A Much Warmer Front Next Week?

What keeps me up at night? A wetter pattern making it harder for America’s farmers to feed the world. Hurricanes intensifying rapidly before reaching the coast, catching some off guard. And tornadoes touching down late at night, when people are sleeping, unaware of life-threatening weather nearby.

Two EF-3 tornadoes packing 140 mph winds struck near Dayton, Ohio shortly before midnight on Memorial Day. The only way to lower risk is to have multiple sources of information: TV, radio, web, apps and sirens are great. But the cheapest life insurance is still a $30 NOAA Weather Radio, programmed to set off an alarm if a warning is issued for your specific county. Every home, office and hospital should have one.

A weak southern storm nicks us with a shower today; a better chance of T-storms late Friday into Saturday. Sunday still looks like the nicer, sunnier day of the weekend.

We’re about to make up for chronically-chilly weather: 80s by Friday, maybe a streak of 80s next week.


Getting Better As You Head North. The best weather today comes over central and northern Minnesota with lukewarm sunshine and 70s. Clouds thicken south of I-94 with showers over far southern Minnesota – but heaviest rains pass to our south over Iowa. Map: Praedictix and AerisWeather.

Wednesday Predicted Rainfall. The bulk of the rain stays well south of Minnesota today, some .50+” amounts near the Iowa border, but lighter showers for the Twin Cities. ECMWF data: WeatherBell.

Twin Cities May Precipitation So Far: 6.68″ Weather factoids courtesy of Todd Nelson at Praedictix:
*Tied for 5th Wettest (May 1st – May 27th) on record.
**However, if we don’t see anymore rain it’ll end up being the 11th wettest May on record.
***We only need 0.10″ to make it into the top 10 wettest Mays on record.
8th Wettest Spring So Far: 12.59″ (March 1st – May 31st)
3rd Wettest Start To Any Year On Record So Far: 15.61″ (Jan 1st – May 27th)

Cost of Buying Out Flood-Prone Homes: $5 Billion and Rising. Here’s a clip from AP: “Over the past three decades, federal and local governments have poured more than $5 billion into buying tens of thousands of properties that are susceptible to flooding. An analysis of federal data by The Associated Press shows those buyouts have been getting more expensive. Many of the costliest have come during the last decade after strong storms pounded heavily populated coastal states such as Texas, New York and New Jersey...”

File image: Don Becker, USGS.

From yesterday evening’s terrifyingly large and violent wedge tornadoas it approached Kansas City:

Tornado Details: KMBC.com has more details on the violent tornado that pushed across the western and northwestern suburbs of Kansas City Tuesday evening.

2019: An Unusually Severe Year. Pretty impressive SPC storm report stats since a High Risk day on Monday, May 20th. Here’s what meteorologist Todd Nelson from Praedictix found:

5/20: 170 Reports (35 Tornadoes) HIGH RISK DAY

5/21: 105 Reports (41 Tornadoes)

5/22: 237 Reports (43 Tornadoes)
5/23: 222 Reports (17 Tornadoes)
5/24: 129 Reports (16 Tornadoes)
5/25: 249 Reports (17 Tornadoes)
5/26: 283 Reports (31 Tornadoes)
5/27: 197 Reports (52 Tornadoes)
8 Day Total: 1,592 Reports (252 Tornadoes)

Heating Up – Finally. The 2-week outlook for 500mb winds GFS) continues to predict a hot bubble of high pressure over the Plains and central USA by the second week of June, capable of 80s and 90s. Unusually cool weather lingers for New England and the Pacific Northwest.

Deadly Dayton (Ohio) Tornado Packed 140 MPH Winds. Here’s How It Developed. Capital Weather Gang has a good chronology of the supercells that spawned the EF-3 tornadoes: “…At first, it was expected that the storms near Chicago would merge into a line that would eventually sweep eastward and decay with time. Squall lines don’t usually produce high-end tornadoes; instead, they’re like an atmospheric snowplow, heralded by a swath of damaging straight-line winds. But later Monday, meteorologists at the Storm Prediction Center zeroed in on something the computer models weren’t quite capturing. “There may be a period with sustained discrete storm development, including supercells,” they wrote, emphasizing that these loner storms would “pose a more substantive risk for a strong tornado or two.” It was a low-probability event, but if it occurred it would have an extremely high impact. And that’s exactly what happened…”

Image credit: “Three-dimensional view of tornadic storm just north of Dayton Monday night.”

11 Straight Days of Tornadoes Have U.S. Approaching “Uncharted Territory”. Perspective from The New York Times: “…It was a scene that has played out in state after state this spring. In the last week alone, the authorities have linked tornadoes to at least seven deaths and scores of injuries. Federal government weather forecasters logged preliminary reports of more than 500 tornadoes in a 30-day period — a rare figure, if the reports are ultimately verified — after the start of the year proved mercifully quiet. “From mid-April on, it’s just been on a tear,” said Patrick Marsh, the warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center. “What has really set us apart has been the last 10 days or so. The last 10 days took us from about normal to well above normal…”

Map credit: National Weather Service | “Note: Tornadoes reported during Monday 8 a.m. (EST) and Tuesday 8 a.m. (EST) are shown.” | By The New York Times.

Praedictix Briefing: Issued Tuesday, May 28th, 2019:

  • A Moderate Risk of severe weather has been issued for later today across parts of northeastern Kansas and far southeastern Nebraska to western Illinois, including the cities of Kansas City, St. Joseph, and Kirksville (KS), Burlington, Lamoni and Ottumwa (IA), and Quincy (IL).
  • Storms that form this afternoon and evening across this region will be capable of tornadoes (some of which could be strong) as well as large hail. As storms move east later this evening – especially across parts of southern Iowa, northern Missouri and western Illinois – damaging wind gusts are expected.
  • Facilities located in this elevated severe risk region should review safety procedures ahead of the severe weather threat and make sure they are prepared to act quickly if threatening weather impacts the area.
  • There is also an Enhanced Risk of severe storms in the Northeast today for the potential of large hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes from far eastern Ohio, through much of Pennsylvania and into New Jersey. Cities in this greatest risk include Youngstown (OH), Pittsburgh, State College, Wilkes Barre, Allentown and Philadelphia (PA), and Trenton (NJ).

Moderate Risk Of Severe Storms. A Moderate Risk of severe weather has been issued for parts of northeastern Kansas and southeastern Nebraska across southern Iowa and northern Missouri to far western Illinois in advance of severe thunderstorm development expected today and tonight. Within this threat area, tornadoes (some of which could be strong), large hail and damaging winds are expected. This Moderate Risk area includes the cities of Kansas City, St. Joseph, and Kirksville (KS), Burlington, Lamoni and Ottumwa (IA), and Quincy (IL). There is also an Enhanced Risk of severe storms that stretches south into the Central and Southern Plains, which includes the cities of Oklahoma City and Tulsa (OK) and Wichita, Emporia and Salina (KS). There is another Enhanced Risk area in the Northeast that includes the cities of Youngstown (OH), Pittsburgh, State College, Wilkes Barre, Allentown and Philadelphia (PA), and Trenton (NJ). These Enhanced Risk areas can also expect to see large hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes.

Storm Timing Later Today. Storms are expected to form during the mid-to-late afternoon hours from eastern Kansas and southeastern Nebraska and work into southern Iowa and northern Missouri in an atmosphere that is set up for discrete cells capable of very large hail and tornadoes (some of which could be strong). As these storms move east into the evening and overnight hours, these storms will merge into lines of storms capable of damaging winds.

Tornado Threat. Storms across this Moderate Risk area – especially across parts of northeastern Kansas, southeastern Nebraska, far southern Iowa and northwestern Missouri will be capable of producing tornadoes this afternoon and evening. In those areas, there is a 15% probability of a tornado within 25 miles of a point, with the rest of the Moderate Risk area seeing a 10% probability. The entire Moderate Risk area – and some areas of the Enhanced Risk – is also outlined in a hatched/significant area. This hatched/significant area is indicative of the potential of strong (EF-2+ strength) tornadoes.

Large Hail Threat. Storms that form later today will also pose the threat of large hail. Due to the threat of very large hail, potentially over 2″ in diameter, the Storm Prediction Center has a hatched/significant area outlined across the Moderate Risk area as well as parts of the Enhanced Risk area, stretching from the Iowa/Missouri/Nebraska/Kansas border southward into central Oklahoma. The greatest threat for any hail in storms will be across the Moderate Risk area, where there is a 45% probability of 1″+ diameter hail within 25 miles of a point.

Damaging Wind Threat. As storms merge into more linear structures later this afternoon and evening, the damaging wind threat will increase. The greatest potential of damaging winds of at least 58 mph will be across northern Missouri, southern Iowa and into far western Illinois, where there is a 45% probability of a damaging wind report within 25 miles of a point.

Additional Heavy Rain As Well. Storms later today across parts of the Central US will once again be capable of heavy rain. Keep in mind that much of the region has experienced significant rainfall so far this month, so any additional heavy rainfall could further exacerbate the flood potential. According to the Weather Prediction Center, there is a Moderate Risk of flash flooding across parts of southern Iowa, northern Missouri and into far western Illinois, where flash flooding will be at its greatest risk.

Todd Nelson, Meteorologist, Praedictix

100 Degrees on Memorial Day, 2018. Seems like a long time ago, huh? The Minnesota DNR jogs our memories: “On May 28, 2018 the mercury reached 100 degrees at the Twin Cities International Airport. This is the earliest reading of 100 degrees at the official Twin Cities reporting site since 1871. A large area of high pressure entrenched across the midsection of the country set the stage for a pre-summer heat wave. From May 24-29, 2018 the mercury climbed at or above 90 degrees for six days in a row, the second most number of 90 degree maximum temperatures or higher in May for the Twin Cities, with only 1934 having more 90 degree days with eight. The 100-degree reading set the maximum temperature record for May 28, breaking the old record of 98 in 1934. The highest temperature found statewide was 102 at Madison in Lac Qui Parle County in west central Minnesota…”

Photo credit: “Thermometer on May 28, 2018.” Courtesy: MNDNR State Climatology Office.

Frigid Offices Might Be Killing Women’s Productivity. The Atlantic confirms your worst suspicions regarding frigid office spaces: “…Now a new paper confirms what many of us have long suspected. Women don’t just prefer warmer office temperatures. They perform better in them, too. For the study, published today in the journal PLOS One, the researchers Tom Chang and Agne Kajackaite had 543 college students in Berlin take different types of tests in a room set to various temperatures between 61 and 91 degrees Fahrenheit. When the room was warmer, women answered more questions on the math and verbal tests and got more questions right. A 1-degree Celsius increase in the room’s temperature was associated with a nearly 2 percent increase in the number of math questions the women correctly answered, and a 1 percent increase in their performance on the verbal task. The men, meanwhile, did better at cooler temperatures…”

Netflix Has 175 Days Left to Pull Off a Miracle, Or It’s All Over. Truth or hype? One analyst lays out a fairly convincing scenario at Forbes; here’s an excerpt: “…Picture this…Disney puts a blockbuster like Avengers Endgame on its platform the same day it opens in theaters. After a few weeks it’s no longer in theaters. You can’t buy it. You can’t rent it. The only way to watch is to subscribe to Disney’s steaming service, Disney+. For example, the only place your children or grandchildren will be able to see Toy Story 4 and Frozen 2 may be on Disney+. Can you imagine how many parents will sign up for this? I’ll certainly be subscribing for my daughter. At $6.99/month, what family with kids under 12 years wouldn’t subscribe?…”

Image credit: AdExchanger.

Chevy Has a Surprise for Teens Who Refuse to Buckle Up. Sounds like a very good idea to me. NPR has details: “Know a young driver who’s ignoring your pleas to buckle up? Chevrolet suggests you might try to see if they’ll listen to a different authority figure: their car.  The automaker is introducing a feature, specifically for teen drivers, that will temporarily block the auto from shifting into gear if their seat belt isn’t buckled. A message will alert the driver to buckle up in order to shift into gear.  After 20 seconds, the vehicle will operate normally…”

Image credit: “Chevrolet’s new Buckle to Drive feature, available on some 2020 models, is set when the vehicle is in Teen Driver mode.” John F. Martin for Chevrolet.

Worried About Weather For Your Cruise? So is James Van Fleet. And here I thought I had a pretty good gig. The New York Times explains: “…James Van Fleet joined Royal Caribbean International two years ago, after more than two decades as a meteorologist on television and radio. As the first full-time, on-staff chief meteorologist for both the company and the cruise industry, a position he calls a “dream job,” he travels around the world and works with cruise staff to keep travelers safe. He has helped dozens of captains navigate through storms and heavy rain, fog and other inclement weather. His job also involves forecasting the weather weeks ahead, to help the company’s shoreside and shipboard teams decide if they should cancel, reroute or reschedule cruises...”

Photo credit: “James Van Fleet, chief meteorologist for Royal Caribbean Cruises, tracks the weather around the world for dozens of ships.” Credit: Royal Caribbean.

Owners of Biblical Replica of Noah’s Ark Sue Over (Wait for It) Rain Damage. Courier Journal has the unlikely details: “The owner of the life-size replica of Noah’s Ark in Northern Kentucky has sued its insurers for refusing to cover, of all things … rain damage. Ark Encounter, which unveiled the 510-foot-long model in 2016, says that heavy rains in 2017 and 2018 caused a landslide on its access road, and its five insurance carriers refused to cover nearly $1 million in damages. In a 77-page lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Ark Encounter asks for compensatory and punitive damages. The ark itself was not damaged and the road has been rebuilt, according to the suit…”

Image credit: “The Ark Encounter confirms beliefs to some in Williamstown as others protest the message and tax use of the $100 million dollar wooden edifice.” Matt Stone, The CJ.

69 F. maximum Twin Cities temperature yesterday.

73 F. average high on May 28.

100 F. high on May 28, 2018.

May 29, 1949: An intense downpour dumps over 7 inches of rain at Thief River Falls.

May 29, 1947: Extremely late season snow falls in southern Minnesota, northern Iowa, and southern Wisconsin. Worthington, MN picks up an inch, while some places in southern Wisconsin receive up to 6 inches.

WEDNESDAY: Patchy clouds. Risk of a shower. Winds: N 5-10. High: 69

THURSDAY: Sunny and warmer. Winds: N 5-10. Wake-up: 53. High: 79

FRIDAY: Sticky sunshine, late-day thunder. Winds: W 8-13. Wake-up: 62. High: 85

SATURDAY: Scattered showers and T-storms. Winds: N 7-12. Wake-up: 63. High: 75

SUNDAY: Blue sky, nicer day of the weekend. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 58. High: 77

MONDAY: Humid with a slight T-storm risk. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 61. High: 79

TUESDAY: Partial clearing, a bit sticky. Winds: N 7-12. Wake-up: 63. High: 81

Climate Stories….

Trump Administration Hardens Its Attack on Climate Science. Here’s an excerpt from The New York Times: “…The attack on science is underway throughout the government. In the most recent example, the White House-appointed director of the United States Geological Survey, James Reilly, a former astronaut and petroleum geologist, has ordered that scientific assessments produced by that office use only computer-generated climate models that project the impact of climate change through 2040, rather than through the end of the century, as had been done previously. Scientists say that would give a misleading picture because the biggest effects of current emissions will be felt after 2040. Models show that the planet will most likely warm at about the same rate through about 2050. From that point until the end of the century, however, the rate of warming differs significantly with an increase or decrease in carbon emissions…”

Photo credit: “President Trump has pushed to resurrect the idea of holding public debates on the validity of climate science.” Doug Mills/The New York Times.

“Startling” Inaction of Climate Change Must End, Pope Says. National Catholic Reporter has the story: “If the world is to win the fight against climate change, its leaders must stop profiting from fossil fuels that threaten the survival and well-being of the planet and its inhabitants, Pope Francis said. Addressing a Vatican climate change conference for finance ministers from around the world May 27, the pope said that the current crisis is “caused by a confusion of our moral ledger with our financial ledger.” “We live at a time when profits and losses seem to be more highly valued than lives and deaths, and when a company’s net worth is given precedence over the infinite worth of our human family,” he said…”

Photo credit: “Raoni Metuktire, chief of the Kayapo indigenous group in the Brazilian Amazon region, right, shows Pope Francis a map of the Amazon rainforest during a private audience at the Vatican May 27, 2019. The indigenous chief met with the pope to discuss the Synod of Bishops on the Amazon, which will be at the Vatican in October.” (CNS/Vatican Media).

How Citizens’ Assemblies Could Be Used to Tackle Climate Change. Truthout explains: “...Allen describes citizen’s assemblies as plugging a democratic gap. “When an issue is complicated like climate change and has becoming politically stuck, the best way to unblock it and make a decision on the future of the country is a citizens’ assembly because it’s a representative sample of the population; people get to learn about the issue first and discuss it with one another and get to a detailed and nuanced position. You can’t do that with the other democratic tools we have,” so they. They can also be used to kick-start wider participation. In Canada for example, citizens’ assemblies supported participants to go back to their communities and run town hall meetings to engage more people about the issues…”

For the Midwest, Epic Flooding is the Face of Climate Change. Here’s a clip from a story at WIRED.com: “…More recent work, published in February by scientists at the University of Notre Dame, shows that floods aren’t just getting more frequent—they’ll also get more powerful in the future. Using a statistical method to blend data from global climate models with local information, the researchers predicted that the severity of extreme hydrologic events, so-called 100-year floods, hitting 20 watersheds in the Midwest and Great Lakes region will increase by as much as 30 percent by the end of the century. The approach, called “downscaling,” has been used to look at hydrological dynamics in other parts of the country before, but it was never applied to the Midwest. “What we’re seeing is that the past really is not a good predictor of the future,” says the study’s lead author, Kyuhyun Byun. “Especially when it comes to extreme weather events…”

File image: John Sommers II. Reuters.

Climate Change Visualized: How Earth’s Temperature Has Changed Since 1970. Axios looks at global trends: “2018 was Earth’s 4th-warmest year on record, coming in behind 2016, the planet’s warmest recorded year, as well as 2015 and 2017, according to information released by NOAA, NASA and the U.K. Met Office. Why it matters: The yearly rankings don’t tell the whole story of long-term climate change, since natural variability can still push or pull an individual year up or down the rankings. However, the overall picture is growing starker with each passing year. Nine of the 10 warmest years on record since reliable data began in 1880 have occurred since 2005. At the same time, greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels — as well as deforestation and intensive agriculture — have skyrocketed to levels not seen in more than 800,000 years...”

Graphic credit: NASA GISS; Graphic: Harry Stevens/Axios.

Ocean Winds and Waves Are Getting Higher and Stronger. Here’s an excerpt of research highlighted at Pursuit, at the University of Melbourne: “…But our new research, published in Science, shows that these waves, and the winds that generate them, are increasing in magnitude and have been doing so for the last 30 years. These new measurements show that global average wave conditions are increasing but, more importantly, extreme wave conditions are increasing even more rapidly with the largest increases occurring in the Southern Ocean. We found that extreme winds in the Southern Ocean have increased by approximately 1.5 metres per second or 8 per cent over the last 30 years. Similarly, extreme waves in this same region have increased by 30 centimetres or 5 per cent. Generally, winds are increasing at a faster rate than the waves…We used data from a total of 31 satellites that were in orbit between 1985 and 2018. For more than thirty years, these satellites made approximately 4 billion measurements of wind speed and wave height…”