Posted at 9:10 AM on June 21, 2011
by Paul Huttner
It's understandable if you're wondering what season it is today in Minnesota.
The weather maps look like April or May, the calendar says spring until 12:16pm, when the summer solstice officially occurs and we begin summer in the northern hemisphere. Talk about confusing.
Early AM storms bring heavy rain & high winds:
It was a loud awakening for many Minnesotans early this morning. A wave of strong thunderstorms rolled through from south to north with lightning, loud thunder and tree cracking wind gusts.
Here are some rainfall totals from early this morning.
:ID LOCATION TEMP TEMP PCPN
EAU : EAU CLAIRE WI : 74 / 63 / 0.39
MSP : MINNEAPOLIS MN : 77 / 65 / 1.01
STC : ST CLOUD MN : 71 / 57 / 0.35
AXN : ALEXANDRIA MN : 67 / 56 / 0.23
MIC : CRYSTAL MN : 77 / 63 / 0.78
FCM : FLYING CLOUD MN : 77 / 65 / 0.81
RWF : REDWOOD FALLS MN : 73 / 62 / 0.95
STP : ST PAUL MN : 77 / 64 / M
BTHM5: BLUE EARTH MN : DH0600/ 88 / 62 / 0.65
CFAM5: CANNON FALLS MN : DH0600/ 71 / 62 / 0.95
CLSM5: CARLOS MN : DH0639/ M / M / 0.21
MPXM5: CHANHASSEN WFO : DH0700/ 76 / 63 / 0.61
CHNM5: CHANHASSEN MN : DH0700/ M / M / 0.60
CHKM5: CHASKA NW MN : DH0600/ 76 / 61 / 0.63
FIRM5: FAIRMONT MN : DH0700/ 77 / 63 / 1.73
FBTM5: FARIBAULT MN : DH0700/ 73 / 63 / 1.12
FORM5: FOREST LAKE MN : DH0700/ 78 / 58 / 0.67
HSTM5: HASTINGS L/D MN : DH0600/ 74 / 62 / 0.80
JORM5: JORDAN MN : DH0530/ 74 / 62 / 0.69
KIMM5: KIMBALL MN : DH0601/ 69 / 53 / 0.77
LSTM5: LESTER PRAIRIE MN : DH0700/ M / M / 0.95
LNGM5: LONG PRAIRIE MN : DH0600/ 67 / 53 / 0.13
MNPM5: MINNEAPOLIS MN : DH0600/ M / M / 0.86
LSAM5: LWR ST ANTHONY MN : DH0600/ 76 / 64 / 1.25
RDWM5: RED WING L/D MN : DH0600/ 73 / 63 / 0.93
REWM5: REDWOOD FALLS MN : DH0500/ 73 / 60 / 1.03
RCEM5: RICE MN : DH0700/ 69 / 54 / 0.33
RFDM5: ROCKFORD MN : DH0645/ M / M / 0.94
SCSM5: ST CLOUD ST MN : DH0600/ M / M / 0.41
SFDM5: SPRINGFIELD MN : DH0641/ M / M / 1.10
VCTM5: VICTORIA MN : DH0700/ M / M / 0.66
WACM5: WACONIA MN : DH0645/ M / M / 0.89
: IN WISCONSIN
HOLW3: HOLCOMBE WI : DH0700/ 72 / 58 / 0.65
JIMW3: JIM FALLS WI : DH0630/ 76 / 59 / 0.42
ROBW3: ROBERTS WI : DH0715/ M / M / 0.92
Doppler storm total rainfall estimates show the heaviest zone of rain along the I-90 corridor where as much as 2" may have fallen locally.
Scattered rain & thunder today:
The storm system that rammed early thunder in today is spinning near Omaha today.
The system will move northeast and scattered storms will redevelop ahead of the storm in southern Minnesota. While the most widspread rain will linger in western & northern Minnesota, additional showers & thudnerstoms may pop up anytime today in the south, including the metro.
Slight severe risk:
The SPC has put today's slight risk for severe weather across southeast Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Twin Cities metro is on the northern edge of the severe risk area today.
The low pressure system is in no big hurry to move on. The system will linger into Thursday brining more occasional rounds of showers and a few T-Storms to the region.
Rainfall totals my exceed 2" in many spots by Thursday.
Flood woes continue:
The additional rainfall is causing rivers to rise again. Flood warnings are flying for the Minnesota River again.
The rising water could again threaten Highway 101 in Shakopee by Sunday. That could again affect thousands of commuters in the southwest metro.
1027 PM CDT MON JUN 20 2011
THE FLOOD WARNING CONTINUES FOR
THE MINNESOTA RIVER NEAR JORDAN.
* FROM TUESDAY MORNING UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
* AT 9:15 PM MONDAY THE STAGE WAS 24.8 FEET.
* MINOR FLOODING IS FORECAST.
* FLOOD STAGE IS 25.0 FEET.
* FORECAST...RISE ABOVE FLOOD STAGE BY TUESDAY MORNING AND CONTINUE
TO RISE TO NEAR 27.0 FEET BY SUNDAY.
* IMPACT...AT 27.0 FEET...WATER BEGINS ENCROACHING ON HIGHWAY 101 AT SHAKOPEE. THE ROAD WILL BE CLOSED IF WATER RISES MUCH HIGHER.
* IMPACT...AT 26.7 FEET...THE BRIDGE AT SCOTT COUNTY ROAD 9 AND CARVER
COUNTY ROAD 11/JONATHAN CARVER PARKWAY WILL BE CLOSED.
* IMPACT...AT 25.0 FEET...LOW LYING AREAS AND SOME ROADS ALONG THE
RIVER BEGIN TO FLOOD AND PRIVATE SANITARY SEWERS MAY EXPERIENCE
Summer arrives at 12:16pm today!
It may not feel like it today, but summer officially begins (astronomically) at 12:16 pm today! That's when the sun will settle over the Tropic of Cancer at about 23.5 degrees north latitude. That's just south of Key West, FL for those of you keeping track. The sun will be just about directly overhead in Key West around noon today.
In Minnesota the sun will be about 68.5 degrees above the horizon at noon today over the metro.
Today marks the farthest northward point on the sun's annual journey into the northern hemisphere summer.
It is interesting to note that small variations in earth's orbit and axis change the precise point of the summer solstice each year. It has been shifting ever so slightly south the past few years.
Carretera 83 (Vía Corta) Zaragoza-Victoria, Km 27+800. In all crossings of the Tropic of Cancer with Mexican federal highways, this is the only place where the latitude is marked with absolute precision and where the annual drift between 2005 and 2010 can be appreciated. (Image credit from Wikipedia Roberto González)
Arizona fires await the summer monsoon:
Smoke fills the sky and fire is in the air in Arizona these days. The largest fire in AZ history (Wallow Fire) continues to burn largely unchecked in Arizona's White Mountains and into New Mexico. Meanwhile the Monument Fire roarard out of the Huachuca Mountains into Sierra Vista over the weekend in southeat Arizona.
Check out this time lapse video of the Monument Fire as it was stoked in the Huachuca Mountain over the weekend.
The video shows an hour's worth of time as the family prepares to evacuate their home in Sierra Vista. You can see the family loading belongings into their truck as the fire threatens.
Kind of puts our wet 1st day of summer in perspective I think.
The hot dry Arizona weather is setting records. There has ben no rain in Tucson since April 9th. That's a string of 72 consecutive days!
I spent 9 years in Arozona covering weather and wildfire season. This time of year, the fires burn largely unchecked. Fire crews battle to save towns and homes with back burns, but they really don't try to "put out" the fires for the most part. It's just to difficult with massive fires and temps near 100 degrees.
Most of the fires in Arizona will burn until the summer monsoon arrives in early July. The annual event is marked by a mid-level wind shift from the west into the southeast. The shift brings moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of California into Arizona.
The moisture generates higher humidity, and provides fuel for nearly daily thunderstorms which often build over Arizona's mountains then come rolling into the valleys with thunder and heavy rains in the afternoon.
Microbursts with damaging winds are also common during the monsoon.
The word monsoon comes form the Arabic word "mausim" meaning season. About half of Tucson's annual rainfall (6"+) comes during the monsoon, which runs from early July to mid September 30th.
When I was in Tucson, I was part of a team of meteorologists who worked to come up with a definition for when the monsoon begins. The formula we arrived at was to chart the first 3 days in a row where the average dew point in Tucson was 54 degrees or higher. The first of those 3 days marked the annual beginning of the summer monsoon.
The definition has changed over the years, but the annual arrival of the North American Monsoon in the southwest marks a time of celebration. The seemingly endless unbroken string of hot, sunny dry days over 100 is over, and the arrival of precious rainfall, a greening landscape and cooler cloud filled skies is a welcome relief!
Posted at 9:15 PM on June 21, 2011
by Paul Huttner
Filed under: Tornadoes
NWS has allowed the tornado watch to expire at 9pm.
MPX expires Tornado Watch for Anoka, Chisago, Dakota, Goodhue, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Sherburne, Washington, Wright [MN] and Barron, Chippewa, Dunn, Eau Claire, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Rusk, St. Croix [WI]
Expect a few scattered showers & T-Storms to persist for a while but gradually fade overnight.
Scattered showers will linger Wednesday, but the severe weather threat will shift east.
Heavy rain causing problems in St. Cloud this evening.
MPX: St Cloud [Stearns Co, MN] law enforcement reports FLASH FLOOD at 05:05 PM CDT -- delayed report. heavy rain across downtown st. cloud led to water half way up vechiles causing 20 to 30 to be stranded in the water. people helped by law enforcement out of the vehicles.
SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
618 PM CDT TUE JUN 21 2011
LAC QUI PARLE-CHIPPEWA-YELLOW MEDICINE-RENVILLE-SIBLEY-REDWOOD-
BROWN-NICOLLET-LE SUEUR-WATONWAN-BLUE EARTH-WASECA-STEELE-MARTIN-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...MADISON...MONTEVIDEO...GRANITE FALLS...
OLIVIA...GAYLORD...REDWOOD FALLS...NEW ULM...ST. PETER...
LE SUEUR...ST. JAMES...MANKATO...WASECA...OWATONNA...FAIRMONT...
BLUE EARTH...ALBERT LEA
618 PM CDT TUE JUN 21 2011
...FUNNEL CLOUDS POSSIBLE EARLY THIS EVENING...
ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS ACROSS WEST CENTRAL THROUGH SOUTH CENTRAL
MINNESOTA SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT OF FUNNEL CLOUDS. THESE FUNNEL
CLOUDS ARE BRIEF IN NATURE AND NORMALLY DO NOT TOUCH THE GROUND.
HOWEVER...IF A TORNADO WARNING WOULD BECOME NECESSARY...TAKE
APPROPRIATE ACTION AND SEEK SHELTER INDOORS.
SPC has posted tornado watch #532 until 9pm from the Twin Cities southeast to Madison Wisconsin.
Scattered storms are rotating around low pressure in southwest Minnesota today. There is enough rotation or "spin" in the atmosphere to produce isolated tornadoes.
Funnel clouds and a brief tornado touchdown were reported near Coon Rapids, Andover and Blaine today by spotters.
MPX: Coon Rapids [Anoka Co, MN] trained spotter reports TORNADO at 03:32 PM CDT -- tornado reported near the intersection of hanson and maine.
2032 COON RAPIDS ANOKA MN 4517 9331 TORNADO REPORTED NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF HANSON AND MAIN ST. TREES AND POWER LINES DOWN IN COON RAPIDS. (MPX)
MPX: Andover [Anoka Co, MN] law enforcement reports FUNNEL CLOUD at 03:29 PM CDT -- at the intersection of bunker lake and hanson blvd.
MPX: Blaine [Anoka Co, MN] emergency mngr reports FUNNEL CLOUD at 03:17 PM CDT -- at hwy 65 and hwy 10.
Locally heavy rainfall is producing localized street flooding.
Check out the image below from University Ave. in St. Paul.