Today Is The Day We’ve Been Waiting For
If only it could stay like THIS into September. We don’t yet have technology to do that and never will, by the way. Endure the bad, soak up the good. We are all bewildered spectators.
Encourage your favorite mom to wander outside today, without question the nicer day of the weekend. A blue, lukewarm, story-book sky, low humidity and no big bugs yet.
The approach of warm, steamy air sets off a few showers on Mother’s Day, keeping temperatures 5-10 degrees cooler. A July-like warm front sparks thunder early Monday, with enough afternoon sunshine for 80s. More 80s are likely next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, ensuring a sticky, unstable sky capable of a few spirited rounds of thunderstorms. Yes, real heat usually brings red blobs on Doppler. That said, next week will feel like July.
No flurries for Fishing Opener this year. Long range models suggest 70s with a few showers and T- storms on Saturday, May 14. With a falling barometer fish may actually be biting.
That’s above my pay grade. But warmer days are coming!
Exhibit A: April Was Windier Than Average. Thanks to meteorologist Matt Makens for putting together this map (proving) that April was considerably windier than average over the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest. Good times.
Sunday Puddle Potential. Rainfall amounts on Mother’s Day may be heavier the farther west you travel across Minnesota, with a few hours of rain likely morning and midday hours on Sunday. Not an all-day wash-out, but have a Plan B for part of the day.
Taste of July Next Week. We may see 3-4 days in the 80s next week, and with the warmth and humidity and instability will come assorted bands and clusters of thunderstorms, some may be strong to severe. Temperatures next week may be 10-20F warmer than average.
Slight Cooling 2 Weeks Out? NOAA’s GFS model suggests a few puffs of slightly cooler air later this month – no frosty punches, no slush – but 80s next week may yield to 70s the following week with more of a Canadian influence.
May 6, 1965 Tornadoes. The Minnesota DNR has a very good summary of a horrible evening in the Twin Cities metro. Fridley may have been hit by 3 separate tornadoes; Wayzata: 2 tornado strikes: “On Thursday, May 6, 1965 the worst tornado outbreak in Twin Cities history struck the western and northern metro area, where five tornadoes occurred, with another just to the west in Sibley and McLeod Counties. The barrage of tornadoes lasted nearly three hours, from the early evening until well after dark, but the severe thunderstorms that spawned them lasted many hours longer. Four of the evening’s tornadoes were rated F4 on the Fujita Scale (link is external), one was an F3 and another was an F2 (see the new “enhanced Fujita” scale here (link is external)). Minnesota has not seen a day since then with that many F4 or EF-4 tornadoes. Debates have continued since 1965 about the actual tornado tracks, their timelines, and about their true human toll, but the official record indicates that the tornadoes killed thirteen people and injured 683 more, with 600 homes destroyed and 1,700 people rendered homeless. Six fatalities occurred in Mounds View with the final tornado of the evening. Another tornado claimed three lives in the Island Park area of Mound, on the north and northwest side of Lake Minnetonka. Other deaths were reported in Fridley, Spring Lake Park, and in Sibley County, between Green Isle and Hamburg…”
Tornado Super-Outbreak of May 6, 1965. Today is the anniversary of the Twin Cities worst tornado strike; 4 of the 6 reported tornadoes were EF-4 strength. Here’s an excerpt from The National Weather Service: “May 6, 1965 was one of the worst tornado outbreaks in Minnesota history. Six tornadoes affected six counties around the Twin Cities with 13 fatalities and over 500 injured. The tornado outbreak lasted three hours and caused $51 million in damage. There were four F-4s, one F-3, and one F-2. Two of the F-4s crossed paths, causing even more damage. These tornadoes developed due to low pressure in North Dakota/Canada and unstable air behind a warm front over the Twin Cities region.”
Tornado Victims Sue Amazon for Prioritizing Profit Over Safety. A post at Governing.com caught my eye; here’s an excerpt: “…They criticized Amazon’s actions before the tornado and since. “People died because you put profit over safety,” said Crump of Tallahassee, Florida. As a companion to the wrongful-death lawsuit, an emotional distress lawsuit has been filed on behalf of four drivers who survived the tornado against Amazon and the companies that oversaw the construction of the warehouse. Other plaintiffs are expected to be added to the lawsuit, according to Jennifer Hightower, one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs. Morrow and five others died when the warehouse walls and roof collapsed in an EF3 tornado packing winds of up to 150 mph at about 8:27 p.m. on Dec. 10. The 1.1 million-square-foot building was on Gateway Commerce Drive near the intersection of Interstate 255 and Interstate 270...”
New Mexico Governor Seeking US Disaster Status for Wildfire. AP News has the latest: “New Mexico’s governor on Tuesday asked President Joe Biden to declare a disaster as firefighters scrambled to clear brush, build fire lines and spray water to keep the largest blaze burning in the U.S. from destroying more homes in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. During a briefing on the fire burning across the state’s northeast, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a request for a presidential disaster declaration that will be sent to the White House in hopes of freeing up financial assistance for recovery efforts. She said it was important that the declaration be made on the front end rather than waiting until the fire is out…”
The Solar-Powered Plane Could Stay in the Air for Months. CNN Travel reports: “In 2016, a bizarre-looking plane, covered with more than 17,000 solar panels, showed the world a glimpse of the future of flight. With the wingspan of a Boeing 747, but weighing only as much as an SUV, it circumnavigated the Earth without using a drop of fuel. Called Solar Impulse 2, it was the brainchild of Swiss explorer Bertrand Piccard and Swiss engineer Bertrand Borschberg, built to showcase the potential of renewable energy. After its record-breaking flight, it had accomplished its goal — but now it’s getting a new lease of life. In 2019 it was bought by Skydweller Aero, a US-Spanish startup which aims to turn the plane into the world’s first commercially viable “pseudo-satellite,” capable of doing the work of an orbiting satellite, but with more flexibility and less environmental impact…”
Ensure Clean Water for Minnesota’s Future. An Op-Ed from the Star Tribune Editorial Board struck a chord – here’s the intro: “An abundance of clean, fresh water seems like a sure thing, at least in a state with as much of it as Minnesota has. But 50 years from now, in 2072, Minnesota might be a very different place. On our good days, we imagine an enlightened society with free health care for all, a fusion-based power system and climate change scenarios that don’t threaten the planet. On our bad days, it’s more of a dystopian hellscape. And a primary feature that distinguishes those visions from each other is the water supply. In our imagined utopia, clean water is plentiful. In the hellscape, it’s rarer and more precious than oil. Half a century may seem like a long time, but any baby boomer can tell you it’s not. Decisions made today can have a profound impact, and soon…”
72 F. Twin Cities high on Friday.
66 F. Average high on May 6.
62 F. MSP high on May 6, 2021.
May 7, 1916: Strong winds sweep across the state and cause dust storms over southern Minnesota. Great damage is done to standing timber in Northern Minnesota. Many fires develop, one of which would destroy 30,000,000 feet of lumber.
SATURDAY: Sunny, postcard perfect. Winds: SE 10-20. High: 72
SUNDAY: Few showers, possible thunder. Winds: SE 15-25. Wake-up: 53. High: 62
MONDAY: Early thunder, then warm sunshine. Winds: S 15-30. Wake-up: 59. High: 82
TUESDAY: Mostly cloudy, drying out. Winds: NE 8-13. Wake-up: 58. High: 77
WEDNESDAY: Sticky sun, few T-storms. Winds: SE 10-20. Wake-up: 59. High: 82
THURSDAY: Muggy with a few strong T-storms. Winds: SE 8-13. Wake-up: 64. High: 84
FRIDAY: Still summer-like, passing T-storm. Winds: SE 15-25. Wake-up: 70. High: 86
April Sets Record for Highest CO2 Levels in Human History. Axios has details: “Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached the highest levels on record for any calendar month during April, averaging 420 parts per million (ppm) for the first time since observations began in 1958, according to new data. Carbon dioxide is a long-lived, planet-warming greenhouse gas, the concentration of which is increasing due to human activities, such as the burning fossil fuels like coal and natural gas for energy. Studies show current levels are higher than any time in as long as 4.5 million years. Increasing amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere are boosting global average temperatures. Climate change has been conclusively tied to the escalating impacts from climate change, including more extreme and frequent heat waves, heavy precipitation events, larger, more frequent wildfires and sea level rise…”
How Treaties Protecting Fossil Fuel Investors Could Jeopardize Global Efforts to Save the Climate – and Cost Countries Billions. The Conversation connects the dots: “Fossil fuel companies have access to an obscure legal tool that could jeopardize worldwide efforts to protect the climate, and they’re starting to use it. The result could cost countries that press ahead with those efforts billions of dollars. Over the past 50 years, countries have signed thousands of treaties that protect foreign investors from government actions. These treaties are like contracts between national governments, meant to entice investors to bring in projects with the promise of local jobs and access to new technologies. But now, as countries try to phase out fossil fuels to slow climate change, these agreements could leave the public facing overwhelming legal and financial risks...”
10 Worst Things Climate Change Will Soon Deliver To Our World. WRAL Techwire has the post; here’s an excerpt focused on climate refugees: “If we add increasing heatwaves + drought + sea level rise + crop failures together, what we get is large groups of people – millions and millions of people – who can no longer live where they have been living.
- If a coastal city gets flooded by the sea or destroyed by a hurricane, all those people need to move.
- If a persistent drought like the one in the western United States drains the reservoirs so people have no water to drink, millions of people will need to move out of the Southwest.
- If Earth’s equatorial region gets so hot that it becomes uninhabitable, tens of millions of people will have to move somewhere else...”
Huge Groundwater System Discovered Under Antarctica. Water could speed up the rate of ice loss. We don’t know what we don’t know, as highlighted in a post at Gizmodo: “Antarctica, far from just a sprawling mass of ice, is a geologically complex continent made of expansive glaciers, jagged bedrock, and, as new research finds, large amounts of groundwater. A study published today in the journal Science describes a thick layer of groundwater underneath West Antarctica with the potential to govern the continent’s ice streams. The researchers behind the work think this could be one of several vast groundwater reservoirs under Antarctica. The team, led by Chloe Gustafson, currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, traveled to West Antarctica in late 2018. Before they began the remote field work—a risky expedition far from any backup—they spent two weeks preparing at McMurdo Station, a U.S. research outpost on Antarctica’s Ross Island…”
1 in 4 Minnesota Communities Have No Plans to Deal With Extreme Weather Made Worse by Climate Change. KBJR6.com in Duluth has the post: “One in four communities across Minnesota have no plans to address extreme weather events caused by climate change. That’s according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). A new survey conducted by the MPCA and numerous community leaders including Biwabik City Administrator Jeff Jacobson showed the number of communities combating climate change across Minnesota. Nearly 400 communities across the state participated in the survey and more than 80% said they have endured more extreme weather. Some of the extreme weather included excessive rainfall, drought, and flooding. Jacobson said climate change goes beyond just environmental issues, it hurts small town economies…”
Record Heat in India and Pakistan is a Wake-Up Call. Grist reports; here’s an excerpt: “…For decades, experts have warned that climate change would make heat waves like this more frequent and more intense — a prediction now playing out in real time. Last month, northwest and central India experienced the hottest April since record-keeping began 122 years ago. On May 1, the temperature in Nawabshah, Pakistan, climbed to 121.1 degrees Fahrenheit, likely the hottest temperature recorded so far this year in the northern hemisphere. Other cities and towns across the region also suffered through record-breaking temperatures. “This heatwave is definitely unprecedented,” Chandni Singh, a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, and a senior researcher at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, told CNN. “We have seen a change in its intensity, its arrival time, and duration. This is what climate experts predicted and it will have cascading impacts on health...”
Report: Forests Need Far More Funding to Help Climate. A post at Inside Climate News caught my eye: “As government leaders and forestry experts gathered in South Korea this week to discuss the state of the world’s forests, new research suggests that ambitious international efforts to curb deforestation are making insufficient progress and the planet’s trees continue to disappear. On Wednesday, an international consortium of researchers released an assessment of the sweeping United Nations-sponsored program, known as REDD+, that was launched 15 years ago to compensate developing countries—home to most of the planet’s climate-critical tropical forests—for conserving and protecting their trees. But the report, from the International Union of Forest Research Organizations, acknowledges that REDD+ has been riddled with problems, and its authors say that efforts to stop deforestation are being overwhelmed, in large part by giant agricultural corporations that are the driving force behind much of the forest loss...”
EU To Ban Russian Oil By Year’s End: Climate Nexus has headlines and links: “The European Union will implement a phased ban on Russian oil imports by the end of the year, the European Commission said Wednesday. Europe relies heavily on Russian fossil fuels and the ban will not apply to methane gas or coal. The move is consistent with increasing efforts in the West to punish Russian president Vladimir Putin for the February invasion of, and continuing atrocities in, Ukraine — the EU declined to join the U.S. in banning Russian oil imports in early March. (Russia’s war on Ukraine has been great for oil and gas companies and executives.) The phased prohibition is intended to give time to ensure member states and their partners can secure alternative supplies, with some countries being given extra time due to their especially high dependency on Russian oil. Earlier this week, Standard Charter said the EU has paid Russia about $50 billion for oil, gas, and coal since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.” (Import ban: (Washington Post $, Axios, New York Times $, AP, CNBC, The Hill, Climate Home, Politico Pro $, Energy Monitor; $50 billion: OilPrice).
Peak CO2 and Heat-Trapping Emissions. Climate Matters has an update on rising greenhouse gas levels: “Yearly peak carbon dioxide levels will likely break a new record in early May and methane concentrations had their largest annual increase in 2021. The continued rise of global greenhouse gas emissions is mainly from human activities in five sectors: energy, industry, agriculture, transportation, and buildings. In the U.S., transportation is the largest emitter contributing to 27% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. We need “rapid and deep” emission cuts across all sectors, globally, if we want a chance at limiting future warming to 1.5°C or below 2°C. If we want a world with the least amount of climate change impacts, we have to take action within this decade. For March 2022, the latest monthly data available, average monthly carbon dioxide (CO2) levels reached 418 ppm (parts per million) compared to 417 ppm in March 2021. CO2 levels peak annually in early May. In May, we anticipate that average monthly CO2 concentrations will break last year’s record of 419 ppm…”