All Weather News

Super Soakers Upper Midwest – Will a Tropical System Soak Florida in 1 Week?

Super Soakers. NOAA’s guidance shows some 2-4″ rainfall amounts over the next 7 days across the Upper Midwest and central and northern Plains states, over 1″ of rain from Helena, Montana to Chicago and Louisville. We’re still watching potential tropical development in the Gulf of Mexico by the end of next week.

84 Hour Future Radar. NOAA NCEP guidance from the 12km NAM model shows waves of heavy showers and T-storms training along a frontal boundary over the Upper Midwest, where flash flooding can’t be ruled out in some communities from today into Monday. An impressive storm in the North Atlantic keeps New England cool and dry thru the weekend, while pop-up T-storms continue over the south; the west still sunny, hot and dry.

Tropical Possibilities. The models are far from being in perfect agreement/alignment, but GFS guidance continues to suggest the formation of a tropical wave, depression or even a weak tropical storm (“Arthur”?) in the eastern Gulf of Mexico next weekend. A Florida soaking may be 6-8 days away. Source: NOAA.

Late Start to Planting Season. Here’s a clip from the latest installment of Dr. Mark Seeley’s WeatherTalk Newsletter: “…There were numerous reports of hail during the month, and two tornadoes were reported on May 8th, near St James and Madelia. Straight line wind damage occurred near Waseca, Montgomery, and Red Wing damaging buildings, trees, and powerlines. This cool, wet spring produced a late planting season for farmers, but nearly all of the state corn acreage was planted by May 30, and over half of the soybean acreage was planted as well. Southern Minnesota farmers began harvesting alfalfa the last week of the month. Moderate drought remained in the extreme southwestern counties of the state…”

Probability of a Washout. NOAA NDFD data shows the highest probability of rain in dark green into Sunday evening; potentially strong T-storms from the Dakotas into Minnesota and Wisconsin. More garden-variety instability showers and T-showers are likely to sprout along the Gulf Coast.

Drought Yields Only Desparation. The Los Angeles Times has a look at how historic drought is already impacting California, especially farmers and migrant workers; here’s a clip: “…Each day more families are leaving for Salinas, Arizona, Washington — anywhere they heard there were jobs. Even in years when rain falls and the Sierra mountains hold a snowpack that will water almonds and onions, cattle and cantaloupes, Huron’s population swells and withers with the season. These days in Huron — and Mendota and Wasco and Firebagh and all the other farmworker communities on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley — even the permanent populations are packing up...”

* the latest U.S. Drought Monitor for the western USA is here.

How To Read The Mind of a Wildfire. An article at The Atlantic has some details about how tree rings and computer models are being tapped to gain a greater understanding of wildfires; here’s a clip: “…When fires do burn, they’re more destructive, often killing the big trees along with the small. “What’s being released in a fire is the accumulated capital stored up through years of photosynthesis,” Falk says. “You’re not destroying the carbon, hydrogen, or oxygen molecules. They’re just being liberated.” And on a tremendous scale: even a relatively small fire of a couple hundred acres can pump out energy equivalent to the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and can push a mushroom cloud of hot air, ash, and soot miles into the sky...”

Animation credit above: “A FIRETEC animation of a 1996 blaze in Malibu.” (

Want To Spot The Next Bubble? Look At Where Harvard Grads Work. Here’s a link to an interesting story at The Washington Post; an excerpt: “…That’s why the more Harvard grads that head for Wall Street, the worse a sign it is for markets. It usually means that the irrational exuberance is about to give way to rational panic. The good news now, though, is that Harvard kids aren’t flocking back to Wall Street in anywhere near the numbers that they did before the financial crisis. As you can see in the chart below from the Harvard Crimson, “only” 31 percent of seniors will be working in finance or consulting next year; down from a high of 47 percent in 2007…”

Graphic credit above: Harvard Crimson.

Scientists from CERN and MIT Launch Encrypted E-Mail Service. If you are sufficiently and understandably paranoid, between Chinese hackers, spammers and the NSA looking over your shoulder, you might want to check out ProtonMail. Gizmag has more details: “The privacy of the data that we put online has been a hot topic over the last year. In order to protect against unwanted snooping, a group of scientists has created a new secure email service. ProtonMail provides end-to-end encryption, meaning that even the company itself can’t even see the content of your messages…”

Virgin Spaceflights Cleared For Take-Off. Will my 250k get me peanuts and a drink? That, and a sturdy barf bag? The FAA cleared the way for low-orbit trips later this year, as reported by CNN Money: “…Virgin Galactic has been gearing up to offer space flight services for the general public and has said it wants to start offering flights by the end of 2014. Branson and his family will be on Virgin’s first space flight. Virgin Galactic said it has accepted more than $70 million in deposits from about 580 individuals. That’s about 10% more than the total number of people who have ever gone to space…”

* more fascinating details on Virgin Galactic’s upcoming “flights” at The Houston Chronicle.

Hiccuping Through The Weather Report. Yes, every meteorologist’s worst fears. Actually, it’s not our worst fear but right up there in the Top 10. has the YouTube clip: “After a large hiccup Urbanowicz said, “I’m going to end up on YouTube. I just have this big fear of ending up on YouTube today.” Well guess what Aubrey, the good folks at the Harrisonburg, VA, ABC affiliate were there to make your fears come true! The station posted the video on facebook and asked viewers to help spread the news,..”

* image above: Miami office of the National Weather Service.


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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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