Posted at 7:01 AM on April 21, 2009
by Craig Edwards
During this Severe Weather Awareness week, it is a good time to put together a game plan for you and perhaps family members for staying safe this season.
Schools practice tornado drills, as well as many hospitals and nursing homes. Does your place of business take severe weather preparedness seriously? Studies have shown that there remains a large segment of society indifferent to weather warnings. Having the false belief that it can't happen here!
There are plenty of clues when severe weather is in the neighborhood. If nothing else, frequent lightning and thunder should tip you off that strong winds and hail may arrive soon.
I have a tendency to toss it back in people's face when they say the storm surprised them. I ask them if they heard about the storm warning, saw the lightning and felt the thunder? What was the surprise? Our motto, when I was at the National Weather Service...we are here to minimize the surprises.
Stay informed, stay safe and then help us inform others to keep them safe.
Posted at 3:56 PM on April 21, 2009
by Paul Huttner
MNDOT traffic cam along I-94 near the St. Croix shows fair weather cumulus clouds over the St. Croix.
It's a classic April weather battle.
The cool blustery north wind gusts to over 30 mph. The ever stronger April sun warms the ground and the air. Welcome to spring in Minnesota.
Depending on where you are, today can feel like a chilly late winter day or the start of springtime. Microclimates abound on days like this. If you're sitting on the south side of your home out of the wind in the strong sun it feels great. A long sleeved shirt will do. It feels like spring.
If you're caught out in the open wind in the shade or on the leeward shore of a chilly lake you'll need layers and a good windbreaker. Welcome to March.
Microclimate temperatures can vary widely on days like today. 5 feet above the blacktop driveway on the south side here at the Weather Lab my unofficial but accurate thermometer reads 64 degrees. With strong sun and little wind in the lee of sheltered garage it feels more like 68 or 70.
On the north side in the shade where temperatures are supposed to be collected it's 58. Stand in the wind in the shade there today and it feels more like the 40's.
Our weather will mellow tomorrow as high pressure glides overhead. Look for less wind and warmer temperatures. We should make the mid 60's tomorrow afternoon in the metro.
The "thermal ridge" of heat that's been cooking the southwest with 100 degree blast furnace heat will send a finger of warmth our way Thursday and Friday. We should see our first 80 degree temp in or very close to the metro Thursday afternoon.
An opportunity for much needed rain will slide in Saturday. The timing could be better for us people, but the plants and animals will rejoice regardless of the weekend timing.