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Too Dry Out West – Too Wet Out East (2000-2010: “unprecedented warming” according to WMO)


Good Memories



In the end – all we have to hold onto are memories – with any luck, most of them good. The act of heading up to the cabin is an incomparable family-memory-maker. This week I’ll remember the vaguely pathetic cheers as I pulled a 12 inch Northern Pike in the boat. Wait, it must have been closer to 24 inches, come to think of it.



Laughter & squeals of delight from tubers. Strangers thanking me for a “perfect week”. Unplugging the Doppler for 6 straight days. Unheard of, at least since March. We earned this break. I’m so glad it came when it did.



The approach of a juicy warm front and a dew point near 70 sets off a few T-storms today. A tiny percentage may turn severe, especially well north of the Twin Cities. Expect enough sun for 80s; a shot at 90F south of St. Cloud today. Tuesday looks like the wettest day, with numerous showers and T-storms – then drying out and warming up again the latter half of next week.



Model guidance is hinting at 90s by the end of next week, spilling into next weekend.



15 hours and 29 minutes of daylight today. That compares with 8 hours, 46 minutes December 21. That solstice buzz is lingering; statistically, the hottest days still 2 weeks away!


Slight Severe Risk. NOAA SPC has a slight risk for much of the Dakotas and parts of northern, central and southwestern Minnesota; sufficient instability and low level moisture for hail and high winds with a few cells later today, mainly west of the Twin Cities.




Stuck. Again, the sheer persistence of the current pattern is impressive – weather systems in a holding pattern pumping Gulf moisture northward into the Southeast and Ohio Valley, with another 4-6″+ of rain over the next 5 das from the Gulf Coast northward to Louisville and Columbus. The Minnesota Arrowhead may pick up some 1-2″ amounts by the middle of next week.

Moisture Plume. Some areas around Panama City, Florida have picked up nearly 20″ of rain from this latest disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico, a tropical storm’s worth of moisture, rain bands persisting as far north as the Ohio Valley. Meanwhile a few strong/severe storms push across the Dakotas into Minnesota, while the west coast remains bone dry, and increasingly vulnerable to brushfires. 84-hour NAM model output from NOAA.

Soggy Southeast MN. Some counties in southeastern Minnesota have seen over 24″ of rain since April 1, more than twice the normal amount. According to Dr. Mark Seeley in this week’s WeatherTalk Newsletter, the very wet spring has had major implications for agriculture: “For southeastern Minnesota crop producers many acres remain unplanted due to the wet spring conditions. Weeds are prolific and large in these fields and pose a long term concern due to the amount of their seed production. According to Dr. Jeff Gunsolus, weed specialist with Extension control of these weeds by mowing or tillage would be a good strategy to deploy at this time. You can read more on this topic in the Crop Newsletter at……”

Image credit above: Brad Birkholz.

A Trip To Camp To Break A Tech Addiction. Spend more than 4  hours a day on Facebook? Would you rather check Twitter than talk with your significant other? Sneak the iPad to bed (or bathroom?) You may have a serious technology addiction. Here’s a clip from a story at The New York Times: “…This was Day 2 at Camp Grounded, an adults-only summer camp held on former Boy Scouts quarters in Navarro, Calif., about two and half hours north of San Francisco. A little more than 300 people had gathered there for three days of color wars, talent shows, flag-raisings and other soothingly regressive activities organized by Digital Detox, an Oakland-based group dedicated to teaching technology-addled (or technology-addicted) people to, in the words of its literature, “disconnect to reconnect.” The rules of Camp Grounded were simple: no phones, computers, tablets or watches; work talk, discussion of people’s ages and use of real names were prohibited…”




Climate Stories…



WMO: “Unprecedented” Global Warming From 2000 To 2010. Here’s a snippet from a story at The Summit County Citizens Voice: “…It was the warmest decade since the start of modern measurements in 1850, with more national temperature records broken than in any previous decade. Along with analyzing  global and regional temperatures and precipitation, the report took a close look at extreme events, including heat waves in Europe (2203) and Russia (201o), Hurricane Katrina in the United States of America, Tropical Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, droughts in the Amazon Basin, Australia and East Africa and floods in Pakistan. The decade was the warmest for both hemispheres and for both land and ocean surface temperatures. The record warmth was accompanied by a rapid decline in Arctic sea ice, and accelerating loss of net mass from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and from the world’s glaciers…”


American Renewable Energy Is Powering The American Energy Transformation. Here’s a clip from an Op-Ed by Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn (USN, ret) at The Hill: “More so than any other time in history, Americans are focusing their attention on energy issues. From the president’s recent call to action on climate change to the possibility of finally attaining energy independence by the end of the decade, America appears to be entering a new golden age of energy development – great news for our energy security and economy. But for some policymakers on Capitol Hill, there is a need for a much better understanding that renewable energy is a significant and rapidly growing catalyst driving the American energy transformation. Across the country, the renewable energy industry is putting steel in the ground, increasing American energy security, competitiveness, and environmental quality. Simply put, renewables have earned their place in the sun – quite literally in the case of solar, which accounted for 48 perent of all new electricity generation capacity across the U.S. in the first quarter of 2013….” (File image: Wikipedia).

Climate Change Deniers Using Dirty Tricks From “Tobacco Wars”. Here’s an excerpt from a story at Science Daily: “…Environmental campaigner Sauven argues: “Some of the characters involved have previously worked to deny the reality of the hole in the ozone layer, acid rain and the link between tobacco and lung cancer. And the tactics they are applying are largely the same as those they used in the tobacco wars. Doubt is still their product.” Governments around the world have also attempted to silence scientists who have raised concerns about climate change. Tactics used have included: the UK government spending millions infiltrating peaceful environmental organizations; Canadian government scientists barred from communicating with journalists without media officers; and US federal scientists pressured to remove words ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’ from reports under the Bush administration...”



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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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