June 16, 1992: A total of 27 tornadoes touch down across Minnesota, the second most in Minnesota history. The communities of Chandler, Lake Wilson, Clarkfield and Cokato are badly damaged. 80 million dollars worth of damage would occur, and Presidential disaster declarations would be made for many counties.
June 16, 1989: Frost develops across Minnesota with crops destroyed on high ground in southeast Minnesota. Preston got down to 32.
Not Tornado Alley, But Tornado Cul de Sac?
Much of the movie "Twister" was filmed in Iowa, because Oklahoma was in a drought, and wilted/brown didn't look so great on film. When you think tornadoes you think southern Plains, for good reason. That's ground zero. But Minnesota sees its fair share of spin-ups; an average of 36 tornadoes every year.
25 years ago today a total of 27 tornadoes touched down on Minnesota, including the F-5 monster that slammed Chandler, the last F-5 to hit the state.
7 years ago tomorrow a swarm of 48 tornadoes strafed Minnesota; 3 of them violent EF-4. That was the year Wadena was hit. We've been 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.
Dynamics required for severe (damaging) storms should remain south of Minnesota, but cool air aloft keeps showers and T-showers in the forecast later today and Saturday. By Sunday a stiff northwest wind confines temperatures to the 60s.
We warm up next week but models show the core of blast- furnace heat staying to our south into July, with frequent bursts of fresh air here at home. Whew...
June 17, 2010 Albert Lea mesocyclone photo courtesy of meteorologist Aaron Shaffer.
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).
8 Tips for Shooting an Award-Winning Tornado Photo. National Geographic photographer Jim Reed has some good advice at PetaPixel: "I’ve been photographing extreme weather for 25 years. After publishing tips on how to photograph lightning here back in March, I was asked to share any tips I have in capturing an award-winning tornado image. So, here I go…
Note to reader: Storm chasing and extreme weather photography, as discussed in this article, can be very dangerous. Any person should approach these activities with caution and appropriate supervision and training.
Tip 1: Study Your Subject and RisksAdopting a ‘safety first’ policy is critical when storm chasing. To start, I recommend reading The Basics of Tornadoes on the Storm Prediction Center website. In my experience, storm chasing risks fall somewhere between climbing Mount Everest and shopping at Wal-Mart on Black Friday. Veteran storm chaser Chuck Doswell has an excellent article titled “Storm Chasing with Safety, Courtesy and Responsibility....”
Earth is Not in the Midst of a Sixth Mass Extinction? A matter of debate and perspective; here's an excerpt from The Atlantic: "...So things don’t look so good, no matter where we look. Yes, the victims in the animal world include scary apex predators that pose obvious threats to humans, like lions, whose numbers have dropped from 1 million at the time of Jesus to 450,000 in the 1940s to 20,000 today—a decline of 98 percent. But also included have been unexpected victims, like butterflies and moths, which have declined in abundance by 35 percent since the 1970s. Like all extinction events, so far this one has been phased and complex, spanning tens of thousands of years and starting when our kind left Africa. Other mass extinctions buried deep in earth’s history have similarly played out over tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of years..." (File image: NASA / Reuters).
NASA Data Suggest Future May Be Rainier Than Expected. Details from NASA: "...Su's team found that most of the climate models underestimated the rate of increase in precipitation for each degree of surface warming that has occurred in recent decades. The models that came closest to matching observations of clouds in the present-day climate showed a greater precipitation increase for the future than the other models. Su said that by tracing the underestimation problem back to the models' deficiencies in representing tropical high clouds and the atmospheric general circulation, "This study provides a pathway for improving predictions of future precipitation change..."
Photo credit: "Heading out." (EPA/Sebastiao Moreira)
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.
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.
U.S. Cities Don't Need the Paris Accord to Fight Climate Change. Fortune Magazine has the Op-Ed, here's an excerpt: "...Cities can incorporate alternative fuel vehicles into municipal fleets. Within Texas, they have made widely varying progress along this line. Whereas Dallas Area Rapid Transit has converted most of its buses to use cleaner compressed natural gas, Houston’s fleet is dominated by diesel buses, although it unveiled its first electric bus late last year. By comparison, in China, the city of Shenzhen has more than 10 million residents and will feature an entirely electric bus fleet by the end of this year. This is one area where American cities can and should improve dramatically. Cities can also reduce emissions by helping residents pay for rooftop solar installations or other energy efficiency improvements, and expanding bike lanes to make zero-carbon commuting more viable. It is promising that U.S. cities are stepping up to the plate, but city leaders need to carefully plan the policies they enact..."
San Diego Commits To 100% Clean Energy. Yale Climate Connections has a video and story: "San Diego recently became one of the largest cities in the country to commit to the goal of 100 percent clean electricity city-wide. It’s just one part of a climate action plan that aims to cut the entire city’s global warming pollution over the next 18 years to half its 2010 levels. The plan also sets targets to electrify all city vehicles, divert waste from landfills, reduce water use, and increase the use of bikes and mass transit. It’s a big goal. Hooven: “The fun part of announcing it is over. Now we just need to put our heads down and get to work.” That’s Cody Hooven, chief sustainability officer for the city..."
Image credit: Alex Fine for Variety.
Photo credit: "
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.
Photo credit: "
TODAY: Warm sun, late T-storm possible. Winds: SW 5-10. High: 86
FRIDAY NIGHT: Few T-storms around. Low: 64
SATURDAY: Numerous showers, few T-storms. Winds: W 8-13. High: near 80
SUNDAY: What June? Mostly cloudy, windy and showery. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 58. High: 69
MONDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, refreshing. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 55. High: 73
TUESDAY: Some sun, risk of a shower. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 56. High: 72
WEDNESDAY: Clouds increase, stray T-shower. Winds: SE 8-13. Wake-up: 58. High: 78
THURSDAY: Sticky sun, a few strong T-storms? Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 64. High: 86
File image: Shutterstock.
File photo: Lynne Sladky, AP.
Photo credit: Josh Haner.
Photo credit: "Bathers on the Baltic have recently been confronted with a new threat: dangerous disease that is normally only found in warm water." Priit Vesilind, National Geographic Creative.
Growing Concern Over Climate Change is Creating Interfaith Dialogue. Pacific Standard reports: "...In the U.S., dozens of seminaries—mostly Protestant—are integrating environmental education into their theological training. A younger and bigger generation of clergy is being urged to ramp up the urgency in their parishes for local and governmental climate action. But the hope and promise of Laudato Si could remain beyond human reach without even more aggressive and engaged faith leaders mobilizing the billions they represent in all corners of the globe to pressure their governmental leaders and to act on their own. "My students are excited and they want to take this on, but the challenges are so big," said Tim Van Meter, an associate professor of ecology and justice at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio. "People are just tired. It seems inevitable that we will drive ourselves to collapse..."
POV: A Doctor's Prescription for Climate Change. Here's a snippet of an Op-Ed at The Palm Beach Post: "...Florida’s rise in the heat index is the highest of any state each year and will continue, according to a National Climate Assessment report by a team of more than 300 experts guided by a 60-member federal advisory committee. These heat waves are particularly dangerous to seniors, those with chronic medical conditions, outdoor laborers, and the poor. Doctors like me see increased cardiorespiratory problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) attacks. There will be more asthma attacks from reduced air quality and increased carbon pollution, and more heart attacks from already choked arteries made worse by heat stress, according to the Florida Department of Health. Newer or re-emerging infections such as Zika, chikungunya and dengue, spread by mosquitoes, will continue..."
How Retiring Nuclear Power Plants May Undercut U.S. Climate Goals. The expression that comes to mind is "pick your poison". Keep nuclear plants going and try to address concerns with radioactive fuel storage, or risk an uptick in CO2 emissions from burning more natural gas and coal? The New York Times reports: "Over the last decade, a glut of cheap natural gas from hydraulic fracturing has driven hundreds of dirtier coal plants in the United States out of business, a big reason carbon dioxide emissions fell 14 percent from 2005 to 2016. But more recently, that same gas boom has started pushing many of America's nuclear reactors into early retirement - a trend with adverse consequences for climate change. The United States' fleet of 99 nuclear reactors still supplies one-fifth of the country's electricity without generation any planet-warming greenhouse gases. When those reactors retire, wind and solar usually cannot expland fast enough to replace the lost power. Instead, coal and natural gas fill the void, causing emissions to rise..."
Photo credit: "The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Middletown, PA. Exelon has said it will shut down the last reactor there by 2019 unless it receives financial assistance." Jonathan Ernst, Reuters.