83 F. average high on July 21.
91 F. high on July 21, 2016.
July 21, 2002: Dew points reach 84 degrees at Madison, Morris, and Olivia. This ties the all time highest dew point reading in Minnesota, as recorded by the State Climatology Office.
July 21, 1934: Extreme heat hits western Minnesota, and the temperature topped out at 113 at Milan.
Weather Shocker: More Showers and T-storms Today
This summer, when in doubt, just predict puddles. There's a 7 in 10 chance you'll be right.
Severe to extreme drought is gripping much of the Dakotas, but soil moisture across most of Minnesota is in fairly good shape.
During the summer months weather systems slow down; light jet stream steering winds aloft can cause frontal boundaries to stall. That's what happened Wednesday night, with 4-7 inches of rain southeast of the MSP metro. It was another case of "training storms"; T-storms redeveloping over the same counties, much like train cars passing over the same section of track.
A similar set-up today may result in spotty flash flooding and even a few severe T-storms. Saturday looks lake-worthy with mid-80s, but comfortable 70s return Sunday & Monday. The very worst of the heat stays south of Minnesota into August.
WCCO Radio, The Big 830 is legendary, a Minnesota institution. People have been trying to have me institutionalized for some time. It may just be a good fit.
I'll be continuing my SC Times print and online duties and joining Jordana Green from 3-6 pm every Monday thru Friday on the radio dial.
1.12" rain predicted for St. Cloud next 24 hours (NAM).
Several Hundred Homes Evacuated in Arcadia, Wisconsin. A nearby stream overflowed its banks and people had to be evacuated, according to U.S. News.
File photo: Florida Tech.
Deaths of 9 in Arizona Raise Questions About Flood Warnings. Not to minimize this horrific event for the people involved, but technology only goes so far. The warning system is good, but not foolproof. If you're swimming in a creek, odds are you don't have your cell phone on you, beeping, vibrating the latest warning. There's a place for technology, paranoia and personal responsibility too. Here's an excerpt from US News: "...The storm dumped up to 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) of rain in an hour, prompting a flash flood warning from the National Weather Service. Though the service sent out a flash-flood warning over cellphone networks, service in the remote area is patchy at best. Unless they had a weather radio, the swimmers would have been unaware. Officials have said people headed to wilderness areas should check weather alerts ahead of time to determine whether it's safe. They note that it's hard to predict where rain will fall in the desert Southwest, and people should know that heavy downpours can cause flash flooding. That hasn't stopped people from saying more should be done to protect the public from flash floods. Steve Stevens, a volunteer firefighter with the nearby Water Wheel Fire and Medical District, said there needs to be a way for visitors to get flash flood alerts on their phones..."
File photo: Tom Reel, San Antonio Express-News.
Graphic credit: NASA. "How monthly temperatures differ from the 1951-1980 average. So far, 2017 ranks behind only 2016 for the temperature for the first six months of the year."
Photo credit: "Recycling only delays the day a plastic object ends up in a landfill." (Reuters/China Daily)
File photo: Berkeley Energy Group.
Netflix Takes on Hollywood. Will people still be going to movie theaters in 5 years? I hope so, but some days I'm not so sure. Here's an excerpt from The Washington Post: "...There is a war in Hollywood right now and the war is the Netflix model versus the Hollywood model," said Ross Gerber, president and chief executive of Gerber Kawasaki, a wealth and investment management firm based in Santa Monica. Over the past decade movie attendance has trended downward, just as ticket prices have steadily increased, according to data compiled by Box Office Mojo. And opening night for many movies outside the blockbuster genre has lost some of its luster, analysts say. "Nobody is going to the movies," Gerber said. "If it's not a tent-pole movie, people don’t care anymore." Gerber envisions a new model where Netflix customers are granted access to newly released movies, perhaps for a onetime $40 fee, or as part of a monthly premium subscription..."
File photo: Finding Mastery.
Photo credit: "Raising children with Williams syndrome can pose some unique challenges, such as setting boundaries with strangers." Photo by Joel Sartore, National Geographihc Creative.
Photo credit: "Jude Sparks sitting beside the fossilized remains of a Stegomastodon." Peter Houde.
TODAY: Humid with strong to severe T-storms. Winds: SE 8-13. High: 84
FRIDAY NIGHT: Muggy with more T-storms. Low: 69
SATURDAY: Partly sunny, stray PM T-shower possible. Winds: NW 7-12. High: 86
SUNDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, cooler. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 66. High: 79
MONDAY: Pleasantly sunny and mild. Winds: SE 5-10. Wake-up: 58. High: 78
TUESDAY: Intervals of sun, a bit stickier. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 61. High: 82
WEDNESDAY: Unsettled, passing T-shower? Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 66. High: 85
THURSDAY: Warm sun, storms should stay south. Winds: NW 3-8. Wake-up: 67. High: 83
Methane Seeps Out as Arctic Permafrost Starts to Resemble Swiss Cheese. Here's the intro to a story at InsideClimate News: "Global warming may be unleashing new sources of heat-trapping methane from layers of oil and gas that have been buried deep beneath Arctic permafrost for millennia. As the Earth's frozen crust thaws, some of that gas appears to be finding new paths to the surface through permafrost that's starting to resemble Swiss cheese in some areas, scientists said. In a study released today, the scientists used aerial sampling of the atmosphere to locate methane sources from permafrost along a 10,000 square-kilometer swath of the Mackenzie River Delta in northwestern Canada, an area known to have oil and gas desposits. Deeply thawed pockets of permafrost, the research suggests, are releasing 17 percent of all the methane measured in the region, even though the emissions hotspots only make up 1 percent of the surface area, the scientists found..."
Image credit: "In parts of northern Canada's Mackenzie River Delta, seen here by satellite, scientists are finding high levels of methane near deeply thawed pockets of permafrost." Credit: NASA Earth Observatory.
Robert Redford: "To Save the World, Start Small". The solutions will be organic, bottom-up, not top-down, dictated more by economics than politics. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed at Time.com: "...Our choice is no longer the economy vs. the environment. It is now the economy and the environment. Addressing climate change will help both. Ignoring it risks both. This is not a revelation in many of our cities and towns. There, the idea that climate change is “political” is dissolving. If you are the mayor of a coastal town that now floods regularly or a farming town that just experienced several “once-in-a-hundred-years” droughts within a couple years, politics is the furthest thing from your mind. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Mayors are usually our most direct connection to government. They see the immediate ways in which our communities are threatened and reinvented. Fighting climate change can be opportunity for such reinvention..."
Image credit: NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring.
2017 Is So Unexpectedly Warm It Is Freaking Out Climate Scientists. Joe Romm explains why at ThinkProgress: "Normally, the hottest years on record occur when the underlying human-caused global warming trend gets a temporary boost from an El Niño’s enhanced warming in the tropical Pacific. So it’s been a surprise to climate scientists that 2017 has been so remarkably warm — because the last El Niño ended a year ago. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported Tuesday that the first half of 2017 was the second-warmest January-June on record for Earth, topped only by 2016, which was boosted by one of the biggest El Niños on record..."
Graphic credit: "January–June 2017 global surface temperatures (compared to the 20th century average) in Degrees Celsius." CREDIT: NOAA.
Photo credit: "
Photo credit: "Goodrich rides on the Hi-Line along U.S. 2 in northern Montana. Glacier National Park can be seen in the distance." (Courtesy David Goodrich).
Regulators Deciding Whether to Raise "Social Cost of Carbon in Minnesota". We're paying a price for reliance on fossil fuels, in short-term air pollution health-related costs, and longer-term climate risk. Are all the costs being factored into a "free market"? Here's an excerpt from Star Tribune: "The costs of climate change — in other words, putting a price on greenhouse gases — will be hashed out before Minnesota utility regulators over the next week, and it’s guaranteed to be both complicated and contentious. Minnesota was a pioneer in affixing a price to carbon dioxide back in the 1990s and is still one of only a handful of states with such a standard. Environmental and energy groups want the state’s carbon pricing formula to be revised, adopting the federal government’s “social cost of carbon.” “In the 20 years since the state specified the cost of carbon dioxide, there has been a wealth of new information published on the health and climate impacts of burning fossil fuel,” said J. Drake Hamilton, science policy director for St. Paul-based Fresh Energy, a renewable energy advocacy group..." (File image credit: Reuters).
Climate Change Will Bring Coastal Flooding. Here's a snippet of an Op-Ed from the Editorial Board at San Antonio's Express-News: "...This fits a broader prediction for America’s coasts from the Union of Concerned Scientists. At present, about 90 communities across America face such chronic flooding. But that will nearly double to 170 communities by 2035 under moderate projections for sea level rise. By 2060, it will jump to 270 coastal communities. And by 2100, nearly 500 coastal communities. A more extreme projection says 670 coastal communities will face chronic flooding by the end of the century. These projections can be useful for planning purposes. How close to the coast should communities build hospitals, refineries, schools? What land can communities set aside to ease flooding? What actions should be taken to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate warming to limit the toll a warmer world will take on future generations? Like other reports on climate change, this coastal flooding report warns of an outsized impact on the poor as well as the business and security concerns that come with a warming world..."
File photo: Walt Jennings, FEMA.
Foley: “The expansion north is certainly associated with climate change.”
And it’s not just rising temperatures. Changes in precipitation, humidity, and vegetation can also affect tick populations and the transmission of Lyme disease..."
Photo credit: "
In a study published on July 17 in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers at Princeton University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory used satellite data from 2003-2015 to resolve some of the lingering uncertainty on prior dust activity models. Their research projects that “climate change will increase dust activity in the southern Great Plains from spring to fall in the late half of the twenty-first century – largely due to reduced precipitation, enhanced land surface bareness, and increased surface wind speed.” In other words, deforestation and the mega-droughts which are increasingly becoming a feature of our changing climate are likely to create conditions ideal for the return of massive dust storms..."
File photo: "A dust storm in April 1935 about to give Stratford, Texas a very bad day." Photo Courtesy NOAA