One of the Hotter Weekends of the Summer?

The Earth spins. The weather does its thing. We just get in the way. Years ago I told my youngest son, a Navy helicopter pilot, something I learned the hard way. “Don’t push the weather.”

You want to be around to greet your grandchildren someday? Know when to stay put and not fly, drive, walk or run into severe weather. Ice, snow, lightning, hail or high water? Nothing is worth risking life or limb. Just say no.

Yesterday’s meso convection system (swarm of strong thunderstorms lasting hours at a time) marked the leading edge of sweaty air. We should see 90F today, with low to mid 90s over the weekend, and an afternoon heat index above 100F. Another swarm of T-storms may cool us off by the dinner hour Sunday, but most of the weekend looks dry, and about as sweaty as Tampa at low tide.

A stalled frontal boundary ignites more spotty T-storms next week, but upper 70s and low 80s linger into the 4th of July weekend.

Minnesota has been relatively lucky with severe storms and flooding this year. May our streak continue. 


GFS forecast low/high temperatures above courtesy of NOAA and WeatherBell.


Saturday Afternoon Apparent Temperatures (GFS). Factor in dew points above 70F and it may feel like 100-102F in the metro area Saturday afternoon – cooler as you head north across Minnesota. GFS data: WeatherBell.


Sunday Afternoon Heat Index (GFS). As dew points increase into the mid-70s Sunday heat indices may top 105F in the Twin Cities metro; before a line of strong to potentially severe T-storms arrives.


Sunday Afternoon Heat Index (ECMWF). European data predicts that Sunday will be the day of the weekend with the higher heat indices; topping 100F in the metro area.





Prime Time Summertime. Any way you stack it, Saturday will be uncomfortable, unless you’re parked next to a lake or swimming pool. Maps above: Praedictix and AerisWeather.


Mid-July: Lake-Worthy, But Not Oppressive. If the GFS 2 week forecast for 500mb winds verifies (place your bets) the worst of the heat wave will stretch fromthe Midwest to the Gulf of Mexico; trickles of slightly cooler air from Canada keeping northern tier states a bit more comfortable.




Shelf Cloud. The leading edge of the MCS (meso convective system) that pushed across central and southern Minnesota was fairly dramatic. Winds gusted to 60 mph west of the metro area but there were no severe storm reports in the immediate Twin Cities metro area. Top photo credit: Susie Martin, Praedictix.


Heat Wave Tips. You probably know this already, but this may be a good time to review some hot weather tips, courtesy of ready.gov: “In most of the United States, extreme heat is defined as a long period (2 to 3 days) of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees. In extreme heat, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature. This can lead to death by overworking the human body. Remember that:

  • Extreme heat can occur quickly and without warning.
  • Older adults, children, and sick or overweight individuals are at greater risk from extreme heat.
  • Humidity increases the feeling of heat as measured by a heat index.

 IF YOU ARE UNDER AN EXTREME HEAT WARNING:

  • Find air conditioning.
  • Avoid strenuous activities.
  • Watch for heat illness.
  • Wear light clothing.
  • Check on family members and neighbors.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
  • Never leave people or pets in a closed car.

Germany’s Temperature Record Smashed as Europe’s Heat Wave Intensifies. CNN has an update: “Germany recorded its highest-ever June temperature on Wednesday, as much of continental Europe contends with a major heat wave. The German Weather Service said the mercury hit 38.6 degrees Celsius (101.5 Fahrenheit) at 2:50 p.m. local time in Coschen, on the country’s border with Poland. The previous record stood at 38.5 Celsius (101.3 Fahrenheit), which was measured in 1947 in Bühlertal, which lies close to France. The longevity of the previous record — 72 years — shows just how unusual and intense the current heat wave is in Europe. Any sign of quick relief is not on cards either...”


Close Encounter With a Tornado. Frightening video caught by Kathy Wood on YouTube: “This was the dock damage sustained in the June 23, 2019 tornado at Moors Resort and Marina on Kentucky Lake.”


Inside the Room Where They Control the Weather Satellites. I enjoyed a post at WIRED.com; here’s an excerpt: “…Two categories of weather satellites are flying around Earth today: geostationary orbiters and polar orbiters. The geostationary, or GEOs, orbit in the same direction as Earth’s rotation, making them appear motionless in the sky. They provide constantly updated information about a single area of the atmosphere, and provide the pretty pictures we associate with weather satellites. The polar, or low Earth orbiters, known as LEOs, fly low and fast. They circle the planet from north to south and south to north, overflying a different geography with each orbit and cutting a pattern around the globe like an orange peeled with a knife. They specialize in quantitative data, sucking up numerical readings of things like temperature and humidity, and feeding them, by the millions, to the supercomputer weather models. When it comes to meaningful impacts on forecasting, especially more than a couple of days in the future, they are the champs…”
Credit: “Adapted from The Weather Machine: A Journey Inside the Forecast, by Andrew Blum.”HarperLuxe


Meteorologists Discuss How to Warn the Public About Extreme Weather. Here’s a clip from Columbia Journalism Review: “...Conference attendees were passionate about communicating the risk of weather events to the public. Dr. Sweta Chakraborty, a risk and behavioral scientist who has discussed extreme weather and climate change in numerous media appearances, said the public is capable of grasping concepts like extreme weather events and climate change, but such concepts must be communicated in a thoughtful way. “Humans are capable of understanding information and acting in a way that’s beneficial to themselves and society writ large,” Chakraborty says. “People do make sensible decisions, but they require relevant, accurate, timely, [and] credible information.


Top 15 Metro Areas At Risk This Hurricane Season. Insurance Journal has an interesting post; here’s a clip: “…Though wind is generally thought of as the primary contributor of hurricane losses, this is not always the case. Throughout history, damage from storm surge and inland flooding has shown it can far exceed damage from wind. Superstorm Sandy, for instance, caused unprecedented levels of storm surge in New Jersey and New York. Storm surge occurs when a combination of factors related to water, atmospheric pressure, wind and bathymetry collide. Under certain conditions, the winds associated with a hurricane can push a large volume of seawater onto shore. High winds and low pressure created by a storm cause water to accumulate ahead of the hurricane. As it moves across the ocean, the strong winds inside the hurricane act like a plow, causing water to pile up along the front of the storm…”


How to Prep Your Home for a Hurricane. MoneyWise has a good, timely post – here’s an excerpt: “...It’s amazing how many procrastinators stampede grocery and hardware stores at the last minute. You can put together the basics of an emergency kit years in advance. Here’s what you might need:

  • One gallon of water per person for three days.
  • Three-day supply of nonperishable food.
  • Manual can opener.
  • First-aid kit.
  • Flashlights, candles, matches.
  • Battery-operated radio.
  • Extra batteries.
  • Plywood, hammer, nails, basic tools, plastic sheeting and other materials for quick home repairs.
  • Whistles.
  • Phone chargers.
  • Pet food and supplies.

Check the kit a couple of times a year for expiration dates, and replace food or batteries as needed. You may want to make a small withdrawal from your emergency fund, and keep some cash stored away with your kit. This is also a good time to create password-protected digital copies of important documents. Examples include IDs, birth certificates, passports, health insurance cards and Social Security cards…”


West Nile Virus Activity by State. Here’s an update from CDC: “WNV infections in mosquitoes, birds, sentinel animals, or veterinary animals have been reported to CDC ArboNET from the following states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming. West Nile virus infections in humans have been reported to CDC ArboNET from the following states: Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Nevada, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Wyoming.”


Lyme Disease Cases are Exploding, and It’s Only Going to Get Worse. Well lovely, thanks for the uplifting headline. But the trends are, in fact, alarming. Here’s an excerpt from a long, but excellent post at Elemental that will tell you more than you’ve ever wanted to know about ticks: “…According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of confirmed cases of Lyme disease in the U.S. has more than doubled in the two decades leading up to 2017 (the most recent year for which final figures are available) and increased 17% from 2016 to 2017 alone.More than half the counties in the U.S. are considered high-risk areas for Lyme, according to the CDC, and in some areas, as many as six out of 10 ticks carry the infection. “It’s been a relentless expansion since the 1980s,” says John Aucott, director of the Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “There may be down years and up years, but the trends are in place, and there’s no indication that they’re going to reverse…”
Photo credit: “Researchers at the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies, in upstate New York, comb the woods in search of ticks.” Photography by Kirsten Luce


Soon Satellites Will Be Able to Watch You Everywhere All the Time. Well that may cut down on my nude sunbathing routine. Here’s an excerpt from MIT Technology Review: “...Every year, commercially available satellite images are becoming sharper and taken more frequently. In 2008, there were 150 Earth observation satellites in orbit; by now there are 768. Satellite companies don’t offer 24-hour real-time surveillance, but if the hype is to be believed, they’re getting close. Privacy advocates warn that innovation in satellite imagery is outpacing the US government’s (to say nothing of the rest of the world’s) ability to regulate the technology. Unless we impose stricter limits now, they say, one day everyone from ad companies to suspicious spouses to terrorist organizations will have access to tools previously reserved for government spy agencies. Which would mean that at any given moment, anyone could be watching anyone else…”


Here’s Why Automakers Are So Eager to Extend Electric Car Tax Breaks. The Washington Post reports: “General Motors, Tesla and a fleet of other car manufacturers are going into overdrive to extend a tax break that has for a decade helped sustain the sale of cars that need little to no gasoline to run. But in that effort, there is a roadblock: Oil and natural gas companies, which supply the gas fueling the internal-combustion engines dominating American roadways and which oppose extending tax breaks for vehicles that don’t use their fuel. This has triggered an intense lobbying battle on Capitol Hill between two powerful and traditionally closely linked industries, Steven Mufson and I report. Oil and gas companies, said electric car proponent Rep. Daniel Kildee (D-Mich.), “prefer a world where every vehicle spews greenhouse gases, and this is not the world that I’m trying to encourage…”

File image credit: “Tesla electric automobiles sit charging.” (Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg)


Lightyear One Debuts As The First Long-Range, Solar-Powered Electric Car. A story at TechCrunch caught my eye: “Electric cars are better for the environment than fossil fuel-burning vehicles, but they still rely on the grid, which can be variously dirty or clean depending on what sources it uses for its energy. The new Lightyear One is a prototype vehicle that would improve that by collecting the power it needs to run from the sun. Lightyear, a startup from the Netherlands born as Stella, has come a long way since it won a Crunchie award in 2015, with a vehicle that now looks ready for the road. The Lightyear One prototype vehicle unveiled today has a sleek, driver-friendly design and also boasts a range of 450 miles on a single charge – definitely a first for a car powered by solar and intended for the actual consumer market…”


Robots Could Take 20 Million Manufacturing Jobs by 2030. New jobs (we can’t even imagine) will emerge, but will the workforce that’s disrupted by robotics have the skills necessary to thrive and transition to new opportunities. CNN reports: “Robots are getting better at doing human jobs. That’s probably good for the economy — but there are some serious downsides, too. Machines are expected to displace about 20 million manufacturing jobs across the world over the next decade, according to a report released Wednesday by Oxford Economics, a global forecasting and quantitative analysis firm. That means about 8.5% of the global manufacturing workforce could be displaced by robots. The report also notes that the move to robots tends to generate new jobs as fast as it automates them, however it could contribute to income inequality…”


Fast Walkers Live an Average of 20 Years Longer Than Slow Walkers, Research Finds. CBS Philadelphia has the story: “It can be relaxing to take a leisurely stroll, but the next time you go for a walk, you might want to pick up the pace. Everyone marches to the beat of their own drum but that tempo seems to be divided in two…Well, according to a new study out of the University of Leicester in England, brisk walkers have a long road ahead. After researching a pool of almost 500,000 people, the study found that fast walkers lived an average of 20 years longer than their slow-paced counterparts…”


Google Maps Detour Takes Nearly 100 Colorado Drivers into a Field. CNN explains the snaful: “Technology isn’t always foolproof, as about 100 Colorado drivers learned when Google Maps offered them a supposedly quick way out of a traffic jam. A crash on Peña Boulevard, a road leading to Denver International Airport, prompted the app to take drivers on a detour on Sunday. But it was too good to be true. The alternate route took drivers down a dirt road that rain had turned into a muddy mess, and cars started sliding around.  Some vehicles couldn’t make it through the mud, and about 100 others became trapped behind them…”

Photo credit: Connie Monsees.



FRIDAY: Hot, hazy sunshine. Winds: NE 3-8. High: near 90

SATURDAY: Hot sun, PM heat index of 100-105F. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 72. High: 94

SUNDAY: Steamy sun, PM storms may be severe. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 77. High: 92

MONDAY: Front stalls, T-storms linger. Winds: E 5-10. Wake-up: 69. High: 82

TUESDAY: Murky sun, stray T-shower. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 67. High: 84

WEDNESDAY: Still unsettled, few storms around. Winds: SW 5-10. Wake-up: 69. High: 85

4TH OF JULY: Sticky sunshine, late T-storm. Winds: SE 5-10. Wake-up: 70. High: 87


Climate Stories…

At Least They Talked About It? Climate Nexus has summaries and links: “Democratic candidates spent more time discussing climate change at the first 2020 debate on Wednesday than in all the 2016 debates combined–and still clocked in at less than 10 minutes spent on the issue. When asked what the greatest geopolitical threat to the United States is at the debate in Miami, four of the 10 candidates mentioned climate change, while a New York Times graph of time spent on each topic shows only half the debaters touched on climate at length during their time after being asked a climate question. Questions from moderators, which began an hour and a half into the debate, included whether or not climate plans will “save Miami” and how carbon pricing would play politically. “Spending only seven minutes on climate questions was absurd,” Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund’s Cassie Siegel said in a statement.” (Vox, HuffPost, NPR, The GuardianNew York Times $, E&E. Fact Check: AP)


In Greenland’s Melting Ice, a Warning on Hard Climate Choices. Yale E360 has the post; here’s a snippet: “…Yet we now know that the Greenland of today is different from the Greenland that Rink experienced. The ice sheet is melting more, and melting earlier in summer, and melting in ways that computer models suggest will ultimately threaten its long-term existence. A recent paper in Nature presented compelling evidence, gathered from cores extracted from the ice sheet, that demonstrated Greenland’s recent melt is “exceptional” over the past 350 years and that the ice sheet’s response to higher temperatures is now “nonlinear.” In the last two decades, melting rates of the ice are 33 percent higher than 20th century averages; the melting, moreover, is not only increasing but accelerating…”


U.N. Expert: Millions Face Dire Poverty from Climate Change. You think the refugee problem is bad now? Wait until millions can’t grow crops or have access to reliable water supplies. Here’s an excerpt from AP: “A United Nations expert on poverty says hundreds of millions of people around the world face hunger, displacement, disease and death because of climate change. In a report released Tuesday, the U.N.’s independent expert on extreme poverty and human rights said current measures to cope with global warming fall far short of what’s necessary. Philip Alston, an Australian jurist, predicted dire consequences even in a best-case scenario. Alston told the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva that the world economy needs a “fundamental shift” away from fossil fuels, which are blamed for much of the man-made greenhouse effect...”


Adrift in Ice. The Washington Post highlights a new scientific methadology for studying arctic ice: “…But even their machines seem disoriented by the whiteout conditions: The lasers bounce off whirling snowflakes before striking their targets. It’s yet another problem they must solve before the fall, when these scientists and several hundred others will launch the largest Arctic research expedition in history: a 12-month, $134 million, 17-nation effort to document climate change in the fastest-warming part of the globe. Home base will be a massive German icebreaker, though the ship will spend only a few weeks under its own power. After reaching a remote part of the Siberian Arctic, the crew will cut the engine and wait for water to freeze around the vessel, entrapping it. Then the ship — and everyone on it — will be adrift, at the mercy of the ice…”

Photo credit: Bonnie Jo Mount


4 Reasons Why Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture Matter to You. Dr. Marshall Shepherd explains at Forbes; here’s an excerpt: “…Rural communities are particularly vulnerable. According to the National Climate Assessment report,  444 counties in the U.S. were identified as farming dependent during the period of 2010 to 2012. Not surprisingly, 391 of them were rural counties. I want to offer some personal perspective here. Though parts of it resemble typical suburbia now, I grew up in Cherokee County, Georgia. As a child, I recall vast tracks of farms and pastures as you drove away from the county seat of Canton. One of reason I am so passionate about conveying threats associated with climate change is that I know vulnerable populations and rural communities will be disproportionately affected. I suspect such people do not think about trend lines, probability density functions, or climate models as I do. However, they are on the front lines of the “so what does climate change mean for me?” question…”

File photo credit: “Agriculture is vital to our lives.” Colorado Department of Agriculture website.


Weaning U.S. Power Sector Off Fossil Fuels Would Cost $4.7 Trillion: Study. Reuters has specifics: “Eliminating fossil fuels from the U.S. power sector, a key goal of the “Green New Deal” backed by many Democratic presidential candidates, would cost $4.7 trillion and pose massive economic and social challenges, according to a report released on Thursday by energy research firm Wood Mackenzie. That would amount to $35,000 per household, or nearly $2,000 a year for a 20-year plan, according to the study, which called the price tag for such a project “staggering.” The report is one of the first independent cost estimates for what has become a key issue in the 2020 presidential election, with most Democrats proposing multi-trillion-dollar plans to eliminate U.S. carbon emissions economy-wide...”

File photo: “A flare burns off excess gas from a gas plant in the Permian Basin oil production area near Wink, Texas U.S. August 22, 2018. Picture taken August 22, 2018.” REUTERS/Nick Oxford.


Heat Waves and Climate Change: Is There a Connection? Here’s an excerpt of an explainer at Yale Climate Connections: “…This animation shows that as the middle of the curve shifts just slightly to the warm side, a much larger chunk of the curve moves into extreme territory. In other words, extremely hot days occur more often. Extreme heat occurred very rarely 50 years ago in the United States. But as a result of climate change, the bell curve has already shifted by one standard deviation interval – a measure that tells you how spread out the values are – according to a 2016 paper by climate scientist James Hansen. As a result, extreme summer heat now occurs about 7% of the time. The U.S. still sets some record lows, but it’s been setting far more record highs. In fact, recent record highs have been outpacing record lows at a ratio of two to one...”

Graphic credit: Climate Central


Florida’s New Reporting Network: Climate Nexus has headlines and links: “Six of Florida’s leading news organizations will band together to report on climate change, outlets said Tuesday. The Miami Herald, the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the Tampa Bay Times, the Palm Beach Post, the Orlando Sentinel and WLRN Public Media are the founding members of the Florida Climate Reporting Network, which plans to expand to include other outlets in the state. The initiative was inspired by The Invading Sea, a collaboration between the opinion editors at the Miami Herald, The Palm Beach Post, the South Florida Sun Sentinel and WLRN that runs opinion pieces highlighting the impacts of sea level rise on South Florida. “It’s not a science story for us here in South Florida,” WLRN vice president Tom Hudson told Nieman Journalism Lab. “It’s not some kind of theoretical exploration. It’s real. It’s what many in our community experience in their neighborhoods. It’s just become daily news.” (Miami Herald, Nieman Journalism Lab, The Hill).

File image: NASA.


Exclusive: Investors With $34 Trillion Demand Urgent Climate Change Action. Reuters has details: “Investors managing more than $34 trillion in assets, nearly half the world’s invested capital, are demanding urgent action from governments on climate change, piling pressure on leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies meeting this week. In an open letter to the “governments of the world” seen by Reuters, groups representing 477 investors stressed “the urgency of decisive action” on climate change to achieve the Paris Agreement target. Almost 200 nations agreed in Paris in 2015 to limit the global average temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times. Current policies put the world on track for at least a 3C rise by the end of the century…”


Companies Can Deny Climate Change But They Can’t Shun Capital Markets. Or the courts. Here’s a clip from a story at Forbes: “The US SIF Foundation’s 2018 biennial Report on US Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends found that sustainable, responsible and impact investing assets now account for $12.0 trillion —or one in four dollars— of the $46.6 trillion in total assets under professional management in the United States. This represents a 38% increase over 2016.  Companies focused on the triple bottom line — environment, social and governance— are outperforming other broader indices while also upholding their missions and burnishing their brands. “Large institutional investors in particular have a fiduciary responsibility to their beneficiaries to ensure investments in companies that create long-term value,” says Danielle Fugere, president of As You Sow. Companies that have large climate emissions and insufficient demonstrated transition plans, are not likely to create such value...”


Warming Lakes. Climate Central takes a look at the trends: “Stream temperatures are rising at 65% of the continental U.S. gauges with sufficient data since 1990. While many factors influence stream temperatures, from water source and depth to agriculture and dams, rising air temperatures can play a key role. Warming streams impact fish by intensifying some algae blooms and helping viruses affect more species. Inland fish are also moving north, altering predator-prey interactions and changing the timing of migrations and spawning. Meanwhile, every Great Lake has warmed at least 1.5°F since 1995 (when data became available for all lakes), led by Lake Ontario at 2.2°F. In addition to the above impacts, warmer water has increased the size and feeding rates of the parasitic sea lamprey, which can latch onto and devastate large Great Lakes fish…”



“Climate Apartheid”: UN Report Predicts Rich Will Buy Their Way Out of Disaster. Details via Big Think: “Global warming could create a “climate apartheid,” where rich people pay to escape the worst effects of climate change while poor people are left to suffer, according to a new United Nations report. “Even if current targets are met, tens of millions will be impoverished, leading to widespread displacement and hunger,” wrote the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, in a report released today. Alston penned the report to make the UN Human Rights Council “face up to the fact that human rights might not survive the coming upheaval.” “Climate change threatens to undo the last 50 years of progress in development, global health, and poverty reduction,” Alston said…”