Remember that old saying "Knee high by the 4th of July?"
Compared to last year, "Half as high by the 4th of July" appears to be the mantra in Minnesota cornfields this year.
Our cool wet spring (and chilly first 2 days of summer) has taken a toll on Minnesotans. The latest Minnesota Crop Report shows corn and other crops are feeling the chill too.
10" average height of the corn crop in Minnesota this week
18" Running 5 year average height of corn crop in Minnesota this week
20" average height of the corn crop in Minnesota last year at this time
Also, 25% of the corn crop in Minnesota is rated as "fair" or "poor."
KIMT TV in mason City, Iowa has the story.
One way to measure crop growth is by calcualting so called "Growing Degree Days."
UM's Dale Hicks explains.
"Temperature affects crop growth and development. Accumulation of heat during the growing season can be used as a predictor of plant developmental progress. Growing Degree Days (GDD's) is a calculation to express the heat accumulation. GDD's are calculated using the maximum and minimum daily air temperature to determine the average daily temperature. From the average temperature, the base of 50° is subtracted to arrive at the daily GDD's. There are temperature limits used when calculating GDD's because little or no growth occurs when the temperature is greater than 86°F or less than 50°F. So when the maximum temperature is above 86°, then 86 is used as the maximum temperature and when the minimum temperature is below 50°, then 50 is used as the minimum temperature for the day. Daily GDD's are summed for the season beginning May 1."
So far in 2011, most Minnesota locations are behind average in GDD.
There's no way to say for sure why 2011 is off to a slower crop start that the past 5 years, but our La Nina spring is one possible explanation. Actually this year's crop progress is closer to long term averages for Minnesota.
Pattern Change: Heat builds next week:
The good news is that next week the jet stream finally shows signs of lifting north into Canada. This should bring an extended period of warmer weather, with highs consistently in the 80s, and even a shot at 90 by late next week.
The added heat or "growing degree days" should give crops a boost in the next two weeks.
Hang in there...sunshine returns Friday and warmer weather is just around the corner!
Posted at 4:44 PM on June 23, 2011
by Paul Huttner
We are on the verge of a big improvement in our weather, and judging from the weather "feedback" I've been getting lately it's coming just in time!
Let's get the cool stuff out of the way, and then focus on the positive trends in the forecast.
Thursday: Coldest day until September?
Read 'em and weep.
81 average high for the metro on June 23rd
63 temperature at MSP Airport at 3pm Thursday
-18 degrees vs. average
63 record "low maximum" temp for MSP Airport on June 23rd
63 average high for October 7th!
Weather Channel temperature plot form Thursday afternoon shows the coldest air in the nation...right over Minnesota.
Free Air Conditioning:
Welcome to "Junetober" in Minnesota. This week's lingering low pressure system pumped in an air mass into Minnesota that's more like early October than late June....with temperatures running nearly 20 degrees below average under the low stratocumulus cloud deck.
Many locations in Minnesota flirted with "record low maximum" temperatures Thursday afternoon, as temps struggled to get into the 60s.
Sun makes all the difference:
To the west of the departing storm it was sunny Thursday in northwest Minnesota and the Red River Valley.
Temperatures responded with highs well into the 70s in Fargo & Grand Forks!
I'm hearing a lot of comments about people who are seriously depressed by this relentless barrage of wet & cool days & weeks. It just seems we can't string together two sunny mild days in a row this spring, and after a brutal winter it's understandable that peopel are feeling blue about the weather.
There are anecdotes from all over the place, but one reliable source I have says people coming into her place of business are really feeling low. Call it summer SAD if you want, but it's real. We're used to talking about SAD in December and January...but not June. What a year!
There is good news in the forecast and the sun will return Friday, and not a minute too soon it appears. Looking ahead...it really does start to look and feel a lot more like summer in the next week.
Hang in there!
Sun returns Friday!
The chilly gray weather pattern system will mercifully depart Minnesota on Friday.
Skies should clear overnight, and the sun should be out in full force all day Friday. Do you remember where you put your sunglasses?
Temperatures should recover well into the 70s Friday afternoon. The sun will feel great, and be good for all of us at this point.
Weekend Forecast: 6 of 10 stars??
The weekend look a lot better than what we saw this week, but I hesitate to say it's going to be perfect. After all, this is Minnesota in the weather year of 2011 right?
A weak upper wave will slide into Minnesota Saturday. The GFS leans toward just a few clouds and maybe a shower Saturday night. The NAM is a little more aggressive, and attempts to bring some stray (mostly light) showers through Saturday.
We may have a little more clarity late Friday but for now I would say Saturday should see a mix of clouds & sun, and maybe a sprinkle or stray shower or two.
Maybe I'm being overly cautious compared to some other forecasts in town...but I'm a little wary of saturated soils and the low level moisture "feedback" that may favor a cloudier day. I hope I'm wrong on this one and we see more sun than clouds Saturday.
Sunday looks to be on the "edge of nice" as well. I can see a mix of clouds and sun, and a slight chance of a shower.
It does look warmer this weekend. Temperature should at least make the high 70s both days!
80s return next week!
All signs point to a return of summer like weather later next week. The week may start on a wet note Monday, but a ridge of high pressure should build Tuesday & Wednesday.
It appears temperature will surge into the 80s late next week, and I could see a shot at 90 next Thursday!
The longer range forecast looks mixed as we head into the July 4th weekend. One scenario is warm, humid & thundery...another cooler but dry.
Stay tuned...and enjoy the sunshine Friday!
Minot Flood Video:
Video provided by the military shows the flooding Souris River in Minot Wednesday, June 22, 2011.