Excessive Heat Warning: High Risk of Heat-Related Ailments Into Tuesday
Flirting With 100F Today and Monday? Here are the 4 pm predicted temperatures from the 12km NAM model, showing a potential for 100-degree heat, especially west metro of the Twin Cities to St. Cloud, Willmar and Mankato. An even larger footprint of 100-degree highs are possible Monday afternoon; the worst of the blast-furnace heat shifting south/west of MSP by Tuesday. Maps above: Ham Weather.
Model Spread. Both the NAM and RAP models are predicting 100+ heat today, and if we don’t hit the century mark we’ll come very close by late afternoon. As long as the sun is out and winds blow from the southwest at 15-25 we will (at least) hit upper 90s. Source: Smart Energy and Ham Weather.
The Heat Is On. More details from the Twin Cities NWS: “The heat is on for today and into Tuesday evening. Heat indices will peak from 98 to 109 from today through Tuesday, with temperatures only cooling into the 70s to around 80 during the overnight hours. Relief will come during the latter half of the week as a cold front is expected to move across the area. For more information on how to stay safe in the heat, visit: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/heat/”
Hottest Minnesota State Fair Since 1948? My advice: go in the morning, get there as early as you can, and don’t wait around for the hyper-dog-days of late summer. Here’s an excerpt from a post at the local Twin Cities National Weather Service: “Although it is not rare to have temperatures sneak into the mid 90s for a day during late August, it is extremely rare to have mid 90s for a stretch of several days. This potentially record-setting heat will likely persist from Sunday through Thursday of next week, when heat indices of 95 to 100 are also anticipated.”
Remembering A Remarkable Super-Typhoon – And a “Category 6” Hurricane Isn’t As Laughable As It Sounds. Looking at some of the most extreme typhoons (hurricanes) to impact the western Pacific in 40 years you could make an argument that we’ve already experienced a handful of “Cat 6” storms by merely extrapolating the current Saffir Simpson scale. 190 mph sustained winds? That’s one extra-hefty Category 5. Does it matter? When calculating ultimate storm surge and sea level rise, yes, it probably does matter. I don’t see any Category 6 hurricanes in the Atlantic anytime soon, but if oceans continue to warm our grandkids may someday be wondering why we had any doubts. Here’s today’s edition of Climate Matters: “Meteorologist Paul Douglas talks hurricane strength. Category 5 remains the largest, but is a Category 6 not far off? Dive in and explore the Pacific Super Typhoon of 1979. Also, extreme heat will take over a majority of the U.S. next week. See how hot it will get in today’s WeatherNationTV Climate show.”
Atlantic Hurricanes Intensifying Over Time? There is no data to support the claim that we’re seeing more hurricanes in the Atlantic, but the storm that do spin up have a better chance of spinning up and becoming more intense, possibly the result of warmer ocean water. Here’s an excerpt of a scientific paper at hurricaneclimatology.com: “Here we added the least-squares regression line about the annual mean lifetime highest wind speed (black line) and the least-squares regression line about the annual lifetime highest wind speed (red). While there is no upward or downward trend in the average cyclone intensity, there is an upward trend to the set of strongest cyclones. The theory of maximum potential intensity, which relates intensity to ocean heat, refers to a theoretical limit given the thermodynamic conditions (Emanuel 1988). So the upward trend in the observed lifetime maximum intensity is physically consistent with what you expect given the increasing ocean temperature…”
Yosemite Officials Clearing Brush, Setting Sprinklers To Save Giant Sequoia Groves From Fire. The Republic has an update on the massive fire encroaching on Yosemite National Park; here’s an excerpt: “Fire crews are clearing brush and setting sprinklers to protect two groves of giant sequoias as a massive week-old wildfire rages along the remote northwest edge of Yosemite National Park. The iconic trees can resist fire, but dry conditions and heavy brush are forcing park officials to take extra precautions in the Tuolumne and Merced groves. About three dozen of the giant trees are affected. “All of the plants and trees in Yosemite are important, but the giant sequoias are incredibly important both for what they are and as symbols of the National Park System,” park spokesman Scott Gediman said Saturday...”
Photo credit above: “In this undated photo provided by the U.S. Forest Service, the Rim Fire burns near Yosemite National Park, Calif. The wildfire outside Yosemite National Park â€” one of more than 50 major brush blazes burning across the western U.S. â€” more than tripled in size overnight and still threatens about 2,500 homes, hotels and camp buildings. Fire officials said the blaze burning in remote, steep terrain had grown to more than 84 square miles and was only 2 percent contained on Thursday, down from 5 percent a day earlier.” (AP Photo/U.S. Forest Service)
Feds Running Out Of Money To Fight Wildfires. Fox News has the story (and video); here’s a clip: “Running out of money to fight wildfires at the peak of the season, the U.S. Forest Service is diverting $600 million from timber, recreation and other areas to fill the gap. The nation’s top wildfire-fighting agency was down to $50 million after spending $967 million so far this year, Forest Service spokesman Larry Chambers said Wednesday in an email. Chambers says the $50 million the Forest Service has left is typically enough to pay for just a few days of fighting fires when the nation is at its top wildfire preparedness level, which went into effect Tuesday. There are 51 large uncontained fires burning across the nation, making it tough to meet demands for fire crews and equipment…”
Can A Big Earthquake Trigger Another One? Do they come in swarms, or families? Something many seismologists have suspected for a long time. Here’s an excerpt of a fascinating story from KERA News in north Texas: “There’s a joke among scientists: prediction is difficult, especially about the future. For Ross Stein, it wasn’t a joke after the Indian Ocean quake and tsunami in 2004. It killed some 275,000 people. “I just felt almost a sense of shame,” Stein says, “that this tragedy could have been so immense in a world where we have so much intense research effort.” Stein’s a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey. He says quake experts have learned a couple of important things over the last few years. They’ve learned from big quakes in China, Chile, Japan and New Zealand, as well as the Indian Ocean quake. The first new idea is about aftershocks that follow a big earthquake. They’re not just a sort of quake death spasm; they can actually make more quakes more likely…”
Photo credit above: “Kesennuma, in the Tohoku region of Japan, was devastated in a March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami. A researcher studying recent megaquakes says this one, centered some 300 miles from Tokyo, could actually mean an increased risk of a quake hitting Japan’s capital, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world.” Suzanne Mooney / Barcroft Media /Landov.
How Technology Wrecks The Middle Class. I’m not worried about a person replacing me within 10 years. I’m worried about a robot, or an automated, next-generation, voice-activated app replacing me. Automation and computer-related efficiencies are making it much tougher for members of the middle class to find a decent job, as argued in this Op-Ed at The New York Times; here’s an excerpt: “In the four years since the Great Recession officially ended, the productivity of American workers — those lucky enough to have jobs — has risen smartly. But the United States still has two million fewer jobs than before the downturn, the unemployment rate is stuck at levels not seen since the early 1990s and the proportion of adults who are working is four percentage points off its peak in 2000. This job drought has spurred pundits to wonder whether a profound employment sickness has overtaken us. And from there, it’s only a short leap to ask whether that illness isn’t productivity itself. Have we mechanized and computerized ourselves into obsolescence? Are we in danger of losing the “race against the machine,” as the M.I.T. scholars Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee argue in a recent book?…”
Give TV Viewers What They Want – Full Control. Here’s a clip from a fairly convincing argument from Kevin Spacey, star of “House of Cards” on Netflix, which is excellent, by the way. He believes television may still be able to avoid making the same mistakes the music industry made, by not giving their customers what they really wanted at the time. Here’s an excerpt of his Op-Ed at The Guardian: “…The success of the Netflix model – releasing the entire season of House of Cards at once and online – has proved one thing: the audience wants the control. They want freedom. If they want to binge then we should let them binge. And through this new form of distribution, I think we have demonstrated that we have learned the lesson the music industry didn’t learn: give people what they want, when they want it, in the form they want it in – at a reasonable price – and they’ll more likely pay for it rather than steal it. Well, some will still steal it, but I believe this new model can take a bite out of piracy…”
When Will Google Glass Finally Go On Sale? Yes, I expect this technological innovation to change my life – I’m hoping I can be even MORE connected, maybe answer e-mails in my sleep, check my FB posts while I’m driving in city traffic. My question: do they have a cheater (bifocal) edition so I can actually read fine text? Yes, the potential is enormous – and thank God they don’t look dorky. Remind me to get an eyepatch instead. Here’s a clip from gizmag.com: “When will regular consumers be able to purchase Google Glass? Ever since the augmented reality headgear was unveiled in 2012, we’ve been hearing Glass will be available to the general public in 2014 … or maybe in late 2013 … but probably not until 2014. So which is it? Time to set the record straight…”
A “10” On The Cute-Meter: Abandoned House In The Woods. OK, my sister sent me this link, and I share it for any and all animal-lovers out there. Anything to take our minds off the upcoming heat wave right? Here’s an excerpt from boredpanda.com: “Finnish photographer Kai Fagerström presents unique photo series, where he captures wild animals making themselves comfortable in abandoned houses in the woods of Finland. Titled The House in the Woods, the photo series is set in cottages near Kai’s summer house, which were abandoned by their tenants after the owner of the place died in a fire. Award-winning photographer noticed how the place was slowly being reclaimed by the nature, and what started as a few snapshots, ended up being a book, published in Finnish, German, and English…”
Extreme Weather And Climate Change: Is There A Link? Here’s an excerpt from The Guardian: “Shifts in the number, severity and location of extreme weather events are among the most important impacts of climate change. Basic physics suggest that global warming should affect the occurrence of extreme weather. More energy is being added to the atmosphere, and as it warms, it can hold more water vapour. On this basis alone, cold weather events should decline, heatwaves should increase, and there should be changes in the intensity and frequency of the dry and wet periods that cause droughts and floods. However, the Earth’s climate system is very complex and natural variability, including El Niño and La Niña events, as well as important local and regional variations, make it difficult to separate out human influence on extreme weather events from other factors. In addition, extreme weather is, by definition, relatively rare and it can take a long time to identify statistically significant trends from small datasets…”
Image credit above: “The links between global warming and cyclones, such as 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, shown here, are not yet well understood.” Photograph: Suomi NPP/VIIRS/NASA
Climate Change Deniers Live In Ignorant Bliss As Seas Keep Rising. The Los Angeles Times has the story – here’s an excerpt: “A new climate-change report from the United Nations that was leaked to the media this week says sea levels could rise by more than 3 feet by the end of the 21st century and that there is a 95% likelihood that the global warming that is causing this rise is largely a result of human activity. You may now cue the deniers who say somebody is just making this stuff up. In this case, that somebody is the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC), an international scientific team that issues periodic assessments of our planet’s shifting climate. Its report, which is still under review, is scheduled for release in four parts between September 2013 and November 2014. Just like a slew of other scientific studies, it warns that major coastal cities, including New York, Miami, New Orleans, London, Shanghai and Sydney, are in peril of being inundated by the rising seas…”
Cartoon credit above: David Horsey / Los Angeles Times (August 21, 2013).
The “Consensus” View: Kevin Trenberth’s Take On Climate Change. Here’s an excerpt of an NPR interview with climate scientist Kevin Trenberth: “…You can think of it like a staircase. Temperature is flat when a natural cool spell cancels out the gradual temperature increase caused by human activity. But when there’s a natural warm spell on top of the long-term warming trend, the story is dramatically different. “When the natural variability or when the weather is going in the same direction as global warming, suddenly we’re breaking records, we’re going outside of the bounds of previous experience, and that is when the real damage occurs,” Trenberth says. Consider Hurricane Sandy. Trenberth figures the storm was maybe 5 or 10 percent more powerful as a result of global warming. And sea level is 8 inches higher than it was a century ago. That doesn’t seem that dramatic, but he argues that made a huge and costly difference. “I reckon that without climate change, we would not have exceeded thresholds that caused the flooding of the subways in Manhattan and the tunnels from Manhattan to New Jersey and to Brooklyn…”
Photo credit above: “Kevin Trenberth is a distinguished senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.” Rich Crowder/Corbis.
Can Cities Adjust To A Retreating Coastline? Here’s food for thought from Andrew Revkin at The New York Times: “Last June, in rolling out an ambitious$20-billion plan to gird New York City against the impacts of rising seas and storm surges in a warming climate, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg gave a classic “no retreat” speech, including this line: [A]s New Yorkers, we cannot and will not abandon our waterfront. It’s one of our greatest assets. We must protect it, not retreat from it. Of course, who could ever imagine a politician standing on a coastline proclaiming, “We will retreat!” But somehow, that’s what has to be done. Finding a way to have a realistic discussion of where to hold firm and where to pull back, where to gird and where to let nature dominate, has to happen to limit costs and other regrets in thousands of coastal cities and smaller communities around the world…”
Graphic credit above: Architecture Research Office and dlandstudio
Samuel Locklear III, commander of the U.S. military’s sprawling Pacific Command, what his most serious threat is, and you might be surprised. There’s a long list of possibilities, after all: North Korean nukes, rising Chinese military power and aggressive cyberespionage, multiple territorial disputes between major powers and persistent insurgencies from the Philippines to Thailand, not to mention protecting some of the world’s most vulnerable shipping choke points. Add all of that up, though, and there’s something even more dangerous to keep even the most seasoned military officer up at night: the looming disaster of climate change. Locklear is not alone in his assessment. He is one among a rising chorus of voices from the national security community, from senior military and intelligence officials to front-line combat veterans, united by what is fast becoming a consensus view...”Ask Adm.
Photo credit above: “Maj. Sean M. Sadlier (left) of the U.S. Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy Office explains the solar power element of the Expeditionary Forward Operating Base concept to Col. Anthony Fernandez during the testing phase of this sustainable energy initiative here, May 19. The ExFOB is designed primarily for use by small Marine Corps units at forward operating bases in Afghanistan. Fernandez, a Marine Corps Reservist with a combined 28 years in the Corps, is the African Lion 2010 task force commander here.” DATE: May 21, 2010 BY: U.S. Marine Forces Africa LOCATION: The African Lion operation, where this comes from, was based in Morocco Photo: Insight25_breen_PHa, Maj. Paul Greenberg.
Water Is Something About Which We Should Not Be Dumb. Amen. We will quickly discover that the most precious natural resources aren’t oil or gas, but water. Esquire has the story – here’s a clip: “There’s a water shortage in Texas. This is because of a number of factors, including urban sprawl, simple wastage, the ongoing drought, and the Great Climate Change Hoax, which is affecting us all and might be a concern, if it actually existed, which half of our political system believes it does not. There is also another reason. The energy companies are using the water for fracking, which seems uniquely stupid in a time of urban sprawl, wastage, drought, and the Great Climate Change Hoax. Most of the places being affected are small communities, like Barnhart, which the energy companies simply look at as vassal states to be used up and discarded.
The people of Barnhart, a tiny West Texas community near San Angelo, are certainly paying attention. Thanks to fracking’s outsized water demands, the town well has gone dry. The town’s water crisis brings to mind another old saw: “The prospect of being hanged focuses the mind wonderfully.” In Barnhart, where a severe and lingering drought already had put a strain on the water supply, minds are focused these days, though not so wonderfully…”
File photo above: ThinkStock.
Welcome to the WeatherNation blog. Every day I sift through hundreds of stories, maps, graphics and meteorological web sites, trying to capture some of the most interesting weather nuggets, the stories behind the forecast. I’ll link to stories and share some of the web sites I use. I’m still passionate about the weather, have been ever since Tropical Storm Agnes flooded my home in Lancaster, PA in 1972. I’ve started 5 weather-related companies. “EarthWatch” created the world’s first 3-D weather graphics for TV stations – Steven Spielberg used our software in “Jurassic Park” and “Twister”. My last company, “Digital Cyclone”, personalized weather for cell phones. “My-Cast” was launched in 2001 and is still going strong on iPhone, Android and Blackberry. I sold DCI to Garmin in 2007 so I could focus on my latest venture: WeatherNation. I also write a daily weather column for The Star Tribune startribune.