This is why climate trends are important, why we should listen to the scientists and keep an eye on the symptoms and trends.
A warmer atmosphere is flavoring all weather now. Rapid warming of the Arctic may be impacting jet stream wind speeds over the Northern Hemisphere. So what? A slower jet increases the potential for blocking patterns; stalled storms more likely to spark flooding rains and temporarily "stuck" high pressure bubbles capable of sudden drought and heat.
If you're bailing water out of your basement there's a statistically significant chance it may be linked to these global trends. I've noticed an escalation of these blocking patterns since about 2010. Exhibit A: a 3 month polar vortex. I hope it's just my imagination.
The frontal battle zone that spawned "training thunderstorms" - a conga-line of storms bubbling up along the same boundary (much like the cars in a train pass over the same section of track) - shifts east later today, and we finally begin to dry out. We cool off a bit; more T-storms sprout next weekend. With luck the front won't stall and spark more flash floods.
That's the thing about climate change. It only hits home - when it hits home.
* more details on the study referenced above from Planet Earth Online.
We are wondering what is happening here, with the more intense storms lining up in a line like an arrow. You give such wonderful explanations, so would love to hear what goes on here! I never miss your Weather Blog.
Pat Jerde, an avid weather fan from Burnsville, MN
Thanks Pat - I appreciate you taking the time to write a very nice note. I was baffled by your question and don't pretend to have a definitive answer. Outflow boundaries, cool, rain and hail-cooled exhaust, miniature cool fronts, from T-storm downdrafts often spark additional storms nearby. But these storms mushroomed north/west of St. Cloud Sunday evening and persisted in place for several hours. One theory: the storms lined up very close to the heaviest rain axis late Saturday into early Sunday (6-8" amounts over western Stearns County). The sun came out for a time Sunday afternoon over central Minnesota, heating the ground, but the areas with heaviest rain (and standing water) would have cooled less. This, in turn, may have created the differential heating necessary to spark the low-level convergence necessary to support a quasi-stationary line of storms for a few hours. It's a WAG, but the best idea I was able to come up with.
Photo credit above: Joanna Dodder - The Daily Courier. "Will Bingman and Chris Stalzer from Juggernaut Defense show off FLASH field kits Thursday during a demonstration of the technology in Prescott."
File photo: United States Forest Service.
EPA To Seek 30% Cut in Carbon Emissions. The New York Times has a good overview of the announcement and new rules coming out of the White House and EPA today; here's a clip: "The Environmental Protection Agency will unveil a draft proposal on Monday to cut carbon pollution from the nation’s power plants 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, according to people briefed on the plan. The proposed rule amounts to the strongest action ever taken by the United States government to fight climate change. Coal-fired power plants are the largest source of the greenhouse gas emissions that scientists blame for trapping heat in the atmosphere and dangerously warming the planet. The rule could trigger a fundamental transformation of the nation’s energy systems – if it withstands an expected onslaught of legal and legislative attacks..."
Myths and Facts About EPA's Carbon Pollution Standards. Here's an excerpt from Media Matters: "The Environmental Protection Agency's forthcoming regulations on greenhouse gas emissions will provide legally required protection for the health and welfare of Americans at a cheap cost, while allowing states flexibility -- contrary to media fearmongering about the landmark standards."
- Are the EPA's regulations on carbon emissions legal?
- How will the regulations impacts jobs?
- How will the regulations impact electricity rates?
- Will they be forced onto states?
- Will the regulations be effective in curbing global warming?