On The Verge of Disgust
There are days I'm tempted to push the Doppler into the lake. This is one of those days.
"Once you have all the information the decision is easy" my father likes to say. My 82 year old dad is in town thru the weekend. I'm scanning the models, trying to "get all the information" and decide if it's worth heading up to the cabin. Yeah, that muffled scream you hear is me.
An upper level storm, a twist of unusually cold air aloft, will spark gusty winds, whitecaps and a few showers today and Saturday morning; highs stuck in the 70s. Other than that it should be lovely.
Timing is everything. And this summer The Force isn't with us, at least not on weekends.
Things look a little better for the 4th of July holiday. Most models keep the heaviest showers and T-storms south & west of Minnesota, highs in the 80s. It may be dry July 4th and 5th, then weekend T-storms. Lake-worthy? Yes, but my confidence level is low.
As annoying as our weather has been recently I'm trying to keep some perspective. Calgary, Alberta is mopping up from an historic, 1-in-500 year flood. Emergency cooling centers are open in LA. Death Valley may come close to the all-time WORLD record high of 134F this weekend. I guess I can live with showers and a few whitecaps.
Cool Pool. One of those dreaded "upper air disturbances" is about to rotate southward out of Ontario, Canada, destabilizing the atmosphere, sparking showers and T-storms, best chance afternoon and evening hours, when the temperature differential will be greatest. The odds of severe weather are low, but I expect to see a few downpours, maybe some pea-size hail. This unsettled trough of low pressure finally pushes thru late Saturday, setting the stage for sunnier, drier, warmer weather on Sunday.
More Promising For 4th? This back and forth with the models is maddening, and it lowers our overall confidence level in the extended outlook. Yesterday's ECMWF numbers looked cooler and wetter for the 4th with a significant storm tracking across the Plains into Minnesota. Today's 12z European run looks drier and warmer. We'll see. Keep your expectations low - maybe we'll all be pleasantly surprised.
Trending Drier (After Saturday). The latest 5-Day QPF shows very heavy rainfall amounts from Florida into the Outer Banks of the Carolinas (4-7" possible) with some 2-4" amounts over New England. A temporarily stalled storm in the upper atmosphere over the Ohio Valley will keep the East Coast in a soggy holding pattern, while the Upper Midwest (finally) starts to dry out.
Graphic credit above: "Map shows locations of cooling centers in Los Angeles County." (Los Angeles County / June 26, 2013)
- 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.
Photo credit above: "Smoke billows from a chimney of the cooling towers of a coal-fired power plant in Dadong, Shanxi province, China." Andy Wong/AP/File.
Photo credit above: "The Capitol dome looms behind smokestacks of a coal-fired power plant in Washington, D.C. Obama announced plans Tuesday to issue new emissions regulations for U.S. power plants as part of a wider strategy to address climate change." Phtotograph by Tyrone Turner, National Geographic
Photo credit above: "The Irish-Canadian team will set out on 1 July across the Northwest Passage." Photograph: Mainstream Last First
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.