What Else? Scattered Weekend Showers Likely

To be a meteorologist is to live in state of perpetual paranoia. What can go wrong and what time?

Minnesotans suffer for their summers. Surges of precious warmth are usually accompanied by annoying gangs of showers and thunderstorms. Rain that puts food on our tables, but complicates outdoor plans.
One such atmospheric tug-of-war plays out overhead today. Take advantage of any dry weather this morning, because showers and T-storms become more numerous this afternoon, especially over southern and western
Minnesota. If you’re heading to Target Field today take something waterproof, keep weather- expectations low, and hope for few good breaks.
Sunday looks a notch or two nicer, with the best chance of showers up north. Highs hold in the 70s next week as summer continues to pull its punch. 80s return by late June with a shot at 90F as we approach the 4th of July. Wait, how did THAT happen. The older we get, the faster time flies, right?
Note to self: I’m going to soak up the weekend, regardless of what the weather does.

Weekend Rainfall Potential. ECMWF printsout some .5 to 1.2″ amounts across much of central Minnesota and Wisconsin by Monday morning; lesser amounts over far northern counties. Precipitation will be convective; hit or miss showers and thunderstorms vs. a smear of steady rain. Map: WeatherBell.

Two June Frosts Up North. Details from Dr. Mark Seeley at Minnesota WeatherTalk: “After seeing widespread frosts across northern Minnesota on the second of June (many morning low temperatures in the 20s F), June 13th brought widespread temperature readings in the 30s F around the state, and delivered a second round of frosts to northern counties this week. Cotton, Celina, Crane Lake, Cook, Embarrass, Eveleth, Bigfork, Floodwood, Wright, Hibbing, Aitkin, and Cloquet climate stations all reported frost on Thursday morning. This is a bit unusual in that places like Hibbing, Cotton, and Bigfork usually see one frost in the month of June, but not very often two or more frosts. Back in 1964 some northern climate stations reported 4 frosts during the month of June, while in June of 2004 Embarrass reported 11 frosts, probably a statewide record number…”


Heating Up (a Little). Still no extended heat waves shaping up, but expect a few blips – flashes –  of heat as we end out the month of June. Historically, the hottest period of the year is mid-July. I still see a cool bias for the northern tier states of the USA through the end of this month.


“It’s Getting Wetter Out There” Is Not a Controversial Statement. The map above (thanks to Brian Brettschneider) has nothing to do with climate models and everything to do with actual, observed precipitation since 1919. Nearly the entire country, with the exception of Arizona, is trending wetter over time.

Is Your Home at Risk of Flooding? The Data is Hard to Find. A story at The Wall Street Journal (paywall) made me do a triple-take. Really? Here’s a clip: “…Overall, about two dozen states don’t require sellers to disclose if a property has previously flooded, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, a nonprofit group of lawyers and scientists that advocates on environmental issues. Many of these states also don’t require sellers to indicate whether a property is situated in a flood zone. In New York, sellers can opt to pay the buyer a $500 credit at closing rather than provide a disclosure form that includes information about a property’s flooding history, according to the NRDC. Some U.S. lawmakers want to change this, particularly after recent floods caused home and car damage in Oklahoma and Louisiana…”
File photo: Jay Janner, AP.

Real Deal: Realtors Hail Flood Insurance Solution. Yes, pricing (real) flood risk seems to be out of whack and the deeply indebted National Flood Insurance Program is Exhibit A. Mercury News takes a deep dive; here’s an excerpt: “Lawmakers this week introduced H.R. 3167, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Reauthorization Act of 2019, a five-year reauthorization of the deeply in debt flood insurance program through Sept. 30, 2024. Both the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Homebuilders have hailed the plan and praised both Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters and Ranking Member Patrick McHenry for their efforts in bringing a long-term solution to the financially embattled flood program. “The National Association of Realtors applauds Chairwoman Waters and Ranking Member McHenry for working towards a bipartisan, long-term solution for the National Flood Insurance Program,” said NAR president John Smaby…”

NOAA Upgrades the U.S. Global Weather Forecast Model. The old GFS is getting a makeover; details via NOAA: “NOAA’s flagship weather model — the Global Forecast System (GFS) — is undergoing a significant upgrade today to include a new dynamical core called the Finite-Volume Cubed-Sphere (FV3). This upgrade will drive global numerical weather prediction into the future with improved forecasts of severe weather, winter storms, and tropical cyclone intensity and track. NOAA research scientists originally developed the FV3 as a tool to predict long-range weather patterns at time frames ranging from multiple decades to interannual, seasonal and subseasonal. In recent years, creators of the FV3 at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory expanded it to also become the engine for NOAA’s next-generation operational GFS…”


How UM’s Hurricane Simulator is Helping Forecasters with Storm Predictions. Here’s a link to an interesting story and video from NBC6 in South Florida: “...It’s a unique research tool for understanding what happens in the ocean environment in really intense hurricane force wind conditions,” said Dr. Haus. Located at the University of Miami’s Marine Science campus on Key Biscayne, Dr. Haus and his team are using the simulator for a dozen experiments a year. It’s fueled by monstrous generators for the wind and mechanical paddles to create the waves. “We’re particularly interested in the intensification process,” said Dr. Haus when asked what kind of research they’re looking for. “How hurricanes can rapidly go from say a category 2 to a category 5 in less than 24 hours...”


Researchers Developing Weather Drones. Doppler radar only goes so far, probing the lower atmosphere presents an opportunity for data collected by drones, according to a post at arkansasonline.com: “…A “long-recognized lack of observation” in the bottom 2 miles of the atmosphere hinders storm forecasting, Chilson said. While existing radar can correctly show what is happening inside storm cells, such as the height and position of a hail core, it struggles with external factors such as a possible influx of cold or warm, moist air that can fortify a storm. Also, data collection via radar can be expensive, Chilson said. That is where drones can make an impact. “The surge of [unmanned aircraft systems] has really opened up a lot of doors for us,” Chilson said. “This really is a revolutionary period in meteorology...”

Photo credit: “In this July 2018 photo provided by Tyler Bell of the University of Oklahoma Center for Autonomous Sensing and Sampling, Bill Doyle, Tony Segales and Gus Azevedo launch a drone in Moffat, Colo. Researchers at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University are jointly developing drone technology to more accurately forecast the weather.” (Tyler Bell via AP).


The Weather Forecast That Saved D-Day. HISTORY.com has terrific perspective on what may have been the most consequential weather forecast (ever). Here’s an excerpt: “…Allies had a much more robust network of weather stations in Canada, Greenland and Iceland; of weather ships and weather flights over the North Atlantic and observations by secret agreement from weather stations in the neutral Republic of Ireland,” he says.  Those weather stations, in particular one at a post office at Blacksod Point in the far west of Ireland, proved crucial in detecting the arrival of a lull in the storms that Stagg and his colleagues believed would allow for an invasion on June 6. As rain and high winds lashed Portsmouth on the night of June 4, Stagg informed Eisenhower of the forecast for a temporary break. With the next available date for an invasion nearly two weeks away, the Allies risked losing the element of surprise if they waited. In spite of the pelting rain and howling winds outside, Eisenhower placed his faith in his forecasters and gave the go-ahead for D-Day…”

File image: NOAA.


Best Degrees For People With an Interest in Meteorology. Here’s an excerpt from Techaeris: “…Atmospheric researchers collaborate with scientists of many stripes including physicists, environmental specialists, hydrologists and oceanographers. They work in conjunction to better understand the atmosphere and how it affects weather patterns, causes extreme weather, changing temperatures, ocean movements, and more. Forensic meteorologists are part weather expert and part historian. They look at past weather to gain insights into how they may have contributed to unexplained events, wildfires, or even an accident on the road. If you have an active interest in weather patterns, you might want to consider learning to code. This way you can create mobile apps that incorporate the best weather API from Aeris Weather to pull the latest weather data and satellite maps directly into your apps...”


Tesla CEO: “It Won’t Be Long Before We See 400-Mile Range”. CNBC.com has details: “Tesla CEO Elon Musk spoke at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Mountain View, California on Tuesday, telling investors, “It won’t be long before we have a 400-mile range car.He also said that sometime next year, Tesla drivers will be able to use self-driving features in their vehicles without intervention. Musk said, “Every car made since October 2016 is capable for full autonomy with replacement of the computer alone.” He also added, “We’ll still need regulatory approval but the capability will be there. This massively increases the value of the car...”


America is Stuck with a $400 Billion Fighter That Can’t Fight. Say what? Check out this post at Daily Beast: “…Here’s something the public didn’t know until today: If one of the U.S. military’s new F-35 stealth fighters has to climb at a steep angle in order to dodge an enemy attack, design flaws mean the plane might suddenly tumble out of control and crash. Also, some versions of the F-35 can’t accelerate to supersonic speed without melting their own tails or shedding the expensive coating that helps to give the planes their radar-evading qualities...”

Illustration credit above: Kelly Caminero/The Daily Beast/Alamy.


Israeli Company Unveils Plans for Electric Flying Car. Calcalistech has details: “Called Asaka, Japanese for flying bird, NFT’s vehicle will be equipped with 14 propellers and collapsable wings extracted before take off. The car will be two-meters wide and 12-meters wide with its wings fully extracted. NFT’s first vehicle will require a takeoff lane of just 20-30 meters and will be able to carry three people for a distance of 550 kilometers at a speed of between 160 km-per-hour and 240 km-per-hour. The vehicle will be electric but require a petrol engine to charge its batteries. The car’s initial price tag will be between $200,000 and $300,000, but the company expects it to go down as commercial production commences. “Our main emphasis, alongside safety, is reducing costs by using off-the-shelf components,” Kaplinsky said...”


What I Learned About Life at My 30th College Reunion. Pocket, at The Atlantic,has a post that resonated: “…At a certain point midway on the timeline of one’s finite existence, the differences between people that stood out in youth take a backseat to similarities, with that mother of all universal themes—a sudden coming to grips with mortality—being the most salient. Not that this is an exhaustive list, but here are 30 simple shared truths I discovered at my 30th reunion of Harvard’s class of 1988.

  1. No one’s life turned out exactly as anticipated, not even for the most ardent planner.
  2. Every classmate who became a teacher or doctor seemed happy with the choice of career.
  3. Many lawyers seemed either unhappy or itching for a change, with the exception of those who became law professors. (See No. 2 above.)
  4. Nearly every single banker or fund manager wanted to find a way to use accrued wealth to give back (some had concrete plans, some didn’t), and many, at this point, seemed to want to leave Wall Street as soon as possible to take up some sort of art...”

Oh, To Have This Much Free Time. CNN explains: “Agustin Alanis is on a mission to secure a Guinness World Record for the number of times someone has watched “Avengers: Endgame.”  Alanis, 30, of Riverview, Florida, spoke to CNN as he walked into a theater Wednesday for his 114th screening of the superhero blockbuster. “I go twice on weekdays; Saturday and Sunday, four to five times, (which) is the most I can because of the movie being 3 hours and 2 minutes long,” said Alanis, who’s spent the equivalent of more than 40 workdays watching the Marvel Studios film. He’s managed it while juggling his job as a supervisor for his family’s construction business…”


86 F. high temperature Friday in the Twin Cities.

79 F. average high on June 14.

82 F. high on June 14, 2018.

June 15, 1989: Scattered frost develops across Minnesota, with the coldest reading of 29 at Isabella.


SATURDAY: Showers, T-storms, best chance southern/western MN. Winds: E 8-13. High: 75

SUNDAY: More sun, nagging shower risk. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 61. High: 77

MONDAY: Unsettled, PM thundershower. Winds: NE 5-10. Wake-up: 58. High: 73

TUESDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, drier. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 60. High: 77

WEDNESDAY: Clouds increase, more humid. Winds: E 5-10. Wake-up: 61. High: near 80

THURSDAY: Sunny spells, feels like June again. Winds: SE 8-13. Wake-up: 63. High: 83

FRIDAY: Thunderstorms, some heavy? Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 64. High: 75


Climate Stories…

Are We Seeing More Hail in a Warmer, Wetter World? Experts Say Not Yet. I wrote an article for the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang, trying to answer the question of whether there is a high confidence in attributing more hail reports to a warming atmosphere. The answer appears to be no, at least not yet. Here’s a clip: “…Hail records are a hodgepodge. In the 1990s, cable TV and the movie “Twister,” among other factors, encouraged storm chasers to converge on severe supercell thunderstorms, and they tended to field far more hail reports than tornado videos. Now, social media is an even stronger influence. “What you might call the sampling effort isn’t a constant” said Diffenbaugh. “There are different incentives to find severe events and chase them in some cases.” Moreover, when hail does fall, there are more people observing it. What was farmland in the 1970s is now subdivisions and strip malls. Complicating matters, NOAA’s definition of “severe hail” went from 0.75 inches in diameter to one-inch in 2009, and hail often melts before it can be measured properly, so there are reporting inconsistencies…”

File photo credit: NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory.


Summers Trending Hotter. Details via Climate Central: “…Almost 92% of the cities analyzed have experienced an increase in the number of above-normal summer days since 1970, with an average increase of 15 days. That’s more than two additional weeks with hotter-than-normal temperatures. 35 cities have recorded a rise of at least 30 hot days, or an additional month. McAllen, Texas leads the list with a remarkable increase of 64 hot days, followed by Houston (49 days), Laredo (47 days), and Sarasota, Florida (44 days). The largest changes are dominated by southern areas — of the top 20 cities, Las Vegas and Raleigh are the furthest north. Summer heat in the South is shifting from uncomfortable to downright unbearable. In addition to last week’s featured impacts on agriculture, athletes, and air conditioning costs, hot summers can spur more disease-carrying insects and hurricane strength…”


IMPACTS: Links and headlines courtesy of Climate Nexus. India heat wave, soaring up to 123 degrees, has killed at least 36 (New York Times $), climate change has already displaced hundreds in Senegalese city of Saint-Louis (NPR), will climate change kill everyone — or just lots and lots of people? (Vox), Alaska is melting and it’s likely to accelerate global heating (The Guardian), wildfires are ‘burning longer’ and ‘harder to control,’ officials warn (CNN), are we seeing more hail in a warmer, wetter world? Experts say not yet (Washington Post $)


Some Republican Lawmakers Break with Party on Climate Change. Here’s an excerpt from The Wall Street Journal: “…In a memo circulated Wednesday to Republican congressional offices, the polling firm of longtime GOP strategist Frank Luntz warned that climate change was “a GOP vulnerability and a GOP opportunity.” The firm conducted a survey for the Climate Leadership Council, a policy group promoting its variation of a carbon tax, and said in the memo that 69% of Republican voters are concerned their party was “hurting itself with younger voters” because of its climate stance. Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida says the GOP needs to advance sound conservative proposals to combat climate change and embrace science, or risk long-term political damage. “How can we as a party stand up to the generational challenges we face with globalization and automation and climate change if we don’t look credible to the body politic?” Mr. Gaetz said in an interview…”


Planet Entering New Climate Regime with Extraordinary Heat Waves Intensifed by Global Warming. Jason Samenow reports at Capital Weather Gang: “…While some scientists hesitate to attribute individual heat spells to climate change, Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California at Los Angeles, tweeted that his research suggests that we’ve “reached the point where a majority (perhaps a vast majority) of unprecedented extreme heat events globally have a detectable human influence.” Last summer, exceptional heat affected 22 percent of the populated and agricultural areas of the Northern Hemisphere between the months of May and July, the Earth’s Future study said. The contiguous United States witnessed its hottest May on record, California endured its hottest July and numerous European cities notched their highest temperatures ever recorded, while cities in Asia, the Middle East and Africa also established new heat milestones…”


Pollen Increase is Real, and Linked to Climate Change. The Boston Globe explains why: “…If you remember your basic biology from elementary school you’ll recall that carbon dioxide is what plants take in, while they give off oxygen. If you increase the carbon dioxide, you essentially give plants more food and many of these are responding in kind. A recent article in The Lancet Planetary Health journal looked at how the increase in CO2 is leading to more pollen. This study looked at data over several different continents and found around 70 percent of the areas evaluated had significant increase in their pollen season. We can hone in here on several different US cities and notice that the pollen season is rapidly expanding. In the spring the trees are leafing out earlier and in the fall the ragweed is lasting longer…”