New phrases are popping up in our weather lexicon to describe weather-on-steroids: polar amplification, a "lazy jet", heat spikes, 3-sigma flash floods, and now, "flash droughts".
That's how the sudden onset of drought is being described from Minnesota to Missouri.
We went from a late planting season to heavy June rains (crops put down shallow roots) to unusual chill mid-summer, to precious little rain in August. Instant drought.
In one week Minnesota went from 10 percent to 55 percent drought. I've never seen that before.
Why? Great question. Data is still inconclusive, but I suspect it has something to do with rapid warming at high latitudes and record melting of Arctic ice in 2012.
Enjoy the free A/C because models are still hinting at low 90s by the end of the week; showers and T-storms helping to settle the dust late Sunday into Monday night.
August rain came in one 2 inch, two-day deluge on the 5th & 6th. Since then we've seen nearly a month of little or no rain, with soaking storms tracking over northern Minnesota.
Which makes one wonder: is our pattern of extra-wet late springs & extra-dry late summers a fluke - or a trend? I guess we'll find out. Stay tuned.
Rerun Of Summer By Wednesday. 4 km. NAM data suggests a high in the mid-80s Wednesday, maybe upper 80s to near 90 from Mankato to Windom. Hotter air surges north by Friday and Saturday with a shot at 90 F. both days. Map above: Ham Weather.
Premature To Retire The Shorts. I don't see any true cold fronts right around the corner, in fact temperatures will probably trend well above average the next 2 weeks. After a reprieve from the hot & stickies, dew points rise to near 60F Wedneday, maybe upper 60s to near 70F from Friday into Tuesday morning. Temperature (top) and dew point (bottom) predictions using ECMWF data, courtesy of Weatherspark.
When In A Drought - Don't Forecast Rain. Once again most of Minnesota is in a moderate drought, including the Twin Cities metro area. I don't see any rain until late Sunday into Monday, when (fickle) T-storms may once again push across the state.
60-Hour Future Radar. Here are predicted rainfall patterns looking out into Wednesday night, more instability showers and T-storms for New England, a surge of rain pushing northward up the Sierra Nevada, helping firefighters battling the Rim Fire at Yosemite. 4 km. NAM Forecast Radar courtesy of Ham Weather.
Spotty 5-Day Rainfall Amounts. NOAA HPC is predicting some 1-2" rainfall amounts along the Gulf Coast, and from Boise to Seattle (where nearly 3" of rain may fall). The nation's midsection remains dry, New England drying out by midweek.
Warmer Than Average Into Third Week of September? GFS numbers are out, and they show a warm bias thru at least September 17, with highs mostly in the 80s through the period. It also looks very dry from September 10 - 16, with a better chance of more significant rain/storms after September 17.
Photo credit: Chris Hardie. "A cornfield near Ettrick show signs of stress from the recent drought."
|Low Max Temp:||84|
|High Min Temp:||757|
Map credit above: "This map is based on official fire mapping sources that show rough footprints of actively burning wildfires. Perimeter updates take at least several hours to produce and may be based on satellite heat detection, which is approximate. Zooming into specific locations may produce misleading information. The Times map requires manual updates, which may be intermittent, so people in need of urgent information about road closures and evacuations are advised to keep abreast of communications from fire officials." Sources: U.S. Forest Service, Inciweb, Geomac, Yosemite National Park. Raoul Ranoa/Los Angeles Times.
Photo credit above: "In this Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 photo provided by the U.S. Forest Service, a member of the Bureau of Land Management Silver State Hotshot crew from Elko, Nevada, stands by a burn operation on the southern flank of the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park in California. The wildfire burning in and around Yosemite National Park has become the fourth-largest conflagration in California history." (AP Photo/U.S. Forest Service, Mike McMillan)
Photo credit above: "UAlberta researcher Jillian Buriak (center) worked with post-doctoral fellows Erik Luber (right) and Hosnay Mobarok to create nanoparticles that could lead to printable or spray-on solar cells." Image Credit: University of Alberta
Photo credit above: "A tourist walks along a white sand beach in Doloda Island, North Maluku, Indonesia, on August 25, 2006. A new species of shark that "walks" along the seabed using its fins as tiny legs has been discovered in eastern Indonesia, an environmental group said Friday." (AFP Photo/Adek Berry).
Photo credit above: AydAn Mutlu.
Photo credit above: "U.S. Navy officers and sailors stand at attention as U.S. Navy ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) berths at the Changi Naval Base on Thursday April 18, 2013 in Singapore." (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E).