Posted at 7:53 AM on May 19, 2009
by Paul Huttner
If you look up today, and if weather maps were visible in the sky, you would see a big blue and red line over right I-394.
A cold front sagged south to the Twin Cities overnight and will become stationary. It will linger overhead today, then push back north as a warm front later this evening. This front has a strong temperature contrast. Highs around the metro this afternoon will reflect that, with low 70's in the north metro and mid 80's south. All weather is local, and Apple Valley will feel a lot warmer than Anoka this afternoon.
As the front pushes north tonight, look for the winds to increase from the south. The season's warmest air mass will push temperatures into the 90's Wednesday in southern Minnesota. The Twin Cities may even make a first seasonal run at 90 by Wednesday afternoon. We see 13 days of 90 degrees on average in the metro each summer. Our first one usually occurs in late May to early June, so we'll be pushing things a bit if we get there.
Tweaking the Memorial Day Weekend forecast:
Things are looking prety good for the upcoming holiday weekend and unofficial start of summer in Minnesota. It appears we will be mostly dry, with perhaps our best chance of rain Sunday morning. Here's the latest. I will tweak this as the weekend approaches.
Friday: Mostly sunny. High 70 metro, 66 north. West wind 5-15 mph.
Saturday: Mostly sunny. High 70. West wind 5-15 mph.
Sunday: Chance of rain. High 72. Southwest wind 10-20 mph.
Memorial Day: Partly cloudy. High 71. Northest wind 5-10 mph.
It will be something short of beach weather this weekend, but all in all a pretty decent weekend is on the way.
Posted at 3:36 PM on May 19, 2009
by Paul Huttner
Warmer water in the tropical Pacific Ocean signals La Nina's end.
Recent changes in Pacific Ocean water temperature signal the end of La Nina and may mean a warmer winter next year for Minnesota. That's the scenario if the trend continues and strengthens.
The latest data from buoys and other sources shows water temperatures in the region are on the rise. Right now the outlook calls for only "ENSO neutral" conditions for next winter. But many of the dynamical models are suggesting that we may be headed for a full fledged El Nino event in the next year. If that happens there are statistical correlations for a milder than average winter in Minnesota.
El Nino events occur on average every 3 to 5 years. The last El Nino event was during the winter of 2006-2007. It was a fairly mild event with tropical SST's only about 1.1 degree Celsius above average. Still it produced a mild winter about 4 degrees above average in the Twin Cities and the mildest December in over 100 years.
Other regional weather patterns during El Nino events favor heavy winter rain and mountain snows for southern California and Desert Southwest and wetter winters along the Gulf Coast.
It's too soon to tell if we will warm enough for El Nino next winter. One thing is for sure. La Nina is so...last year.
Posted at 4:34 PM on May 19, 2009
by Paul Huttner
The temperature at Twin Cities International Airport hit 90 degrees for the first time this season today at 4pm. That's a good 1 to 2 weeks ahead of schedule.
Granite Falls in southwest Minnesota hit 100. Many other locations in southwest Minnesota are in the upper 90's. Meanwhile it is 37 degrees in Grand Marais. That's a remarkable 63 degree temperature contrast. Welcome to Minnesota!
A strong warm front is moving back northward tonight after stalling near the Twin Cities as a cool front this morning.
-Last year the Twin Cities did not hit 90 degrees until June 25th.
-This year's first 90 degree day is 37 days earlier.
-Last year we had only 6 days of 90 degrees or warmer.
-The metro average is 13 days.
-We will likely hit 90 again tomorrow in the metro and much of southern Minnesota.
There is no real strong data to support this, but something in my "weather bones" tells me this is going to be a hot summer.
Time to get that air conditioner tuned up.