June 23, 2002: Just a few weeks after torrential rains hit the area, another round of heavy rain hits northern Minnesota. This time up to eight inches would fall in a two-day period in parts of Mahnomen and St. Louis Counties.
A Cool and Showery Bias Into The 4th of July?
I just got back from Kansas City, where I gave a talk to America's TV meteorologists on climate messaging for conservatives; framing that highlights faith as well as science. Not sure it moved the needle, but I sense more traction with stewardship and Creation Care.
The increase in warm season rainfall is most pronounced in the Midwest and New England. Large hail MAY be on the increase, but it's unclear whether background warming has a role. Expanding suburbs means more expensive targets for severe weather to strike. Normalization of socioeconomic trends is an ongoing challenge.
I'm stalling because I really don't want to talk about weekend weather, or the 4th of July for that matter. A stubborn wrinkle of cold air aloft keeps us cool and showery this weekend with highs in the 60s. We warm up next week, but long-range models show another cooling trend in time for the 4th of July weekend. Upper 70s and low 80s for highs with spotty T-showers? We've seen worse.
Not exactly a postcard-perfect holiday but unlike Phoenix you won't burn the bottom of your feet walking the dog. Great news: no worries about heat stroke/sunburn anytime soon!
Photo credit: WCCO-TV meteorologist Mike Augustyniak. Thanks Mike!
Here is an excerpt of a Praedictix corporate briefing issued yesterday by meteorologist D.J. Kayser:
Meanwhile the southwestern USA continues to bake:
The Science Behind Arizona's Record-Setting Heat Wave. Here are a few nuggets from Pacific Standard that made me do a double-take: "In the Arizona desert, as far back as weather records go, it's never been this hot for this long. By early Monday afternoon, the temperature was 111 degrees in Tucson, the first in a forecasted series of a record-setting seven consecutive days with highs above 110, the longest streak in city history. (The previous record, should it fall, was six days in a row in 1994.)...
- The United States Border Patrol stepped up safety messages, saying "it is physically impossible for the average person to carry enough water to survive."
- The National Weather Service also warned against walking pets outdoors, saying that at pavement temperatures above 162 degrees (consistent with air temperatures of 102), skin is instantly destroyed.
Phoenix: Second-Fastest Warming City in the USA. Praedictix meteorologist Kristin Clark explains: "...In the U.S. Phoenix is the second-fastest warming city over the past 50 years. We are fortunate in the States to have access to cooling technologies. Yet the increasing frequency of heat waves will negatively impact health with more heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Diseases could spread as insects thrive in newly warmed regions. More days with poor air quality will lead to asthma and poor respiratory health. Stresses on crops and worsening drought will impact agriculture. Elevated strains on the energy grid grow as demand for air conditioning increases. The use of energy increases as well as cooling costs. Hot how will it get at your house this week? Be sure to check the Praedictix local, regional and national forecast..."
Map credit: "Based on the PHDI. PHDI is a primary measure of long-term drought but may not apply to all areas, including those with heavily managed surface water. No additional precipitation is needed for white areas. Values are in inches."
Warning System for Great Lakes Tsunamis Under Development. I had no idea - here's a clip from a fascinating article at MLive.com: "...Rapid changes in barometric pressure, often associated with fast-moving weather systems, can generate meteotsunamis. Although many meteotsunamis are too small to notice, large meteotsunamis can have devastating coastal impacts, including damaging waves, flooding and strong currents, that cause significant damage, injury and death. An average of 106 meteotsunamis are observed each year, according to the CIGRL. For example, in 2003 in Sawyer, seven people drowned in an incident initially attributed to rip currents, though the water level records indicated a moderate meteotsunami occurred around the time of the drownings..."
Photo credit: "A wave crashes over the pier at Pere Marquette Park in Muskegon Friday, Oct. 31, 2014." (Cory Morse | MLive.com).
File photo: Pixabay.com.
Fisticuffs Over The Route to a Clean-Energy Future. Could the U.S. economy run on entirely-renewable sources like wind, solar and hydro? Probably not with today's antiquated grid, reports The New York Times: "Could the entire American economy run on renewable energy alone? This may seem like an irrelevant question, given that both the White House and Congress are controlled by a party that rejects the scientific consensus abouut human-caused climate change. But the proposition that it could, long a dream of an environmental movement as wary of nuclear energy as it is of fossil fuels, has been gaining ground among policy makers committed to reducting the nation's carbon footprint. Democrats in both the United States Senate and in the California Assembly have proposed legislation this year calling for a full transition to renewable energy sources..."
Image credit: "It’s the math. I’m quite sure that atmospheric scientists will be happy to explain this graphic to Secretary Perry." From the IPCC 2013.
Rapid Nuclear Decommissioning Threatens Climate Targets, Says IEA. Reuters has the story: "Decommissioning nuclear plants in Europe and North America from 2020 threatens global plans to cut carbon emissions unless governments build new nuclear plants or expand the use of renewables, a top International Energy Agency official said. Nuclear is now the largest low-carbon power source in Europe and the United States, about three times bigger than wind and solar combined, according to IEA data. But most reactors were built in the 1970s and early 80s, and will reach the end of their life around 2020. With the average nuclear plant running for 8,000 hours a year versus 1,500-2,000 hours for a solar plant, governments must expand renewable investments to replace old nuclear plants if they are to meet decarbonisation targets, IEA Chief Economist Laszlo Varro told Reuters..."
File photo: NRC.
New Solar Paint Could Offer Endless Supply of Clean Energy. This is the kind of potential breakthrough we're going to need to power up world economies without harmful pollution or greenhouse gas emissions. Fusion reports: "Researchers at RMIT University in Australia have developed a solar paint that could offer endless supplies of clean energy. The paint captures water vapor from the surrounding air, and then uses energy provided by the sunlight to split the water into hydrogen and oxygen. Once harvested, the resulting hydrogen could power fuel cells (which can provide electric power) or go directly into powering combustion engines..."
Photo credit: Pixabay.
Obesity Now Kills More People Worldwide Than Car Crashes, Terror Attacks and Alzheimer's Combined. Vox has the discouraging trends: "...Since 1980, the obesity prevalence has doubled in more than 70 countries around the world — mainly in low- and middle-income regions — and it has steadily increased in nearly every other country. The study is the largest systematic analysis of obesity data ever done, with researchers combing the medical literature and crunching thousands of data sets on obesity in adults and children covering 195 countries. Here are their 5 most important takeaways A lack of exercise and too many calories have been depicted as equal causes of the obesity crisis. But they shouldn’t be, the NEJM authors said..."
Photo credit: "
TODAY: Mild sun, PM shower possible. Winds: NW 10-20. High: 71
FRIDAY NIGHT: Patchy clouds - what June? Low: 53
SATURDAY: Morning sun, PM clouds, showers. Winds: NW 10-20. High: 66
SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy, PM shower up north. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 52. High: 65
MONDAY: Sunny, free A/C continues. Winds: NE 8-13. Wake-up: 50. High: 69
TUESDAY: Sunny and milder. Feels like June. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 55. High: 79
WEDNESDAY: Humid, heavy showers, T-storms. Winds: SE 10-15. Wake-up: 59. High: 77
THURSDAY: Sunnier, drier - better lake day. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 62. High: 82
Exxon, BP and Shell Back Carbon Tax Proposal to Cut Emissions. Ironic that the oil majors around the world are coming around and addressing the elephant in the living room, but the administration is still advocating ambitious environmental policy right out of the 1950s. Here's an excerpt from The Guardian: "Oil giants ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Total are among a group of large corporations supporting a plan to tax carbon dioxide emissions in order to address climate change. The companies have revealed their support for the Climate Leadership Council, a group of senior Republican figures that in February proposed a $40 fee on each ton of CO2 emitted as part of a “free-market, limited government” response to climate change. The fossil fuel companies announced their backing for the plan alongside other major firms including Unilever, PepsiCo, General Motors and Johnson & Johnson..."
Photo credit: "Under the proposal, a $40 carbon tax, rising over time, would be levied on emissions in order to encourage a shift towards renewable energy sources such as solar and wind." Photograph: Franck Robichon/EPA.