All Weather News

Blazing Saddles (Canadian relief on the way – June marks 340th month in a row of global temperatures warmer than 20th century average)

19 Jul 2013, 6:16 am


“…(June) also marked the 37th consecutive June and 340th consecutive month—that’s a total of more than 28 years—with a global temperature above the 20th-century average…” – NOAA, details below.


Gradual Relief
Every year dozens of U.S. children & untold numbers of pets left in vehicles die from extreme heat, or “hyperthermia”. This occurs even on mild days; a localized greenhouse effect inside cars able to warm temperatures from 70s to 90s in a couple of minutes.
NOAA ran a test; with an outside temperature of 80F temperatures inside a vehicle reached a deadly 123F in 60 minutes. Cracking a window doesn’t help. The effects on kids can be more severe because their bodies warm at a faster rate than adults. Bottom line: never leave a child (or pet) unattended in a vehicle.
Blast-furnace heat relaxes its grip on Minnesota today as winds shift to the northwest. An early T-shower is possible, but skies brighten by afternoon as dew points drop into the 60s today – reaching comfortable 50s by Saturday, the nicer day of the weekend.
An ill-timed warm front sparks more showers & T-storms Sunday; have a Plan B for part of the day. Next week looks cooler and stormier, in fact severe weather season may spill over into August as our delayed summer limps on.
In the weather blog (below): the CIA is interested in geo-engineering the climate. And a lawn mower that goes 130 mph. Now that’s progress.
Canadian Relief. We spend much of the winter bashing Canada (the source of all those horrific arctic fronts). Over the next 48 hours we should be thanking our friends to the north, not that they had anything to do with this latest push of cooler, drier air. Showers and T-storms push across the Great Lakes, and the Northeast finally cools off late Saturday and Sunday. 84 hour NAM loop above courtesy of NOAA.

Avoidable Tragedies. The photo credit at the top of the weather blog is from St. Luke’s, which has more good information on steps you can take to lessen the risk of accidently leaving an infant or child in a vehicle; here’s an excerpt:

  • Never leave an infant or child unattended in a vehicle even if the windows are partially open or the air conditioning is on.
  • Do not let your children play in an unattended vehicle. Teach them that a vehicle is not a play area.
  • Make a habit of looking in the vehicle – front and back – before locking the door and walking away.
  • Always lock vehicle doors and trunks and keep keys out of children’s reach. If a child is missing, check the vehicle first, including the trunk.
  • If you are bringing your child to daycare, and normally it’s your spouse or partner who brings them, have your spouse or partner call you to make sure you dropped the child off.
  • Ask your childcare provider to call you if your child does not show up for childcare.
  • Do things to remind yourself that a child is in the vehicle, such as:
  1. Writing yourself a note and putting the note where you will see it when you leave the vehicle;
  2. Placing your purse, briefcase or something else you need in the back seat so that you will have to check the back seat when you leave the vehicle; or
  3. Keeping an object in the car seat, such as a stuffed toy. When the child is buckled in, place the object where the driver will notice it when he or she is leaving the vehicle.


June 2013 Global Climate Update. Here’s a clip from NOAA’s “In June 2013, many areas of the world experienced higher-than-average monthly temperatures. According to the latest statistics from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, the globally averaged temperature for the month tied with 2006 as the fifth warmest June since record keeping began in 1880. It also marked the 37th consecutive June and 340th consecutive month—that’s a total of more than 28 years—with a global temperature above the 20th-century average. The last below-average June temperature was June 1976 and the last below-average temperature for any month was February 1985…”

The map above shows temperatures relative to average across the globe for June 2013. Shades of red indicate temperatures up to 11° Fahrenheit warmer than the 1981–2010 average and shades of blue indicate temperatures up to 11° Fahrenheit cooler than the average.

Record Heat In June Extends Globe’s Streak To 340 Months. Meteorologist Andrew Freedman from Climate Central has more details on the findings for June; here’s a clip: “Global average surface temperatures during June were either the second or the fifth-warmest on record for the month, based on analyses by NASA and NOAA, respectively. The two agencies keep tabs on global temperature trends using large networks of surface monitoring stations and statistical approaches to fill in gaps where stations are sparse, but they use slightly different methods to analyze the data, which can result in slight differences in their rankings. June continued the long-term warming trend tied to manmade greenhouse gas pollution as well as natural climate variability. The planet has not recorded a single month with temperatures below the 20th century average since February 1985, when the cult classic film “The Breakfast Club” was released, and the last year with a cooler-than-average June was in 1976. This year so far is tied with 2003 as the seventh-warmest year on record, NOAA said…” (Image above: NASA).

Interior Chief Says Drought May Cause Record Wildfires In U.S. Bloomberg has the story. Image credit: DNR.

Bill To Shift NOAA Resources To Weather Marches On. I’m all for having more powerful and accurate weather models, but coming at the expense of climate modeling? Not sure that’s an inspired idea. Here’s a clip from Andrew Freedman at Climate Central: “A House bill that would mandate the nation’s top weather and climate agency shift its priorities more toward short-term weather forecasting has sped its way through the legislative process. The House Science Committee is expected to consider it in the next few weeks. The bill is aimed at changing how the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) prioritizes its missions of weather, climate and ocean science. Critics of the bill say that prioritization will shortchange long-term climate research in favor of improving forecasts of extreme weather…”

GPS Reveals Hurricane Wind Speeds. My goal with the blog is to go beyond the forecast, and try to explain some of the data and reasoning behind the 7-Day. I also include articles I stumble across during the course of my day, stories that made me do a double-take, like this one from National Geographic. 60% of a GPS satellites’s signal bounces off surfaces, including the ocean surface. That has implications (for measurement of wind speed). Here’s an excerpt: “Scientists have a new way to measure how fast the wind is blowing. That’s because over the past decade, scientists have learned how to measure the speed of the wind at the ocean’s surface by observing how much GPS signals are distorted when bouncing off the moving water waves. Now, a new paper reports that such wind speed measurements can be used with confidence when conditions are right, even to measure the winds of hurricanes. Improved wind speed measurements could help meteorologists better understand and predict storms, says Stephen Katzberg, a distinguished research associate at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia…”

Photo credit above: “A truck in Key West, Florida is bombarded by wind and rain during a hurricane.” Photograph by Mike Theiss, National Geographic

The CIA Wants To Know How To Control The Climate. Geo-engineering climate may be a technological savior, or a dangerous pipe-dream, right? The Verge and Mother Jones have a fascinating story on how the CIA and how they are taking a morphing climate very seriously; here’s the intro: “The US Central Intelligence Agency isn’t just interested in gathering intelligence on foreign powers and enemies. As it turns out, Langley is also investigating the feasibility of altering the environment to fight the effects of climate change. The CIA is currently funding, in part, a $630,000 study on geoengineering, the science of using experimental techniques to modify Earth’s climate, as Mother Jones reports. The 21-month-long study was commissioned by the National Academy of Sciences, a nonprofit group of scientific advisors to the government, and a final report on its findings is due to be published in the fall of 2014…”

“Timelapse Earth” Will Leave You Humbled. This may be the best 4 minutes you spend today, courtesy of “Man (or woman) can only dream what it looks like hovering above earth watching the beauty of science orbit beneath them. Thanks to the ISS (International Space Station) we have the next best thing, a timelapse. “Some interesting tidbits about the ISS. It orbits the planet about once every 90 mins and is about 350 Km/217 miles. The yellow/greenish line that you see over the earth is Airgolw. All footage has been color graded, denoised, deflickered, slowed down and stabilized by Bruce W. Berry. Clips were then complied and converted to 1080 HD at 24 frames/sec. Read on to learn what cameras they use and more info about the ISS…”

9 Most Common Regrets Of The Living And Dying – And What To Do About Them. My goal (like so many others) is to live a life of no regrets, to not look back and say “could-have, should-have, would-have”. That’s why I found this story from Next Avenue so interesting; here’s a clip: “In spending time with patients during the last three to 12 weeks of their lives, Ware gleaned vital insight into the concerns and regrets of those faced with imminent death. Here are the core regrets as she describes them in her Inspiration and Chai blog.

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honor at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it…”

The Neuroscience Of Everybody’s Favorite Topic. Why do we like talking about ourselves so much? This article from Scientific American explains the popularity of Facebook, come to think of it – here’s an excerpt: “Human beings are social animals. We spend large portions of our waking hours communicating with others, and the possibilities for conversation are seemingly endless—we can make plans and crack jokes; reminisce about the past and dream about the future; share ideas and spread information. This ability to communicate—with almost anyone, about almost anything—has played a central role in our species’ ability to not just survive, but flourish. How do you choose to use this immensely powerful tool—communication? Do your conversations serve as doorways to new ideas and experiences? Do they serve as tools for solving the problems of disease and famine? Or do you mostly just like to talk about yourself?...”

Extreme Mowing. 0 to 60 in 4 seconds. On a lawn mower? Why not. has the details; here’s a clip: “Billed as world’s fastest lawn mower, the Mean Mower is a (heavily) modified version of on Honda’s HF260 Lawn Tractor that can make 0-60 mph (96 km/h) in 4.0 seconds – fast enough to put most exotic full-sized autos to shame. This racy take on the riding mower develops 96 Nm (70 lb.ft) of torque, 109 hp (which gives it roughly 100 more ponies than most of its lawn tractor brethren) and has a power-to-weight ratio of 532 bhp/tonne thanks to a weight of only 140 kg (308 lb). To keep the whole thing legit, grass cutting remains very much a part of the equation. Yes it still cuts grass, but only at speeds up to 15 mph (24 km/h). But once the lawn has been carefully manicured then feel free to take it out on the local autobahn and run it out to an (estimated) 130 mph (209 km/h). Helmet recommended…”

Photo credit above: “Honda’s one-off HF260 Lawn Tractor is capable of reaching 60 mph (96 km/h) in 4.0 seconds.”

Climate Stories…

Reid Blames Climate Change: “West Is Burning”. Here’s a clip from The Las Vegas Review-Journal: “As firefighters head home from Southern Nevada, U.S. Sen. Harry Reid on Wednesday blamed “climate change” for the intense blaze that consumed nearly 28,000 acres and drove hundreds of residents from their homes around Mount Charleston this month. Reid said the government should be spending “a lot more” on fire prevention, echoing elected officials who say the Forest Service should move more aggressively to remove brush and undergrowth that turn small fires into huge ones. “The West is burning,” the Nevada Democrat told reporters in a meeting. “I could be wrong, but I don’t think we’ve ever had a fire in the Spring Mountains, Charleston range like we just had. “Why are we having them? Because we have climate change. Things are different. The forests are drier, the winters are shorter, and we have these terrible fires all over the West….”

Photo credit above: JOHN LOCHER/LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. “The Carpenter 1 Fire burns in the mountains behind the Red Rock Conservation Area visitor center near Las Vegas early in the morning of Thursday, July 11. The fire has forced the closure of the Red Rock National Conservation Area Scenic Loop.”

The Era Of Corporate Silence On Climate Policy Is Ending. The Harvard Business Review has the story; here’s the introduction: “Tackling climate change is one of America’s greatest economic opportunities.” So proclaims the Climate Declaration, a public statement signed by a fast-growing list of U.S. corporate giants, including GM, Nike, Intel, Starbucks, Unilever, eBay, Swiss Re, and even The Weather Channel. This new attempt to encourage companies to lobby for climate action is gaining steam. President Obama gave the movement a boost in June when he highlighted the declaration in his big climate speech. More companies are taking a proactive role in climate policy, and for good reasons…”

Saudi Arabia Aims To Become The World’s Largest Renewable Energy Market. I had a vaguely out of body experience when I came across this headline. Saudi Arabia? World’s biggest renewable energy market? It probably makes sense. All that sunshine, and a gradually depleting natural resource of oil under their feet – The Kingdom probably has the right idea here, as explained at “Saudi Arabia aims to become the world’s foremost market for renewable energy with an aggressive investment budget of $109 billion. By 2032, the country strives to generate as much as a third of the Kingdom’s energy demands using renewable energy (54 GW). Following the publicity surrounding the country’s major investment drive, King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE) released a series of documents detailing the revised National Energy Plan. In addition to the 41 GW of solar power, 25 GW of CSP and 16 GW of PV, the Kingdom is aiming to generate 18 GW of nuclear energy, 3 GW of waste to energy, 1 GW of geothermal and an additional 9 GW of wind power, specifically for water desalination plants…”

Photo credit above: “By 2032, Saudi Arabia strives to generate as much as a third of the country’s energy demands using renewable energy.”



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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 And if you’re on Twitter, you’ll find me @pdouglasweather

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