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Dry, quiet, lukewarm

Remind me not to complain about frost reports in late August. Suddenly the premature frost up north – and the nagging moderate to severe drought conditions – even the random, unpredicted tornado that skipped across South Minneapolis ALL OF IT seems fairly insignificant compared to the epic fires gripping southern California, and the borderline Category 5 hurricane bearing down on Cabo San Lucas (where I’m supposed to be fishing for marlin in exactly 3 months).

Come to think of it, Minnesota sees a large volume of whine-worthy weather, no question: frost in late August makes for great watercooler babble, the cold does last an awful long time at this latitude, and no, there is nothing more irritating than seeing fresh snow fall on a freshly mowed (green) lawn in late April or May. Annoying? Yes. Cataclysmic – Apocalyptic? No. Most of the time nature is irritable, not demonic enough to actually kill you, just annoy you half to death.

Can you imagine tracking a 400 foot tall wall of flames advancing across the map, plumes of smoke, fire and ash that produce hellish “tornadoes” of flame? One minute: blue sky, palm trees. The next minute: horizontal winds blowing ash and flaming cinders, screeching fire trucks, screams of people trying to evacuate. The fires gripping the Los Angeles are not the classic Santa Ana fires triggered by air howling down the canyons toward the Pacific. This is the result of an extended drought, too much fuel/brush burning, and no good way to stop the flames in time. What firefighters and homeowners really need is a decent size tropical storm or hurricane to quench the flames. That’s where Jimena may come in: monstrous, borderline Category 5 hurricane Jimena now steamrolling north, toward Cabo San Lucas. After roughing up the picturesque Mexican fishing village by midweek the soggy remains of this (weakening) hurricane are forecast to spread north, right up Baja Mexico, and it’s conceivable that moisture leftover from this tropical system could spark some badly-needed rains across southern California by the weekend. Stranger things have happened.

NHC Projected Path of Jimena. Monday sustained winds were 155 mph, just 1 mph away from a Category 5 super-hurricane. The storm is expected to track to the north/northwest, giving a glancing blow to Cabo San Lucas Tuesday (the city will be on the rough side of the storm, vulnerable to a storm surge of 5-15 feet above normal high tide). The main circulation over Baja California, Jimena should weaken as the week goes on, possibly holding together long enough to spark heavy rain for the Phoenix area by early next week.

In stark contrast to the raging fires, surging seas and horizontal rains in the forecast from southern California on south to Cabo – Minnesota’s weather looks downright tame this week, dry, seasonably warm, no drama – nothing severe, fine weather for the Minnesota State Fair (and the start of school across the state). If anything it may be a little warm and stuffy in some of those classrooms, the mercury closing in on 80 in time for the Labor Day weekend. Any showers and storms should slosh off just south/west of Minnesota this week – I don’t see any significant chance of getting wet until sometime Sunday or Monday (Labor Day). The GFS computer model is hinting at a cool frontal passage on Labor Day, maybe a couple hours of PM showers and T-storms. At least it should be warm enough for the lake or pool – one last crazy splash. Daytime highs approach 80 by the weekend, not exactly Dog Day material, but warm enough. The way this “summer” is going, I no longer take 80 for granted.

Could it be that 80 is the new 90?

Sorry – I think I got a little too much sun yesterday.

Paul’s Outlook

Today: Sunny, distractingly nice. Wind: SW 10-15. High: 75

Tonight: Clear, not as cool as recent nights. Low: 51

Tomorrow: Sun fading behind high clouds, still lukewarm. High: 76

Thursday: Mostly sunny, mostly pleasant. High: 78

Friday: A mix of clouds and sun, great way to start the holiday weekend! High: 77

Saturday: Lingering sun, probably the brightest, driest day of the holiday. High: near 80

Sunday: Partly sunny, isolated shower or T-storm possible. High: 81

Monday (Labor Day): More clouds, haze and humidity, more numerous showers, T-storms. High: 78

Tuesday: Clearing, turning cooler and drier with partial clearing. High: 74

“Modis” High Resolution NASA “Terra” Satellite Image
. This low-orbit (250 miles above the ground) satellite image was taken late Monday. Click here to go directly to the NASA site, where you can see extremely high resolution data, including the massive smoke plume from the wildfires raging just north & east of downtown Los Angeles and Burbank. For the record you can also see incredibly high-resolution imagery of Minnesota.

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