Tag: climate change

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...

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...

August 31

Soggy Remains of “Ida” Threaten Mid Atlantic with Severe Flooding – Climate’s Role in Rapid Hurricane Intensification

GFS 2-Week Jet Stream Forecast No Rush Into Autumn. I still suspect September will wind up milder than average with more 80s, possibly another shot at 90 degrees – and with any luck showers and storms will become a bit more frequent in the weeks to come. Inland Flooding Potential from “Ida”NOAA and Praedictix August 29, 2021 file image of Hurricane IdaNOAA and AerisWeather In the History of Hurricane Names, “I” Stands for Infamous. They come at the midpoint of the hurricane season when ocean water temperatures are warmest, capable of fueling the most intense hurricanes. A little interesting trivia...

August 24

Deadly Flooding Legacy of “Henri” – Southwest USA’s Most Important River is Drying Up

At the end of the rainbow is a billboard?Paul Douglas Putting a Few Dents In Our Drought Mother Nature is extra-loopy this summer. Now that it’s late August the pattern looks like something I’d expect to see in early June: waves of warm fronts lapping north, each one accompanied by an outbreak of mostly nocturnal thunderstorms. There is a very good chance red blobs will freckle the Doppler today, again Friday, again Saturday night, followed by clearing on Sunday. I’m cautiously optimistic many thirsty lawns and fields will pick up 1-2 inches of rain today, but your results may vary....

August 20

Drought Deepens and Expands – Will Henri Strike New England for First Time in 30 Years?

US Drought Monitor Bringing Back Dusty Memories of 1988 Drought My 91 year old father (Volker) just flew in to meet his new great grandson (Jordan). He was immediately struck by the stress that trees, lawns and crops are experiencing from drought increasingly reminiscent of 1988. My father lives near Philadelphia, where they have been dodging floods and Kansas-size tornadoes. “With rainfall now it’s all or nothing” he observed. That is not far off the mark. The latest US Drought Monitor* shows severe to extreme drought in the metro, with a swath of exceptional drought over the Red River Valley....

August 17

Water Shortages Grow Across Southwestern USA – Top States for Wildfires – Natural Disasters Are…Political?

Precipitation Rank Since April 1 (1=driest on record)Minnesota DNR It’s Probably Best To Make No Assumptions The best assumption is to make no assumptions. This summer is proving to be an inflection point, a teachable moment on how climate flavors the weather.With water restrictions on the Colorado River many can’t assume water will come out when we turn the spigot. With conga lines of wildfires marching across the west throwing off massive smoke plumes we can’t assume skies will be blue and air will always be healthy to breathe. People take pictures of Lake Mead near Hoover Dam on Aug....

August 17

Origin of “Dog Days” – Smoky US Summers On Increase Since 2016

Welcome to the Dog Days of Summer We get a whiff of Dog Days this week as daytime highs flirt with 90 degrees through Friday. Dog Days have nothing to do with an urge to pant or beg for treats, and everything to do with Sirius, the dog star – brightest in the nighttime sky. Ancient Greeks thought the star added to the heat of the sun, resulting in unbearable August heat. Of course it doesn’t quite work like that. Hazy, smoky sunshine lingers much of this week with thicker smoke the farther north and west you travel away from...

August 11

Tracking “Fred” – Racial Realities of Urban Heat Island – Key Takeaways of Latest UN IPCC Climate Report

Scientists React To Latest IPCC Report Every IPCC climate report becomes a little more dire with time as scientists draw a straight line from a doubling of planet-warming greenhouse gases since 1850 to an increase in weather extremes. During a WCCO Radio interview Tuesday, St. Thomas climate scientist John Abraham reacted to the report. “It’s unequivocal, humans are causing the warming. We are now seeing the impact on our weather. It is too late to avoid climate change, but what we’re trying to do now is avoid the worst of climate change” he said. The uptick in weather disasters is...

August 5

Nuisance Flooding Set to Increase – Tiny Satellites May Revolutionize Hurricane Forecasting – A Summer of Pyrocumulonimbus

File: July 15, 2021NASA Earth Observatory A Summer of Fire-Breathing Smoke Storms. NASA’s Earth Observatory explains the difference between cumulonimbus and pyrocumulonimbus: “In 2000, atmospheric scientists from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) first reported that smoke plumes from intense wildfires could spawn towering thunderstorms that channeled smoke as high or higher than the cruising altitude of jets. These pyrocumulonimbus, or pyroCb, events wowed scientists at the time. Prior to that discovery, only explosive volcanic eruptions and extreme thunderstorms were thought to be capable of lofting material so high. Though the workings of these smoke-infused storm clouds have come into...