Summer’s Last Stand?

I forced myself out of bed early this morning to hit the trails at Theo.  I just had to savor what could be the last 90° day of the year.  Meteorological summer (June-August) may be over but it certainly doesn’t feel like it.  As it turns out, the summer of 2012 was the 3rd hottest summer since records began in 1895.

Summer-like air will struggle to hang on the next few days.  The temperature will drop a good 20 degrees by Wednesday behind a cold front.  A few showers are likely Wednesday but the majority of the rain stays across extreme southern Minnesota.  The metro will most likely receive under 0.25″ of rain…if that.  Conditions the rest of this week will be relatively cooler but seasonable for September standards.  After Wednesday, our next chance of rain looks to be Monday with a strong cold front that will really help to cool things down early next week.

CycleCast

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy, much cooler. Light rain showers. H: upper 60s

Thursday: Afternoon clearing. H: upper 60s

Friday: Cool morning in the upper 40s. Pleasant afternoon. H: near 70

Saturday: So far looking dry. H: low 70s

Sunday: Partly cloudy. H: low 70s

The Weatherwoman Is Not a Moron

Ever wonder what it takes to make a weather forecast?  Chances are there’s more that goes into it than you think.  As a meteorologist, we accept the fact that we will be wrong.  As much as we hate to admit, weather forecasting is an inexact science.  Even the gigantic supercomputers that compute 77 trillion calculations in one second can’t precisely replicate the fluid motions in the atmosphere.

We do know, however, that weather forecasting has greatly improved in recent years.  “In 1940, the chance of an American being killed by lightning was about 1 in 400,000. Today it’s 1 in 11 million.  Just 25 years ago, when the National Hurricane Center tried to predict where a hurricane would hit three days in advance of landfall, it missed by an average of 350 miles.  Now the average miss is only about 100 miles.” reads an article by The New York Times.  Supercomputers do a pretty good job but only go so far.  Humans are still needed to interpret the data and make the forecast even better.  Humans are able to make a precipitation forecast from a computer 25% more accurate and a temperature forecast 10% more accurate.  Will a forecast be right 100% of the time?  Absolutely not.  We’re getting close…but the forecast will never be 100% accurate.  I guess that’s what you get when trying to predict the future.

Okay, after my little rant, here’s a reminder: MORC will be having the Board of Directors meeting tonight, September 11, 6:30-8:30pm at the Bloomington REI, large conference room.  All are welcome to attend.

 

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