Posted at 6:23 PM on June 22, 2012
by Paul Huttner
"Red Tide" - Reddish flood debris cloud in Lake Superior visible from space
Flood warnings continue this weekend for several Minnesota Rivers
96% of Minnesota listed in some stage of "drought" 3 months ago
92% of Minnesota soils showing adequate to surplus moisture now
71% of Midwest states now abnormally dry or in drought
$5.44 per bushel - Corn prices on the rise due to Midwest heat & drought
70% chance of Tropical Storm Debby developing in the Gulf of Mexico this weekend
"Red tide" in Lake Superior:
Okay so it's not a real red tide, but it's remarkable how visual the images are as the reddish "clay tinted" floodwaters pour into Lake Superior.
The massive flood washed away clay and other debris from soils and flushed everything into Lake Superior. The reddish "bathtub ring" will hang around a while, until the runoff eases and sediment has a chance to settle to the lake bottom.
Incredible 30-Day rainfall totals:
A lot can happen in a month, even a day as we learned again this week.
Take a look at the 30-day rainfall totals over Minnesota in the image below. You can see a huge chunk of the state has seen 6" to 8" plus rains. Two distinct areas have tallied a summer's worth of rain in the last month.
From the Brainerd Lakes area to the Iron Range and North Shore a whopping 10" to 15" deluge has lakes and rivers busting out of their banks.
Also an arc of heavy rains fell from west of the metro into the southwest metro and south to Rice and Wabasha Counties. This area also picked up 10" to 15" in the past month.
It's truly amazing how quickly most of Minnesota has gone from drought to flood in just a few weeks.
Meanwhile much of northwest Minnesota and a sliver along the Iowa border remain on the dry side.
Midwest Drought developing:
Ironically much of the Midwest is suffering from crunchy lawns and dry corn fields. Take a look at this week's U.S. Drought Monitor. You can see that fully 71% of Midwest states are in some stage of drought.
The dryness and heat are affecting crop commodity prices. Here's an excerpt from AP via the Seattle Times:
Prices for wheat and corn settled higher Friday as weekend forecasts call for more hot weather.."
Wheat for July delivery rose 11.5 cents to settle at $6.7325 a bushel. That's a gain of 1.7 percent. Wheat is up 10.5 percent for the week.
Corn also rose. The actively traded December contract rose 4 cents to settle at $5.54 a bushel. Soybeans for November delivery rose 4.25 cents to $13.755 a bushel.
Hot weather has been wilting crops this summer, and more is expected to be on the way this weekend, said Spencer Patton, the founder and chief investment officer of Steel Vine Investments, a Chicago-based hedge fund.
"Everything is dependent on precipitation for corn," Patton said, "and what we're seeing is more heat than precipitation
Tropical Storm Debby?
The Gulf Coast is on watch for what may become Tropical Storm Debby this weekend.
There is a 70% chance that will happen according to the NHC on Friday.
SATELLITE IMAGERY AND SURFACE OBSERVATIONS INDICATE THAT THE CIRCULATION ASSOCIATED WITH THE BROAD SURFACE LOW LOCATED JUST NORTH OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA HAS BECOME A LITTLE BETTER DEFINED OVER THE PAST FEW HOURS. WHILE THE SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY HAS CHANGED LITTLE IN ORGANIZATION...ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS APPEAR CONDUCIVE FOR A TROPICAL DEPRESSION TO FORM.
THIS SYSTEM HAS A HIGH CHANCE...70 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT BEGINS TO MOVE SLOWLY NORTHWARD. INTERESTS ALONG THE UNITED STATES GULF COAST SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS DISTURBANCE THROUGH THE WEEKEND. HEAVY RAINS AND LOCALIZED
Most tracks suggest Debby may push north into the Gulf and possible threaten the Gulf Coast.
Minnesota: Split weekend forecast
It looks like another weekend split for Minnesota. A weak low pressure system will bring a chance for a few scattered showers Saturday, and Sunday looks sunny and dry.
Want some good news? A nice bubble of high pressure will build over Minnesota early next week. That means dry skies and comfortable humidity levels. Most of the models are keeping rainfall totals under .25" for the next week.
That's great weather news for a state that has been under siege from severe weather in the past few weeks.
Have a great weekend!
Is this really a red tide? I know Lake Superior has tidal tendencies, but a red tide is caused by plankton and marine species, not run off from rivers. Please clarify. Thank you! You're great!