82 F. average high on August 3.
89 F. high on August 3, 2016.
August 4, 1898: Storms dump 4 and a half inches of rain on Montevideo.
Summer Isn't Over - This Is More Like Halftime
Hold the phone, check your sources, stop the presses! Does anyone still say that? I detect a pervasive sense of persnickety panic in the streets. "Is summer over, Paul?" Shrug. "And is this a good time to re-balance my investment portfolio?" Yep.
It won't snow anytime soon. Put the ice scraper away. But I detect a wondrously-refreshing cool bias into mid-August, as a family of Canadian cool fronts pinwheel south of the border. Highs mostly in the 70s, nights dipping into the 50s? Unplug the air conditioner and open up the windows wide. Good sleeping weather in August. Wow!
A northwest breeze dries us out today with enough sun for mid-70s. A dew point in the low 50s will make it feel more like late September. Relatively cold air aloft may help to fire off instability showers both Saturday and Sunday; the best chance of a couple hours of rain late each afternoon. The weekend will be cool-ish and comfortable; not a complete wash-out.
Make the most of this break from muggy heat. NOAA's GFS model brings 90s back into Minnesota the 3rd week of August.
Summer isn't nearly done with us just yet.
Purple Haze. The sky had an otherworldly appearance in Seattle on Thursday, due to smoke from nearby wildfires. Photo credit: Walt Kruhoeffer, founder of Digital Harmonix.
Photo credit: Bterrik on Twitter. "Wildfire smoke intense out west! On the climb from @SeaTacAirport." i.imgur.com/5PgjRAd.jpg
Warming Up Third Week of August. Any relief from the heat and humidity may be temporary; GFS guidance hinting at a warming trend east of the Rockies by the third week of August. Not as hot as July, but still plenty toasty for the eastern 2/3rds of America.
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.
File photo: Andy Wong, AP.
Venice, Invaded by Tourists, Risks Becoming "Disneyland on the Sea". Is it possible to love a place - to death? Here's an excerpt from The New York Times: "...If you arrive on a big ship, get off, you have two or three hours, follow someone holdinig a flag to Piazzale Roma, Ponte di Rialto and San Marco and turn around," said Dario Franceschini, Italy's culture minister, who lamented what he called an "Eat and Flee" brand of tourism that had brought the sinking city so low. "The beauty of Italian towns is not only the architecture, it's also the actual activity of the place, the stores, the workshops," Mr. Franceschini added. "We need to save its identity." The city's locals, whatever is left of them anyway, feel inundated by the 20 million or so tourists each year..."
Photo credit: "Tourists taking gondolas in front of the Ponte della Paglia in Venice." Andrew Testa for The New York Times.
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..."
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."
Photo credit: "Eclipse watchers at the Empire State Building, New York, 1932."
Photo credit: "
TODAY: Sunny breaks, refreshing. Winds: NW 10-15. High: 76
FRIDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy and comfortable. Low: 58
SATURDAY: AM sun, a few PM showers or T-showers. Winds: SW 5-10. High: 77
SUNDAY: Some sun early, pop-up PM showers. Winds: N 5-10. Wake-up: 59. High: 75
MONDAY: Lot's of sun, few complaints. Winds: N 7-12. Wake-up: 58. High: 77
TUESDAY: Lukewarm sun, few T-storms late? Winds: SW 8-13. Wake-up: 60. High: near 80
WEDNESDAY: Few showers and T-storms around. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 62. High: 76
THURSDAY: Plenty of sun, probably a better outdoor day. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 59. High: 78
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.
Video Shows Global Warming in More Than 100 Countries. Visualizing data trends is always challenging, but this is particularly effective. Vox explains: "Lipponen, a researcher at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, used publicly available data from NASA to demonstrate the rising temperatures across the world. This isn’t the first time the story of global warming has been told with the help of a mesmerizing graphic. Last year, Brad Plumer wrote for Vox about a viral GIF created by climate scientist Ed Hawkins, and David Roberts wrote about a set of clever climate GIFs inspired by the one Hawkins made..."
Image credit: "View of the A68 iceberg on the 30 July 2017, taken from a European Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite image." Photograph: A. Fleming, British Antarctic Survey.