Conservation Minnesota

Good Timing: One of the Nicer 4th of July Holiday Weekends In Recent Memory

81 F. high yesterday at KMSP.
83 F. average high on June 29.
83 F. high in the Twin Cities on June 29, 2015.

June 30, 1982: Frost hits St. Louis County. Kulger Township falls to 27 degrees and Meadowlands bottoms out at 32.
June 30, 1871: Extremely large hail falls in Meeker County. Some of the stones are 6 inches in circumference, breaking many windows on the north sides of houses.

An Encouraging 4th of July Weekend Weather Outlook

“Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better” wrote Albert Camus. Americans have the freedom to fail – repeatedly – until they succeed. New research suggests tenacity, grit and determination are the best indicators of eventual success.

I’m feeling pretty good about the holiday forecast. In fact, this may be one of the nicest 4th of July’s in recent memory, albeit it a little on the cool side Friday and Saturday. That said, I expect few complaints.

A reinforcing cool frontal passage sparks a few showers & T-showers today, but skies clear Friday as dew points dip into the upper 40s; typical for mid-September. A bubble of cool, clean, Canadian high pressure pushes T-storms into Omaha and Des Moines by late week, treating us to blue sky and lukewarm temperatures. 80s return Sunday, maybe mid to upper 80s on the 4th of July. Many towns and lakes will stay dry from Friday into next Monday.
It’s a miracle.

T-storms may return next week, maybe a midweek “heat spike”. ECMWF guidance hints at 90F within a week or so.

But great 4th of July weather? Get ready to ring the church bells!


Comfortable, September-Like Start to Holiday Weekend. Expect highs in the 70s Friday and Saturday, mellowing to 80F Sunday and mid-80s on the 4th of July, according to ECMWF guidance. 90F is still quite  possible by the middle of next week with ugh-worthy dew points. Source: WeatherBell.


Future Radar. 4 KM NAM guidance pulls a few showers and T-showers across the state by midday as a reinforcing cool front approaches, a wind shift capable of focusing enough upward motion for a fleeting line of fast-moving showers. I don’t expect anything severe, and skies clear tonight, setting the stage for a magical Friday, statewide. 60-hour guidance: NOAA and AerisWeather.


Slow Warming Trend Into Next Week. Our internal model ensemble suggests low to mid 80s by late afternoon on Monday, the 4th of July. With a dew point in the 60s it’ll be sticky, but not oppressive. Screen shot: Aeris Enterprise Mobile.


Projected Wind Speeds. Today’s frontal passage sparks stronger winds, but the arrival of a Canadian high pressure bubble keeps sustained winds generally under 10 mph from Friday into Sunday morning.


Pack the Sun Screen. Clouds increase today with a few T-showers in the forecast; Friday forecast to be the sunniest day with high pressure drifting directly overhead. Cumulus clouds increase by Sunday and the 4th, but the sun should be out most of the holiday weekend. I know – I’m scratching my head too wondering what’s going on. Quick, buy a Lotto ticket!


Oppressive By Midweek? I wouldn’t exactly take this to the bank, not yet, but NOAA’s models show the combination of 90-degree heat and dew points above 70F creating a rather uncomfortable heat index by Wednesday of next week – possibly above 100 degrees. Source: Aeris Enterprise.


July Outlook: Warmer Than Average. Well that’s a stretch, considering every month since October of 2015 has been the warmest ever recorded, worldwide. In spite of El Nino fading a warm signal lingers east of the Rockies next month. CFS (Climate Forecast System) forecast: NOAA CPC and WeatherBell.


100 Severe Storm Warnings Issued by MPX Office. The Twin Cities office of the National Weather Service has issued 100 severe storm warnings for its coverage area so far in 2016. That compares to 548 warnings for the Oklahoma City Office, and no warnings whatsoever in the Anchorage and Honolulu offices. Map credit: Iowa Environmental Mesonet.


Millions of Caterpillars Are Decimating The Trees in New England. Angela Fritz reports at Capital Weather Gang: “When the European gypsy moth hatches, it is born as a furry little caterpillar. They emerge from their eggs in the spring and proceed to feed mercilessly on the surrounding foliage. Tree leaves and coniferous needles are the primary target of this tiny scourge, and if you happen to live in the middle of an infestation, you may feel as if the plague has descended on your own home. This is what’s happening in New England. Caterpillars are everywhere, trees are decimated, and the skyline looks like the middle of winter…”

Photo credit: “This photo was taken on June 28. In other words, these trees should have leaves.” (Phil Burt/CapeCodWeather.net).


West  Virginia Flood Was “One In A Thousand Year Event”, According to NOAA. Greenbrier County saw 10″ of rain, 7″ of that fell over a 3-hour span. Tropical monsoon rains. Jason Samenow has more details at Capital Weather Gang: “The torrential rain that inundated parts of southern and central West Virginia on Thursday was truly an exceptional meteorological event that has had devastating consequences. In Greenbrier County, W.Va., where some of the worst flooding occurred, the National Weather Service described the responsible rainfall as “historic” and “extremely rare.” “Return period data suggest this would be nearly a one in a thousand year event,” it said…” (Image: AP and ABC News).



A Cash-Strapped Forest Service Faces Its Most Epic Fire Season Ever. WIRED reports on the trends, and why officials in the western USA are so worried this year: “This year’s wildfire season has just started, and it’s already bad. The west is still charred from last season’s burns, and hotter weather has been drying out the landscape’s surviving trees. Meanwhile, climate change is making fire season longer. The end result is a monstrous bed of fuel and weather conditions perfect for an apocalyptic season. And starved of reasonable funding, the agencies charged with staving off the burn are already running into questions of how to pay for fighting the inferno. The problem is simple: Firefighting costs are rising, but funding can’t keep up. One possible fix? Get really big fires reclassified as natural disasters—which would let the agency dip into bigger pool for the nastiest infernos...” (File image: U.S. Forest Service).


Thunderstorm Phobia in Dogs. Psychology Today has more perspective: “...I do not believe that static shocks account for all the terrors of storm phobic dogs, but they do contribute. The sound of thunder is disturbing enough to some dogs on its own. Pure noise phobias do exist. Interestingly, noise phobias do not track precisely with storm phobia, though there is considerable overlap. Some dogs terrified of thunderstorms can tolerate the booming sounds of fireworks. For others, the sound of fireworks is their nemesis but they remain indifferent to thunder. Treatment of thunderstorm phobia in dogs entails training them to go to a safe place where they will be spared the full brunt of the sight and sounds of storms...”

Why Thunder and Fireworks Make Dogs Anxious. My dog, Leo, is not a fan of thunder (or fireworks) so I found this article at The New York Times: “…By some estimates, at least 40 percent of dogs experience noise anxiety, which is most pronounced in the summer. Animal shelters report that their busiest day for taking in runaway dogs is July 5. Veterinarians tell of dogs who took refuge in hiding places so tight that they got stuck, who gnawed on door handles, who crashed through windows or raced into traffic — all desperate efforts to escape inexplicable collisions of noise and flashing light. Ernie, a wired-hair pointer, was so terrified by thunderstorms that he would vault fences at his Maryland farm and run in a straight line for miles…”


Satellite Images Show Glacier Park’s Ice Fields Shrinking. Billings Gazette in Montana has the story and interactive (before/after) visuals; here’s the intro: “To be a glacier, a field of ice must move. Seen from space, they also appear to breathe. A pair of new animations from NASA’s Earth Observatory compile three decades of satellite images that show Glacier National Park’s landmarks shrinking as climate conditions change. But seen in sequence, the alpine glaciers seem to inhale and exhale as occasional big-snow years occur...” (Image: NASA).


How Wearable Technology Could Change The Way We Think About Air Pollution. If your sport coat turns black that’s probably a bad sign. Here’s a snippet from The Washington Post: “While activists lobby for more stringent pollution-cutting measures around the world, and policymakers grapple with how to write them, some scientists and designers have turned to the power of innovative technology to raise awareness and save lives with the help of wearable pollution sensors. These sensors, while mostly not yet proven or available on a mass scale, may be coming sooner than you think…”

Photo credit: “Artist Kasia Molga’s “Human Sensor” project changes color and pattern in response to the wearer’s breathing and the surrounding air quality.” (Nick Harrison)


Air Pollution Seen Costing Trillions To Save Millions, IEA Says. Bloomberg has the story; here’s a clip: “…Poor air quality is affecting the entire planet, with 80 percent of cities that monitor levels failing to meet standards set by the World Health Organization. Public pressure is mounting in countries such as China, prompting ambitious renewable energy agendas. The developed West also has its fair share of smog, with London surpassing the EU’s annual limits on air pollution just eight days into 2016. The energy industry is the single largest man-made contributor to poor air quality, the IEA report said. Most of it comes from unregulated and inefficient fuels. The agency sees air pollution as the fourth-largest threat to human health, after high blood pressure, poor diet and smoking…”


A Stormy History of Weather Reporting. Mental Floss and Neatorama have an information-packed look back at the history of weather forecasting and presenting; here’s a clip: “…By the mid-1800s, thanks to the telegraph, the first government meteorology chiefs could share weather information at lightning speed, helping citizens and ship captains prepare for disasters. In Victorian England, the idea of “forecasting” was controversial. Some considered it akin to voodoo. But Americans had no such qualms: By 1860, 500 weather stations were telegraphing weather reports to Washington. When that network crumbled during the Civil War, a frustrated astronomer named Cleveland Abbe established a private system of daily weather bulletins. Culling reports from volunteers across the country, Abbe and a team of telegraph clerks transferred the data onto maps. They added special symbols, showing wind direction, areas of high and low pressure, and marking “R” for rain. With the publication of their first bulletin on September 1, 1869, the daily weather report was born...”


Tesla’s Quiet Talks With This Company Could Help Redefine The Gas Station As We Know It. Here’s more information from The Washington Post: “…Tesla declined to comment on the negotiations with Sheetz, but acknowledged in a statement that it is actively courting gas stations, hotels and restaurants in its bid to install high-speed electric chargers across the country. Lorenz declined to say how many Sheetz stations may ultimately be outfitted with Tesla chargers. The potential partnership between Sheetz and Tesla reflects the beginning of a wider awakening in the gas station and convenience store industry. While EVs currently account for less than half a percent of new car sales, that figure is expected to grow; Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that within six years electric cars will be as affordable as traditional gasoline-powered vehicles…”



TODAY: Passing shower or T-shower. Winds: NW 8-13. High: 77
THURSDAY NIGHT: Clearing and cooler. Low: 57

FRIDAY: Brilliant sun, feels like September. Winds: N 3-8. High: 75

SATURDAY: Plenty of lukewarm sunshine. Winds: SE 5-10. Wake-up: 56. High: near 80

SUNDAY: Partly sunny, lake-worthy. Winds: SE 10-15. Wake-up: 61. High: 83

4TH OF JULY: Sticky sunshine, hot enough. Winds: SW 10-15. Wake-up: 64. High: 86

TUESDAY: Hot and steamy, risk of a T-storm. Winds: S 8-13. Wake-up: 67. High: 89

WEDNESDAY: Tropical humidity, few T-storms. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 70. High: near 90


Climate Stories…

Science Groups to Congress: Climate Change is Real Threat. Here’s the intro to a story at AP: “Thirty-one of the country’s top science organizations are telling Congress that global warming is a real problem and something needs to be done about it. The groups, which represent millions of scientists, sent the letter Tuesday, saying the severity of climate change is increasing and will worsen faster in coming decades. Eighteen groups sent a similar letter in 2009. But Rush Holt, chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, said the climate problem has increased and scientists are even more confident about the harm…” (a PDF of the letter is here).


Louisiana’s Vanishing Island: America’s First Climate Refugees. Actually that dubious honor may go to Native Americans living in coastal Alaska, where beach erosion has forced some towns to resettle farther inland. Here’s a clip from EcoWatch: “Residents of a Louisiana island are among the first American climate refugees. Encroaching water is forcing them off the land they have lived on for generations. Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana, has been inhabited by tribal communities since the Trail of Tears era. The island, which used to be the size of Manhattan, has lost 98 percent of its land over the last 60 years, MSNBC reported…”


How One Virginia City is Re-Framing Sea-Level Rise as an Opportunity. Threat, and opportunity? Borrow a page from the Dutch? Here’s an excerpt from PRI: “…Globally, a 2014 study found the cost of protecting the world’s shoreline could reach into the tens of billion of dollars a year by the end of the century. And in Norfolk, Vernon isn’t the only one who sees climate change as an opportunity. The region’s universities are trying to position themselves as experts in dealing with sea level rise. The city’s 2015 resilience plan includes an economic strategy. “The half-empty glass is we’ve got the highest sea-level rise on the east coast and we’re soggy,” said Skip Stiles, head of the Norfolk-based conservation group Wetlands Watch. “The half full glass is if we fix it, we can make money off of it...”

Photo credit: “Hurricane Sandy sent 8-year-old Avery Solan out to play in the flooded streets of Norfolk, Virginia, in October 2012. The city is trying to prevent worse flooding as sea levels rise, and at the same time grow new industry in a region currently dependent on military jobs.” Credit: Rich-Joseph Facun/Reuters.


Son of Famed Sherpa, Experts: Climate Change Rapidly Melting Everest. VOA, Voice of America, has the story; here’s an excerpt: “…Although six climbers, including one Sherpa, died during the 2016 season, experts say the string of deadly avalanches and earthquakes that forced repeated evacuations of the mountain, which claimed at least 40 lives over the past 48 months, may not be a thing of the past. “It is shrinking,” Dr. Nima Namgyal Sherpa, an Everest expedition organizer, told VOA’s Tibetan Service via satellite phone from the Nepal-side Everest base camp.“It’s melting every year…”

Photo credit: AP. Trekkers make their way to Dingboche, a popular Mount Everest base camp, in Pangboche, Nepal, Feb. 19, 2016.”


Teen Activism Moves Minneapolis Suburb To Pass Climate Initiative. Here’s the intro to a story at Midwest Energy News: “Officials in a Minneapolis suburb adopted an aggressive greenhouse-gas-reduction policy last month that was brought forth by a group of local high schoolers who are part of a national climate change movement. Drafted by iMatter, a national youth-led group, the resolution aims for net-zero emissions by 2040 in St. Louis Park, a suburb immediately west of Minneapolis with a population of roughly 47,000. The resolution also commits the city to working with youth activists on its future goals and planning…”

Photo credit: “Members of the group iMatter moved a Minneapolis suburb to adopt an aggressive climate change resolution.”


Nature Ravages as Weather Warms. Here’s an Op-Ed at The Charleston Gazette Mail, following up on the recent 1-in-1,000-year floods that swamped many communities across West Virginia: “…British climatologist Adam Scaife said 2016 temperatures are “obliterating” past records. “The numbers are completely unprecedented.” The Guardian added: “Another shattered record is the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is on course to rise by a record amount this year.” It quoted a German scientist: “We know from Antarctic ice cores that go back almost a million years that CO2 was never even remotely as high as this.” The London paper added: “The rate at which humanity is emitting CO2 is the fastest for 66 million years...”

File photo: “Flooding in Richwood, in Nicholas County.”

British climatologist Adam Scaife said 2016 temperatures are “obliterating” past records. “The numbers are completely unprecedented.”
The Guardian added: “Another shattered record is the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is on course to rise by a record amount this year.” It quoted a German scientist: “We know from Antarctic ice cores that go back almost a million years that CO2 was never even remotely as high as this.” The London paper added: “The rate at which humanity is emitting CO2 is the fastest for 66 million years.”
– See more at: http://www.wvgazettemail.com/gazette-editorials/20160628/gazette-mail-editorial-nature-ravages-as-weather-warms#sthash.4BxcoiuV.dpuf
British climatologist Adam Scaife said 2016 temperatures are “obliterating” past records. “The numbers are completely unprecedented.”
The Guardian added: “Another shattered record is the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is on course to rise by a record amount this year.” It quoted a German scientist: “We know from Antarctic ice cores that go back almost a million years that CO2 was never even remotely as high as this.” The London paper added: “The rate at which humanity is emitting CO2 is the fastest for 66 million years.”
– See more at: http://www.wvgazettemail.com/gazette-editorials/20160628/gazette-mail-editorial-nature-ravages-as-weather-warms#sthash.4BxcoiuV.dpuf

If You’re Younger Than 31, You’ve Never Experienced This. Huffington Post reports: “Still not convinced the Earth is rapidly warming? Consider this: The last time the global monthly temperature was below average was February 1985. That means if you are 30 years old or younger, there has not been a single month in your entire life that was colder than average. “It’s a completely different world we’re already living in,” Mark Eakin, coordinator of NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch, told scientists gathered this week for the International Coral Reef Symposium in Honolulu…”


4 Infographics To Show The Climate Skeptic In Your Life. Here’s an excerpt from Co.Design: “…As family vacations and summer trips home loom near—and as hurricane season and volatile summertime weather approach—you may find yourself in the position of defending the claim you thought everyone had come around to by now: yes, climate change does exist. It’s best to be prepared. Luckily, data scientists and designers have done half the work for you by synthesizing overwhelming and often inaccessible data into easy-to-understand (and hard-to-deny) visualizations of the science behind global warming. Here are four of our favorites—keep them in your back pocket for your next baffling exchange about whether global warming is a hoax…”

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About Paul Douglas

Paul Douglas
Paul Douglas is a meteorologist, author, entrepreneur, and software expert in Minneapolis-St.Paul, Minnesota. He is a nationally recognized meteorologist with over 30 years of broadcast television and radio experience.
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