All Weather News

Drought-Denting Weekend Rains On Tap for Plains, Midwest & Great Lakes

6th most active Atlantic hurricane season on record. Source: NHC.

15 tropical storms.

8 hurricanes

1 major hurricane (Michael).

3 tropical storms impacted the southeastern USA, Category 1 Hurricane Isaac hit Louisiana in late August.

Wednesday Was National Take Your Teddy Bear To Work Day. Why would I make it up? Details (how bored are you?)


4. Twin Cities is the 4th most educated metropolitan area in the USA, behind Washington D.C., Boston and San Francisco. Details from The Washington Post.

Change In The Weather. The pattern is about to shift, hopefully an omen of a wetter regime to come. The storm hovering off the coast of California doesn’t look very impressive (although it did produce 3″ of hail on the ground near Gilroy). As it pushes east counterclockwise winds will suck up Gulf moisture and push it northward Friday and Saturday, setting the stage for what may be the most significant rain since mid-August. Satellite image: Naval Research Lab.


A Real Storm? For the past few weeks it’s been a parade of wimpy clippers, a few spits of rain, a hair-tussing wind, these bursts of chilly, Canadian air in quick succession, limiting any subsequent warming. The jet stream buckles late week, allowing a developing storm over California to push into the Plain states, fueled by southern moisture, spreading a smear of moderate rain into the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes over the weekend. Loop: NOAA.

Potentially Significant. It’s still too early to get specific about where the heaviest rain bands may set up on Saturday, but the 84-hour NAM model shows a 1 to 1.6″ bullseye from Willmar into the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities. I suspect most towns will pick up at least a half inch, a few lucky lawns and fields may wind up with over an inch of rain.


Severe Saturday? High dew points, coupled with ample wind shear and marginal instability may spawn a few severe storms south and east of the Twin Cities Saturday, a better chance of large hail from Kansas City and Des Moines to Madison. Map: NOAA SPC.


Early Jackets. In the last week NOAA reports 2,514 records, most of them record lows east of the Rockies. Record heat continues over the southwestern USA. For details click on an interactive map from Ham Weather.

“…Some 61 percent of Americans indicated U.S. weather has gotten worse in the past several years, up 9 points from March. Looking at local weather, 56 percent of those in the South say it has gotten much or somewhat worse over the past few years, while half of Midwesterners, 43 percent of Westerners and 42 percent of those in the Northeast said the same…” – from a story about climate change, extreme weather, and evolving American opinions on climate change in a Live Science article, details and links below.

Report: Climate Change Behind Rise In Weather Disasters. Here’s an excerpt from a story at USA Today: “…The report finds that weather disasters in North America are among the worst and most volatile in the world: “North America is the continent with the largest increases in disasters,” says Munich Re’s Peter Hoppe. The report focuses on weather disasters since 1980 in the USA, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Hoppe says this report represents the first finding of a climate change “footprint” in the data from natural catastrophes.

Some of the report’s findings:

— The intensities of certain weather events in North America are among the highest in the world, and the risks associated with them are changing faster than anywhere else...”

Intensification Of Northern Hemisphere Subtropical Highs In A Warming Climate. This may explain the unusually persistent heat-pump high that set up shop over America’s mid-section this past summer; here’s an excerpt of a new paper at Nature Geoscience: “…The simulations suggest that these summertime highs will intensify in the twenty-first century as a result of an increase in atmospheric greenhouse-gas concentrations. We further show that the intensification of subtropical highs is predominantly caused by an increase in thermal contrast between the land and ocean. We suggest that summertime near-surface subtropical highs could play an increasingly important role in regional climate and hydrological extremes in the future.”

* more details on the implications of a stronger, more persistent Bermuda High for the USA from Climate Central below.

NASA Tracks Spectacular Aurora. Here’s more information on the remarkable image above, courtesy of NASA’s Earth Observatory: “Overnight on October 4-5, 2012, a mass of energetic particles from the atmosphere of the Sun were flung out into space, a phenomenon known as a coronal mass ejection. Three days later, the storm from the Sun stirred up the magnetic field around Earth and produced gorgeous displays of northern lights. NASA satellites track such storms from their origin to their crossing of interplanetary space to their arrival in the atmosphere of Earth. Using the “day-night band” (DNB) of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite acquired this view of the aurora borealis early on the morning of October 8, 2012. The northern lights stretch across Canada’s Quebec and Ontario provinces in the image, and are part of the auroral oval that expanded to middle latitudes because of a geomagnetic storm…”

A Celestial Sight. Thanks to Noel Rogers and Bow Valley Photography for sharing this photo of the Northern Lights above the Rocky Mountains, snapped at Canmore, Alberta.

Fast-Forward Fall. Migizi Gichigumi snapped this photo near Sand Bay, Wisconsin, cold exhaust on the backside of a vigorous Alberta Clipper whipping up some nice breakers on Lake Superior.

Domes Give Shelter From The Storms. Here’s a growing industry: personal protection for (increasingly) severe weather around the USA. With the right shelter you can survive a major hurricane, an earthquake, even a half-mile-wide tornado. The Houston Chronicle has the story; here’s an excerpt: “Federal emergency management officials have appropriated $50 million to build a series of domed, storm-proof shelters along the Texas coast to protect residents from hurricanes. They must be strong enough to withstand hurricane winds of more than 175 mph and tornadoes up to 250 mph. ABC Domes, with its Texas base in Sealy, is poised to do a lot of the building. CEO Peter Fedele says the roughly 20,000-square-foot domes, made of a steel-reinforced spray-on concrete, can protect people from hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and fires. They can serve as community centers, training centers and gymnasiums in non-crisis times…”

Photo credit above: “This is the interior of an ABC Domes facility in Lakeland, Fla. The company, whose Texas base is in Sealy, hopes to build several shelters along the Texas coast as part of a FEMA program to protect people from hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and fires.”

An Inside Look At The Weather Channel’s Social TV Strategy For “Coast Guard Florida”. Some interesting facts and figures in this article at Lost Remote; here’s an excerpt: “The Weather Channel is no stranger to social TV. Early on the weather-focused TV network inked an unprecedented partnership with Twitter to curate relevant tweets. They also have one of the most popular apps on the App Store and recently revamped their website to bring social even more center stage. As their digital footprint has grown, their original television content has as well….”

Cloud Globe. This is one of the better visualizations I’ve seen in recent years – 3 years worth of weather patterns condensed into about 10 minutes of animation, courtesy of Every tropical storm and hurricane in the Atlantic, Caribbean and eastern Pacific is labeled and tracked over time. Very cool.

“Overshooting Top”. This is one of many (take-your-breath-away) photos you can graze at The Cloud Appreciation Society, a remarkable example of a violent thunderstorm updraft that broke thru the tropopause into the stratosphere, an “overshooting top”. Probably a good idea to give it a wide berth.

Apple TV And Airplay Fuel Rise Of Dual-Screen Apps. Not sure how you consume media, but it’s rare that I fixate on the TV screen anymore. It’s on in the background, sort of video/audio Muzak, while I pound away on my laptop, check my iPad, check apps and texts on my smartphone. My wife is doing the same digital juggling. We just grunt at each other every now and then. Lovely, this new, multi-tasking, perpetually distracted new digital world. Mashable has details on a new, emerging trend: “Dual-screen apps are a new phenomena, enabled by the advent of wireless technologies that allow for effortless pairing of a PC, tablet or smartphone with a TV. They are changing how people are interacting and “consuming” content within apps. For developers this creates many new opportunities to provide better experiences for their users, but it requires thinking about dual-screen setups from the start as well as new tools. The opportunity for dual-screen apps is huge. And it’s more than just watching a video or playing a game: Dual-screen apps have the potential to transform the office meeting room, the classroom, the retail store, the hospital, and really any other context where people are interacting around content and information and where that information would benefit from rendering and display on a large screen such as a TV monitor…”

My New iPhone 5’s Amazing Global Journey. I’m a little freaked out about the mapping (bug?) – but still looking forward to a slimmer, wider, faster iPhone. Yes, this should complete me, make me a better person. At least for the next 6 months. Uh huh. The screen shot above is from UPS, showing the long, strange journey from ZhengZhou, China to Korea to Anchorage to Louisville (?) and then on to the Twin Cities. I should get frequent flier miles.


Technicolor Sunset. Did you see the sunset yesterday evening? I snapped this photo around 6:45 pm, the sky the color of molten lead. Nice.


Threat…And Opportunity

“I’m proud of having been one of the first to recognize that States and the Federal Government have a duty to protect our natural resources from the damaging effects of pollution that can accompany industrial development.” Al Gore? Barack Obama? No. Ronald Reagan.

When people ask why I’m so vocal & persistent about reporting climate science I tell them it’s the greatest environmental challenge we’ve ever faced. And if you care about your kids and grandkids you should take it seriously, too.

It’s not all gloom & doom – this is a chance to reinvent and retool America, and wean ourselves off foreign oil. In a speech to the Minneapolis Federal Reserve today I’ll tell them “mitigating climate change will require a level of sustained innovation and American reinvention that will propel the USA to a new competitive paradigm.”

American Exceptionalism? This is our Energy Moonshot. It’s ours to lose.

Saturday may be the wettest day since mid-August (.50 to 1″ possible), putting a minor dent in our deepening drought. The sun peeks out by Sunday afternoon, the better (soggy) leaf-raking day of the weekend.

Next week we’ll stash jackets into cold storage; Indian Summer returns with a run of 60s. Soak it up. Chilly weather returns late October.

Ronald Reagan, The Environmentalist. Quote above courtesy of

Climate Stories….

Global Warming May Shift Summer Weather Patterns. Here’s more on the recent Nature research paper, courtesy of Andrew Freedman at Climate Central: “By altering the heat balance between land and sea, manmade global warming may be altering summer weather patterns in the Northern Hemisphere, a new study found. The study, published on Sept. 30 in Nature Geoscience, shows that the sprawling high pressure areas that set up shop over the Western North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans during the summer months have become larger and stronger during the past 40 years, and these trends are likely to continue during the next several decades as temperatures increase. These changing weather patterns could have far-reaching impacts, from redirecting powerful hurricanes toward the East Coast, to making the Southeast and Central states see-saw more frequently between extremely hot and dry summers and cooler, wetter summers. In addition, a shift in the strength and shape of the North Pacific subtropical high could affect the South Asian Monsoon, which is already being altered by warming and increased regional pollution. ..”

Graphic credit above: “The Bermuda High helps steer tropical storms and hurricanes.” Credit: Penn State.

Climate Change To Lengthen Growing Season. Here’s a snippet of a story at “Scientists expect the global mean temperature to rise in the future. One consequence is that by the end of this century, Norwegian farmers could be growing their crops for up to two months longer. In areas of higher elevation, in fact, the difference could turn out to be three months. The growing season is defined as the number of days with an average temperature of at least 5 C.”

Scientists expect the global mean temperature to rise in the future. One consequence is that by the end of this century, Norwegian farmers could be growing their crops for up to two months longer. In areas of higher elevation, in fact, the difference could turn out to be three months. The growing season is defined as the number of days with an average temperature of at least 5°C. Exploiting a warmer climate A warmer climate would open up several exciting opportunities for Norwegian agriculture. Thermophilic (warm-weather) crops could be cultivated farther north, and multiple harvests may be possible each summer, as is common at more southerly latitudes.Read more at:

Global Warming Spurs Extreme Weather, Most In U.S. Believe. Here’s an excerpt of an encouraging story from Live Science: “The majority of Americans think global warming is not only affecting weather but is also worsening extreme weather events, including record-high summer temperatures and the Midwest drought, a new survey released today (Oct. 9) finds. Between Aug. 31 and September, more than 1,000 participants ages 18 and over answered survey questions about their beliefs on global warming and its link to weather events. The results were weighted to give nationally representative numbers…”

Photo credit above: “A survey released Oct. 9, 2012, finds the majority of Americans think global warming worsened extreme weather events, including the U.S. drought and record-high summer temperatures.” Credit: NOAA.

Sustainability Indicator: 74% Global Warming Realists. Another perspective from; here’s the introduction to the story: “Today’s sustainability indicator, 74 percent, is the proportion of Americans who acknowledge that “global warming is affecting weather in the United States.” That’s 5 percentage points higher than a similar survey conducted in March. 

Recent indicators:

  • 5.8 percent: U.S. electricity needs met by non-hydro renewable energy. 
  • 3.1 percent: electricity produced by non-hydro renewables in 2008.
  • 213: current measure of the UN’s World Food Price Index.
  • 210: the price threshold associated with a sharp rise in social unrest and food riots.
  • 50 percent: world transport fuels replaceable by converting 17.5% of farm waste to biofuel.
  • 1.32 million square miles: Current Arctic sea ice, the least in 33 years of satellite records….”

Experts: Global Warming Means More Antarctic Ice. Here’s a clip from an article at AP: “WASHINGTON (AP) — The ice goes on seemingly forever in a white pancake-flat landscape, stretching farther than ever before. And yet in this confounding region of the world, that spreading ice may be a cockeyed signal of man-made climate change, scientists say. This is Antarctica, the polar opposite of the Arctic. While the North Pole has been losing sea ice over the years, the water nearest the South Pole has been gaining it. Antarctic sea ice hit a record 7.51 million square miles in September. That happened just days after reports of the biggest loss of Arctic sea ice on record...”

Photo credit above: “This handout photo provided by NSIDC, University of Colorado, taken in Oct. 2003, shows the Antarctic sunlight illuminating the surface of the sea ice, intensifying the effect of the fracture lines. The ice goes on seemingly forever in a white pancake-flat landscape, stretching so far it just set a record. And yet in this confounding region of the world, that spreading ice may be a cock-eyed signal of man-made climate change, scientists say.” (AP Photo/NSIDC, University of Colorado)


No, You’re Not Entitled To Your Opinion. Not all opinions are created equal, at least when it comes to science. Details at The Conversation; here’s an excerpt: “Every year, I try to do at least two things with my students at least once. First, I make a point of addressing them as “philosophers” – a bit cheesy, but hopefully it encourages active learning. Secondly, I say something like this: “I’m sure you’ve heard the expression ‘everyone is entitled to their opinion.’ Perhaps you’ve even said it yourself, maybe to head off an argument or bring one to a close. Well, as soon as you walk into this room, it’s no longer true. You are not entitled to your opinion. You are only entitled to what you can argue for.” A bit harsh? Perhaps, but philosophy teachers owe it to our students to teach them how to construct and defend an argument – and to recognize when a belief has become indefensible….”

Mapping Global Warming: Scientists Visualize Carbon Emissions in Phoenix, Los Angeles and Indianapolis. Street-specific, neighborhood-level mapping of greenhouse gas emissions? Latinos Post has the story; here’s an excerpt: “Hestia, a greenhouse gas mapping initiative backed by Arizona State University (ASU), sets out to “simulate and visualize the metabolism of greenhouse gas emitting activity down to the building and street level,” according to the program’s official site The researchers behind Hestia strive to map each of the major cities in America, providing government officials with a powerful tool to reduce carbon emissions. The program is currently mapping Indianapolis, Indiana, Los Angeles, California, and Phoenix, Arizona...”

Photo credit above: Reuters. “Hestia is currently working on maps for Indianapolis, Indiana, Los Angeles, California, and Phoenix, Arizona.”




My Photo

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

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *