A "Chopped-Up" Summer
Live long enough and you'll see just about everything. Even a summer like 2013. Going from half an inch of snow on May 3 to 98F on May 14 should have been a tip-off that we were in for a wild ride.
A June 21 "solstice storm" that surprised meteorologists with its straight-line wind ferocity, downing thousands of trees. A mid-summer cool snap (frost in Embarrass in early August?), then a record-setting late summer heat wave.
Meteorological summer was 1.6F warmer than average, compared to 3.5F last summer. 19 days above 90F; the 15th stickiest summer since 1945 - most of those muggy days coming around Labor Day. Odd. After a wet June rainfall went over a cliff - again. Much of the state is running a 2 to 5 inch rainfall deficit, with a growing stain of moderate/severe drought.
One benefit of the drought and 4 week mid-summer chill? Only 10 tornadoes in Minnesota this year, all weak. See, there is a silver lining.
A passing T-storm (a few isolated cells may be severe) today marks the approach of the next cool surge. Saturday highs hold in the 60s under a sunny sky, 40s at night chilly enough for the furnace to kick in. Lukewarm 70s return next week.
We're watching the Gulf. Tropical Storm Jerry may form soon, but the risk to the Gulf Coast has dropped overnight. Details below.
- The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for August 2013 tied with 2005 as the fourth highest in the 1880–2013 record, at 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the 20th century average of 15.6°C (60.1°F).
- The global land surface temperature was 0.77°C (1.39°F) above the 20th century average of 13.8°C (56.9°F), the 11th warmest August on record. For the global oceans, the August average sea surface temperature was 0.57°C (1.03°F) above the 20th century average of 16.4°C (61.4°F), tying with 1998, 2003, 2005, and 2009 as the record highest for August.
- The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the June–August period was 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the 20th century average of 15.6°C (60.1°F), tying with 2009 as the fifth warmest such period on record.
Alerts Broadcaster Briefing: Issued early Thursday morning, September 19, 2013.
* 70% chance of tropical storm formation in the Gulf of Mexico next 48 hours.
* Models pull back on possible Florida Panhandle late in the weekend or early next week - "Jerry" should still strengthen into a tropical storm, but probably stall in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico into the weekend. Some risk to the Gulf Coast remains, but the potential for a significant hurricane over the next 3-5 days impacting the USA has dropped overnight.
* Major Category 3-4 Hurricane (typhoon) formation likely in the western Pacific, posing some risk to the Philippines, Taiwan and mainland China.
Major Shift In "Jerry" Outlook. Earlier runs brought a potential hurricane into the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. The latest runs suggest that "Jerry" will form in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, and reach tropical storm status, but NOT a hurricane, meandering off the coast of Mexico for 3-4 days. A strike on the USA Gulf Coast is still possible next week but the probability of a strike early next week has fallen substantially.
Tropical Storm Jerry. A majority of models strengthen "Invest 95", the tropical depression near Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, into a tropical storm within 36 hours, but the latest runs suggest hurricane force is unlikely looking out at least 4-5 days. Confidence levels are still low.
Flash Flood Potential. Although the center of "Jerry" may remain over the western or southwestern Gulf of Mexico into the weekend, moisture form this tropical system will flow north, fueling an eastbound frontal system, squeezing out 2-5" rains from Texas into much of the Mid South and Gulf Coast. The greatest potential for flash flooding into the weekend will come from Houston and New Orleans to Mobile, Pensacola and Macon, Georgia.
Summary: On Wednesday morning we told you that the confidence level with "Jerry" was low, and for good reason. Latest models are showing a much different solution, with Jerry only reaching tropical storm force, stalling and possibly weakening over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. Some risk remains to coastal Texas and the entire Gulf of Mexico - Jerry could still be swept northeastward next week, but the overall threat to the USA has dropped fairly significantly overnight. That said, it pays to be perpetually paranoid; we still need to carefully monitor this storm - it's too early to let our guard down.
In addition, a much stronger Category 3-4 hurricane/typhoon is forecast to push across the western Pacific over the next 3 days, posing some risk to the Philippines and Taiwan, although right now computer models suggest there will not be a direct strike on either Manila or Taipei with this potential Super Typhoon passing between the Philippines and Taiwan. Another update late Thursday morning.
* harvest moon photo above courtesy of mnheadhunter and Instagram.
Image credit above: "Satellite imagery showing tropical moisture being pulled from the coast of Mexico up to Colorado." Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
"The current reduction in Arctic ice cover started in the late 19th century, consistent with the rapidly warming climate, and became very pronounced over the last three decades. This ice loss appears to be unmatched over at least the last few thousand years and unexplainable by any of the known natural variabilities."Thus the scientific data and literature indicate that this year's minimum Arctic sea ice extent is not just the 6th-lowest in the past 34 years, but most likely the 6th-lowest in at least the past few thousand years.The current Arctic sea ice decline is remarkably rapid, and often referred to as a "death spiral." As Dr. Julienne Stroeve from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) told The Guardian,
"Overall, the Arctic has lost about 40% of its sea ice cover since 1980. Most scientists believe the Arctic could be entirely ice-free in the summers by the middle of the century – if not sooner."Graphic credit above: "
Graphic credit above: "Authors’ assessment of the state of knowledge regarding 600 changes in various climate extremes. The horizontal axis depicts how useful the data actually are for assessing historical changes. The vertical axis depicts how well the mechanisms driving changes are understood. For each axis, phenomena are assigned to one of three categories of knowledge, and the dashed lines toward the upper right imply that knowledge about the phenomena is not complete. Extremes discussed in previous assessments appear in grey text."