Posted at 3:54 PM on July 7, 2009
by Paul Huttner
GOES 1km visible satellite image this afternoon shows a variety of sky cover in Minnesota.
There's an old saying in Minnesota. "If you don't like the weather, just wait 15 minutes." We might modify that today to say; "If you don't like the weather just drive 15 miles."
Take a look at the visible satellite image above. Let's start near Lake Superior. You can see puffy cumulus clouds in much of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. For the most part these are fair weather cumulus. This is a pretty typical July sky in the North Country. Temperatures are in the comfy 70s at places like Hibbing and Hayward.
Now look around the edges of Lake Superior. You can see cloud free skies over and around the lake. The lake breeze from Superior has pushed ashore. This relatively cooler air wipes out the heating that generates thermals over land to support cumulus development. So while it's in the 70s inland, it's only in the 50s near the lake in places like Grand Marais today.
In other parts of Minnesota you can see high cirrus clouds with no rain. There are sunny areas with relatively few clouds and a classic summer day in southern Minnesota. You can also see the tops of towering cumulus with showers in south central Minnesota. There are also thunderstorm clusters with cumulonimbus tops evident in South Dakota.
The best chance of severe weather is in the eastern Dakotas and southwest Minnesota today. A severe thunderstorm watch is posted for the area. Look for showers to approach the metro as we go thought the evening tonight.
And remember, if you don't like the weather today, just drive 15 miles!