Tag: climate change

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...

Floods in Germany, 2002
August 5

Uptick in Flooding is Extreme, Global, and Linked to Continued Warming

Image credit: United Nations Climate Change Twitter Feed. All weather, like politics, is local. Increasingly, climate change hits home when it…hits home. Muddy, waist-deep water in your living room has a way of focusing one’s attention. The symptoms of a warmer, wetter world are hitting home with greater frequency and ferocity, becoming more apparent over time – harder to dismiss and deny. On July 29, 2021, the Chinese city of Zhengzhou (population 12 million) received a staggering 8” of rain in one hour. 24” of rain fell in one day – a year’s worth of rainfall.   Historic flooding in...

August 3

It’s Early To Be Tracking Smoke – Will “Drone Boats” Improve Hurricane Forecast Accuracy?

Paul Douglas Smoke, Heat & Drought? Welcome to Fresno! A friend living in Los Angeles told me that Californians don’t trust air they can’t see. I get it now. Remind me to never take a baby blue sky for granted again. Sadly, what happens in Ontario and Manitoba doesn’t stay in central Canada. Unusually dry weather is fanning an outbreak of blazes – drenching thunderstorms have been few and far between upwind, and that’s manifesting itself in a smoggy, smoky sky more typical of Beijing or New Delhi during the winter months. India with Lakes (and much better Scandinavian food)....

August 2

New Residents Flood Into Drought-Stricken States – Water Levels in Salt Lake Hit Record Low – How Much Heat Can Humans Endure?

This Summer 80s Are “The New Cool Front” I’m happiest when Mother Nature isn’t trying to murder me. To be alive is to live with risk. We have no active volcanoes nearby, no earthquake faults or rising seas to worry about. The biggest temperature swings are found near the center of continents, well away from the moderating influence of ocean water. Large extremes can lead to powerful storms and fronts capable of hail, high winds and (rare) tornadoes. Drought this summer has reduced the severe storm count, but yesterday’s sauna-like airmass whipped up gangs of supercell storms along thunderstorms. Exhibit...

July 26

Summer of Wild Weather Extremes – 25″ Rain in 24 Hours in China – “Pyrocumulus” Clouds Spell Trouble

US Drought Monitor Slight Severe Threat Today – 90s Return I have tried to connect the dots between a warming climate and increasingly extreme weather events for nearly 25 years. This summer has been a sobering Exhibit A. Drought in Minnesota and 40 percent of the USA at last count. LA-size fires in Oregon and wildfire smoke stretching coast to coast. 121F in Lytton, British Columbia, leveled by fire less than 2 days later. But nothing could prepare me for Zhengzhou, China, where 8 inches of rain fell in one HOUR, 24 inches (a year’s worth of rain) in 2...

July 22

Excessive Heat Northern Tier USA Into Early August – Wet Bulb Warning – Extreme Flooding Rocks Nigeria and China

Twin Cities National Weather Service Another Surge Of Heat Is Imminent It turns out 1-6 month climate models may do a better job predicting heat and drought than floods. Back in March and April I mentioned that a consensus of NOAA’s climate models were predicting a hotter, drier summer – a forecast that has most definitely verified. Floods are harder, with a much shorter lead time, as storms or fronts stall. We may never be able to offer up more than 1-3 days of warning for extreme floods like the ones that struck western Europe, Lagos, Nigeria and Zhengzhou, China...

July 21

Heat Builds Again Across USA – Importance of Wet Bulb Temperature – Las Vegas is America’s Driest City

All sharing options NOAA US Drought Monitor Drought Deepens in Minnesota – Watering Bans More Likely. Star Tribune reports; here’s an excerpt: “…With about half of Minnesota now in the grip of severe drought — and 4% in extreme drought — the state has officially shifted into the “drought warning phase,” the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced Friday. The deepening drought is turning the summer into a sobering lesson in resource conservation. “This is time to remind ourselves about how valuable water is,” said Randall Doneen, the DNR’s manager of conservation assistance and regulations. “It really doesn’t look...