180 Hour Forecast. Unusually cool, stormy weather grips the Pacific Northwest, while heat builds across the Rockies and Plains by late week. Strong/severe storms break out across the Deep South. No tropical storm development is expected this week. GFS outlook courtesy of NOAA.
Photo credit above: "In this Saturday, June 2, 2012 photo provided by the U.S. Forest Service, a large cloud of smoke rises from a fire in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico. The Whitewater-Baldy Complex fire has scorched more than 377 square miles. (AP Photo/U.S. Forest Service, Kari Greer)."
Photo credit above: "Firefighters work burnout operations at the Gila National Forest." Credit: U.S. Forest Service.
Be Ready To Go; Hurricane Season Is Here Again. Without an El Nino pattern to increase winds over the tropics (which tends to weaken developing storms over the Atlantic and Caribbean), and with water temperatures running 1-3 F. warmer than average, I suspect an above-average year for hurricanes is brewing. Here's an excerpt of a good article from Longboat Key News: "...Being involved in evacuations with Sarasota County there were residents on Siesta Key that refused to leave their home when we strongly encouraged them to do so only later to find them calling the 9-1-1 Center asking for the fire department to get them out of their home. The safety of emergency workers is also at the top of the list and we do not go out of our shelter when winds are sustained at 46 MPH. Evacuate early!
Our population must take evacuation seriously.
If you haven’t thought about hurricane preparedness than here is what is suggested:
1. Make a plan as to where you will go. Go to www.floridadisater.org
2. Contact Manatee or Sarasota County Emergency Management or Longboat Key Fire Rescue for a Hurricane Guide.
3. Develop a Disaster Supply Kit
4. Protect your home before the storm
5. Purchase a battery operated weather radio"
* Image above courtesy of NASA.
Has there ever been an attempt or experiment to reduce the strength of a hurricane?
"The U.S. government once supported research into methods of hurricane modification, known as Project Stormfury. For a couple decades the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its predecessor tried to weaken hurricanes by dropping silver iodide -- a substance that serves as a effective ice nuclei -- into the rain bands of the storms. During the Stormfury years, scientists seeded clouds in Hurricanes Esther (1961), Beulah (1963), Debbie (1969), and Ginger (1971). The experiments took place over the open Atlantic far from land. The seeding targeted convective clouds just outside the hurricane eyewall in an attempt to form a new ring of clouds that, it was hoped, would compete with the natural circulation of the storm and weaken it."
* Hurricane Irene image courtesy of NASA.
Photo credit above: "Don Barnett was mayor of Rapid City during the 1972 flood. Barnett is seen here along a bank of Rapid Creek where he recalls a scene from that historic night." Photo: Kristina Barker.
Photo credit above: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/File. "A general view shows tsunami damage in Onagawa, Miyagi prefecture in 2011. A Japanese city is considering introducing a tsunami warning system which involves looking out for abnormal behaviour in animals and monitoring water levels in wells for signs of an imminent disaster."
Photo credit above: iStockphoto.com. "Bob Boilen had more than 25,000 songs stored on his laptop's hard drive. Now there are none."
A Warm, Silver Lining
Now comes word from the Minnesota Climatology Working Group that much of Minnesota just experienced the warmest spring on record. Accurate data goes back to 1873.
You don't have to like it, but our atmosphere is warming.
The western US is drying out with more wildfires. In our lifetime a city like Las Vegas or Phoenix will probably run out of water.
I'm still alarmed by the global trends, but climate change may be a net-positive for Minnesota. In a century where water is destined to become our most precious natural resource, we're in good shape. The trends point to shorter winters (only 1 in 4 will be "old fashioned" with average snow & cold), fewer subzero nights, longer growing seasons, more rain, and more severe storms.
I'm still waiting for 3M to invent a hail-resistant film for my hybrid, btw....
Fortune 500 companies will have an easier time luring fearful executives to MSP. I predict we'll be a Top 10 major market by 2030. A northward migration is imminent. Wait for it. Talk about a long-range prediction, but based on the trends I'm seeing that's my extra-long-range outlook.
A dry, temperate week is on tap; nothing severe until next weekend, when a hot front sparks T-storms - 90s possible by Sunday.
Umbrellas optional for 5 days in a row? We've earned this weather-break!
This should keep us awake at night.
By generalizing from the few groups that we know fairly well — amphibians, birds and mammals — a study in the journal Nature last year concluded that if all species listed as threatened on the Red List were lost over the coming century, and that rate of extinction continued, we would be on track to lose three-quarters or more of all species within a few centuries."
Why We Ignore Low-Tech Fixes For The Climate. Here's a thought-provoking piece from Ezra Klein's Wonkblog at The Washington Post: "Whenever the conversation turns to greening the world’s energy supply, a lot of the ideas tend to emphasize new and futuristic sources of power. Build more wind turbines. Stack up more solar panels. Make sure fresh coal plants don’t get built. But Catherine Wolfram, an economist at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, says that we too often ignore simpler solutions, such as wringing more efficiency out of our existing fossil-fuel and nuclear plants. Many of those power plants, after all, are likely to stick around for decades to come. And there are quite a few minor tweaks that can be made to these plants that can cut greenhouse-gas emissions dramatically — tweaks that can have as much impact as building hordes of new wind farms or solar panels."
Photo credit above: "
Global Warming Turns Tundra To Forest - Study. Reuters has the details: "Plants and shrubs have colonised parts of the Arctic tundra in recent decades growing into small trees, a scientific study found, adding the change may lead to an increase in global warming pressures if replicated on a wider scale. Scientists from Finland and Oxford University investigated an area of 100,000 square km, roughly the size of Iceland, in the northwestern Eurasian tundra, stretching from western Siberia to Finland. Using data from satellite imaging, fieldwork and observations from local reindeer herders, they found that in 8-15 percent of the area willow and alder plants have grown to over 2 metres in the last 30-40 years."