Posted at 4:44 PM on July 30, 2012
by Bill Endersen
You might not have noticed it, but a weak cold front slipped southeastward across Minnesota today.
Even though the weather remained quite toasty, the front's passage was marked by a wind shift from southwesterly to northwesterly. A few hours later the dew point began to edge downward, so that was welcome.
The really brutal heat and drought have been building to the south for more than a month. Since June 27, Kansas City has had 17 100-degree days, and just 0.6 inches of rain.
In the midst of the worst heat, Tulsa, Okla., has reached 100 degrees in 13 of the last 14 days -- the low day was a near-miss 99 degrees. Tulsans roasted under highs of 108 both Saturday and Sunday. Today has been worse -- their morning low was 88. That running start allowed the high to hit at least 109. Every day this month has been at least 95 degrees and there will be no relief for the at least the next week.
At least one of the forecasting models points to the likelihood of rain sagging farther south into some rain-starved portions of the Central Plains and Midwest next week.
Closer to home, a few isolated showers or thunderstorms are possible in the Arrowhead this evening. The main activity has shifted east across Wisconsin where the cold front is triggering thunderstorms. A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for northeastern Wisconsin, including Green Bay and Door County, and much of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Around Minnesota, Tuesday will be a sunny and slightly cooler day beneath high pressure. High temperatures will be mainly in the 80s.
Chances of showers and thunderstorms will return on Wednesday and then again Friday and Saturday.
Early-rising newspaper deliverers can enjoy a lovely waxing, gibbous moon that will set in the western sky before sunrise Tuesday.
We usually do our cloud-watching from ground level. The photo below shows the topsides of towering cumulus clouds over southern Ontario last week. It was taken through the window of a passenger jet during the evening when the sun was getting low in the sky to the right. A few other unstable clouds in the area had grown into thunderstorms but these guys probably came up short.
Oh I felt it, when I left work last night around 8:30pm, it felt cool, really nice evening.