73 degrees at MSP Airport at 6am today
57 degrees in Lakeville at 6am
16 degrees Huttner Weather Lab "UHI Index" today
Scattered showers & T-Storms creeping back into the forecast
Slight risk from SPC for isolated severe storms Friday
84 degrees warmest average metro high of the year (through July 22nd)
65 degrees warmest average metro low of the year this weekend
"Flood-O-lympics?" Wettest summer on record has Britain concerned about dismal Olympic weather
Quick look MSP Forecast:
Major Metro Urban Heat island effect today:
They say "all weather is local."
That was certainly true this morning around the Twin Cities metro.
I witnessed one of the biggest Urban Heat Island effects today I have ever seen in 40+ years of watching and forecasting weather in the Twin Cities.
Check out these observed temperatures at 6am around the metro.
That's a 16 degree temperature difference between Lakeville and MSP Airport this morning! The "UHI Index" of 16 is the highest I can remember seeing around the metro in a very long time. (Yes, I made the term "UHI Index" up, I'm using the difference between the warmest inner city temp and surrounding "outlying" suburban temp around the metro.)
The map below clearly shows how the urban environment holds heat in on a calm night.
The temperature difference of 16 degrees this morning was literally the difference between running your AC all night to sleep well in the city, and windows wide open "good sleeping weather" in the outer suburbs.
Many UHI studies have been done over the years. Dr. Andrew Comrie from the University of Arizona has done good work on UHI around Tucson, and I've interviewed him many times. Here's an excerpt from one of his studies on UHI.
An analysis of 30-yr temporal trends in urban and nonurban minimum temperatures across the region shows the rate of urban warming to be about three-quarters of the general regional warming. Tucson's urban heat island is ∼3°C over the last century, with >2°C of this warming in the last 30 years. The annual average urban warming trend over the last three decades is 0.071°C yr-1 with the strongest effect in March and the weakest effect in November.
Rain on the Way:
A relatively weak low pressure system is gliding slowly into Minnesota from the Dakotas today. Look for scattered showers and a few T-Storms to gradually increase in coverage from west to east.
Western Minnesota will be the focus for rain today, and rain chances will increase in eastern Minnesota tonight. Overnight and Friday looks like the best bet for picking up some much needed rainfall in the metro.
The system is not well organized, but there is a slight risk that a few borderline severe storms could pop up in western Minnesota today and shift east Friday.
SPC has a slight risk including the metro Friday.
Peak of summer next 2 weeks!
The next two weeks are the "warmest" climatologically speaking in Minnesota.
The average high in the Twin Cities is now 84 degrees through July 22nd. That's the warmest average high of the year at MSP. The average low this weekend is 65 degrees...also the warmest of the year!
Meterologist are working overtime these days trying to get a handle on the forecast for the upcoming 2012 Summer Olymics in London.
This has been the wettest summer on record for much of Great Britain, and the short term forecasts call for more of the same.
UK Warnings Weather Warning Thursday 12th July
YELLOW WARNING of RAIN
Outbreaks of heavy rain are expected to reach southwest England during Thursday morning and extend east across the rest of southern England on Thursday afternoon.
Saturated ground means that there is a continuing risk of flooding.
The dismal forecast even has Brits looking for ways to make it stop raining.
Brits are used to dismal weather, but this summer has them preparing for the worst for the Games. The Spec has the story.
LONDON Less than three weeks before the start of the 2012 Olympics, British officials and athletes around the globe are bracing for a dark threat to the London Games: English weather.
In a city universally besmirched as climatically challenged -- and about which Jane Austen once wrote, "in London, it is always a sickly season," -- early Olympic forecasts are cloudy with a chance of chaos. As Britain copes with what is so far the wettest summer since records began in 1910, meteorological "war rooms" are being set up at the Olympic Park in East London as well as other British host cities including Eton and Weymouth.
Suggesting scenes of mud-caked Olympians ahead, torrential downpours have already wreaked havoc at recent British sporting events, including massive disruptions that turned at least 10,000 spectators away from the Formula One race at Silverstone last week.
In June, areas across the nation saw double the average rainfall, with July also bringing flash floods that continue to turn roads into rivers and inundate homes and businesses in parts of the country. Extended forecasts suggest that while the bouts of heavy rain may abate, London weather could still be wetter than the already-moist average for much of the 2012 Games -- testing years-in-the-making transit planning and potentially affecting the medal count.
Could the dreadful weather even creep into the "tone" of broadcasters covering the Games? One study from phys.org thinks so.
Using coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing as a basis, the researchers examined how air pollution and weather -- by producing cloudy conditions as opposed to sunlight -- might have impacted coverage of those Games. They examined four major U.S. newspapers and found that as air pollution increased and temperatures rose, journalists were more likely to use negative words in stories about the host country and about competitors from China and the United States when reporting.
Because London is known for its cloudiness and rain, researchers think the tone of coverage of the 2012 Olympic Games in London could be impacted if grey and misty conditions exit. If so, reporters might focus more on what is wrong with the Games. But if the weather is ideal, reporters are more likely to give the Olympics a higher grade, if the research from Beijing holds true.
The study -- authored by Bu Zhong, associate professor in the College of Communications, and published in a special Olympic issue of Mass Communication and Society -- suggests there is a relationship between weather and journalism coverage, and notes that negative and positive language in news reports can be further impacted by factors such as deadline pressure, living in an unknown country and personal feelings about a sporting event.
By discovering a potential link between the environment and media coverage, the researchers caution journalists to be aware of any potential subconscious bias they are including in their reports -- whether they are covering the Olympics or some other event where weather can be a factor.
"This article suggests that journalists' decision making could be influenced by a greater variety of factors than we previously thought," said Zhong, a senior research fellow in the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism at Penn State. "To better understand journalists' thinking process, it is necessary to explore not only known patterns of journalistic practices, but also some exogenous factors, such as weather."
There is still hope for some improvement in the forecast by the time the games begin. But it looks like the weather may be a tough competitor in the 2012 London Summer Games.
Posted at 5:21 PM on July 12, 2012
by Paul Huttner
89 degrees - high in at MSP Thursday
90 degree high at Flying Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie
91 degrees - high in St. Paul Thursday
Slight risk from SPC for a stray severe storm Friday
Scattered & "borderline severe" - probably not a widespread severe outbreak Friday
"Hot Front" temps surging into the 90s Sunday through Tuesday?
Duluth & North Shore quick look forecast:
(Because one size doesn't fit all for very different weather patterns along the North Shore)
Scattered rain & thunder returns:
It's nice to hear the patter of raindrops again in parts of Minnesota.
A slow moving and relatively weak low pressure system is sparking a few scattered showers & T-Storms as we move toward the weekend.
-Latest Twin Cities radar loop
The key word will be "scattered" for rain & T-Storm coverage, meaning anywhere from 20% to 40% coverage at any given time.
Overall rainfall totals look to be on the lighter side...with most areas picking under .25" ...with .50" in some of the "luckier" spots.
SPC has put out a slight risk for a few severe storms Friday...but severe weather parameters are only marginal. That means storms may just be borderline severe, and scattered at that. I don't see any huge derecheo events covering thousands of square miles with damage at this point, but one or two severe storms can't be ruled out Friday.
Sunday "Hot Front?"
The next push of hot air looks significant Sunday through Tuesday of next week.
90s should be common, and there is some indication that temps could surge well into the 90s by Monday & Tuesday.
My MPR colleage Dr. Mark Seeley tells us this is the warmest start to July on rcord so far for the 1st 10 days of July in the metro. Ugh!
Topic: Warmest first 10 days of July
For the Twin Cities, and perhaps a few other climate stations, the first ten days of July 2012 has been the warmest in history based on mean temperature values. Seven of the first ten days brought daytime temperatures of 90 F or greater (two days were over 100 F), and on five nights the temperature remained above the 70 degrees F mark. These values produced a mean temperature of 82.7 degrees F, or 9 degrees F warmer than normal. The following is a list of the top ten warmest first ten days of July in the Twin Cities area going back to 1871:
1. 82.7 F in 2012
2. 82.4 F in 1948
3. 82.2 F in 1036
4. 81.2 F in 1989
5. 81.2 F in 1949
6. 80.8 F in 1937
7. 80.0 F in 1974
8. 79.2 F in 2002
9. 79.1 F in 2011
10. 79.0 F in 1988
The warmth, combined with the relative absence of significant rainfall has produced stress on some crops, as well as other landscape vegetation. Portions of southern and southwestern Minnesota have been designated to be in moderate drought, while northwestern Minnesota counties remain in moderate drought as well.
Topic: Drought expands
Though April and May surplus rainfall brought alleviation of drought across much of southern Minnesota, a deficiency in rainfall since June 1st has brought a return of moderate drought to many areas. Places like Lamberton, Pipestone, Windom, Worthington, Preston, Rushford, and Spring Valley have only seen less than half of normal rainfall since June 1st and crops are showing some signs of stress.
This is worrisome, though Minnesota is not as bad off as many parts of IA, IL, IN, OH, and MO where severe or extreme drought occupies a large share of the landscape. In fact nearly 56 percent of the USA land area is in moderate drought or worse, the highest percentage measured in the past 12 years. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack declared 1016 counties in 26 states to be drought disasters this week based on the designation of "severe drought" by the weekly US Drought Monitor for eight weeks or longer. You can examine more geographic aspects of drought at the Drought Monitor web site:
You can read Mark's full Weather Talk post here Friday, and hear more from Mark with Phil Picardi during the 6am hour on MPR News Friday morning.
Overall the weather pattern still favors above average temps for the next few weeks in the toasty summer of 2012.