Summer, The Sequel
Now that school is about to start up again and thoughts are turning to football and the winter to come (ugh) Mother Nature will once again get the last laugh.
I've been telling friends, imaginary and otherwise, not to write off summer heat just yet. Although scorching 90s and 100s usually peak in mid or late July, we can sweat it out right into September.
With a high-amplitude pattern (big north/south dips in the jet stream steering winds) the hots have been hotter out west, the cools much cooler from Minnesota to New England. The normal west to east flow has stalled with nearly a month of comfortable temperatures and low humidity. That's unusual, a possible symptom of record warming at far northern latitudes having a domino effect here at home.
Chaos theory. We don't know what we don't know.
Here come the Dog Days of Late August: 80s and a few 90s the next 2 weeks. GFS guidance hints at some mid-90s with dew points rising to 70F.
Sauna-on-a-stick at the Minnesota State Fair!
It could be worse. You could have a beach home right on the Gulf of Mexico. A tropical swirl over Mexico's Yucatan may strengthen into "Fernand" - soaking the Gulf Coast with some 5-10" rains by Monday.
Map credit above: "Tracks of all known cyclones that were tropical storms within 100 miles of Erin’s current position during August." (NOAA).
Keeping An Eye On The Tropics, Hurricane Climatology, And Arctic Sea Ice Loss. Will "Fernand" spin up in the Gulf of Mexico, what are the odds of "Erin" striking the USA, and the perception of Arctic ice "recovery" is just that - a perception, but not mirrored in reality. In today's edition of Climate Matters we examine all three topics: "WeatheraNationTV Chief Meteorologist Paul Douglas looks at Tropical Storm Erin and an area of concern off the Yucatan Peninsula. Hurricane climatology for August may give us an idea where Erin will end up. Also Arctic sea ice loss; not periods of loss and recovery, but a truly downward trend."
- Tropical Storm Erin forms in the far eastern Atlantic; still 1-2 weeks away from possibly impacting the USA. Statistically, odds favor Erin curving north into the colder waters of the North Atlantic, but we'll need to keep an eye on this intensifying tropical storm for next week.
- "Invest 92" is weakening over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Although odds favor strengthening into Tropical Storm Fernand within 48 hours, the ultimate track is still problematic; some of the models keep this system over Mexico, others push it north toward Louisiana. Due to very weak steering winds confidence level is still low as to the final track/intensity of this storm, but Gulf Coast interests and facilities need to pay attention in the coming days. I expect the final track to crystallize with a much higher confidence level within 36 hours.
Summary: the forecast is rarely black or white, but usually some nebulous shade of gray. So it goes with Invest 92, the system over the Yucatan that will probably mutate into Tropical Storm Fernand by Friday night. Confidence levels are still low as to final track and intensity, but right now odds are this probably will not intensify to hurricane strength, but come ashore somewhere over the Gulf Coast as a moderate tropical storm, capable of minor/moderate storm surge flooding, but potentially much greater flash flooding just inland from 5-10" rains. The system is still evolving - I encourage you to keep staff and facilities from Brownsville to Pensacola in a heightened state of readiness in the coming days. We're also watching Tropical Storm Erin in the eastern Atlantic, not a risk to U.S. interests until the end of next week, if at all. Odds favor it will recurve away from the USA, but it pays to be perpetually paranoid. We'll keep you posted.
The Killing Machines. How To Think About Drones. No, this has nothing to do with weather, but I found it interesting (and disturbing) nonetheless. With a son in the military I'm trying to keep an open mind - here's an excerpt from an article at The Atlantic: "...No civilian death is acceptable, of course. Each one is tragic. But any assessment of civilian deaths from drone strikes needs to be compared with the potential damage from alternative tactics. Unless we are to forgo the pursuit of al-Qaeda terrorists entirely, U.S. forces must confront them either from the air or on the ground, in some of the remotest places on Earth. As aerial attacks go, drones are far more precise than manned bombers or missiles. That narrows the choice to drone strikes or ground assaults....In fact, ground combat almost always kills more civilians than drone strikes do.....“A fair-minded evaluation of the best data we have available suggests that the drone program compares favorably with similar operations and contemporary armed conflict more generally,” he told The New York Times. When you consider the alternatives—even, and perhaps especially, if you are deeply concerned with sparing civilians—you are led, as Obama was, to the logic of the drone..."
- Do you want to be near friends and family?
- Will you be taking care of aging parents? If yes, will you need to be close by?
- Do you have hobbies or interests that play into where you’d want to live?
Photo credit above: ".
Photo credit above: "Low water levels in Lake Medina northwest of San Antonio, Texas." Credit: Mike Fisher/flickr
Exposing The (Climate) Disinformation Playbook. Here's a slideshow and explanation from the Union of Concerned Scientists: "Powerful coal, oil, and gas interests are trying to confuse us all about global warming and renewable energy. Not with facts or reasoned argument — but with disinformation. In this interactive slideshow, UCS reveals the tactics used by the fossil fuel industry to spread disinformation and delay action on climate change — the very same tactics used by Big Tobacco for years to mislead the public about the dangers of smoking. Don't stand for it. Join our fight against disinformation today!"
Photo credit above: "George Shultz and President Reagan in 1986." Photo by White House staff, from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, National Archives and Records Administration/wikimedia