Posted at 8:33 AM on August 15, 2011
by Paul Huttner
Summer 2011: Warm, Wet & Stormy:
With about 80% of summer 2011 in the books now it looks like Summer 2011 will go down warm, wet & stormy. Some numbers.
+3 Temps are running about 3 degrees above average in Minnesota for summer 2011. (MSP: June +1.1 July +5.6, Aug +2.5)
+1.5" Rainfall is also running high in most areas of the state. One notable exception is the North Shore where some rivers are at a trickle this week. (More on that and my trip up north in this afternoon's blog.)
301 Number of severe weather warnings issued in 2011 by the Twin Cities NWS. (366 last year, 141 in 2009)
August 15th: "Summerfall"
It's too early to write off summer yet, but August 15th on the calendar is a reminder that Summer 2011 is in the home stretch in Minnesota.
The good news for summer lovers is that we still have a good 3-4 weeks of true summer like weather ahead.
Still, there are many signs that the season is about to turn in the weeks ahead.
-Meteorological summer ends August 31st.
-3 weeks until Labor Day, the "unofficial" end of summer in Minnesota.
-We're now losing 3 minutes of daylight per day, and we've lost a full 1 hour and 37 minutes since late June!
There's no need to rush into fall, as my experience is that the first "real" fall cold front sails south from Canada sometime around September 15th, give or take a few days. Still there are signs a cool front may bring a touch of frost to northeast Minnesota by next Monday...not unusual for late August in the Arrowhead.
I often remind people this time of year that the best 2 months of weather for getting outdoors in Minnesota usually lies ahead!
Will summer linger in 2011?
There is at least one indicator that says summer may hang on a little this year. The CPC 90 day outlook paints a higher probability for a warmer than average fall in the Upper Midwest.
The best chances for rain this week will be today in western Minnesota (and I can't rule out a stray shower reaching the metro today)...then late Tuesday and late Friday. Look for plenty of fine summery weather in between!
Posted at 4:43 PM on August 15, 2011
by Paul Huttner
You gotta love northern Minnesota.
We are so fortunate to live in a state with such geographic diversity. From prickly pear studded prairies in southwest Minnesota to towering white pines and craggy shores in the north, you can find a wide variety of scenery in Minnesota.
The mobile weather lab had the good fortune to vacation last week from the Brainerd Lakes to the North Shore. Here are a few photos, and some seasonal observations from a weather geek on holiday. (Click all images to enlarge)
Brainerd Lakes area:
What can I say? The Brainerd Lakes area has it all, and looks great this year. Plenty of rain means excellent greenery, and lakes are at favorable water levels. Nisswa rocks.
You wouldn't know it looking at the Temperance River photos below, but many North Shore Rivers are at very low flow levels...even for August. Some are mere trickles as they ease into Lake Superior.
Inviting Temperance River swimming hole!
(This dad encourages his 6 year old daughter to make the jump. The family told us she made it last year when she was 5! It took a while to get her courage up, but she made the jump several times!)
The central North Shore and parts of the Arrowhead (along with a sliver of southeast Minnesota) are the only places in Minnesota listed as "abnormally dry" in the latest U.S. Drought Monitor. The drynes shows in the low stream flows along the North Shore.
Amber the Yoga Queen brings another "tree" to the forest.
If you've never made the trip all the way up to Grand Marais because it's "too far" you don't know what you're missing. Think Minnesota with a taste of Europe and a splash of San Diego. The seaside hamlet would make a great movie location. Minnesota's own "Bodega Bay" (The Birds) is worth the trip.
Grand Marais is a great mix of Sawtooth Mountains, the world's largest freshwater lake & a funky little town with great eclectic venues.
Artist's Point Cairns:
One of the best surprises this year strolling onto Artist's Point and the breakwater at Grand Marais is the sprinkling of cairns along the shore.
The number, strategic placement and variety of designs are impressive. Who knew traditionally stoic Minnesotans could be so creative and think outside the box?
It was a great week to get out of the Weather Lab, relax a little and meet a few more wonderful MPR listeners.
Now, back to the weather lab!