10% of the world's species have disappeared in just the last century. Details in a Huffington Post article below.
* more details on the record rains and subsequent flooding from nbcmiami.com.
"There are three things that stand out:
a). Some storms take their time to intensify and produce a tornado, while others ramp up rapidly and produce a tornado very quickly. This was one of those rapidly developing situations. It was a low-topped supercell that had little indication just ten minutes prior that it was going to produce a tornado. It became a possibility only a few minutes before touchdown. The decision to warn was made at 2:08 pm or 2:09 pm, and we got the warning out at 2:10 pm and heard about the touchdowns at 2:15 pm. It would be nice if tornadoes always gave 30 minutes notice, and some storms do, but other develop extremely quickly, in which case it's hard to get a warning out more than a few minutes beforehand.
b). The great value of SKYWARN. A HAM radio operator was at one of the large stores just south of I-394 and Park Place, looking to his east, saw a funnel with debris underneath, and reported it via HAM radio. This was our first report at about 2:13 pm. Having a confirmed tornado gave important credence to our tornado warning. Once we heard the report, we notified law enforcement right away and then broadcast meteorologists immediately thereafter. We had many great reports relayed to us as the tornado continued on its path.
c). As bad as it was, and even though this tornado was a killer (and we especially remember the family of the man who perished), it could have been so much worse. When I look at the pictures from the security footage of a couple of video cameras, the cloud base was low, the tornado wide, and I'm amazed the winds were not stronger than EF-1."
"I saw Paul's post this morning looking back at the North Minneapolis tornado. While flying with a friend last winter, we realized that we were flying NNE along the tornado track, and caught an interesting shot through the city. The picture is taken approximately over 394 and Hwy 100, looking northeast. We're 1000 feet off the ground. The wavy lines through the image are artifact from the propeller.
I thought you guys might find it interesting. For me, it demonstrated the impact of the tornado that you can't really get a feel for from satellite photos."
Thanks Barry - appreciate you sharing this photo with me and my readers. The tornado "scar" on the ground below is clearly visible, no question. What was highly unusual was to have a 1/2 mile wide tornado ranked only an EF-1. For a weaker tornado, the Minneapolis tornado produced a disproportionate amount of damage and heartache, due to the fact that it traveled over densely populated suburbs on its way to North Minneapolis.
"At my aged lake cabin near Brainerd the choices are few when the tornado warning sounds: no real basement, so crawl into the dirt hole, or huddle in the car behind the cabin? Help!"
Carla - please climb out of the dirt hole. No need to take such drastic action. The odds of an EF-4 or EF-5 tornado capable of sweeping your cabin off its foundation in the Brainerd area are very small. I have a similar situation at my cabin on Pelican Lake - no basement, slab foundation. I'll tell you what I've told my wife: avoid outer walls and windows, seek shelter in a closet or bathroom. If you have a bathtub on the ground floor that's probably the safest place to ride out a tornadic storm. Surround yourself with pillows, blankets, even a mattress from the bed to add further insulation and protection. Remember, the greatest risk is flying debris. Keep your head low, near the floor, and resist the urge to look out the window!_______________________________________________________________________________
"What are the 2 best storm alerts apps for iPhone in your opinion?"
"I was told there was some large hail in St. Paul. Trying to figure out which general area, can you help?
Integrated Security Consultant
SPC has a site that allows you to plug in a date and see all severe reports across the USA. I called up data for last Saturday (here) and saw evidence of 1.75" diamter hail in St. Paul at 6:34 pm Saturday. Anything larger than 1" diametre qualifies as severe. Hope that helps.______________________________________________________________________________
"Hi. I get migraines that seem to be weather related. Friday, May 18, was the worst I have had in quite a while. Can you explain what happened with the barometric pressure that day? Also, can you suggest a good website or device for predicting barometric pressure changes? Thanks so much."
"Mark Seeley noted that annual precipitation in parts of south central and southeast Minnesota has increased up to 15 percent in recent years; normal annual rainfall for the Twin Cities is 4.25" greater than it was in the 1980s. Statwide, Minnesota's average rainfall topped 34 inches in 2011 for the first time in 121 years of record-keeping. The Upper Midwest saw a 31% increase in "intense" rainfalls - the statistical 1 percent events - from 1858 to 2007, over previous decades, according to the National Climactic Data Center.
Yet we continue to read how we are in a drought.
Is this because of the distribution of the precipitation over the year? Or some other technical reason?"
Photo credit above: National Weather Service.
Photo credit above: "A police officer walks through a devastated neighborhood in southeast Windor after a tornado struck that community May 22, 2008". LCL:STF.
Graphic above courtesy of NOAA, which has more information on the GOES-R satellite system here.
Photo credit: Herbert Stein, 2009.
Photo credit above: "This rainstorm in Eastern New Mexico, as part of the North American Monsoon, gets moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and Gulf of California during the late summer. Scientists have found that desert dust increases the monsoon effect in this region." Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Today's forecast highs (above) courtesy of NOAA and Ham Weather.
Photo credit above: MARTIN KIDSTON/The Billings Gazette. "Fire crews with the Shoshone National Forest make improvements to the Blackwater National Recreation Trail ahead of this summer’s 75th anniversary of the deadly 1937 Blackwater fire."
Alberto Provides An Early Reminder. Here's some timely advice for residents of "Hurricane Alley" from Jacksonville's jdnews.com: "...Although there’s nothing anyone can do to stop a hurricane from forming or influence its path, there’s plenty that those who live in its possible path can do to mitigate its potential for disruption. We should all stock up on the things we need to be prepared for the arrival of a hurricane on our shores — from gallons of water to a battery-operated radio to nonperishable foods. We should have an evacuation plan and watch for orders telling us it’s time to get out, and then do as we’re told. We should prepare our homes, businesses and other properties for a hurricane’s arrival by removing items that can turn into projectiles when heavy winds hit. And we should remember to think ahead where our pets and those who are less capable of helping themselves, such as the elderly, are concerned."
Satellite image above courtesy of NASA's Earth Observatory.
The other day I saw a guy boating and texting. Not smart when you're cruising through a narrow channel. Here's a harrowing statistic: according to NOAA 16 percent of all boating deaths in 2011 were alcohol-related.
"It is illegal to operate any boat or watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in every state. Penalties can include fines, suspension or revocation of your drivers license and even jail time" according to NOAA. OK. That's good enough for me.
This is National Safe Boating Week. Details on the blog, where I've included comments on last May's Minneapolis tornado from Todd Krause at the local NWS office.
The average tornado lead-time nationwide is 12 minutes. That's an average. Last year's EF-1 tornado developed suddenly. "It would be nice if tornadoes always gave 30 minutes notice, and some storms do, but others develop extremely quickly, in which case it's hard to get a warning out more than a few minutes beforehand" Krause told me in an e-mail. The NWS got a 5 minute jump, helping to avoid a major disaster.
A few storms today may turn severe, 1-2" rain tonight & Thursday.
Heavy T-storms are likely Saturday, again Memorial Day. Sunday still looks like the warmest, driest day.
Photo credit above: flickr/Jon Sullivan
Photo credit above: "In this Oct. 27, 2011 file photo, the last light of the day sets on Mt. Everest as it rises behind Mount Nuptse as seen from Tengboche, in the Himalaya's Khumbu region, Nepal. Mountaineering Department official Gyandendra Shrestha said Monday, May 21, 2012, that a German, a Nepal-born Canadian and a Korean died Saturday while descending from the 8,850-meter (29,035) summit." AP Photo/Kevin Frayer, File.