We're on track for our expected heat and storms around Minnesota today.
Round one of storms rumbled through central Minnesota early this morning with downpours, lightning, gusty winds and hail, but little if any damage according to storms reports so far. A few clouds and renegade showers & T-Storms even popped up around the metro as a warm front pushed through this morning.
The warm front marks the leading edge a hot sticky air mass that features dew points in the 70s. As skies tend to clear in parts of southern Minnesota and the metro today, temperatures will shoot up into the 90s. We have a shot at the hottest day of the year if the mercury makes a run at 96 today in the metro. If we get enough sun, that could still happen.
A heat advisory is in effect today for the southern third of Minnesota, including the metro area. The combination of temperatures in the 90s and dew points in the 70s will push the heat index over 100 in many areas today.
Main event tonight:
Scattered storms will rumble across northern Minnesota and Wisconsin today, but it still appears the main event for southern Minnesota will happen tonight. A cold front will cut into the hot humid air mass, triggering new development west and north of the metro later this afternoon and into the evening.
We could get a stray thunderstorm this afternoon, but it still looks like we're on track for the main batch of storms in the metro between 7pm and midnight. The best chance of a slow moving line of storms moving into the metro appears to be between 8pm and 10pm. We'll get another model run this morning that may shed some light on timing, but it will be best to keep an eye on the sky today and especially this evening.
Much of Minnesota could get another good soaker, with widespread .50" to 1" rainfall totals possible through tonight.
The best chances for severe weather will be in the form of damaging winds and large hail, but SPC forecasts about a 10% chance of a tornado within 25 miles of the metro late this afternoon or this evening.
I wonder how much those storms in central MN moving into northwestern WI *(and the WI storms that have already occurred) will stabilize things for action later today, and what kind of outflow boundary they'll send southward. Conversely, I wonder what it'll take to destabilize things there as much as SPC expects. It's been my experience that when mesoscale systems like what is there now move through in the morning, the chances for evening storms is pretty much eliminated unless there an incredible amount of thermodynamic destabilization which occurs at all levels along with dynamics from the jet and low-level shear. We'll see, but until it happens, color me skeptical. I'm eagerly awaiting their 1630Z update.
Why do these systems seem to set up in the morning in eastern NoDak?
Maybe it's just me, but the NOAA tornado and hail outlook images always look like they were hand-drawn with Microsoft Paint.
Aaanyways, it's extremely hot and gross out there today. With a heat index well over 100F, I surely hope that most outdoor sporting events are canceled for this evening.