Posted at 7:17 PM on May 9, 2012
by Jon Gordon
From Bill Endersen, meteorologist
Look for Venus brilliant in the western sky after sunset, which will be at 8:29 p.m. in the Twin Cities but not until 8:51 p.m. up in the northwestern part of Minnesota.
Tomorrow will be even nicer with lots of sun and highs in the 70s. Dew points just in the 30s today will rise slightly into the 40s tomorrow.
As a cold front slides across Minnesota and into Wisconsin on Friday, scattered showers and a few thunderstorms are likely. Severe weather is not expected.
The upcoming weekend looks great for fisherfolk, Mother's Day celebrators and harvesters of the first rhubarb crop. Highs should be in the 60s Saturday and into the 70s on Sunday.
After Friday, the next significant chance of showers might not be until a week from Saturday as most of next week looks dry.
The National Weather Service is updating all of its Doppler radars to dual-polarization technology. This update will allow the radars to send out energy that is polarized both horizontally (as it is now) and vertically. The improved technology will provide much-improved information about precipitation type, drop shape/size and severe weather debris. The radar in Duluth was taken offline this morning to begin an upgrade that hopefully will be completed by Sunday. The other NWS radar in Minnesota, in Chanhassen, is scheduled for the upgrade in September.
Space weather update
Lovely northern lights were enjoyed in northern Minnesota, Canada and parts of northern Europe last night. Monster sunspot cluster A1476 continues to crackle and is becoming pointed more toward Earth. So more coronal mass ejections and northern lights could be on tap.
Where you might be glad you were not last winter.....
.....is Valdez, Alaska, east of Anchorage at the northern end of Prince William Sound. An endless train of winter storms buried Valdez under 438 inches of snow last winter -- much of it wet, soggy snow. At its deepest, the snow depth reached 100 inches (that's more than eight feet). There has been relief, however. That snowpack has melted down to "just" sixteen inches.