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Trees by Paul Douglas
September 22

30% of USA Impacted by Extreme Heat – Timeline of Most Disruptive Weather – Odds Favor Milder Than Average Autumn for Much of Nation

File image near Pequot LakesPete Schenck So Why Do We Call This Season “Fall”? Today at 2:21 pm the sun’s direct rays will fall on the equator, marking the official start of autumn. Which is all fine and well, but if you look at the 90 warmest days of the year, on average, “Meteorological Fall” really started back on September 1. The term “fall” may be a contraction of Middle English expressions like “fall of the leaf” or “fall of the year”. And if anyone asks, sex drives apparently peak in the fall. More people go from “single” to “in...

Exxon station damaged by Hurricane Ida by John Taggart for The New York Times
September 21

Consensus of Climate Models Predicts Mild Bias Into December

  A Handful of Cooler Fronts In Sight – Mild Bias into December? The only predictable thing is change. our weather patterns are changing, with longer growing seasons and fickle winters with brief, concentrated polar blasts. Wets are wetter and dries are trending drier. I am cautiously optimistic the pattern that brought us a hot and dusty summer is finally easing. But pulling out of the drought will take months, not weeks or days. Think dimmer switch, not on-off. NOAA’s climate models show a mild bias lingering into December, and I have every reason to believe Minnesotans will enjoy a...

Dixie Fire damage - Noah Berger, AP
September 9

NOAA Climate Models Predict Milder Autumn – Tracking Fall Warming Trends Over the Years

Septembers Tend To Be Quiet in Minnesota Ah, September. The biggest weather-related questions are: 1). When will we check out a kaleidoscope of dazzling fall color? and 2). Shorts or jackets? June brides should consider the month of September, when Mother Nature is (usually) on her best behavior. This summer we all got a front row seat to the New Normal: wilting drought, fire and smoke from Minnesota westward to the Pacific. Tornadoes in unlikely places (New Jersey) and epic floods from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast. I’m hoping we all get a nice, long break before frozen...

Earth from Space via NASA ISS
September 8

Europe Experiences Warmest Summer on Record – How Climate Warming Super-Sized “Ida” – 1 in 3 Americans Experienced a Climate Disaster This Summer

Paul Douglas In Praise Of Our Favorite Teachers We are the sum of the people we’ve met and the experiences we have had. I owe my meteorology career to weather merit badge in the Boy Scouts, a tropical storm that flooded the home I grew up in, and a series of remarkable teachers. I remember their names, faces and continuous encouragement. Mr. Batzer and Mr. Danner were science teachers who turned the weather unit into an event. Mrs. Eisenhart was an advanced placement English teacher who admonished me to use “action words”. As we start the new school year a...

September 6

Category 3 “Larry” Brushes Bermuda – Most Climate-Safe US State?

Paul Douglas Minnesota May Benefit From Slow Warming A recent study suggests that Vermont is the most “climate-safe” state in the US. That may be so, but I suspect Minnesota will get its fair share of climate refugees in years to come. How so? Californians worried about wildfires and months of choking smoke. Arizonans concerned about hotter hots and water shortages. Residents of the Gulf Coast unable or unwilling to put up with a parade of increasingly intense and wet hurricanes. Minnesotans will still wrestle with snow, ice and polar pops, but in the Pantheon of Weather Extremes slapping on...

dry field with irrigation system
September 3

Water Stress Increases Need for Reliable Weather Data to Power US Agriculture

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water”, wrote Loren Eiseley. As a meteorologist, that quote has stuck with me over the years. But a warmer, more volatile climate is putting Earth’s hydrological cycle on fast-forward. The wets are trending wetter, the dries are drier. We are faced with too much water – or not nearly enough. The western US is enduring a 1200-year “Megadrought”, made worse by climate change. Cities are running out of water; fires and thick palls of smoke have become a daily fixture on local weather maps; all while a 7-8% increase...

High Water sign in flooded street, courtesy of NOAA
September 3

Ida’s Legacy: Historic Flood and Kansas-Size Tornadoes Paralyze Northeastern US

MN Drought Eases Slightly From Last WeekUS Drought Monitor Weather Extremes Trending More Extreme I’ve been tracking weather systems for 45 years, but nothing has prepared me for 2021’s dueling weather disasters. Our weather models have consistently underestimated the intensity of drought, fires and eastern floods. Why? Climate-warming greenhouse gases have doubled since preindustrial times, and these man-made gases are flavoring all weather now. Are too many people living in vulnerable areas? Yes. But Wednesday’s 1-in-500 year flooding from Philly to New York City and Texas-size tornadoes in New Jersey are more symptoms of our new reality. Flashes of Lukewarm....

Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier - Jeremy Harbeck, NASA
September 2

Top-10 Hottest Summers – Weather Disasters 4-5X More Common Than 1970s – 200 Year Flood and Kansas-Sized Tornadoes Reported from Philadelphia to New York City Suburbs

Climate Central 2021 Summer Heat Records. Climate Central has a good overview of a very hot summer for much of the USA: “Summer 2021 was definitely a “Summer of the Extremes” as floods, fires, drought, intense heat, and powerful storms ripped across the U.S. and the globe. Record or near-record heat baked the U.S. this summer, especially the Pacific Northwest. Climate Central conducted its own analysis on local heat records and found that 38% (538) of 1396 locations had one of their 10 hottest summers this year. Heat wasn’t the only extreme weather event this summer. Across the nation, many...