to begin consideration of several measures to reform and reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is set to expire on September 30, 2017. “We cannot continue to call on the American taxpayer to bailout a program that is currently drowning in $25 billion of red ink and suffers a $1.4 billion annual actuarial deficit,” said Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX). “These bills put the National Flood Insurance Program on a path toward actuarial soundness where all will be protected, no one will be denied a policy, all will benefit from competition, the NFIP will be sustainable, and the national debt clock will spin a little less rapidly...”
File photo of December 2015 flooding in Missouri: Associated Press.
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Photo credit: "Heading out." (EPA/Sebastiao Moreira)
Forget Coal, Solar Will Soon Be Cheaper Than Natural Gas Power. Look at the trends, argues a post at ThinkProgress: "The staggering drop in the cost of clean energy has already upended the global power market over the past two decades — and that trend will only continue for the next two decades, according to new analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). As a result, renewables will capture the lion’s share of the $10.2 trillion the world will invest in new power generation by 2040, BNEF projects in its annual New Energy Outlook 2017 report. Despite years of plummeting prices for renewables, BNEF projects that over the next two decades, the cost of solar power will still drop another two-thirds, onshore wind costs will be cut nearly in half, and offshore wind costs will drop a stunning 71 percent..."
Graphic credit: BNEF New Energy Outlook 2017
Photo credit: "Xcel Energy's renewable energy sources include the 100-megawatt North Star Solar project near North Branch, Minn." Brian Peterson - Star Tribune file.
Will Replacing Human Drivers With Self-Driving Cars Be Safer? Fortune speculates (as much as I can't see myself giving up on driving anytime soon - I suspect the experts are right). Our grandkids won't think twice about taking a driverless (electric) vehicle to work, ride-sharing along the way: "U.S. cities will look a lot different in 20 years, at least when it comes to public transportation. That’s according to Bryan Salesky, the CEO of the self-driving car company Argo AI, which became a Ford Motor subsidiary after the auto giant said in February it would invest $1 billion in the startup. The rise of self-driving cars will usher a “much safer mode of transportation” by “removing the human from the loop,” Salesky said on Wednesday at the Rutberg FM technology conference in Half Moon Bay, Calif. Human drivers are more prone to distractions and errors in their judgment compared to autonomous cars in the future, Salesky believes..."
Image credit: BMW and Business Insider.
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Hong Kong just set another property-price record. This time, it was for a parking space. A 188-square-foot space on Hong Kong island sold for HK$5.18 million ($664,300), or HK$27,500 a square foot, last month, newspaper Ming Pao reported Wednesday, citing land registration records. The car park cost more than some Hong Kong homes: Centaline Property data shows a HK$4.2 million sale of a 284-square-foot, two-bedroom home in Sha Tin, in the New Territories, in April..."
Photo credit: Trip Advisor.
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TODAY: Some sun, PM showers and storms. Winds: SW 8-13. High: 78
SATURDAY NIGHT: Lingering showers, a few claps of thunder. Low: 60
SUNDAY: Windy and cooler, few showers and sprinkles. Winds: NW 10-20. High: 68
MONDAY: Sunny start, late day shower. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 56. High: 73
TUESDAY: More clouds than sun, less wind. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 59. High: 76
WEDNESDAY: Unsettled, passing shower possible. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 58. High: 75
THURSDAY: Hot and sticky. Few T-storms. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 62. High: 88
FRIDAY: Partly sunny, breezy, a bit cooler. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 60. High: 78
A GOP Congressman Is Forging Ahead on Climate Action. Climate Central reports: "...But he’s also staking his political reputation on solving an issue nearly verboten in the Republican-controlled Congress: climate change. He’s called President Trump’s decision to yank the U.S. from the Paris Agreement a mistake, introduced legislation to combat climate impacts and helped create a bipartisan caucus all aimed at dialing back the partisanship around one of the most pressing problems not just in the U.S., but in the world. Whether he succeeds — or survives the 2018 midterms for that matter — is very much up in the air, but his work represents one of the few efforts toward climate action by Republicans on the national stage. "For me, this is a local issue,” Curbelo told Climate Central last month. “Most of the people in my district live near sea level and near the sea. That’s how it first caught my attention. Then I started doing my own research, I had a very enlightening meeting with NOAA experts, and I realized it’s one of the greatest challenges...”
Photo credit: "Carlos Curbelo speaking at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland." Credit: Gage Skidmore/flickr.
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The Texas metropolis has more casualties and property loss from floods than any other locality in the US, according to data stretching back to 1960 that Brody researched with colleagues. And, he said: “Where the built environment is a main force exacerbating the impacts of urban flooding, Houston is number one and it’s not even close.” Near the Gulf coast, Houston is also at annual risk from hurricanes: it is now into the start of the 2017 season, which runs from June to November. Ike, the last hurricane to hit the Houston region, caused $34bn in damage and killed 112 people across several states in September 2008. There is little hope the situation is going to get better any time soon..."
File photo credit: "Houston has more casualties and property loss from floods than any other locality in the US." Photograph: David J Phillip/AP.
315 Gigatons of Man-Made CO2; Half Of That Released Since 1986. A new paper at Climate Change caught my eye; here's an excerpt of the abstract: "This paper presents a quantitative analysis of the historic fossil fuel and cement production records of the 50 leading investor-owned, 31 state-owned, and 9 nation-state producers of oil, natural gas, coal, and cement from as early as 1854 to 2010. This analysis traces emissions totaling 914 GtCO2e—63 % of cumulative worldwide emissions of industrial CO2 and methane between 1751 and 2010—to the 90 “carbon major” entities based on the carbon content of marketed hydrocarbon fuels (subtracting for non-energy uses), process CO2 from cement manufacture, CO2 from flaring, venting, and own fuel use, and fugitive or vented methane. Cumulatively, emissions of 315 GtCO2e have been traced to investor-owned entities, 288 GtCO2e to state-owned enterprises, and 312 GtCO2e to nation-states. Of these emissions, half has been emitted since 1986..."
File photo: Billy Wilson, flickr.
E-mails Reiterate EPA Chief's Ties to Fossil Fuel Interests. Here's an excerpt from the AP: "Newly obtained emails underscore just how closely Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt coordinated with fossil fuel companies while serving as Oklahoma’s state attorney general, a position in which he frequently sued to block federal efforts to curb planet-warming carbon emissions. The latest batch of Pruitt’s emails, provided to The Associated Press on Thursday, runs more than 4,000 pages. They include schedules and lists of speaking engagements from the years before Pruitt became the nation’s top environmental watchdog, recounting dozens of meetings between Pruitt, members of his staff, and executives and lobbyists from the coal, oil and gas industries. Many of the calendar entries were blacked out, making it impossible for the public to know precisely where Pruitt traveled or with whom he met..."
File image: Shutterstock.
File photo: Lynne Sladky, AP.
Photo credit: Josh Haner.