National Weather Forecast
On Saturday, we’ll continue to track showers and an isolated storm in the New York City area as the area of low pressure that brought flooding rains to NYC on Friday is finally moving away. Storms will also impact portions of the Great Lakes, Florida, and southern Texas. Messy weather is expected in the western United States, with showers, storms, and even some snow.
Heavy rain will continue to impact Florida into the weekend, with rainfall amounts of 3”+ possible. Meanwhile, the 3-6”+ in the New York City area mainly fell on Saturday, but lingering showers and thunderstorms will still remain on Saturday. Looking at the snow department, several inches of snow could fall in some of the mountain ranges in the western United States.
Minnesota utilities spending $130M to improve wind energy transmission
More from the Star Tribune: “A group of power line operators is planning to spend $130 million on several shorter-term fixes to the transmission congestion plaguing southwestern Minnesota wind farms. The grid can’t handle all the wind farms that have sprouted in recent years, leading in 2022 to a large amount of “curtailment” — the temporary shutdown of wind turbines. The issue has gotten worse this year, a representative from a major wind farm operator told state utility regulators recently. “2023 has been the worst year we have seen so far for congestion in southwestern Minnesota, and it has spread to other parts of the state,” Adam Sokolski, regulatory and legislative affairs director for EDF Renewables, said at a Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) meeting last week. The turbine shutdowns have led to “dramatic drops” in wind power, Sokolski said. “We are sprinting towards a brick wall, and we may have already hit it in southwestern Minnesota.””
Canada’s “hellish” wildfire season defies the calendar
More from Axios: “Canada’s wildfire season, already the worst on record, went “completely off the rails” during the past week, scientists tell Axios. The big picture: Enough land area burned in the past week to make the seven-day-period comparable to nearly an entire typical fire season across Canada, according to Merritt Turetsky of the University of Colorado. While five provinces and territories, stretching from Nova Scotia to the Northwest Territories, saw record amounts of land burned this season, western Canada has been hit the hardest, she said in an interview. “Things have just continued to play out in kind of a hellish way in western Canada,” she said. During the past few days, smoke from wildfires in British Columbia and the Northwest Territories has tinted the skies over Greenland and northern Europe. These fires are burning at a time of year when Canada’s fire activity tends to be on a sharp decline.”
The US power grid quietly survived its most brutal summer yet
More from Vox: “With little acknowledgment and no applause, the power grid across the continental United States this summer quietly pulled off what may have been its most impressive feat ever. On July 27, the US grid served nearly 15 million megawatt-hours of electricity across the lower 48 states, about 1.6 times the electricity produced by every nuclear power plant in the world on a given day. It kept lights, fans, and air conditioners running in every home, office, factory, school, hospital, and store on one of the hottest days ever. For comparison, the average daily electricity use in 2022 across the whole country was roughly 11 million MWh. At 6 pm ET, US energy demand reached an all-time high hourly peak of 741,815 MWh. It’s even more remarkable when you consider the context: July 27 was just the Mount Everest in a month of Himalayan demand peaks. July 2023 was the hottest month on the planet since at least 1880, possibly the hottest in 100,000 years. The US, being a country on Earth, burst through numerous temperature records. In Death Valley, California, temperatures reached 127.7 degrees Fahrenheit.”
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– D.J. Kayser