Posted at 4:47 PM on June 29, 2012
by Paul Huttner
9 days at or above 90 degrees so far in 2012 at MSP Airport
(Including Friday's 90 degree temp at MSP Airport)
14 days in an "average" summer
4-5 days at or near 90 likely in the next week
Weekend Forecast: Mixed sun, clouds & elevated smoke form CO/WY fires. Stray T-Storm possible especially Sunday
Heavy rain & thunder possible Monday night & Tuesday?
4th of July Outlook: Mostly sunny and probably dry. High 91.
32 - Number of new fires started in the west on Friday
Minnesota's "Smoky Summer of 2012"
Blue sky is a rare event these days in Minnesota.
Persistent smoke aloft is giving us a milky white tint to the sky during the day, and some reddish-orange sunsets these days.
We've covered the fires in Colorado, but there are also fires in Wyoming in the beautiful Big Horn Mountains of eastern Wyoming.
Fire Information Report for Otter Creek/upper Bee
Wildland Fire Incident
Report Date: 29-JUN-12
Burnt Area: 4,950 Acres (20% increase from yesterday)
Location: Washakie County, WY (20 Miles SSE of Tensleep, WY)
Incident Team Type: IMT Type 3
Team Leader: WENKE
Containment Status: 50% contained)
Expected Containment: Unknown
Fuels: Sagebrush, juniper and portions of fuel model 8 and 10. Extreme 250000.00 205PRIM
I've had the pleasure of enjoying some quality camping in the Big Horns. If you're ever headed out to Yellowstone I highly encourage you to take a day or two and camp at some of the beautiful sites in the Big Horns.
The western fires will likely continue to burn until the summer monsoonal moisture from the southwest USA shifts north and triggers widespread "Monsoonal thunderstorms" in the northern Rockies. That's nature's way of putting out fires after a long, brutal fires season.
Until that happens, we can expect smoke plumes of varying density to drift overhead across Minnesota.
Summery weekend, with a chance
The weekend will bring a very typical summertime weather pattern to open July. Look for temps again near 90 in the south, with 80s up north.
There will be a chance of a stray T-Storm, especially late Saturday night & Sunday. We're probably only talking about a couple of hours of rain threat over the weekend, so hopefully you'll get in most of your quality outdoor plans.
Wanted: More rain?
We saw all the rain we could handle (and then some) in June. Still, the past 9 days have been fairly fry in southern Minnesota. We could use another good soaker to keep things green around these parts.
A slow moving low pressure system may give us our shot Monday night into Tuesday. The low could be strong enough to draw up and wring out some deeper moisture. Some of the storms could be "heavy rainers"...so we'll have to keep and eye out for more locally heavy rainfall.
Good looking 4th of July?
It's too early to be making any credible "certain" declarations about the 4th of July, but the early indications look pretty good!
If Tuesday's wet weather maker moves out on schedule that should leave Minnesota in a weak, but drier northwest flow on the 4th. That could mean plenty of sun, a slight northwest breeze, and tolerable dew points in the 60s with high temps in the low 90s.
If the drying push behind Tuesday's rainmaker is weaker, (as the Europen Model hints) then dew points may hang near a sweaty 70 degrees.
Keeping weather fingers and toes crossed on that one!
Longer range outlook: A break in the heat & humidity?
Going way out on a limb, it looks potentially wetter again with scattered T-Storms returning as we head toward the weekend of July 7-8th. The GFS is still laying out a possible break in the heat and humidity between about July 9th-12th as a bubble of clean Canadian high pressure builds in from the north. If that verifies we could see a very nice break from the heat and humid stuff, with high in the (lower?) 80s and dew points dropping into the 40s and 50s on fresh northwest breezes.
I'll be off next week enjoying some time away from the weather lab. Craig Edwards and Bill Endersen will be here to keep the weather wheels running and to offer insightful experienced perspective on our weather.
We're so lucky to have a wealth of expertise and experience at MPR weather...and I feel so fortunate to work alongside such credible, principled pros as Mark Seeley, Craig Edwards & Bill Endersen.
Have a great 4th of July week and stay tuned!