August 10, 2020
Paul Douglas

Simple Ways To Lower Weather Risk

Somewhere between the “Nanny State” and “Every Man For Himself” is personal responsibility. When it comes to weather threats don’t count on the government or the media to save you. A healthy respect for weather goes a long way.

Like going to the basement during a tornado warning. Investing in a $25 NOAA Weather Radio, the only thing that may wake you up at 3am if a tornado is approaching your house. Avoiding lakes, pools and beaches when thunder is audible. Staying hydrated during summer heat. Sunscreen to avoid skin cancer (not to mention wrinkles). Never driving across a flooded road. Weather apps help – but are no substitute for common sense.

More thundery lumps sprout in today’s tropical stew, dumping heavy rain on some communities, while 5 miles down the road the sun is out and locals are wondering what all the fuss is about. Some lucky lawns and farms may pick up an inch or two of rain by Saturday, when temperatures soar well into the 80s. In fact 80s are the rule into much of next week, followed by a cool correction and drop in humidity in time for Memorial Day Weekend.

Cue drippy dew points and inappropriate swimwear!

7:44pm last night south metro

Tornado Couplet. Here is evidence of strong rotation, a spinning “supercell” thunderstorm near Faribault, the same parent thunderhead that sparked a series of touchdowns from Owatonna to Lakeville, going right up I-35, rain-wrapped and very hard to spot most of the time.

More Swarms of Storms. The atmosphere is still ripe for clusters of heavy thunderstorms, and once again, a few may turn severe.

Conservative Estimates. This is NOAA NDFD data, which has a tough time estimating convective (showery) rainfall amounts – my sense is that an inch or two of rain by Friday seems realistic for many communities.

Hello July. So much for easing into summer. More like turning on a light-switch. Instant Summer. Daytime highs should swell into the 80s from Friday into early next week with dew points in the 60s to near 70F. Sweaty weather is imminent.

Looking Hotter. Let’s see what the trends are over time, but today’s 2-week GFS forecast looks considerably hotter than yesterday’s run, with the core of the jet stream steering winds lifting farther north, allowing hotter air to advance across much of the USA during the first week of June.

Praedictix Briefing: Wednesday, May 19th, 2021

Past 24 Hour Heavy Rain. We continued to see heavy rain across portions of the Southern Plains Tuesday and Tuesday Night, with the heaviest rainfall totals over the past 24 hours from the Victoria (TX) area to southwestern Louisiana. In some of these areas, rainfall tallies topped a half a foot, leading to flooding reports. We saw record rain amounts in Victoria (TX) (5.30”) and Tyler (TX) (3.48”) yesterday.

Heavy Rain Risk Continues. The heavy rain threat will continue over the next few days across the southern Plains and the lower Mississippi Valley, with Flood/Flash Flood Watches in place including Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Little Rock, Shreveport, Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans. Through Friday evening, at least an additional 2-6” could fall from southern Texas toward southern Louisiana, with some of the highest amounts closer to the coast. Rainfall rate of 2-4” per hour will be possible in the more intense storms, which could lead to flash flooding.


Excessive Rain Outlook Today. Due to expected heavy rain from southern Texas to southern Louisiana today into tonight, a Moderate Risk of excessive rain leading to flash flooding is in place. With ongoing and additional storms expected across the region, additional amounts of 3”+ will be possible, with heavier amounts possible especially in coastal areas.


Excessive Rain Outlook Thursday. Heavy rain continues Thursday across portions of the Southern Plains, especially in southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana where another Moderate Risk of excessive rain leading to flash flooding is in place. While it looks like the heaviest rain could fall offshore, areas across the Moderate Risk area could see an additional 1-3” of rain with 48 hour totals reaching 4-6”+.

Rising Rivers. Numerous rivers are in flood stage across the region due to the recent heavy rainfall, with only one river at major flood stage (the Calcasieu River at White Oak Park).

D.J. Kayser, Meteorologist, Praedictix

Civilian, Army and Air Force workers, bolstered by heavy equipment, start the gigantic task of cleaning up wreckage remaining in the downtown area of Waco, Texas, May 14, 1953, in the aftermath of the May 11 tornado.
AP Photo

Tuesday Marks 68 Years Since the Deadliest Texas Tornado. Spectrum News 1 has details; here’s an excerpt: “…Around 4:10 p.m., a tornado touched down southwest of Waco, near the town of Lorena. A home was destroyed there, and then the tornado moved north-northeast toward Waco. Striking downtown Waco at the end of a workday, many were caught unaware. In addition to the 114 people killed, 597 were injured. Thirty people were killed when a six-story furniture store collapsed. Five people were killed in their cars. The destruction was so great that some victims waited up to 14 hours to be rescued...”

Who Was the Legendary “Mr. Tornado”? The EF0-5 rating scale is named after veteran tornado researcher Ted Fujita, as reported by Yahoo News: “…2021 marks 50 years since the initial rating system, the internationally recognized Fujita Scale, was introduced to the field of meteorology. But how did the scale come to be and who was Fujita, the man who conceptualized it? The origins can be traced back to the Second World War, a mountaintop in Japan and the open plains of the Midwestern United States. A man who was incredibly driven, and would one day become known as “Mr. Tornado,” had a unique way of perceiving the weather around us and through nonstandard practices produced groundbreaking research that helped transform severe weather forecasting forever…”

BMS Group

EF-5 Tornado Drought? I didn’t realize the last EF-5 to hit the US was back in 2013. Here’s an excerpt of an interesting post from Andrew Siffert at BMS Group: “...With that being said the U.S. is quietly in a remarkable EF5 tornado drought. The last EF5 tornado to be observed in the U.S. was a devastating violent tornado that impacted the towns of Newcastle and Moore, Oklahoma at just after 2 pm on May 20th, 2013. The tornado claimed 24 lives, had inflation insurance adjusted loss of at least $1.3B, and much higher economic losses. This catastrophic event was 2,920 days ago and this is significant because in just 2 days if an EF5 tornado does not occur it will break the record for the longest period between major EF5 tornado occurrences in the current observational record dating back to 1950. The longest stretch currently stands between May 3rd, 1999, and May 4th, 2017 at 2,922 days...”

Trash island in the Caribbean.
Caroline Power,

Half of Single-Use Plastic Waste Produced By Just 20 Companies. has the story: “Production of single-use plastics is set to grow 30% in the next five years, fueling their contribution to global warming and ocean pollution, researchers said Tuesday as they published a list of companies that manufacture and fund throwaway plastic. The first “Plastic Waste Makers Index,” published by the Australia-based philanthropic Minderoo Foundation, calculated that 20 companies — mainly energy and chemicals giants — are the source of half of the world’s single-use plastic waste. Single-use plastics — such as face masks, medical equipment, shopping bags, coffee cups and cling film — are made from polymers, which use fossil fuels as a base material…”

Biden Takes New All-Electric Ford F-150 For a Spin. has details: “…Biden made an unscheduled visit to a Ford driving course at which safety tests are normally conducted, and had the opportunity to test drive the new Ford F-150 Lightning — the electric vehicle Ford is manufacturing at a plant in Dearborn, Michigan. “This sucker’s quick,” said Biden, donning aviator sunglasses, from the driver’s seat after pulling the truck up to reporters and photographers. Asked if he would buy one of the vehicles, Biden said he would, and that he thinks he went 0-60 miles per hour in about 4.4 seconds — information it appears he wasn’t supposed to share. A Ford representative told reporters at the course that the information about the vehicle’s speed wasn’t supposed to be public until the truck’s official reveal tomorrow, but said it was OK and laughed...”


30 Weirdest Items Left in Ubers? I thought you might want to hear more about this, so I’m linking to a story at Mental Floss: “According to Uber’s latest Lost & Found Index, the items most frequently forgotten by passengers are pretty much what you’d expect: phones, keys, wallets, headphones, backpacks, water bottles, and so on. That said, not all riders are quite so predictable. Most remember to take their 22 bundt cakes with them when they exit the vehicle, but one person did not. Another passenger accidentally abandoned a catheter. No matter what you’ve left behind, your Uber driver will help you recover it. Watch the video below to find out how, and read on for a list of 30 especially bizarre belongings Uber riders have alighted without…”

77 F. Twin Cities high yesterday.

70 F. average high on May 19.

71 F. high on May 19, 2020.

May 20, 1892: Very late season snowfall hits central Minnesota. Maple Plain receives 4 inches of snow, with 3 inches falling in Minneapolis. This is the latest significant snow on record for the Twin Cities, and one of the latest widespread snowfalls in Minnesota.

May 20, 1876: A tornado touches down near Ft. Ripley.

Paul Douglas

THURSDAY: Showers, T-storms – locally heavy rain. Winds: S 10-20. High: 80

FRIDAY: Few T-storms, then hazy sunshine. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 67. High: 83

SATURDAY: Hot sunshine, few T-storms up north. Winds: SW 10-20. Wake-up: 68. High: 88

SUNDAY: Partly sunny, passing T-storm. Winds: NE 10-20. Wake-up: 69. High: 83

MONDAY: Unsettled, more T-storms. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 61. High: 82

TUESDAY: Warm sunshine, less humidity. Winds: W 10-15. Wake-up: 61. High: 85

WEDNESDAY: Sunny and summer-like. Winds: W 8-13. Wake-up: 58. High: 84

Climate Stories…

A roller coaster that once sat on the Funtown Pier in Seaside Heights, N.J., rests in the ocean on Oct. 31, 2012, after the pier was washed away by Hurricane Sandy.
Julio Cortez / AP

Climate Change’s Impact on Hurricane Sandy Has a Price: $8 Billion. Here’s an excerpt from an explainer at Public Radio Tulsa: “…The hurricane — also known as Superstorm Sandy — caused an estimated $70 billion in damages in the U.S., mostly from flooding. And while scientists have long believed that some of the carnage was attributable to a warming climate, it has been unclear just how much of a role human-caused warming played in the storm’s impacts. New research, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, puts a dollar amount on some of those damages, and it’s a startling figure. Using flood maps and sea-level rise measurements, researchers found that human-induced sea-level rise caused an estimated $8 billion in excess flooding damage during Hurricane Sandy and affected an additional 70,000 people…”

Superstorm Sandy

Climate Change Flooded 36,000 Homes, 71,000 people In Superstorm Sandy: Climate Nexus has more perspective with headlines and links: “Human-caused climate change was responsible for $8 billion of the damage inflicted by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, new research published Tuesday in Nature found. The additional flooding attributed to melting glaciers and ice sheets affected an additional 71,000 people, and just the climate-caused damage on its own would have been the fourth-most expensive weather-related disaster of last year’s record-shattering 22 billion-dollar disasters. Researchers calculated sea levels around New York City were almost 4 inches higher, and that the storm surge flooding caused by those extra four inches accounted for a full 13% of the storm’s overall monetary damage with dramatically higher damage caused by every additional inch. In some places the additional flooding caused massive damage that would have otherwise been completely avoided, like basement apartments at the outer edge of where it flooded. Elsewhere, just a few inches made a big difference, like where flood waters rose just above a home’s lowest electrical outlet, requiring extensive repairs. Overall, the study found an additional 36,000 homes were flooded because of climate change. “I often hear people say when we’re trying to help them adapt to increasing coastal flooding, ‘Well, it’s not going to happen in my lifetime. The sea-level rise won’t happen in my lifetime,’ “ Philip Orton, a co-author of the study, told NPR. “But it’s already happening to people. It’s already here.” (AP, NPR, Reuters, Bloomberg $, Grist, AFP, The Verge, Scientific American, CBS, Reuters, The Guardian, AccuWeather, The Hill; Climate Signals background: Hurricane Sandy, Storm surge increase, Sea level rise)

On Tuesday, the I.E.A. said that, after two hundred and fifty years, it’s time to stop exploring for oil, gas, and coal.
Erin Scott / Reuters

The International Energy Agency Issues a Landmark Statement About Fossil Fuels. Bill McKibbon Reports for The New Yorker; here’s an excerpt: “…The statement on Tuesday from the I.E.A. is a recommendation. It reads, “There is no need for investment in new fossil fuel supply in our net zero pathway. Beyond projects already committed as of 2021, there are no new oil and gas fields approved for development in our pathway, and no new coal mines or mine extensions are required.” That emphasis is in the original—in fact, in the new report that sentence is in headline-size type, as well it should be. It says that, after two hundred and fifty years, in the view of the I.E.A., the time has come to stop exploring for oil, gas, and coal. No rational plan for getting to 1.5 degrees (or anywhere near it) can deal with any new supply…”

If the Greenland ice sheet were to melt completely, sea levels would eventually rise by about 7 meters.
Jason Briner/University at Buffalo/PA

Greenland Ice Sheet on Brink of Major Tipping Point, Says Study. The Guardian has a summary of new research; here’s the intro: “A significant part of the Greenland ice sheet is on the brink of a tipping point, after which accelerated melting would become inevitable even if global heating was halted, according to new research. Rising temperatures caused by the climate crisis have already seen trillions of tonnes of Greenland’s ice pour into the ocean. Melting its ice sheet completely would eventually raise global sea level by 7 metres. The new analysis detected the warning signals of a tipping point in a 140-year record of ice-sheet height and melting rates in the Jakobshavn basin, one of the five biggest basins in Greenland and the fastest-melting. The prime suspect for a surge in melting is a vicious circle in which melting reduces the height of the ice sheet, exposing it to the warmer air found at lower altitudes, which causes further melting...”

Nothing to sneeze at…
Climate Central

How Climate Change is Making Allergy Season Even Worse. No kidding. ABC News has details: “…Researchers recently found that pollen seasons are starting about 20 days earlier than they used to, William Anderegg, assistant professor of ecology at the University of Utah’s School of Biological Science, told ABC News. In addition, there is 20% more pollen in the air right now than there was in the 1990s, Anderegg said. By 2040, pollen counts are expected to double from what they were in 2000, Fatteh added. There is also evidence to suggest that the pollen itself is more allergenic, said Amir Sapkota, a professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health who specializes in how climate change affects human health.....”

New Report Ranks Most Environmentally At-Risk Cities. Here’s a list you don’t want to be on. The Weather Channel reports; here’s a clip: “…Jakarta, singled out for a triple whammy of flooding, air pollution and earthquakes, ranked No. 1 overall. The Indonesian capital has plenty of company from its neighbors – 99 of the 100 most at-risk cities are in Asia, which has some of the highest density populations in the world. India ranked as the most at-risk country, with 43 of the top 100 cities on the list. China had 37. Los Angeles was the highest-ranking U.S. city on the list at 257th for overall environmental risk. Glasgow, Scotland, was ranked least vulnerable to climate change...”

Sarah Grillo, Axios

Nations Must Drop Fossil Fuels, Fast, World Energy Body Warns. The window is rapidly closing to avoid 2C or more warming, worldwide, and The International Energy Agency (IEA) is weighing in. The New York Times (paywall) reports: “Nations around the world would need to immediately stop approving new coal-fired power plants and new oil and gas fields and quickly phase out gasoline-powered vehicles if they want to avert the most catastrophic effects of climate change, the world’s leading energy agency said Tuesday. In a sweeping new report, the International Energy Agency issued a detailed road map of what it would take for the world’s nations to slash carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050. That would very likely keep the average global temperature from increasing 1.5 Celsius above preindustrial levels — the threshold beyond which scientists say the Earth faces irreversible damage…”

Business Green

IEA: No New Fossil Fuel Projects for Next-Zero. France 24 has more perspective: “All future fossil fuel projects must be scrapped if the world is to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and to stand any chance of limiting warming to 1.5C, the International Energy Agency said Tuesday. In a special report designed to inform negotiators at the crucial COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November, the IEA predicted a “sharp decline in fossil fuel demand” in the next three decades as well as a 2040 deadline for the global energy sector to achieve carbon neutrality. It called for a rapid and vast ramping up of renewable energy investment and capacity, which bring gains in development, wealth and human health…”

IEA Says Oil & Gas Exploration, Coal Plant Construction Must Stop. Now: Climate Nexus has more details, headlines and links: “The International Energy Agency said the world’s countries must immediately stop exploiting new oil and gas fields and building new coal-fired power plants, if global temperatures are to be kept within safe limits and 2050 net-zero targets are to be met, in a wide-ranging report issued today. This is the first time the leading energy agency, which laid out a roadmap for how to accomplish the dramatic cuts, has called for such dramatic action. “It’s a huge shift in messaging if they’re saying there’s no need to invest in new fossil fuel supply,” Kelly Trout, senior research analyst at Oil Change International, told the New York Times. IEA executive director Fatih Birol emphasized the urgent need for aggressive action to slash emissions. “If governments are serious about the climate crisis, there can be no new investments in oil, gas and coal, from now – from this year,” he told the Guardian. “If governments are serious about the climate crisis, there can be no new investments in oil, gas and coal, from now – from this year.” (New York Times $, The Guardian, Washington Post $, Energy Monitor, AP, Reuters, FT $, BBC, Wall Street Journal $, Business Green, New York Times $, E&E $)

Map shows the relative warming of surface temperatures as compared to other parts of the planet. Areas in dark red are warming much faster than average, such as the Arctic. Areas in light blue are also warming, but more slowly than average. The region of dark blue near southern Greenland is not warming at all and has even cooled some.
Professor Ed Hawkins

One Map Reveals a Warning for the Climate. CBS News explains: “…It’s clear from Hawkins’ map that the greatest warming on Earth is happening in the Arctic Circle area, where temperatures are rising at about 3 times the pace of the global average. Due to rapid warming, Arctic sea ice extent during its yearly minimum has been sliced in half. That floating sea ice does not contribute to sea level rise, but less ice means amplified warming — a warming feedback loop which quickens the pace of global warming. It’s this amplified warming of the Arctic that’s causing Greenland’s ice to melt 6 times faster than it did in the 1990s. This rapid ice melt from Greenland, scientists say, is what’s responsible for that big blue bullseye of regional cooling in Hawkins’ image. Here’s how it happens…”

US Forest Service File

Los Angeles Fire Season is Beginning Again. And It Will Never End. Fires are burning longer, larger and hotter and the extended outlook is troubling, reports New York Intelligencer: “…It is expected that by 2050, the area burned each year by forest fires across the western United States will at least double, and perhaps quadruple, what it is today as a result of warming. That is just three decades from now — the length of the mortgages that banks have extended to the homes on those fire-prone lands. After that, the picture becomes ­murkier — projections diverge, mid-­century, in part because different scientists take different approaches to estimating just what the fire environment will look like in a particular ecosystem once all its land has burned. In greater Los Angeles, that could happen as soon as 2050, when past experience, harrowing and biblical as it may seem, could cease to be any kind of guide for what’s ahead…”

Who is Praedictix? We are a weather company that focuses on delivering credible weather forecasts to our clients. We have three main offerings: media, weather graphics, and weather consulting.

Weather Videos: With two HD studios, we’re able to create professional weather forecast videos for use in television, social media, apps, and websites. Our forecasts are tailored to our clients’ brand. Our content ranges from national to hyperlocal forecasts and air all over the country.
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Weather Consulting: We lend our weather expertise to our clients to help with risk mitigation and business optimization by way of conference calls, emails, and briefings. We also have a forensic meteorology team that specializes in forensic weather analysis and expert testimony.