Weekend Soaker Likely. All Rain This Time
”Keep your expectations low and you’ll never be disappointed.” It’s a rough way to go through life but this maxim does apply to Minnesota’s manic weather. The glass (beer mug) is half full. Why? I’ve retired my heavy coat. Snow tires are off. Driveway stakes are out. Fat robins are wandering our yard. The lawn is “green-ish”. Drought has faded and NOAA predicts a stinking hot summer for most of America, including Minnesota. The weather pendulum is due to swing (quickly) in the opposite direction. Wait for it.
Low 60s feel good today as skies brighten up a bit. Weather models suggest an inch of rain this weekend. Saturday will be the wettest day as a storm tracks directly over MSP, but showery rains spill into Sunday. A good weekend to rearrange my sock drawer and ponder piles of grit in my garage.
Highs in the 50s next week give way to more 60s and a few 70s by the second week of May. We won’t be whining about heat and humidity anytime soon, but I consider that progress.
A hot and sweaty summer?
Hotter, Drier Summer? Don’t laugh. We often careen from one weather extreme to the next. Nothing much surprises me anymore, including NOAA’s prediction of a hotter summer for most of the nationa, and drier from the Plains and Upper Midwest into the Pacific Northwest. Place your bets.
What Drought? And just like that, the drought that hounded Minnesota and much of the Upper Midwest in 2021 has all but vanished, a few patches of drought across Iowa, but we are in very good shape entering the 2022 growing season. Details via NOAA and the National Integrated Drought Information System: “Significant spring-time precipitation removed lingering drought concerns for most areas of the Upper Midwest that have been experiencing drought conditions since summer into the fall of 2021. Currently, only 2% of the region is impacted by drought, which is confined to western Iowa. While Iowa has recently seen some drought relief, moderate drought (D1) is still affecting 13% of the state, with severe drought (D2) affecting 2%...”
Few T-storms Today – Heavier, Steadier Rain Saturday. Future radar shows more convective (showery) precipitation today with a few heavy T-storms rumbling in by tonight. Rain becomes more widespread and stratiform Saturday with a few embedded T-storms still possible. Odds don’t favor any severe storms, but thunder rumbles are expected, along with closer to 1” of rain for much of the air; heavier amounts near the Dakota line.
Spring Showers. Is anyone really surprised by a rainy weekend in late April? I’m not. It’s par for the course. This time around a full latitude trough of low pressure spins up a strong storm that tracks over Minnesota Saturday, pushing a shield of heavier, steadier rain into the state, with wrap-around showers lingering in Sunday.
2 Weeks Out: It May Feel Like May. Wouldn’t that be nice. Powerful jet stream winds ease and (finally) retreat northward into Canada, allowing warmer fronts to push steadily north. By mid May I see consistent 60s and a few 70s – the way it should be.
Issued Thursday morning, April 28:
- Key Points: As a system develops across the central Plains on Friday, we will be watching the potential of fire weather conditions as well as severe weather.
- The highest fire risk on Friday will be across portions of southeastern Colorado, including the Pueblo area. An outbreak of dangerous fire weather conditions is expected due to strong winds and low humidity values.
- An Enhanced Risk of severe weather is in place Friday from southern Nebraska to central Oklahoma, with tornadoes (some strong), large to very large hail, and damaging winds.
EXTREME FIRE DANGER
Extreme Fire Danger Friday. As a system develops in the central Plains on Friday, the fire weather risk will greatly increase across the region as we see very strong winds, low humidity values, and critically dry fuels in place. An Extreme Fire Risk is in place Friday across southeastern Colorado, including the Pueblo area, with the worse weather conditions that would allow for extreme fire behavior expected in the afternoon hours. This would include west-northwest winds of 30-40 mph (gusting to 55 mph) and low humidity values. Critical Fire Weather conditions are also in place across the Southwest and southern High Plains. Any fires that ignite or are ongoing would have the potential to quickly spread and be difficult to control.
Expected Wind Gusts. Strong wind gusts across the region Friday are part of that fire weather equation, with wind gusts of at least 40-55 mph possible across the region.
Fire And Wind Alerts. Due to fire weather conditions today and tomorrow across the Southwest into the Southern Plains, Red Flag Warnings are in place. High Wind Watches are in place for the central Plains for late Friday into Saturday due to the potential of gusts up to 65 mph.
ENHANCED SEVERE THREAT
Enhanced Threat Friday. This system will also produce the threat of severe weather across the central United States Friday into Friday night. An Enhanced Risk of severe weather (threat level 3 of 5) stretches from southern Nebraska to central Oklahoma, including areas like Wichita, Topeka, Salina, and Tulsa. A Slight Risk (threat level 2 of 5) surrounding it includes Oklahoma City, Kansas City, and Omaha. Strong storms will be expected from late in the afternoon into the evening hours, with potentially a second round during the mid/late evening hours into the overnight.
Expected Severe Threats. Tornadoes – some potentially strong (EF2+) – and large to very large hail will be the highest threats in the late afternoon through evening and overnight timeframe. Damaging winds will also be possible.
D.J. Kayser, Meteorologist, Praedictix
Dangerous Heatwave Endangers Millions in India and Pakistan. Axios has details: “An unusually intense spring heat wave is bringing blistering heat to large portions of Pakistan and India, with the potential for monthly records for April to fall this week in some areas. Millions in this heavily populated region lack access to air conditioning, and could suffer from heat-related illnesses, which can be deadly. In addition, the heat will make outdoor work untenable for portions of the day, slowing construction projects and impacting the economy. A large-scale weather pattern conducive to extreme heat is affecting the Indian subcontinent, with some of the hottest temperatures forecast for parts of both India and Pakistan. Already this month, high temperatures have hit 122-year-old records, and the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) is warning of even more stifling heat to close out April and continuing into June...”
Lake Mead Falls To An Unprecedented Low, Exposing Reservoir’s Original Intake Valves. CNN.com has the story: “The plummeting water level of Lake Mead has exposed one of the reservoir’s original water intake valves for the first time, officials say. Amid the West’s climate change-fueled megadrought, Lake Mead — the largest manmade reservoir in the country and a source of water for millions of people — has fallen to an unprecedented low. The valve had been in service since 1971 but can no longer draw water, according to the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which is responsible for managing water resources for 2.2 million people in Southern Nevada, including Las Vegas. Photos taken Monday show the eldest of the agency’s three intake valves high and dry above the water line…”
Meteorologists Get Key Upgrade Just In Time for 2022 Hurricane Season. A timely weather-nugget from CNN.com: “The official start of Atlantic Hurricane Season is less than six weeks away, and forecasters will be getting an essential upgrade just in time for the season to begin. New technology from the University of Wisconsin will help with preparation of more detailed forecasts and provide more reliable information to meteorologists and emergency planners, which should ultimately result in better, safer outcomes for public safety. The Advanced Dvorak Technique (ADT) is a satellite-based method for determining tropical cyclone intensity. Planned upgrades include the use of full-resolution images from weather satellites, better identification of the location of each storm’s eye and the ability to better analyze hurricanes occurring outside tropical regions…”
Can Bad Weather Affect Your Home Internet? A few surprising discoveries in a post at CNET.com: “…Heavy rain, on the other hand, can be another matter. Fixed wireless internet works by beaming internet signals in a straight line, or fixed position, between the tower and your home. Anything that interferes with that signal, such as a seasonal downpour, can disrupt the signal and hence your internet connection. Rain is less of an issue with 5G home internet services like T-Mobile or Verizon because, unlike with fixed-wireless internet, 5G works by sending signals in all directions. Even if some signals are blocked or diverted due to rain or snowfall, others are still bound to reach your equipment and keep your internet going, though the signal may not be as strong...”
17 Deaths Highlight Tornado Danger to Mobile Homes. E&E News talks about the added risk of being in a mobile home during a tornado: “…Seventeen of the 74 people killed during the devastating tornado outbreak four months ago were in mobile homes, according to reports that NOAA has put on its website since the disaster occurred. In addition to the young boy and girl, those killed in mobile homes included an infant boy. The deaths bring new attention to the disproportionate number of tornado-related fatalities that occur in mobile homes, particularly in Southeastern and Appalachian states such as Kentucky, which have large concentrations of the structures. More than 10 percent of residential dwellings in Kentucky are mobile homes or manufactured homes, according to census figures. The national rate is 5.5 percent. “I tell people, get it anchored to the ground and get to a storm shelter. The only safe place during a tornado is outside a manufactured home,” said Stephen Strader of Villanova University, a leading researcher on tornadoes and mobile homes…”
Social Media Has Evolved into Life-Saving Tool Since 2011 Tornado. One more vitally important channel to get breaking weather-news out. A post at Tuscaloosanews.com caught my eye: “In the 11 years since a devastating tornado outbreak struck Tuscaloosa, social media has evolved into a lifesaving tool during periods of severe weather, said Richard Scott, WVUA 23 News’ chief meteorologist. Scott said he believed the event was a “game-changer” for social media, since most of its uses before the April 27, 2011, storm were centered on entertainment. The bottom line is that social media applications — Twitter, Facebook and Instagram — have expanded weather forecasters’ ability to warn people about upcoming severe weather, keep them updated during a storm and spread the word about where damage has occurred afterward…”
The F-150 Lightning is Finally Shipping – Is Ford Ready? It sure looks like a hit for Ford – stay tuned. Here’s an excerpt from a good article at The Verge: “...Farley says the Lightning is just the first of a “portfolio of trucks,” and that Field and his team have the freedom to invent radically new vehicles to compete against Tesla and others. “We are not going to serve the entire market with just one product,” says Farley. “Our strategy is definitely to electrify our icons” like the Mustang and F-150. “But just because we’re electrifying our icons doesn’t mean we’re going to be kind of rote in approaching that.” So don’t expect a Ranger Lightning or a Maverick Lightning — even if an EV Maverick seems like a great idea. The goal, in the end, is to allow the Model E team to build new kinds of EVs that compete directly with Ford’s existing vehicles and let the chips fall where they may. Asked if he’s ready to mediate disputes between Ford’s huge traditional car business and his upstart EV division, Farley laughs. “I think if we do our job right, I’ll be worrying about that for the rest of my career…”
47 F. Twin Cities high temperature on Thursday.
62 F. Average MSP high on April 28.
63 F. MSP high on April 28, 2021
April 29, 1984: Late season heavy snow blankets the Twin Cities with 6.6 inches.
April 29, 1940: Heavy rain falls in Duluth, with a daily total of 3.25 inches.
FRIDAY: Cloudy, windy and milder, stray T-shower. Winds: SE 15-25. High: 65
SATURDAY: Heavier rain, few T-storms. Winds: E 15-30. Wake-up: 51. High: near 60
SUNDAY: Still sloppy with light rain. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 46. High: 54
MONDAY: Cloudy, cool and dry. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up: 41. High: 51
TUESDAY: Chilly, showery rain possible. Winds: N 10-20. Wake-up: 40. High: 49
WEDNESDAY: Sunny and pleasant. Winds: SE 5-10. Wake-up: 38. High: near 60
THURSDAY: Clouds increase. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 43. High: 64
There’s No Scenario In Which 2050 is “Normal”. Just different degrees of disruption, according to new research highlighted at The Atlantic; here’s an excerpt: “…Of the hundreds of scenarios that the IPCC analyzed, all fell into one of three buckets. In the first bucket, every scenario forecasts that the world will soon be removing tens of gigatons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year. Carbon removal is still a bit of a dream. Not only is it technologically unproven at scale; it is extremely energy intensive. But the IPCC report implies that within the lifetime of children alive today, the world might be spending more than a third of its total energy production removing carbon from the atmosphere, according to Zeke Hausfather, an IPCC author. The world won’t derive any immediate economic gain from this waste-management exercise; it won’t turn that carbon into something useful. It will simply need to spend what could equal trillions of dollars a year on carbon removal to help rein in climatic upheaval. What’s more, this mass removal will need to happen while the world does everything else that decarbonizing entails, such as building wind and solar farms, expanding public transit, and switching to electric vehicles…”
Climate Change Could Spark the Next Pandemic, New Study Finds. Here’s the intro to an overview at ScienceDaily: “As Earth’s climate continues to warm, researchers predict wild animals will be forced to relocate their habitats — likely to regions with large human populations — dramatically increasing the risk of a viral jump to humans that could lead to the next pandemic. This link between climate change and viral transmission is described by an international research team led by scientists at Georgetown University and is published April 28 in Nature. In their study, the scientists conducted the first comprehensive assessment of how climate change will restructure the global mammalian virome…”
World Losing Far Too Much Tropical Old Growth Forest: Climate Nexus has headlines and links: “Massive wildfires and widespread deforestation destroyed 27.5 million acres of tropical tree cover, including 9.3 million acres of primary forests in 2021, according to WRI’s authoritative annual Global Forest Review, released this morning. Primary, also known as ‘old-growth’, forest destruction released 2.5 billion metric tons of CO2. That’s about as much as all fossil fuel emissions from India, the world’s fourth-largest emitter. More than 16 million acres of Northern boreal forests, particularly in Russia, were also lost last year, mainly due to wildfires. While year-on-year forest loss varies slightly due to wildfires, old-growth forest losses have been remarkably consistent in recent years and are far higher than the limit necessary to meet the commitment reached at COP 26 in Glasgow last year to “halt and reverse forest loss by 2030.” In the time it took you to read this paragraph, approximately six soccer fields of tropicaloldgrowthforests were destroyed.” (Washington Post $, Axios, New York Times $, BBC, The Guardian, CNN, Bloomberg $, Reuters, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Factbox, New Scientist, The Straits Times, AFP, EFE; Indonesia: The Straits Times).
South Korea’s Oceanix Busan: All We Know About World’s First Floating City. A concept that may come in handy as ocean levels continue to rise. Newsweek explains: “Plans for the world’s first floating city—set in the South Korean port city of Busan, the country’s second-most populous city after the capital Seoul—were unveiled this week at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. Known as “Oceanix Busan,” the newly built community will serve as the “world’s first prototype sustainable floating city,” aiming to be “a flood-proof infrastructure that rises with the sea,” supplying its own food, energy and water. Created in a partnership between UN-Habitat, the city of Busan and Oceanix, a New York-based sustainable design firm, the new city will consist of three floating platforms connected to each other and to land by bridges…”
Wetter Rainfall Hours in a Warming Climate. When it rains the rain is (often) falling much harder, as an analysis at Climate Central shows: “…Climate Central calculated the Simple Hourly Rainfall Intensity Index (total annual rainfall divided by the total annual hours with rainfall) for 150 U.S. weather stations with sufficient data quality over the 1970-2021 period. An increase in the Simple Hourly Rainfall Intensity Index indicates an increase in hourly rainfall intensity—in other words, more rain falling per hour. 90% of the 150 stations analyzed had an increase in hourly rainfall intensity since 1970. Increases in hourly rainfall intensity since 1970 were widespread across the contiguous U.S. and prevalent throughout the Northeast, Ohio Valley, Upper Midwest, Northern Rockies and Plains, and Southwest. The average change in the Simple Hourly Rainfall Intensity Index from 1970 to 2021 was +13%…”
Climate Change Will Favor More Frequent El Nino Events by 2040. Eos.org explains: “The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is one of the most significant, but variable, climate patterns in the world. This tropical Pacific Ocean phenomenon affects weather in South America, Australia, Asia, and beyond. During an El Niño event, the sea surface temperature of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean warms, and trade winds weaken. El Niño’s associated weather extremes often have dramatic implications for public health and global supply chains, setting off natural disasters like flooding in Central and South America and droughts in southeast Asia. ENSO is so influential that climate scientists have dedicated decades to tracking and predicting its irregular cycles. Researchers are also studying how ENSO will be affected by climate change. Now, new research published in Nature Climate Change has used cutting-edge climate models to predict that by 2040, El Niño events will become more frequent because of changes to the climate. These events are already in motion and will happen regardless of short-term emissions mitigation efforts, according to the authors…”
NOAA and Communities to Map Heat Inequities in 14 U.S. Cities and Counties. The urban heat island coupled with background warming resulting from climate change is increasing the potential for heat-related disasters, according to NOAA: “Extreme heat kills more Americans than any other weather event, but not everyone’s risk is the same. This summer, NOAA and community scientists will map the hottest parts of 14 U.S. cities and counties and, for the first time, two international cities. “Extreme heat kills more Americans than any other weather event and has the greatest impact on our nation’s most vulnerable communities,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves. “Fortunately, our talented and dedicated researchers and scientists at NOAA are working directly with communities across the country to help them take action to manage extreme heat. As climate change worsens heat waves, this critical information will help bring local and equitable solutions for those facing the greatest threats.” “Our nation faces a climate crisis that has exacerbated inequities for low-income communities and communities of color,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “NOAA is helping communities measure their hottest places so that they can use this information to inform strategies to reduce the unhealthy and deadly effects of extreme heat and help us build a Climate Ready Nation…”
Extreme Heat is a Disease for Cities. Treat It That Way. A post at WIRED.com (paywall) caught my eye: “For millennia, cities have thrived by attracting people with diverse backgrounds and talents. But as the world warms, urban areas are attracting something less desirable: heat. A city’s roads, buildings, and other infrastructure absorb the sun’s energy, raising temperatures far above those in surrounding rural areas. This “urban heat island effect” varies dramatically not only from neighborhood to neighborhood, but from block to block and even house to house. Because it’s so hyperlocal and erratic, it’s hard to factor into predictions; a person’s actual experience of heat may be out of step with their local weather forecast. And with climate change, it’s increasingly difficult to keep vulnerable (and rapidly growing) populations safe during extreme heat events…”
2021: 6th Warmest Year on Record for America. Minnesota temperatures were 4.1F warmer than the 20th century average. USA Facts has more details.
Average US Rainfall for the Last Decade Was 3.6% Higher Than Previous Decade. USA Facts has details.