Posted at 8:37 AM on May 31, 2012
by Paul Huttner
MSP quick look forecast: More sun the next few days
32.59% of Minnesota in "drought" 1 week ago
14.08% in drought today (mostly in northwest Minnesota)
Sunshine returns today
Drier forecast - just .30" rainfall in the next 7 days at MSP Airport?
70s return into this weekend
80 next week - feeling more like early summer
Brainerd area forecast: (Click to enlarge)
It's official: The drought is over
Today's U.S. Drought Monitor puts some metrics on what we're seeing in our back yards and on our lakes & rivers. Up to 11" of rainfall this month has effectively erased the drought in most of Minnesota.
It's a remarkable turnaround. We've literally gone from drought to flood in Minnesota in less than 4 weeks.
I guess Mark Twain was right, it really does take a flood to end a drought!
Rivers are raging again in Minnesota. It's worth a mention, if you are planning to venture out on any of our creeks and rivers this weekend take note. The swift water is powerful. Only the very experienced should venture out on most rivers these days.
Heres a great way to check out the rainfall enhanced flow on your river this weekend.
New Hurricane Model: Can we nail the elusive "eyewall replacement cycle?"
Hurricane season officially starts Friday. (Tell that to Alberto and Beryl which hit the ground running in May!)
As we head into the teeth of another hurricane season, NOAA is working on a new model that may help uncover one of the most mysterious parts of hurricane; the eyewall replacement cycle. This could help to generate better hurricane intensity forecasts.
The details from NOAA:
When the first hurricane emerges from the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico this season, NOAA will use a new statistical model to help predict the start of the "eyewall replacement cycle," a key indicator that a storm's strength and size is about to change dramatically. This new tool adds to a suite of forecast products NOAA uses to warn coastal communities of imminent threats.
An eyewall is an organized band of clouds that immediately surround the center, or eye, of a hurricane. The most intense winds and rainfall occur near the eyewall. Within a hurricane, eyewall replacement cycles occur when a second concentric eyewall forms around the original and eventually overtakes it. This phenomenon especially happens in strong, long-lived hurricanes.
"Hurricanes usually strengthen and grow gradually over time, but eyewall replacement cycles can cause very sudden changes in size and intensity," said Jim Kossin, a scientist with NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, who led the effort to create the model.
The model predicts the start of the developing eyewall replacement cycle by measuring key aspects of the storm's structure and environment and relating these to the conditions observed during past replacement cycles. Kossin said skillful forecasting of these natural cycles is crucial to protecting life and property.
Forecast: Summer returns 70s & 80s ahead
We're finally moving into a warmer (ad drier) pattern over the next few days.
Look for more sun than clouds, and 70s will return into this weekend. Next week should feature 80 degrees in the metro and 70 up north.
This may be some of the best weather of the year in Minnesota...so get out and enjoy!