I'm thoroughly enjoying the Mosquito Olympics, now playing out in my buggy backyard (available on ESPN7). If the rains keep up I'm going to need a low-flying helicopter to cut my lawn.
Welcome to monsoon season in Minnesota. Rainfall for the last 30 days is already 3-8 inches above average for portions of central Minnesota, and the rains just keep on coming. Once again, for the umpteenth time in recent memory, weather systems are stalling, and when weather gets stuck you need to pay close attention.
A stalled frontal boundary snaking across Minnesota will ignite more heavy T-storms again today; heaviest rains on the cooler north/west side of the front - but the MSP metro may see tropical downpours capable of 1-2 inches, enough for standing water and garage-worthy grad parties.
Have a Plan B and hope for the best.
A ripple of low pressure keeps gulley-washers in the forecast into Monday but Wednesday's storm may steer showers and storms south of the metro. We slowly warm late next week with spotty weekend T-storms. Right on cue.
I'm still betting on a wetter than average summer, statewide, but El Nino may keep us warmer and drier the latter half of 2014.
Keep the faith.
4.43" Sauk Centre
2.6" Breezy Point, on Pelican Lake
* Click here for rainfall and flash flood details, courtesy of NOAA.
* more Minnesota rainfall amounts from CoCoRaHS.
THE FLASH FLOOD WATCH IS NOW IN EFFECT FOR * PORTIONS OF CENTRAL MINNESOTA...EAST CENTRAL MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA...INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS...IN CENTRAL MINNESOTA...BENTON...KANDIYOHI...MEEKER...SHERBURNE... STEARNS AND WRIGHT. IN EAST CENTRAL MINNESOTA...ISANTI... KANABEC AND MILLE LACS. IN WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA...CHIPPEWA... LAC QUI PARLE...POPE AND SWIFT. * THROUGH SUNDAY MORNING. * ADDITIONAL HEAVY RAIN WITH 2 TO 4 INCHES POSSIBLE IN SPOTS TONIGHT COMBINED WITH SATURATED SOIL...SWOLLEN CREEKS AND STREAMS COULD LEAD TO FLOODING. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION. YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.
Photo credit above: "Residents of Joplin, Mo, survey the damage after a tornado hit the city in May 2011." Associated Press.
Animation credit above: "A FIRETEC animation of a 1996 blaze in Malibu." (icess.ucsb.edu).
The Wealthy, English-Speaking Country Starbucks Can't Conquer. Here's a snippet of a fascinating business case study at Quartz: "...The Seattle-based chain also has a large and growing presence in international markets: Seoul has more Starbucks locations than New York City does, and Canada has more stores on a per capita basis than anywhere else in the world. There is, however, a wealthy international market where the coffee chain has struggled: Australia. That might seem surprising, given it is one of the world’s wealthiest countries and is also completely obsessed with coffee..."
* more fascinating details on Virgin Galactic's upcoming "flights" at The Houston Chronicle.
Global Warming and the Vulnerability of Greenland's Ice Sheet. Climate models have consistently underestimated the rate of ice melt in Greenland (and the Arctic). Here's an excerpt of a story at The Guardian: "...This work is important because in the past decade or so, it has been found that Greenland is losing ice, lots of ice, to the world’s oceans. As a consequence, Greenland is one of the significant contributors to sea level rise. The level our oceans will rise to in the next decades and centuries depends strongly on how fast the Greenland ice sheet will melt. This study is novel because of the way it combined measurements with mass-conservation calculations. The method allowed far better resolution of the thickness of Greenland glaciers and the shape of the valleys beneath the glaciers. The shape and depth of these valleys is important for moderating the speed of ice flow to the oceans. In fact, in the paper, authors state, “the overall state of mass balance of the ice sheet is affected by considerable uncertainties in bed topography and ice thickness...”
GOP Science Deniers Threaten National Security. Not my headline, but from a marine veteran who is hot under the collar. Here's a snippet of his Op-Ed at Marketwatch: "...The Republican Party is now officially on record as the party of climate-science denialism. These research programs, ongoing and widely used by the Pentagon in strategic national defense planning for many years, could, if the Senate agrees, become illegal to use. Yes, this Marine veteran is mad as hell. GOP science deniers have “crossed the line,” they’re now messing with national security. America is now under attack from an enemy within, irrational science denialism, a toxic mind-set, a spreading, self-destructive mental virus. Yes, this is a “War on America.” The military has been using climate-science research for decades. This vote is self-destructive. These research studies are essential in our national defense..."
Graphic credit: Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.