Summer flashback: 70s today; Wanted: Rain 3″ to 9″ needed to end MN drought

70s today for much of southern & western Minnesota

80 possible in Sioux Falls

“Omega Block” develops over Minnesota this week

High & Dry – High pressure overhead brings a dry and pleasant week

0″ – rainfall forecast in Minnesota through next weekend

3″ to 9″ rainfall needed to end growing drought in Minnesota

ClimateCast: How the increase in extreme weather events may change how much you pay for insurance (details below)

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Source: Twin Cities NWS

Summer Flashback: Breezy 70s today

I’m forecasting a much above average number of “sick days” today.

Sunshine, balmy southwest breezes and temps in the 70s today will feel great after a frosty weekend for many Minnesotans.

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Source: NOAA

Our brief summery flashback won’t linger…a cool front will drop south and drop temps about 5 to 10 degrees with highs in the 60s starting on Tuesday.

“Omega Block” brings dry & stable weather this week:

Call it a weather winning streak…with a price.

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Source: Twin Cities NWS

This will be a beautiful week to enjoy in Minnesota. Bright blue skies, crisp mornings and pleasantly cool afternoons will make for one of the nicest weeks of the year. But it comes with a price of a deepening drought in Minnesota.

Omega Blocks are named because they make the jet stream look like the Greek letter Omega. This one is setting up right over Minnesota…and that means a(nother) dry week ahead.

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Look for plenty of sun…highs in the 60s and lows in the 30s north and 40s south this week.

With desert dry dew points in the 20s and 30s, none of the modes are forecasting a drop of rain in Minnesota through Sunday at this point.

Wanted: Rain

The growing drought is becoming one of the bigger stories in Minnesota this early fall. We need 3″ to 6″ of rain in much of eastern Minnesota to end the current drought. It’s more like 6″ to 9″ in the west and south.

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Source: NOAA

The overall weather pattern favors continued dryness for the next few weeks.

It’s tempting to say we’re going to go into the winter “freeze up” in early December with deep drought in Minnesota…but I’m not ready to pull the trigger on that one just yet.

Remember last winter it looked like we were setting up for drought in the spring, and then the weather pattern turned into one of the wettest spring and early summer periods on record…leading to rising lake & river levels and an excellent crop most of in Minnesota.

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Source: MN DNR & UM Climate Working Group

“Persistence” is likely (and the “easy” forecast), but weather patterns have a way of changing in fall as the jet stream goes through undulations before winter. The “trend is your friend” as a forecaster…until it’s not. It’s entirely possible to get big wet storms winding up over Minnesota in October & November before the freeze up.

Let’s hope so.


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Source: NOAA/Cerus

ClimateCast: Climate Change is changing “Risk Models” in the insurance industry

One thing I’m going to focus more on in this space is the way the climate changes we are witnessing are affecting the way we live.

You hear a lot about various aspects of climate change, but how do (or will) these changes really affect the way we do business? How we travel? How much we pay for energy?

Call it a forward looking forecast on longer term climate change effects…sort of a “Climatecast.”

Here’s an eye opening piece from Andrew Freedman at Climate Central that crossed last weekend about the way an increase in extreme weather events is changing “risk models” for the insurance industry.

The piece is based on a report from Cerus.

The record (and growing) number of “billion dollar weather disasters” in the USA is changing the way insurers look at risk. Many traditional “risk models” don’t hold up in the new “extreme weather” scenario that’s developing as climate changes. 100 year storms that were the “benchmark” for estimating loss are occurring with greater frequency.

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Source: NOAA via Climate Central

If you don’t think climate change is real, ask the insurers and reinsurers who are changing their very business models as costly climate change driven extreme weather events increase. This will affect what you pay for insurance in the near future.

Here’s an excerpt from Andrew Freedman’s eye opening piece from Climate Central.

Climate research has shown that manmade global warming boosts the likelihood of extreme weather events such as heat waves and heavy rainfalls. By making extreme events more common and severe, global warming is rendering obsolete the risk models that insurance companies use.

The companies have not yet taken this into account, the report states, and haven’t done the research needed to shift toward more accurate risk models. Many small insurers may not even have the capacity to conduct such research.

Both federal flood insurance and private plans have long been based on so-called “100-year storms,” or storms of a certain magnitude that it has a one percent chance of occurring in any given year. But climate change is making such events more frequent, so that a storm that used to occur about once every 100 years, on average, now occurs far more frequently. This changes the baseline of what companies should be insuring against.


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