Windy today Gusts to 30+ mph this afternoon
Whitecaps on Minnesota lakes today
90 degrees possible Friday and Saturday in the metro
June 3rd 1st 90 degree day last year
May 28th average date of season's 1st 90 degree day in the past 5 years
17 days at or above 90 degrees in 2011 at MSP
14 days - average # of 90 degree days each year at MSP
Saturday thunder - Growing thunder threat Saturday PM & night
Winds of May:
"Gusty & Dusty" was the phrase in Arizona when the wind kicked up like today in Minnesota. Thankfully we've had rain, and grass and other green and growing things hold rich soil in place n Minnesota. We don't often see huge clouds of airborne dust.
A developing warm front will help spike southerly winds today 20 to 30+ mph in much of Minnesota.
Look for whitecaps and some impressive waves to kick up Minnesota's 10,000+ on lakes today. More than a "walleye chop," waves on area lakes will be more like a "Northern Chop" the next two days. Be careful out there!
Spotty showers & T-Storms:
The may be few and far between, but scattered showers and a T-Storm or two will ride the frontal boundary today. SPC is not impressed with severe potential, but a few of the more vigorous showers may aid gusts in an already gusty "synoptic" environment.
"Hot Front:" Season's 1st 90 for the metro?
As the "hot front" pushes north Friday, temps will make a run at 90 degrees in the metro and will likely see some mid 90s in western Minnesota.
One method of forecasting surface temps is to use the 850 millibar "mix down" method on breezy summer days. If you take the 850 millibar temp (about 5k feet up) and bring it down to the surface "dry adiabatically" you get a projected surface maximum or "high temp" for that day.
This was the tried and true technique at "Weather Command" in Chicago where I spent my early years cutting my teeth in this biz as an operational forecaster.
If you take Friday's NAM projected 850 millibar temp of +20C degrees and mix it down, you get about 90 to 94 degrees in western Minnesota...and perhaps as far east as the metro.
That assumes "100% of possible sunshine" and other factors falling into place. I'd say there's at least a 50/50 chance of hitting 90 in the metro Friday, and if everything goes right a few bank thermometers could flash as high as 92 late Friday afternoon.
If we reach 90 Friday and/or Saturday, it will be about 2 weeks earlier than the past 5 year average for the season's 1st 90 degree day at MSP, which has occurred about May 28th.
Does my AC still work?
Saturday Night (Fever) & Thunder Threat:
Temps will make another run at 90 Saturday in Minnesota, and the chances for thunder will grow from west to east.
A cool front will cut into western Minnesota late Saturday. Storms will line up along the front in western Minnesota Saturday afternoon and evening. A few pop up storms can't be ruled out ahead of the front Saturday PM as far east as the metro, but the best chance for thunder and a soaking rain will come later Saturday night into Sunday morning.
The front should push out of here early Sunday, leaving a cooler and less humid day by Sunday afternoon.
Of course, the weather looks blissfully sunny and quiet as we start next week. I'll kick the weather computer to see if we can get the timing right for perfect weekends and rain during the week, preferably at night.
Good luck with that!
Storm Ready? Asking the right questions
It's great to hear MPR/KARE11 listeners and viewers are reacting to and thinking about our combined tornado readiness project this week.
Here's a great question from a listener.
Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 10:22 PM
To: Huttner, Paul
Subject: Question about Storm Ready stories
Great job on the Storm Ready stories and in general on your coverage of the weather. I have a question about tornado preparedness: I live in a house with a partially excavated basement (like a split level where in the basement up to my chest is underground but about my chest is above ground (that's where the basement windows are). The question is, does this depth offers enough protection from a tornado, or should I be thinking of excavating a deeper refuge?
Thanks and keep up the great job you and MPR folks do,
Thanks for the nice words.
"Half" below ground is better than nothing. I've seen many splits like you're referring to that have a cubby for storage under the last stairs going down to the lowest level. If your home has this, and it's below grade that sounds like the place to be.
You can always get more protection from getting lower, but the reality is if you can get below grade, and put walls between you and the outside walls you're way better off.
Hope this helps!
Here's a link to our MPR/KARE11 safety tips.
Make it a great Thursday!
Posted at 4:14 PM on May 17, 2012
by Paul Huttner
Filed under: Fall
Quick Updraft update:
A 30-40 acre wild fire just southeast of Ely has prompted evacuations.
Gusty south winds to 35 mph are fanning the flames, and low humidities around 20% are promoting rapid fire growth conditions.
Spotty power outages have taken local radio off the air, and the NWS surface observations also appear to be down as of 2:22pm Thursday.
Here is a compilation of info from various sources.
Live Ely webcams here
From WELY radio:
Wildfire in Ely Area
Tune in to www.wely.com for updates.
94.5fm is currently off the air due to the fire location
near the power substation.
The fire began approximately 1 mile south of Ely on Highway 1,
ignited by a downed power line.
The fire has grown to approximately 90 acres in size.
Forest service and local fire crews are currently battling this fire.
Ely residents in the area south of White street and East of
are advised to evacuate their homes.
Evacuated residents are advised to go to the area north of Ely on
If you need to evacuate and do not have transportation, call 911
and a bus will come pick you up.
Please stay clear of the area southeast of Ely as Emergency
crews are working to suppress the fire.
From MPR News:
Timberjay editor says just small evacuations in the S part of town (east of White, south of 12th).
Air takers deployed, type 2 fire team will be on the ground tonight (8:00?).
40 acres burning now, last update was a little while ago.
Some power outages around the area, downtown ok.
Tankers are in the air outside Ely fighting a 10-20 acre fire that is within a mile of town. We have been told the town council is meeting this afternoon to decide what, if any, action to order. No evacuations have been ordered, but some residents have reportedly voluntarily left their homes near the fire.
The story is now on AP with Duluth news tribune as source.