Welcome to "late" summer.
By one definition, when August arrived this week we stepped into the last third of meteorological summer. The warmest 3 months of the year in Minnesota (meteorological summer) are June, July & August. As much as I hate to say it, we've made the turn and we're just entering the last (hopefully long) lap of summer.
Sunday August 7th is a "cross quarter day," astronomically speaking. This marks the halfway point on the calendar between the summer solstice and the (northern hemisphere) fall equinox. Don't read this if you're faint hearted, but we're actually losing about 18 minutes of daylight a week now! (Gulp)
Want good news?
By most measures, the best 3 months of weather are ahead in Minnesota. It's pretty hard to beat August, September & October in the Upper Midwest...most years anyway.
Free AC: "Fresh front" arrives on schedule
As if on cue, a cool front sailed through Minnesota Tuesday. You can feel it in the air this morning...the big change in air masses. Dew points plunged a full 20 degrees in many areas in 24 hours. That's roughly a 50% drop in atmospheric water vapor, and the reason you feel comfortable and can literally breathe easier today!
Atmospherically speaking we "moved" from the Amazon Jungle to San Diego in 24 hours...not a bad change of atmosphere.
With drier high pressure overhead we may actually string 3 dry days in a row together. That hasn't happened often this summer, and the last time we had 4 dry days in a row in much of Minnesota was the first week of June!
Our next real rain threat moves in Saturday with a shot of scattered T-Storms. Right now Sunday looks gorgeous, with bright sun, temps in the 80s and comfy humidity levels.
Tropical Trouble: Emily gets stronger:
Tropical Storm Emily is making a move toward Hispaniola today.
NOAA satellite IR loop courtesy WSI.
Emily has grown and become better organized in the past 24 hours. The storm is forecast to batter Hispaniola with wind, torrential rains and possible life threatening mudslides.
The interaction with higher terrain on Hispaniola may disrupt Emily, but she is forecast to regain strength over open water after that.
The "consensus" and official NHC track bring then Hurricane Emily to a track east of Florida then recurve her out into the open Atlantic.
There has been some westward shift in some of the hurricane model tracks over the past 24 hours.
Several of the models (about 5 of 15) steer Emily further west, and take the storm on a more westward course that could threaten Florida by this weekend.
Stay tuned to the progress of Emily. This could be a close call for Florida and the southeast USA.
Posted at 4:46 PM on August 3, 2011
by Craig Edwards
Filed under: Climate
I spent a couple hours outdoors this morning and it sure felt warm in the August sunshine. With only a slight cooling breeze it was a blessing to have dew points some twenty degrees lower than Tuesday. The dew point at the Twin Cities International Airport was 74 degrees yesterday and a more comfortable 55 degrees this afternoon.
While the mercury has climbed to ninety degrees or better at MSP this summer season on fourteen days, we are looking at a period out a couple weeks were it may be more to our delight with regard to heat. The average temperature for July in St. Cloud was about 4.5 degrees warmer than normal. The Twin Cities average temp was 5.6 degrees above normal for July 2011.
We have turned the corner for "normal" maximum temperatures in the heart of summer and are slowly creeping down into the lower 80s. By the time we reach August 13th the average high in the Twin Cities is down from 84 to 81 degrees. The 8-14 day outlook from the Climate Prediction Center depicts odds favoring at or somewhat below normal temperatures for the upper Midwest.
In case you think we had it bad here, and we did with the high dew points, the average maximum temperature for July in Dallas, TX was over 101 degrees. More than 70 percent of Texas is in an exceptional drought. They could use a decaying tropical storm to move inland and dump generous rainfall. That doesn't appear likely soon.
Keeping an eye on Tropical Storm Emily and the computer generated track is the challenge for hurricane forecasters in NOAA's Hurricane Forecast Center.
Here's the link to follow the tropical storm's the reminder of the season. NOAA's Hurricane Center website.
The latest update on the storm named Emily predicts a path that takes it over Haiti with winds of 50 mph and rainfall of over five inches. From the Hurricane Center's most recent statement this afternoon....Tropical Storm EMILY Public Advisory:
RAINFALL...EMILY IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAIN ACCUMULATIONS
OF 6 TO 10 INCHES IN PUERTO RICO WITH ISOLATED AMOUNTS OF 12 INCHES.
RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 12 INCHES WITH ISOLATED AMOUNTS OF 20
INCHES ARE POSSIBLE OVER THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AND HAITI. THESE
RAINS COULD CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES.
Track projection as of early this afternoon for Emily.
Always subject to change, but the forecast strength remains below hurricane force of 75 mph winds until early next week.
Enjoy the seasonal temperatures the next couple of days. Overnight temperatures may allow you to shut down the A/C and bring in some outside air.