Even the Weather People Get Rained Out

For the record, Mother Nature doesn’t play favorites. Nobody gets a break. Yesterday was our annual Praedictix/AerisWeather company picnic, with grilling and (adult) beverages at a local park. Didn’t quite work out that way. A leaky sky meant cold brats in the parking lot. Two weather companies get rained out? Oh the irony.

Friends have been growling at me since March. “Paul, it’s raining outside but there’s nothing showing up on Doppler” a buddy texted. Hey, I’m just as irritable as you are!

At least you’re not stuck in New Orleans, in the potential path of “Barry”. A storm in the Gulf of Mexico may reach hurricane status before pushing into Louisiana by Saturday. I’m very worried about historic flooding in the Big Easy.

The sun stays out today with no blobs on radar, and then it heats up. Daytime highs nudge 90F from Friday into next Tuesday. Pop-up storms sprout each day, but an extended hot spell is shaping up into late July; maybe the hottest of summer.

Not just hot. Stinking hot. Sign me up.

Heat Wave Pulls Its Punch (for Upper Mississippi Valley)? There’s a fair amount of back and forth in the 2-week trend at 500mb (NOAA’s GFS solution) so confidence levels this far out are even lower than usual. Latest solutions suggest a cooling trend by late July for the northern tier states of the nation, while the vast majority of the USA bakes.

Extreme Rains for The Big Easy. Thursday’s 12z ECWMF prints out some 20-23″ total rainfall amounts from Barry just west of New Orleans. If this verifies (still a big if) the Mississippi River may exceed the 20 foot height of the levees protecting downtown New Orleans. Not a tragedy on a scale of Katrina, but the potential for extreme/historic flooding in metro New Orleans is very significant as early as this weekend.

Praedictix Briefing: Issued Wednesday late morning, July 10th, 2019:

  • As of the 10 AM CDT update from the National Hurricane Center, Potential Tropical Cyclone Two has been named in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico about 170 miles east-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi.
  • This system is expected to become a tropical depression Thursday morning, a tropical storm Thursday night (named Barry), and eventually a hurricane Friday before making landfall this weekend along the central Gulf coast.
  • Tropical Storm Watches have been issued from the Mouth of the Mississippi River to Morgan City, with Storm Surge Watches in place from the Mouth of the Pearl River to Morgan City.
  • Heavy flooding rains, storm surge, and strong winds (potentially hurricane force) will continue to be a concern with this system over the next several days as it nears/makes landfall and pushes inland somewhat slowly.

Potential Tropical Cyclone Two Has Been Named In The Gulf Of Mexico. As of the 10 AM CDT update from the National Hurricane Center, Potential Tropical Cyclone Two has been named in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. As of this time, the area of low pressure was located about 170 miles east-southeast of the Mouth of the Mississippi. The system was moving to the west-southwest at 8 mph and had sustained winds of 30 mph.

Track Of This System. This system will move southwest to west-southwest through Thursday morning, eventually turning west on Thursday, to the west-northwest Friday, and northwest by Saturday. This would bring eventual “Barry” to the Gulf Coast Saturday. The system will gain strength during this time, becoming a tropical depression Thursday morning, a tropical storm Thursday night, and eventually a Category 1 Hurricane on Friday.

Tropical Storm Watches Issued. Tropical Storm Watches have been issued for parts of the Louisiana coast from the Mouth of the Mississippi River to Morgan City. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are expected within 48 hours. I would expect Tropical Storm and Hurricane Watches to be expanded westward to include more of Louisiana and potentially the Upper Texas Coast later today or tonight those areas work closer to when strong wind conditions with this system are expected to impact them. Tropical Storm Watches have also been issued further inland, including areas like Thibodaux and Houma. You can see the local Tropical Storm Watch statements here: https://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=usa&wwa=Tropical%20Storm%20Watch

Timing The Start Of Tropical Storm Force Winds. This graphic gives a general idea of when tropical storm force winds are expected to begin across the southern United States in association with this system. That is a good gauge of when preparations should be rushed to completion, as these stronger winds could interfere with that process. Across parts of southeastern Louisiana, tropical storm force winds could begin as early as Thursday, with winds reaching the Lake Charles area Friday and into Shreveport Friday night. The strongest winds with this system – potentially hurricane strength – will be near where the storm makes landfall this weekend.

Storm Surge. Storm surge will also be an issue with what will become “Barry.” Storm Surge Watches have been issued from the Mouth of the Pearl River to Morgan City. If the expected dangerous storm surge occurred at high tide, the water could reach the following heights:

  • Mouth of the Pearl River to Morgan City…3 to 5 ft.

Mississippi River: New Orleans. As mentioned earlier this morning, the river level in New Orleans will have to be monitored closely over the next several days. As of an update this morning from the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center, the river is now expected to crest due to storm surge Saturday at around 20 feet, the same level as many of the levees in New Orleans.

Heavy Rain And Flood Concerns. Heavy rain continues to be a major concern with this system. This system is still expected to produce rainfall amounts of at least 6-12” – with isolated 18” amounts – along the central Gulf Coast and further inland in the lower Mississippi Valley over the next several days. This multi-day heavy rain event will bring the threat of flash flooding across the region, especially in areas where the heaviest rain falls.

D.J. Kayser, Meteorologist, Praedictix.

U.S. Has Its Wettest 12 Months on Record – Again. NOAA has details: “…Wet conditions from July 2018 through June 2019 resulted in a new 12-month precipitation record in the U.S., with an average of 37.86 inches (7.90 inches above average), according to scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. The average precipitation for June was 3.30 inches (0.37of an inch above average), placing it in the upper third in the record books. Flooding conditions persisted along the central and Lower Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois rivers. The average June temperature across the contiguous U.S. was 68.7 degrees F (0.2 degrees above average), which ranked in the middle third of the 125-year record…”

Managing Fresh Water Across the United States. Here’s an excerpt from a post at NASA: “…The Army Corps wants to know how much change to expect across the country in the next 50-100 years, Arnold said, since that can affect how the corps operates its infrastructure, such as dams and hydropower plants. “Water security is having the right amount of water at the right time and at the right place,” Arnold said. The tools developed by the project will enable water managers to create strategies to modernize and maintain their infrastructure, said Andy Wood, the lead scientist at NCAR. Wood’s team has been working closely with water managers across the United States and incorporating their feedback into tools that use NASA’s Land Information System model to monitor and predict seasonal changes in water supplies at the watershed scale…”

The Truth Behind 7 Common Tornado Myths. A few oldies but goodies in a post at Popular Mechanics: “…On April 26, 1991, a group of motorists huddled under an overpass on the Kansas Turnpike during a tornado and shot video of their ordeal. They were lucky to survive this close encounter, and the dramatic footage of their experience has led many to believe that overpasses are viable tornado shelters. The space beneath an overpass can create a wind tunnel, accelerating the already violent winds of the tornado. And wind speed increases with height, so climbing the embankments beneath the girders of the overpass may expose you to even stronger winds. “People have tried to take shelter and been killed in overpasses,” Carbin says. “The wind forced through a small, rigid opening like that can actually increase the wind speed and likely tear you right out of there, which has happened...”

Hurricane Season Getting Longer and Stronger Along South Carolina Coast, Scientist Says. Here’s an excerpt from WSOC-TV: “…The coast of South Carolina has seen three destructive hurricanes in three years — Matthew, Irma, and Florence. Dr. Lee Lindler from the College of Charleston has been researching storms for 30 years. He says he believes a variety of modern factors like rising sea temperatures are cause for concern. “If wind shear and all the other parameters stay the same, then you would definitely expect to see a significant increase in the number of days you have intense hurricanes,” Lindler said...”

File image of Hurricane Florence: NASA.

23 Governors Join California in Opposing Trump Mileage Standards. Add Minnesota and Wisconsin to that list. Here’s an excerpt from Star Tribune: “Citing climate-damaging tailpipe emissions, 23 governors signed a pledge Tuesday backing California leaders in their showdown with the Trump administration over its plans to relax vehicle mileage standards. The pledge by leaders of states and Puerto Rico, most of them Democrats, comes as the administration seeks to ease tougher mileage standards laid out by former President Barack Obama as part of his efforts against climate change. Legal challenges to Trump’s policy proposal threaten to disrupt the auto industry for years, and an influential auto industry trade group is renewing its appeal for the compromise…”

File photo: Glenn Stubbe, Star Tribune.

Miracle in Minneapolis. TrafficMagazine.com has the story – a PDF is available here.

New Coke Didn’t Fail – It Was Murdered. Ah, the memories. Interesting perspective in a story at Mother Jones: “…In the face of a nationwide backlash, the company brought back the old formula—now dubbed “Coke Classic”—after two months. The story of New Coke is eternal. It’s a parable of hubris. It’s also a lie. Far from the dud it’s been made out to be, New Coke was actually delicious—or at least, most people who tried it thought so. Some of its harshest critics couldn’t even taste a difference. It was done in by a complicated web of interests, a mixture of cranks and opportunists—a sugar-starved mob of pitchfork-clutching Andy Rooneys, powered by the thrill of rebellion and an aggrieved sense of dispossession. At its most fundamental level, the backlash wasn’t about New Coke at all. It was a revolt against the idea of change. That story should sound familiar. We’re still living it...”

Image credit: Netflix.

Is Globalization Doomed? Economist Michael O’Sullivan Believes So. Check out the post at Big Think; here’s a clip: “…The fully multipolar world could be composed of three or four major regions — places that have distinct ways of running their society, culture, and economies. As O’Sullivan notes, “[It] will be dominated by at least three large regions: America, the European Union, and a China-centric Asia. They will increasingly take very different approaches to economic policy, liberty, warfare, technology, and society.” Mid-sized countries are more likely to either be left behind or struggle unless they coalesce into new coalitions to keep up with the greater multipolaristic powers. Along with this, “Institutions of the 20th century — the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization — will appear increasingly defunct…”

Americans Shouldn’t Have to Drive, But The Law Insists On It. Huh? The author makes some cogent points in a post at The Atlantic: “…In America, the freedom of movement comes with an asterisk: the obligation to drive. This truism has been echoed by the U.S. Supreme Court, which has pronounced car ownership a “virtual necessity.” The Court’s pronouncement is telling. Yes, in a sense, America is car-dependent by choice—but it is also car-dependent by law. As I detail in a forthcoming journal article, over the course of several generations lawmakers rewrote the rules of American life to conform to the interests of Big Oil, the auto barons, and the car-loving 1 percenters of the Roaring Twenties. They gave legal force to a mind-set—let’s call it automobile supremacy—that kills 40,000 Americans a year and seriously injures more than 4 million more. Include all those harmed by emissions and climate change, and the damage is even greater. As a teenager growing up in the shadow of Detroit, I had no reason to feel this was unjust, much less encouraged by law. It is both…”

“Delete Your (Facebook) Account” Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Says. Gizmodo has details: “Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak deleted his personal Facebook account last year and is now telling everyone else they should do the same. Woz was stopped by TMZ at Reagan National Airport in D.C. recently and warned that the lack of privacy on the platform isn’t worth it for most people, adding a warning more generally, “who knows if my cellphone is listening right now?” “There are many different kinds of people, and some the benefits of Facebook are worth the loss of privacy,” Wozniak told TMZ. “But to many like myself, my recommendation is—to most people—you should figure out a way to get off Facebook…”

Screenshot credit: TMZ/YouTube

If You’re Hiding from the Police – Try to Hold It. Newsweek has the smelly details: “On social media, the Clay County Missouri Sheriff’s Office referenced an unfortunate incident (for the suspect, at least) that took place last weekend. A man was captured by officers after his hiding position was ruined by a thunderous bodily function. “If you’ve got a felony warrant for your arrest, the cops are looking for you and you pass gas so loud it gives up your hiding spot, you’re definitely having a [poop emoji] day,” the department wrote, alongside an image of deputies hunting for a suspect with help from a K-9 unit...”

.22″ rain fell at MSP yesterday.

79 F. high on Wednesday in the Twin Cities.

84 F. average high on July 10.

85 F. high on July 10, 2018.

July 11, 1903: The temperature plummets down to 26 at Leech Lake Dam.

THURSDAY: Sunny, warm and dry. Winds: NW 5-10. High: 81

FRIDAY: Sticky sunshine, almost hot. Winds: W 5-10. Wake-up: 66. High: 88

SATURDAY: Sunny and lake-worthy. Isolated T-shower. Winds: NE 3-8. Wake-up: 66. High: 87

SUNDAY: Some sun, muggy. Few T-storms. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 70. High: near 90

MONDAY: Hot sunshine, feels like July. Winds: S 15-25. Wake-up: 74. High: 92

TUESDAY: Still steamy, better chance of storms. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 73. High: 91

WEDNESDAY: Heavy showers and T-storms. Winds: SW 10-15. Wake-up: 72. High: 89

Climate Stories…

Collier Looks to Computer Models as Officials Gear Up for Sea Level Rise, Severe Storms. Here’s the intro to a story at Naples Daily News: “Faced with projections of rising sea levels and more intense storms, local governments in Collier County are looking to an array of interactive maps and models as the latest tool to stem the growing threat climate change poses to coastal communities. The computer models, which are being developed as part of a study funded with a $1 million grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, aim to help local officials identify vulnerable areas and come up with a plan to adapt to future challenges. Among other things, researchers and scientists from the University of Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University and the U.S. Geological Survey are working to predict the inland migration of mangroves…”

How Climate Change Will Affect Minnesota. Mpls. St. Paul Magazine has an excellent overview of current impact and future implications for Minnesota; here’s the intro: “For a few decades now—yes, it’s been a while—we’ve been hearing about what a warming Earth will look like in the future. Wildfires in Los Angeles. Flooding in Miami. While we were looking elsewhere—or trying to cover our eyes—Minnesota became the second-fastest warming state in the country. For better or worse (probably worse), we’re starting to see how it will play out. The pine forests will swoon. Some of our iconic animals—moose, lynx, loons—will move up north . . . to Canada. Our basements will flood. And we won’t want to sleep with the windows open in August. What will climate change look like in Minnesota? Here’s a snapshot…”

Is President Trump Acknowledging Climate Change? Here’s an excerpt from an overview of Monday’s comments from the president at TIME.com: “…But one claim stood out as particularly surprising: Trump specifically cited a reduction in climate change-causing carbon dioxide emissions and bragged that the U.S. has exceeded other countries in nixing greenhouse gas emissions. “Every single one of the signatories to the Paris climate accord lags behind America,” he said. That claim is misleading: emissions rose in the U.S. last year and Trump’s policies are likely to make future reductions less likely. But, more significantly, the claim appears to be an acknowledgement by the President that climate change is an actual problem that the United States should be addressing, something he has previously dismissed…”

File image: Climate Nexus.

As the World Heats Up, the Climate for News is Changing, Too. The New York Times has the story; here’s a clip: “…Mr. Nisbet, who recently published an article headlined “The Trouble With Climate Emergency Journalism” in the journal Issues in Science and Technology, warned that fever-pitch coverage could make climate science go the way of dietary science, a discipline that has suffered, in his view, from credulous reports of new studies that regularly upend conventional wisdom — fat is bad; no, carbs are bad; no, eat like a cave man. “People don’t know what to believe,” Mr. Nisbet said. “They lose trust in the science and in the journalism about the science, and the complexity of the issue is lost.” David Wallace-Wells, the deputy editor of New York magazine whose work has appeared in The Times, argued the contrary, saying that a dash of alarmism suits alarming developments…”

File image: NASA.

Climate Change Could Fuel Next Wave of Immigrants from Latin America. Here’s a clip from a press release at Berkeley News: “Global climate change is likely to exacerbate the ongoing immigration crisis in the United States, according to field research being done this summer in Guatemala by a UC Berkeley Ph.D. student funded by the Center for Latin American Studies. Michael Bakal, who will be teaching at the School of Public Health this fall, is working among the farming population, and says Guatemalan farmers have been hit hard by climate change in the form of drought. In the first three weeks he spent in the small town of Rabinal in central Guatemala, during what is usually the rainy season, Bakal says rain fell on just three days. He says when he first came to the area 10 years ago, it rained every day...”

Photo credit: “Earning a living corn farming in Guatemala has become ever more difficult during an ongoing drought, and Berkeley researcher Michael Bakal suggests continued difficulty farming could lead to increased Guatemalan immigration to the United States.” (Photo by Tomas Castelazo via Wiki Commons)