Posted at 8:37 AM on September 26, 2012
by Paul Huttner
Filed under: Drought
.30" rainfall total at MSP in September
2nd driest on record
1882 only September drier than 2012
Dry fall trend? 3 of 6 driest Septembers have occurred since 2009
2011 was driest fall on record for MSP
107 days at or above 70F this year in Duluth!
NOAA Satellite crash - "GOES 13" goes down
MSP quick look forecast:
Dry and drier:
Hopefully this is a trend won't last.
We've eeked out just .30" of rainfall at MSP so far in September. Without a drop of rain in the forecast through Sunday, it looks like September 2012 will go down as the 2nd driest on record in the metro.
3 of the driest 6 Septembers have now occurred since 2009, meaning 3 of the past 4 Septembers (75%)have been bone dry.
Metro "heat Island" fends off frost so far?
Take a look at the map below from the MN Climate Working Group. The map shows the lowest observed temps so far in September. You can see the inner metro core is the only location that seems to have escaped frost or freeze this month.
Duluth's "endless summer" of 2012?
It's been a mild year on the "Scandinavian Riviera."
Duluth has set a new record with 107 days at or above 70 degrees this year. The details from the Duluth NWS.
Most # of 70 Degree Temperatures in a Calendar Year at Duluth
With a high temperature of 70 degrees already reported today, Duluth has broke a record for the most days at or above 70 degrees in a calendar year. Currently, there have been 107 days this year with a 70 degree temperature. The old record was 106 days set in 1955.
Tough year for Minnesota apples
It's been a tough year to be an apple tree in Minnesota. MPR's Liz Baier explains why extreme weather in 2012 has hampered the harvest.
ELGIN, Minn. -- Apple lovers may have a hard time finding Minnesota-grown Honeycrisp apples this year.
Unusually warm weather in March, followed by a hard frost in April, killed off a lot of apple blossoms. A few months later, thousands of apples that were left on trees were damaged from summertime hail storms and drought, a big blow to the $12.6 million apple industry.
"Normally, even this time of year, we'd be just fine," said Fred Wescott, whose Elgin orchid typically produces 600 bushels an acre. "We'd have all kinds; these trees would be just loaded with fruit... The significant damage this year, no matter how you cut it, is the fact that there is no fruit."
Weather "Eye in the sky" goes dark:
This one is a big deal. When one of your major weather satellites goes dark after just 6 years on the job, you better have a plan B.
GOES 13 or "GOES East" was shut down by NOAA Sunday after days of static. GOES means "Geostationary Orbital Environmental Satellite" and was in orbit 22,000 miles above the eastern USA.
The bird sent images every 15 minutes of the eastern USA and the Atlantic. It was the primary hurricane observation system in the Atlantic Ocean.
Thankfully NOAA has GOES 14 ready to go.
Details from EarthSky.org.
UPDATED SEPTEMBER 25, 2012 6 A.M. CDT (11 UTC). The GOES-13 satellite, which provides regular images every 15 minutes for the eastern U.S. and Atlantic Ocean began to return images with an excessive amount of noise on September 12, 2012. The noise gradually increased so that NOAA - on the U.S. evening of Sunday, September 23 - took the GOES-13 satellite offline, placing it on temporary standby. NOAA is trying to analyze the problems with GOES-13, and it is uncertain as to when the satellite will be up and running again. Having the GOES 13 satellite malfunctioning is not a good thing, because, without it, forecasters will have a more difficult time monitoring possible tropical systems that could form in the Atlantic. Fortunately, we are in a lull for activity in the Atlantic, minus Tropical Storm Nadine. Other satellites are now being used as replacements for GOES-13.
The GOES-13 satellite is currently offline - on standby - as NASA tries to fix the "noise" the satellite has been experiencing since September 12, 2012. The standby began on the evening of September 23, according to U.S. clocks. As of now, it is unknown as to how long GOES-13 will be out. GOES-15 temporarily provided backup imagery, but GOES-14 has since served as a replacement. Fortunately, the tropics have been relatively quiet across the Atlantic, but activity could increase towards October. GOES-13 satellite not only takes weather images, but it also collects atmospheric data that is used in weather forecasting models. With the GOES-13 down, that important missing data might degrade weather models' accuracy in weather prediction at the present time.
64F high temp at MSP Wednesday at 2:59pm
70s return by Friday
0" GFS rainfall forecast through next Thursday
Winners in drought of 2012 - see below
"Outlier" models nailed the drought forecast in 2012 where others failed
93% chance 2012 will end as the hottest year on record in USA
MSP quick look forecast:
Arizona, with lakes:
If you've ever wondered what January in Arizona is like, now you know.
Sunny cool days, clear chilly nights. Desert dry dew points in the 20s & 30s. Little chance for rain. That's the Sonoran Desert in January.
Our desert air mass lingers into next week, and temps will warm into the 70s by Friday and into the weekend.
Chances for a much needed soaking? Slim and none, and slim took the train to Missouri last week.
The next best hope for any rain appears to be next Friday October 5th.
Drought 2012 has... winners?
Remember that old saying..."there really is no bad weather, just different kinds of good weather?"
It appears to apply in the drought of 2012.
We've talked a lot this year about the "losers" and negative effects of drought...and there are many.
Here's a list of some who are drought "winners" this year, and have come out ahead this year. In some cases, way ahead.
-Homeowners and insurance companies: 2012 is the quietest tornado season in 24 years in the USA. After the devastating losses in the 2011 "Metronadoes" in Joplin and Tuscaloosa, insurers have suffered lower losses from tornadoes in 2012.
SPC reports 724 tornadoes so far in 2012. That's the fewest since 702 in 1988, another drought year. It's also way below the 1,691 tornadoes last year and the 3 year average of 1,382. 2012 looks like it will go down in the lowest 10% of all tornado years barring major fall outbreaks.
-Farmers who have a good corn crop: It's the "perfect storm" in a good way for many Minnesota farmers this year. Many had a good crop, and the drought that grips the central & southern corn belt sent corn prices soaring to record highs. If you have a crop, you're getting record prices this year.
-Ag companies who develop drought resistant seeds: This is a growing area of demand as drought increases.
-Builders, painters & landscapers have all benefitted from less rain and more work days. Jobs move along faster meaning more money in a shorter period of time. Landscapers report increased business from checking & replacing drought stressed plants.
-Heating & AC companies: The long summer heat wave produced high demand for AC sales, install and repair crews.
-Ice cream vendors & Laundromats? Yes it was a busy year at your local DQ, and for your local ice cream truck. And apparently many small town laundromats saw a boom in business as rural residents came "into town" to do laundry and take stress of of household well systems.
ClimateCast: 93% chance 2012 will go down as hottest year ever in USA
That's the hottest year on record in the USA. At least for another 3 months.
USA temps in 2012 are running a full 3F above the record pace of 1998 so far. It will take a remarkably cold shift the last 3 months to keep 2012 from going down as the hottest year on record.
The details from Climate Central, who cites The Weather Channel analysis putting the odds at 93% it will happen.
According to the National Climatic Data Center, 1998 was the warmest year on record in the U.S., with an average temperature of 55.08°F. So far, 2012 has been on track to smash that record by about 3°F. This Climate Central graphic illustrates that in order to avoid setting the record for the warmest year, the period of September through December would need to be exceptionally cold, ranking in the coolest third of average temperatures for the period.
Additionally, according to The Weather Channel, taking only the years since World War II, the odds of not surpassing the warmest year are just 7 percent. So while it's certainly possible that 2012 won't be a record-breaker, it would take a heck of a cold snap to pull that off.