Posted at 9:01 AM on May 31, 2011
by Paul Huttner
Batten down the garbage bins or you may find them in Wisconsin today.
A wind (and small pet) advisory has been hoisted for most of Minnesota today until 7pm. A tight "pressure gradient" behind a cold front is cranking up some howling winds today.
Look for winds to swing into the west from 15-30 mph today, with some gusts between 40 and 50 mph. Winds should diminish after sunset tonight.
Summer "On Schedule":
We think of Memorial Day as the "unofficial" start of summer in Minnesota. It felt pretty official Monday.
Monday's high of 88 degrees ties (May 10th) for the warmest day so far in 2011in the metro.
88 degrees, Monday's high temp in the metro
+13 degrees vs. average for May 30th
2 number of 80 degree days so far this year in the metro.
-1.0 degrees vs. average for May temps in the metro
4.04" rainfall total for MSP Airport in May
+.93" vs. average
May 2011 will go down as memorable for the strong EF1 North Minneapolis tornado.
The twister caused the most damage from any tornado in the City of Minneapolis in 30 years, since the "Edina/Lake Harriet/Har Mar" tornado on June 14th, 1981.
Overnight storms caused damage:
A line of severe storms caused damage in eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota, but weakened before arriving in the metro overnight.
Winds were clocked at 72 mph at Fargo Airport with some damage and at least one injury in the city of Fargo.
Drier week ahead!
Today's winds are ushering in a transfusion of drier air through mid-week. The fresh air mass features dew points that will plunge into the 40s and even upper 30s in some areas by early Wednesday.
The best chance of a stray shower or T-Storm this week appears to be late Wednesday night into early Thursday morning as a warm front pushes north.
Heat returns late week:
Summer-like heat will return Thursday and Friday as a warm front pushes back north. Look for temperatures to soar back into the 80s, with a shot at our first 90 degree reading in the metro by Friday afternoon.
Another cool front may bring a few boomers Friday night, and bring a drop in temps & humidity for the weekend.
Right now the weekend looks warm & fairly dry with highs near 80 degrees.
Longest days ahead!
We're now entering the "brightest" 6 weeks of the year in Minnesota & the northern Hemisphere.
Daylight is now at 15 hours and 22 minutes in the metro this week.
Daylight peaks in just 3 weeks with the summer solstice on June 21st. On that day the metro will bask in 15 hours and 36 minutes of daylight, and just 8 hours and 24 minutes of "darkness."
The Twin Cities and Minnesota will enjoy 15+ hours of daylight form now through July 24th!
The next 6 weeks are the best time of the year in Minnesota for those who enjoy early morning and long evening daylight.
Get out and enjoy!
Can you believe it's June already?
June begins at midnight Wednesday, and signs of the season have arrived at the weather lab.
I saw and heard the first June Bugs sluggishly buzzing around the weather lab after dark Monday evening.
June is our brightest month in terms of daylight in Minnesota.
You can calculate daylight for any location here.
Trademark long evening daylight peaks the last week of June, when sunset times are as late as 9:03pm in the metro, 9:14pm in the Brainerd Lakes area and 9:35 in Hallock in the northwest corner of Minnesota!
If you figure in "Civil Twilight" there is light in the sky as late as 10:17pm on clear evenings in the northwest corner of Minnesota in late June.
You could call places like Roseau and Hallock land of the 10pm sun!
You can find sunrise & sunset times anywhere in Minnesota with this nifty sunrise & sunset calendar.
Morning Sky Show:
If you're an early riser there is still a nice grouping of planets in the sky before sunrise in the east.
Look to the east about 30-45 minutes before sunrise and you'll see Jupiter. Mars, Venus and Mercury shining brightly low on the eastern horizon.
The sky show is a remnant of the amazing show that lasted all month long in May. With so many cloudy mornings in May you might have missed out, but Wednesday morning looks clear in southern Minnesota at least.
Here's a description of the show as it unfolded in May from NASA.
Lightning strikes Willmar NOAA weather radio transmitter:
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
934 PM CDT MON MAY 30 2011
...PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT...
THE WILMAR NOAA WEATHER RADIO TOWER IN NEW LONDON MN IS NOT
A LOCAL CITIZEN ALERTED THE NWS OF POSSIBLE PROBLEMS EARLIER THIS
EVENING. AFTER CONFIRMATION THAT INFORMATION WAS BEING SENT TO
THE RADIO...BUT WAS NOT DISTRIBUTED FROM THE TRANSMITTER...MN DOT
SENT A TECHNICIAN TO THE SITE TOO EVALUATE THE PROBLEM. THE
TECHNICIAN SUSPECTED THAT THE TOWER WAS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING AS
SEVERAL COMPONENTS HAVE MELTED. PARTS WILL BE ORDERED ON TUESDAY
BUT IT MAY TAKE SEVERAL DAYS FOR THE TRANSMITTER TO BE FIXED.
THOSE INDIVIDUALS THAT USE THE WILMAR TRANSMITTER AS THEIR PRIMARY
TRANSMITTER ARE ENCOURAGED TO TRY THE ST CLOUD TRANSMITTER...THE
OLIVIA TRANSMITTER OR THE KENSINGTON TRANSMITTER AS ALTERNATES TO
RECEIVE WEATHER AND WARNING INFORMATION. ANOTHER OPTION IS TO
REFER TO THE NWS TWIN CITIES WEB PAGE AT WWW.CRH.NOAA.GOV/MPX
Hurricane season opens June 1st!
After a winter packed with a parade of winter storms and the most tornadic spring since the 1950's you'd think the USA would be due for a break in extreme weather. Think again.
June 1st mark the "official" start of the Atlantic hurricane season. (June 1- November 30th)
Various forecast this year call for an above average number of tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Basin this year.
Hurricane expert Jeff Masters already sees potential tropical trouble brewing in the Caribbean Sea.
Total precipitable water (a measure of how much rain would fall if we condensed all the water vapor present) for May 31, 2011 at 7am EDT. Plentiful water vapor in the SW Caribbean would create about 2 inches of rain (50 mm, orange colors) if it were all condensed out. Image credit: University of Wisconsin CIMSS.
"The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on Wednesday, June 1, but the Caribbean is already showing signs of the change of seasons. Moisture and heavy thunderstorm activity have increased in the region between Central America and Jamaica in recent days, and rainfall amounts of 1 - 2 inches have been common over the past three days over Cuba, Hispaniola, and much of Central America. The subtropical jet stream has been bringing high wind shear of 30 - 50 knots over the Caribbean the past week, but this shear has fallen to 20 - 40 knots this morning, and is predicted to fall below 20 knots by Thursday. All of the computer models predict that an area of low pressure will form in the region between Jamaica and Honduras by Thursday. This low will have the potential to develop into a tropical depression late this week. There is some dry air over the Western Caribbean near Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula that may retard the process, but a surge of moisture accompanying a tropical wave currently passing through the Lesser Antilles may counteract this, when the wave arrives in the Western Caribbean on Thursday. Water temperatures in the Central Caribbean are about 1°C above average, 29°C, which is plenty warm enough to support development of a tropical storm. Some recent runs of the NOGPAS model have predicted development of a tropical depression by late this week, potentially affecting Jamaica and Eastern Cuba. The other models have not been as gung-ho, but have been showing the potential for a strong tropical disturbance with very heavy rains forming late this week. In any case, residents of Jamaica, Cuba, the Cayman Islands, Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua should anticipate the possibility that heavy rains of 2 - 4 inches may affect them Thursday through Saturday this week."
The GFS model is hinting at a potential tropical system near Florida in about 10 days.
The USA got really lucky with no hurricane landfalls during an active Atlantic season in 2010. My hunch is that's not going to happen again this year, and we'll likely see some hurricanes and possible a major hurricane strike the U.S. Coastline this year.