The next weather system is pushing rain into Minnesota Thursday morning. Some numbers:
.95" NAM model rainfall output for MSP Airport next 60 hours
3"- 4" NAM rainfall output for areas near Morris, Alexandria & St. Cloud to Hinckley
2" possible rainfall totals favoring north metro next 48 hours
Finding the "sweet spot"
This is where weather forecasting gets dicey. Specifically, flash flood forecasting.
As hotter, wetter air pushes north over the next 48 hours, the precise location of surface warm frontal positions and upper air low tracks take on added meaning. If the warm front is overhead, and the upper low passes over the top of you...get an ark! You could get 3" to 4" of rain.
If you're 50-75 miles either side....maybe an inch of rain? No big deal.
The latest model trends suggest the "sweet spot" for heavy rainfall may lay out across central Minnesota. A line from Morris through Alexandria, St. Cloud to Hinckley seems like the favored area to pick up a multi inch deluge.
Duluth and the Twin Cities lie on either side...maybe an inch of rain or more? Again, this is if things pan out that way. The heavy rain area could easily shift north or south.
Either way, be ready for showers & T-Storms moving into western MN tonight and spreading into eastern MN (including Duluth & the metro) by Thursday morning.
Some of the rain will be heavy. Heavy rain will be the primary threat, with a lower chance for hail and damaging winds.
Up Next: Weekend heat wave
As the hot dome of air pushes north this weekend, temperatures will soar. We'll see more heat advisories and extreme heat warnings in Minnesota.
Check out some of the forecast heat index values starting Sunday!
State of Minnesota shutdown affects MN climate info users:
"Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you got 'til it's gone."
That's how this forecaster and other local "mets" must feel about the shutdown of the Minnesota Climatology Working Group website. It's a royal pain for us as forecasters not to have the excellent data, but the bigger perspective is that there are several dedicated climate professionals (and thousands of other dedicated state employees) out of work through no fault of their own!
We are so fortunate to have this amazing group of dedicated climate specialists in Minnesota. I know I'm missing somebody but the excellent work of dedicated professionals like Jim Zandlo,Greg Spoden, Pete Boulay, and Dr. Mark Seeley bring our rich Minnesota climate history to life. It is extremely valuable to have a basis for comparison to current weather patterns and records like the one provided by the MN Climate Working Group web site.
The site is currently unavailable due to the government shutdown.
I asked my MPR colleague Dr. Mark Seeley about this today. His reply below.
Yes, the DNR-State Climatology Office is closed. The web site is shut down.....no access to the state climate database, no updates of daily data, no computer tool kit (mapping, statistics, etc) to use for assessment. Should there be a disaster that requires climate data documentation for petitioning FEMA or USDA for aid, we don't have the tools to do it. I have no state partners to work with at the moment. I am lucky to be able to maintain my weekly newsletter "Minnesota WeatherTalk." My university life goes on, but I sure miss my state colleagues.
There are some other sources available, but none as comprehensive as the Minnesota Climatology Working Group site.
I sure hope it comes back soon!
Rain is moving across much of Minnesota as expected today. The good news is the potential for flooding; multi inch rain totals appears lower than yesterday. The "bad" news is, it's still going to rain most everywhere today, but the rain is timely and needed in some areas.
Most of the rain has been "garden variety" so far, but there have been a few bands of heavier rainfall. Doppler storm total rainfall and surface reports indicate 1" to 2" bands from near Fergus Falls through Wadena, Brainerd, to Cloquet.
Patches of heavy rain have also fallen near Montevideo (1.5") and in southwest Minnesota.
In the metro rain will favor the morning and midday hours, and a general .50" is likely with some isolated 1" totals likely today.
Scattered showers linger Friday:
The chance for scattered showers and T-Storms will linger through Friday and into early Saturday. As hot high pressure builds in overhead Saturday, an atmospheric "cap" should put the lid on T-Storms for a few days.
SPC maintains a slight risk for severe storms Friday, but does not sound overly concerned about intensity and coverage.
...UPPER MS VALLEY TO CENTRAL HIGH PLAINS...
ONE OR TWO MCS MAY BE ONGOING AT BEGINNING OF PERIOD OVER PORTIONS
DAKOTAS/MN...MOVING GENERALLY EWD WITH POTENTIAL FOR ISOLATED HAIL.
AS LLJ WEAKENS THROUGHOUT MORNING...THIS CONVECTION SHOULD DO LIKEWISE. REJUVENATION AND/OR ADDITIONAL TSTM DEVELOPMENT ISPOSSIBLE DURING AFTERNOON ALONG NEARBY SECTIONS OF FRONTAL ZONE AND SWWD PAST SFC LOW...RESULTING IN SCATTERED TSTMS IN BANDS AND
Saturday: Heat kicks in:
The real headline of this forecast period continues to be the heat wave setting up for the rest of July.
Model trends continue to indicate a string of days in the mid to upper 90s next week, with high dew points in the 70s pushing heat index values into the 100 range.
Keep the umbrella handy today!
Posted at 5:30 PM on July 14, 2011
by Paul Huttner
Filed under: Heat
Get ready for some persistent intense heat. The hottest air of the summer is on the way over the next week.
A large hot high pressure dome will expand over Minnesota and the Midwest this weekend. All indications are the pattern will persist right through next week.
The Twin Cities and much of Minnesota could see at least 7 consecutive days with daily high temperatures at or above 90 degrees starting Saturday. High temperatures will likely soar above 90 degrees in much of Minnesota from Saturday through next Friday. Heat index values could soar into the 100 range!
There are signs a cool front may bring some temporary relief by next weekend.
The chart below tracks forecast temperatures at MSP Airport over the next 7 days from various models.
Sunday may be the hottest day, when highs could push 100 in much of southern Minnesota.
While 7 days is a long stretch of 90 degree temps, it would not be a record breaker.
Hot nights too!
One feature of the coming heat wave will be hot overnight temperatures. For several consecutive nights temperatures may not drop below 75 degrees in the metro...and there could be a few nights with overnight "low" temperatures near 80 degrees!
One aspect of the record Chicago heat wave in 1995 that killed over 700 people was that nighttime temps did not dip below 80 in much of the city for days. It was so hot at night that people's bodies just did not have the chance to cool off, and many died in apartments without air conditioning.
Another factor was the urban heat island effect. Days of sun and temps near 100 baked buildings (many red brick apartments) to well over 125 degrees. If you didn't have A/C, you just had now way of cooling off. The red brick "reraditiated" heat at night, and temperatures in the city could not fall.
I covered the heat wave in 1995 in Chicago as a meteorologist for WGN TV.
It was a lesson in establishing "cooling centers" where people who did not have A/C could gather to cool off, and for checking on the elderly and others who could not care for themselves.
In the heat waves of the 1930's my parents recall sleeping with hundreds of others by Lake Calhoun and other Minneapolis lakes to cool off at night in the pre A/C days.
Stay cool when the heat builds this weekend!