Posted at 8:15 AM on June 24, 2009
by Paul Huttner
What a difference a week makes.
Last week at this time, I took an excursion in the Weather Lab motor boat on Lake Minnetonka. I was a little stunned to see the water temperature still stubbornly hanging onto a cool 67 degrees. Usually 70 degrees is considered safe and comfortable for swimmers. The reading of 67 was unseasonably cool for June 16th. I can recall many years when the water temperature on Lake Minnetonka has reached 70 degrees by the first week in June.
That's why last night I was pleasantly surprised when the thermometer on my boat flashed the lake water temperature of 77 degrees! That reading was in the main lower lake between Big Island and The Minnetonka Yacht Club. The water in Carson's Bay was even warmer at 79 degrees in the shallows.
That marks a 10 to 12 degree temperature rise in lake water in a week. Looking at the weather the past week, that's not a huge surprise. Our daily high temperatures have reached 83 or above 5 of the past 7 days in the metro. That includes 2 consecutive days in the 90s with 94 Monday and 95 Tuesday. The warm air combined with intense summer solstice sunlight has combined to warm the lakes rapidly.
The water temperature in Lake Minnetonka and metro lakes usually peaks at or above 80 degrees in late July. It looks like we will have no problem getting there this summer.
In the north country, lakes are still on the chilly side. Current lake temperature data is difficult to come by, but I would estimate lake temperatures are still in the 60s in the BWCAW lakes. Take a look at the weather reports from Sawbill Lake. As of Monday, the air temperature had not hit 80 degrees yet this year. The warmest day was Saturday with a high of 76. It's tough to warm the lakes up when the nights are still in the 50's. Keep that in mind if you are planning a plunge into your favorite northern lake in the next week or so.
Look for a batch of showers to move into the metro and southern Minnesota from the southwest this morning. Thursday and the bulk of Friday look dry. We should push into the low 90s again Friday. The next chance of thunder comes Friday night into Saturday as a cool front approaches form the west.
Posted at 3:33 PM on June 24, 2009
by Paul Huttner
SPC maintains a slight risk for severe storms in southern Minnesota this evening.
This post falls under the "news you can use" and "nowcast" categories.
The atmosphere is still a little ticklish today around southern Minnesota. After our morning shot of rain and thunder brought .16" of rainfall to the Twin Cities, round two is rumbling through west central Minnesota.
There have been no reports of severe weather though 3:30pm this afternoon. So far these are just garden variety rumblers. Any additional rainfall would be welcome for most areas today.
As you plan your evening activities, keep an eye to the western sky tonight. The early softball or T-Ball game in the metro may go off without a hitch. But as the evening wears on, there will be an increasing chance of rain moving in from the west.
Here's the radar loop so you can keep an eye on things this evening.