John Wheeler / Forum News Service
This week has been designated Severe Summer Weather Awareness Week in North Dakota. It is an excellent opportunity to set up your designated shelter and develop your household plan in the event of a tornado or severe thunderstorm warning.
This week has been designated Severe Summer Weather Awareness Week in North Dakota and so it is a good time to review. It is the National Weather Service, and not the local broadcast media, that issue all Severe Thunderstorm and Tornado Warnings. We in the media relay the information and do our best to communicate what the storms are up to.
This week has been designated Severe Summer Weather Awareness Week in North Dakota. A hundred years ago, when severe weather struck, it struck without warning. Starting in the mid-Twentieth Century, the National Weather Service and broadcast media began to aggressively warn the public of dangerous weather, causing great reductions is property loss and also loss of life due to storms.
Day in, day out, our weather warms and cools like it always has. But overlying these regular changes is a long-term warm spell that has lasted for more than two years. The causes of the long-lasting warm spell are complicated, as climate always is. The general warming of the Earth, and the warming of the Arctic region in particular, may be related to our present warm spell, but the primary culprit has likely been a large area of much warmer than average ocean surface temperatures across the Pacific Ocean.
Many weather enthusiasts have personal rain gauges so they can track rainfall at their location as opposed to the closest “official” reporting location. The meteorologists at WDAY use these unofficial reports to form a more complete report of rain during and after a storm.
Really hot weather in Fargo Moorhead is usually limited to a few days in the middle of summer. True scorchers, with temperatures reaching 100 degrees, happen only about once every few years or so, and usually at the height of a dry summer. All but five of the 100 degree days on record since 1881 have happened between June 12 and Aug. 31.
It is said that weather is inherently unpredictable. This might be a matter of perspective. Or opinion. Or maybe location. Consider India and the Indian Monsoon. Every year in April and May, subtropical sunshine heats the Indian subcontinent. The surrounding oceans water is heated also, but not as much as the land. This creates low pressure over India which draws increasingly humid, tropical air inland. Temperatures across India warm into the 100s, 110s, and even 120s.
The twenty year anniversary of the Flood of 1997 has brought back a lot of emotions for many of us who lived and worked through it. The more recent trifecta of spring floods in 2009, 2010, and 2011 certainly produced its own set of horrors. But the 1997 flood was the one that awoke us to the modern-day era of flooding. More people, more changes to the landscape, and a wetter climate have created an environment that is more flood-prone than before.
A few scattered thundershowers Friday night was not enough to change the fact that this has been a dry spring so far. Soils have been dry due to the lack of winter snow meltwater and an absence of general rain so far.
This summer, on Aug. 21, an eclipse of the sun will be visible across the United States.