Tag: drought

Flooded community from the air. Image via US Coast Guard
October 20

Infrastructure Risk From Severe Flooding – Naming Heat Waves – Implications of La Nina?

Lake Minnetonka at SunsetPaul Douglas Cool-ish. The maps still don’t look like late October for much of the USA. Prevailing winds are whisking the coldest air well north of the USA; we are just experiencing glancing blows of chilly air east of the Rockies, a pattern which may remain largely intact through the end of October. October Rainfall To DatePraedictix October Rainfall Departures. Rainfall this month is running above average for parts of central and northwestern Minnesota into the Red River Valley and Dakotas – while a deficit lingers for much of southern and eastern Minnesota and much of Wisconsin....

October 7

Fall On Hold For Much of USA – Disaster Fatigue – Calculating Your Home’s Flood Risk

Weather BlissPaul Douglas Weather Models Are Only A First Guess My father still thinks I forecast weather by looking out a west-facing window. I have nothing against using an “Amish Doppler” to gauge the current state of the clouds and sky. To be able to predict the future one needs to first grasp the present. Meteorologists have dozens of weather models to choose from. Which one works best in a pattern like this? What are the trends in models (wetter, drier, warmer, etc?). George Box said “all models are wrong, but some are useful”. They are merely a guide, not...

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...

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...

August 26

Flood Potential in the Middle of a Drought – USA’s Water Haves and Have-Nots?

Twin Cities National Weather Service A Risk of Flash Floods During a Drought ”Papa, tell me the story about the year we had floods during a drought?” Well Jordan, the year was 2021, and it was bone-dry. Parts of Minnesota were on fire. Farmer were worried, even the trees were stressed and losing their leaves early. And yes, we went from drought to flood in the meteorological blink of an eye. Strange? You bet. But I’ve seen rainbows after a tornado, rain the middle of a blizzard. Nothing surprises me much anymore. Excessive Rainfall/Flooding PotentialNOAA Nothing to See Here –...

August 25

NOAA Weather Radio: Cheapest Life Insurance Around – Anatomy of a Deadly Flash Flood in Tennessee

Cheap Life Insurance: NOAA Weather RadioPaul Douglas My NOAA Weather Radio Alarmed Me During the wee hours of Tuesday morning I was momentarily convinced we were under attack. Alarms blaring, a strobe light flashing in our bedroom. After unplugging the alarm clock it dawned on me that my NOAA Weather Radio was going off – for the first time in months. I’ve never been happier to see continuous lightning and hear rolling thunder, which sounded like artillery shells going off. 1-2 inches of rain soaked much of central and southern Minnesota and Wisconsin from a “meso-convective system”; a 200- mile-wide...

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....

July 2

Expanding Drought – Keeping an Eye on “Elsa” – Why Many US Cities Weren’t Engineered for Extreme Heat

On The Cusp of Broiling. A full blown heat wave continues for most of the USA into mid-July, which isn’t shocking, considering the next 1-3 weeks is the hottest of the year for most of America, on average. It still appears the core of the heat may remain just south of Minnesota, but this is a low-confidence peek over the horizon. Sunniest June for MSP Since 1988Minnesota State Climatology Office Praedictix Briefing: Issued Thursday, July 1st, 2021: Elsa Has Formed. The system we mentioned in yesterdays briefing out in the Atlantic has continued to develop over the past 24 hours,...

June 30

Once In A Millennium Heat Wave Pacific Northwest and British Columbia – Spiked by a Warming Climate

Heating Up For 4th of July Festivities I’m seeing things on my weather maps I’ve never witnessed before and I’m fairly sure that’s not a good thing. Like an extraordinary “4-Sigma” heat wave for the Pacific Northwest, 4 standard deviations from the mean, or an event you might see once every 1,000 to 10,000 years. 117F in British Columbia, where satellites measured surface temperatures as high as 145F, hot enough to melt and buckle pavement. A few degrees of background warming increases the probability of historic extremes. Welcome to a new world of super-sized heat waves. Twin Cities National Weather...

Miami sunshine
June 29

Historic Heat Grips Northwest – Deepening Drought Grips West – Predicting (Rare) Inland Hurricane Intensification

8-14 Day Temperature AnomaliesNOAA CPC Warm Bias Next Week. NOAA’s climate models continue to show warmer than average temperatures next week from the west coast into the northern tier of the U.S. Medium Rare. That goes for northern tier states with 80s and 90s in mid-June. The southern two thirds of America will be well done within 2 week with 90s and 100s. Paul Douglas Estimating the Number of Excess Heat Deaths Attributable to Heat. Environmental Epidemiology has some jaw-dropping results from a 2020 study: “…We replicated the approach from a large, international study to estimate temperature-mortality associations in 297...