Ron Gardenhire patted me on the back when I congratulated him on the AL Central championship during the celebration at Target Field Tuesday night.
But it was the Twins manager, players and organization who deserved a big pat on the back. They won the AL Central Division title in classic Twins style. And they did it under an open moonlit sky on a crisp September evening at Target Field.
A few hundred die hard fans stayed at Target Field for more than an hour after the Twins defeated Cleveland 6-4 Tuesday night to wait for the inevitable news that Oakland had defeated the Chicago White Sox. When the news came down, the fans and Twins locker room erupted in celebration.
The season clinching victory came on a perfect weather night for baseball. Somehow, throughout the most severe weather season in Minnesota history, the Twins have led charmed weather lives. Only two games have been delayed by weather all season long. Both were completed within 24 hours during the same homestand.
As the harvest moon shone brightly overhead Tuesday night, the Twins reaped the benefit of a season of baseball sewn outdoors under the Minnesota sky.
I was fortunate enough to draw the lucky straw filling in as the official "game day meteorologist" for the Twins on the day they clinched the title. Twins head groundskeeper Larry DiVito and I talked weather during the game, and I had a chance to get his observations on the possible center field "wind swirl" that may be knocking down potential home run balls. The way Target Filed is laid out seems to produce a swirling wind in the outfield that tends to slow down balls in flight.
But there was no slowing down the Twins AL Central Championship train tonight. When the clubhouse doors opened to the media as the title was clinched, Twins players erupted into celebration and a shower of champagne filled the clubhouse sky. Here are a few (somewhat blurry) photos I was able to snap in the celebration.
Persistent heavy rainfall swamped southern Minnesota with 2" to more than 4" of rain Wednesday night. NWS has issued flood warnings for several counties along and north of the I-90 corridor in southern Minnesota.
Waves of rainfall will continue to develop and lift north through Thursday. Expect periods of rain, sometimes heavy. There is a slight risk for a few severe storms as well.
This may be a situation where we see some incredible rainfall totals as the slow moving storm pushes north into Minnesota Thursday.
NEXRAD storm total rainfall loop shows 2" to 4" rainfall totals in southern Minnesota.
Some locations will see a month's worth of rainfall in a day or two. The latest indications are that some areas in southern Minnesota could see over 5" to 7"+ rainfall by Friday morning.
Stay tuned for updated warnings here.
(original post 3:25pm)
Forecast: Flood Watch
Get ready for some really big puddles.
A powerful fall like storm system is taking aim for Minnesota. We're on track for a potentially heavy rainfall event in much of Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin through Thursday and into Friday morning.
The lead wave of rainfall is already here, and by the time wave number two rolls through Thursday, some areas may have rain gauges brimming with 2" to 4"+ rainfall totals.
The Twin Cities NWS has issued a flood watch through Friday morning for the metro and much of central Minnesota and northern Wisconsin.
It appears the first wave may come through without severe weather, but as warm and humid and increasingly unstable air is drawn north with the system, there is the potential for some severe storms into Thursday.
Bottom line: get ready for some potential heavy rainfall over the next 36 hours, and keep an eye out for possible severe weather, especially in southern Minnesota.