Conservation Minnesota

Severe Sunday Storm Recap – More Heavy Rain Possible Tuesday

78 F. high temperature in the Twin Cities Sunday.
78 F. average high on June 12.
79 F. high on June 12, 2015.
.93″ rain fell at KMSP as of 8 pm yesterday.

June 13, 1991: One fatality and 5 injuries occur when lightning strikes a tree at Hazeltine Golf Course during the US Open.
June 13, 1930: A tornado hits the Northfield area, and causes heavy damage at Randolph.

Warm, Wet Pattern – Risk of Severe Storm Anarchy?

During yesterday’s severe storm outbreak I imagined what might happen if every TV and radio station issued their own warnings?

Buried in a pending Congressional bill is a provision to hand some National Weather Service duties over to the private sector, which sounds good on paper. But studies show that when the public receives conflicting severe weather information they are more likely to be confused, and not take necessary steps to protect life and property.

Meteorologists can and should add context, perspective and analysis to severe outbreaks. I have the freedom to disagree with the 7-Day Outlook, but when it comes to severe storm warnings it’s important the media speak with one voice.

A leftover shower or T-shower gives way to partial clearing today, but the next storm pushes a swirl of showers and storms back into town Tuesday and some of the rain may be heavy.

Skies clear Wednesday with a late week warming trend; sticky 80s next weekend with strong T-storms bubbling up by Sunday.

June is prime time for severe storms and lightning. A little paranoia works wonders.


* Sign up for severe storm updates by following me on Twitter at @pdouglasweather.


Sunday Squall Line. The evening visible satellite  loops shows the cluster of strong to severe storms that plowed across the state; overshooting tops visible with the setting sun – showing the tops of most intense thunderstorm updrafts. There were numerous reports of wind damage over central and western Minnesota.

Potentially Heavy Rain Tuesday PM into Wednesday AM. I’m not yet convinced the metro area will pick up 2.7″ of rain, but our internal model ensemble set off the alert (above) for the next wave of heavy showers and T-storms forecast to arrive Tuesday and Tuesday night.


Some Drying Today – Puddles Return Tuesday. A washed-out cool front keeps a few showers in the forecast today,  especially eastern MInnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. That same boundary comes surging north on Tuesday  with more heavy showers and embedded T-storms likely by afternoon. 4 km NAM Future Radar product: NOAA and AerisWeather.

Model Guidance. NOAA’s models (which have been consistently overestimating rainfall amounts recently) prints out anywhere fromm 1.63 to 2.79″ of rain by Wednesday morning. No lawn-watering anytime soon. Graphic: Aeris Enterprise.



What The….? No, I’m not buying this solution; not yet – not unless/until ECMWF guidance spins up similar forecasts for the new runs of the European model. But I did find it curious that Sunday’s 12z run hinted at a tropical system off the Mid Atlantic coastline by Sunday morning. Forecast graphic: WSI.


Cooling by Midweek, Then 80s Return. We get a little break from the heat by the middle of this week (thick clouds and potentially heavy rain may keep temperatures in the 70s) but ECMWF guidance pulls the mercury back into the 80s next weekend. Source: WeatherBell.



Montana Family Captures Terrifying Footage of Very Close Call with a Tornado. Rated PG for salty language. Here’s an excerpt from Mashable: “If you were being chased by a tornado, you would probably curse too. In terrifying footage posted by Travis Hatfield on YouTube and Facebook, Hatfield’s wife, Holly, films a tornado that is a little too close for comfort. The tornado hit Baker, Montana, just before 7 p.m. on Saturday. It completely destroyed two homes and damaged at least 30 more, reported KXNews, the local CBS affiliate. There were no reported fatalities...”


Warmest June Temperature on Record for Greenland. Details via The Capital Weather Gang.

Weird Jet Stream Behavior Could Be Making Greenland’s Melting Even Worse, Scientists Say. Here’s an excerpt of a Chris Mooney story at The Washington Post: “…I think we can start to connect these dots and say that increasing loss of Arctic sea ice is leading to more blocking patterns, which are contributing to the increasing surface melt on Greenland,” said Jennifer Francis, the Rutgers University Arctic expert whose ideas about Arctic melting distorting the jet stream have ignited one of the biggest ongoing debates in climate science, and who is familiar with the new study by Tedesco and his colleagues. “Of course, this is bad news for sea-level rise and maybe also for the ocean circulation as the extra meltwater appears to be partially responsible for the ‘Cool Blob’ south of Iceland...”

* The new paper referenced in the previous story is here.


Study: Light Pollution Blocks Milky Way for Nearly 80% of Americans. USA TODAY reports: “Light pollution now blocks the Milky Way galaxy in the night sky for nearly 80% of Americans and more than one-third of the world, according to a study and global atlas released Friday. Overall, more than 99% of Americans live under light-polluted skies, and some spots in the USA may never again experience a true night thanks to the perpetual, artificial light. The phenomenon isn’t new: Lighting of homes, streets, highways and bustling cities across the nation grew dramatically after World War II, said Chris Elvidge, a scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Center for Environmental Information…”

Image credit: “A light pollution map of North America shows that nearly the entire eastern U.S. is artificially brightened at night.” (Photo: Fabio Falchi)



The World’s Population is Very Slowly Backing Away from the Dangerous Coasts. Although growth and development continues to accelerate, new research suggests the growth in population is slowly spreading away from the coasts, as highlighted at Co.Exist: “…As of 2010, they found that about 1.9 billion people, or 27% of the world’s population, lived on the 9% of the planet’s land that is near the coast (defined as less than 100 kilometers from the shore at lower than 100 meters elevation). Seventeen out of 30 of the world’s largest cities are in this area, too. These population estimates come out slightly higher than previous research done in the 1990s, so the authors believe there is even more human pressure on coastal areas than we realize…” (Photo credit: May S. Young, Flickr).

The End of Reflection. How often do you check your phone during a typical day? The number may be higher than you think, according to a post at The New York Times: “…If the data is any indication, most of us use our phones more than we think: Participants estimated an average of 37 uses throughout the day (anything that turns on the screen, from hitting snooze to making a call), but the actual number was around 85. The slight majority took less than 30 seconds. (Participants also underestimated duration of use by about an hour — the real total was 5.05 hours — which included phone calls and listening to music when the screen was off.) If you are awake for 16 hours, turning on or checking your phone 85 times means doing so about once every 11 minutes (and doesn’t account for internet use on a computer), and 5.05 hours is over 30 percent of the day. What might be the effect on reflection of this compulsive behavior?…”


TODAY: AM showers, possible thunder, then clearing. Winds: NW 7-12. High: 82

MONDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy and dry. Low: 64

TUESDAY: Showers and T-storms PM hours. Locally heavy rain. Winds: E 10-15. High: 76

WEDNESDAY: Rain tapers, some PM sunshine. Winds: W 10-15. Wake-up: 68. High: 80

THURSDAY: Lot’s of comfortable sunshine. Winds: NE 8-13. Wake-up: 62. High: 82

FRIDAY: Partly sunny and warm. Winds: SE 8-13. Wake-up: 64. High: 84

SATURDAY: Sticky sun, cabin-worthy. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 65. High: 85

SUNDAY: Muggy, few strong T-storms. Winds: S 8-13. Wake-up: 68. High: 81


Climate Stories…


Globalization is Worsening the Effects of Climate Change, Study says. Here’s the intro of a story at Cantech Letter: “A new study shows that economic losses caused by climate change felt in one part of the world are producing ripple effects everywhere else, thanks to globalization. Researchers at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany and Columbia University in the United States looked at manufacturing and production data in 186 countries covering 26 global industries, ranging from mining to textiles and telecommunications, and matched up results with existing research on temperature effects on workers between the years 1991 and 2011. The results showed that heat-stress induced production losses have been further amplified by the global connectivity of today’s economies...”


Global Warming Discovery Shocks Scientists. Morning Ticker has the story; here’s a clip: “…The report comes as Greenland recently posted a record high. Researchers found evidence linking melting in Greenland to the effects of a phenomenon called Arctic amplification. The feedback loops happens when rising global temperatures melt Arctic sea ice, leaving dark open water that pulls in solar radiation, further warming the Arctic and hastening the process. “Arctic amplification is well documented, but its effects on the atmosphere are more widely debated,” the statement reads. “One hypothesis suggests that the shrinking temperature difference between the Arctic and the mid-latitudes will lead to a slowing of the jet stream, which circles the northern latitudes and normally keeps frigid polar air sharply separated from warmer air in the south. Slower winds could create wilder swings of the jet stream, allowing warm, moist air to penetrate farther north…”


Arctic Air Temperatures Warmest in 115 Years. Here’s an excerpt from The Albany Daily Star: “The Arctic is heating up, with air temperatures the hottest in 115 years. Air temperatures over the Arctic landscape were higher over the past year than at any other time since 1900, and the circumpolar north continues to change rapidly as the climate warms, increasing air and sea surface temperatures, decreasing sea ice extent and Greenland ice sheet mass, and changing behavior of fish and walrus are among key observations…”


The Case Against Big Oil. Here’s an excerpt from an article at The Houston Chronicle: “…For oil executives in Texas and across the country, the investigations into whether their industry suppressed findings and misled investors, policy-makers, and the public about global warming not only raise the prospects of criminal charges, but add momentum to a legal campaign that many analysts compare to the decades-long battle against Big Tobacco. As in the early days of tobacco litigation, environmental advocates say, they have had few victories, but each case has opened new areas of inquiry, tested legal strategies, and revealed more about what energy firms and regulators knew about climate change – and when they knew it...”


Dear Conservatives, You Can Go Green Again. If conservatives don’t conserve – across the board –  a major rebranding effort will soon be required. Here’s an excerpt from The New York Times: “…Conservatives may complain about oil companies being shut out of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but most of the credit for protecting that habitat belongs to Dwight D. Eisenhower, who also signed the nation’s first air pollution control law. Richard M. Nixon, not otherwise a candidate for sainthood, changed the way the nation lives, breathes and does business, establishing the Environmental Protection Agency and enacting the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act, among other major environmental initiatives. George H. W. Bush, finally, began to take conservation in a new market-based direction, pushing through a cap-and-trade system in 1990 that enabled industry to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions, which causes acid rain, far more quickly and cheaply than anyone imagined possible…”

Photo credit: “President Richard M. Nixon signing pollution legislation.” Credit Associated Press.


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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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