This might be the week to get that outdoor project done.
After a constant barrage of potent stormy months, it appears Minnesota is at the start of the longest "storm free" stretch in 10 months.
10 dry days in a row ahead? (Sep 5th-Sep 14th?)
10 months since we've had a dry spell that long (Oct 28th-Nov 9th 2010)
81 degrees in the Twin Cities by Saturday?
+5 to +10 degrees above average in Minnesota by this weekend
73/53 average high and low temps at MSP this weekend
Our weather pattern is locked in as we push through the first full week of September. A stable ridge of high pressure is parked over the north central USA. The main storm steering Polar Front Jet Stream has been displaced unusually far north into Canada.
This means a series of dry, sunny and increasingly mild days ahead for Minnesota.
Look for highs in the 70s this week, warming to near 80 in southern Minnesota by Friday and this weekend.
Drought Creeps Back:
Don't look now, but drought is starting to creep back into Minnesota, You can feel the ground getting hard & crunchy underfoot these days.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor lists nearly 25% of Minnesota as "abnormally dry." For the first time in nearly a year, parts of Minnesota are now under drought. This includes northeast Minnesota and southern Minnesota from Mankato to the I-90 corridor
3.25% of Minnesota is now categorized as "moderate drought" ... mainly running from near Ely to the North Shore near Silver Bay.
Expect these numbers to grow in the next 2 weeks as the dry pattern expands.
Texas Fires: Climate change in action?
You know it's bad when the smoke plumes are visible from space.
Check out the GOES 1km visible image from Labor Day over eastern Texas.
You can see multiple smoke plumes fanning southward. Gusty north winds on the backside of Tropical Storm Lee fanned the flames Sunday & Monday.
Here's another, closer look from NASA.
The numbers are staggering.
1,000+ homes destroyed by fire
3.6 million acres burned
67 days of 100+ degree heat in Austin
94% of Texas under "extreme drought"
9.6% under extreme drought on January 1st, 2011
It's been a bad year in Texas. The worst single drought year in Texas history has claimed livestock, crops and now millions of acres of trees are literally going up in flames.
Jeff Masters has some more numbers:
Texas' unprecedented heat
"As I reported in yesterday's post, there has never been a Texas summer hotter than the summer of 2011. The summer of 2011 now holds every major heat record for the city of Austin, including most 100° days (67 so far), hottest month in recorded history (August, breaking the previous record by a remarkable 2.1°), hottest summer (by 1.1°), and hottest day in history (112°F, tied with Sep, 5, 2000.) As wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt documents in his latest blog post, the situation is similar across the rest of the state. Seventeen major cities in Texas recorded their hottest summer on record in 2011. Most of these stations had records extending back more than 100 years, and several of the records were smashed by an amazing 3.4°F--at Lubbock and at Wichita Falls. Neighboring states also experienced unprecedented heat, with Oklahoma recording America's hottest month by any state in recorded history during July, and Shreveport, Louisiana breaking its record for hottest month by 3°F in August. Mr. Burt commented to me: " I do not believe I have ever seen a site with a long period of record, like Shreveport, where records go back to 1874, break its warmest single month on record by an astonishing 3°. This is unheard of. Usually when a site breaks its single month temperature record, we are talking about tenths of a degree, rarely a whole degree, let alone 3 degrees! Hard to believe, frankly." Texas has also had its worst fire season on record, with over 3.5 million acres burned this year, and it's driest 1-year period in recorded history."
These kinds of dramatic landscape changes can have effects that last for decades.
As moisture is literally sucked from root systems, trees and other vegetation is going up in flames.
Smoke plumes rise above the Texas sky like monsters in a horror film.
Think I'm being overly dramatic? Check out this YouTube video from a family in Texas driving toward a monster smoke plume.
We may be witnessing the process of "desertification" in Texas. We may be watching climate change in progress right before our eyes.
Please fix the typo: claimed not calimed. Thx.
It's been a bad year in Texas. The worst single drought year in Texas history has calimed livestock, crops and now millions of acres of trees are literally going up in flames.