Weather Trauma and Drama
"Why does God hate us?" texted my friend, Jordana, right after Friday evening's mini-hurricane. I'm pretty sure that's not the case, but Mother Nature's bite has been extra-savage in recent months; snow in early May, now artillery blasts of severe weather able to knock us back to the 19th century in the blink of an eye. I'm one of many suffering from an increasingly common form of meteorological PTSD. Friday was a traumatic weather experience for many of us. I will forever remember the thicket ofvehicles parked under bridges on I-394, and weaving around downed trees and powerlines, praying my car wouldn't suddenly take on the characteristics of a boat.
Friday was a head-shaking moment for me. After discussing climate change on TPT "Almanac"; how a 4 percent increase in water vapor is spiking summer rains & increasing flash floods (four 1-in-1000 year floods since 2004 just in Minnesota) I drove home from St. Paul - right into one of these super-sized severe storms: hurricane-force gusts, white-out conditions with waves of horizontal rain. Instant flood. Navigating around waves and downed trees, I was grateful to get home 2 hours late. Everyone has a story to tell about Friday evening's bow echo.
I can't remember more Twin Cities residents without power, at least in the 30 years I've been here. This severe storm may have been unprecedented in that regard.
Saturated soil made it easier for big trees to come down. T-storms bubble up today (best chance early AM hours) but with the exception of Tuesday most of the upcoming week looks dry. Highs may hit 90 by midweek, followed by cooler, more comfortable air late week.
Dry, sunny weather next weekend? For now it's just a rumor, but we're due for a nice (sunny, blue-sky) weekend.
* photo of a sinkhole in Robbinsdale, resulting from Friday evening's severe storm, courtesy of Kellen Bongratz.
New, Automated Text Warnings. This is something each wireless carrier is rolling out. I have AT&T, and these text alerts popped up automatically Friday evening, when I was literally inside the severe storm. If you are within the NWS warning polygon I think you automatically get these updates, but check with your carrier, because Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile may be doing things a little differently. Another step in the right direction for warning technology. The more sources, the better.
The Weather's "Stuck" Again. When fronts or storms stall, bad things often happen. Such is the case with the current frontal boundary meandering back and forth across southern Minnesota, provoking waves of heavy to severe thunderstorms, one swarm after another. T-storms are most likely early Sunday, a few spotty storms possible Monday and Tuesday, but drier weather is likely the latter half of the week. 84-hour NAM courtesy of NOAA.
Floods Start To Recede In Calgary, But City Shut Down Until Mid-Week. Speaking of record flooding, here's an update from CTV News: "Calgary's downtown core will likely remain closed until at least mid-week as much of the flood-ravaged city remains under water. Although both the Bow and Elbow Rivers are expected to recede in the new 48 hours, flood officials say the downtown area is still under considerable amount of water and will remain closed until the evacuation order has been lifted. "The number one thing that I need to share with all of you is that we’re still in a state of emergency," Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi told reporters at news conference on Saturday..."
Wild Windstorm In Geneva. Check out what 130 km. wind gusts in a severe storm did to a sporting event outside Geneva, Switzerland - video from Sky TV.
Photo credit above: NASA, Image Credit: NASA/Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC Caption: Adam Voiland
- The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for May 2013 tied with 1998 and 2005 as the third warmest on record, at 0.66°C (1.19°F) above the 20th century average of 14.8°C (58.6°F).
- The global land surface temperature was 1.11°C (2.00°F) above the 20th century average of 11.1°C (52.0°F), also the third warmest May on record. For the ocean, the May global sea surface temperature was 0.49°C (0.88°F) above the 20th century average of 16.3°C (61.3°F), tying with 2003 and 2009 as the fifth warmest May on record.
Photo credit above: Townsville, Australia. Credit: Kim Kamo.
Photo credit above: "A few onlookers were out early Saturday morning but the cleanup effort had yet to begin at E. 35th St. near 15th Avenue S., across from Powderhorn Park where this car was crushed by a toppled tree in Friday's storm and seen Saturday, June 22, 2013, in Minneapolis, MN." (DAVID JOLES/STARTRIBUNE)
In Tuesday Speech, Obama To Unveil Plan To Cut Carbon Pollution 17% By 2020. The full story is at Think Progress; here's an exerpt from a recent President Obama video teeing up next Tuesday's speech on climate change:
"This is a serious challenge – but it’s one uniquely suited to America’s strengths.
We’ll need scientists to design new fuels, and farmers to grow them.
We’ll need engineers to devise new sources of energy, and businesses to make and sell them.
We’ll need workers to build the foundation for a clean energy economy.
And we’ll need all of us, as citizens, to do our part to preserve God’s creation for future generations – our forests and waterways, our croplands and snowcapped peaks.
There’s no single step that can reverse the effects of climate change. But when it comes to the world we leave our children, we owe it to them to do what we can.
So I hope you’ll share this message with your friends. Because this a challenge that affects everyone – and we all have a stake in solving it together.
I hope to see you Tuesday. Thank you."
Photo credit above: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press. "President Barack Obama speaks in front of the iconic Brandenburg Gate in Berlin Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2013. Obama is planning a major push using executive powers to tackle the pollution blamed for global warming in an effort to make good on promises he made at the start of his second term. “We know we have to do more — and we will do more,” Obama said in Berlin."