I half expected cheering, ringing church bells & high-fives when the sun finally broke thru yesterday; faces pressed up against windows to admire a blue sky, however fleeting.
I'm as ready for real summer warmth as everyone else - but I'm trying to see the big picture. It took a dramatic shift in the jet stream steering currents to ease Minnesota's drought. The same volatile pattern that's turned on our rains is keeping us grayer & cooler than average.
Pete Boulay at the State Climate Office reports May, 2013 is the 4th cloudiest since 1963. Memorial day weekend was the 3rd gloomiest since 1971. Enough statistics.
More T-storms rumble into town today & Friday; a tiny percentage may turn severe. Cooler air arrives Saturday (what a shock huh?) with more showery rains, but nothing severe. Sunday looks like the sunnier day right now, the better day to mow your overgrown lawn.
I'm counting my atmospheric blessings: historic flash flooding is reported over Iowa & Illinois, and the soggy dregs of Tropical Storm "Barbara", sparking flooding over southern Mexico, may push into Florida by late next week.
We've seen drought-busting rains, without the floods or crazy T-storms.
Thursday Severe Risk. The Twin Cities is on the edge of the slight risk area, but we're close enough where we need to pay attention later today. The main threat is hail and straight-line winds, but a few isolated tornadoes can't be ruled out in this pattern.
Wednesday Storm Damage. As of 11 pm last night SPC counted 23 tornadoes, 184 reports of damaging winds, and 128 large hail reports. Tornadoes touched down as close as southwest Wisconsin and northeast Iowa (in a severe storm watch, proving that sometimes tornadoes can form even if it's "only" a severe storm watch). Details from SPC.
One more tidbit with Memorial Weekends. Looking at the solar radiation days for Friday through Tuesday, here's how they stack up from cloudiest to sunniest:"
"Yes, the Tuesday after Memorial Weekend is, on average, the sunniest. Bot this year though!"
* credit for the solar data is the University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus Climate Observatory.
* photo of the Des Moines River in downtown Des Moines courtesy of Angie Kufner.
* EF-4 and EF-5 tornadoes comprise only 1% of all tornadoes in a given year, nationwide, yet they produce 70% of all tornado-related casualties.
Photo credit above: "Taxis in Hoboken, NJ, in October, after Hurricane Sandy." Courtesy: Todd Plitt, USA Today.
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT... A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR... * PUERTO ANGEL TO BARRA DE TONALA MEXICO A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR... * BARRA DE TONALA TO BOCA DE PIJIJIAPAN MEXICO. A HURRICANE WARNING MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...IN THIS CASE WITHIN THE NEXT 12 HOURS. A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA.
Image credit: CNET.
* access a Trulia Twin Cities map here.
Talk about crazy extremes...
Photo credit above: "Tesla designed its Model S from the ground up to allow software updates after it leaves the factory." (Credit: Wayne Cunningham/CNET)
* the full report (slide deck) from KPCB is here.
Photo credit: Joel Koyama, Star Tribune.
Image credit above: "Space diving - extreme sport of the future." (Photo: www.mondoart.net).
Image credit above: "A computer climate model by the National Center for Atmospheric Research predicts an ice-free Arctic by 2040." Illustration by NCAR
Photo credit: "A man enjoys the ocean after sunset in 2012 on Ngapali Beach, Myanmar, located on the shores of the Andaman Sea."
Photo credit above: "Tiny Mora County in northern New Mexico recently became the first county in the country to pass an ordinance banning hydraulic fracturing, the controversial oil extraction process known as fracking, which can release harmful chemicals in aquifers and municipal water supplies." (Julie Cart / Los Angeles Times)