Mini Heat Wave Arrives This Weekend

I hope I remember how to sweat. I’m sure it’ll come back to me. Only in Minnesota is it possible to be shivering and perspiring, simultaneously.
The hottest front of the summer so far is brewing. You’ll start to feel the heat and humidity by Friday, with a streak of 90s from Saturday into at least Tuesday of next week. A droopy jet stream finally lifts into Canada, allowing inflamed air to ooze into Minnesota. Dew points may push into the 70s, creating a heat index near 100F by Monday.
When there’s this much water in the air your body can’t cool itself naturally by evaporating sweat – it’s easier to overheat.
The elderly, chronically ill & newborns are most susceptible to the heat. By the weekend there will be no doubt in your mind that summer has arrived.
This hot front may spark a few T-storms tonight, especially southern Minnesota. Random storms may fire Sunday into Tuesday, but most of the weekend should be dry and (very) lake and pool-worthy.
Oh how long I’ve waited to say that out loud.

Tropical. NOAA’s GFS model predicts a heat index in the 105-110F range Sunday afternoon. I expect Excessive Heat Watches, possibly warnings, to be issued by the Twin Cities office of the National Weather Service for parts of central and southern Minnesota this weekend. Map: WeatherBell.

Scattered T-storms. The approach of the hottest airmass of the summer season, to date, will fire off a few T-storms from late Wednesday into Thursday – amounts forecast to be under a quarter inch for most spots. Map: Praedictix and AerisWeather.

Peak Summer. Slightly cooler Canadian air may take the edge off the hottest weather for Minnesota, the Great Lakes and New England by the second week of July, but sizzling heat lingers for the rest of the USA.

Major Heat Wave Roasts Europe. Details via The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang: “An intense heat wave is set to bake Europe in coming days, and it could be historic, potentially shattering records across a large portion of the continent. The heat wave is expected to peak between Wednesday and Friday, when a swath from Spain to Poland is expected to see temperatures at least 20 to 30 degrees (11 to 17 degrees Celsius) above normal. Actual temperatures should surge to at least 95 to 105 degrees (35 to 40 degrees Celsius) over a sprawling area. Some locations could be even hotter, especially within cities where a “heat island” effect from asphalt and concrete increases temperatures. Mika Rantanen, a meteorologist in Finland, described computer model forecasts for the intensity of the heat “totally unheard of for June” in France…”

Map credit: “Temperatures are likely to be 20 to 30 degrees or more above normal in the heat this week.” (

Heat Waves Precipitate More Crime in Poor Areas, Study in L.A. Finds. The Wall Street Journal (paywall) has the story; here’s a clip: “…John MacDonald, professor of criminology and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, has studied the relationship between heat and crime and offered some theories as to why crime levels can increase with temperature. Crime can occur when potential victims run into motivated offenders. Rising temperatures can put more victims in the crosshairs of offenders. “When heat waves happen, there’s more people out and about in the street. Often, people are agitated,” Mr. MacDonald said. “There is some evidence also that it’s more likely that people will be drinking beers or other kinds of alcohol to stay hydrated, stave off the heat. That kind of change in human activity would lead to more potential victims interacting with individuals who are either inclined to violence or prompted to it...”

Summer Means a Parade of Long, Sunny Days, and It’s Actually the Worst. Obviously not written by a Minnesotan; here’s the intro to a Washington Post Op-Ed: “The annual summer solstice — when the northern pole on our ever-twirling planet achieves its maximum tilt toward the mighty sun — marks the arrival of the year’s longest day and the year’s shortest night. It’s an enchanted moment, surrounded by many other nearly-as-long days and nearly-as-short nights, a miraculous excess of bright sunlit hours that conspire to push darkness into retreat. And to celebrate this bounty? The birds warble at 5 a.m., your neighbor mows his lawn at 9 p.m., and your kids beg to stay up way too late. Rude brightness wakes you up at a God-awful hour and, later, tricks you into remaining at your office well past the point when you should be asking to see the menu…”

New Satellite System Aims to Improve Hurricane Forecasting. explains: “COSMIC 2 (Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate) is a system of six satellites that’s part of a joint program between NOAA, the U.S. Air Force, and Taiwan. “It’s going to take valuable measurements in the tropics and sub tropics of the earth in the region where hurricanes and tropical storms form,” said Elsayed Talaat, director of the Office of Projects, Planning, and Analysis at NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service. As the system orbits the earth over the tropics, it’ll collect data that will “help meteorologists better observe, research, and forecast hurricanes, typhoons, and other potentially deadly, destructive storms…”

File image: “This Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018 file satellite image provided by NOAA shows Hurricane Michael, center, in the Gulf of Mexico. Weather forecasters have posthumously upgraded last fall’s Hurricane Michael from a Category 4 storm to a Category 5. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the storm’s upgraded status Friday, making Michael only the fourth storm on record to have hit the U.S. as a Category 5 hurricane.” (NOAA via AP).

Lightning Data. This is one of my favorite (free) sources, courtesy of There is a delay of 3-7 seconds, but it’s pretty close to real-time, and you can see the general track of the thunderstorms (the most recent cloud to ground strikes are white and yellow, btw). Bookmark-worthy.

Deal to Close Minnesota Coal Plants Includes “Historic” Efficiency Push. Energy News Network has perspective; here’s an excerpt: “As Xcel Energy prepares a filing to close its last coal units in Minnesota, a lesser-known provision of the settlement announced last month commits the utility to energy savings equivalent to another power plant. The agreement with clean energy organizations and a labor union signed in early May requires Xcel to close the last two coal plants it operates in Minnesota, the Allen S. King facility in Stillwater and Sherburne County Generating Station (Sherco) Unit 3. In addition, the utility committed to building 3,000 megawatts of solar energy. Fresh Energy, which publishes the Energy News Network, is one of the parties to the agreement...”

File image: Xcel Energy.

At Work, Expertise is Falling Out of Favor. Companies are looking for generalists, good problem solvers who can learn and implement the new-new thing? Here’s a quote from an interesting post at The Atlantic: “…If you ask Laszlo Bock, Google’s former culture chief and now the head of the HR start-up Humu, what he looks for in a new hire, he’ll tell you “mental agility.” “What companies are looking for,” says Mary Jo King, the president of the National Résumé Writers’ Association, “is someone who can be all, do all, and pivot on a dime to solve any problem.” The phenomenon is sped by automation, which usurps routine tasks, leaving employees to handle the nonroutine and unanticipated—and the continued advance of which throws the skills employers value into flux. It would be supremely ironic if the advance of the knowledge economy had the effect of devaluing knowledge. But that’s what I heard, recurrently, while reporting this story. “The half-life of skills is getting shorter,” I was told by IBM’s Joanna Daly...”

An Open Letter to the 2020 Presidential Candidates: It’s Time to Tax Us More. Say what? Check out the post at Medium from a group of billionaires: “TO: 2020 Presidential Candidates. We are writing to call on all candidates for President, whether they are Republicans or Democrats, to support a moderate wealth tax on the fortunes of the richest 1/10 of the richest 1% of Americans — on us. The next dollar of new tax revenue should come from the most financially fortunate, not from middle-income and lower-income Americans. America has a moral, ethical and economic responsibility to tax our wealth more. A wealth tax could help address the climate crisis, improve the economy, improve health outcomes, fairly create opportunity, and strengthen our democratic freedoms. Instituting a wealth tax is in the interest of our republic…”

How Many Bridesmaids Is Enough? CNN reports: “A bride from New Orleans went all out for her beach wedding — enlisting 34 of her closest friends and family to join her as bridesmaids on her big day. Casme Carter tied the knot June 2 in Destin, Florida, with her six sisters and 28 friends by her side. She says that she planned on having 50 ladies but some couldn’t make it because of family reasons and an Army deployment…But why — and how — so many? Carter says she has a lot of friends from mentoring and participating in women’s empowerment groups. “I wanted them all to experience the love that they’ve seen that I’ve been praying for and wanting. I wanted them to witness it first hand,” Carter says…”

82 F. high yesterday in the Twin Cities.

82 F. average high on June 25.

83 F. high on June 25, 2018.

June 26, 1982: Cold air moves into northern Minnesota. Kulger Township dips to 31 degrees. Duluth registers 36.

WEDNESDAY: Warm sun, late T-storm possible. Winds: SW 5-10. High: 86

THURSDAY: Some sun, stray T-storm possible. Winds: S 5-10. Wake-up: 68. High: 86

FRIDAY: Sunny, hot and sticky. Winds: SE 8-13. Wake-up: 70. High: 89

SATURDAY: Sweaty sunshine, feels like 100F? Winds: S 8-13. Wake-up: 72. High: 92

SUNDAY: Muggy and tropical. T-storm potential. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 73. High: 92

MONDAY: Few T-storms. Still hot and sultry. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 75. High: 94

TUESDAY: Ditto. Stuffy with a few T-storms. Winds: SW 10-20. Wake-up: 76. High: 93

Climate Stories…

“Freedom from Fossil Fuels”. Check out Washington State Governor (and presidential candidate) Jay Inslee’s plan; here’s an excerpt: “…Cutting climate pollution in half by 2030 and achieving net-zero pollution by mid-century is a crucial necessity to avoid crippling the U.S. economy and the planet with vast and irreparable harm. These goals are ambitious, but they are achievable — and based on successes in Washington state and other communities all across America. However, these climate pollution-reduction goals simply cannot be achieved unless America as a nation is prepared to take on the greatest and most powerful special interests that are holding back our clean energy future: fossil fuel corporations. In order to build a more prosperous, just and inclusive clean energy future, our nation must confront the economic and environmental harm caused by corporate polluters...”

Inslee Sets Fossil Fuel Industry in Crosshairs: Links and headlines via Climate Nexus: “Presidential candidate Jay Inslee unveiled a new proposal Monday designed to completely wean the United States off fossil fuels. The Freedom from Fossil Fuels plan introduces 16 new initiatives to phase out oil, gas and coal in the United States, including banning new drilling on public lands as well as mountaintop coal mining and fracking; applying a “climate test” to all new infrastructure; ending oil exports; and introducing a carbon tax. The proposal also claims that an Inslee administration would “not hesitate to prosecute [polluters] to the fullest extent of the law.” (Miami Herald, Vox, Politico, The Intercept, AxiosCNNThe HillUPI, ReutersGizmodo)

File image:

How to Design a Green New Deal That Really Works, For Every Industry in the U.S. Fast Company has a worthy read – here’s a nugget: “…The Green New Deal has captured national attention for its confrontation of major and interconnected issues, and its broad scope symbolizes the enormous challenge of tackling them both. Focusing on its application to specific industries can begin to ground the symbolism in some detail. Every industry, as Markey says, will need to adapt and change to effectively address the dual issues of climate change and economic inequity. These conversations are already happening at private companies, in governments, and around nonprofit and advocacy organizations. This week, we’ll be looking at eight sectors of the U.S. economy and considering what changes might be on the horizon for them as they work to address these challenges. Read the whole series here...”

Trump Administration Prioritizes Coal Companies and Miners. Here’s the intro to an Op-Ed at The Chicago Tribune: “For a long time, the threat of climate change caused by carbon dioxide emissions was distant and abstract. But the evidence suggests it’s now an immediate reality. Globally, the last five years have been the hottest five on record. Melting ice sheets, rising sea levels, severe droughts and hurricanes — all provide a picture of what a warmer planet will bring, if it hasn’t already. A recent poll found that nearly half of Americans think they are being hurt by climate change “right now.” So you might think a federal body called the Environmental Protection Agency would be doing all it could, within reason, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the harm of the carbon dioxide already pumped into the atmosphere. But President Donald Trump’s administration has chosen a different approach that places the immediate interests of coal companies and miners ahead of everything else...”

The Conservative Case for a Carbon Tax. Here’s an excerpt of an Op-Ed at Bloomberg that caught my eye: “…There is also a concern in some parts of the country that a carbon tax would be the death knell to a coal industry already in decline due to larger economic forces. Pairing a carbon tax with relief for coal miners would at least provide some recompense for job losses that are all but inevitable. There are obvious reasons why Republicans have been hesitant to embrace carbon taxes. But American politics are shifting rapidly. Failure to articulate a climate change policy has hurt Republicans with younger voters. If economic conservatives want to stay relevant, they need to provide market-based solutions to one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century.”

Climate Change is a “Health Emergency”, 74 Medical Groups Say. USA TODAY has details: “As Democratic presidential hopefuls prepare for their first 2020 primary debate this week, 74 medical and public-health groups aligned on Monday to push for a series of consensus commitments to combat climate change, bluntly defined by the organizations as “a health emergency.” The new climate change agenda released by the groups, including the American Medical Association and the American Heart Association, comes amid early jostling among Democratic candidates over whose environmental platform is more progressive. The health organizations’ policy recommendations, while a stark departure from President Donald Trump’s approach, represent a back-to-basics approach for an internal Democratic climate debate that has so far revolved around the liberal precepts of the Green New Deal…”

Agriculture Department Buries Studies Showing Dangers of Climate Change. Here’s an excerpt from POLITICO: “The Trump administration has refused to publicize dozens of government-funded studies that carry warnings about the effects of climate change, defying a longstanding practice of touting such findings by the Agriculture Department’s acclaimed in-house scientists. The studies range from a groundbreaking discovery that rice loses vitamins in a carbon-rich environment — a potentially serious health concern for the 600 million people world-wide whose diet consists mostly of rice — to a finding that climate change could exacerbate allergy seasons to a warning to farmers about the reduction in quality of grasses important for raising cattle…”

Photo credit: “President Donald Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue have both expressed skepticism about climate change and appear to have suppressed research efforts on the topic.” | Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

Florida Could Face $76 Billion in Climate Change Costs by 2040, Report Says. Build a wall! Around Florida. We’re talking seawall here. Here’s the intro to a story at Tampa Bay Times: “Climate change is going to cost Florida more than any other state. It’s not even close. That’s according to a new report from Resilient Analytics and the Center for Climate Integrity, which projects that the state could be on the hook for building $76 billion worth of sea walls by 2040 to mitigate the effects of climate change — and that’s based on a conservative sea level rise scenario. To put that in perspective, Florida’s entire 2018 budget was about $88.7 billion. “As a nation and as a global community, due to climate change, we are set to undertake the most dramatic economic and social transformation in human history,” said Center for Climate Integrity executive director Richard Wiles. “And yet no one has bothered to even estimate what the core components of climate adaptation will actually cost…”

Photo credit: “Michael Harper walks along the sea wall at Spa Beach early one morning in August 2012 as waves from Tropical Storm Isaac reached shore.” [Times 2012]

Climate Change: The Problem Texas Business Leaders Are Afraid to Name. The Houston Chronicle reports: “…Climate change denial, though, is no longer an option now that people are suffering the consequences. Polls show that Texans no longer question global warming. They expect action. The top brass at international oil companies, including Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell, have publicly promised to reduce emissions, calling for a carbon tax that would encourage the private sector to develop market-efficient solutions. Harvey said many of these companies have been working on climate change mitigation technologies for years; they just don’t talk about them. Probably for fear they might have to mention the global crisis they spent even more years ignoring...”

Photo credit: “WA Parish plant infrastructure at Fort Bend County. NGR Energy and JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corporation have built the Petra Nova Carbon Capture Project. The project is a commercial-scale carbon capture system that captures carbon dioxide in the processed flue gas from an existing unit at the WA Parish power plant.” Photo: Marie D. De Jesus, Staff / Houston Chronicle.

Chennai, An Indian City of Nearly 5 Million, Is Running Out of Water. The New York Times has details: “The water is almost gone. Satellite photographs reveal the stark shrinking of one of the main rain-fed reservoirs that serves Chennai, one of the biggest cities in India. In one image, taken by satellite on June 15 last year, the city’s largest reservoir, Lake Puzhal, resembles a dark blue ink-stain amid a densely crowded cityscape. In another, taken on Sunday, exactly a year later, the lake is a small grey fraction of its former self…”