Posted at 8:30 AM on July 17, 2012
by Paul Huttner
Cool front eases south through the Twin Cities today
Scattered T-Storms north of the front
Near 90 degrees in the metro today
(When did 90 become a "cool front?")
Heat wave breaks? Major pattern change ahead: Up to 20 degrees cooler next week?
70s for highs in the metro by late next week?
Cooler front today: Some relief from the heat this week
When did 90 degrees become a "cool front" anyway?
A weak but noticeable cool front will ease south today through the Twin Cities metro.
Behind the front, northeast winds are already brining some noticeably cooler air to central and northern Minnesota.
Scattered showers & T-Storms are also firing north of the front. Spotty rain & thunder will roll from west to east through Brainerd, St. Cloud & Duluth today, and rain chances will increase in the metro later today and especially tonight.
-Latest Twin Cities radar loop
SPC has a slight risk out for the Dakotas and far western Minnesota today, but it looks like most of the storms will stay below... or just approach borderline severe limits (58mph winds and 1" diameter hail) today and tonight.
Major pattern change ahead: Up to 20 degrees cooler next week?
This is me walking slowly out on a "weather limb."
The (lately horrible) GFS model and to some degree the more reliable Euro model are both strongly hinting at a major pattern change next week that could bring significantly cooler air into Minnesota, and shove the persistent heat wave south for at least a few days later next week.
The models have locked onto this trend for about two days now, which is usually a good sign. If the medium range trends verify next week, a cold front will sail south from Canada around next Wednesday-Thursday.
Ahead of the front, there are signs heat and storms may linger this weekend into next Monday & Tuesday.
Behind the front, the freshest northwest breeze in several weeks should usher in much cooler air. We could be talking about 20 degrees cooler than the 98 degree temps we saw Monday, meaning highs possibly in the upper 70s by next Thursday-Friday. Lows may actually dip into the 50s in the metro and 40s up north.
This could be the coolest weather in the Twin Cities since about June 13th when the high in the metro was 76 and the low dipped to 55 degrees.
This week marks the 110 year anniversary of the invention of the air conditioner.
You may actually be able to give your air conditioner an extended rest next week.
Posted at 4:47 PM on July 17, 2012
by Paul Huttner
AM rain & thunder Wednesday
Locally heavy downpours possible
Latest Twin Cities radar loop
Heat Wave Breaks: Major break in MN & USA heat wave next week?
94 degrees high temp at MSP Airport Tuesday
22 days at or above 90 degrees in the metro so far in 2012
5 years since we've logged more 90 degree days (27 days in 2007)
607 "Cooling Degree Days" (CDD) in the metro so far in 2012
342 CDD is average to date
398 CDD at this point in 2011
77% increase we're paying 77% more than average this year for AC in our homes
70s? Highs in the 70s in the metro by the weekend of July 28th?
(Highs in the 60s up north and into the northern metro??)
Worst of summer heat and humidity over after this weekend?
Spotty showers & T-Storms through Wednesday
Welcome pattern change next week?
I first posted this morning on the chances for a major break in our prolonged summer heat wave by late next week.
Confidence is growing with each passing model run that a major pattern change, a shift in the upper winds to a northwest flow late next week will bring substantial and prolonged relief from the summer heat wave of 2012.
If the models verify the big inflamed "heat pump high" that's been parked over the central Midwest will break down and shift west over the Rockies next week. That will open the door for a northwest flow in the upper atmosphere, and a series of cooler fronts should push south from Canada starting last next week.
The cooler drier air masses could drop temps as much as 20 degrees in Minnesota, with highs in the 70s by the weekend of July 28th. The pattern should also bring substantial relief to the eastern half of the USA, where temps have been dangerously hot for weeks from St. Louis to the East Coast.
Steamy & thundery weekend first?
Today's cool front easing south will provide marginal relief from the heat the rest of this week. Highs should be held back into the 80s, and scattered storms may bring cooling rains through Wednesday.
The heat and humidity are not far away though (it is still July), and it looks like southerly winds will bring back the 90s and humidity as soon as Friday...and into the weekend.
Tropical Downpours: Heavy rain potential this weekend?
A stationary front may set up in southern Minnesota this weekend. With plenty of tropical moisture around, there could be plenty of fuel for heavy, slow moving T-Storms that can unleash tropical downpours and potentially heavy rainfall totals in southern Minnesota.
There is no way to accurately forecast flash flood events like the 1987 "Twin Cities Superstorm" several days in advance (or even several hours in advance) but stationary fronts loaded with tropical moisture in weak synoptic environments are ripe for triggering slow moving T-Storms packing torrential downpours.
Stay tuned, but we could be in for a steamy and thundery weekend into early next week before the cool fronts start marching south later next week.
No Free AC: Costly summer of 2012
Are humming along with your AC yet this summer? Mine is running so much I'm tempted to sing along.
As grateful as I am for my AC unit on the 110th anniversary of the invention of the air conditioner, I'm afraid to look at my Excel bill this month.
So far in 2012 we've logged 607 "Cooling Degree Days" ain the metro. That's 177% of average and 153% more than last year to this date.
Bottom line? We're paying at least 77% more than last year to cool our homes in the unrelenting summer of 2012. If your annual AC bill is $500 on average, it's running to the tune of a cool $885 this year. That's $385 bucks we could have used for new tires on the car, gas for the boat etc. The good news? We saved at least that much in heating costs last (non) winter.
Worst of summer heat & humidty over?
It may be too early to say we're done with extreme heat this summer. After next week's cool fronts, I expect we'll see another run into the 90s in August as we head toward State Fair time...but with lower sun intensity 100 degrees is (thankfully) much harder to reach as we move through August.
Still, I think the hottest, most sustained stretches of 90 to 100 degree heat may be history in Minnesota after this weekend. Hang in there!
Stay cool, and bring on the cold fronts next week!