All Weather News

Heat Wave Shrinks – “Ernesto” to pass well south of USA by late week

Ernesto. As of late Monday night “Ernesto” was still a tropical storm with sustained 65 mph. winds, tracking west, toward Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and the nation of Belize. It still looks like Ernesto will stay well south of the USA.


More Frequent Intrusions Of Canadian Air. We’ll see more hot air – count on it, but looking out into next week I see more frequent and intense pushes of Canadian air south of the border. One such clipper-like system over southern Alberta last night will push showers and T-storms across Minnesota Wednesday, followed by 70-degree air Thursday and Friday.


Thousands Of Fish Die As Midwest Streams Heat Up. We’ve heard some reports of lake water temperatures in the upper 80s over southern Minnesota as recently as last week, nearly 8-10 F. warmer than average. Here’s an excerpt of a story from AP and Yahoo News: “LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Thousands of fish are dying in the Midwest as the hot, dry summer dries up rivers and causes water temperatures to climb in some spots to nearly 100 degrees. About 40,000 shovelnose sturgeon were killed in Iowa last week as water temperatures reached 97 degrees. Nebraska fishery officials said they’ve seen thousands of dead sturgeon, catfish, carp, and other species in the Lower Platte River, including the endangered pallid sturgeon. And biologists in Illinois said the hot weather has killed tens of thousands of large- and smallmouth bass and channel catfish and is threatening the population of the greater redhorse fish, a state-endangered species.”

Photo credit above: “In this July 26, 2012 photo, dead fish float in a drying pond near Rock Port, Missouri. Multitudes of fish are dying in the Midwest as the sizzling summer dries up rivers and raises water temperatures in some spots to nearly 100 F.” (AP Photo: Nati Harnik).


Johnson City (Tennessee) Hit Hard By Heavy Rain, Flooding. has more details: “Heavy rains pounded northeast Tennessee Sunday, including downtown Johnson City, where emergency crews in inflatable boats rescued people trapped in their homes and in their cars on flooded streets. Johnson City Schools announced their start on Monday is postponed because of the storm damage. The Johnson City Press ( reported that the city’s garage complex flooded and several were buses under water, leading the city to cancel transit service for Monday. WTFM radio reported shelters were still open at schools in Unicoi and Jonesborough early Monday.”

Photo credit above: “People wade in flash flood waters in Johnson City, Tenn., Sunday Aug. 5, 2012. Heavy rains pounded northeast Tennessee Sunday stranding vehicles and surrounding homes and apartments with flood waters.” (AP Photo/The Johnson City Press, Dave Boyd)


State of Emergency. Tennessee’s governor has declared the Johnson City area under a State of Emergency. 3-4″ of rain fell in roughly 1 hour, resulting in historic flooding. Photo courtesy of the Johnson City Press.


Ernesto Update. Based on NHC data, “Ernesto” will be either a strong tropical storm or a minimal hurricane when it comes ashore late tomorrow night near the border of northern Belize and Mexico, packing sustained winds near 70 mph. The storm should remain well south of Texas, impacting primarily Mexico (twice). Maps above courtesy of Ham Weather.


Torrential Rains Paralyze Philippine Capital. Details from Huffington Post: “Torrential rains pounding the Philippine capital on Tuesday paralyzed traffic as waist-deep floods triggered evacuations of tens of thousands of residents and the government suspended work in offices and schools. Incessant downpours set off by the seasonal monsoon overflowed major dams and rivers in Manila and nine surrounding provinces and put authorities on alert. The death toll from last week’s Typhoon Saola, which battered Manila and the northern Philippines for several days, has climbed steadily to 51. The head of the government’s rescue agency, Benito Ramos, said there were no immediate reports of new casualties early Tuesday after the rains pounded already saturated Manila for more than 24 hours.”

Image above: Digital-Typhoon.



Photo Of The Day: Shelf Cloud. Thanks to Andrea Creighton for capturing a terrific shelf cloud rolling toward Southwick Beach, New York.

Mars Lander “Curiosity” Protected By Largest Ever Heat Shield. Details from; here’s a snippet: “This Sunday will see one of the most dramatic events in the history of space exploration. On August 5, 2012 at 10:31 p.m. U.S. PDT (August 6, 05:31 GMT), the nuclear-powered science rover Curiosity will reach Mars and begin one of the most complex, most daring landings ever attempted. Ironically, it may end in one of two ways – a triumph for the men and women of NASA as the Curiosity lander sends back its first signals from the Red Planet or utter silence. And the key to this is a heat shield that is so new to the field of planetary exploration that it is an experiment in itself.”

Image credit above: NASA.

iPhone 5 Announcement All But Confirmed, iPad Mini In Tow? The latest rumors and speculation from Huffington Post: “Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to This Week In Apple Rumors, our regular look back at all of the week’s unconfirmed gossip, questionably-sourced reports, and blatant speculation about future Apple products from around the Web! Let’s take a look back at what the various Apple blogs and websites we’re excited about in the past week, from July 29 – August 4. Check out our previous edition of Apple rumors here, and for all the latest you can follow me on Twitter right here.”

Photo credit above: “A screenshot from a video by Japanese site Macotakara purporting to show the upcoming iPhone.”  (YouTube: Macotakara)

Video: NBC Affiliate’s Sports Director Blows Up At Bob Costas After Olympic Coverage Goes Long. I remember those late (Olympic) nights, waiting for the network to wrap up coverage so we could go on with local news (and go home). Apparently the sports dude in Jacksonville wasn’t too happy with Bob Costas recently, as reported at “WTLV sports director Dan Hicken, who has been covering sports for the Jacksonville NBC-affiliate since the 80s, delivered an angry on-air rant against Bob Costas and NBC during a recent newscast after the network’s Olympic coverage ran long and bumped the start of East Coast affiliates’ late newscasts well past midnight (video above). “Bob, when it’s 12 o’clock, you say Goodnight,” Hicken yelled at the beginning of his sports update, which began at 12:31 a.m.  “You don’t care because you’re sleeping right now.”


In Search Of Real Weatherpeople. No, you can’t make this stuff up. Belinda, Dave, Chris – I feel a meteorological cage-match coming on. More details via Facebook:



Include all contact info, your reel, and photos. Thank you!”


Onion Weather Center: “Extreme Storms To Rip Through God-forsaken Midwestern Wasteland”. Breaking news (and a very funny weather clip) from The Onion: “The Onion Weather Center focuses on the Midwest, where a storm system should recede into the distance like any hope of a stable economic future; a tornado bears down on a podunk, backwater hick town; and field reporter Matt Jennings is live from God knows where.”



Favorite Weather Apps?

There’s a revolution going on in weather. The old model: wait for the information to reach you, on radio or TV. Now, with web sites and apps, everyone really is an armchair meteorologist – armed with the very latest maps at their fingertips, on their schedule, for their neighborhoods.

“I don’t want a statewide overview, I want weather for my house!” I get it.

I update the Star Tribune blog in real-time to provide a running narrative, but if you want another level of safety download a few apps for your smart phone. My two favorites: My-Cast Weather Radar (my old company) and RadarScope.

And no, I don’t make a penny off either app, but right now they’re the best in the industry – and they may just keep you out of trouble the next time 70-mph straight-line winds invade your back yard bash.

We cool off a bit today, a stronger push of cool, Canadian air ignites more T-storms Wednesday; puddles linger into Thursday. A fleeting bubble of high pressure treats us to a fine Friday, and most of the T-showers stay west of town into next weekend. No more beastly-heat in sight looking out 10 days.

Hurricane Ernesto roughs up Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula today, tracking well south of the USA.


Climate Stories….


Opinion: Ignore climate Cassandra At Our Peril. Here’s an excerpt of a post from climate scientist Michael Mann at The Daily Climate: “The first scientist to alert Americans to the prospect that human-caused climate change and global warming was already upon us was NASA climatologist James Hansen. In a sweltering Senate hall during the hot, dry summer of 1988, Hansen announced that “it is time to stop waffling…. The evidence is pretty strong that the [human-amplified] greenhouse effect is here. At the time, many scientists felt his announcement to be premature. I was among them.  I was a young graduate student researching the importance of natural – rather than human-caused – variations in temperature, and I felt that the “signal” of human-caused climate change had not yet emerged from the “noise” of natural, long-term climate variation. As I discuss in my book, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, scientists by their very nature tend to be conservative, even reticent, when it comes to discussing findings and observations that lie at the forefront of our understanding and that aren’t yet part of the “accepted” body of scientific knowledge.”


Extreme Summer Heat Linked To Climate Change, Scientists Say. Here’s an excerpt from The Los Angeles Times: “…The researchers showed the chances of temperatures spiking past their normal variability are much greater now than during the base period. “They found that prior to the onset of human-caused global warming, there were very few of these [anomalous] events,” said John Abraham, professor of thermal sciences at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., and co-founder of the Climate Science Rapid Response Team, an information clearinghouse. “However, with each decade, the number of these very rare events has increased significantly. Not only have the average temperatures increased around the world but so too has the variability. Hansen and his team also showed that while all extreme “hot events” have increased globally, “the occurrence of cold events has virtually disappeared,” Abraham wrote.”


Cyclone Warning! I had to do a double-take on this one. Meteorologists are tracking an unusually vast (and intense) cyclone over the Arctic Circle, unusually deep for early August. One theory: a record amount of melting may be adding additional flux into the atmosphere, fueling and deepening this almost October-like storm raging over the top of the world. Who cares? High winds generated by this super-storm may accelerate the break up of Arctic ice, with unknown effects. We are truly in uncharted waters, as described in the Arctic Sea Ice Blog; here’s an excerpt: “I have postponed this post until I was sure that what follows is going to happen. Remember the term ‘flash melting’? That’s when from one day to the next large swathes of ice disappear on the University of Bremen sea ice concentration maps. We witnessed one such instance last year when a relatively large and intense low-pressure area moved in from Alaska over the ice in the Beaufort and Chukchi Sea regions (see blog post). It lasted about a day or two and then quickly faded, but the effects were spectacular. Well, it looks like we have something bigger coming up this year.”

Wind Power Hits 57% Mark In Colorado. CNN Money has the story; here’s an excerpt: “During the early morning hours of April 15, with a steady breeze blowing down Colorado’s Front Range, the state’s biggest utility set a U.S. record — nearly 57% of the electricity being generated was coming from wind power. As dawn came and the 1.4 million customers in Xcel Energy’s service district began turning on the lights, toasters and other appliances, the utility’s coal and natural gas-fired power plants ramped up production and brought wind’s contribution back closer to its 2012 average of 17%.”

Photo credit above: “Xcel’s Ponnequin Wind Farm on the Colorado-Wyoming border. The wind farm helped the utiltiy produce 57% of its power from wind one night this spring – a U.S. record.” Picture: Steve Berry.

Harsh Weather Doesn’t Prove Global Warming, Republican Lawmakers Say. Here’s an excerpt from The Hill: “GOP lawmakers say this year’s harsh weather that has produced devastating wildfires and the most widespread drought in 50 years has not changed their minds on climate change. Republican lawmakers say this year’s harsh weather that has produced devastating wildfires and the most widespread drought in 50 years has not changed their minds on climate change. With more than a month left, the summer of 2012 is on pace to be one of the three hottest since 1950, according to an analysis by WeatherBank and AccuWeather. In June, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the preceding 12 months in the continental U.S. had been the warmest since record keeping began.”

Climate Change In Alaska Forces Break With Tradition. From The Washington Post: “Residents of Kotzebue and Point Hope, Alaska reflect on how climate change is affecting their way of life. They are trying to keep their generation-old traditions alive in the face of beach erosion, changing migration patterns and diverging Alaskan weather.”




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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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