Don't Push the Weather
Linnaea Nelson writes "We read you religiously every morning. I am in my 70’s and have just joined the smartphone crowd. Which weather-warning app would be the best to download on my iPhone5?" Thanks for the nice note Linnaea. My personal favorites are RadarScope, My-Cast Weather Radar, WeatherNation and WeatherRadio. You'll get up to the second Doppler info, maps and warnings for your location, 24/7. And no, I don't get a commission.
With My-Cast you can get lightning alerts, which come in very handy. According to NOAA 238 people were killed by lightning from 2006 to 2012, 82 percent of them male. Fishing topped the list, followed by camping, boating, soccer & golf.
As I tell my Naval aviator son: don't push the weather.
Precipitation for 2013 is running 7.3 inches wetter than average to date, but we seem to be transitioning into a drier pattern. A twist of chilly air aloft may spark a late-day T-shower up north Friday - with clouds and a stray shower Saturday; a fairly cool day. Sunday looks sunnier and milder.
All well and good, but what about the 4th? I defer to the European model, which shows 70s and a growing chance of scattered showers and T-storms next Thursday PM into Friday as a storm pushes north across the Plains. I really hope the ECMWF is wrong. I'm lighting a candle, saying a prayer & hoping for the best
Photo credit above: Brad Birkholz. Screen shot of lightning loop upper right from My-Cast Weather Radar.
Not As Optimistic For The 4th. An instability shower is possible late Friday into Saturday; Sunday still the sunnier, nicer day of the weekend, with a lovely first half of next week. Which would be great if we celebrated the 4th of July on July 2. The chance of showers and T-storms increases Thursday PM into Friday, with a chance of some partial clearing by next weekend. It's just to early to say with any level of confidence, and with our wonky weather pattern (stuck in a rut) all bets are off.
The Source of Holiday Angst. Hey, it's still a week away; maybe the models will become more optimistic with time. Maybe I'll grow hair and become a rock and roll singer. Doubtful, but one never knows. The map above is the "Euro" model valid midday next Thursday, the 4th of July, showing the best chance of showers and T-storms over far southwestern MInnesota, a broad Plains storm pushing northeast, casting doubt on Thursday evening fireworks and Friday activities. Map: WSI.
GFS Outlook for the 4th of July. The U.S. GFS solution has a vaguely similar solution for next Thursday; a much better chance of heavy showers and T-storms just south of Minnesota. It's too early to panic, but have a Plan B (indoors) just in case.
Surprise: New FEMA Maps Put More Of Edina In Flood Plain. Here's an excerpt from The Star Tribune: "...The new FEMA maps are part of a national effort to update and improve flood plain mapping, said Ceil Strauss, state flood plain coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources. In Minnesota, she said, the effect of the update, which calculates runoff from a 100-year flood, varies by county. In Washington County, twice as many properties were removed from flood zones as went in. But in other counties, flood plains were added around lakes, affecting more property owners. In Hennepin County, updated mapping provided more detail on elevation, changing the boundaries of flood plains along Minnehaha and Nine Mile creeks, Strauss said. “There are winners and losers there from the perspective of homeowners,” she said..."
Uncharted Waters. As I explain in today's edition of Climate Matters, I've been tracking weather for close to 40 years, and I've never seen anything like the last 3 years; the jet stream literally off the rails since about 2010 (when Minnesota saw the most tornadoes in the USA). Since then it's been one extreme after another, drought to flood to drought, serious weather whiplash: "The Jet Stream's normal West to East flow has been replaced by a Jet Stream with giant atmospheric wiggles. WeatherNation Chief Meteorologist Paul Douglas explains how this impacts our day to day weather and leads to record heat in Alaska, historic flooding in Calgary and destructive wildfires in Colorado and the Southwest."
- The winter of 2011-12 seemed to disappear, with little snow and record warmth in March. That was followed by the winter of 2012-13 when nor'easters seemed to queue up to strike the same coastal areas repeatedly.
- Superstorm Sandy took an odd left turn in October from the Atlantic straight into New Jersey, something that happens once every 700 years or so.
- One 12-month period had a record number of tornadoes. That was followed by 12 months that set a record for lack of tornadoes.
And here is what federal weather officials call a "spring paradox": The U.S. had both an unusually large area of snow cover in March and April and a near-record low area of snow cover in May. The entire Northern Hemisphere had record snow coverage area in December but the third lowest snow extent for May. "I've been doing meteorology for 30 years and the jet stream the last three years has done stuff I've never seen," said Jeff Masters, meteorology director at the private service Weather Underground. "The fact that the jet stream is unusual could be an indicator of something. I'm not saying we know what it is." Rutgers' Francis is in the camp that thinks climate change is probably playing a role in this..."
Photo credit above: "This photo taken Monday, June 17, 2013, shows people sunning at Goose Lake in Anchorage, Alaska. Parts of Alaska are setting high temperature records as a heat wave continues across Alaska. Temperatures are nothing like what Phoenix or Las Vegas gets, but temperatures in the 80s and 90s are hot for Alaska, where few buildings have air conditioning." (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
Saturday: Sunny and hot with a high near 128.
Saturday night: Mostly clear, low around 98.
Sunday: Sunny and hot with a high near 129.
Sunday night: Mostly clear with a low around 101.
Monday: Sunny and hot with a high near 129.
* The USA high temperature record is 129F. We may set a new national record this weekend.
Photo credit: National Severe Storms Laboratory
Google Maps image credit: "
* The Wall Street Journal has more on the alleged tsunami here (subscription may be required).
Photo credit above: "The Irish-Canadian team will set out on 1 July across the Northwest Passage." Photograph: Mainstream Last First
President Obama Speaks On Climate Change. Here is the complete Tuesday speech at Georgetown from whitehouse.gov: "President Obama lays out his vision for a comprehensive plan to reduce carbon pollution, prepare our country for the impacts of climate change, and lead global efforts to fight it."
1. He won’t duck the climate implications of Keystone XL, even though he may still end up approving it. Obama declared, “Our national interest will be served only if this pipeline does not significantly exacerbate the climate problem.” That means the administration will be analyzing whether approving the project will generate more greenhouse gas emissions than blocking it would. However in its draft environmental impact assessment, the State Department indicated that even if the president denies a permit to TransCanada to build the project, the oil in Alberta may be shipped to the U.S. by rail, leading to comparable emissions. So Obama’s final decision will largely depend on how his deputies crunch the numbers..."
Image credit: NASA.