78.14% of the USA is described as "abnormally dry".
24.14% of America is in extreme or exceptional drought, nearly a quarter of the Lower 48 States.
16.18% of Minnesota in severe drought, down slightly from 16.25% last week.
69.14% of Iowa in extreme drought, up from 30.74% last week.
Photo credit above: "This photo from Aug. 1, 2012, shows a drought damaged ear of corn in Westfield, Ind., corn field. U.S. corn growers could have their worst crop in a generation as the harshest drought in decades takes its toll, the government reported Friday, Aug. 10, 2012, as it forecast the lowest average yield in 17 years." (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)
30 tornadoes reported in Saskatchewan, Canada last month, according to Climate Central. Yes, the heat and drought has shifted tornado alley north, into Canada, this summer.
- Severe drought prevails in 28 Minnesota counties, yet just 16 percent of the corn crop is in poor to very poor condition, and just 13 percent of soybeans, relatively small percentages when compared to the crop conditions in so many other states (IL, IA, MO, IN)
- Drought has pushed major commodity prices high (corn $8.29/bu, soybean $16.31/bu) and they may go higher yet. This may lead to higher food prices and higher costs for livestock feeding as the supply chain in these crops is suppressed by lower yield estimates.
- Congress left for recess with many pieces of legislation unsettled, including the new Farm Bill and other agricultural legislation.
Photo credit above: "A dry field of corn is seen near Ashland, Neb., Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. The latest U.S. drought map shows that excessively dry conditions continue to worsen in the Midwest states that are key producers of corn and soybeans. This is the worst U.S. drought in decades. The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday, Aug. 9. 2012 shows that the area gripped by extreme or exceptional drought rose nearly 2 percent to 24.14 percent." (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
WRF Solution. NOAA's WRF model shows heavy showers and T-storms at 1 pm today along the east coast today, wrapping around into the Great Lakes - more T-storms over the Dakotas and Rockies. By Sunday light to moderate showers push into portions of MInnesota and Iowa, the east coast dries out; showers and T-storms lingering over Florida.
Graphic credit above: "Average sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies (C) for the week centered on 1 August, 2012. Anomalies are computed with respect to the 1981-2010 base period weekly means."
Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the season – June 1 to November 30 – NOAA’s updated seasonal outlook projects a total (which includes the activity-to-date of tropical storms Alberto, Beryl, Debbie, Florence and hurricanes Chris and Ernesto) of:
- 12 to 17 named storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including:
- 5 to 8 hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which:
- 2 to 3 could be major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)
"There is a difference between the NOAA temperature of 77.6 F. for July 2012 and the temperature of 75.5 F. which results if you use the new Climate Reference Network (USCRN); this reading is 2.1 degrees F. cooler, and means that July 2012 was not really a record high. Please address this difference in your daily Star Tribune weather forecast.
My very regards and appreciation for your efforts at educating the public in the arcane art of climate."
James - thanks for the e-mail. From what I understand of the new (USCRN) climate observing network, it's only been around since 2007, so there's no long database of data to compare the numbers with, at least not yet. I posed your question to local climate science guru Dr. John Abraham, at St. Thomas. Here is his response:
"USCRN data cannot be used for long-term comparisons because it wasn't around a decade ago. So using it to compare today's temperatures to early temperatures is an apples to oranges comparison."
Every day I feel like I'm swimming (flailing) upstream, fighting a tidal wave of e-mails, tweets, links - trying not to drown in the detritus of Digital Overload.
Yesterday someone in Korea tried to hack my Facebook account.
Why? Great question. There's nothing that valuable on my Facebook page, I can assure you.
We're all connected, but the jury is out on whether that's a good thing.
Growing up I'd drive 30 miles to a local community college to check the NAFAX weather maps. Today: thousands of weather sites and dozens of weather apps at the press of a button, sitting at home in my underwear. Sorry for that visual.
Will the need for meteorologists go the way of Betamax tapes and manual typewriters? I hope not. Finding nuggets of wisdom in a flood of raw data will always add value; providing analysis, context and perspective. Tell me a story. Why should I care? Then again, I may just be delusional - these days nobody's job is a sure thing, it seems.
28 Minnesota counties are in severe drought so I won't whine about a few Sunday showers. Today will be the sunnier, better day for the lake.
We warm up next week; near 90 Wednesday before a big midweek "correction". The coolest front since late May has us reaching for sweatshirts by Friday; highs in the 50s & 60s.
The worst of the heat and humidity is behind us now. My gut reaction: good riddance!
Myth #1: It's all China's fault.
Reality: America must do far more to cut emissions for both moral and practical reasons. Some U.S. politicians have long used China's growing emissions as an excuse for inaction. But China has dramatically ramped up solar power use and still lags far behind the U.S. in per-capita emissions. On a historical, cumulative basis, we are the world's single largest emitter."
Photo credit above: Nati Harnik, AP. "Jerry Johnson of Ashland uses his antique 57 Ford tractor to mow vegetation around his drying pond in Ashland, Neb., Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012, which he hopes will keep the critters away."
Photo credit above: Robert W. Hart for The Texas Tribune. "
- Build Community -- it helps. If your existing community watches Fox News, or listens to Rush Limbaugh, then your new concern about climate change will cause some cognitive dissonance. That's OK, you'll be facing cognitive dissonance quite a bit at first, like every time you switch on a light or drive your car. Joining a community that recognizes the paradoxes that climate change brings to modern Americans can help during those first troubling weeks, months, and years.
- Listen to upbeat messages. Upbeat, positive messages about humanity, or about our ability to change, adapt, survive, and help each other through tough times can be helpful in countering anxiety after reading several depressing articles about the coming climate-pocalypse. A good example is a lyric from Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds": "Every little thing, gonna be alright."
Waterworld homes: When the waters rise, tomorrow's buildings may rise with them as floating structures. Koen Olthuis, head of Waterstudio.NL, has begun working on projects ranging from floating apartments in the Netherlands to a floating mosque in the United Arab Emirates."