Nagging Drought Central USA (45,000+ warm weather records since January 1)
47,577 warm weather records across the USA since January 1. Details from NOAA NCDC below.
Turf Painting Spreads As Drought Ravages Lawns. Some residents of Indiana have just given up (on their lawns). It’s easier to spray-paint it green than worry about rain (and mowing). The story from AP and Fox 35 Orlando; here’s an excerpt: “INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – When this summer’s drought turned her prized lawn brown, Terri LoPrimo fought back, but not with sprinklers: She had it painted green, making her suddenly lush-appearing yard the envy of her neighborhood. The Staten Island, N.Y., resident and her husband, Ronnie, hired a local entrepreneur to spruce up their yard by spraying it with a deep-green organic dye. By Monday, the couple’s property was aglow with newly green blades of grass and no watering needed to sustain it. “It looks just like a spring lawn, the way it looks after a rain. It’s really gorgeous,” said LoPrimo, a 62-year-old retiree. With two-thirds of the nation covered by a drought that stretches from coast to coast, residents and businesses in normally well-watered areas are catching on to the lawn-painting practice employed for years in the West and Southwest to give luster to faded turf.”
Photo credit above: “Ronnie Sharp, left, and Brandy Birdwell of Imperial Painting, spray turf paint on a drought ravished lawn outside a auto repair shop in Indianapolis, Friday, July 20, 2012. Without cutting the color will last four to six months.” (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
A Record Number Of Records? NOAA NCDC shows over 26,000 record highs, more than 21,000 record warm nighttime lows since January 1. That compares with just under 7,000 cold weather records since the beginning of the year. Good grief.
Watch The Olympics Live On Your Computer. Now prime-time is 24/7; NBC boldly experimenting with technology that allows consumers to watch specific Olympic events as they unfold. With “authentication” (basically proving you have a cable or satellite subscription) you can watch all events from the London Olympics live. Click here to get started.
* I have DirecTV, entered my e-mail and password and it worked like a charm. Kudos to NBC for taking a calculated risk and making events live to subscribers on their terms
Photos Of Thursday’s Severe Storms In The Northeast. Mashable.com has 10 photos from people in the path of Thursday’s violent straight-line winds (no evidence that it was, in fact, a “derecho). There were over 300 separate reports of damaging straight-line winds. Details: “When thunder and lightning strike, is your first thought to find shelter — or take out your camera phone? If you answered the latter, you’re not alone. As the East Coast was hit by an expectedly severe storm on Thursday — an unusual straight-line windstorm known as a Derecho — people took to Twitter and Instagram to document the ominous skies. Some images showed the threatening side of the storm, which has already cut power to 300,000 residents in the north-east.”
Anatomy Of A Heatwave. 1,513 hot weather records (daytime highs and warm nighttime lows) in just the last week. Interactive map courtesy of Ham Weather.
Temperature Anomalies: August 4-10. Long-range guidance is hinting that the worst of the heat may break over the Plains and Upper Midwest within 1-2 weeks, the core of the heat wave shifting into the Mid South and Southeast. Map: NOAA CPC.
A Warm, Murky Crystal Ball. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) shows a warm bias lingering for much of the USA east of the Rockies from August into October, drier than normal conditions predicted for much of the Midwest.
Drought Map Shows Widespread Intensification Over Central United States. Here’s an update on the the growing drought from the U.S. Drought Monitor: “The July 24 U.S. Drought Monitor showed widespread intensification of drought through the middle of the country, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The map also set a record for the fourth straight week for the area in moderate drought or worse in the 12-year history of the U.S. Drought Monitor. The July 24 map put 53.44 percent of the United States and Puerto Rico in moderate drought or worse, up from 53.17 percent the week before; 38.11 percent in severe drought or worse, compared with 35.32 a week earlier; 17.2 percent in extreme drought or worse, compared with 11.32 percent the week before; and 1.99 percent in exceptional drought, up from .83 percent the preceding week. “We’ve seen tremendous intensification of drought through Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Arkansas, Kansa and Nebraska, and into part of Wyoming and South Dakota in the last week,” said Brian Fuchs, a climatologist and U.S. Drought Monitor author. “The amount of D3 developing in the country has increased quite a bit for each of the last several weeks.” Fuchs also noted that as of the July 24 U.S. Drought Monitor, every state in the country had at least a small area shown as abnormally dry or worse. “It’s such a broad footprint,” he said.”
China Government Criticized For Downplaying Floods. Here’s an update from Voice of America: “Online, where news of last week’s floods trended high on microblog searches since Saturday and witnesses posted pictures and videos to detail the damages, the government’s management of the rains was the subject of much criticism. “The death toll should have been zero,” one user says noting that though the government cannot control nature, it is still possible to warn people in advance, use some precautions, provide emergency relief and deal with the aftermath properly. “We must not again use people’s blood to mend the system,” he added. The biggest rainstorm in 61 years hit China’s capital last Saturday, overwhelming the city’s drainage system, flooding highways and, in rural areas around the capital, triggering mudslides and river overflows. Beijing authorities quickly categorized the flooding as a “natural disaster,” a definition that is challenged by many users of China’s twitter-like service Weibo.”
Photo credit above: Reuters.
An Epic Downpour Wipes Away A Capital’s Sheen. The New York Times has more on China’s flooding (debacle) here.
Photo credit above: “Drivers and their vehicles are stranded on a flood road following a heavy rain, in Tianjin, China Thursday, July 26, 2012. Residents impatient for official updates compiled their own death tolls Thursday for last weekend’s massive flooding in Beijing and snapped up survival gear following new forecasts of rain, reflecting deep mistrust of the government’s handling of the disaster.” (AP Photo)
“Ask Paul”. Weather-related Q&A
“Hello Paul and everyone – attached should be a photo from (Thursday night), looking north from Isle Bay on Mille Lacs Lake. I was watching a Tyler Perry movie (his latest, really good), glanced over and wow, ran out to the neighbor’s deck for the best shot. Being Up North, of course, had to make sure the dog didn’t get her clock cleaned by a tomcat that had killed a careless teenage robin in the bushes, and a half hour later, watching the fading scene again from the house, a stinky skunk walked under the window, fortunately Herself the Princess dog was inside. Smelled a bear at the beach this morning too.
Just wanted to pass on some beauty and enjoyment of nature. It’s so easy to get down with the climate changing before our eyes. Keep up the great work you guys.”
Ruthann – thanks for a spectacular photo (and I’m glad your dog is OK). One of the things I love about Minnesota (one of many) is that we get a free show in the sky every day. I see more (wild) cloud formations here than any other spot in the USA. I’m amazed how every sky, every sunset and sunrise, can look so different. “Sky Therapy” can drop your blood pressure and help you get through a rough week. Appreciate the note.
Wired For Wall To Wall Coverage. For the first time ever cable and satellite TV subscribers are able to watch events (live) online. NBC officials are holding their breath, hoping the real-time availability of events/outcomes won’t spoit the ratings for evening viewership – it’s a grand experiment in this new media world of instant gratification. More details from The New York Times (subscription may be required): “LONDON — “What we place on the shoulders of Dave each Olympics is enormous growth,” said Gary Zenkel, the president of NBC Olympics. One year, he said, there was the transition to high-definition; another year, the addition of selected online streams. This year, for the first time, every single event will be live-streamed on NBCOlympics.com, and a handful will be shown in 3D on a special cable channel. The volume of video — roughly 325 hours’ worth a day — must be carried to the United States on a complex series of circuits that are diagramed on a wall in NBC’s work space. “We call this the subway map,” Mazza said proudly.”
London: Cool And Partly-Soggy. After a spell of 80s earlier this week more typical U.K. weather returns, just in time for the Summer Olympics. Significant rain is expected Sunday (highs from 68-70 F). The sun makes a cameo appearance Monday and Tuesday before more showers the latter half of the week. Excessive heat will not be an issue for athletes or fans the next 7-10 days.
Has The iPhone 5 Been Smuggled Out Of The Factory Already? Pure rumor and conjecture – but Apple fanboys are hanging on every juicy nugget. Details from Gizmodo: “A Chinese case manufacturer is showing what looks to be an iPhone 5 in their product shots. It looks like the white 3D prototype we published a while back—complete with its new 19-pin dock port. But could this really be a unit smuggled out of Foxconn’s factory?”
Maybe it is
“The possibility is certainly there. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time that someone got their hands on an unreleased iPhone model smuggled out of a factory.”
“Twapple?” Apple Officials Said To Consider Stake In Twitter. No, they’re not really thinking of changing the name to Twapple. I just wanted to see if you were paying attention. Apple taking a major stake in Twitter? Very possibly, according to a story at The New York Times (subscription may be required): “Apple, which has stumbled in its efforts to get into social media, has talked with Twitter in recent months about making a strategic investment in it, according to people briefed on the matter. While Apple has been hugely successful in selling phones and tablets, it has little traction in social networking, which has become a major engine of activity on the Web and on mobile devices. Social media are increasingly influencing how people spend their time and money — an important consideration for Apple, which also sells applications, games, music and movies.”
TV Weather: Stormed By Multimedia. Many consumers, especially younger people, are getting the bulk of their information (including weather) on smart phones. Here’s an excerpt of an interesting article from Jim Willi at AR&D, Audience Research and Development: “For years, AR&D has been advising client TV stations to be multiple platform news and information providers. Now, a recent online survey shows that what is thought to be the last big driver of local TV newscast viewing – the weather – is also being stormed by a multitude of media. In fact, this survey in an East Coast market shows that the number one source on normal weather days – is no choice. Fully one quarter of all respondents answered “None/Don”t Know” when asked the source they turn to during calm weather days. But perhaps more surprising was the #2 source – 22% said it was their smartphone or mobile device. The favorite TV newscast in the market limped in 3rd receiving 14% of the votes. This is a TV station with a 40-plus preference. The fourth choice on normal weather days was Weather.com at 13%. The second favorite TV station received only 6% of the votes for normal weather days.”
* photo above courtesy of the Key West, Florida office of the National Weather Service.
- Paul Douglas
- 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.
com/weatherAnd if you’re on Twitter, you’ll find me @pdouglasweather