Local meteorologists should be getting combat pay this month.
A look at some of the numbers during the onslaught of severe storms the past month by the Twin Cities NWS shows that we've had three times as many reports of severe weather in the past month as we had all of last year!
Here are the numbers from the Twin Cities NWS office:
The June 17th to July 17th Numbers
All statistics are for the 51 county NWS Chanhassen County Warning Area unless otherwise stated.
•395 preliminary reports of severe weather.
•2009 only had 120 total separate severe weather documented and verified.*
•Tornado counts are still being assessed and the surveying, coordinating, and documenting process takes time, thus the initial tornado number count will change some in the coming days to weeks, but to this point 37 have been documented.
•204 total severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings issued, with 72 being tornado warnings.
•The main six events each had at least 20 warnings issued.
•The Storms Prediction Center (SPC) has included some portion of the area in five moderate risks of severe weather in their Day 1 Daily Convective Outlook. The area was under five total moderate risks in the day 1 outlook in the two year span from June 12th, 2008 through June 16th, 2010.
It appears our next wave of storms will arrive in the early morning hours on Thursday. A strong low level jet stream (around 5k feet) will drive fresh moisture northward from Iowa into southern Minnesota overnight. The moist unstable air will be acted upon by a strong "short wave" in the upper atmosphere, and that should trigger an MCS (Mesoscale convective system) style cluster of organized heavy thunderstorms overnight.
The forecast models are cranking out some impressive rainfall totals with this system. Widespread .50" to 1/5" totals appear likely, with the NAM model cranking out an amazing 4" by Thursday afternoon. This is probably high for most areas....but it gives you the idea that there may be some locally heavy and potentially flooding rains with this system.
Keep an eye and ear out for heavy rainfall and severe weather again early Thursday.
Here's a forecast that gets to the point.
Expect rain Thursday.
Get set for the next round of storms in Minnesota. This batch could bring good ole' fashioned gully washers.
An approaching warm front and low pressure center will bring the next wave of showers and thunderstorms overnight and into Thursday. A potentially strong low level jet stream around 5k feet will feed moisture into the region overnight. Storms in the Dakotas will ride east into southern Minnesota overnight.
It looks like the best bet for arrival in the metro will be toward sunrise and rain chances will continue into Thursday morning before the first wave slides east as the day wears on.
The SPC has placed southern Minnesota under a slight risk for severe storms.
There could be high winds and hail but it appears the biggest threat may be slow moving storms that can dump heavy rains in excess of 1" to 2"+ capable of flash flooding.
Keep the NOAA Weather Radio and MPR handy as the day wears on Thursday.