Hot Here – Pretty Much Hot Everywhere

It’s a genuine summer sizzler out there across the USA. Meteorologists should be serving towels with their sauna-like outlooks. According to Climate Central, NASA and NOAA data shows 2020 as the second warmest year on record, to date. 2016 is still the warmest, worldwide, followed by 2020, 2019, 2017 and 2015.

A planetary warming trend is turning up the volume on summer heat indices (what it feels like), as well as floods in the east, fires in the west, and possibly hurricane intensities.

A ripple of low pressure whips up locally heavy rain today (best chance morning hours) and a few severe storms (best chance south/east of MSP later today). Today should be the wettest day of the week.

Yes, with my new TurboDoppler 3.0 I can schedule free waterings on weekdays and hot sunshine for the weekends!

If only.

A cool-ish Tuesday gives way to another warming trend later in the week. NOAA’s GFS predicts 99F in the metro Sunday. I don’t think that’ll happen, but do expect a boiling brouhaha of 90s and T-storms this weekend.

The Jungles of Minnesota.

Soggy (Comfortable) Tuesday Gives Way To Another Warming Trend. All models show temperatures increasing again the latter half of the weekend with a good chance of 90s by Saturday. Map sequence above: Praedictix and AerisWeather.

More Heat Spikes. Yes, the GFS is still out to lunch. I seriously doubt we’ll come anywhere close to 99F on Sunday. Part of me wonders if a lack of airplane data (thank you pandemic) is having more of an impact on GFS than ECMWF (top). That said, bothmodel show a return to low to mid 90s Saturday, which seems likely if we get any sunshine at all. MSP Meteograms: WeatherBell.

An Extended Heatwave. Most of the USA will suffer the rest of the month, the only exception over the far northern tier of the nation, including Minnesota and Wisconsin, were occasional blips of (slightly) cooler air will take the edge off the heat (and spark a few rounds of T-storms in the coming weeks).

How a “Heat Dome” Forms – And Why This One Is So Perilous. (paywall) has a good explainer; here’s an excerpt: “…At the same time, a high-pressure system keeps clouds from forming by inhibiting upward vertical motion in the atmosphere. Oddly enough, it’s this same phenomenon that produces extremely cold temperatures in the winter. “If you don’t have that upward vertical motion, you don’t get clouds or storms,” Swain says. “So when it’s already cold and dark, that means the temperatures can get really cold because of clear skies, as things radiate out at night. In the warm season, that lack of clouds and lack of upward motion in the atmosphere means it can get really hot because you have a lot of sunlight.”
That heat can accumulate over days or weeks, turning the heat dome into a kind of self-perpetuating atmospheric cap over the landscape.

NOAA Issues La Nina Watch, the Impetus for an Active Hurricane Season. Details via “The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a La Niña watch on Thursday, which means the agency believes La Niña could form this fall. La Niña can cause both more frequent and stronger hurricanes in the Atlantic. Its conditions are characterized by below-normal sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific. While sea surface temperatures remained near normal in the Central-Eastern Pacific, they fell below average in the Eastern Pacific last month, NOAA said...”

More Perspective from last Wednesday’s EF-4 tornado near Dalton, Minnesota.

EF-0 Tornado Hit Near Mankato Saturday Evening. The National Weather Service makes it official.

Survivors of Deadly Tornado Describe Power of Twister. INFORUM has a harrowing story – and that sure looks like EF-4 damage to me: “…The twister obliterated the shop and left large trucks and tractors strewn about like broken toys. Erickson doesn’t remember consciously diving for the undercarriage of the tractor, but he figured afterward that he must have reacted instinctively, as the tractor was a type he worked on during his training to become a mechanic. After blasting through the Hansen property, the tornado went on to punish nearby homesteads, including one owned by Gareth and Linda Klimek. Aware of tornado warnings, the couple took shelter in their basement shortly before the twister hit, according to their son, Loren, who on Thursday morning was looking over wreckage left behind by the tornado…”

Photo credit: “Loren Klimek points out were his parents, Gareth and Linda, took shelter as the tornado destroyed the family home near Dalton, Minn.”  David Samson / The Forum

At Least One Dead After Ottertail County Tornado. Here’s an excerpt from Grand Forks Herald: “…Roads were closed to the public throughout the area as homes and buildings were destroyed and trees were down, Schmidt said. “There’s insulation and tin all over the place,” he added. Nick Carletta, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks, said the tornado that was possibly as wide as 500 yards at some points was one of the worst in the area in several years. He said it could be on top of the scale for tornadoes, which would be an EF5. “From preliminary evidence, it could be from an EF3 to an EF5,” Carletta said. A NWS meteorologist was on the scene examining the damage...”

“I Literally Thought I Was Going to Die”. Man Recalls Terrifying Moment Tornado Hit Repair Shop, Killing Friend. WCCO-TV has the story.

Review of Damaging Tornado of July 8, 2020. Southern Ottertail County was hit very hard. Here’s an excerpt from the Grand Forks office of the National Weather Service: “A destructive tornado, resulting in one fatality and two injuries, occurred Wednesday evening over southern Otter Tail County, Minnesota. The NWS extends our condolences for this loss of life, and our hearts go out to the victim’s families and friends during this difficult time. A formal NWS survey team continues to assess the damage and ground truth information regarding tracks and strength of multiple possible tornadoes from Wednesday evening across far northern Grant County into south central Otter Tail County, southeast of Dalton, Minnesota. Initial assessments indicate that the strongest tornado was potentially greater than EF-3. A final rating, track, and additional information regarding other possible tornadoes is pending…”

Photo credit: National Weather Service.

He Was My Best Friend: Workshop Employee Killed in Tornado Near Dalton, Building Destroyed. FOX9 has more details and perspective on a tragic story.

Chance of Big San Adreas Quake Increased by Ridgecrest Temblors. Well that’s jolly good news. The Los Angeles Times reports: “A new study suggests that last year’s Ridgecrest earthquakes increased the chance of a large earthquake on California’s San Andreas fault. The study, published in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America on Monday, says there is now a 2.3% chance of an earthquake of magnitude 7.5 or greater in the next 12 months on a section of the 160-mile-long Garlock fault, which runs along the northern edge of the Mojave Desert. That increased likelihood, in turn, would cause there to be a 1.15% chance of a large earthquake on the San Andreas fault in the next year…”

Illustration credit: “One plausible scenario involves the Ridgecrest, Calif., quakes triggering a large temblor on the Garlock fault, which then triggers a seismic event on the San Andreas. The chances of such an event happening are small. Another plausible scenario, not mapped, involves a rupture of faults southeast of the Ridgecrest quakes.” (Jon Schleuss / Los Angeles Times)

Winds of Change? Company Looks at Weather’s Effect on Ball. This goes way beyond spin rates. Star Tribune reports: “…One of the biggest keys to Weather Applied Metrics’ modeling is computational fluid dynamics, which uses software to help analyze the flow of gas or liquids, or how flowing gas or liquids affects objects. Think of computational fluid dynamics as “having a wind tunnel on a computer,” said Jani Macari Pallis, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. Wind tunnels are “somewhat time consuming and you have to build lots of models,” Pallis said. “So now what we can do with computational fluids is we can make these models on a computer...”
Photo credit: Paul Douglas.

Minnesota: Least Stressed State in the Nation? I knew we were #1. Here’s an excerpt from Mental Floss: “…WalletHub analyzed 41 factors across four different types of stress—work, money, family, and health and safety—and scored each state’s collective stress level on a scale of 100. Nearly all 10 of the most-stressed states are in the South or Southwest, including Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama, and Oklahoma. Louisiana came in first with just over 57 points…If you’re looking to move somewhere mellow, your best bet is the upper Midwest. Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa are the four least-stressed states in the land...”

85 F. high in the Twin Cities on Monday.

84 F. average high on July 13.

87 F. high on July 13, 2019.

July 14, 2003: At least eleven tornadoes hit Minnesota. Baseball-sized hail is reported at Indus in Koochiching County.

July 14, 1936: The all-time record high is reported in the Twin Cities, with 108 degrees at the downtown Minneapolis office. 71 people would die in the Twin Cities on this day due to the extreme heat.

July 14, 1916: Heavy downpours at New Ulm dump over seven inches of rain in seven hours.

TUESDAY: Heavy rain, strong to severe storms possible. Winds: SE 10-20. High: 74

WEDNESDAY: More comfortable with sunny spells. Winds: SW 5-10. Wake-up: 62. High: 82

THURSDAY: Sunny and warmer. T-storms north. Winds: SW 10-15. Wake-up: 64. High: 85

FRIDAY: Murky sunshine, isolated T-storm. Winds: S 8-13. Wake-up: 67. High: 88

SATURDAY: Hot sun, few storms may be severe. Winds: SW 10-20. Wake-up: 70. High: 93

SUNDAY: Some steamy sun, late-day thunder? Winds: W 8-13. Wake-up: 73. High: near 90

MONDAY: Peeks of sun, windy and less humid. Winds: NW 15-30. Wake-up: 68. High: 85

Climate Stories…

Global Temperatures Near Hottest on Record. Climate Central has details: “Using combined NOAA and NASA data, we find that 2020 has been the planet’s 2nd-hottest year on record through June. Year-to-date temperatures are 1.36℃ (2.45℉) above a 1881-1910 baseline—approaching levels from the record-setting year of 2016. This year is 90% likely to finish among the top three. Warming will continue as long as we emit greenhouse gases. While emissions temporarily declined this spring during global shutdowns, they are quickly rising back to normal in much of the world...”

Assessing the Global Climate In 2020. NOAA NCEI has details: “The June 2020 global land and ocean surface temperature was 1.66°F (0.92°C) above the 20th-century average of 59.9°F (15.5°C), tying with 2015 as the third-highest June temperature in the 141-year record. Only the Junes of 2016 and 2019 were warmer.

  • June 2020 marked the 44th consecutive June and the 426th consecutive month with temperatures, at least nominally, above the 20th-century average.
  • Nine of the 10 warmest Junes have occurred since 2010; the seven warmest Junes have occurred in the last seven years (2014-2020)...”

Corporate TV News Needs to Break Its Cycle of Shallow Coverage of Extreme Weather. Media Matters for America has the post; here’s the intro: “Corporate TV news programs’ coverage of extreme weather events — climate-fueled wildfires, superstorms, record-breaking heat waves, and megadroughts — has become as predictable as the events themselves. With few exceptions, they are reported as isolated meteorological phenomena whose magnitude and human impact are mostly defined by statistics and the usual parade of disaster imagery. It’s a choice corporate TV news makes to report extreme weather events this way — and it’s a harmful one. This choice has resulted in national coverage of extreme weather that largely disconnects these events from the climate crisis; allows systemic failures and the racial and economic inequalities exposed by these events to go unchallenged; casts communities that are often hit year after year by climate disasters as helpless victims; and lets those who have failed to mitigate impacts and injustices go unaccountable...”

Illustration credit: Molly Butler / Media Matters.

Fighting Climate Change Requires a New Capitalism. Does it? Maintaining a healthy planet may be a smart way to ensure long-term shareholder appreciation. Here’s a clip from Forbes: “...If I’m living paycheck to paycheck, I’m not going to be a big fan of some pointy headed professor deciding to spend a great deal of money on solar panels. What are solar panels to me? Until people feel secure and believe they can take care of their families and they’re going to have a shot at a good job, it’s going to be tough to persuade people to really invest at the kind of scale we need to transition to a carbon free economy. So, just pragmatically, we need to address inequality if we’re going to make progress on climate change. Moreover, I believe—and I think many business people agree—that it’s fundamentally unfair that more and more people are finding it hard to participate in the modern economy, and that we’re leaving so much human potential and human growth on the table…”

How America’s Hottest City Will Survive Climate Change. Here’s the intro to a Washington Post story: “Phoenix’s fight against heat is a war with many fronts, said David Hondula, a sustainability scientist at Arizona State University and a leading researcher studying the intersection of heat and health. One is high up in the atmosphere, where accumulating greenhouse gases from human activities are causing global average temperatures to steadily rise. The average annual temperature in Maricopa County is 3.4 degrees higher than it was in 1895, according to a Washington Post analysis of records going back more than 100 years. That translates into summers that are hotter, longer and drier. Drastically reducing heat-trapping emissions on a planet-wide scale is essential to averting catastrophic heat waves and other dangers from global warming, scientists say...”

Renewable Natural Gas Isn’t a Green Climate Change Solution. EcoWatch explains why; here’s an excerpt: “…If RNG could be a renewable replacement for fossil natural gas, why not move ahead? Consumers have shown that they are willing to buy renewable electricity, so we might expect similar enthusiasm for RNG. The key issue is that methane isn’t just a fuel – it’s also a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Any methane that is manufactured intentionally, whether from biogenic or other sources, will contribute to climate change if it enters the atmosphere. And releases will happen, from newly built production systems and existing, leaky transportation and user infrastructure. For example, the moment you smell gas before the pilot light on a stove lights the ring? That’s methane leakage, and it contributes to climate change…”

Global Warming. Inequality. Covid-19. And Al Gore Is…Optimistic? (paywall) explains: “…It turns out that the trend lines Gore has spent a lifetime either warning people about (carbon!) or trying to goose upward (green energy! Access to health care!) are finally headed in the directions he was hoping for. The Covid-19 pandemic, he says, has accelerated the kinds of systemic changes he pushed for, first with legislation and then with investments. And while Gore declined to offer specific advice for how leaders in the public sector should be handling the pandemic, he seems supremely confident that pressure from the private sector will steer governments in the right direction. He also believes the world will be “pleasantly surprised” by sooner-than-expected, safe vaccines, and that the public will somehow overcome the misinformation atrocities on that thing called the internet...”