Posted at 8:40 AM on August 13, 2012
by Paul Huttner
68 degrees high temp at MSP Sunday
Felt like September 25th 68 degrees is average high at MSP for September 25th
August 31st last day cooler than Sunday (High was 66 at MSP)
-0.1F August temps running below average so far
14 Months? Last below average month at MSP was May 2011
1 hour 33 minutes of daylight lost since summer solstice on June 20th
Sunshine returns today & Tuesday
Summery cameo - 80s return Tuesday & Wednesday
Strongest cool front of summer arrives by Thursday
10 days until the Minnesota State Fair begins next Thursday!
Sunshine returns: Nice start to the week
What is that bright yellow thing in the sky today? And where are my shades anyway?
Yes, Sunday featured several different shades of grey.
High pressure is pushing that cloudy mess east today, and other than a brief stray showers in the eastern half of MPR land things will turn sunnier and nicer to start the work week.
Summer makes a cameo by Tuesday PM & Wednesday with temps pushing 80 Tuesday and maybe as warm as 89 Wednesday afternoon with enough sun and a warmer southerly breeze. As low pressure spins through, a few scattered storms may rumble around Minnesota into Wednesday& Wednesday night.
September Preview: Summer's strongest cool front ahead Thursday
Thursday will feel like September in Minnesota. The strongest cool front since May will push south on gusty northwest winds,
Temps may not climb out of the 60s in northern Minnesota, and highs will hover near 70 in the south Thursday into this weekend.
Lows will dive into the 40s north and maybe even in the outer metro suburbs by this weekend. Upper 30s and scattered frost look likely by the time we reach next weekend up north.
Staying Power: "Hudson Bay Low" develops into next week?
The upper air pattern over North America is radically different from a month ago.
Gone is the big Bermuda High "Heat Pump" that fried corn fields from Iowa to Ohio.
The jet stream has shifted 500 to 1,000 miles further south, and there are signs that a big, "cut off low" will develop by this weekend over Hudson Bay.
If that happens temps will remain cooler than average over Minnesota into early next week. That should be enough to keep August monthly temps below average overall through about August 22nd.
Looking at the medium range maps we have a shot at ending up cooler than average for the month of August in Minnesota. If that happens, it will be the 1st cooler than average month in 14 months, since May 2011 when MSP ran -0.9 degrees.
There are signs we may warm up a bit just in time for the Minnesota State Fair, which begins a week from Thursday.
How did that happen?
85% of Minnesota's corn crop in "fair-good or excellent" condition
92% of the "small grain" harvest complete (Oats, spring wheat & barley)
17% of small grains harvested last year at this time
50% of Minnesota topsoil rated "short or very short"
50% of Minnesota topsoil rated "adequate or surplus"
"Dual Pol" up and running - Twin Cities NWS completes Dual Polarization upgrade
Minnesota Crops: Island in the drought
It's a pretty good year for most Minnesota farmers in 2012. And for those that have a decent corn crop to sell, it's going to be a really good year with record corn prices.
A chunk of northwest and southwest Minnesota is still dealing with drought this year, and that is affecting some Minnesota farmers.
But the majority of Minnesota's corn and soybean crops are in pretty good condition according to Monday's Minnesota Crop Report.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows 35% of Minnesota in "drought>" You can see how drought conditions have been focuses in northwest, southwest and far southern Minnesota this summer.
The bigger picture shows how lucky Minnesota has been in 2012.
We started out in drought in the spring, but ample spring rains lifted most of Minnesota from drought conditions, boosted lake levels and produced a bountiful crop.
The rest of the Midwest was not so lucky, and is suffering through the worst conditions since the 1930s in some areas. Withered corn has been plowed under in many areas of the Midwest.
Much of Minnesota and northern Wisconsin has remained an oasis in the midst of drought in 2012.
Up and Running: "Dual Pol" upgrade complete
The Twin Cities NWS has completed the upgrade to Dual Polarization at the Chanhassen NWS/Doppler site.
Radar data is flowing again, and the new upgrade should help us with precip intensity and differentiating between different winter precip types this winter.
The Doppler radar upgrade at your National Weather Service Forecast Office is complete. Although minor calibrations will be made in the coming days to ensure optimum accuracy, the upgrade is complete and radar data is now available.
•Better estimation of total precipitation amounts
•Better estimation of the size distribution of hydrometeors (raindrops, snowflakes, hailstones, drizzle)
•Much improved ability to identify areas of extremely heavy rainfall that are closely linked with flash floods
•Improved detection and mitigation of non-weather related radar echoes (chaff, smoke plumes, ground clutter)
•Easier identification of the melting layer (helpful for identifying snow levels in higher terrain)
•Improved ability to classify precipitation type
The full benefit of dual-pol radar, however, will not be fully realized until NWS forecasters and research meteorologists develop real-time expertise.