Mark Seeley answers listener questions at the State Fair

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Mark Seeley, University of Minnesota Climatologist, joins Gary Eichten to answer listener weather questions live from the MPR booth at the State Fair.

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(00:00:00) It's four minutes after 12 noon with news from Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Steven John State education officials say they will delay the launch of three new tests by at least a year in the wake of a test scoring Fiasco that affected 47,000 Minnesota students National computer systems incorrectly scored one version of it. Last Spring's basic standards math test a new reading test for 10th grade a math test for 11th grade and an emerging academic English tests were scheduled to begin in the coming school year Christine Jack's commissioner of the Department of Children families and learning says NCS has lost too much time trying to correct its problems. She says if the state decides not to renew its contract with the company All State Testing would be delayed because I would doubt that if we ended our contract with NCS and what was another company that NCS would give the new company all of the work and the foundational support and the structure that they had put together. So new company was start from scratch. We would probably use an lose an entire year of testing Jack says her department is working on. Own oversight system for future test scoring procedures Medtronic Chief Executive Officer William. George is retiring. George was expected to announce his retirement at the company's annual stockholders meeting this morning. He will be succeeded May 1st by the company's second ranking executive Arthur Collins Junior authorities in Southeastern, Minnesota are trying to keep a pot problem in check the number of marijuana plants being found in rural. Minnesota is increasing authorities. Say August is the peak month for marijuana growth and harvest yesterday members of the National Guard removed more than 50,000 plants from a Dodge County field. The forecast is for partly to mostly sunny conditions. This afternoon is slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm in the Northwest the highs in the 80s for the Twin Cities becoming partly to mostly sunny with a high near 85. It's 74 in the Twin Cities Duluth has 74 degrees 77 in Rochester. That's news. I'm Stephen John programming on MPR is supported by the it doctors as incorp company offering database. including data warehousing Data Mining and database development on the web at it - doctors.com (00:02:19) Good afternoon. Welcome back to midday today coming to you live from the Minnesota Public Radio Booth here at the Minnesota State Fair. I'm Gary eichten. Well today of course is the opening day of the fair and traditionally on this first day University of Minnesota climatologist. Meteorologist, Mark Seeley stops by to talk about Minnesota's favorite subject, Minnesota weather and sure enough, but Mark is here. He has brought along his annual state fair weather quiz, so here's the deal. He will answer your weather questions. And if your game you get to answer one of his questions, and unfortunately, I have to warn you in advance not to put you off here. I have to warn you in advance that this year's quiz is a real toughie and so you will be challenged this year some years. You know, he's had questions. Like what do we call it? When water comes down from the sky? Not this year. Now those of you here in the audience, if you have a question for Mark, all you have to do is step up to our microphone and get your question on will put you on the air those of you listening on the radio. Give us a call and a regular call in line. And that number is six five one two, two seven six thousand 6512276 thousand outside the Twin Cities one eight hundred two, four two two eight two eight and one reminder, if you're coming out to the fair if you're out here today or coming out during the 10-day run of the fair do make sure you stop by our Minnesota Public Radio Booth. We're at the corner of Judson and Nelson. We're about halfway between the haunted house and the Coliseum were right across from the new Major League Baseball exhibit. So we're fairly easy to find and of course check out our website, Minnesota Public Radio dot-org among other things you will find in our State Fair section. Dr. Seeley's weather quiz, but don't cheat those of you with a computer you could cheat but that would not be nice. Would it Mark? I'm sure NPR listeners would not cheat. No, they are above that sort of thing now great Dairy Day for the fair. Is this pretty typical for this time of the year? Very typical going to be kind of a hot sticky afternoon. We've got dew points already in the high 60s, which we all feel but I don't think an extreme day but definitely will be taken a lot of liquids today. What is the, you know, generally speaking. What's the weather like for the State Fair? Does it does it change quite a bit during the 10-day run? Well, we have had some extremes. We've been all the way up to 99 degrees. I think with a heat index around a hundred and five. That's Plaza. But we've also had 1974. We had a morning at the State Fair where it was 36 degrees. So you probably had to wear layered clothing that de all in the same day 36. No not in the Day now the fair. I think it's I think it's reasonable to say the state fair marks the kind of the end of summer here in Minnesota a good time to look back has our summer this this past three months pretty typical summer for us there been anything unusual about this Summer that folks like yourself 25 30 40 100 years from now will say boy that that 2000 there was a year. Well, I think you could label that with a headline the summer of the reversal of Fortune because coming into this spring Gary as you know, and most listeners will know there was a lot of hype about drought and it looked like indeed we were heading into a situation that was going to be very difficult especially for our agricultural sector but starting May 7th. May 7th on it's turned out to be exceedingly with in fact Rochester. Minnesota has recorded their wettest ever met June July. They got over 25 inches of rain in those three months can never have too much. Well, yeah, but so I think that that is the most striking characteristic to me now we have had some other very unusual circumstances materialized during the summer. We've had a lot of hail and Western Minnesota. Of course, we had the Granite Falls tornado, which was an F for which is very rare in Minnesota and we had the coldest July 18th in history way back. You probably don't remember that but I remember it. Well, I remember dressing like a November day to come to work on July 18th for crying out loud. And then of course, we had those record-setting dew points earlier this month. So we've had a lot of individual episode kind of things but I think the most striking characteristic is it really looked like drought and suddenly? Complete reversal starting in early May University of Minnesota meteorologist. Climatologists, Mark, Seeley is our guest today here in midday. Of course, you hear him every week on Fridays on Morning Edition. You'll be on again tomorrow, right? But but they've let Mark out of the studio. He's been good enough to come by our booth here at the fair to take your whether questions again. If you've got a question for Mark to step up to the mic and get your question answered and if your game Mark has a question for you from the annual weather quiz, if you're listening on the radio, give us a call six five one two, two seven six thousand or 1-800 to for 22828. Now before we get to our first caller just a quick overview Mark. What is the winter look like a quick overview? Yeah, you know, well nice winter traditional Minnesota winter a warm winter really cold winter. What do we what's your best? Guess? They're okay first off be aware that your Asking somebody who's really busted at the last few winter. So we've had I remember last year you were talking about a severe winter. We've had the three mildest back-to-back-to-back winners in measurement history. And so the only thing that I see that's an early indicator of the Season ahead is that the high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere and I mean no say North of 60 degrees north. There's been a lot of cold air up there. In fact, many many places have been reporting while we've been reporting a lot of temperatures above normal this summer. They've been reporting a lot of temperatures below normal. So should air masses persist up there and and cool down and come to equilibrium. Then we could have perched cold air above us. So we might see some of that come down this fall. But other than that, I'll tell you I'm I have zero confidence right now. Yes, I might as well I might as well flip a coin really if we were to go back, you know with the change in fuel prices now specially for home heating if we were to revert back and say have a winner like 96 97 Prevail or even have a normal winter Prevail for crying out loud. It would be extremely hard on the pocket books this year because we've gotten so used to the last three years. We've really gotten spoiled. Yeah, you bet Mark Seeley is our guest and Tom is on the line from great Cloud island with a weather question. First of all, Tom before we get started you want to answer one of marks weather quiz questions. (00:09:42) I'll give it a try. (00:09:43) Okay. Well you get your question in first and then Mark will I guess it depends on how hard your question is is to how hard his will be. So take it easy on him. Yeah, I get a chance to get back at him depending right Tom. What's your question? Please (00:09:56) remember hearing once that if you you could locate the center low pressure center. If you put your back to the wind and held your left arm out. I can remember whether you hold it in front of you or off to the left. How's that? (00:10:11) Yeah, you're remembering the Bauhaus ballot law, which is it's in the textbook of meteorology. It goes back many decades in the northern hemisphere. If you turn your back to the wind low pressure is to your left. Okay, and you can do that anywhere in the northern hemisphere. That's the that's a law that's been in the books for a long time. And that works (00:10:33) at what I thought. (00:10:34) Yeah. Very good. Okay standing by here. Okay. What's your what's your first question there? Well, let's take one here. In the past year our Minnesota State climatology office discovered a heretofore unrecognized seasonal snowfall record for the state of Minnesota. And I'll give you a hint. The old record was Lutsen Minnesota had about a hundred fifty four inches in one season. That's the old record. Okay in what county was the new record set? And I'll give you the County's Beltrami Itasca or cook. Do you know where those counties (00:11:14) are? Yes, I do. Okay. Okay, I will. I'll take a stab at Cook County (00:11:20) right on the button. Yeah Pigeon River Dam in Cook County reported a hundred and seventy inches in the winter of nineteen forty nine fifty and that had gone undetected in the record books. Probably not undetected in the county though. Probably not. Yeah how much how much does snow do we traditionally get here in the Twin Cities during a normal winter? Do we ever have a normal winter? The long-term average Gary is about 45 or 46 inches. That's a hundred and some years average for the Twin Cities. It's going to be interesting this year. I might bring this up because a lot of people might not be aware of this those of you that our listeners or people here at the State Fair might be aware that a lot of the snow plowing contracts in the Twin Cities area are dependent on what falls at MSP International Airport in other words, if Given amount is Falls there and has recorded officially then they'll go plow. Well this year in the National Weather Service announced that because of difficulties they've had in measuring snow since they left the airport to go out to Chanhassen in getting a good measurements at the airport the official sites now going to become Chanhassen Minnesota. That's going to be the official Twin City site for snowfall now now do they usually get a little more snow out in the Suburban area like that? Well that's yet to discover, isn't it? I think they actually have been measuring it at but our winners have been so darn benign recently. I don't think we have enough data to do much of a fair comparison ma'am your question for Mark silly. Yes. I'm from Jonah and the people that live down there say that if a tornado ever came down it would get trapped between the Bluffs. Is that really true? Landscape terrain does have some impact on tornadoes, but boy, I can't answer that question. It might depend on the magnitude of the tornado if it was a small weak tornado out of a relatively small parent Cloud, there might be something to that. But if it was part of a great big complex something they call these meso scale thunderstorm complexes. It might might it's completely ignore the landscape. So that's that's a tough one. You want to answer a weather quiz question? Okay. We'll try another one here. Okay, and I apologize for this one Gary already announced how hard this quiz is, you know wives who are the ultimate good judges of character my wife remark that I must have been in a bad mood when I wrote this so somebody's got to get me in a better mood when I write these quizzes. Anyway, this one has a little history what president signed into law the Congressional bill that created our National Weather Service a Lincoln be Cleveland or sea Grant Cleveland close Grant signed in and 1870. The law that established the US Signal Corps Service, which gave birth eventually to the National Weather Service. So that's kind of how far back it goes. So you weren't very you were in the right time frame you were close. So thanks very much. Thanks for your question. Those of you here in the audience. If you've got a question for Mark Seeley step up to the mic those of you listening on the radio. Give us a call it I have one two two seven six thousand or one eight hundred two, four two two eight two eight and take the the weather quiz the annual weather quiz again. We should note that you can find the weather quiz complete with answers on our website, Minnesota Public Radio dot org, but we're urging that you not Peak during this program wait till after the program to find out what are the correct answers to all of these very difficult questions, and I'm sure everybody will. Yes, sir. Your your question for Marcia. Could you speak right into the microphone, please? I'm Dr. Favor from st. Paul and I was wondering if they'll be a lot of changes in the agricultural crops will be raising if there's a change in climate in Minnesota realized change in the kind of production and agriculture, okay. Depends on was it Dale or Darryl dale dale. It kind of depends on what time frame we are detecting some Trends in climate and there's no doubt about that. But right now they're of a magnitude that our agriculture can adjust to for example our row crop agriculture, which is corn soybean and least in about. Oh 14 million Acres the variety selection that's available genetically can be adjusted for example length of season or heat stress or moisture conditions like that. And so there's a fairly wide range of plant material for producers to select from already that would adjust to some relatively small changes. Now if we get into large changes indeed, I think we might see some dramatic differences. Would you like to answer a weather quiz question? Yeah. Okay. Okay Dale. I think we've covered this but I'll ask you here. What has been the highest heat index bear in mind. The heat index is how the how the outside air feels with the combination of temperature and humidity. What's the highest heat index during the Minnesota State Fair? A 95 to 100 be a hundred and five to a hundred and ten or see a hundred and fifteen to a hundred and twenty-five 210. Right right on the money. In fact that's happened. Three times Gary since the birth of the State Fair people have come to the State Fair in that kind of condition which that would mean I would be drinking. Oh, maybe four gallons of water a day something like that. Now I picked up my newspaper yesterday Star Tribune and they're in announced that we live in a heat wave danger zone. I didn't know I had to worry about that. Yeah. I saw that article to that study was done by and I'm going to forget the name of the group Physicians for responsible science or something. Yeah, something like that and it was built around the premise that the the heat wave that occurs in areas that only sporadically get these That they of human population there has little time to adjust in other words. They drew the distinction between say the Deep South which has oppressively sultry conditions quite frequently that the people who live there have adjusted to that they've acclimatized if you will but up here in the higher latitudes in the Northern Plains, for example, we have spells of this and they're in frequent enough that when they come in they can have dramatic effects on our body because our body hasn't had time to adjust and they I think they did this from the Eastern. I can't remember the exact delineation. I'll say somewhere like Philadelphia or somewhere and then across the Northern Tier States out to Minnesota. Mostly because of the episodic nature of these heat waves and the fact that when they come in, especially some of the older cities maybe have a little bit older population fraction. It's particularly stressful on those people and I think that's probably right. In fact some major cities Chicago, for example, As a result of the 1995 Heat Wave they've got a whole plan that's in place. Now Cooperative between their Emergency Management people and the the shelters in the city of Chicago the National Weather Service. So they give advisories immediately and try to get people who are susceptible the option of getting to some of these shelters right away. So they don't don't get under too much stress. I think Philadelphia has a plan like that too. I don't know that we have a plan like that in place here in the Twin Cities. Do we need one? I mean, it's as happen. So often that it's something that we should actually gets to about. Well, I think yeah, I would think it would be our good judgment if we did develop one because let's face it in recent years. We have had a number of these episodes in Minnesota granted. It's not every year not by any means, but when they do occur, they create quite a bit of quite a bit of stress back to the phone's a cheese is online with question from Lakeville question for Mark ceiling. Go ahead, please (00:19:58) Thank you. Mr. Silly. I'm not trying to pick on you because I know you're going to beat me up real bad with your weather question after I'm done but how accurate are these meteorologist forecast like when I watch the television and they say this is what it's going to be in five days. It's going to be raining or sunny and they've even gone so far as to you know, look at seven days out there, you know, depending on what news broadcast I'm looking at and and to take that one step further. I've even seen computer generated forecasts as in hey, this is where the high is going to be in the low and you know, I mean, come on you guys just taken away egg and or is really some validity to this. Thanks (00:20:37) now don't go away. Okay, I'm here. Yep. There's a lot of characteristics about forecasting that make it extremely difficult. I'm only familiar with some older studies the the one and two and even three day forecast have improved depending on what criteria you use to evaluate them for example, typically an Should study might look at whether they hit the temperature forecast plus or minus 3 degrees C. For example, that might be considered a hit. Okay, because now the interesting feature about forecasting especially here in Minnesota is there's a great seasonality. If you look at the accuracy, the summertime poses the most difficult situation for a meteorologist to forecast the season of long days and short nights a lot of convective precipitation a lot of local scale thunderstorms. And the absence of these General fronts weather fronts. Okay conversely, the wintertime poses the best situation for a meteorologist to forecast because all the weather systems are larger, their magnitude is greater their sharper contrast in the northern hemisphere with the long nights and short days and you can track these systems and do a much better job on their timing and their magnitude. So there's almost a He's known by a so a forecaster if their performance evaluation is heavily based on say how well they do in the winter versus the summer don't come out smelling like a rose, but you know, if they're heavily evaluated on summer conditions, it's going to be pretty difficult. So there's some of these inherent things the other thing you asked about and pointed out is it's worth knowing that there's still about five or six computer-driven forecast models. Okay, and it is not uncommon for the meteorologists to pull those up on his or her computer and see six different answers. I believe you so then which one are you going to go with? Well, everybody has their own biases and somebody might say I'm going to forecast today August 24th, because Model A has shown to me historically, it works better on August 24th than model B C D or E. So there's a lot of that kind of thing built into it. The atmosphere is a Each volumetric problem which we sample very sparsely with weather balloons and satellites and other things. So we take a very small sample of the condition of the atmosphere and then we have to extrapolate it into the future and that big problem is not going to go away as forecasting and Arturo science. Well, I think it's a little of both for the local scale. I really value. For example, we have some great National Weather Service forecasters at Chanhassen. One of the things that makes them great. They really know Minnesota so they can take forecast guidance and they can apply it specifically to Minnesota and that's a huge asset to have that local experience. All right, he's rigging you ready for that weather quiz question. (00:23:43) All right. Thanks. Mr. Tsui for that. Excellent answer. I'm (00:23:46) impressed. Okay. You're welcome. Here's one of another one about little about Minnesota History this last year the Minnesota State climatology office conducted a survey. A Statewide survey about the most significant weather events of the 20th century. In fact, the this got written up a big article in the local papers and it was even broadcast on the Evening News by the media. But which of the following events was not ranked in the top five of the 20th century? Okay. I'll multiple guess. Yeah, here you go a a the July 1977 Twin Cities flash flood. That was July twenty thirty seven when we got 10 inches of rain and they closed I-94 and Etc be the 1930s Dust Bowl era or see the 1940 Armistice Day (00:24:38) blizzard. I'm gonna I'm gonna go with a (00:24:43) yep. You're right. It didn't make it. Although that was you might say from standpoint a local impact. That was one of the greatest of the 20th century. It didn't make the top five. Very (00:24:53) good. Well good question. All right, thank you. Mr. Sweet. Thank you. Mister. I can (00:24:58) Mark Seeley is our guest today on. Midday. We're broadcasting live on this first day of the Minnesota State Fair broadcasting from the fair. We're at our Minnesota Public Radio booth and if you're out at the fair, make sure you stop by again some general directions. Basically, we're at the corner of Judson and Nelson, if you know where the haunted house is or the Coliseum. We're about Midway in between right across the street is the new Major League Baseball exhibit. So we're relatively easy to find do make sure you come by we've got lots of great programs all ten days of the fair out here. So spent today at two o'clock that Jim and Jim Hadden a Dale have a special music show that you want to be here. Or Mark Seeley will be bad be along with more questions of their half hour of weather information and we'll continue it at right after news headlines here. Stephen Jones (00:25:50) David. All right, Gary. Thank you tourists are being invited back to the Florida Keys after Debbie turned into a dud. They former hurricane is now just a tropical wave and the 15,000 visitors who were told to leave the keys yesterday are now allowed to return most of the debris has been recovered from yesterday's Gulf Air crash off Bahrain, including the cockpit voice recorder to us investigators will be among those trying to figure out why the plane crashed into the Persian Gulf killing all 143 people. In Regional news The Excelsior Henderson motorcycle manufacturing company will restart production early next year under a court confirmed bankruptcy reorganization plan. The new owners of the Belle Plaine company is eh Partners Incorporated an investment firm based out of West Palm Beach Florida. The original owners shut down just 10 months into its Venture after spending one hundred million dollars in private and government investment money. A key state legislator is suggesting a change in the way. Minnesota judges are elected Minnetonka Republican. Ron Abrams says, he'll propose a constitutional amendment that would allow voters to decide whether a judge should be retained for six years under the current system most judges are first appointed by the governor then stand for election to six-year terms. A commission is recommending boat speed limits on the sink Roy River the recommendation calls for limiting boat speeds to 40 miles per hour during the day in 20 miles per hour after dark on a stretch of the river between Stillwater Minnesota and Prescott Wisconsin last year five men died when two boats collided on the river and Saint Mary's University in Winona has received its largest ever gift a seven million dollar donation to lead the school's 30 million dollar Capital campaign Drive the donation came from an anonymous benefactor in the Chicago area. Skies should be partly to mostly sunny in the region today widely scattered showers and thunderstorms in the West Central and the Northwest expect the high of about 85 for the Twin Cities with a light East northeasterly Wind 76 degrees now in Twin Cities 74 in Duluth. Rochester has 78. I'm Stephen John. That's the latest news. (00:27:54) All right. Thank you. Stephen. It is about 28 minutes before one o'clock. Midday coming to you on Minnesota Public Radio Broadcasting live today from the MPR Booth here at the Minnesota State Fair meteorologists. Climatologists, Mark, Sealy has joined us this hour to kind of a midday tradition here the first day of the fair you mark comes by with his weather quiz, we try to stump him and he tries to stump us. This is the one day a year that my blood pressure goes way up. Well, you always do so, well those of you in the audience if you've got a question whether question for Mark come on up to the microphone if you're listening on the radio, give us a Six five one two two seven six thousand or one eight hundred two, four two two eight two, eight Greg your question for Mark Seeley plays (00:28:43) thanks for taking my call Mark. I just wonder if you could set the record straight relative to what we seem to think is happening in Minnesota, you know, the changes relative versus what you really see data wise. It seems over the past 20 30 years that it's getting more humid. The weather's getting more violent at least in the metro area more tornadoes when I think of Life 25 30 years ago, it seems a lot calmer, you know, the Weller the weather seemed a lot calmer relative to what it is. Now. We see things in the paper about irrigating out in Nebraska and whether or not you're getting millions of acres are increasing the water vapor and that's coming our way and we in fact are getting more humid and other things in the paper about, you know, open water now at the polar ice caps is there in fact a real increase in humidity in the state. Is it becoming really wetter? And if that's true, is that what's making our climate seem to be? A little more violent that you know, these drastic weather changes were seeing (00:29:41) boy several interesting topics there. I wish I was capable of setting the record straight, but I'm not that confident the some of the features though that you mentioned. We are not seeing increases in average relative humidity. We are not seeing increases in average dew point, but we are seeing increased frequency in the episode of extreme conditions of these of these parameters. So so overall we can't say that we're seeing a positive slope in the average but we are seeing an increased frequency in the occurrence of extremes now the 1990s as we talked about it last year's State Fair Gary was the wettest decade of the 20th century the decade that it replaced as the wettest decade of the of the 20th century was the First decade so we had to go all the way back to 1902 1909 to find an equivalent degree of wetness. So and of course, we also see a bunch of other Trends we see positive temperature Trends. I'll be at the mostly induced by warmer Winters and warmer overnight minimums rather than warmer Summers or warmer daytime maximums. We see a higher frequency of intense rainfalls. We're seeing wetter Springs and later Falls. There's a whole bunch of Trends. We detect how we attribute. This is really the thorn that's difficult to cope with because you can you can't say without any question. It's all because of global warming due to human activity. You can't say that you can't say it may be a composite of that acting with other things and separating. I doubt is going to take a lot of studies. So there's lots of these questions very good questions and there's lots of these Trends we observe in the data but sorting them out. That's that's going to take a while and well we just keep working on it. Well, Greg Greg Mark silly dodged your question. Are you willing to answer his (00:31:56) I'll be happy to dodge his to sure. Give me a (00:31:58) shot. Okay, great. Here we go. For today's date August 24th. The opening day of this year's State Fair take a stab at what the state all-time high temperature record is for today's date a a hundred and seven degrees be a hundred and one degrees C 99 degrees. (00:32:19) A hundred and one degrees (00:32:22) close. It's a hundred and seven. It was a hundred and seven on this date at Pipestone and that remains the state record for August 24th (00:32:31) ante well. I hope we don't hit it again soon. (00:32:33) I hope so too. Thanks a lot. Thanks, Greg Mark talking about climate climate changes, I guess everybody noticed the story here week or so ago that they found the that the ice of the North Pole is actually melted. There's a big swath of water where ice used to be what's that all about? Yeah. I wish I knew there's been a lot of evidence in recent years published in the scientific literature that as I mentioned to Greg the last caller we do detect warming Trends or positive temperature Trends in the state of Minnesota. If you look at the whole Northern Hemisphere, you find that many other regions in the northern hemisphere are detecting positive temperature Trends and especially so At high latitudes as you go higher and higher latitude or more and more towards the pole. I don't know why I don't know what's going on. That's not to say that virtually every place in the northern hemisphere is experiencing a positive temperature Trend because that's not the case. But but it does seem to be more pronounced at high latitudes. And again what the explanation of that might be is not a simple one at least in my opinion. It's probably a complex one. Now you noted earlier that we had some horrendous downpours this past summer Greg was noting a caller that we've seen to have more severe weather. But yet I as I recall this past year we didn't have much severe weather at all. I mean Granite Falls got blasted with that tornado, but I think everybody else pretty much got have got away scot-free, didn't it? Well, it depends on on what we what we talked about in terms. The severe weather Gary. Yeah, we haven't had any widespread certainly nothing like the derecho or the straight line wind that devastated The Boundary Waters canoe area. For example last year our frequency of tornadoes or the number of tornadoes is somewhat down this year from what it was in the decade of the 1990s. You're quite right about that, but I'm not so sure about the overall incidence of thunderstorms and particularly hail. I haven't checked the statistics, but it seems to me like we've had quite a few hail storms at least in the western part of the state this year. So it depends on what aspect of that severe weather were talking about. Well, my memory isn't what it never was never very good to begin with and anyway back to the phones Dave's online with the from Ely with a question for Mark Seeley Dave. (00:35:05) Yes Mark. It's often said that southwestern part of the United States is quite sunny, and I wondered if you could tell me more locally in Minnesota itself. I live up and near The Boundary Waters, but If the sun the available sunshine or whether you could call it a percentage of what you could get in a day maybe if there's a lot more available sunshine in the Twin Cities area. Then there might be up here in the northeastern part of the state or near the Boundary Waters and that might be figured like yearly or seasonally or something (00:35:42) a graduate student who studied that and did a paper about it a few years ago. If memory serves me right on an annual basis its Southwestern Minnesota that comes in with the highest amount and it's portions of Eastern Minnesota that come in with the lowest amount. However, I can't remember if that's Northeastern Minnesota or simply East Central Minnesota. I can't remember but you're quite right. There is a gradient in terms of available sunshine or available solar. Energy from Southwest to Northeast and I don't quite know what it is. There has been monitoring equipment at Ely for a number of years. And of course, it's also seasonally biased if you will but yeah, uh Patty Lee you have a lot more daylight hours for example near the summer solstice than what than what we might have. Well, maybe not ours but minutes then what we'd have in southern Minnesota and of course vice versa in the in the winter solstice in terms of what's available David you like to answer a weather quiz (00:36:53) question. Okay. I'll give it a shot. All (00:36:55) right. Okay. Let's see. Is there an easy one there mark? Yeah, this one relates to recent news. In fact just earlier this week. So maybe I'll give this one a try. It's not a Minnesota derivative, but it's still if you've been following the news or the newspaper. It might ring a bell though. It never made landfall what record was established this month by Hurricane Alberto in the North Atlantic Ocean a largest hurricane ever in August be strongest hurricane ever in August or see longest-lived tropical cyclone in August. (00:37:34) I'll have to go with the longest lived there. (00:37:37) Yeah. Absolutely, right it broke the record for the longest lived tropical cyclone. In fact, it broke the record by I think several days and it never made landfall it just kind of meandered around the Atlantic Ocean and eventually dissipated at the high latitudes where the ocean temperatures were too cool to sustain it. Well, thank you very much (00:37:58) Market. It's a valuable service you're doing for the (00:38:00) Unity, you're welcome. I might remind State Fair people here. The quiz besides being online. Gary is on the gold sheet over there if they want to take one home. It's just a single sheet. You can stick it in your pocket also on the green sheet for those that are internet users or internet browsers. There's a whole bunch of weather information websites there if people want to give those a try, okay now this is a with the weather quiz actually being printed up a real Temptation for the people here, they could grab that sheet and come across as weather experts by cheating. But of course as you noted earlier, Minnesota Public Radio listeners would never cheat. I wouldn't think they'd ever would if you have a question for Mark Seeley come on up to the microphone and ask away. And if you if your game Mark will have a question for you from the annual state fair weather quiz those of you on the radio listening on the radio, give us a call six five. One two, two seven six thousand 6512276 thousand if you're calling from outside the Twin Cities, (00:39:00) He's 1-800 to for 22828. You were (00:39:04) talking about the length of days daylight and so on. How much are we losing every day now as we move toward fall. Well as we move towards the Equinox in September will start to lose more and more minutes. I'm not sure what it is exactly on today's date. It might be all we might be losing three minutes a day. I mean that's just a guess but as we get towards the Equinox, we will lose a greater and greater amount. So it will really become noticeable. Well, I'm already noticing how quickly the evening sets in around here now, but I would guess about three minutes a day something like that and then it really starts to accelerate. So it's not a just a day-by-day right? It's not a constant. That's right. Yes, sir. Your question for (00:39:50) Mark Seeley are coming from Annapolis, Maryland. We had the coldest July (00:39:54) since 1918. What was it like here are July here ended up? I think mixed I think most of our climate observers reported a little bit colder than normal but nothing like you a maybe a degree cooler than normal or something like that. Where ours was about (00:40:12) five degrees colder on (00:40:13) the average my good five degrees. Yeah normally was about 82 and sorry 79 it was about 74 average was wild and up in Albany (00:40:22) New York. They did they as they (00:40:23) set a record. It was the coldest day or had they didn't have a day over 8500 my whole month of July and that's wild must have had a real prevalence of cloud cover during the month to is that right or not like that, but that's a lot of rain or rain. We've had in a long time. Now we needed it. We had three years (00:40:38) of drought and it got all busted and one year. (00:40:40) Yeah. Thank you. One of the answer a question from the weather plus you haven't treated here have haven't read it yet. Not yet. No. No, actually this one you're from Maryland. Yeah, this one might relate to Maryland to because I understand that the Weather Service name May extend Nationwide, but I'm not positive. But anyway, the question goes like this. What is the name given to the computer generated voice that provides weather information over NOAA Weather Radio a spin be Igor or see how probably hell Hal's from 2001. That's a good that's a good guess but the name has been coined Igor because there's a slight accent that they can't seem to get rid of on this computer generated. I think they use deck talk which is a software package, but they've tried to tweak it and tweak it and give it a Norwegian accent or Swedish accent or whatever and it's proven really difficult to cope with so I've got a question for you. What do you call someone? It's Garrison Keillor. How can one of my favorites on there? What do you call a son of a father followed that marries a Minnesotan who marries a Palestinian, you know, oh my I haven't heard. Noun 1 yes argue about you. All right back to the phones Jim's on the line with a question for Mark Seeley (00:42:08) Jim. Hi. Love you show listen to it. Every Friday morning. My question is this if the average Winters if the winter temperatures are getting warmer, we're having warmer Winters doesn't that adjust our norm and average up. So every year when we look at the normal temperature. It's a little higher than the year before. (00:42:27) Well, you're absolutely right Jim the if we look at the temperature positive temperature Trend as I mentioned earlier say last hundred years or 50 or whatever. We want to look at we can find that the contribution from Winter is more significant than any other season of the year. So you're quite right those positive temperature departures in Winter are if we're looking for a culprit that that that we can point a finger to for this positive temperature Trend. That's the culprit right there. And that's not just true for the Twin Cities. It's true for just about any location. You look in the state of, (00:43:04) Minnesota. All right, Jim. So when we look at our daily Norms like we say, oh today's five degrees above normal that normal is warmer than it was 10 years ago, (00:43:15) right? Oh, yeah, and there's one one one thing. I neglected to mention. They're right. The normals were using are mandated by the World Meteorological organization. So all government service uses these until we calculate the new ones which change every decade. So we're still fixed on using as our normal or our comparison period the 19:6 the 1971 to 1990 period so when we say today's temperatures going to be this or that departure from normal were referencing 1971 to 1990 now starting next year. Let me back up. I got that wrong 61 tonighti starting next year. We'll be using 71 2. Mm and I'll bet you're dead. Right I'll bet they'll be a shift in the normals when we go to the new 30 year period from the old 30-year period. All right, Jim you ready to answer a question? Sure, okay. Let's see Jim. Let's go with another Minnesota History. Whether history question here. Where was the first Minnesota state Weather Service Office established 1883 to 1889 located a Hamline University st. Paul be Carleton College Northfield see University of Minnesota Minneapolis. (00:44:41) My instinct says Minneapolis, but I'm going to I'm going to say Hamlin. (00:44:44) Okay, it was actually Carleton College Northfield. Wow, they established the first Minnesota, excuse me State Weather Service under Professor William Pain, and it was very it was a very good Weather Service. In fact Professor pain did it exceptionally good job of that and was complemented immensely. When the National Weather Service came in and took over responsibility in 1891 for that service Mark. I have to ask you in the old days. They used to send. Promotional materials all around the world but especially to Scandinavia and so on touting the benefits of Minnesota claiming it was well the next thing to Paradise absolutely nothing wrong with Minnesota, nothing unusual about Minnesota, except it was so pleasant all year long. What do they do when the guy started actually collecting the real data today squelches information or what? You know, no wonder all of those old data you have to go deep deep into the basement archives to find them. I don't think they were made very conspicuous. All right, not too much time left. But if you've got a question for Mark Seeley, come on up to our microphone here back to the phones. Meanwhile Dean's on the line with a question. Go ahead Dean. (00:46:01) Yeah. I have a question on cloud tights. You bet every so often you'll see like a layer of clouds, but they'll be definite Rose long rows in the clouds almost like row crops. (00:46:15) Yeah, they call those Cloud streets (00:46:18) streets. What causes those? That's what I've never heard that described before (00:46:25) boy. That's a tough one. Eddie's or waves, you know, the atmosphere is treated in meteorology is a fluid and the both the moisture and the heat content of the atmosphere moves around not just at the surface but a loft in all these different size Eddie's some of them may be minuscule, you know inches or whatever and some of them may be miles and miles and miles of air that is somewhat homogeneous that is has the same water vapor content and the same temperature and these can move in waves and and then reach the condensation saturated condensation level Aloft and create these Cloud streaks. And so we'll see several Cloud streets and the (00:47:09) worst kind of the top of the wave when (00:47:12) we yep that could very well be what we're seeing and it's It's really common to see these in the summertime, especially when we have a higher atmospheric water vapor content, especially a higher water vapor content Aloft. Okay back to the phones Brian's on the line Brian your question for Mark silly (00:47:31) plays. Hello, Brian. Oh, hello. You're on the air. Okay. Hi. I live in Minneapolis. And it seems like a lot of the storms that come to the Twin Cities seem to get either pushed north or south of the Twin Cities or split around the Twin Cities and I was wondering why that is (00:47:49) The old heat island. Oh boy. That's a tough one. You know, I won't deny that we see that pattern but whether that is a hard and fast rule, I I find it hard to digest the reason is there's been some recent studies notably in st. Louis and Atlanta Georgia that have documented just kind of the opposite effect of their Urban heat islands that they actually create more rainfall and that they observe more rainfall as the weather system passes over the city. So I don't know maybe there is something unique to the Twin Cities that has caused this to appear as a conspicuous pattern lately, but that I'm sorry. I really don't have a good idea. I can't confirm that that's always going to be the case. Okay, Ryan, you want to take a shot at one of the weather quiz questions. Sure, okay. Let's see. What is the largest daily swing in temperature and here we're talking 24 hours measured in the state of Minnesota a over 70 degrees Fahrenheit be over 60 degrees Fahrenheit or C over 50 degrees Fahrenheit. (00:49:10) Go with be 60 (00:49:11) degrees 60 that used to be the case. But now we've got a record of 71 degree temperature change in one day. Oh down in Southwestern Minnesota. It occurred. It occurred in March March and April are the two months when we see the largest temperature swings because we can have dry air which as we know surrenders heat very readily at night and and that in March and April we can still have rather dramatic changes in air mass. So those two months in particular are the months of the year that we see very dramatic temperature changes and you're quite right. The old record used to be in the 60s. Does anybody else have the kind of wild temperature fluctuations that we have? Well, there are other continental climates in the northern hemisphere notably over in the former Soviet Union that have the kind of air mass changes that prescribed area. You're talking side daily fluctuations. But yeah, other than that, I don't know. I don't know of any in the southern hemisphere. Now. I'm under some pressure to ask another question or relative to where we stand in the bigger world or at least in the United States what with their hurricanes tornadoes floods all of the calamities that can befall people blizzards where it what is the what are the meteorologists say is the safest place in the United States to live where you could actually avoid almost all of these if not all of these horrible weather develop storms. I don't know the answer to that might I haven't seen that but my guess would be maybe somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. I don't know in terms of real extreme occurrences, but I really don't have any idea. Okay, we've stumped. Mr. Seeley. I'm stumped. Not much humbled again. Yes. Well, let's let's get one more caller on here before we wrap up Tom (00:51:09) your question for Mark see we please my question is actually from the north. They did you were able to (00:51:39) I got that Tom. Yeah and and you know that's been debated over the decades by the World Meteorological organization. Unfortunately most government Weather Services, as you said not just our us but other countries still use the mean or the average. I don't know whether we'll ever get there. I'm not sure that the public majority has an appreciation of what the standard deviation means and what the nature of the distribution of temperature is. Like. I mean, maybe I'm under estimating on that. But now if you do go to NPR's website and you do read whether talk every week, you'll find that in my narrative. I always refer to the mean and the standard deviation. I never leave out the standard deviation because quite frankly the standard deviation in Minnesota changes. It's by no means constant. It's much higher in the winter months than it is in August. For example. Hmm. Is it fun being a climatologist meteorologist? Is this a fun profession that you're in? Yeah, kind of a wild and crazy grits. It's it's it's fun. It's it's it's humbling. But there's always something I mean, there's so many things that are related to the weather that there's always something to get your attention and there's always some new statistic to create new people blame you for the wedding and of course you get blamed for the weather and you have to just sort of carry on you know for the young people in the in the audience if they would like to be Mark seelies of the future. What do they do? How do they do that do well in the sciences and Mathematics in in the school's right up through high school go to go to a college that has a meteorology program. You can get your Bachelor of Science and meteorology and get out in the workplace and get some experience as a meteorologist. And then if you want to get an advanced degree go to one of the schools that offer an advanced degree, but that's that's The way to do it and there's lots to do besides just being a Navy weather person meteorology has so many special isms. We got agriculture. We got air pollution meteorology. We have incident or natural Hazard meteorology. We have meteorology related to hydrology which of course is very much in terms of water supply, you know water supply is going to be another biggie in the future. We talk about global warming but water quality and water supply are really going to be important issues in the future. Now those of you in the audience if you want to hear some more from Mark, you're off to the University of Minnesota stage now, we're going over the U of M on Dan Patch will be over there talking more about the Minnesota weather quiz and other things and of course listen to Morning Edition on Friday mornings and will continue to have more information there. I really appreciate your invitation for the fourth year in a row Gary. This is a lot of fun. Well sign up for number five already. Okay. I'll try to I'll try to be in a better mood. Right next year's quiz. Thanks very much Mark. Sealy University Minnesota climatologist meteorologist joining us here at permit day are at rmp our booth at the State Fair again the weather quiz, (00:54:53) just check out our website Minnesota Public Radio (00:54:55) dot-org the questions are there and the answers are there as well tomorrow. We're going to be talking with some of the other candidates for the US Senate think you'll find that interesting will also hear from the Israeli Ambassador tomorrow on (00:55:09) midday. On the next all things considered a Minnesota company that looks shaky last year has been resurrected by cutting staff and refocusing its business that story on the next All Things Considered weekdays at 3:00 on Minnesota Public Radio. (00:55:29) We have a partly cloudy Sky 76 degrees at Kenner wfm 91.1 Minneapolis. And st. Paul. It was supposed to clear off today will see high temperature reaching the mid 80s partly cloudy pretty muggy tonight with a low in the mid-60s partly cloudy and humid 30% chance for a thunderstorm in the Twin Cities tomorrow.

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