Summery week; Kilauea vog

The weather maps look more July than May this week. Temperatures run about 15 degrees warmer than average across most of Minnesota through Friday. Minnesota rides the northern edge of an unseasonably steamy air mass for this early in the season.

A summer-like air mass dominates the central U.S. Wednesday afternoon. Oklahoma Mesonet

Weekend temperature speed bump

Highs in the 80s persist through Friday. Temperatures tumble to more typical spring levels this weekend. Summer returns next week.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, via Weather Bell

Saturday rain chances

The suite of forecast models we look at still shows differences in timing and intensity of rainfall this weekend. Most agree scattered showers and thunderstorms will blossom along a southbound cool front Friday in northwest Minnesota. Scattered rain and thunder looks likely in central and southern Minnesota Saturday.

This Canadian GEM model output is among the most aggressive on rain coverage and intensity this weekend.

Canadian GEM model forecast this weekend, via tropical tidbits

Summer rainfall lottery

Hit or miss. Strikes and gutters.

Warm season rainfall is often convective in nature. Strong updrafts create smaller localized rain and thunder cells that drop highly variable rainfall totals over short distances.

That’s why as meteorologists we take rainfall maps like the one below with a big grain of salt. Think of the map below less literally, and more as an indication of rainfall potential across Minnesota for the upcoming weekend.

NOAA Global Forecast System modeled weekend rainfall potential, via pivotal weather

Third warmest April on record globally

Say what? Minnesota shivered this April. But most of the rest of the globe was much warmer than average in April.

Alaska fighting climate change

What changes people’s minds about climate change in an oil and gas producing state? When dozens of coastal villages need to be moved because the sea is taking the land they sit on. It’s a sad tale that some are still in denial. Until climate change slaps you in the face.

All about water

Of all the impacts climate change brings, the most significant is the redistribution of water. Changes in earth’s hydrologic cycle are often sudden, unpredictable, and bring rapid consequences.

Kilauea ‘vog’

Among the many amazing facets of the eruptions on Kilauea is volcanic smog, or vog. From the United States Geological Survey:

Vog (volcanic smog) is a visible haze comprised of gas and an aerosol of tiny particles and acidic droplets created when sulfur dioxide (SO2) and other gases emitted from Kīlauea Volcano chemically interact with sunlight and atmospheric oxygen, moisture, and dust.

Near Kīlauea’s active vents vog consists mostly of SO2 gas. Along the Kona coast on the west side of Hawai`i Island and in other areas far from the volcano, vog is dominated by an aerosol of sulfuric acid and other sulfate compounds.