Posted at 7:16 AM on July 27, 2011
by Paul Huttner
After a comfortable start to the week with 50s dew points, a sticky tropical air mass has returned to Minnesota. Dew points in the 70s have returned, and the humid air mass will hang around through today.
An overnight and early morning complex of showers & T-Storms will gradually trend southward today. Rain will persist in southern & eastern Minnesota. The Twin Cities metro lies on the edge of rainy weather through the morning, with a gradual clearing trend as we move through afternoon.
Temperatures today will vary widely over the region. Sunny areas will climb well into the upper 80s, with cloud covered southern Minnesota hovering in the 70s, especially along the I-90 corridor.
Overnight Storms: Bark worse than bite
It was a loud and rainy night in Minnesota. Brilliant lightning flashes lit up the night sky, sharp explosions of thunder shook people out of bed, and heavy rains washed down.
While the storms were loud and boisterous, severe weather reports are few. It's really tough to get severe weather from storms that generate in the afternoon, then gradually weaken overnight.
Thousands of cloud to ground lightning strikes did pepper Minnesota and the metro overnight. A lightning strike seemingly right on top of the weather lab produced an instantaneous shock wave of thunder at 3am, and knocked out internet service to the lab.
Some heavy rain did fall, with the focus in western & southwest Minnesota to around Alexandria and Brainerd. Doppler storm total rainfall estimates and surface reports show as much as 1" to 2" of rain fell in some areas overnight.
Storm total rainfall shows 1" to 3" rain totals in southwest & central Minnesota overnight.
In the metro, rainfall totals were closer to half an inch in most areas.
MAX/MIN TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION TABLE FOR
CENTRAL AND SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
714 AM CDT WED JUL 27 2011
VALUES REPRESENT HIGHS YESTERDAY...LOWS OVER THE LAST 12 HOURS
AND PRECIPITATION OVER THE LAST 24 HOURS
: MAX MIN
:ID LOCATION TEMP TEMP PCPN
EAU : EAU CLAIRE WI : 82 / 66 / 0.77
MSP : MINNEAPOLIS MN : 84 / 72 / 0.43
STC : ST CLOUD MN : 83 / 68 / 0.38
AXN : ALEXANDRIA MN : 80 / 68 / 0.77
MIC : CRYSTAL MN : 84 / 71 / 0.45
FCM : FLYING CLOUD MN : 85 / 71 / 0.59
RWF : REDWOOD FALLS MN : 86 / 71 / 0.36
STP : ST PAUL MN : 84 / 71 / 0.50
It looks like our weather will improve for the next 48 hours.
Skies should trend sunnier Thursday with weak high pressure overhead. Dew points may actually fall from the 70s into the 60s, making for a warm but tolerable air mass Thursday and Friday before humidity creeps up again this weekend.
Posted at 5:33 PM on July 27, 2011
by Paul Huttner
Summer lovers rejoice! Some of summer's finest weather is on the way.
The weather pattern over the next few days screams summer in Minnesota. We'll enjoy a series of days with highs in the upper 80s and low 90s.
Meanwhile the intense and prolonged heat wave continues in the central USA.
A warm & muggy Wednesday evening will give way to a slightly drier air mass (dew points in the 60s) Thursday into Friday; before tropical moisture pushes back into Minnesota with 70s dew points again this weekend.
Tropical Storm Don heading into the Gulf: Taking aim at Texas?
It looks like there's a tropical storm headed for Texas, and that might be good news!
TROPICAL STORM DON ADVISORY NUMBER 1
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL042011
400 PM CDT WED JUL 27 2011
...TROPICAL STORM DON FORMS OVER THE SOUTHERN GULF OF MEXICO...
SUMMARY OF 400 PM CDT...2100 UTC...INFORMATION
ABOUT 120 MI...190 KM N OF COZUMEL MEXICO
ABOUT 755 MI...1220 KM ESE OF CORPUS CHRISTI TEXAS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...40 MPH...65 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 295 DEGREES AT 12 MPH...19 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1001 MB...29.56 INCHES
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
THERE ARE NO COASTAL WATCHES OR WARNINGS IN EFFECT. INTERESTS IN
THE NORTHWESTERN GULF OF MEXICO SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF DON. WATCHES AND/OR WARNINGS MAY BE REQUIRED FOR PORTIONS OF THE TEXAS COAST TONIGHT OR THURSDAY.
DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
AT 400 PM CDT...2100 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM DON WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 22.2 NORTH...LONGITUDE 87.0 WEST. DON IS
MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 12 MPH...19 KM/H. A GENERAL
NORTHWESTWARD MOTION IS EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. ON THE
FORECAST TRACK...THE CENTER OF DON SHOULD MOVE THROUGH THE
SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO TONIGHT AND THURSDAY...AND
APPROACH THE COAST OF THE NORTHWESTERN GULF OF MEXICO FRIDAY.
REPORTS FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE THAT MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 40 MPH...65 KM/H...WITH
HIGHER GUSTS. GRADUAL STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT
TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 45 MILES...75 KM
MAINLY TO THE EAST OF THE CENTER.
THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE REPORTED BY THE HURRICANE HUNTERS IS
1001 MB...29.56 INCHES.
Most of Texas is mired in one of the worst droughts in state history. A full 75.5% of Texas is categorized as "exceptional drought" as of this week. That's the most severe drought ranking in the U.S. Drought Monitor.
The majority of forecast model tracks steer Don into Texas by this weekend.
If that track happens, several inches of badly needed rain could fall over much of Texas. As long as the storm does not get too strong, that would be a blessing for water starved Texas.