Enhanced Severe Threat Later – Excessive Heat Watch Saturday (May Feel Like 100-108F at MSP) – Minneapolis Star Tribune

16July 2020

Corn “Sweats” – Saturday Heat Spike

Your Honor, let me go on record by stating my undivided love of corn. Sweet corn is right up there with pizza in my book as the “perfect food”. Please let the record show I am NOT anti-corn.

But here’s the thing: at night cornfields release water back into the air, resulting in higher dew points and heat indices near the Corn Belt. It’s called “evapo-transpiration”. Capital Weather Gang says an acre of corn “sweats” 4,000 gallons of water into the air a day – enough to fill a typical residential swimming pool in less than a week.

The approach of another sweaty airmass sparks widespread storms tonight, some capable of torrential rains and frequent lightning – a few may be severe.

We start to feel the heat again today, priming the atmosphere for strong to severe storms later on. The sun should be out long enough for low to mid 90s Saturday. Factoring dew points it may feel like 100-1058 in the metro. An Excessive Heat Watch has been issued from the Twin Cities into south central Minnesota, and I expect it to be upgraded to a warning.

Gasp-worthy heat.

Sunday looks like the drier day of the weekend, and daytime highs return to the 80s next week. My kind of “cool front”.


Corn Belt graphic above courtesy of USDA.

“Corn Sweat” May Exacerbate Heat Impact in Midwest This Weekend. Capital Weather Gang explains how a process called evapotranspiration may be turbocharging dew points and subsequent heat indices: “If you’re a meteorologist, putting together a good forecast doesn’t just require knowing about clouds and storm systems. Sometimes, you need some intimate knowledge about corn. Corn is a major influencer of summertime weather in parts of the Midwest and northern Plains, along a swath of the nation’s heartland aptly dubbed the Corn Belt. Corn, soybean and other crops release water into the atmosphere through evapotranspiration. This is a cooling mechanism for the plant akin to sweating in humans. That moisture gets soaked up by the lower atmosphere, potentially bringing unbearable tropical humidity levels during the height of summer, along with hazardous heat index levels. The dynamic is going to be on full, uncomfortable display in the coming days as a heat wave roasts this region…”

Image credit: “The European model’s simulation of extreme dew points in Iowa for Saturday night.”(WeatherBell)


Severe Storm Threat Later Today. The approach of superheated air will leave the atmosphere in a very bad mood later today and tonight, with the best chance of severe storms over central and western Minnesota.


Slight Severe Risk Twin Cities – Enhanced Risk North/West of St. Cloud. Expect watches and warnings later today; the chance of severe weather increasing the farther north and west of the Twin Cities.










Beastly Hot Saturday – Then Some Relief Next Week. We’ve seen (much) hotter temperatures, but the combination of 90s and high dew points may result in a potentially heat index Saturday; anywhere from 100 to 108F in the Twin Cities. Map sequence above: Praedictix and AerisWeather.

Still Trending Warmer Than Average. 90s this weekend and next? Both ECMWF (top) and GFS (bottom) finally agree on something. 80s next week will feel like sweet relief. Graphics: WeatherBell.


No Significant Relief. Peering 2 weeks over the horizon suggests more of the same for the USA. Hot, followed by hotter. A shot at hottest. The Heat Wave of ’20 drags on into late July and early August. I don’t see anything approaching relief anytime soon.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Extreme Heat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a good explainer: “People suffer heat-related illness when the body’s temperature control system is overloaded. The body normally cools itself by sweating. But under some conditions, sweating just isn’t enough. In such cases, a person’s body temperature rises rapidly. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs. Several factors affect the body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather. When the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly. Other conditions that can limit the ability to regulate temperature include old age, youth (age 0-4), obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug use and alcohol use...”


Heat May Kill More People in US Than Previously Reported: Study. Phys.org has more perspective on the perils of extreme, prolonged heat: “…Published in the journal Environmental Epidemiology, the study estimates that heat contributed to the deaths of 5,600 people each year on average between 1997 and 2006 in 297 counties comprising three-fifths of the U.S. population. Most of these deaths were from only moderately hot weather, rather than extremely hot weather—categories that the researchers defined not by temperature, but by what temperatures are normal for a given region of the U.S.”How dangerous a hot day is may depend on where you live,” says study lead author Dr. Kate R. Weinberger, assistant professor of occupational and environmental health at UBC SPPH…”

Image credit: NOAA.


Extreme Heat. To the best of my knowledge excessive heat is still America’s biggest weather-killer. Details via CDC: “Heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable. Despite this fact, more than 600 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year. This website provides helpful tips, information, and resources to help you stay safe in the extreme heat this summer. Learn more about extreme heat…”

Image credit: NOAA.


3 Ways to Stay Healthy in Extreme Heat. NOAA has the post: “…Heat is one of the leading weather-related killers in the United States, with hundreds of deaths each year and even more people sickened by heat-related illness. 

  1. Before stepping out the door, know the signs and symptoms of heatstroke (a medical emergency) versus heat exhaustion.

  2. Check the latest weather forecast and heat indices for the coming days. The Heat Index is what the temperature feels like to the human body and not necessarily what the thermometer says. It is measured by combining relative humidity with the air temperature. Note: Because the heat index was created for shady, lightly windy conditions, being in full sunshine can make it feel up to 15 degrees F higher than the day’s forecasted heat index…”




2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Keeps Beating Records. WRAL.com has some timely perspective: “The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season continues to progress at record pace. So far, six tropical storms formed – Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard and Fay. Tropical Storm Cristobal formed earlier than any other “C-storm” on record. Most recently, Tropical Storm Fay also became the earliest forming “F-storm” on record. The previous record was Franklin on July 22, 2005. While the Atlantic has already had six named storms in 2020, none have become hurricanes. Dr. Philip Klotzbach – a meteorologist at Colorado State University (CSU) specializing in Atlantic basin seasonal hurricane forecasts – pointed out on Twitter that 2020 has “the most tropical storms on record (since 1851) to start an Atlantic hurricane season before the first hurricane occurred in 2011. Irene was the first hurricane that year – the 9th named storm of 2011…”

Image credit: WRAL-TV.

How to Fortify Your Hurricane Insurance. Odds favor a busier than average hurricane season, so this post at Forbes Advisor: “…A standard homeowners insurance policy covers damage from wind in most states. But in some coastal states, homeowners will find that their policies partially or completely exclude wind-related damage. If you live in a coastal area that’s prone to hurricanes, windstorm damage may be partially or completely excluded from your home insurance policy. You can typically get wind insurance as:
  • An endorsement to your homeowners insurance. Your current homeowners insurance might offer a windstorm coverage endorsement. Note that windstorm coverage typically has a separate deductible for any damage caused by a hurricane or named storm (see below for more information on hurricane deductibles)…”

Great Warm Lakes. Good grief – a hot summer is showing up in Great Lakes water temperatures. Details via NASA’s Earth Observatory: “…The map above shows water surface temperature anomalies for July 9, 2020; that is, how much the surface layer of each lake was above or below the long-term average temperature for this time of year. The data come from the Multiscale Ultrahigh Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (MUR SST) project, based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. MUR SST blends measurements of sea surface temperatures from multiple NASA, NOAA, and international satellites, as well as ship and buoy observations. According to the map above and NOAA reports, surface temperatures are 6° to 10° Fahrenheit (3° to 5° Celsius) above normal for early July. The average lake water temperature across all of Lake Erie—the shallowest lake—was 74.29°F on July 15; it was 59.83°F across Lake Superior, the largest lake...”


Peak Heat. The map above (courtesy of NOAA) shows the mean date(s) of warmest temperatures across the USA. There is quite a range across the nation, from early June in southern New Mexico to late September for parts of the west coast.


What is a Supercell? Why These Thunderstorms Can Form Violent Tornadoes. 1 in 10 thunderstorms, on average, will become severe. Only 1 in 100 thunderstorms will ever go on to spin up a tornado. Here’s an excerpt of an explainer from Fox News: “The National Weather Service (NWS) says that supercells are “perhaps the most violent” of all types of severe thunderstorms, capable of producing damaging winds, large hail and weak-to-violent tornadoes. “What makes a supercell unique from all other thunderstorm types is that it contains a deep and persistent rotating updraft called a mesocyclone,” the NWS forecast office in Amarillo, Texas, states. “If the environment is favorable, supercell thunderstorms can last for several hours...”

Graphic credit: National Severe Storms Laboratory.


Coastal Flooding Will Continue to Increase, NOAA Report Says. Details via USA TODAY: “It doesn’t take a storm to inundate the coast with potentially ruinous floodwaters. “Nuisance” or “sunny day” high-tide flooding is becoming more commonplace across the US, and a federal report released Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warns that such flooding will worsen in the decades to come as seas continue to rise.  “America’s coastal communities and their economies are suffering from the effects of high-tide flooding, and it’s only going to increase in the future,” said Nicole LeBoeuf, acting director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service. As sea-level rise continues, damaging floods that decades ago happened only during a storm now happen more regularly, such as during a full-moon tide or with a change in prevailing winds or currents, according to NOAA…”

Graphic credit: Climate Central.


New Data Shows an “Extraordinary” Rise in U.S. Coastal Flooding. Not a model, but measuring the rising water with a yardstick. The New York Times (paywall) offers more perspective: “…The number of days with high-tide flooding set or tied records in 19 places around the country last year, including Corpus Christi, Texas, which recorded 18 days of flooding; Galveston, Texas (18 days); Annapolis, Md. (18 days); and Charleston, S.C. (13 days). The place with the greatest number of recorded flood days was Eagle Point, Texas, in Galveston Bay; it reported high-tide flooding on 64 days, or almost one day out of five. Those numbers represent huge jumps in a short period of time. In 2000, Corpus Christi had just three days of tidal flooding; Charleston had just two. The report notes that Charleston recorded just 13 days of high-tide flooding in the more than 50 years that measurements were first kept — the same number that occurred last year alone...”


Tesla Model 3 Resale Value is Over Five Times Better Than Industry Average: Study. Yeah, I’m a little biased, but here’s an excerpt from Teslerati: “...What is rather remarkable is that the Tesla Model 3, the electric car maker’s most affordable vehicle in its lineup today, retains its value even more than its more expensive siblings. According to iSeeCars.com’s data, the Model 3 only loses 10.2% of its value over a three year period. This means that the Model 3’s depreciation is over five times less than the EV industry’s average, and over three times less than the overall auto market’s average. Part of this, according to the study, is due to the Model 3’s bang for your buck nature.  “The Tesla Model 3 is still very much in high demand since it started production in 2017. Even though it doesn’t present a bargain compared to its new car price, it offers consumers a more affordable option for owning a Tesla,” the study noted...”


How Many Hot Dogs Can One Person Eat? CNN.com delves into the science of severe storm aches: “Researchers analyzed 39 years of data from the annual Nathan’s Famous Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest and, using mathematical modeling, calculated the maximum number of hot dogs one person could possibly eat during the contest’s 10-minute duration. The current world record is 74, a bar set by perennial competitive eating champion Joey Chestnut at this year’s Coney Island event. That’s roughly 21,000 calories, by the way…”


What Happened When Americans Had To Wear Masks During the 1918 Flu Pandemic. Once again, history repeats itself. Here’s an excerpt of a post at Open Culture: “…Despite the civic spirit and generalized public support for mask wearing, passing local mask ordinances was “frequently a contentious affair.” Debates that sound familiar raged in city councils in Los Angeles and Portland, both of which rejected mask orders. (One official declaring them “autocratic and unconstitutional.”) San Francisco, on the other hand, brought the police down on anyone who refused to wear a mask, imposing fines and jail time. These measures were adopted by other cities, as well as abroad in Paris and Manchester. “Fines ranged,” Navarro writes, “from US$5 to $200,” a huge amount of money in 1918, and a good amount for many people out of work today. Even in cities that did not impose harsh penalties, “noncompliance and outright defiance quickly became a problem.” Much of the resistance to wearing masks, however, came later, after a first wave of flu infections subsided. When precautions were relaxed, cases rose once again, and new mask mandates went into effect in 1919...”


The Most Anti-Mask State in the USA? Congratulations Arizona. We are so proud of you. USA TODAY explains: “Arizona is the most resistant state in the country when it comes to wearing masks, according to a recent study examining anti-mask activity online. The analysis conducted by Survival At Home, a survival and preparedness website, with direct access to what Twitter calls “tweet geospatial metadata,” or the location information that’s built into tweets and the profiles that post them. Survival At Home frequently posts this kind of ranked analysis using trends software on Twitter metadata...”


Window Swap. ‘Wanna get away? Oh, that’s right. We can’t. Well, this may be the next best thing – gazing out someone else’s window around the world. Try Window Swap – it’s pretty addictive.
Why Not Carpet Your Bathroom? Not judging, just questioning. Here’s an excerpt from CNN.com: “Demi Moore’s bathroom has gone viral and she thinks it’s hilarious. The actress spoke to Seth Meyers on his late night show Tuesday night about the attention she has received and who is responsible for the wall-to-wall brown carpet. “That originally was a Bruce Willis choice, not to put it off on him,” Moore said of her ex-husband’s decision to carpet the bathroom of their Idaho home…”

84 F. high in the Twin Cities on Thursday.

84 F. average high on July 16.

85 F. high on July 16, 2019.

July 17, 2001: Lightning struck a Minnesota National Guard field training site located in Camp Ripley. Nearly two dozen Marine Corps reservists were sent to hospitals. Most were released after treatment.

July 17, 1952: 5.20 inches of rain falls in 3 1/2 hours at Moose Lake. Numerous basements flood, and Highway 61 becomes impassable at Willow River.

July 17, 1934: Frost damages crops across the north with lows of 34 in Baudette and Roseau.


FRIDAY: Sticky sun. PM severe risk. Winds: S 10-15. High: 89

SATURDAY: Hot and sweaty. Feels like 100-105F. T-storms later. Wake-up: 75. High: 93

SUNDAY: Intervals of sun, a bit less humid. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 69. High: 89

MONDAY: Partly sunny and pleasant. Winds: SW 7-12. Wake-up: 66. High: 83

TUESDAY: Unsettled with a few T-storms. Winds: SE 10-15. Wake-up: 63. High: 83

WEDNESDAY: More sunshine, seasonably warm. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up: 62. High: 84

THURSDAY: Sunny start, PM storm risk. Winds: SE 10-15. Wake-up: 64. High: 86


Climate Stories…

Scientists Attribute Record-Shattering Siberian Heat and Wildfires to Climate Change. What is happening in Siberia and the Arctic is nothing short of breathtaking. Literally. Here’s a clip from a post at InsideClimate News: “...Siberia’s overall temperatures were more than 9 degrees Fahrenheit above average from January to June. The prolonged heat wave would have been impossible in a climate that had not been warmed by human greenhouse gas emissions, according to research released Wednesday by World Weather Attribution, a team of scientists that studies how warming influences the intensity and frequency of meteorological extremes. At the current level of warming, about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit above the pre-industrial era, such a heat wave could be expected once every 130 years, but if emissions aren’t cut, they could be commonplace by the end of the century, the scientists concluded in their study, which hasn’t been peer reviewed yet...”



New Climate Predictions Assess Global Temperatures in Coming Five Years. The World Meteorological Organization explains: “The annual mean global temperature is likely to be at least 1° Celsius above pre-industrial levels (1850-1900) in each of the coming five years (2020-2024) and there is a 20% chance that it will exceed 1.5°C in at least one year, according to new climate predictions issued by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The Global Annual to Decadal Climate Update, led by the United Kingdom’s Met Office, provides a climate outlook for the next five years, updated annually. It harnesses the expertise of internationally acclaimed climate scientists and the best computer models from leading climate centres around the world to produce actionable information for decision-makers…”


How America’s Hottest City Will Survive Climate Change. The Washington Post has a fascinating story: “…Each year, more Americans die from extreme heat than are killed by storms, floods and wildfires combined. In few places is the problem more pronounced than in Maricopa County, home to Phoenix and its suburbs. In 2019, the region saw 103 days of triple-digit temperatures and 197 fatalities from heat-related causes. It was the highest number of heat-associated deaths on record for the county, and the fourth year in a row of record-setting heat deaths there. Those numbers are only expected to increase as the climate changes…”


Supporting Climate Science Increases Skepticism Among Out Groups. Big Think analyzes the trends: “…Polling data from the late 20th century shows that conservative Americans once expressed a similar agreement with the scientific consensus as their more liberal peers. The shift towards skepticism has been more recent. A new study published in The British Journal of Political Science suggests that this decline is related not to the barrage of denialists on television or an inability to access the data, but rather to the tendency of members of one party to say they support the science and the backlash against them…”


The Scariest Thing About Global Warming (and Covid-19). Vox.com has the story; here’s an excerpt: “For as long as I’ve followed global warming, advocates and activists have shared a certain faith: When the impacts get really bad, people will act. Maybe it will be an especially destructive hurricane, heat wave, or flood. Maybe it will be multiple disasters at once. But at some point, the severity of the problem will become self-evident, sweeping away any remaining doubt or hesitation and prompting a wave of action. From this perspective, the scary possibility is that the moment of reckoning will come too late. There’s a time lag in climate change — the effects being felt now trace back to gases emitted decades ago. By the time things get bad enough, many further devastating and irreversible changes will already be “baked in” by past emissions. We might not wake up in time...”

Photo credit: Paul Douglas.


Biden’s $2 Trillion Climate Plan Aims to Reframe Debate. Here’s an overview from Associated Press: “Joe Biden released a $2 trillion plan on Tuesday to boost investment in clean energy and stop all climate-damaging emissions from U.S. power plants by 2035, arguing that dramatic action is needed to tackle climate change and revive the economy. In remarks near his home in Wilmington, Delaware, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee sought to reframe the politics of climate change. He rebuffed arguments from President Donald Trump and his Republican allies that Democratic plans to invest in clean energy would cost jobs...”

Joe Biden’s climate and clean energy plan details are here. (Note: when President Trump releases his climate plan for a possible second term I will be sure post them here.)




How Facebook Handles Climate Disinformation. The New York Times (paywall) explains: “As Covid-19 spread across the globe early this year, Facebook went into action to combat potentially dangerous disinformation on its site. The company labeled and suppressed misleading content, removed disinformation and directed users to reputable sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. This swift action stood in sharp contrast to Facebook’s stance on another divisive and complex danger: climate change. That’s because, under the company’s guidelines, climate content can be classified as opinion and therefore exempted from fact-checking procedures…”

Image credit: “


The Sweet Surrender of Salvation. My theory: it’s possible to have respect for science, and a faith in something more. What do bees and Covid-19 have to do with what comes next? I had no idea I’d show up in a post at Christianity Today: “…Left out of this deleterious deluge, as noted by a profusion of commenters, is the ever-looming cataclysm of climate change. Minneapolis meteorologist Paul Douglas, politically conservative and Jesus loving, reiterates over and over the multiple strands of evidence—CO2 levels at a 3-million-year high, temperatures and sea levels rising, rains falling harder, growing seasons longer, and crazy weather everywhere. Scripture warns of destruction by fire and famine, a portent, perhaps, of global heat to come. Jesus and the prophets tied cosmological catastrophe to wars and strife as harbingers of apocalyptic doom (Deut. 32:22; Mark 13:8; 2 Pet. 3:7; Rev. 8:7). We reap what we sow…”

Older Post

Saturday Heat Spike – Great Lakes Running 6-10F Above Average

Source: startribune.com

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