82 F. average high on August 4.
84 F. high on August 4, 2016.
August 5, 1904: A Detroit Lakes woman is hit by lightning. It melts her hairpins and the steel in her corset, but does not kill her.
A Manitoba August? A Cool Bias The Next 2 Weeks
"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it" wrote Russel Baker. Define "suffer". Too hot, too wet, too dry or too cool? Most years it's hard getting the weather ingredients just right.
After a warm bias into July there's every indication August will trend cooler than average. That may explain walking around in a sweatshirt and shorts this morning. Looking out 1-2 weeks wake-up temperatures will be in the 50s; even a few 40s up north. In August? Yep.
Once again weather systems are in the process of stalling and stagnating. A persistent swirl of cold low pressure will cycle of series of Canadian fronts into Minnesota into mid-August. The upside: no sticky, icky 70-degree dew points, less risk of (severe) thunderstorms.
Today should be the nicer, milder, drier day of the weekend with upper 70s and a need for sunscreen. A steep lapse rate (unusually cold air aloft) means a better chance of showers and T-storms Sunday. As a general rule highs reach the 70s to 80F , but models shows a warming trend the latter half of August.
A hot front for the fair? You 'betcha!
Flooding Rains Central USA. Models (including NOAA's 12 KM NAM above) show a series of training frontal boundaries capable of dropping over half a foot of water on pats of Missouri into Sunday. Flood watches are posted - flooding may be extensive. Meanwhile showery rains continue over New England and the Upper Midwest, with a generally dry weekend for most of the western USA. Source: Tropicaltidbits.com.
Plenty Wet. An atmospheric tug-of-war playing about between steamy heat over the Gulf Coast and comfortable Canadian air spilling south sets the stage for some 3-7" rains from Colorado's Front Range to Tulsa, Kansas City, Little Rock, Nashville and the Carolinas. Over 4" may soak eastern Pennsylvania and southern New England over the next 7 days, according to NOAA ensembles.
Fairly Comfortable. No more Octoberlike days shaping up - thank God for small favors, but temperatures run 5-10F cooler than average into at least mid-August with nights cool and comfortable, readings in the mid-50s. Twin Cities ECMWF numbers: WeatherBell.
Heating Up Later In August. Much of America east of the Rockies will see a cool correction for the next 1-2 weeks, with the exception of the Deep South and southwestern USA. Models, including GFS (above) suggest warmth spilling east again by the third week of August - although not as hot as July was.
Northwest Heat Wave: Worst is Over, But It's Still Plenty Hot. CNN reports: "...Seattle also broke a daily record. The city reached 94 degrees Thursday, breaking the previous high of 90 from August 3, 1988. Some 9 million people in the Pacific Northwest remain under heat warnings and advisories. Smoke from wildfires has spread a haze over the region, making air quality dangerous for people with asthma or breathing problems. Oregon issued an air pollution advisory effective through Tuesday because of the heat and smoke from the fires. Commuting was expected to improve in Portland. The metro area's public transit system, TriMet, had service problems because of the heat and computer glitches caused by a system upgrade that went awry, CNN affiliate KATU reported..."
Air Conditioning is a Lifesaver. It Might Also be a Disaster. Are there more sustainable A story at Time.com explains the disconnect: "There’s hot and then there’s extreme hot. Hot is uncomfortable. Extreme hot pushes the limits of human survival. In late May, mercury readings soared to 128.3 degrees in Pakistan, a swelter that coincided with Ramadan, when millions of Pakistanis forgo water and food from sunrise to sunset. A month later, temperatures hit 129.2 degrees in Iran, likely the hottest temperature every reliably measured on Earth. Meanwhile, in Phoenix, Arizona, 118-degree temperatures grounded airplanes and triggered record-high power demand at several local utilities.Access to cool air, safe food, safe medicines is something most Americans and the fortunate across the world take for granted. But in parts of the world where hot spots are intensifying, and where the less well-off lack access to cooling, it can mean suffering and death..."
Death Valley Just Experienced the Hottest Month Ever Recorded in the U.S. Capital Weather Gang explains: "...The average temperature in Death Valley last month was a stifling, suffocating 107.4 degrees. It was the hottest month ever recorded in the United States, and the second-hottest in the world — by just a fraction of a degree...Burt also noted that many cities in the West — and one in the Southeast — had their hottest month on record in July:
- Salt Lake City: 85.3 degrees (previous was 84.1 degrees in July 2013)
- Reno, Nev.: 80.5 degrees (tie with July 2014)
- Tonopah, Nev.: 78.9 degrees (previous 78.6 degrees in July 1931)
- Ely, Nev.: 71.8 degrees (previous 71.6 degrees in July 2003; however, an old and dubious report of 72.8 degrees in July 1908 is in the books)
- Bishop, Calif.: 80.8 degrees (previous was 80.6 degrees in July 2005)
- Miami: 85.7 degrees (previous 85.5 degrees in June 2010). This was anomalous for Florida. No other site in the state came close to breaking its record (i.e., West Palm Beach averaged just 84.3 degrees, almost a full 2 degrees short of its record 86.2 degrees set in July 2016).
Map credit: "Every year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tasks scientists with measuring the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. This year's map, based on that data, shows a zone the collective size of New Jersey." Courtesy of NOAA.
Image credit: "If everywhere lived like the United States, the world would require five whole Earths to sustain itself." [Source Image: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center].
Porsche Mission E concept car rendering courtesy of Porsche.
Photo credit: "
Gas-Powered Cars Sputter Toward Obsolescence. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed at Bloomberg View: "Britain and France announced last month the death of the internal combustion engine, both scheduling it for 2040. Their ban on gas- and diesel-powered cars may only accelerate a process already well on its way, but it will help reduce the future effects of climate change and pollution now. The trend toward electric vehicles is coming from both government and industry. Norway and the Netherlands have also announced bans on gas-powered vehicles, scheduled for 2025. Meanwhile, Sweden’s Volvo Car Group has said all its motors will be electric by 2019. Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that 54 percent of new car sales in 2040 globally will be electric, with falling battery prices making the technology price competitive by 2030. This move away from old-fashioned engines (if it’s not too soon to use that term) will require a greater commitment to responsible energy..."
Photo credit: " Photographer: Jonathan Nicholson.
Wasting America's Nuclear Opportunity. I would prefer to see a grid powered by mostly clean, renewable, sustainable energy sources, but until wind, solar, hydro and energy storage can reach scale we need carbon-emission-free nuclear sources to give us the energy we need, with fewer unpleasant side effects (without the polluting/warming). Yes, there are issues with safety, waste and nuclear proliferation, but it may be a matter of pick-your-poison. I don't see any way around this in the short term. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed at TheHill: "...A recent Pew poll found that just 17 percentage points separate liberal Democrats from conservative Republicans in their support for expanding nuclear power — views that are even closer than those for wind power, often cited for its cross-party appeal. But despite nuclear power’s cross-partisan support, America’s nuclear capacity is shrinking. Five of our nation’s 60 existing nuclear power plants have closed in just the past four years. At four other plants, planned capacity uprates have been called off, which would have allowed the existing plants to produce more electricity. And an unprecedented ten more existing plants have announced firm plans to prematurely shut down in the near future..."
File image: Wolfgang Rattay, Reuters.
Will America's Epic Eclipse Impact our Electric Grid? The short answer: probably not. Here's an excerpt from Gizmodo: "For about three hours on August 21st, power grid operators across the United States will be confronted with a sudden drop in available electricity, owing to the first coast-to-coast solar eclipse in nearly a century. Power disruptions are not expected, but only because measures are being taken to make up for the sudden energy shortfall. Here’s the amount of solar power the US is expecting to lose and what grid operators are going to do about it. The last time Americans saw an eclipse like this was in 1918, and much has changed since then—especially how we get our energy. We’re in the midst of a green energy revolution, where more traditional sources like coal, gas, hydro, and nuclear are slowly being replaced by wind, solar, and geothermal..."
Image credit: Sam Woolley/Gizmodo.
Setting Expectations for August 21 Solar Eclipse. Vox has a good update, including the ability to plug in your zip to know what the eclipse will look like (weather permitting, of course): "On Monday August 21, a solar eclipse will cut across the entire United States. And wherever you are, you will be able to see it. Even though the “totality” — the area where the sun is completely blocked out by the moon — is only 70 miles wide, the whole country (even Alaska and Hawaii) will experience a partial eclipse. This is what you’ll see, and the time you’ll see it, in your zip code. We recommend punching in a few different ones to see how the eclipse experience will vary across the country..."
For Minneapolis zip code 55403: "If you want to see the total eclipse, you'll need to travel 317 miles SW."
Image credit: Paul Sahre.
NASA is Hiring a "Planetary Protection Officer" To Guard Us Against Alien Life - and Vice Versa. Of course the reason aliens are seemingly uninterested in visiting Earth: they've watched our cable TV news programs and determined that there is no intelligent life here. Check out an excerpt from The Washington Post: "There's a vacancy at NASA, and it may have one of the greatest job titles ever conceived: planetary protection officer. It pays well, between $124,000 and $187,000 annually. You get to work with really smart people as part of the three- to five-year appointment but don't have to manage anyone. And your work could stave off an alien invasion of Earth or, more important, protect other planets from us. President Trump has expressed bullish enthusiasm for America's space program, signing an executive order last month resurrecting the National Space Council, on hiatus since the 1990s, and gleefully discussing the prospect of sending people to Mars..."
Photo credit: "
Photo credit: "Nipton stoner bonus: double rainbows." (Reuters/Gene Blevins)
TODAY: Partly sunny, warm - better day. Winds: SW 5-10. High: 78
SATURDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Low: 60
SUNDAY: More clouds. Better chance of showers, T-storms. Winds: NE 3-8. High: 74
MONDAY: Lot's of sun, very pleasant. Winds: NE 5-10. Wake-up: 58. High: 78
TUESDAY: Fading sun, isolated T-shower. Winds: SW 10-15. Wake-up: 59. High: 80
WEDNESDAY: Unsettled, showers linger. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up: 61. High: 76
THURSDAY: Patchy clouds, cooler than normal. Winds: E 5-10. Wake-up: 60. High: 77
FRIDAY: Showers and T-storms arrive. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 62. High: 79
Symptoms of Rapid Climate Change in the Pacific Northwest. Earth Scientist Sarah Myhre reports at The Stranger: "Hot nights. Smokey air. Forest fires. Air conditioning. Overheated grumpy toddlers. Packed public beaches. These are the things that summers in the future have in store for us here in the Pacific Northwest. In the midst of oppressive air quality, forest fires in British Columbia, and heat–maybe some of the physical suffering that comes with climate change will feel more visceral. More real. One of the things that I get into contact with when I have experienced extreme weather events–such as heat waves, flooding, or tropical storms–is the immense capacity that humans have to suffer. And how climate, and the day-to-day manifestation of that climate as weather, is irrevocably tied to the health and safety of people. Likely in the Seattle weather and climate spaces (cough, cough, popular unnamed “weather” blog) we will see the ever-present argument around climate attribution–we can’t attribute this one weather event to climate change!..."
Photo credit: "Mr. Guerra at work. Seasonal temperatures in coastal southeast Texas are about 1.5 to 2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than they were in the early part of the 20th century, the state climatologist said." Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times.
Photo credit: "The salt flats of the Alvord Desert in Oregon are near the Steens Mountains." Richard_Hicks/Flickr
Climate Change is Sapping Your Strength. Turns out carbon pollution may be robbing crops of protein and iron, according to Nexus Media: "We already know how prolonged drought, high heat and heavy rains prompted by climate change can wreak havoc on agriculture. But there is more disturbing news. If we do nothing, growing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide from emissions will seriously impair the nutritional value of wheat, rice and other staple crops, putting millions of people around the world in danger of protein deficiency, according to new research published in the journal in Environmental Health Perspectives. “These findings are surprising,” said Samuel S. Myers, senior research scientist in the department of environmental health at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who authored the study..."
File image: Pexels.
There are now, trapped in Arctic ice, diseases that have not circulated in the air for millions of years — in some cases, since before humans were around to encounter them. Which means our immune systems would have no idea how to fight back when those prehistoric plagues emerge from the ice.Prehistoric plagues are worrisome enough, but what about your present day infectious diseases? What about Zika and Malaria? The prognosis is also grim: For every degree of temperature increase mosquitoes reproduce ten times faster. According to the World Bank, by mid-century around half the world’s population could be exposed to Malaria-carrying mosquitoes..."
File photo: USDA.