September 24, 2099: The next total solar eclipse will take place over Minnesota. It will be visible in the Twin Cites, depending on the weather.
September 14, 1964: The earliest official measurable snowfall occurs in Minnesota with 0.3 inches at International Falls.
September 14, 1852: Early frost hits Ft. Snelling and ends the growing season.
Frost Advisory Up North But 80s Return Next Week
Hennepin County has a new “mesonet” that reports current weather every MINUTE, August was the warmest in 136 years of modern record keeping according to NASA, and it’s a very good idea to keep your seat belt fastened on future flights. Additional warming 6-7 miles above the ground is whipping up more wind shear; abrupt shifts in wind speed and direction – resulting in more clear air turbulence, and more injuries. Details in today’s weather blog below (which is still free, after all these years!)
Here’s a sign of the times: a Frost Advisory is posted for the Brainerd Lakes. Not much of a shock, considering the sun is as high in the sky as it was in late March. The metro remains frost-free with brilliant sunshine today, before the next sloppy front drags a band of heavy showers into town late Thursday and Friday. A few models print out more than 1 inch of rain, which wouldn’t surprise me with the soggy year we’re having.
A stray shower may pop Saturday; Sunday still looks like the sunnier, nicer day of the weekend. ECMWF guidance hints at 70s and some 80s next week. Summer isn’t nearly over yet.
Not Buying It (Yet). NOAA’s 4km NAM model prints out over 2″ of rain for the immediate MSP metro by 2pm Friday afternoon. We’ve been stuck in a very wet rut so nothing would surprise me at this point.
Dry, Comfortable Wednesday – Next Jolt of Moisture Late Thursday. NAM model guidance shows showers and embedded T-storms surging north Thursday afternoon and evening with locally heavy rain possible. 60-hour Future Radar product: NOAA and AerisWeather.
Best of the 80s. Like satellite radio, Mother Nature transports you back to the 80s next week as another puff of July returns to Minnesota. With relatively high dew points it could make for a few uncomfortable days in area schools. MSP meteogram with ECMWF data: WeatherBell.
Tropical Storm Julia. With sustained winds of 40 mph Julia is a minimal tropical storm. The greatest risk is not wind or even storm surge but excessive rains along the Georgia and Carolina coast over the next 72+ hours. Satellite image: U.S. Naval Research Lab.
Another Very Slow-Moving System. Although odds don’t favor another extreme, Louisiana-like flood event with 20-30″ rainfall amounts, some 10″ amounts are possible by Thursday or Friday, mainly eastern Georgia and South Carolina. Here are the latest threats outlined by NOAA NHC:
WIND: Tropical-storm-force winds are already occuring within the
tropical storm warning area.
RAINFALL: Julia is expected to produce 3 to 6 inches of rain near
the northeast Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina coastlines
through Friday afternoon. Isolated totals of 10 inches are possible.
This rainfall could lead to flash flooding. Flooding may be further
compounded with persistent strong onshore flow reducing river and
TORNADOES: An isolated tornado or two will be possible tonight
through Wednesday morning across parts of northeastern Florida and
Greatest Risk: Flash Flooding. Models suggest that the greatest potential for river and urban flooding will come from Jacksonville to Savannah, Hilton Head and Charleston – the 5-8″ bulleye hugs coastal communities in the coming days. Map: WeatherBell.
Data Is Better When It’s Hyper-Local. Kudos to Hennepin West Mesonet for a denser grid of data and some great visualizations. Unlike current airport observations that update hourly, these observations update every MINUTE. Check it out!
Visualizing The Warmest August in 136 Years. Here’s an excerpt of a Facebook post at NASA Earth: “August 2016 was the warmest August in 136 years of modern record-keeping, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). Although the seasonal temperature cycle typically peaks in July, August 2016 wound up tied with July 2016 for the warmest month ever recorded. August 2016’s temperature was 0.16 degrees Celsius warmer than the previous warmest August (2014). The month also was 0.98 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean August temperature from 1951-1980. “Monthly rankings, which vary by only a few hundredths of a degree, are inherently fragile,” said GISS Director Gavin Schmidt. “We stress that the long-term trends are the most important for understanding the ongoing changes that are affecting our planet.” Those long-term trends are apparent in the plot of temperature anomalies above...”
La Nina Washed Out By Powerful Warm Signal. More context from HotWhopper: “You can see the global mean temperature trend by month in the chart below, for the strongest El Niño years since 1950, which were followed by a La Nina. I’ve included the 2015/16 period for comparison. NOAA has taken off the La Nina watch. The BoM ENSO update is due out later today. Not counting 2015/16, of the seven very strong, strong and strong to moderate El Ninos since 1950, there were only three that were followed by a La Nina. The chart spans a three year period. That is, for the 2015-16 El Niño and subsequent, it goes from January 2015 to December 2017…”
Fasten Your Seat Belt – Turbulence Is On The Rise. I had no idea, but yes, it’s probably a good idea to leave your seat belt fastened (all the time). Here’s an excerpt at The Guardian: “…Williams said that at heights of around 10 to 12km (6-7 miles), a typical cruising altitude for a modern passenger jet plane, temperature changes caused by increased amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have the effect of making different layers of airflow move at increased speeds relative to each other. When this unstable airflow produces clear-air turbulence – and there are no visual clues to give a pilot warning of what lies ahead – then the aircraft is thrown about with considerable force. “If the effect is severe, it will overcome the force of gravity and fling people out of their seats. Turbulence of this severity is being encountered by planes thousands of times a year now,” Williams added. In the United States alone, it is estimated that the damage, delays and disruption from turbulence already cost more than $500m (£374m) a year...”
File credit: Shutterstock.
NOAA: Expect More Extreme Floods In The Future. Gizmodo has details: “Extreme, catastrophic flood events like the one that swamped Louisiana last month are becoming more likely because of climate change, according to a hot-off-the-press analysis by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The study found that the record rainfall responsible for last month’s epic floods-the worst natural disaster to hit the United States since superstorm Sandy-was made at least 40 percent more likely by global warming. The researchers arrived at that conclusion by applying a new but increasingly popular statistical approach called “weather attribution.” Details of the analysis, which is currently under peer review, can be found in the open-access journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences…”
File photo credit: Associated Press.
How Vague Historical Writings Help Scientists Predict Floods. Eos has a fascinating story; here’s the intro: “When scientists assess environmental risk in any particular geographical region, they need as many data as possible relating to the area’s past. Often, though, those data are limited by the existence of scientific instruments: Precise measurements only go back so far in history. When scientists predict the likelihood and severity of future flooding in particular, historical data are often limited to imprecise written descriptions of past flood events. In a new paper, Salinas et al. built a framework to incorporate historical records written before the advent of scientific instrumentation into the estimation of flood probabilities. There are many different types of historical flood records, all of them with differing degrees of imprecision…”
Image credit: “Flooding in Vienna after an ice dam failed on the Danube River in March 1830, captured here in a watercolor painting by Eduard Gurk (Roßau, Schmidgasse am 2 März 1830).” Credit: Eduard Gurk.
FEMA’s Flood Maps Protect Banks and Mortgages; People, Not So Much. Village Voice has the story; here’s a snippet: “…FEMA flood zone maps are essentially a matter of the past,” says Klaus Jacob, a climate disaster expert at Columbia University. “[The agency was] never asked by Congress to look forward.” After the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 — the most destructive in U.S. history, in which more than 640,000 people were displaced by thirty-foot floodwaters — private insurance companies stopped selling flood insurance for forty years…”
Map credit: maps.nyc.gov/resiliency / Map by Joe Lertola/Bryan Christie Design.
Birds Inside the Eye of Hurricane Hermine and 13 Other Weird Things That Have Shown Up on Radar. Here’s a clip from The Weather Channel: “As Hurricane Hermine made landfall along Florida’s Gulf coast, radar detected an interesting phenomenon: birds trapped flying inside the calm eye of Hermine. The birds were detected using differential reflectivity from NOAA’s Dual-Polarization radar. This particular radar feature can be used to detect non-meteorological radar echoes such as birds and insects, in addition to its normal precipitation detection function. We’ve seen this occur one other time in recent years during another U.S. hurricane landfall. Birds were detected on radar in the eye of Arthur as it moved near the coast of North Carolina in 2014…”
Image credit: “Base reflectivity (left) and Differential reflectivity (right) radar images of Hermine at 10:38 p.m. EDT on Sept. 1. The red shaded area on the image to the right shows the birds swirling inside Hermine’s eye just before landfall.”
Atlantic Hurricane Season Is Seeing More Major Storms. If they don’t strike the USA are they still “major”. Yep. Here’s an excerpt from Climate Central: “…The incidence of major hurricanes has essentially doubled across the Atlantic basin since 1970, potentially linked to rising sea surface temperatures there. It just happens that fewer of those storms hit the U.S. Of course, in the decade since Wilma struck, plenty of other storms have had a major impact. Hurricane Ike and Superstorm Sandy were among the costliest storms on record, but neither was technically categorized a major hurricane. And Hurricane Hermine, though only a Category 1 when it recently hit Florida, caused significant damage. It also ended the state’s nearly 11-year streak without any hurricane making landfall. In addition to the rise in major hurricanes in the Atlantic basin, the average number of named hurricanes each year has increased to about seven storms from five storms, though the exact reasons for this rise are still the subject of research…”
Atlantic Basin Hurricanes Strengthening – In Spite of Few Direct U.S. Strikes Last Decade. Climate Signals has more perspective on what we know, and what we don’t know: “…There has been a substantial increase in virtually every measure of hurricane activity in the Atlantic since the 1970s, including measures of intensity, frequency, and duration as well as the number of strongest (Category 4 and 5) storms. Global warming also concentrates rainfall into extreme events. A warmer atmosphere holds more water vapor, and dumps more precipitation when it does rain, much like a larger bucket holds and dumps more water. Significant evidence indicates that these increases are linked to higher sea surface temperatures in the region through which Atlantic hurricanes form and move. However, this is an area of continuing study as numerous factors determine hurricane intensity and frequency, and global warming may be affecting these factors in conflicting ways...”
Indians Are Rioting Over Water. Is This a Glimpse Into The Future? In all probability, yes. The battle for clean, reliable, freshwater supplies is just beginning. Here’s an excerpt at The Washington Post: “…Disputes over control of water supplies are not uncommon around the world. Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have quarreled for years over dams and other water-control measures along the Nile. In the United States, the Colorado River is at the center of a tug-of-war between the needs of agriculture and growing cities. India is now the latest flash point in water-use battles, which some experts believe could become more acute worldwide as climate change boosts temperatures and influences weather patterns…”
Image credit: “The Indian city of Bengaluru, in Karnataka state, is under curfew after violent protests broke out in the area over the sharing of river water with neighboring Tamil Nadu state.” (Reuters)
The Battle Between Tesla and Your Neighborhood Car Dealership. Inevitable disruptions strikes again. Here’s a clip from The Washington Post: “…Now, legacy auto manufacturers, including Arbogast’s supplier, General Motors, are moving toward a future of sales directly from carmaker to driver, industry analysts say. That has triggered a standoff involving dealers, manufacturers and Tesla over the future of car sales, the role of the Internet and whether it is legal to sell a car — often the second-largest purchase in the lifetime of an average American — online. If other carmakers followed Tesla, “essentially, it would put us out of business,” Arbogast said…”
The New Karma Revero Is Not Just A $130,000 Tesla Wannabe. Bloomberg has more details: “…Yes, unlike the pure-electric plug-in Tesla Model S and Model X SUV, which are excellent vehicles, the Revero uses electricity, gas and solar power to run. “It will be the first car sold in the U.S. powered by electricity, gas and solar,” company execs repeated like a mantra in press materials and statements. In fact this new Karma Revero straddles the Old World (engaged analog driving) and New World (alt-fuel energy and auto-drive), rather than forcing any sort of new electric revolution. It’s not just a big computer on wheels was the message at the debut…”
Photo credit: “The Karma Revero costs $130,000. Production has not yet started.” Source: Karma Automotive.
How Do We Get Off Fossil Fuels When We’ve Always Feared Change? How do we (or our kids) learn to embrace change and disruption, building it into their products, services and careers? We’re not as open to change as we might like to think, according to an article at Grist: “…The predictable slobbering over each new Apple gadget proves we’re infatuated with technology, right? Not according to Calestous Juma, a professor of international development at Harvard. In his new book, Innovation and its Enemies, Juma argues that our infatuation is limited to new versions of established technologies, and that people generally oppose anything that feels too new. We may be addicted to our media-consumption devices now, but even the birth of mass media was met with staggering resistance. People scoffed at it as a low-brow corruption of the literary arts and rulers banned it in several places...”
Stunning Satellite Imagery in New Book That Offers Unique Perspectives of Earth. I might just have to pick up a copy of “Overview”, reviewed at Lonely Planet: “…A new book entitled Overview: A New Perspective of Earth shows amazing aerial photos of the planet taken from satellites. The artist Benjamin Grant in compiling the book sought to mimic ‘the overview effect’ a phrase coined in the 1980s that derived from astronauts that have gazed upon the earth from space. They said that viewing the world from such a distance creates an understanding of life, and an awareness of the impact we have on our planet and the desire to protect it...”
Image credit: “Sun Lakes, Arizona in USA. A planned community with a population of approximately 14,000 residents, most of whom are senior citizens.” Image by Overview.
Meet New Glenn, The Blue Origin Rocket That May Someday Take You To Space. Sign me up! Details via The New York Times: “Blue Origin, the secretive space company created by Jeffrey P. Bezos, offered a look at its newest rocket design on Monday — and, by extension, its ambitions to make space travel more frequent and inexpensive. Both the rocket and the ambitions appear to be big. The rockets, named New Glenn after John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, are almost as large as the Saturn V rocket that NASA used from 1966 to 1973, before rockets started being built smaller. The two-stage version that could venture to low-Earth orbit will be 270 feet tall, and the three-stage version, which could fly outside Earth’s orbit, will be 313 feet tall…”
Image credit: “ Credit Blue Origin.
How Nevada Became The Only State Where You Can Vote For “None of the Above”. Another strange (but true!) story at Atlas Obscura: “Sometimes voting feels like a very tough SAT question: none of the choices seem right. What to do when you can’t put your heart into any of those empty bubbles? In most states, voters are forced to register dissatisfaction with what’s on offer by writing someone in, going for a protest candidate, or simply staying home. In Nevada, though, malcontents have another option: they can cast an official vote for no one. The “None of These Candidates” option has appeared on statewide Nevada ballots since 1975, when it was introduced as a convoluted get-out-the-vote tactic…”
Image credit: “
TODAY: Cool, blue sky. Winds: E 3-8. High: 68
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and cool. Low: 52
THURSDAY: Clouds increase, heavy showers late. Winds: SE 10-15. High: 70
FRIDAY: Unsettled, showers, possible T-storms. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: Wake-up: 60. High: 75
SATURDAY: More sun, pop-up shower PM hours. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 58. High: 70
SUNDAY: Sunnier, milder – a nicer day. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 53. High: 77
MONDAY: Plenty of sun, hints of July. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 62. High: 83
TUESDAY: Lukewarm sun, hard to concentrate. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 64. High: 80
Donald Trump’s Newest Adviser Says Global Warming is a Huge Threat to National Security. Details via Mother Jones: “Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey has signed on as a senior adviser to Donald Trump—even though the two men’s views are oceans apart on an issue very close to Woolsey’s heart: climate change. For years, the former CIA director has been an advocate for cleaner energy and has called for addressing global warming from a national security perspective. He argues that our current energy sources put us at “the whims of OPEC’s despots” and make us more vulnerable to terrorist attacks. He wants the United States to shift from its reliance on coal and oil to renewables and natural gas...”
Images of the Larsen C shelf captured by NASA’s Terra satellite show a fault line that now stretches 80 miles in length, according to a report from the U.S. space agency. A portion of the ice shelf—the continent’s fourth largest—could disconnect Scientists are working to understand the immediate changes that created the giant crack—and have led it to grow so quickly. Project MIDAS, a U.K. group dedicated to studying the Larsen C shelf, notes that a warming climate has changed the structure of the ice, threatening the possibility of collapse…”A large crack in an Antarctic ice shelf has grown by 13 miles in the past six months, threatening to detach an area of ice larger than Delaware.
Image credit: Jesse Allen—NASA Earth Observatory images. “
One of the biggest concerns about climate change is the effect it will have on agriculture. Many studies have suggested that rising temperatures could be harmful to farms around the world, although there’s plenty of uncertainty about how bad things will get and which food supplies we should worry about most. Now, a new study published Monday in Nature Climate Change reiterates concerns that wheat — the most significant single crop in terms of human consumption — might be in big trouble. After comparing multiple studies used to predict the future of global crop production, researchers have found that they all agree on one point: rising temperatures are going to be really bad for wheat production...”
Climate Change Risk Is, Believe It Or Not, A Major Risk To Your Investments. So says Jesse Moore at Seeking Alpha: “…While I don’t believe that fossil fuels are going away anytime soon, and I am a big proponent of natural gas, I also think that the carbon risk priced into the market is barely visible. Investors need to take a serious eye to the long-term political and economic risks and consider deleveraging to fossil fuels, whether they believe it is a problem or not. Every company on the market has some carbon footprint, and while investing in green technology has historically been a poor performing asset class, investing in green companies in a diversity of sectors has not.”
Why I Canoed 1,200 Miles To The Arctic Circle to Report on Climate Change. Motherboard has the story: “...I went to listen to the local people, to hear the concerns most important to them. I ended up learning about disrupted hunting patterns and disappearing caribou, fibre-optic lines and road construction, oil drilling and pipelines, and in-ground cold storage shelters that no longer stay cold, among other things. Because this was no see-the-glaciers-before-they’re-gone kind of trip. It’s already too late for that: the river water is warmer, the ice retreats faster, the forest fires spread further, the permafrost dwindles. Only by getting out on the land do you learn about the unexpected, hard-to-predict, second order effects of climate change. For example, warmer winters mean big, fat bears…” (Photo credit: Brian Castner).
Louisiana Flood Costs Nearly Double Some Estimates Thanks to Climate Change, 80% Uninsured. Welcome to an emerging world of insurance haves and have-nots; those with the least are living in areas increasingly threatened by rising seas and rising rivers, many without the means to pay when their communities get wiped out with increasing frequency and ferocity. Here’s an excerpt at Money.Mic: “A series of storms battered the gulf coast in August, particularly in Louisiana and Mississippi, in what was the worst natural disaster to hit the United States since Hurricane Sandy. Now that the flooding has finally receded, watchdogs have gotten a better grip on the extent of the damage. Some 110,000 homes and 100,000 vehicles were damaged or destroyed in the flooding, with a total cost projected to be between $10 billion and $15 billion, according to a Friday report from the insurer Aon...”
Photo credit: “Rain fell for seven days in the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy.” Source: Max Becherer/AP.
A Conservative Republican Tackles Climate Change. Rep. Bob Inglis (a friend and mentor) is fighting a lonely battle, but he is on the right side of science, and history. Here’s an excerpt of an interview with Rep. Inglis at The Charlotte Observer: “…We’re essentially calling on conservatives to step forward with free-enterprise solutions to climate. Rather than regulating down the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, we simply have the government put a price on emissions. That price signal would be sensed throughout the economy, with the result that hundreds of millions of consumers would pursue their own self interest. They would be seeking cleaner fuels because it would be in their economic interest to do so. It’s something that conservative economists have talked about for quite a while, the idea of not regulating but attaching all the costs and revealing all the hidden costs of a product so the market can judge that product…”
Photo credit: “ JOHN D. SIMMONS.