All Weather News

Warmer, Drier, and Nicer For Much of America

2 Jun 2012, 7:29 am


Beach-Worthy, Pool-Compatible. I’m liking what I see from CPC, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center – forecasting a warm bulls eye right over the Upper Midwest for not only the next 6-10 days, but looking out 2 weeks. Map courtesy of Ham Weather.

Second Wettest May On Record For The Twin Cities. 9.34″ of rain fell last month, the second wettest since 1877, and the wettest May since 1906, when over 10″ of rain soaked the cities. Source: Minnesota Climatology Working Group and Pete Boulay. Thanks Pete!

4th warmest May on record for Des Moines (average temperature of 68.5 F).

  “It’s highly likely that these fires are going to get so big that states are going to need outside resources to fight them,” said Jeremy Sullens, a wildland fire analyst at the National Interagency Fire Center.” – from a Washington Post article below focused on New Mexico’s largest wildfire, and the specter of more major fires to come later this summer.

How To Kill Your Career In One Easy (Miami Beach) Evening. ABC News 20/20 has the tale of John Bolaris, a great meteorologist who got in over his head in a scam, and is still living with the consequences. Details below.

Warmest May Temperatures On Record. Every one of the cities marked with a red dot experienced the warmest May temperatures ever recorded. Here’s a list of the cities from NOAA’s NCDC.


Saturday Severe Risk. According to SPC, the Storm Prediction Center, parts of the southern Plains up to around Denver will experience a few storms with hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes later today. The cool front that sparked a few tornadoes from Pennsylvania into Maryland Friday is now sweeping all that rough weather out to sea.

The Drought Is Over (For Much Of Minnesota). Here’s the latest summary from the Minnesota Climatology Working Group: “As of May 29, the U.S. Drought Monitor places some northwest Minnesota counties in the Moderate Drought category. Stream flow measurements at many locations in this part of the state rank below the 25th percentile when compared with historical data for the date. Topsoil moisture in portions of the Red River Valley is said to be Short. Roughly one-third of the state is rated in the Abnormally Dry category. The Abnormally Dry designation is often used by the U.S. Drought Monitoring authors to indicate that the landscape is “coming out of drought”, with perhaps some minor lingering drought impacts. Over one-half of Minnesota is free of drought designation. This week’s map shows substantial improvement in the drought situation when compared with early May when 60 percent of Minnesota was said to be in the Moderate Drought or Severe Drought categories. The notable improvement in drought conditions in the southeastern two-thirds of Minnesota is attributable to an extraordinarily wet spring, including very heavy May rainfall totals.”

High Plains Farmers Depleting Groundwater, Study Says. Meteorologist Andrew Freedman from Climate Central has the story; here’s an excerpt: “Irrigated agriculture is rapidly depleting groundwater resources in parts of the High Plains and the Central Valley region of California, which are both critical regions for food production, according to a new study.  According to the study, if groundwater depletion were to continue at current rates, 35 percent of the southern High Plains will no longer be able to support irrigation within the next 30 years. With climate change projections showing that more severe droughts in both the Southwest and High Plains are likely as the climate continues to warm, groundwater resources are going to be even more highly stressed in the coming decades, the study says.”

Photo credit above: “Satellite image of fields that have been irrigated by central pivot systems, which use less water than many other irrigation methods. Credit: Wikipedia Commons.”

Massive New Mexico Blazes Marches Through Wilderness As Fears Grow Of More Western Wildfires To Come. Here’s an excerpt from an update at The Washington Post: “RESERVE, N.M. — A smoky haze hangs over the rugged canyons and tree-covered expanses of southwestern New Mexico as the largest wildfire in the state’s recorded history marches across more of the Gila Wilderness. The virtually unchecked wildfire is fueling experts’ predictions that this is a preview of things to come as states across the West contend with a dangerous recipe of wind, low humidity and tinder-dry fuels. The Whitewater-Baldy blaze has charred more than 190,000 acres, or nearly 300 square miles, in Gila National Forest and has become the largest wildfire burning in the country.”

A Week’s Worth of Temperature Records. Record 24 hour snowfall amounts for parts of Montana, while much of America east of the Rockies continues to simmer – record rainfall reports from the Midwest to the east coast. Truly something for everyone. Click here for an interactive map from Ham Weather.

Total Records: 3179
Rainfall: 465
Snowfall: 42
High Temp: 1158
Low Temp: 154
Low Max Temp: 328
High Min Temp: 1032

A Wild And Stormy Week. NOAA reports over 3,000 individual severe storm reports in the last week (not counting Friday). We’re heading into a quieter, drier pattern – I suspect next week won’t be nearly as severe from coast to coast. For an interactive map from Ham Weather (one of my companies) click here.

 Atlantic Storm Forecast Raised By University Team. MSNBC.com and Reuters has more details: “Colorado State University researchers on Friday raised their forecast for the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season to 13 tropical storms, with five hurricanes and two major hurricanes. In April they forecast 10 tropical storms, with four strengthening into hurricanes and two becoming major hurricanes with winds of at least 111 miles per hour during the six-month season that began on Friday. The revised numbers would still be slightly below average for hurricanes in the region that includes the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, the pioneering forecast team said.”

How Jacksonville TV Handles Hurricanes. Here’s an excerpt of an illuminating, informative article about TV hurricane preparation from jacksonville.com: “They offer First Alert Doppler HD and the 2-Minute Advantage to track hurricanes, smartphone apps to alert us to bad weather and animation software to dissect a storm’s guts. But when Tropical Storm Beryl churned through a week before today’s official start of the hurricane season, that tech was augmented by all meteorologists on deck at Action News, First Coast News and News4Jax. Using desks full of computers and their accumulated knowledge, each station’s weather experts gave viewers the windy news in every way possible, starting with Beryl’s approach to its soaking departure through the rest of the week.”

Photo credit above: WOODY HUBAND/Jacksonville.com. “John Gaughan, senior meteorologist at WJXT TV-4, says people shouldn’t think that meteorologists are “crying wolf” just becaues a hurricane hasn’t hit Northeast Florida in 48 years.”

Hurricane Reporter (Fails). Don’t you love it when the meteorologists tell you to evacuate inland, while they’re frolicking on the beach, hanging onto poles, trying to keep from becoming airborne? Here’s a lovely tribute to everything stupid about hurricane reporting from Huffington Post: “We love weather reporters. They warn us about dangerous hurricanes and tornadoes, giving us enough time to duck and take cover. That said, we’re also highly entertained that at the very same time that we’re taking cover, they’re marching right into the eye of the storm with a camera and microphone. And while their reports protect many of us from getting injured, their (debatably excessive) bravery results in some pretty entertaining footage.”

Drugged, Scammed By Beautiful Women: Weatherman Tells His Story. Wow, if this isn’t a cautionary tale, I’m not sure what is. Note to self: if it looks and sounds too good to be true, it probably is. ABC News 20/20 has the story (and video) of John Bolaris, and how a weekend getaway in Miami went very, very bad: “John Bolaris was a TV weather forecaster in Philadelphia, but even he could not predict the intentions of two comely women that approached him at a luxury hotel bar in Miami. He woke up two days after the encounter with little memory and even less money — allegedly drugged twice on consecutive nights and charged more than $43,000 on his credit card. Bolaris had become another mark in a scheme run by an alleged Eastern European crime ring. Hours of FBI surveillance videos and photos obtained by ABC News show how the group of so-called bar girls, known as “b-girls,” lived and operated in South Beach — targeting wealthy male tourists and bilking them of thousands of dollars.”

Photo credit above: philly.com.

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ABOUT ME

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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 startribune.com/weather And if you’re on Twitter, you’ll find me @pdouglasweather

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