Game of Fronts – 4th of July Holiday Edition
The holiday weather outlook is dark and full of terrors. HBO’s Game of Thrones is addictive, and they talk about the weather! “Winter is coming” could be Minnesota’s official state motto.
Amnesia has set in; we simply can’t remember that 4 months ago people were driving on area lakes. Now we’re using them to search for walleye and solace from buzzing smartphones. Summer has arrived.
So why does it feel like mid-September out there? The same persistent high pressure bubble sparking record heat and wildfires out west has turned our jet stream winds aloft to the northwest. A family of cool fronts will treat us to a touch of autumn into Saturday, dew points more typical of early October than late June.
Today will be postcard-worthy with cobalt-blue skies & less wind. Showers sprout on Thursday as a reinforcing push of cool air arrives. Comfortable sunshine Saturday gives way to 80F Sunday; 80-85F on the 4th of July with sticky humidity levels and a few T-storms on the 4th of July. Monday looks like a typical summer day.
Hopefully no White Walkers or Winnebego-size dragons showing up on Doppler radar.
Comfortable Week – Minor Summer Sweat Returns Early Next Week. ECMWF (European) temperature guidance predicts 70s for highs at KMSP into Saturday with lows in the 50s. Surface winds swing around to the southeast by Sunday, then southerly on Monday, pulling warmer air back into town. Graphic: WeatherBell.
July Sweatshirts. Temperatures may start out in the 40s Friday morning for the Brainerd Lakes area into the Arrowhead. If you’re out early you will want to bring along a sweatshirt or light jacket. You’ll swear it’s September out there. Temperature model ensemble: NOAA and Aeris Enterprise.
Wind Forecast. Winds are forecast to ease up a bit today, but increase over the holiday weekend as the pressure gradient tightens up overhead with warmer air approaching from Iowa and the Dakotas. Sustained winds on Lake Calhoun, White Bear and Minnetonka are forecast to be in the 10-20 mph range on the 4th of July, with higher gusts.
“Historic” Flood Engulfs Greenbrier Golf Course, Home to PGA Event in 2 Weeks. Here’s an update at The Capital Weather Gang: “A relentless torrent of rain swept over West Virginia Thursday, flooding many areas in the state. Greenbrier County, home of the famed Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, was among the hardest hit. Floodwaters inundated the Greenbrier’s signature golf course, where the Professional Golfers’ Association Tour’s Greenbrier Classic is scheduled in two weeks. It’s unclear whether the course will recover in time. “It’s like nothing I’ve seen,” said Jim Justice, owner of the Greenbrier in a statement…”
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Last week, a United Airlines flight to Phoenix was forced to turn back to Houston just before landing. The culprit? Extreme heat, which affects an airplane’s lift during takeoff and landing due to reduced air pressure. Other factors, such as the amount of oxygen available to engines, the altitude of the airport, and runway length also play a role, says Marilyn Smith, an aviation expert at Georgia Tech. And as global temperatures rise, some experts say climate change could hit the aviation industry, flooding runways, increasing turbulence, and changing trans-Atlantic flight times…”
Norfolk is the home port for the cruisers, destroyers and battleships of the Atlantic Fleet. Rising sea levels and increasing storm surges there are already having an impact on military readiness. “It’s not the boats that are the issue, they’re designed to be in water,” said Captain Pat Rios, who until May was the head engineer for the Navy’s mid-Atlantic region. “The issue with sea-level rise is less about the ship, it’s more about the system that supports the ship.” That system sits on more than 6,000 acres in Norfolk, on a point of land in southern Virginia near where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean…”
Photo credit: “Naval Station Norfolk may experience as much as six feet of relative sea-level rise by the end of the century. Defense officials are beginning to work with nearby city governments to ensure vital infrastructure is protected.” Credit: Navy handout obtained by Reuters in 2013.
Fading Fishermen: A Historic Industry Faces a Warming World. Here’s a clip from a Washington Post story: “…Though no waters are immune to the ravages of climate change, the Gulf of Maine, a dent in the coastline from Cape Cod to Nova Scotia, best illustrates the problem. The gulf, where fishermen have for centuries sought lobster, cod and other species that thrived in its cold waters, is now warming faster than 99 percent of the world’s oceans, scientists have said. The warming waters, in the gulf and elsewhere, have caused other valuable species, such as clams, to migrate to deeper or more northern waters. Others, such as lobsters, have largely abandoned the once-lucrative waters off the southern New England states of Connecticut and Rhode Island, having become more susceptible to disease or predators…”
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The parks have inspired a century of poetry and prose — including writer Wallace Stegner’s succinct comment that national parks are “the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.” Amid record attendance, the parks system is, conversely, also at peril for being taken for granted. The challenge of underfunding threatens the parks’ present while climate change threatens the parks’ future. Both demand attention and collaborative action at the local and federal level to ensure the wilderness gifts are multigenerational…”
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E16 road—which connects Oslo, Norway, to Gävle, Sweden—is fitted with power lines overhead, developed by Siemens, providing electricity to hybrid trucks. The system works like a tram system. A current collector on the trucks will transfer energy from the power lines to the trucks’ hybrid electric motors, Sputnik News reported. The electric lines help trucks operate longer between recharges. “Electric roads will bring us one step closer to fossil fuel-free transports, and has the potential to achieve zero carbon dioxide emissions,” Lena Erixon, director general of transport authority Trafikverket, said...”A 22 kilometer (or roughly 13 miles) stretch of the
Photo credit: “Electric-powered trucks are expected to cut 80 to 90 percent of fossil fuel emissions in Sweden.”
Solar Power to Grow Sixfold as Sun Becoming Cheapest Resource. Here’s an excerpt from Bloomberg Technology: “The amount of electricity generated using solar panels stands to expand as much as sixfold by 2030 as the cost of production falls below competing natural gas and coal-fired plants, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. Solar plants using photovoltaic technology could account for 8 percent to 13 percent of global electricity produced in 2030, compared with 1.2 percent at the end of last year, the Abu Dhabi-based industry group said in a report Wednesday. The average cost of electricity from a photovoltaic system is forecast to plunge as much as 59 percent by 2025, making solar the cheapest form of power generation “in an increasing number of cases,” it said..”
THURSDAY: Wettest day. Widespread showers and T-storms. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 64. High: 76
FRIDAY: Sunny with low humidity. Wow. Winds: NE 5-10. Wake-up: 57. High: 74
SATURDAY: Plenty of mild sun, breezy. Winds: SE 10-15. Wake-up: 56. High: 78
SUNDAY: Sunny & warmer. Lake-friendly. Winds: SE 10-20. Wake-up: 60. High: 82
4th of JULY: Sticky & warm. Few T-storms possible. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 62. High: 83
It’s Official: Humans Are Making The Earth Much Greener. Chris Mooney explains at The Washington Post: “Earlier this month, NASA scientists provided a visualization of a startling climate change trend — the Earth is getting greener, as viewed from space, especially in its rapidly warming northern regions. And this is presumably occurring as more carbon dioxide in the air, along with warmer temperatures and longer growing seasons, makes plants very, very happy. Now, new research in Nature Climate Change not only reinforces the reality of this trend — which is already provoking debate about the overall climate consequences of a warming Arctic — but statistically attributes it to human causes, which largely means greenhouse gas emissions (albeit with a mix of other elements as well)…”
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Climate Change Forcing Builders to Rethink How They Design Structures, Expert Says. Resilience isn’t a passing fad, it’s a trend. Here’s an excerpt from a story at CBC News: “…It’s becoming more accelerated with the extreme weather events we’re experiencing, whether it’s a snow event or a fire event in Fort McMurray or even the flooding that occurred a few years ago in Toronto,” Schroeder says. “People are now asking questions like, ‘How do I design my building to be more resilient?’ It’s becoming more difficult to put these things out of your mind when they’re happening with more frequency. It’s much more forefront in people’s minds…”
Photo credit: “After a wildfire destroyed parts of Fort McMurray, one expert says cities should begin rejecting proposed developments located near fire-prone forests or on flood plains in order to mitigate the damage from future natural disasters.” (Terry Reith/CBC).
U.S. States, Rockefellers Clash with U.S House Panel on Exxon Climate Probes. Here’s the intro to a story at Reuters: “With a number of U.S. states proceeding with investigations of Exxon Mobil Corp’s (XOM.N) record on climate change, the attorney general of Massachusetts and investment funds of the Rockefeller family on Friday told a Congressional committee it lacked powers to oversee those probes. The pushback is the latest chapter in a high-stakes fight between the world’s largest publicly traded oil company and a coalition of state attorneys general who have said they would go after Exxon to try and force action to tackle climate change…”
Photo credit: “Storage tanks are seen inside the Exxonmobil Baton Rouge Refinery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, November 6, 2015.” Reuters/Lee Celano.
Attorneys General Are Right to Pursue Exxon Mobil. Here’s an excerpt of an Op-Ed from the Attorney General of the U.S. Virgin Islands at The Wall Street Journal: “…The Virgin Islands, along with other attorneys general, is seeking information to determine whether Exxon Mobil misrepresented what the company privately knew and publicly said about climate change. If it did, that could constitute fraud and violate our laws and the laws of other jurisdictions. Exxon Mobil and CEI are attempting to argue that the First Amendment protects them from producing the information that can shed light on whether they broke the law—a proposition the courts have routinely rejected…”