People, pets & livestock certainly feel the heat. So do corn and beans. Minnesota's crops are under increasing stress, statewide. August rains have been spotty and fickle, heaviest over northern counties.
"Have you seen the corn crop lately?" Rob Koch asked me yesterday. He's one of a dozen on-air meteorologists I work with, specializing in ag weather. "Everything is drying up rapidly - this will impact yields" he said.
The Twin Cities metro picked up nearly 2 inches of rain August 5-6 from severe storms. But much of that water fell in a torrent, running off into streets & streams, not soaking into topsoil. Since then it's been bone-dry across much of central/southern Minnesota; little or no rain in 3 weeks.
I don't expect another historic drought, but moderate drought may creep back into southern farms shortly. Let it rain.
Expect slight relief today, a few T-storms Thursday - warming into the low 90s Friday & Saturday before a dramatic shift in the pattern. A strong cool front sweeps blast-furnace heat & humidity out of Minnesota on Sunday as temperatures hold in the 80s. 70-degree highs Labor Day, 40s up north early?
A/C to sweatshirts in the span of 36 hours this upcoming weekend.
The Wild, Wild West. The contrasts out west are remarkable, a sharp dividing line separating drought from flood. Throw in a few Los Angeles-size wildfires and an occasional haboob and you have all the meteorological bases covered. In today's edition of Climate Matters I examine the extreme contrats, and how smoke from the Rim Blaze at Yosemite is showing up as far north as Minnesota (and Canada).
Photo credit above: "The California Rim Fire seen via satellite in the visible and infrared. The growth is obvious. The city at the top is Reno, NV." Photo by NASA/Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon/Sumi-NPP
Map credit: tornado touchdowns since January 1, courtesy of NOAA SPC.
Graphic credit above: "This infrared image from NOAA's GOES-East satellite on Aug. 20 shows the Global Hawk crossing the low-level remnants of Erin. Erin's low-level clouds appear as a faint circulation. The green path is the direction the Global Hawk came from. The red line represents the path the aircraft would follow." (Credit: NASA/NOAA).
Photo credit above: "Safest large city in America? Syracuse, New York". Source: whiotv.com.
Photo credit above: "Chaser With Fluffy." Dan Nosowitz.
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Photo credit above: "A section of the Petermann glacier in Greenland, photographed by the 'heli-cam', a remote camera attached to a small single engine helicopter, triggered from inside the cockpit by remote control." Photograph: Nick Cobbing/Greenpeace.
Photo credit above: "Many household devices continue to draw power even when they are not in use, adding unnecessarily to electricity bills." Photograph by Marc Wuchner, Corbis.