Conservation Minnesota

Wettest Day of the Week. Record Warm May; 7th Month In A Row of Warmest Temperatures, Worldwide

78 F. high yesterday at KMSP.
78 F. average high on June 13.
71 F. high on June 13, 2015.

.40″ rain fell yesterday in the Twin Cities.

June 14, 1981: A tornado hits Roseville, destroying homes and damages Har Mar Mall.
June 14, 1956: 8 inches of rain fall in the Ivanhoe area in 3.5 hours. 100 thousand dollars in damage to crops is reported.
June 14, 1943: Torrential downpours cause flooding in the Twin Cities and east central Minnesota. 2.5 inches of rain fall in St. Paul in two hours. In addition, four streetcars are hit by lightning.

Another Smear of Rain – Dangerous Heat Predicted for Phoenix

“How do you people live up there?” a friend in Phoenix inquired. In January. “We pile on more clothes. Dress in layers. It’s not so bad” I said, probably sounding a little defensive.

But you can only take off so much clothing when torrid heat bubbles up, without police showing up. A massive ridge of high pressure will spark suffocating heat for the southwestern USA later this week; Phoenix may hit 120F by Sunday (air temperature). I may have to call my friend in Scottsdale with a gentle reminder. “You’re living in a desert!”

Another round of showers and T-storms arrive today; a half inch or more of rain may fall by early Wednesday. A welcome spell of dry, sun-drenched weather kicks in Wednesday afternoon into much of the weekend as temperatures mellow. Plan on 80s Friday and Saturday, with ashot at low 90s by Sunday. Not Phoenix-hot, but hot enough for cannonballs out on the lake. Summer, the way we knew it could be.

Meanwhile ECMWF “European” guidance hints at a tropical system off the Mid Atlantic coast by Sunday. With a brewing La Nina this may be a busier year for hurricanes.


Sunday Night Monsoons.  Check out the Doppler radar rainfall estimates from Sunday’s slow-moving storms; the eastern suburbs and Mississippi River Valley saw the heaviest amounts.


Golden Rain Gauge Award.…goes to Paynesville, where 4.24″ was reported by Monday morning. I’m sure waterlogged residents are very, very proud.


Slight Severe T-storm Risk Far Southern Minnesota. Although the best chance of large hail and isolated tornadoes is forecast from Des Moines and Omaha to Kansas City later today a few storms may exceed severe criteria south of Mankato and Willmar, according to NOAA SPC.


Another Healthy Soaking. NOAA’s 4 km NAM brings a wave of heavy showers and T-storms into Minnesota later today and tonight with some 1-2″ amounts predicted for southern counties. Today looks like the wettest day of the week. Accumulated rainfall product: NOAA and AerisWeather.
* The 00z NAM guidance from NOAA predicts .85″ of additional rain by Wednesday morning at MSP.


A Healthy Dousing. There’s a pretty big model spread, with 24-hour rainfall predictions for MSP ranging from .71″ to 1.5″. I suspect you can turn off the sprinklers for the next few days. Graphic: Aeris Enterprise.


Curious Artifact – or Something More? The ECMWF model continues to spin up (what appears to be) a tropical system off the Mid Atlantic coast next weekend, possibly wrapped up in a developing trough over the eastern seaboard. My confidence level is still low, but this is the second day in a row the European model is trying to develop an unusually intense (for June) system. Warm core or cold core? Still too early to know if this is real. Map: WSI.


Hottest May On Record With Year To Date Temperature. The coincidences just keep on coming, in spite of no El Nino warm phase in the Pacific. Here’s an excerpt from Hot Whopper: “Yes, another “hottest” on record – this time for May 2016. According to GISS NASA, the average for May was 0.93 °C, which is 0.07 °C above the previous hottest May, in 2014. Last month is the first time in seven months that the GISTemp monthly anomaly is one degree Celsius below the average from 1951-1980.  This month the anomaly is the ninth highest for any month, lower than all anomalies from October last year, and lower than that for January 2007. The average for the five months to the end of May is 1.15 °C, which is 0.29 °C higher than any previous January to May period. The previous highest was last year, which with the latest data had an anomaly of 0.86 °C...”

Image credit: “Global mean surface temperature for El Nino years.” Data source: GISS NASA


Excessive Heat Watch. Much of southern and central Arizona is under an Excessive Heat Watch, which may have to be upgraded to a warning by the weekend as air temperatures climb above 115F. In fact a high of 120F in Phoenix is not out of the question by Sunday. Graphic: Aeris AMP.

Britain’s Royal Navy Warships Are Breaking Down Because Sea Is Too Hot. CNN reports: “Britain’s £1bn ($1.4bn) warships are losing power in the Persian Gulf because they cannot cope with the warm waters, MPs have been told. Six Type 45 destroyers have repeatedly experienced power outages because of the temperatures, leaving servicemen in complete darkness. During the Defence Committee hearing on Tuesday, MPs questioned company executives about the warship failures. “The equipment is having to operate in far more arduous conditions that were initially required,” Rolls-Royce director Tomas Leahy said...” (File photo: UK Royal Navy).


Future Temperature in Southwest Asia Projected to Exceed a Threshold for Human Adaptability. Too hot to live in the Persian Gulf and northern Africa? Here’s an excerpt of a recent abstract at Nature Climate Change: “…This threshold defines a limit of survivability for a fit human under well-ventilated outdoor conditions and is lower for most people. We project using an ensemble of high-resolution regional climate model simulations that extremes of wet-bulb temperature in the region around the Arabian Gulf are likely to approach and exceed this critical threshold under the business-as-usual scenario of future greenhouse gas concentrations. Our results expose a specific regional hotspot where climate change, in the absence of significant mitigation, is likely to severely impact human habitability in the future.”




We Are Fleeing The World’s Coasts. Kate Yoder has the story at Grist; here’s a clip: “…And people may already be responding to the planet’s not-so-subtle signals that coastal areas may not a safe place to live in the future. According to a new study from Environmental Research Letters, population growth patterns have indicated a slight distribution away from coastlines. The share of population that lives 124 miles from the coast has decreased slightly in recent years, from 52 percent in 1990 to 51 percent in 2010. Wait! One percentage point may be a subtle change, but it’s likely contrary to what you’ve heard before, since there’s a common understanding that people are actually moving toward the coasts. And on a global scale, many more people live in coastal areas today than in the past — about five times as many as in 1900, Fast Company reports…”


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...”


Save the Climate and Protect America: Build an “Underground Energy Interstate” Now. I found an Op-Ed at Capital Weather Gang fairly convincing; here’s the intro: “The two greatest threats the United States (and other nations) face could be solved by a single infrastructure project that could be done now with existing technology. The threat the Democrats see is climate change. The threat the Republicans see is terrorism on a massive scale. There are weapons, called Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) nuclear bombs, currently in the hands of nations such as North Korea that could be in the hands of terrorists in 15 years. An EMP bomb placed high above Kansas City, Kan., could wipe out the U.S. electric system and much of our digital electronics…”

File photo credit: “The Empire State Building towers over the skyline of a blackout-darkened New York just before dawn on Aug. 15, 2003.” (George Widman/AP).



Solar Is Going To Get Ridiculously Cheap. Fortune reports: “Solar will become the cheapest source to produce power in many countries over the next 15 years, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Part of the cheap solar power will be unleashed because the cost of installing solar panels at big solar farms and on rooftops will drop 60% to an estimated average of around four cents per kilowatt hour by 2040, the report said. That’s cheaper than coal and natural gas power in many regions…”

File photo: Utility Dive.


Apple is Making So Much Clean Energy it Formed a New Company to Sell It. The Verge has details; here’s the intro: “Apple has created a subsidiary to sell the excess electricity generated by its hundreds of megawatts of solar projects. The company, called Apple Energy LLC, filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to sell power on wholesale markets across the US. The company has announced plans for 521 megawatts of solar projects globally. It’s using that clean energy to power all of its data centers, as well as most of its Apple Stores and corporate offices. In addition, it has other investments in hydroelectric, biogas, and geothermal power, and looks to purchase green energy off the grid when it can’t generate its own power. In all, Apple says it generates enough electricity to cover 93 percent of its energy usage worldwide...” (File photo: Apple Inc.)



Daimler to Unveil Long-Distance Electric Car in October. Reuters has the details: “Germany’s Daimler will lift the curtain on its much-anticipated long-distance electric car at the Paris Motor Show in October, as the automaker gears up to compete with Tesla Motors Inc’s Model X sport-utility vehicle (SUV). The company will display a prototype of an electric-powered Mercedes car with a 500-kilometre (310 miles) range, Chief Development Officer Thomas Weber said this week in Stuttgart at an event for journalists...”


Batteries Storing Power Seen As Big As Rooftop Solar in 12 Years. Bloomberg has the update: “Batteries capable of storing power at utility scale will be as widespread in 12 years as rooftop solar panels are now, revolutionizing the way consumers use energy. That’s the the conclusion of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which forecasts the battery market may be valued at $250 billion or more by 2040. It expects 25 gigawatts of the devices to be deployed by 2028, about the size of the small-scale photovoltaic industry now…”

Graphic credit: Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Cable Industry Mobilizes Lobbying Arm to Block FCC Rules. Here’s an excerpt from The New York Times: “…So far this year, the agency has proposed reforming rules on set-top boxes so that people can pick any television device to receive cable and online video, which could cut into the industry’s $19.5 billion in annual set-top-box rental fees. The F.C.C. also unveiled broadband privacy rules that would make it harder to collect and share data on users for targeted advertising. And the agency also announced a plan to force cable and telecom companies to lease bandwidth to competitors in certain areas, with potential limits on how much they can charge, curbing revenue for such deals…”


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?…”



What Do Scientists Do When They Think They Might Have Intercepted Alien Signals. Run for the hills? Make popcorn? No idea, but I found a story at Atlas Obscura somewhat reassuring; here’s a clip: “…Imagine that you’re an astronomer, working in your lab, day in and day out, analyzing signals from space. Waves of energy pass through, you measure them, you calculate what they mean—what stars, asteroids, quasars, black holes, and planets are doing very, very far away from here. One day, a strange signal registers on your instruments. You check that it’s not an equipment error. You start running through possible explanations, all the obvious ones and the less obvious ones. Nothing fits. You know the signal is not coming from this planet. Maybe you start thinking that one possible explanation, as unlikely as it may be, is that you’ve come across a sign of extraterrestrial intelligence...”

Image credit: A look at space, from Hubble.” (Image: NASA/Public domain).



Humidity Meter. Thanks to KOMU-TV for creating a graphic that’s effective, with a sense of humor.

TODAY: More showers, T-storms move in. Winds: E 10-15. High: 76

TUESDAY NIGHT: Showers  and T-storms, locally heavy rain. Low: 66

WEDNESDAY: Wet start, then slow PM clearing. Winds: W 10-15. High: 77

THURSDAY: Sunny and pleasant, relatively low humidity. Winds: NE 5-10. Wake-up: 62. High: near 80

FRIDAY: Sunny and warmer. Leave early. Winds: SE 10-15. Wake-up: 63. High: 84

SATURDAY: Sticky sun, isolated storm far north and west. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 66. High: 86

SUNDAY: Dog Days of June return. Plenty hot. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 69. High: 92

MONDAY: Humid with a few showers and T-storms likely.  Winds: N 5-10. Wake-up: 70. High: 84


Climate Stories…

The War on Science. Science communicator Greg Laden has a review of Shawn Otto’s terrific (and important) new book; here’s an excerpt: “…People come to believe what they believe in a way that rarely involves scientific thinking. The human mind is not inherently rational in the sense we usually use the term today. The process of learning things, of inference, and developing habits that guide our reactions to the world around us, evolved to function well enough given our usual cultural, social, and ecological context. But the modern world presents challenges that are better addressed, and problems that are only solvable, with a scientific approach. Science is something we willfully impose on our own process of thought and, at the level of society, formation of policy and law...”

* Check out the podcast interview with author Shawn Otto at Ikonocast.


The Mistrust of Science. Continuing the the theme, here’s an excerpt of a recent New Yorker article: “…To defend those beliefs, few dismiss the authority of science. They dismiss the authority of the scientific community. People don’t argue back by claiming divine authority anymore. They argue back by claiming to have the truer scientific authority. It can make matters incredibly confusing. You have to be able to recognize the difference between claims of science and those of pseudoscience. Science’s defenders have identified five hallmark moves of pseudoscientists. They argue that the scientific consensus emerges from a conspiracy to suppress dissenting views. They produce fake experts, who have views contrary to established knowledge but do not actually have a credible scientific track record. They cherry-pick the data and papers that challenge the dominant view as a means of discrediting an entire field. They deploy false analogies and other logical fallacies. And they set impossible expectations of research: when scientists produce one level of certainty, the pseudoscientists insist they achieve another...”

Biggest U.S. Coal Company Funded Dozens of Groups Questioning Climate Change. Why? Because it was bad for the bottom line. Here’s an excerpt of a story at The Guardian: “Peabody Energy, America’s biggest coalmining company, has funded at least two dozen groups that cast doubt on manmade climate change and oppose environment regulations, analysis by the Guardian reveals. The funding spanned trade associations, corporate lobby groups, and industry front groups as well as conservative thinktanks and was exposed in court filings last month. The coal company also gave to political organisations, funding twice as many Republican groups as Democratic ones…”

Photo credit: “Peabody Energy has funded dozens of groups that question climate science, analysis shows.” Photograph: Jeff Roberson/AP


Poll: 65% of Miami Real Estate Professionals “Concerned” About Climate Change. I expect that number to rise over time; here’s an excerpt from Curbed Miami: “…Meanwhile, the majority think Climate Change is starting to affect the market, though buyers aren’t overly concerned just yet.

Its presence loomed larger this year, as 65 percent of survey respondents reported being concerned about the potential impact of climate change and rising sea levels on the real-estate market. According to the survey, buyers did not share the sentiment; only 22 percent mentioned it as an issue.

Image credit: Miami Herald.


Tips on How To Talk To Your Climate-Denying Friends. Here’s an excerpt from Fusion: “…In response, Hill pointed out that what we’re seeing now falls far outside recorded fluctuations. “The paleo/fossil record of climate change is actually quite powerful in illustrating that we are far outside the range of ‘normal’ natural variability for the climate system,” she wrote, adding, “we actually have learned a tremendous amount from the history of past climate, using both the ‘paleo’ record as well as modern, recorded observations that go on for decades to centuries… what you can see in this illustration is that there is no precedent – in the past 1 million years – for carbon dioxide concentrations at this level...”



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…”

Read More

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.
This entry was posted in Weather. Bookmark the permalink.