"Storm Ready" series continues today- a joint project with MPR News/KARE11 (details below)
85 in the metro Monday - Warmest of 2012 so far
90 in Hutchinson, Madison, Morris and Olivia Monday
Cool front moving through today; cooler breezes
Noticeably cooler today & tomorrow highs in the 70s
"Hot front" gurgles back north with heat & humidity by Thursday & Friday
Thundery - Growing T-Storms chances again by Thursday and into the weekend
Brighest Days: Longest daylight of 2012 in the next 10 weeks!
6:09pm June 20th - Summer Solstice 2012
15 hours 36 minutes of daylight on June 20th
Cooler Front Today:
Welcome to the fresh breeze today, and life behind an advancing cool front. The front features noticeably cooler temps about 10 degrees below Monday's warm spell. Highs will stay in the 60s up north today, with some 70s south.
Our comfy front will linger through Wednesday with dry dew points in the 30s.
By the way Monday was the warmest day so far this year in Minnesota. We hit 85 in the metro. Last year we hit 88 on May 10th. We managed 4 days of 90 degree heat in June last year, and 10 in July including a torrid 99 on July 1st! Do you remember?
Thursday "Hot Front:" Hotter & humid with storms again
By Wednesday night, a powerful warm front will move north into Minnesota.
This is the leading edge of a warm (borderline hot) and sticky tropical air mass.
As the front pushes north Wednesday night, showers and T-Storms may bust out in the eastern Dakotas and Iowa and rumble north and east into Minnesota by Thursday morning.
Additional waves of thunder may slide through as we head into the weekend. Some of the models are hinting at some 1"+ rainfall totals with tropical downpours into the weekend.
We can't rule out developing MCS, and severe weather as the system moves in.
If we get sun during the day, temps should soar well into the 80s Friday & Saturday. Another wave of low pressure tracking in Sunday suggests a possible washout...stay tuned on that one.
Brighter Days Ahead!
The next 10 weeks are the brightest days in Minnesota. We are now entering the 10 weeks with the longest daylight of 2012 in the northern hemisphere.
Source: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Daylight hours explorer
We hit 15 hours of daylight in Minnesota this weekend, and stay there until July 23rd. Daylight peaks at 15 hours and 36 minutes near June 20th, on the date of the summer solstice.
This year's solstice occurs at 6:09pm on June 20th.
These are the weeks to get out and enjoy the long evenings with daylight lingering in the western sky until well after 9pm for most of the next 2 months.
Tornado Options: Safer in your car?
The excellent reporting continues today with MPR News/KARE11's joint project on tornado safety in Minnesota. Check out the eye opening piece by MPR's Curtis Gilbert and Paul Tosto on what (bad) options you may face if stuck in your car as a tornado approaches.
Heres' an excerpt:
MINNEAPOLIS -- You're stuck in Minneapolis rush hour traffic on Interstate 94, near the Lowry Hill Tunnel. A thunderstorm spins out a tornado nearby. What can you do?
Not much. You're now among the most vulnerable people in a tornado. There are no good options.
Traffic's gridlocked, so you can't drive away. Hide under an overpass? It's a trap of swirling wind and debris. Hit the ditch immediately? That's what you were taught, but many experts believe that advice is more likely to get you hurt or killed.
In this situation, your best chance is to stop, stay in your car, duck below the dash -- and hope.
"When you have a big, vicious tornado moving across an area and traffic is just bumper to bumper -- that's probably one of the big scenarios that we really worry about," said Todd Krause, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Chanhassen.
"I don't know that there's really a safe way to be out there on the highway."
You may recall we've talked about this on my weather chats on MPR in the last year. Damage surveys found that cars and trucks can be potentially "survivable" options in "weaker" EF0 to EF2 tornadoes. In stronger tornadoes... cars and trucks can be crushed like a twisted metal ball, or wrapped around tree trunks. It's just plain hard to give anyone caught outdoors or in a car good advice on how to survive and EF3 or stronger tornado. The sad fact is not many people live to tell how they survived.
We touched on this Monday during my chat with KARE's Belinda Jensen and Kerri Miller on The Daily Circuit on MPR. You can listen below.
FYI, Belinda is a joy to work with and the whole news staff at KARE11 has been fantastic on this story.
Look for more today from MPR News and KARE11.
Posted at 5:39 PM on May 15, 2012
by Paul Huttner
Quick look forecast: (Click to enlarge)
Good sleeping weather 40s overnight in the metro
30s and scattered frost in northern Minnesota Wednesday AM!
Postcard Wednesday - Sunshine and 70s and light winds
Growing thunder threat Thursday and possibly this weekend
"Hot Front" Friday - A shot at 90 in the metro and southern Minnesota?
1st June Bugs buzzing around the Weather Lab Monday night!
We're #19! Duluth - 19th "least polluted" city in the nation
It's hard to define "perfect weather" for Minnesotans.
I've talked to thousands of weather obsessed Minnesotans over a 20+ year weather career, and one person's weather "trash" is truly another's treasure.
I can tell you this. My unscientific "spidey weather sense" tells me Wednesday's weather is about as close as you can get to perfect for many of us. Bright sun, nearly 15 hours of daylight, light wind and temps near 70? People move to San Diego (and pay millions for homes) for this kind of weather.
We get it for free in Minnesota Wednesday. Our "free air conditioning" means great sleeping weather, and another ideal day to hit the lake, links or manicure your thick lush green grass.
A warm front will bubble north into Minnesota by Thursday.
The leading edge of Maritime Tropical (mT) air mass courtesy of the Gulf of Mexico may trigger some Thursday thunder as it pushes north.
The warm front may trigger overnight T-Storms early Thursday AM that may push east into Minnesota Thursday morning. These front can go "nocturnal" meaning they trigger developing T-Storm complexes or '"Mesoscale Convective Systems" (MCS) overnight that can rumble into the morning hours.
"Rain at 7, Sun by 11" and "Sunrise Surprise" are and old sayings that often apply to summertime MCS.
Friday "Hot Front:" A shot at 90?
As the warm front pushes north toward the Canadian Border Friday, a warm southerly breeze may turn downright hot by Friday afternoon.
If we get enough sun, temps could push 90 in southwest Minnesota, and the Twin Cities could make a late day run at 90 Friday.
We'll have to keep an eye out for thunder and local downpours this weekend. A gathering cool front will push in Sunday. After a warm & humid Saturday, thunder should push in from the west Saturday night into Sunday. Timing is always difficult this far out, but expect at least some rain and thunder this weekend, with several dry sunny warm and humid hours Saturday...and a potentially wet transition to cooler air Sunday.
June Bugs arrive early in 2012: May 14th!
I had to do a double take Monday night when a big, lumbering June Bug started buzzing on the weather lab window screen around 11:40pm.
Is that a....a June Bug?
It reminded me of how June bugs seemed to appear amazingly like clockwork every year right around June 1st in the metro. In this "year without a winter" and a record March and early spring I guess I should have expected that. But it still caught me off guard.
Viva La June Bug!
Duluth: We're #19!
Some good news from the American Lung Association.
Duluth comes in at #19 for the "least polluted" air in the nation.
Here's an excerpt from Huffpost
American Lung Association has released their State Of The Air 2012 report, detailing cities with the least and most air pollution in America. Each city is ranked by ozone pollution, short-term particle pollution, and year-long particle pollution.
Below are the report's "Top 25 Least Polluted Cities by Year-Round Particle Pollution." Although many problem regions still exist, the report shows that all but three of the most ozone-polluted cities improved air quality, and over 50% of the worst smog-makers were having their best year thus far.
It's interesting to note that Tucson, AZ is the 4th least polluted city, while Phoenix comes in as the 7th most polluted city in the nation. People in Arizona talk about the infamous "brown cloud" that envelopes Phoenix, while the air quality in Tucson is relatively cleaner. Phoenix/Mesa has 4 million+ residents, while Tucson is around 1 million. Also, Tucson sits about 1,500 feet higher in elevation vs. Phoenix, and the mountain/valley wind system works a little better to clear out the air on a daily basis in Tucson. Tucson also gets 3 times as many "air washing" thunderstorms per year than Phoenix.