National Weather Forecast

We continue to watch several areas of low pressure across the nation on Saturday, leading to the potential of showers and thunderstorms. Hot weather continues to plague the Southern Plains and desert Southwest as well.

Two areas of particularly heavy rain are possible Friday through Sunday – one in the area of the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, and another in the Northern Plains. In both areas, 3-5” of rain will be possible which could lead to flash flooding.


After 30 years, researchers at the University of Minnesota Duluth have created a new tree

More from the Star Tribune: “It took nearly 30 years, but researchers based at the University of Minnesota Duluth have bred a new variety of tree with an already lengthy list of ways it can be used — ranging from expediting shade in residential neighborhoods to quickly removing toxins from the soil. The tree variety, InnovaTree, is born of cross-pollinating native Minnesota cottonwood and European poplar. It grows up to 8 feet per year — 64% faster than other commercial trees — and tops out at about 75 feet tall. The Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) hosted the commercial launch of its InnovaTree last week at Hauser’s Superior View Farm in Bayfield County. Dozens of potted trees, the first available to the public, lined a stage. Even the director of NRRI, an applied research organization, seemed surprised by the trees’ ample height — some up to 5 feet tall — given their relative youth.

Global ocean temperatures soared to the highest level on record this week

More from CNN: “The temperature of the planet’s oceans rose to new heights this week, setting a new record with no sign of cooling down. The average global ocean surface temperature hit 20.96 degrees Celsius (69.7 Fahrenheit) at the end of July, according to modern data from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, beating the previous record of 20.95 degrees Celsius set in 2016. The Copernicus ocean data goes back to 1979. Scientists say the world needs to brace for ocean temperatures to keep rising as the arrival of El Niño – the natural climate fluctuation that originates in the tropical Pacific Ocean, and has a warming impact – layers on top of human-caused global warming.

Climate change is hitting close to home for nearly 2 out of 3 Americans, poll finds

More from the PBS Newshour: “At the end of the hottest month on record, which left millions in the United States sweltering under heat advisories, nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults say that climate change is noticeably affecting their local communities, and a majority also see climate change as causing serious effects right now, according to the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll. “People see that climate change is already a threat and will continue to be a growing threat in the future, and they support changes to keep people safe and prepared, especially on the local level,” said Bernadette Woods Placky, chief meteorologist at Climate Central, an independent research and communication organization.

Fight Fire With — AI? Artificial Intelligence Tackles Wildfires

More from CleanTechnica: “With wildfires blazing across Canada and blotting out the sun in much of America’s Midwest and Western Europe, not to mention the onset of California’s “wildfire season,” the rush is on to create better early response technology and even ways to precisely predict breakouts and early intervention, which offers the best chance of controlling wildfires. Now, a company called Pano AI is using new data models and continuous surveillance to help catch fires as soon as they start, and before they run wild. Pano AI is currently building out the largest blaze-detecting network in the Pacific Northwest, monitoring some 2.4 million hectares (about 6 million acres) of land across California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana and using real-time fire hazard detection and assessment to alert of response teams, early, potentially saving time that could mean the difference between containment and tragedy.


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– D.J. Kayser