By Craig Edwards
Heading up north this weekend? Temperatures will not be all that warm and bouts of showers could dampen outdoor activities.
A good soaking has occurred in the last week. This image estimates the rainfall from May 17 through mid-afternoon today. The Duluth Airport measured more than eight-tenths of an inch of rain today.
Travel weather on Friday afternoon shows north bound vehicles aided by south breezes with temperatures in the 60s.
Temperatures across the country will be quite typical for the season on Saturday. Cool weather rims the Great Lakes and New England.
Beginning Friday evening, your rain chances are about 30 to 40 percent for each 12-hour period through Memorial Day. Details to be sorted out on Thursday. It does not look like beach weather in Minnesota.
Craig Edwards(0 Comments)
We preach, during a tornado, if you can't seek below ground shelter, put as many walls between you and the elements as you can. Often times that location is an interior closet or bathroom.
Automobiles should be abandoned for sturdy shelter. However, some research supports your safety could be OK if the tornado is rather weak and it would be better than trying to seek cover in a ditch or depression.
Obviously, in the image below, from the May 1999 Oklahoma City/Moore tornado, this vehicle was not a good place to ride out the storm.
After a detailed review by a team of meteorological experts, we'll know more about yesterday's devastating tornado intensity compared to the May 3,1999 tornado.
When I speak about having NOAA Weather Radio at hand, I'm talking about a specific receiver that looks like this. It delivers 24 hour a day weather and alerts for warnings in your location. Multiple radios are recommended for businesses and schools.
Change your battery regularly. Test alerts are sent weekly by the NWS around 1 p.m. CDT on Wednesdays.
The visible satellite image from mid-afternoon nicely depicted the blossoming thunderstorms in northeast Texas. Severe storms are likely this afternoon into tonight.
Here's the Storm Prediction Center's update for the severe weather threat for the remainder of the afternoon and into the overnight hours.
I was selected to be a member of the NOAA tornado assessment team for the Oklahoma City tornado in May 1999. Several meteorologists were immersed in the evaluation of the forecast, the warnings and the response. I use some of the lessons learned in my presentations. Chief among them: PAY ATTENTION when warnings are issued!
Two main teachable moments from Moore in 1999:
-Have a plan for the extraordinary event - timing is not always convenient.
-Share the word that severe weather is approaching.
NOAA Weather Radio has been around for 40 years,yet few take advantage of the 24 hour a day warning service. The latest trend is for a warning app on a cell phone. But many homes, businesses and schools should have a NOAA Weather Radio in place.
Information on NOAA weather radio can be found here.
With regard to yesterday's devastating tornado in Moore: Weather officials estimated the strength of the storm to be an F4 or F5 on the Fujita Scale--the highest rating a tornado can achieve. The National Weather Service said it packed winds of up to 200 mph.
The NWS in Norman, Okla., said the tornado was on the ground for approximately 40 minutes, and a tornado warning was in effect for 16 minutes before the twister developed.
More rain for portions of Minnesota is on tap for the next 24 hours. Heavy rains have fallen, particularly in southeast Minnesota the past week.
A frontal boundary is likely to extend west to east through central Minnesota this afternoon. The contrast in air masses should be the focus for storm development today.
Forecast maximum temperatures today from the NWS.
The NAM predicts this band of showers through central Minnesota this afternoon.
Severe storms are not expected in our neck of the woods today, but the Storm Prediction Center is focused on large hail and destructive winds in east Texas and into Arkansas in the next 24 hours.
The weather pattern dries out in the upper Midwest for Thursday and Friday. We'll take a look at the upcoming holiday weekend weather in the afternoon blog.
Craig Edwards(5 Comments)
As the old professor would often remind us, weather is seldom normal.
Some regions of Minnesota experienced record snowfall earlier in May and two weeks later, Mother Nature delivers the heat.
Here's how the Minnesota State Climate Office detailed Tuesday's heat burst.
>A taste of summer air surged into Minnesota on May 14th, sending the mercury soaring into the 80's and 90's across a good part of the state. A few locations even cracking 100 degrees. Notable exceptions were locations near ice covered lakes in northern Minnesota and near Lake Superior. At 2pm May 14th, the air temperature was 102 degrees at St. James and 44 degrees at Grand Marais.
The National Weather Service Cooperative Observer at Amboy also had a preliminary reading of 102 degrees.
Extremely dry air was in place as well, with desert-like relative humidity readings in the single digits at St. James. At 2pm while it was 102 degrees at St. James, the dew point temperature was only 28 degrees, creating a relative humidity of seven percent.
An amazing spread in maximum temperatures so far in May for Rochester: On May 3rd, Rochester set a record for the lowest maximum temperature of 33. Less than two weeks later they reach a record high of 97 on May 14th.
The National Weather Service in Chanhassen put together a nice meteorological explanation of the record heat on Tuesday
NOAA's IR satellite image validated the colder cloud tops of the showers as they moved into southwest Minnesota.
These showers are expected to diminish as they travel east this morning.
There remains quite the disparity in moisture this spring from northwest to southeast in Minnesota. Check out this map from the Minnesota from the State Climate Office on precipitation since April 1, 2013.
Showers and thundershowers are in the forecast from Thursday night through Monday. With any luck, the farmers will receive welcome moisture and your outdoor event dodges the rain. That's probably too much to expect.
Rain on the weekend. We'll deal with it one day at a time.
Sunshine was mixed with clouds Monday afternoon, pushing the mercury into the lower 70s in many locations. In southwest Minnesota, a more dominate layer of clouds held temperatures in the 60s.
Last week's record snowfall that buried southeast Minnesota and western Wisconsin is simply a matter for historical storytelling. With the warmth of today's sun, much of the snow is gone.
The visible satellite image from this afternoon depicts cumulus clouds that formed from the afternoon heating of the skin layer of the landscape. Notice the ice remaining on Lake Mille Lacs and the cloud circle around the cold ice cover of the lake.
The long daylight and the intensity of the May sun can work to dry out the surface of the soil. Last week's moisture missed much of northwest and central Minnesota. St. Cloud tallied less than a quarter-inch of liquid precipitation since April 23rd.
Another day of sunshine on Tuesday elevates the risk for grassland fires in central Minnesota until the green-up takes place.
Starting Tuesday night, bouts of showers and thundershowers are in the forecast for the remainder of the week. Once again, it appears the heavier precipitation will stay southeast of the Red River Valley.
River levels have responded to the rapid snow melt. Here's a look at the hydrograph depicting the rise of the South Branch of the Middle Fork of the Zumbro River to the west of Rochester.
If you care to search other river levels, you can explore this site from the National Weather Service.
NOAA forecasters predict this rainfall potential from tonight through Thursday.
Today is also the anniversary of the 1965 tornado outbreak in the Twin Cities that included the Fridley tornado. The National Weather Service Office in Chanhassen put together this detailed summary of the historical event.
A cool down is seen for the weekend with highs only in the 50s on Saturday.
After launching into the month of May as if it was the start of meteorological winter, conditions will only slowly improve though the weekend. Hard to believe we are in the last month of meteorological spring.
By this date a year ago, the Twin Cities had already experienced 16 days of 70 degrees or greater. Thus far, in 2013, the mercury has reached or exceeded 70 F only five times.
Records are still being sorted out for the snowfall in southeast Minnesota and western Wisconsin. If you are interested in details, you can explore this site from NWS LaCrosse, Wis.
Reports from the National Weather Service in the Twin Cities layout these statistics for Eau Claire, Wis.
Including this historical fact for Eau Claire: The 8.7" of snow that fell on May 2, 2013 was the single snowiest calendar day during the month of May on record.
Here is an amazing temperature record for Rochester, Minn., for May 2:
...COLDEST HIGH TEMPERATURE FOR MAY 2 AND FOR THE MONTH OF MAY...
ON MAY 2...THE HIGH TEMPERATURE AT ROCHESTER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
ONLY CLIMBED TO 33 DEGREES. THIS WAS THE COLDEST HIGH TEMPERATURE
FOR THE DATE. THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS 39 DEGREES IN 1935 AND 2011.
IN ADDITION...THIS HIGH TEMPERATURE WAS THE COLDEST EVER RECORDED
DURING THE MONTH OF MAY. THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS 35 DEGREES ON MAY
3 IN 1940.
In case you missed it, while the snowstorm was raging and setting records in southeast Minnesota, the Red River crested at Fargo, N.D. The hdyrograph from this afternoon shows the river slowly falling.
The late snow melt, sent the runoff, in large part, into the dry soil and lead to a lower crest than originally predicted. It has been a relatively dry spring in northwest Minnesota, while southeast Minnesota has been getting bouts of significant precipitation.
Here's the precipitation map for our neck of the woods through April 30, 2013.
The amazing story here, I think, is the fact that the Red River crested at Fargo above major flood stage when the region was still considered in a moderate drought!
Soil moisture is more than adequate to our south and may be troublesome for the agricultural community with regard to planting. It is starting to get relatively late in the season and additional moisture in the next 36 hours is not necessarily welcome.
A slow moving weather system will eventually clear our region on Sunday. There is a sharp cutoff to the clouds and dampness through Minnesota as shown on the visible satellite image from 3 p.m. CDT Friday. Unfortunately for those looking for sunshine, this weather system is actually moving the clouds from east to west.
Radar depicts the cold rain. mixed with wet snow at times over Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Heavy precipitation will drenched parts of Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee this weekend. Moisture on Saturday will dampen mainly eastern Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Brightness (do I dare promise sunshine?) appears on Sunday. Temperatures still come up short of seasonal high temperatures that are in the middle 60s in the Twin Cities.
Runoff of the excessive snowfall will result in rises in streams, creeks and river levels into early next week. The water content of the heavy snow was likely on the order of an inch and a half to two inches where the greatest accumulations were measured.
Craig Edwards(1 Comments)
Moisture is beginning to add up this month. Unfortunately it is falling on snow-covered and frozen landscape. Rainfall of 1.20 inches in Mankato resulted flooding and the temporary closure of Highway 169 southbound lane on Saturday.
Sioux Falls, S.D., received a record 0.68 inches of precipitation for March 9. Meanwhile, Eau Clairie, Wis., tallied close to an inch of moisture (0.98 inches).
Precipitation stayed mostly a cold rain in St. Cloud, where they picked up three-quarters of an inch of precipitation on Saturday.
Snowfall totals were generous as well. More than 6 inches fell at Millerville, Minn., in Douglas County. Other snowfall totals gathered by the Duluth NWS Office are listed below:
INCHES LOCATION ST COUNTY TIME
------ ----------------------- -- -------------- -------
9.00 LEADER MN CASS 0547 PM
7.00 5 N PILLAGER MN CASS 0901 PM
7.00 BIGFORK MN ITASCA 0441 PM
7.00 DIXON LAKE MN ITASCA 0908 AM
7.00 SQUAW LAKE MN ITASCA 0834 AM
6.50 3 N BRAINERD MN CROW WING 0921 PM
6.50 KABETOGAMA MN ST. LOUIS 0517 PM
6.30 6 W TWO HARBORS MN ST. LOUIS 0716 PM
6.10 DULUTH HEIGHTS MN ST. LOUIS 0739 PM
6.00 5 NW DULUTH MN ST. LOUIS 0926 PM
6.00 10 N ESKO MN ST. LOUIS 0711 PM
6.00 CLOQUET MN CARLTON 0513 PM
5.80 COLERAINE MN ITASCA 0845 PM
5.60 NASHWAUK MN ITASCA 0905 PM
5.60 7 NW TWO HARBORS MN LAKE 0800 PM
5.30 ALBORN MN ST. LOUIS 0640 PM
5.00 4 S SAWYER MN CARLTON 0825 PM
5.00 7 SE GRAND RAPIDS MN ITASCA 0811 PM
5.00 TWO HARBORS MN LAKE 0749 PM
5.00 LAKE NICHOLS MN ST. LOUIS 0716 PM
5.00 MCGREGOR MN AITKIN 0657 PM
5.00 10 NW SAND POINT LAKE MN ST. LOUIS 0347 PM
More snowfall reports from the Duluth Office of less than 5 inches:
4.80 3 NE NISSWA MN CROW WING 0408 PM
4.50 12 N GRAND RAPIDS MN ITASCA 0850 PM
4.00 FORT RIPLEY MN CROW WING 0735 PM
4.00 LUTSEN MN COOK 0723 PM
4.00 4 NNE DULUTH MN ST. LOUIS 0500 PM
4.00 BRAINERD MN CROW WING 0453 PM
4.00 EMILY MN CROW WING 0256 PM
3.60 CHISHOLM MN ST. LOUIS 0645 PM
3.00 3 E ORR MN ST. LOUIS 1200 PM
2.80 INTERNATIONAL FALLS MN KOOCHICHING 0602 PM
2.30 HOLYOKE MN CARLTON 0842 PM
2.00 MOOSE LAKE MN CARLTON 0849 PM
2.00 LITTLE MARAIS MN LAKE 0551 PM
1.20 7 SE SUPERIOR WI DOUGLAS 0749 PM
1.00 SOLON SPRINGS WI DOUGLAS 1000 AM
Another precipitation-producing weather system is organizing in Missouri and will deliver a heavy, wet snow to Iowa, southeast Minnesota and western Wisconsin in the next 24 hours:
Graphical presentation from the NWS Chanhassen Office highlights the wintry weather that will play out today and tonight:
The LaCrosse, Wis., NWS meteorologists paint this forecast of snow accumulation in the next 24 hours:
There is some consistency in the model runs to confine the accumulating snow to the southeast corner of Minnesota. This is likely to be a wet snow with a 10-to-1 snow-to-water ratio.
Regional radar at 710 a.m. CDT Sunday:
Travel with caution today, especially heading south through Iowa and tonight heading toward LaCrosse.
Craig Edwards(2 Comments)
A mixture of cold rain and snow changed to snow in western and central Minnesota this afternoon with the accumulation of several inches from Alexandria to Brainerd, including a report of 6.5 inches of snow at Millersville in Douglas County, northwest of Alexandria.
Snow will spread northeast the remainder of the afternoon, but is expected to taper from west to northeast this evening. Snowfall totals of 4 to 6 inches are likely from near Grand Rapids to Duluth and Hibbiing.
Heavy rain this afternoon resulted in some flooding problems around Mankato, where a twenty-four hour total rainfall of 1.20 inches was reported.
From the National Weather Service in Chanhassen at 220 p.m. CST:
STATE PATROL REPORTED THAT A SEGMENT OF THE SOUTHBOUND RIGHT LANE OF HIGHWAY 169 HAS BEEN CLOSED JUST SOUTH OF ST PETER DUE TO A MUD SLIDE.
In the greater Twin Cities Metro area, rainfall amounts have approached a half inch since the rain began late last night.
A cold front was tracking southeast through the state and will usher in cooler air during the overnight hours. The front will stall over northern Iowa on Sunday. Another low pressure will move along the front from Missouri on Sunday.
Heavy snow may develop over southeast Minnesota on Sunday night into Monday.
Snowfall potential with the next storm favors Rochester, LaCrosse and west central Wisconsin.
The National Weather Service in LaCrosse, Wisconsin has issued a winter storm watch for the shaded area for Sunday night and Monday morning.
Snowfall probability of eight inches or more from NOAA's NCEP for Sunday night and Monday morning.
From the National Weather Service at LaCrosse this afternoon, expressing the uncertainity of the path of the next snow producer:
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LA CROSSE WI 259 PM CST SAT MAR 9 2013
...ANOTHER EARLY SPRING SNOW STORM FOR THE REGION...
.WINTER IS NOT OVER YET AS ANOTHER ROUND OF HEAVY SNOW IS LIKELY
FOR AREA. SNOW WILL MOVE INTO NORTHEAST IOWA AND SOUTHWEST
WISCONSIN LATE SUNDAY AFTERNOON...SPREADING NORTHEAST ACROSS THE
AREA SUNDAY EVENING. THE SNOW WILL GRADUALLY EXIT NORTHEAST
4 TO 8 INCHES ARE EXPECTED WITH THIS STORM. WHERE THE HEAVIEST
SNOW FALLS IS UNCERTAIN AT THIS TIME. THE BULK OF THE
ACCUMULATIONS WILL OCCUR SUNDAY NIGHT.
I'll keep an eye on the path of the next system and have an update for you here on Updraft on Sunday morning.
Watch for refreezing on highways and sidewalks overnight as the temperatures fall below freezing. Ponding of water in low spots near curbsides may create hazardous conditions.
It's that time of year when surges of arctic air into the upper Midwest battle it out with a return push of milder air from the central plains. Temperatures can climb nicely, particularly where the landscape is free of snowcover.
Snow depth in inches for December 11th:
There will be melting snow in southern Minnesota today as temperatures top out in the upper 30s. At daybreak temperatures were already near 20 degrees in the Twin Cities, where peeks of sunshine today will boost temperatures above the thawing point.
Patchy cloud cover invaded the upper Midwest during the nighttime hours. What a difference cloud cover can make to halt raditional cooling from snow cover, especially when accompanied by a moderate push of milder air. St. Cloud saw the temperature rise from 8 below zero before midnight to 12 above by 6 a.m.
Enhanced IR satellite image from 530 a,m. CST. Colder, high cloud tops shown in light blue. Light snow was moving across far northern Minnesota this morning:
A couple inches of fresh snow can be expected in far northern Minnesota this morning. There is a chance for a ribbon of light snow to fall in northern sections of Minnesota later tonight as well.
Good news for motorists! Warmer temperatures today will partner with the chemicals to melt some of the ice on the heavier traveled roadways. It will take a little longer to see bare/wet pavement on the side streets.
Today's expected high temperatures:
We are still tracking the potential for snow and a mixture of rain and snow for Friday night and Saturday. Precipitation amounts and type are still questionable due to the uncertainity of the low pressure track and intensity.
Remember the previous blogs have been showing a low center reaching southeast Iowa at dusk on Saturday. Here's the overnight GFS predicting a little faster movement, placing the low pressure center at 6 p.m. Saturday in southeast Wisconsin.
Precipitation could begin late Friday and will continue into Saturday. A refinement to the forecast of rain and possible snow amounts will be a work in progress.
The latest thinking from the NWS forecast staff in Chanhassen for the weather maker moving toward the upper Midwest later in the week:
A bright spot in this approaching system is much needed moisture coming on Friday night to parts of Nebraska and Iowa.
NOAA's forecast of precipitation potential for Friday and Friday night.
Happy motoring. Don't forget to fill up with window washer fluid!
47 degrees for the high temperature in the Twin Cities on Wednesday.
53 degrees forecast in Minneapolis/St. Paul today. The first temperature of 50 or greater this month.
60 degrees for Eden Prairie, MN on Saturday.
Nasty weather in the Northeast US will linger for one more day from Boston, MA to Maine.
Check out the storm reports with this last nor'easter. Click here.
National surface pressure and temperature map. Forecast from GFS model valid at 1 p.m. EST today.
Note the low pressure system off the northeast coast of the US continuiing to weaken. You can also see the cool air pooling in western Canada and the milder air in the southern Plains. A combination of air masses that is likely to trigger some weather in the middle of the country as we head toward the weekend.
Maximun temperatures forecast for Saturday afternoon from the National Weather Service. A storm center churns through central Minnesota during the day. Wintry weather could impact far northwest Minnesota and eastern North Dakota.
Potential for severe storms on Saturday is currently expected to remain south of Minnesota.
When strong storms wrap up in the southern Plains and track toward the northeast a dry slot often forms, due to the strong jet stream maximum and the dynamics in the atmosphere. Thunderstorms are likely to be concentrated southeast of Minnesota with a cold rain changing to snow in northwest Minnesota. The Twin Cities may not accumulate significant precipitation from this late autumn weather maker.
Five day precipitation accumulation ending at 6 a.m. CST Tuesday. Source:NOAA NCEP/HPC
This is Winter Hazard Awareness week in Minnesota. The National Weather Serivce in partnership with Minnesota's Public Safety Department has posted detailed information on educating you for enjoying winter weather and staying safe as well. Click here for Winter Safety and awareness.
One of the graphics on this link is the average annual snowfall for Minnesota. It's shown here.
You can see the graphic of last year's snowfall by going to the link listed above. I'm thinking we'll see more snow than last season.
Annual Kuehnast Lecture today
Dr. Seeley and the State Climate Office will host a wonderful educational seminar on climate change that begins at 1 p.m.
Click here for details on the Kuehnast Lecture. You can see a speaker bio and abstract on each of the three presentations by clicking on the preview.
Enjoy the day and get ready for a cool down Sunday and Monday.
Craig Edwards(1 Comments)
Precipitation spread from west to east overnight and is now confined to northeast Minnesota and far southeast Minnesota. Look for mainly dry weather across the state as we go through Election Day.
Rain was steadily progressing across western Wisonsin this morning.
Happy to report that rainfall tallied more than a quarter inch in portions of the Twin Cities overnight. The Twin Cities International Airport measured 0.30 inches of rainfall. I captured nearly a quarter inch in my rain gauge at the Eden Prairie weather center.
Snow mixed with rain in northeast Minnesota delivered about two tenths of an inch of moisture.
NOAA Water Vapor Satellite image this just before sunrise shows the enhanced clouds from our weather maker moving into Wisconsin and Illinois. The storm that we have been monitoring to potentially effect the northeast US is just starting to take shape off the South Carolina coast.
Election Day temperatures in our neck of the woods will be seasonal, but expect gusty winds in western Minnesota through the afternoon.
Winds will not be as gusty in eastern Minnesota today.
Currently there continues to be some slight differences in the model data for the northeast track of the storm along the east coast. Some agreement suggest that the center of lowest pressure will stay off shore as it skirts New York Wednesday night.
After a couple of quiet days things start to warm up and get interesting on Satuday as a storm system takes shape in Nebraska on Friday night. A surge of very warm air into Minnesota could trigger some showers and thunderstorms on Saturday.
Much cooler weather arrives on Sunday.
Hurricane hybrid Sandy continues to spiral over the Great Lakes this morning, but the punches are inflicting much less pain. Winds continue to gust above 30 mph in Michigan and down the length of Lake Michigan.
A clean-up of epic proportions will continue for weeks along the east coast. As the temperatures trend down during the autumn season outdoor work will become more challenging. Photo journalists have done great job painting the picture of the devastation.
Here's a screen capture of the estimated rainfall during Monday and Monday night as the center of Sandy came on shore near Ocean City, NJ.
If you were looking for a small silver lining in this disaster, New York caught a small break when they were spared flooding rainfall as the storm surge swamped the city.
Here's a story I archived following the October snow storm in the northeast last year. You may wish to connect the dots to Sandy. Some stories during this weeks storm referenced the Storm of 1821. In some ways, mega storms are not anything new. One meteorologist commented, "New York was due."
We'll be tracking a weather maker coming out of the Pacific Northwest later today. Seattle is under the gun for potentially flooding rains in the next 35 hours.
Seattle radar at 650 a.m. CDT Source: NOAA/Weather Underground
Five day precipitation potential. Source: NOAA/NWS
Halloween trick or treat weather is pretty much made to order. Youngsters heading out just after dark will find temperatures quite tolerable.
For those tracking the monthly temperature trend in the Twin Cities, October 2012 will be the first month with the average temperature below normal since May 2011. We'll end up a little more than one degree below normal.
Craig Edwards(2 Comments)
After passing over the Florida Keys and offering a glancing blow of wind and heavy rain to southern Florida, Tropical Storm Isaac is moving steadily across the very warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Models differ on the landfall location and intensity, but the threat for hurricane force winds and excessive rainfall is increasing from New Orleans to Mobile.
From the National Hurricane Center's 7 a.m. CDT statement....MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 65 MPH...100 KM/H...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. SOME STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS...
AND ISAAC IS EXPECTED TO BECOME A HURRICANE IN A DAY OR SO.
Excessive rainfall will occur, mainly north and east of the center of the circulation. This is where the greatest impact of strong winds and storm surge is also expected.
Looking back seven years, Hurricane Katrinia made landfall as a category three hurricane near New Orleans in the morning hours on August 29th.
Closer to home, a very warm to hot week is in store. temperatures could top the 90 degree mark in the afternoon hours in southern Minnesota. There is a chance for thunderstorms in southwest Minnesota late tonight.
Once again the extreme southwest corner of Minnesota and Sioux Falls, S.D. were shorted on the rainfall in the past 24 hours. While Marshall picked up 1.68 inches of rain, Sioux Falls tallied less than a quarter inch (0.16).
Prior to strong storms firing up in southwest Minnesota on Wednesday afternoon, the mercury soared to 99 at Marshall and a record 102 degrees at Sioux Falls.
The heat index reached 100 dgrees in the Twin Cities in the afternoon hours. The maximum temperature in both Minneapolis and St. Paul was 92 degrees, with dew points in the lower 70s. It is interesting to note that with the dew point of only 55 at Sioux Falls, with a temperature of 101 at the time, their heat index was 100 degrees. it is indeed about the humidity when it comes to the feels-like temperature in the summer.
Temperatures will be more comfortable today but still summerlike. Look for afternoon readings only in the upper 70s in far northern Minnesota.
A stronger cool front is forecast to sweep through the upper Midwest on Friday night. This will bring a good chance for showers and thunderstorms to much of Minnesota later on Friday and Friday night.
On Saturday the passing cold front will usher in brisk northwest winds with a mixture of clouds and sun in the afternoon. You'll notice the change in the air mass.
Stand up and cheer if you embrace cooler temperatures -- on Sunday northwest winds will ease and plenty of sunshine should make for a comfortable afternoon.
I'm already seeing back to school items being advertised. Have you had a chance to enjoy summer vacation yet? Hopefully you are immersed in a place that takes you away from the rush of everyday life.
The weather is not complicated today and it will have the feel of summer in Minnesota. Temperatures will be close to normal with sufficient sunshine for your outoor recreation.
Here's your UV index for today. Careful with that scorching in the midday sun.
Summer rain has quenched the drought in northeast Minnesota and parts of northwest Wisconsin. Adequate moisture has dampened most of Minnesota for the agricultural growing season. If you have a profession in the ag business you are always looking for the next chance of moisture. The northwest corner of the state could use a generous soaking soon.
Fargo has a deficit of over two inches of rainfall since June 1. Some of the shortfall may be made up this week. NOAA forecasters project this rainfall potential over the next five days. The best chances for rain across the state of Minnesota appear to be setting up for the weekend.
Enjoy the summer weather this week. Don't rush the back to school schedule. Relax. Dare I conclude by telling you that sunset in the Twin Cities is now 8:59 p.m. CDT? That's four minutes earlier than the latest sunset near the solstice.
Craig Edwards(1 Comments)
I have a thermometer outside the west metro weather lab that is 4 feet off the ground, over grass, in direct sunshine. It read 131 degrees (not the heat index) at 3:30 p.m. Meanwhile, many thermometers in the metro area, properly shaded, were pushing the mercury to 100 degrees or more. This is serious heat, not often experienced in our neck of the woods. The dewpoints in the lower 70s make conditions almost unbearable.
In northern Minnesota, cooler air has already brought relief. A generous rain also fell in the lake country region in the past 18 hours.
Rainfall totaling up to 3 inches likely accumulated around the Brainerd Lakes area.
Estimated rainfall from the Duluth Doppler radar. Source: NOAA/Weather underground.
This satellite image clearly identifies the different air masses. At 3 p.m. CDT it was 64 degrees in Duluth, Staples and Longville. Minneapolis, St. Paul and Winona sat at 100 degrees. It was 101 at Flying Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie.
NOAA visible satellite image at 245 p.m. CDT. Source: College of Dupage.
Thunderstorms may ignite shortly near Granite Falls. The Storm Prediction Center has a risk for severe weather for later this afternoon and tonight.
This outlook defines the threat for large hail and damaging winds. There is a potential for isolated tonadoes.
Once we get this cool front to sag south of Minnesota overnight, we will see more comfortable temperatures for Saturday and Sunday afternoon. I'm thinking this front does not have a lot of giddyup. We could experience highs in the mid 80s on Sunday afternoon in southern Minnesota.
The NAM forecast paints temperatures in the 80s for 1 p.m. CDT on Sunday. The winds will be light as well on Sunday afternoon.
At 4 p.m. CDT it is 101 degrees at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and 102 degrees in Winona. The record for today in the Twin Cities is 104 set in one hot summer of 1936.
Portions of northern and central Minnesota enjoyed much lower dew points this afternoon, along with a little bit of a north breeze. Sunshine likely made for pretty good beach and lake weather in the resort regions.
At 4 p.m. CDT St. Cloud reported a temperature of 87 degrees with a dew point of 52 and a northeast wind of 9 mph. Compare that to a temperature of 96 degrees and a dew point of 75 degrees at the same time on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Eden Prairie, in the Twin Cities west metro, checked in with a temperature of 93 degrees and a dew point of 73 degrees at 4 p.m.
A frontal boundary will be more clearly identified with convergencing surface winds later this evening over far southern Minnesota. Thunderstorms are most likely to form in the eastern Dakotas and travel north of the front overnight. Weather should be dry for outdoor activities early this evening in MInnesota.
There will be one more day of 90-degree temperatures in southern Minnesota on Friday before a more serious cool front pushes south through the Great Lakes on Friday night. Some needed rain may occur with strong thunderstorms on Friday. In the last two weeks, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport has tallied less than a quarter inch of moisture.
Severe weather threat defined by the Storm Prediction Center/NOAA for Friday.
High pressure, with light winds and seasonal temperatures is forecast to settle over Minnesota on Sunday.
Anyone feel like celebrating the heat and humidity that set a record in the Twin Cities on the 4th of July? The maximum temperature of 101 at the Twin Cities International Airport on Wednesday beat the old record of 100 set in 1949. Dew points in the 70s lifted heat index readings to near 110 degrees. We also set a record high minimum temperature of 81 degrees on the 4th. Surpassing the old record of 80 set in 1999.
A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE SET YESTERDAY IN ST CLOUD MINNESOTA...
THE HIGH TEMPERATURE WAS 97 DEGREES YESTERDAY IN ST CLOUD.
THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 96 SET JULY 4 1988.
.A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE SET YESTERDAY IN EAU CLAIRE WISCONSIN...
THE HIGH TEMPERATURE WAS 98 DEGREES YESTERDAY IN EAU CLAIRE.
THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 97 SET JULY 4 1999.
Bouts of thunderstorms moved through northern and central Minnesota yesterday and overnight. At daybreak this IR satellite image depicts the coldest cloud tops and the location of thunderstorms.
A weak frontal boundary has settled over central Minnesota this morning. This division in air masses is expected to remain nearly stationary today and this evening. Meanwhile a mid level trough (an inducer of thunderstorms) will approach the upper Midwest tonight. Chances for showers and thunderstorms are at least in the 50/50 range for the next 36 hours for much of central and southern Minnesota.
This afternoon temperatures will be several degrees lower than Wednesday's maximum temperatures. Readings of 100 degrees were recorded at St. Paul, Winona, Red Wing and Black River Falls, Wisconsin. It was a relatively comfortable 79 at Baudette on Wednesday afternoon. Thunderstorms prompted warnings of large hail and strong winds during the afternoon and nighttime hours.
Storm report from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center for Wednesday.
This computer image from the Rapid Update Cycle forecast model depicts the temperatures expected later this afternoon.
NOAA experts paint this graphic of rainfall potential ending at 7 a.m. CDT on Saturday. Some storms today and tonight may produce large hail.
Seasonal temperatures are seen statewide for Saturday and Sunday accompanied with lower dew points. In the meantime, southern Minnesota will experience two more days with readings in the lower to middle 90s.
Forecast temperatures for Sunday at 7 p.m. CDT
Source: NOAA GFS and Twisterdata.com
Have you noticed the earlire sunsets? Probably not! But the daylight is getting shorter.
Craig Edwards(2 Comments)
A bow echo traveled across portions of northern Minnesota last evening, downing trees and dumping heavy rain. The thrust of the storm picked up momentum near Bemidji and moved though Grand Rapids to near Duluth.
The National Weather Service has expanded the Excessive Heat Warning to cover southern Minnesota for today through Thursday.
From the National Weather Service in Chanhassen this morning:
AN EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR ALL OF CENTRAL AND
SOUTHERN MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN THOUGH 10 PM
THURSDAY EVENING. THIS IS AN UPGRADE TO THE HEAT ADVISORY THAT
HAD BEEN IN PLACE OUTSIDE OF THE TWIN CITIES.
OVER THE NEXT THREE DAYS NEAR RECORD TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED
ACROSS THE ENTIRE AREA...WITH AFTERNOON HIGHS REACHING THE MID 90S TO 102 DEGREES. THESE TEMPERATURES COMBINED WITH DEWPOINTS IN THE
UPPER 60 TO AROUND 70 WILL RESULT IN APPARENT TEMPERATURES
REACHING THE 105 TO 110 DEGREE RANGE DURING THE AFTERNOON.
LITTLE RELIEF FROM THE HEAT IS EXPECTED TONIGHT AND WEDNESDAY NIGHT. LOWS ARE EXPECTED TO ONLY FALL TO BETWEEN 70 AND 75 ACROSS CENTRAL MINNESOTA INTO NORTHWEST WISCONSIN...WITH LOWS STAYING BETWEEN 75 AND 80 SOUTH OF THERE. WITHIN THE URBAN CENTER OF THE TWIN CITIES LOWS WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY MORNING MAY FAIL TO FALL BELOW 80.
The outlined area in red is flash flood warning valid until 830 a.m. CDT. NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED THUNDERSTORMS LEFT VERY HEAVY RAINFALL ACROSS THE WARNED AREA. THE RADAR ESTIMATES THAT 2.5 TO 5 INCHES OF RAIN FELL ACROSS MUCH OF THE WARNED AREA. CENTRAL CROW WING COUNTY NORTH OF BRAINERD IS THE AREA WITH THE GREATEST ESTIMATED RAINFALL OF 4.5 TO 5 INCHES. THE RADAR ALSO ESTIMATES HIGH RAINFALL AROUND 4 INCHES IN EAST CENTRAL AITKIN COUNTY NEAR THE COMMUNITY OF LAWLER. (NWS Duluth 435 a.m. CDT)
Forecast temperatures for late afternoon from the Rapid Update Cycle initialized early this morning.
Hot temperatures will be experienced across much of the continental USA on the Fourth of July.
Here's a snap shot of the radar shortly before 7 a.m. CDT.
While most of you slept the automated equipment at the St. Paul Airort measured a wind gust to 54 mph at 341 a.m. CDT today. Source: NWS Chanhassen storm report.
Temperatures will slip back closer to seasonal normals by the weekend. Until then, pace yourself during this spell of heat and humidity. Heat Index values of 100 degrees or greater can be expected in southern Minnesota this afternoon. More details on the heat for the 4th of July in the afternoon blog.
4.84" GFS model rainfall total for MSP Airport through next Tuesday
4.6" ECMWF (European) model rainfall output
Scattered showers today moving east
Heavy rains possible Thursday & Saturday?
Severe risk Thursday includes MSP area
Watch 131 years of global warming in 26 seconds
Minnesota: 3rd fastest warming state in the nation
.62F degrees per decade pace of warming in Minnesota
Colorado's "High Park Fire" smoke plume now overhead in Minnesota
Here we go again.
Sunday's rain ended a dry stretch of 12 days from May 29 through June 9th. (.03")
Now the faucet is turning on again, and it looks like it may get cranked up to "high" in the next 72 hours.
Here's a look at the evolving wet weather pattern over the next 5-6 days.
The System: A slow moving upper level low pressure system sending waves of energy into Minnesota through the weekend into early next week.
Moisture: Dew points rising into the 60s and even 70s by Father's Day weekend.
Rainfall: Multi inch rainfall possible, with the heaviest rainfall likely Thursday and again Saturday night into Father's Day, Monday & Tuesday.
Take a look at some of the model guidance below. Anywhere from 3" to 6" rainfall totals are possible according to various models by next Tuesday.
Possible Effects: Hit or miss T-Storms with heavy tropical rainfall. Possible severe risk Thursday & Saturday-Tuesday? Another wave of rising river levels by early next week?
Colorado's "High Park Fire" sending smoke our way:
I posted extensively on this Tuesday, and the latest NOAA satellite shots indicate the smoke plume is riding over Minnesota and much of the Midwest now.
Here's a way to track the smoke plume from NOAA's NESDIS Fire Detection Program.
131 years of global warming in 26 seconds?
For those of you in a hurry who don't have 131 years to watch global warming happen, here's the quick version from Climate Central.
Source: Climate Central
Minnesota: We're #3! 3rd "fastest warming" state in the nation
Here's an eye opening study from Climate Central.
8.18" rainfall at MSP Airport so far this May
2nd wettest May on record so far at MSP Airport
Wettest May on record for some metro & Minnesota locations
(More from Mark Seeley below)
Mixed weather bag Memorial Day Weekend - some rain, sun and heat
Hot sticky Sunday 90 degrees & humid (60s dew points)
Severe late Sunday? Severe storm risk late PM & evening into early Monday
Mixed Memorial Day: Rain early, some PM sun?
This "Bud's" for you? (no not the beer) - Dissipating Hurricane "Bud" may inject some moisture into by Minnesota Monday
Welcome to the May Monsoon.
Another month, another record in Minnesota. When did "extreme" weather become "normal" weather in Minnesota?
According to my MPR colleague Dr. Mark Seeley, this is already the wettest May on record at several Minnesota locations, and we still have a week to go.
It's the 2nd wettest May at MSP Airport with 8.18" so far. Another 2.16" is doable this month, even this weekend. That would make it the wettest May on record at MSP Airport.
Several additional locations arte in the top 5.
Here's an excerpt from Mark's earlier Updraft post.
With the frequency of heavy thunderstorms dominating the Minnesota landscape this month, some observers are reporting one of the wettest Mays in history. Currently on a statewide basis this May ranks among the top ten wettest in history. For some individual climate stations it is already among the top five, including:
Chanhassen 9.22 inches (wettest ever)
Chaska 8.53 inches (4th wettest)
Jordan 9.17 inches (3rd wettest)
MSP Airport 8.18 inches (2nd wettest)
Forest Lake 9.62 inches (wettest ever)
Windom 8.40 inches (2nd wettest)
Pipestone 8.29 inches (4th wettest)
New Ulm 8.16 inches (4th wettest)
Mora 8.56 inches (wettest ever)
Floodwood 7.32 inches (wettest ever)
Tonka up 5": Grays Bay Dam open for 1st time since Labor Day weekend
I've recorded nearly 4" of rain at the Huttner Weather Lab this week on the east end of Lake Minnetonka. It's no surprise that the lake is responding, and the water level is up 5" (.42 feet) since Wednesday according to the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District web site.
The Grays Bay Dam feeds Minnehaha Creek, and the dam has now been opened by MCWD (12CFS) for the first time since it was closed early last September.
Further downstream, Minnehaha Falls is back to life and roaring away these days. 3"+ rainfall pushed level of Minnehaha Creek about 3 feet higher this week, and the Falls look and sound great.
This is a great weekend to visit Minnehaha Falls. Sea Salt anyone?
Mixed Weather bag: Pick your "sunny" spots this weekend
This will actually be a pretty typical Memorial Day weekend in Minnesota. Some thunder & rain, some sun, and even some heat.
Our active pattern will continue this weekend. Timing summer rain is one of the tougher forecasts we make. The models do a much better job with big, "stratiform" winter rain/snow events than with finicky, "convective" summertime thunderstorms.
That said, here's my best shot at picking your "sunny spots" this weekend.
Friday night: Scattered showers & T-Storms Low 57. Wind E 5-12 mph.
Saturday: Mixed clouds with scattered shower/T-Storm chances. Trending sunnier late PM & evening? High 78. Wind SE 10-20 mph. Choppy lakes.
Saturday Night: Clearing, warmer and more humid. Starting to feel like summer. Low near 66. Balmy south breeze 5-15 mph.
Sunday: Instant July. Best beach & lake day. Mostly sunny hazy, stinking hot & humid. Record hgh near 97! (Record is 95) Wind S 5-15 mph. Growing severe risk late PM.
Sunday Night: Severe storm risk. Heavy rainfall again possible. Low near 65.
Memorial Day: AM showers & T-Storms may linger. Chance for PM & evening sun? High 74. Wind NW 5-15 mph.
Severe weather: Keep the weather radio (and MPR) handy
There is a slight risk for a severe storm Saturday, but all the ingredients may come together late Sunday for severe storms in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
A cold front will cut into a hot, steamy air mass over Minnesota by late Sunday. Severe storms may rapidly erupt along the front as the "cap" breaks Sunday afternoon.
SPC has already placed a risk "bull's eye" over Minnesota for late Sunday.
Of the 3 summer holiday weekends in Minnesota; you're "climatologically" most likely to get wet during Memorial Day Weekend. It's no big surprise that we'll see some ran this weekend, and maybe some severe weather.
We're now working into the peak time of year for severe weather in Minnesota. Severe weather frequency climbs rapidly in May, and peaks in June.
Is it any big surprise that we should see a few severe storms on Memorial Day weekend?
This "Bud's" for you!
As if another potent low jetting for Minnesota wasn't enough, how about a little "tropical moisture" with your thunderstorms?
Hurricane Bud reached Cat 3 this week. That's the earliest ever for the eastern Pacific according to Jeff Masters at Weather Underground.
Category 2 Hurricane Bud is weakening, but still presents a formidable rainfall threat as it continues north-northeast towards an expected landfall between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico late Friday night. Thursday night at 11 pm EDT, Bud peaked at Category 3 status, with 115 mph winds, becoming the earliest Category 3 hurricane on record in the Eastern Pacific. Recent Satellite loops show that Bud has weakened, though. The eye has disappeared, and the cloud pattern has shrunk and appears squashed, due to an increase in dry air, wind shear, and cooler sea surface temperatures affecting the storm. These hostile conditions should continue to weaken Bud to a Category 1 hurricane or strong tropical storm by the time of landfall.
The remnants of dissipating Hurricane Bud along the Mexican coast may get picked up in the upper flow ahead of our low pressure system, and "injected" into Minnesota by Sunday night and Monday.
The extra infusion of tropical moisture could enhance rainfall in Minnesota. It's relatively rare, but moisture from the tropical Pacific does occasionally get pumped into our storms, and this weekend could be one of those events. Sometimes the models "misunderestimate" the amount of additional moisture being pumped into this systems. If it does, there is a chance that we could see another bout of torrential rains linger into Memorial Day.
MPR (and former WCCO radio) meteorologist Bill Endersen will man the MPR weather lab this weekend and have updates as needed.
Stay tuned, and have a great weekend!
Excessive rainfall drenched a large region of Minnesota the past 24 hours. The far northwest corner of the state missed out on the more-than-generous rainfall amounts.
Here are some reports from the National Weather Service in Chanhassen of rainfall from midday Wednesday through 7 a.m. Thursday.
Strong-to-severe thunderstorms formed in far eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin Thursday afternoon. Wind damage was reported in Eau Claire, Wis., as well as Fillmore and Winona Counties in Minnesota. Here's a list of storm reports from the LaCrosse NWS office. Click on previous version for earlier reports.
In case you missed it, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport reached a record high of 89 degrees on Wednesday. The previous record was 88 set in 2010 and 1874.
As Memorial Day weekend approaches, the weather will quiet down for 36 hours or so. Temperatures should be a tad below normal on Friday. Cloud cover and a risk of showers are likely to hold down temperatures on Saturday. A surge of warmer air arrives in southern Minnesota on Sunday.
Warmer temperatures, increasing south winds and humidity will lead to severe storms Sunday evening and Sunday night. You will want to stay tuned for updates on the risk of nasty weather later in the holiday weekend.(3 Comments)
Storms now firing west of metro from New Ulm to Glencoe, Buffalo & Monicello. 65 mph wind gust recorded at New Ulm at 4:35pm.
MPX: NEW ULM MUNI,MN (ULM) ASOS reports gust of 65.0 knots from W @ 2153Z
So far storms are firing along the frontal zone through western and central Minnesota west & north of the metro.
SPC says there is a 40% chance of a watch in western MN, and an 80% chance in Iowa.
MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0878 NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK 0204 PM CDT WED MAY 23 2012
AREAS AFFECTED...PORTIONS OF ERN SD AND WRN/CNTRL MN
CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH POSSIBLE
VALID 231904Z - 232030Z
PROBABILITY OF WATCH ISSUANCE...40 PERCENT
SUMMARY...A MIXTURE OF ELEVATED AND NEAR-SURFACE BASED THUNDERSTORMS WILL LIFT NWD ACROSS PORTIONS OF ERN SD AND WRN/CNTRL MN THIS AFTERNOON. STORMS WILL INITIALLY POSE A THREAT FOR LARGE HAIL...BUT MAY BECOME SURFACE BASED LATER IN THE DAY WITH INCREASING THREAT FOR DAMAGING WIND GUSTS. TRENDS WILL BE MONITORED FOR A WW.
The metro appears to be storm free this afternoon and possibly until early evening. The bulk of rain and storms may arrive in the metro overnight.
Still keeping an eye on the potential for development in southwest Minensota this afternoon.
Flash Flood Watch through 1pm Thursday
Stalled front = Heavy rainfall totals
2" to 4" rainfall totals likely for NE-central and southern MN by Thursday evening
-Latest Twin Cities radar loop
Slight severe risk Especially from a Fairmont-Mankato-Twin Cities line by late PM & evening
"EHI Index" indicates isolated tornadoes can't be ruled out, especially near the Iowa border
Slightly better outlook evolving for Memorial Day Weekend?
If today's weather were a song, the classic T-Bone Walker blues jam "Stormy Monday" would do...even on a Wednesday.
A stalled cool front and low pressure riding along the front the next 24 hours will keep heavy rain, thunder, and a slight risk of severe weather in the forecast.
A flash flood watch covers most of central Minnesota and the metro until 1pm Thursday.
...FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR MUCH OF CENTRAL AND PARTS OF SOUTHERN MINNESOTA THIS EVENING THROUGH 100 PM THURSDAY...
.THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CHANHASSEN HAS ISSUED A FLASH
FLOOD WATCH FOR MUCH OF CENTRAL AND PARTS OF SOUTHERN MINNESOTA...EFFECTIVE FROM 700 PM THIS EVENING UNTIL 100 PM THURSDAY AFTERNOON. SOME CITIES INCLUDED IN THE WATCH ARE THE TWIN CITIES...SAINT CLOUD...MANKATO...WILLMAR AND REDWOOD FALLS.
A COLD FRONT THAT WAS DRAPED OVER THE UPPER MIDWEST INTO THE
SOUTHERN PLAINS...WILL SLOWLY MOVE EAST INTO THE WESTERN GREAT
LAKES AND CENTRAL PLAINS BY THURSDAY AFTERNOON. SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS WILL REDEVELOP ALONG AND EAST OF THE FRONT...
ESPECIALLY LATER TODAY AND TONIGHT. RAINFALL TOTALS TONIGHT
THROUGH THURSDAY AFTERNOON ARE LIKELY TO VARY FROM TWO TO THREE INCHES IN THE WATCH AREA WITH A FEW LOCATIONS EXCEEDING OVER THREE INCHES.
The stalled front will focus waves of showers & T-Storms along and near the front. A parallel upper flow means the front will sit, and storms will "train" fro SW to NE over the same ground...like individual boxcars riding along the same track. Each storm will dump rain over the same general areas as they move northeast.
The result will be some heavy rainfall totals by Thursday afternoon. I'm looking at data that suggests 2" to 4" for many locations, with the potential for 4"+ in a few spots.
The front should finally blow east into Wisconsin by Thursday evening, ending the rain threat.
Clouds may limit the severe risk for a time today, but sunshine along the eastern end of the front will destabilize the atmosphere this afternoon and evening.
SPC has laid out a slight risk for severe storms, with the primary threats being wind and hail from the metro south & west.
Looking at soundings today, there is enough low level wind shear forecast today that I can't rule out the possibility of isolated supercells capable of producing a tornado later today.
The "EHI" (Engergy Helicity Index) suggest enough shear or "spin" in the lowest 3,000 feet of the atmosphere to generate tornadoes.
The highest chance of an isolated tornado appears to be in Iowa, but a slight threat also runs from near Fairmont, through Mankato to near the Twin Cities this afternoon and evening.
Keep the weather radio handy later today and this evening.
Memorial Day Weekend: Forecast Improving?
The latest model runs suggest a slightly better outlook for the Twin Cities this Memorial Day weekend.
If the latest GFS solution verifies, we may sneak in a couple of "nice" days this weekend in the metro, but northern Minnesota may stay in higher rain & T-Storm coverage..
The GFS suggests we may work into the "warm sector" Sunday in the metro, meaning a warm sticky Sunday with highs near 90. The latest trend suggest the cool front could trigger storms Sunday night, and the front may push east by Memorial Day...leaving a partly cloudy, cooler and less humid and more pleasant day in its wake for Memorial Day.
We'll see, I'm not totally sold on the better outlook yet. If the front stalls, Monday could still be a washout, but the trend is encouraging. What could possibly go wrong on a summer holiday weekend in Minnesota?
Here's a stab at the weekend forecast based on the latest model changes.
Friday: Mostly sunny and pleasant! High 74. Light NW winds.
Saturday: Scattered showers & T-Storms. High near 73. Wind E 10-20 mph. Choppy lakes.
Sunday: Stormy north. Hazy hot & humid south & metro. High near 90 metro, 70s north. Metro storms Sunday night. Wind S 5-15 mph.
Memorial Day: Scattered showers north. Partly cloudy south. Breezy cooler & less humid. Metro high near 70, 60s north. Wind NW 8-18 mph.
Stay dry today...and keep an eye out for storms PM & evening!
Cool & showery Tuesday with a few T-Showers moving through today
- Latest Twin Cities radar animation tracking showers
4.23" rainfall in the first week of May at MSP Airport
8 years since we've seen a May this wet
2" to 7"+ rainfall in the past week over a big chunk of southern Minnesota
6" - Lake Minnetonka is up nearly 6" from a week ago
2 feet - Rapid rises on Minnehaha Creek this week!
"Agricultural Drought" All but over for southern Minnesota
"Hydrologic Drought" Improving, but lakes still lower than 1 year ago
AR1476 - Biggest sunspot in years now facing "earthward"
M1 Class Flare erupted from AR 1476 Monday
Aurora Alert "Northern Lights" possible in the coming days
"It is best to read the weather forecast before we pray for rain." - More Maxims of Mark, Johnson, 1927
Somebody flipped the rainfall switch "on" this month.
In the past week, waves of torrential rains have dumped anywhere from 2" to 7"+ in southern Minnesota in a band from near Sioux Falls to Redwood Falls, Mankato and right into the Twin Cities metro.
Check out the impressive rainfall totals map below for the past week from the Twin Cities NWS.
The 4.23" of rainfall looks like the wettest May in at least 8 years, and already exceeds the total monthly average for May in the first week!
It Takes a Flood:
Many weather quotes are attributed to Mark Twain. Some are hard to verify. But one that he may have said rings true.
"It takes a flood to end a drought."
The drought may not be totally over in Minnesota, but a flood of storms has left standing water in fields, filled up ponds and creeks, and noticeably raised lake levels in the past week.
Drought experts tell me there are two basic components to drought.
"Agricultural Drought" deals with moisture deficits in soils. Basically trees, native plants and crops begin to suffer when soil moisture drops for long periods. Cumulative precipitation deficits in many areas in Minnesota were running 5" to 10" below average going back to last summer.
Our wet spring has gone a long way toward recharging soil moisture. In fact, there is standing water in many fields and low spots in southern Minnesota these days.
The latest Minnesota Crop Report lists 71% of Minnesota topsoil with adequate soil moisture, and 18% with a surplus. That's 89% of the state with adequate to surplus topsoil moisture.
Translation? The "agricultural" part of the drought is basically history.
"Hydrologic Drought" deals with river & lakes and the pond in your back yard. Our May Monsoon-like deluge has Minnehaha Creek and others roaring back to life...with some 2'+ rises in the past few days.
It's a great time to enjoy Minnehaha Falls again!
Many lakes are still slow to respond. Lake Minnetonka was down 2 feet from last spring, but recent rains have raised the lake level almost 6" in the past week to 10 days.
That's good news for dock and boat owners, but we still have a ways to go on getting many of our lakes back to "normal" water levels.
What is a "Monsoon" anyway?
You hear the term "monsoon" tossed out sometimes when we get a heavy dose of rain.
Actually, the term has a much broader meaning, and does not refer to individual rain events. The phrase "monsoon season" is redundant and technically not accurate usage.
That's because the word "Monsoon" comes from the Arabic term "Mausim" which means "season." So saying "monsoon season" is like saying "season season."
A better way to say it is "Summer Monsoon."
Monsoon refers to the annual seasonal shift in mid-level winds in many parts of the world. The seasonal wind shift brings moisture from nearby oceans, and that triggers a "wet season" that brings critical rainfall to areas like India, parts of Africa and The Middle East.
Did you know there is also a monsoon in the southwest USA? It's technically called "The North American Monsoon" and it fuels spectacular summer thunderstorms in the Desert Southwest, especially in Arizona and New Mexico and Mexico.
During my 9 years in Arizona I had the opportunity to talk with with Dr. Bob Maddox, Dr. Andrew Comrie and other monsoon experts in Tucson. There are basically two generally accepted criteria for a "monsoon climate."
1) A seasonal wind shift of at least 110 degrees in the prevailing mid-level winds (around 10,000 feet above ground)
2) At least 50% of average annual rainfall occurs during the monsoon
In Arizona and the southwest, mid level winds shift to "easterlys" and pump in moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. (sound familiar?)
The summer monsoon in the Desert Southwest usually kicks in in early July and runs until September 30th.
Monsoon thunderstorms spawn severe weather, microbursts with damaging winds, massive dust storms (haboobs) and deadly flash floods.
The monsoon is an incredibly visual phenomenon. If you ever get a chance to see it, you will witness some of the most spectacularly beautiful thunderstorms, lightning shows (and sunsets) on earth.
Aurora Watch: Biggest sunspot in years facing "earthward"
The biggest sunspot in years rounded the sun and is now facing earth. Sunspot AR1476 is about 62,000 miles across. That's about the size of 8 earths.
The ginormous sunspot is active, and blasted out an "M1 Class" solar flare Monday. The flare is streaming toward earth, and should arrive around 8am Wednesday (+ or - 7 hours) according to NOAA and spaceweather.com.
There is a decent chance for northern lights Tuesday and Wednesday night.
Drenching rains the first week of May have helped some of the drought-stricken areas of Minnesota. Rivers and lakes are responding to the two to five inches of rain that fell in the past week.
The Minnesota River response at Henderson shown in this hydrograph:
The Mississippi River in St. Paul is rising:
The drought status previous to the heavy weekend rains in southern Minnesota:
Sunshine returns today with temperatures near seasonal normals.
Looking ahead to Saturday, perhaps a graduation day, the temperatures are expected to be mild. Thinking about planting the annuals? Why not!
1 p.m. temperature forecast from NAM for Saturday, May 12th:
Very heavy rain fell in parts of central and southern Minnesota Saturday and Saturday night. Some of the stronger thunderstorms produced hail up to one inch in diameter and wind gusts to 50 m.p.h.
Isolated locations got more than three inches of rain Saturday and Saturday night.1 Comments)
A cluster of thunderstorms coalesced over east central and southeast Minnesota this morning. Many locations around the Twin Cities metro experienced a 30 to 40 minute downpour. A number of cities reported rainfall of around three quarters of an inch with this rush of storms.
A few places east of the Twin Cities had to deal with hail up to an inch in diameter and wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. Hail was not as brutal as last evening's storms in southern Minnesota.
The Storm Prediction Center lays out this probability of large hail tonight. Incoming and departing flights from Chicago and Milwaukee may experience delays.
Another weak trigger in the mid levels of the atmosphere approaching the upper Midwest on Friday could initiate showers and thunderstorms in Minnesota as it races east. Note the small wind max forecast at 1 p.m. in western Minnesota.
Cooler temperatures will begin to set in for the weekend. The chances for thunderstorms hold rather high. Strong thunderstorms look to be most likely later on Saturday night.
Temperatures at 4 p.m. CDT ranged from 81 at Owatonna to a cool 46 in Duluth Harbor. As we will be saying for the next several months, cooler near the lake.
The corridor from near New Ulm to Zumbrota was clobbered with hail up to two and a half inches in diameter late Wednesday afternoon. Ouch! And Tuesday's storms brought large hail on a swath from Sauk Centre to near Princeton on the order of two inches in diameter.
Storm reports from NWS Chanhassen. Check out previous versions.
In a separate overnight storm, Milan, in Chippewa County, reported two inch diameter hail.
More storms at daybreak were producing large hail southeast of Fergus Falls. These storms were racing quickly east toward Brainerd and St. Cloud
Raindrops violently tossed in the updrafts of thunderstorms can accumulate ice layers in the cold air in the middle and upper layers of the atmosphere. Tops of the thunderstorms on Wednesday afternoon were above 40,000 feet in southern Minnesota. Commercial aircraft top out at that level for their cruising altitude.
This graphic from Weatherunderground depicts the accumulated precipitation beginning May 2nd and ending at 630 a.m. CDT. Note the track of severe storms in the brighter yellow and orange. These storms produced heavy rainfall as well as large hail. Two and a half inches of rain fell in a short time yesterday afternoon eight miles northwest of New Ulm. Nearly two inches of rain was measured at Zumbrota.
Lighter rainfall occurred in the Minnesota Arrowhead region in the past 24 hours.
The Minnesota State Climate Office released the hydrological update yesterday. You can read the entire report here.
Recent moisture has helped put a dent in the drought, but there are still areas that need moisture to recover from the seven-month deficit. From the report:
April 2012 precipitation totals were above normal in portions of west central, north central, and northeast Minnesota. Elsewhere, monthly precipitation totals were near the historical average. It was only the second month since July 2011 where monthly precipitation totals were near to above average.
Periods of showers and thunderstorms are in the weather picture through the weekend. Here's the potential rainfall for the next three days.
Thunderstorms blossomed over central and southwest Minnesota Tuesday afternoon. Large hail hammered the area from Albany to Sauk Centre, including St. Cloud and St. Joseph. Spotters reported hail up to an inch and three quarters in diameter, driven by winds exceeding 50 mph at times.
Two and half inches of rain fell at Sauk Rapids in Benton County.
Regional reports of severe weather available here. Hail pounded parts of southwest Minnesota as well.
Doppler radar rainfall estimates for the past 24 hours indicate where the most severe storms struck yesterday aftenoon and evening. Notice that portions of southern Minnesota tallied less than a quarter inch of rain. Around three quarters to one inch of precipitation fell in the Twin Cities metro area.
The water vapor satellite imagery from this morning shows the layered moisture has swept east and south of Minnesota. It will take a few hours for the atmosphere to regroup. We'll look for a boundary to likely set up along the Iowa/Minnesota border to be the focus for storm development this afternoon.
With sunshine today temperatures should response nicely, climbing well into the 70s.
Here's the severe weather outlook for today from the Storm Prediction Center. Notice the higher risk of nasty storms in Iowa.
We've seen persistent cloud cover over eastern Minnesota but southwest Minnesota has experienced the warming rays of sunshine for most of the day. This region of the state should be the launching zone for showers and thunderstorms in the next couple of hours.
Temperatures have reached 80 degrees from Worthington to Granite Falls. Dew points were climbing as well. South winds were gusting up to 30 mph. The air mass is becoming increasingly unstable. Thunderstorms should develop as the afternoon progresses.
There remains the potential for severe storms with damaging winds, large hail and isolated tornadoes. In addition, locally heavy rainfall can be expected.
The Storm Prediction Center has a large swath of the state with the risk of a tornado. While the probability may appear small, we all need to keep aware of the intensity of storms later this afternoon and into early tonight.
If your plans call for outdoor activities into the evening, you should be alert for approaching storms. Watch for darkening skies and flashes of lightning. Athletic fields should be cleared if thunder is heard within 30 seconds of the lightning flash. Don't wait for the heavy rain to arrive.
Since late July Mother Nature has cheated Minnesota on moisture. We could hardly buy a snow storm this past winter. But perhaps we are on the brink of cutting into the deficit in southern Minnesota. Moisture hasn't been as scarce this month.
The precipitation totals from far northwest to south range from about an inch and a half to slightly more than three inches. A beneficial precipitation event occurred in Itasca and St. Louis Counties as a combination of snow and rain fell in mid April -- yet lake levels remain low.
Some locations in central and southern Minnesota tallied more than a half of an inch of moisture in the past week. Here's a look at the moisture departure from early August to late April:
Warmer temperatures are seen for the middle of the work week and those temps, along with increasing dew points, will create an environment favorable for thunderstorms. The first round of storms enters the weather scene on Tuesday and continues into Tuesday night.
There is a risk for strong thunderstorms, producing hail and gusty winds Tuesday afternoon and evening.
There was enough cloud cover extending into the afternoon hours to hold the temperatures in the lower 60s in east central Minnesota.
As anticipated, NOAA released an update of the temperature outlook for the month of May today.
A warm front may set up over central Minnesota on Wednesday. Warm fronts are known for spawning some good rainfall amounts, particularly overnight. We'll see.
By Bill Endersen
The Storm Prediction Center has issued their usual midday updated severe weather outlook for the remainder of the day. The Twin Cities metro area continues to be in a moderate risk area for severe weather along with south central and southeastern Minnesota and adjacent portions of Wisconsin and Iowa.
The most likely time period for thunderstorms in and near the metro area is between approximately 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. today. Some storms are likely to be strong and some could become severe. Any thunderstorms that develop during the late afternoon should track rapidly to the northeast into Wisconsin. This will be a short duration event that will end around the metro area during the early evening.
Farther north rain over northern Minnesota will give way to showers and thunderstorms this afternoon and then snow tonight. A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for northeastern Minnesota for late tonight and tomorrow morning as snowfalls of two to five inches will be accompanied by strong winds, blowing and drifting. Near white-out conditions are possible for parts of the Iron Range by late tonight.
By tomorrow morning rain could become mixed with snow even in the metro area.
The pink color indicates the region experiencing the lowest humidities and the highest winds this afternoon. Southwest Minnesota has also been missing out on spring showers as well. Since March 1st, Sioux Falls is about 1.50 inches below normal on precipitation.
A Red Flag Warning continues for the highlighted region through the remainder of the afternoon until the relative humidity comes up around sunset. At 3PM the relative humidity was a mere 16 percent along with wind gusts above 30 mph at Morris.
Plenty of sunshine graced Minnesota today with temperatures rather delightful, running close to ten degrees above normal. It was in the lower 60s in northern Minnesota at mid afternoon.
A cool front will slice through the state on Saturday, but does not promise to deposit much in the way of needed moisture. The GFS model indicates precipitation amounts are likely to be less than a tenth of an inch in most places.
Easter Sunday may turn out to be okay, but indeed cooler and on the breezy side. The really chilly air arrives overnight on Sunday.
Maximum temperatures on Sunday afternoon.
Some of the coldest air we've seen in four weeks will settle over the upper Midwest on Monday through Wednesday. High temperatures are expected to be several degrees cooler than the normal upper 40s and middle 50s from north to south. Frosty conditions are possible on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.
Yesterday's maximum temperature topped out at only 35 degrees at International Falls, which was four degrees below the average high of 39. The high on Saturday at the Falls was 58 degrees. In the Twin Cities the afternoon temperature failed to reach 60 for the first time since we settled for 52 degrees on March 12th. It was a good run well above normal temperatures.
Clouds are expected to prevail today. The maximum temperature in the Twin Cities may struggle to reach 50 degrees with periods of showers and thundershowers. Showers and thunder spread from central to northern Minnesota this evening. Many places are still short of precipitation for the month of March.
Here's a look at the potential precipitation totals for the next couple of days.
Due to the low dew points expected to hold over northeast Minnesota today and tonight, some of the precipitation is likely to occur as freezing rain. A Freezing Rain Advisory has been posted for a sliver of the Arrowhead Region for tonight. Freezing rain will coat tree limbs and pwer lines during the cover of darkness.
Details can be found by clicking on this statement from the National Weather Service in Duluth.
Strong winds are on tap as a low pressure system winds up over the upper Midwest later today. The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for portions of western Minnesota, where gusts could top 35 mph. Brisk winds are expected across much of the state on Tuesday as well.
The NAM depicts a strong surge of warm air as the low tracks towards International Falls at midday on Tuesday. This pressure pattern illustrates the potential for wind gusts to 40 mph in southern Minnesota.
It appears the trend continues to be our friend as we head into April. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center posted their April temperature outlook earlier this month. They sometimes refresh this outlook on the last day of the month.
Precipitation outlook from NOAA for April.
The normal maximum/minimum for the Twin Cities on April 1st are 50/31 degrees.
It looks like our taste of July in October may be about to end.
The weather maps are showing signs of a major (cooler & wetter) pattern change in the next two weeks!
October Hot Front:
+10.6 degrees vs. average at MSP Airport so far in October!
80 degrees or warmer 4 of 5 days so far in October
88 degrees new record high Wednesday. (Breaks previous record of 87 set in 1879!)
LOCATION MAX TEMP/ MIN TEMP/ PCPN
DLH : DULUTH MN : 65 / 50 / 0.00/
INL : INTERNATIONAL FALLS MN : 79 / 50 / 0.00/
MSP : MINNEAPOLIS MN : 88 / 62 / 0.00/
RST : ROCHESTER MN : 85 / 55 / 0.00/
STC : ST CLOUD MN : 86 / 58 / 0.00/
AXN : ALEXANDRIA MN : 85 / 54 / 0.00
GNA : GRAND MARAIS MN : 58 / 52 / 0.00
HIB : HIBBING MN : 76 / 44 / 0.00
RWF : REDWOOD FALLS MN : 89 / 57 / 0.00
Hot, Gusty & Dusty Thursday: Season's last 80s?
It looks like we'll get one last warm, windy July like day Thursday in Minnesota. Temps should push into the 80s one more time.
The combination of high temps, low humidity and gusty winds will keep fire danger high one more day.
Realtive humidity will plunge into the 20% range by afternoon.
Winds will gust to over 25 mph in western Minnesota.
The fire danger extends southward to Kansas, according to SPC.
Season's last 80 degree day Thursday?
Say it's not so Paul! I know...I'm still in "October Denial" too.
But records show the likelihood of reaching 80 in Minnesota diminishes rapidly after the first week of October.
October 1st - average last 80 degree temp in the metro
October 11th - last 80 degree temp in 2010
September 19th - last 80 degree temp in 2009
September 26th - last 80 degree temp in 2008
October 7th - last 80 degree temp in 2007 and 2006
Looking at the maps, Thursday may be the last shot we have at hitting 80 for the season. For the record, I hope I'm wrong!
Major Pattern Change Ahead: 2" to 4" rainfall in the next 2 weeks?
The medium range maps look different today. The GFS is hinting, no shouting that a major pattern change may be on the way.
The first waves of scattered showers should arrive Friday into the weekend.
The NAM is cranking out .47" of rainfall through Saturday morning in two different waves.
If we get that much rain, it will be the most rainfall much of Minnesota has received in 53 days, since MSP Airport recorded 1.42" on August 16th!
The first showers may roll through Friday morning into midday. The second batch Friday night into early Saturday. Another wave may trigger more showers into the first half of Sunday.
After a break early next week, models suggest a much cooler and wetter weather pattern sets up shop over the Upper Midwest.
There could be several bouts of rain in the week after that, with models cranking out as much as 2"+ total for the metro and potentially 2"- 4" for drought stricken northeast Minnesota.
Stay tuned, and prepare for a pattern change in the coming weeks!
From the IR satellite image this morning you can see the general quite and rather comfortable temperatures depicted across the northern tier of the continental USA. Meanwhile a couple of clusters of thunderstorms were evident from the Texas panhandle to northern Mississippi (shown by the color red for colder cloud tops).
Our next rain producer is in the process of taking shape in Montana. The evolution of the mid level spin in the atmosphere and its track eastward will determine the timing and location of the most significant rainfall in the upper Midwest.
In candor, I spied some spotty showers on radar yesterday late afternoon in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. Most of Minnesota enjoyed delightful temperatures and plentiful sunshine. We sometimes refer to these random, not well forecast showers as rogue showers.
One more day of sunshine and comfortable temperatures is on tap for your Thursday. Clouds thichen west to east later today and overnight. The most likely region of showers during the darkness hours is over western Minnesota, where a half inch of rain may accumulate in a few places.
Here's a graphic from the GFS of the model's output of rainfall accumulation for Friday evening. The North American Model output (not shown) is not as generous with the rain in southeast Minnesota, where the GFS prints out over an inch near the Iowa border.
By profession, meteorologists are expected to parse out the model information and make a forecast. So there will be differing forecasts on the timing and probability of wetness in your location in the next 48 hours. My best guess is the rain chances are highest in Minnesota from midnight tonight to daybreak on Saturday.
Clouds on Friday may hold maximum temperatures in the 70s over much of the region. Central and northern Minnesota's Lake Country should see at least partial sunshine Saturday afternoon. Sunshine should dominate statewide on Sunday with a continuation of temperatures near or slightly below normal.
As a broad snapshot of national rainfall potential in the next seventy-two hours, here's the forecast of rain accumulation through Friday night from NOAA meteorologist. Of interest here is a relative minimum total expected where the GFS indicates an inch of rain in northeast Iowa.
Hope your home gardens are doing well.
A real-deal cool front swept through Minnesota and the surrounding area in the past eighteen hours. Temperatures and dew points have responded accordingly with this change in air masses. Look for brisk winds today, easing from west to east during the late afternoon.
Overnight lows in the 40s in northern Minnesota will feel a little on the nippy side for early August. We were due for a cool spell. The last time the tempreatures were below normal for a lengthy period was from July 12th through the 15th when the mercury failed to reach 80 degrees in the Twin Cities
On Monday there were numerous reports of hail in northeast Minnesota and rainfall totalled over three quarters of an inch at both International Falls and Duluth. The Duluth Airport has already collected 3.88 inches of rain for the month of August. Here's the storm report for August 8th from the Duluth NWS Office.
Given the rather frequent and generous rainfall for much of the spring and summer the DNR reports a minimal fire danger, except for a small portion of far northern Minnesota. Yesterday's rain of 0.87 inches at International Falls was welcome.
The predicted high of 73 degrees in the Twin Cities for this afternoon will be the coolest reading since the high of 74 on July 14th. A return to high temperatures close to 80 is in the offing for Thursday and Friday.
Let's see if the favored cool spots in the state can record a minimum temperature in the 30s on Wednesday morning. They'll need clear skies and nearly calm winds. Anybody betting on Embarrass to pull this off?
A cool front will sweep through the upper Midwest today and tonight bringing the chance for showers and thunderstorms. After the front passes temperatures will fall to readings more typical of late August. Expect brisk northwest winds as well on Tuesday.
Here's the short term RUC model of surface temperatures, pressure pattern and winds for late afternoon. Note the region of sizzling hot temperatures in Kansas andOklahoma, extending into Texas.
Rainfall with this passing cool front will not be overly generous. NOAA's Envirnomental Predication Center paints this graphic of rainfall potential for the next twenty-four hours.
Texas continues to remain in severe drought. Some large areas of the Lone Star State are in exceptional drought.
With regard to tropical storm activity things are quiet for the moment. The peak of the hurricane season is approaching.
Historical record of seasonal tropical storms in the Atlantic from the Hurricane Center.
Early morning temperatures on Wednesday may be the coolest since the Twin Cities dipped below 60 degrees and recorded a low of 58 on June 28th. Check out this forecast for temperatures on Wednesday morning from the WRF model.
On this date in 2010 the Twin Cities Internationl Airport reached 96 degrees to tie the record high for August 8th set in 1894, repeated in 1914. The normal max/min for August 8th in the Twin Cities 82/63.
In case you missed it, Roseau experienced temperatures in the middle 60s for much of Saturday, with early Sunday morning temperatures in the upper 40s.
A rather isolated strong thunderstorm produced golf ball sized hail near Young America in Carver County on Saturday evening.
From the Doppler radar out of Duluth NWS Office, Here is the estimated rainfall from early Monday morning until 8AM CDT this morning. Four to six inches estimated in Douglas County in northwest Wisconsin.
AT 651 AM CDT...DOUGLAS COUNTY WISCONSIN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
REPORTED THAT NUMEROUS ROADS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTY WERE UNDER WATER
DUE TO FLASH FLOODING. STATE HIGHWAY 35...APPROXIMATELY 19 MILES
SOUTH OF SUPERIOR WAS REPORTED TO BE CLOSED DUE TO WATER OVER THE
ROAD. ALSO...COUNTY ROAD W SOUTH OF DEWEY AT THE NEMADJI RIVER WAS
REPORTED WASHED OUT. RADAR ESTIMATES INDICATE AS MUCH AS 4 TO 6
INCHES HAS FALLEN ACROSS PARTS OF DOUGLAS COUNTY LAST NIGHT AND THIS
Here's a great view with the infrared of NOAA satellite image from daybreak. Notice the overnight convection over northwest Wisconsin and the new cluster of thunderstorms that would race across southern Minnesota this morning.
Follow the storm reports this morning out of the Chanhassen NWS Office.
Branches down between 730AM and 810AM in portions of Stearns County; Avon to St. Joseph.
0805 AM TSTM WND GST ST CLOUD 45.55N 94.17W
08/02/2011 M63 MPH STEARNS MN MESONET
Storms moving through northern Metro into west central Wisconsin through mid morning.
This visible satellite image shows a couple of important aspects about this afternoon's weather. First, the clouds that remained over eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin which kept temperatures from climbing into the lower 90s. Second, the clearing in western Minnesota that has allowed sunshine and high dew points to produce heat index values about 100; including 106 at 3PM in Canby.
In the previous blog you'll note the Storm Prediction Center's rather high probability of tornado potential in western Minnesota. There is a boundary from the differential heating due to the cloud-free area and the persistent cloud cover. This is displayed nicely in the graphic of the dew points, temperatures and pressure field as generated from 3PM surface observations.
Temperature contours are in red, dew point highlighted by colored background and pressure field in black. Basic meteorology suggests the inflow of winds from the south and southeast, along with the advancing low pressure, high dew points and afternoon heating will result in thunderstorm development in eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota.
We'll watch how this unfolds in the later afternoon and early evening hours.
Meanwhile, Pete Boulay of the State Climate Office shared this tid-bit after probing the dew points recorded this summer at the Twin Cities International Airport. So far this summer as of 3pm August 1, there have been 98 hours of dew point temperatures of 75 degrees or higher. This breaks the old record of 78 hours that was set back on 2001.
Some branches were blown down along with power lines as the storms swept through east central Minnesota between 1230PM and 230PM this afternoon. Here's a link to the storm reports out of the Chanhassen NWS Office.
Heavy rain also was reported with over two inches at Hutchison and an inch and a half at Target Field near downtown Minneapolis from late morning to mid afternoon.
Stay abreast of potentially dangerous weather conditions developing as we go into the evening hours.
Rain is moving across much of Minnesota as expected today. The good news is the potential for flooding; multi inch rain totals appears lower than yesterday. The "bad" news is, it's still going to rain most everywhere today, but the rain is timely and needed in some areas.
Most of the rain has been "garden variety" so far, but there have been a few bands of heavier rainfall. Doppler storm total rainfall and surface reports indicate 1" to 2" bands from near Fergus Falls through Wadena, Brainerd, to Cloquet.
Patches of heavy rain have also fallen near Montevideo (1.5") and in southwest Minnesota.
In the metro rain will favor the morning and midday hours, and a general .50" is likely with some isolated 1" totals likely today.
Scattered showers linger Friday:
The chance for scattered showers and T-Storms will linger through Friday and into early Saturday. As hot high pressure builds in overhead Saturday, an atmospheric "cap" should put the lid on T-Storms for a few days.
SPC maintains a slight risk for severe storms Friday, but does not sound overly concerned about intensity and coverage.
...UPPER MS VALLEY TO CENTRAL HIGH PLAINS...
ONE OR TWO MCS MAY BE ONGOING AT BEGINNING OF PERIOD OVER PORTIONS
DAKOTAS/MN...MOVING GENERALLY EWD WITH POTENTIAL FOR ISOLATED HAIL.
AS LLJ WEAKENS THROUGHOUT MORNING...THIS CONVECTION SHOULD DO LIKEWISE. REJUVENATION AND/OR ADDITIONAL TSTM DEVELOPMENT ISPOSSIBLE DURING AFTERNOON ALONG NEARBY SECTIONS OF FRONTAL ZONE AND SWWD PAST SFC LOW...RESULTING IN SCATTERED TSTMS IN BANDS AND
Saturday: Heat kicks in:
The real headline of this forecast period continues to be the heat wave setting up for the rest of July.
Model trends continue to indicate a string of days in the mid to upper 90s next week, with high dew points in the 70s pushing heat index values into the 100 range.
Keep the umbrella handy today!
The next weather system is pushing rain into Minnesota Thursday morning. Some numbers:
.95" NAM model rainfall output for MSP Airport next 60 hours
3"- 4" NAM rainfall output for areas near Morris, Alexandria & St. Cloud to Hinckley
2" possible rainfall totals favoring north metro next 48 hours
Finding the "sweet spot"
This is where weather forecasting gets dicey. Specifically, flash flood forecasting.
As hotter, wetter air pushes north over the next 48 hours, the precise location of surface warm frontal positions and upper air low tracks take on added meaning. If the warm front is overhead, and the upper low passes over the top of you...get an ark! You could get 3" to 4" of rain.
If you're 50-75 miles either side....maybe an inch of rain? No big deal.
The latest model trends suggest the "sweet spot" for heavy rainfall may lay out across central Minnesota. A line from Morris through Alexandria, St. Cloud to Hinckley seems like the favored area to pick up a multi inch deluge.
Duluth and the Twin Cities lie on either side...maybe an inch of rain or more? Again, this is if things pan out that way. The heavy rain area could easily shift north or south.
Either way, be ready for showers & T-Storms moving into western MN tonight and spreading into eastern MN (including Duluth & the metro) by Thursday morning.
Some of the rain will be heavy. Heavy rain will be the primary threat, with a lower chance for hail and damaging winds.
Up Next: Weekend heat wave
As the hot dome of air pushes north this weekend, temperatures will soar. We'll see more heat advisories and extreme heat warnings in Minnesota.
Check out some of the forecast heat index values starting Sunday!
State of Minnesota shutdown affects MN climate info users:
"Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you got 'til it's gone."
That's how this forecaster and other local "mets" must feel about the shutdown of the Minnesota Climatology Working Group website. It's a royal pain for us as forecasters not to have the excellent data, but the bigger perspective is that there are several dedicated climate professionals (and thousands of other dedicated state employees) out of work through no fault of their own!
We are so fortunate to have this amazing group of dedicated climate specialists in Minnesota. I know I'm missing somebody but the excellent work of dedicated professionals like Jim Zandlo,Greg Spoden, Pete Boulay, and Dr. Mark Seeley bring our rich Minnesota climate history to life. It is extremely valuable to have a basis for comparison to current weather patterns and records like the one provided by the MN Climate Working Group web site.
The site is currently unavailable due to the government shutdown.
I asked my MPR colleague Dr. Mark Seeley about this today. His reply below.
Yes, the DNR-State Climatology Office is closed. The web site is shut down.....no access to the state climate database, no updates of daily data, no computer tool kit (mapping, statistics, etc) to use for assessment. Should there be a disaster that requires climate data documentation for petitioning FEMA or USDA for aid, we don't have the tools to do it. I have no state partners to work with at the moment. I am lucky to be able to maintain my weekly newsletter "Minnesota WeatherTalk." My university life goes on, but I sure miss my state colleagues.
There are some other sources available, but none as comprehensive as the Minnesota Climatology Working Group site.
I sure hope it comes back soon!
After a nice dry stretch of weather, get ready for the next batch of heavy thunderstorms in southern Minnesota.
Another major storm complex, possibly an MCS, is expected to develop Wednesday night into Thursday morning. This time, locally heavy (and potentially flooding) rainfall could be the primary feature of the storms.
As the hot dome of high pressure nudges back north into Minnesota Thursday, an upper air disturbance will ride along the periphery of the expanding heat dome into southern Minnesota.
The system will likely trigger a developing MCS with torrential rains overnight.
Slow movement may produce multiple inch rainfalls in some areas of central & southern Minnesota by Thursday noon. Some 1" to 3"+ rainfall totals are quite possible with this system.
Depending on which model you look at, the heaviest rainfall may be focused in central Minnesota near St. Cloud & Brainerd, and/or near the Twin Cities.
"Nocturnal" Thunderstorm Season Ahead:
Wednesday night's storms may be the opening salvo in what meteorologists sometimes call the "nocturnal thunderstorm season."
Some info about nocturnal thunderstorms:
-They tend to develop and strengthen at night
-They tend to develop and favor warm fronts at the surface
-They tend to roam around the northern periphery of hot high pressure domes.
-They are climatologically favored in late July & August.
Nocturnal storms can produce copious flash flooding rains. Be alert for possible flash flooding in the wee hours of Thursday morning!
Often we get accused of covering the bases with the use of precipitation probabilities. But it is the best way to convey the potential for a specific location to get wet.Here's the definition as used by the National Weather Service Offices.
Below is a table that defines our PoP ranges, their associated qualifying terms and the equivalent areal term we use in the forecast to try to describe the coverage of precipitation events for convective events.
PoP Value Qualifying Term Equivalent Areal Term
20 slight chance/ isolated or widely scattered
30,40, 50 chance/ scattered
60, 70 likely/ numerous
80, 90, 100 none/ none
When I was in Indianapolis I tracked the validity of precipitation proabilities and plotted a reliability curve. Over the meteorological summer months of June, July and August the forecast of rain chances and the actual rain occurrence was nearly on the money. There was one notable exception.
When forecasters called for a 70 precent chance or rain, there was measurable rain about 80 percent of the time. There was a slight bias to pull back a little on the POPs, particularly twenty-four hours out, due to the possibility that the anticipated convective precipitation might steer slightly north or south of a specific location.
When you hear a probability or rain it means the chance of getting measurable precipitation at your location during a particular twelve hour period. It really has little to do with intensity or duration. Climatology (over a long period of years) suggests that on any given day in July there is about a 30 percent chance for showers in the Twin Cities.
Last evening was a great example of a 30 percent probability in the Metro area. Around 330PM thunderstorms developed and were moving southeast from just south of St. Cloud to near Blaine. Thunderstorms split Target Field. One produced a downpour in the western suburbs. The other, a stronger storm, resulted in a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for parts of Ramsey and Washington Counties.
Measureable rain was reported at St. Paul Holman Field, while the International Airport didn't see a drop of rain. There was a report to the National Weather Service in Chanhassen of a brief tornado touchdown on Coon Lake in Anoka County.
Despite the forecast of relatively low probabilities of rain on Thursday and Thursday evening, it does appear that a couple of spots will get wet. Here's the national graphic for potential rainfall on Thursday and Thursday night.
Enjoy today's sunshine and comfortable temperatures.
Summer began Tuesday, but it will feel more like April by tomorrow.
It feels like somebody put a big weather target over Minnesota.
A pesky low pressure system is spinning overhead today.
The severe threat has shifted east today, but scattered bands of rain continue to rotate around the low from east to west. Many areas can expect another .25" to .50" of rainfall today as occasional shower bands roll through. Some areas in northern Minnesota may pick up another 1" of rain through Thursday.
The system will mercifully moving east by Friday and allowing a return to sunshine.
Tornado damage survey in progress today:
Our local NWS office is in the field today to investigate possible tornado touchdowns in Coon Rapids & Blaine today.
The details from Twin Cities NWS:
Rotating Thunderstorms on Tuesday; Damage Survey on Wednesday
"Tuesday afternoon saw numerous rotating thunderstorms across southern and central Minnesota as well as western Wisconsin. Some of these had deeper rotation in favorable environments, prompting tornado warnings. Numerous funnel clouds and one tornado were reported through early Tuesday evening. In addition, thunderstorms briefly trained over St. Cloud producing very heavy rainfall over a short amount of time, creating flooding in the downtown.
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
734 PM CDT TUE JUN 21 2011
...STORM DAMAGE SURVEY TO BE CONDUCTED WEDNESDAY MORNING...
A NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE STORM DAMAGE SURVEY TEAM WILL BE IN
THE BLAINE AND COON RAPIDS AREAS ON WEDNESDAY MORNING TO SURVEY
REPORTED DAMAGE CAUSED BY ONE OF THE STORMS ON TUESDAY AFTERNOON.
A PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT CONTAINING DETAILS OF THE FINDINGS
WILL BE ISSUED UPON COMPLETION OF THE ASSESSMENT."
When NWS survey teams hit the field they look for several key damage indicators to assess the causes of damage.
1) Is the damage pattern circular or straight line? Do downed trees and other debris all point the same way, or are there signs of rotation within the damage pattern?
2) What kind of structural damage was done if any?
3) What did local residents see and hear as the damaging wind event rolled through?
4) How does damage in the field compare with other sources such as doppler radar images, photos etc?
We should know by late today if the damage in Coon Rapids was caused by a tornado. My hunch is there was at least one brief tornado touchdown.
Tuesday's (tornadic?) storms were pretty odd in a few ways. These were not your classic tornadic supercell thunderstorms.
-The storm that rolled through Dakota County, St. Paul and into Anoka County was much smaller than your average "tornadic supercell."
-There was virtually no hail detected in any of the storms Tuesday.
-The storms were moving from SE to NW as they rotated around the low pressure system in southwest Minnesota. Most tornadic supercells move from SW to NE or from W to E in Minnesota.
The atmpsoheric "sounding" (weather balloon data) showed storng rotation with " speed and dirctional wind shear" present in the atmpsohere Tuesday.
The main factor in Tuesday's storms was that they showed strong rotation. The bottom line is that's all you need to produce a tornado. The atmosphere was not capable of supporting violent EF3+ tornadoes or long lasting "long track" tornadoes Tuesday, but there was enough rotation to cause a few weaker spin ups.
NWS "storn centric" doppler velocity loop shows storm as it rotated from Dakota County through St. Paul into Anoka County.
Remember there's no such thing as a "weak tornado." The damage photos in Coon Rapids prove the point that while very localized, even one small tornado can ruin your day!
Get ready for another good soaking. At least this one will come during the week.
An unseasonably strong and (slow moving) low pressure system is spinning out of the Rockies into Minnesota this week. The system will send several waves of showers, and a big "straitform rain" shield into Minnesota tonight through Wednesday.
The system is unusual for June in that it looks more like a springtime weather system on the maps, featuring a large, widespread "wrap around" rain shield and a tight pressure gradient which will generate a steady northeast wind. Late June
Flood watches are in effect for much of southern Minnesota.
Bands of rainfall will increase and spread north into Minnesota today, tonight and Tuesday. It looks like the heaviest bands of rain will comer after midnight tonight and through Tuesday. The system may linger through Wednesday and into Thursday in some areas.
It looks like the bulk of the heavy rain will come in after midnight into early Tuesday morning in the metro.
This one looks like another super soaker, with the potential to cause some flooding in some areas. Rainfall totals could easily exceed 2" to 3" in much of Minnesota over the next 72 hours.
The NAM model is cranking out 2.5" of rainfall at MSP by late Wednesday!
This massive weather system is pulling in a moisture plume from the tropical Pacific Ocean.
When this happens in mid-latitude cyclones the additional injection of moisture can "supercharge" moisture, and that can lead to tropical downpours with enhanced rainfall totals of several inches.
It looks like the biggest risk for severe storms will be south through tonight. A moderate risk for severe weather extends through western Iowa to the Minnesota border.
Lake Minnetonka water discharge into Minnehaha Creek reduced in advance of potential flooding rains:
"The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District controls the headwaters structure at Minnetonka's Grays Bay, the outlet of Lake Minnetonka to Minnehaha Creek. And according to MCWD, the discharge at Lake Minnetonka's Grays Bay Dam was reduced to 50 cubic feet per second earlier today, in order to build capacity in Minnehaha Creek for the rainfall expected this week.
On June 20, the lake level of Lake Minnetonka (Lake Minnetonka's elevation above sea level), as measured at Minnetonka's Grays Bay, was 929.65 feet. That's just above the lake's ordinary high water level of 929.40 feet. To reduce flooding on Lake Minnetonka, the MCWD tries to keep the lake level stabilized between 928.60 and 929.40 feet."
Want some good news? Right now at least, it looks like we could dry out and see the sun return Friday and into the weekend. There may be a chance of more rain by Sunday.
Stay tuned as we track the rain the next few days!
Watching the radar from the Target Field weather lab on Saturday evening it was clear the heavy rain was setting up over western Wisconsin. Here's a graphic provided by the Chanhassen National Weather Service of the radar estimated rainfall for the event.
Eau Claire Airport reported 4.74 inches of rain on Saturday evening. LaCrosse measured 4.50 inches. Both of these totals were daily records.
A meteorological summary of the deluge has been posted on the NWS Chanhassen website. See details.
Thankfully we were able to salvage a pretty decent Sunday. This upcoming week, particularly the next three days will be soggy at the least and perhaps downright dangerously wet in some locations.
A very slow moving, spring-like weather system will track through the upper Midwest. The snail pace from west to east will place Minnesota, as well as the eastern Dakotas and western Wisconsin in a prime region for heavy rainfall.
Here's NOAA's Environmental Prediction Center's estimate for rainfall accumulations in the next seventy-two hours.
This graphic gives a general sense of the most likely region for heavy rain. Isolated totals similar to Saturday evening's rain in western Wisconsin are very possible.
Have time to probe beneath the headlines? Here's a great link on the meteorologist's insight on the upcoming heavy rainfall, courtesy of the National Weather Service in Chanhassen.
After enduring this drenching, we can look forward to the prospects of some warmer and drier weather next week. Here's the Climate Prediction Center's temperature outlook for the next eight to fourteen days. Odds favor above normal temperatures.
The Climate Prediction Center's precipitation outlook for the period June 27 to July 3rd, indicates the odds favor less than normal precipitation in our neck of the woods.
By the way the radar is already lit-up in Iowa and far southern Minnesota this morning. The deluge is at hand.
Now that's a good soaker!
Our latest weather system has been a productive rainmaker. Most areas in southern Minnesota have picked up over an inch of rain in the past 24 hours, with several areas coming in with 2" to nearly 3" totals in south central Minnesota.
Here the list so far:
-Huttner weather lab (west metro) 1.42"
-MSP Airport 1.16"
-Eden Prairie 1.52"
ID LOCATION TEMP TEMP PCPN
DLH : DULUTH MN : 74 / 54 / 0.03
INL : INTERNATIONAL FALLS MN : 78 / 54 / 0.01
MSP : MINNEAPOLIS MN : 80 / 58 / 1.16
RST : ROCHESTER MN : 75 / 57 / 1.44
STC : ST CLOUD MN : 77 / 58 / 0.30
AXN : ALEXANDRIA MN : 75 / 58 / 0.56
GNA : GRAND MARAIS MN : 61 / 50 / 0.00
HIB : HIBBING MN : 76 / 53 / 0.03
RWF : REDWOOD FALLS MN : 72 / 59 / 1.48
ALBM5: ALBERT LEA MN : DH0800/ 71 / 59 / 1.21
ADVM5: ANDOVER MN : DH0600/ 78 / 57 / 0.89
BTHM5: BLUE EARTH MN : DH0600/ 70 / 60 / 2.58
BUFM5: BUFFALO MN : DH0630/ 75 / 56 / 0.88
CFAM5: CANNON FALLS MN : DH0615/ 77 / 55 / 1.03
CLSM5: CARLOS MN : DH0540/ M / M / 0.58
CRVM5: CARVER MN : DH0641/ M / M / 1.55
MPXM5: CHANHASSEN WFO : DH0707/ 77 / 56 / 1.67
CHKM5: CHASKA NW MN : DH0700/ 77 / 56 / 1.53
ELKM5: ELK RIVER MN : DH0700/ 78 / 57 / 1.08
FIRM5: FAIRMONT MN : DH0700/ 75 / 56 / 2.40
FBTM5: FARIBAULT MN : DH0700/ 76 / 58 / 1.98
ZMPM5: FARMINGTON CWSU : DH0700/ M / M / 1.72
FORM5: FOREST LAKE MN : DH0700/ 80 / 56 / 0.66
HAMM5: HAMBURG MN : DH0800/ M / M / 1.49
HSTM5: HASTINGS L/D MN : DH0600/ 75 / 57 / 1.13
JORM5: JORDAN MN : DH0530/ 77 / 56 / 1.28
LSTM5: LESTER PRAIRIE MN : DH0700/ M / M / 1.71
LNGM5: LONG PRAIRIE MN : DH0600/ 73 / 57 / 0.49
MADM5: MADISON MN : DH0800/ 72 / 59 / 0.02
MLCM5: MILACA MN : DH0730/ 76 / 57 / 0.61
MNPM5: MINNEAPOLIS MN : DH0600/ M / M / 1.04
LSAM5: LWR ST ANTHONY MN : DH0600/ M / M / 1.20
MVDM5: MONTEVIDEO MN : DH0700/ 72 / 59 / 0.53
MRAM5: MORA MN : DH0700/ 78 / 52 / 0.43
MRRM5: MORRIS MN : DH0800/ 75 / 58 / 0.44
NUMM5: NEW ULM 3 SE MN : DH0800/ 72 / 59 / 2.42
NMAM5: NORTH MANKATO : DH0700/ 71 / 58 / 2.35
RDWM5: RED WING L/D MN : DH0600/ 77 / 57 / 0.68
REWM5: REDWOOD FALLS MN : DH0500/ 73 / 59 / 1.48
RCEM5: RICE MN : DH0700/ 77 / 57 / 0.67
RFDM5: ROCKFORD MN : DH0749/ M / M / 0.74
SCSM5: ST CLOUD ST MN : DH0700/ M / M / 0.47
SHRM5: SHERBURN MN : DH0700/ 66 / 60 / 1.96
SFDM5: SPRINGFIELD MN : DH0707/ M / M / 2.29
WACM5: WACONIA MN : DH0821/ M / M / 1.47
WASM5: WASECA MN : DH0800/ 75 / 58 / 2.11
WTTM5: WATERTOWN MN : DH0821/ M / M / 1.15
WELM5: WELLS MN : DH0800/ 71 / 61 / 2.60
WLDM5: WILD RVR ST PARK : DH0800/ 80 / 57 / 0.48
: IN WISCONSIN
AGSW3: AUGUSTA WI : DH0800/ 79 / 56 / 0.40
BMRW3: BLOOMER WI : DH0800/ 80 / 56 / 0.40
BALW3: BALDWIN WI : DH0700/ 77 / 57 / 0.77
MNOW3: CEDAR FALLS HYDRO : DH0700/ M / M / 1.08
CHPW3: CHIPPEWA FALLS WI : DH0800/ M / M / 0.57
ELKW3: ELK MOUND WI : DH0801/ M / M / 0.85
JIMW3: JIM FALLS WI : DH0600/ 78 / 55 / 0.29
ROBW3: ROBERTS WI : DH0800/ M / M / 0.89
SCFW3: ST CROIX FALLS WI : DH0700/ 80 / 59 / 0.58
STAW3: STANLEY WI : DH0800/ 79 / 57 / 0.00
While heavy, the rainfall was welcome for much of the area which has picked up only a few hundredths of an inch so far in June.
June is our wettest month on average in Minnesota with about 4" of rain in a typical June. This rainfall of 1.16" so far at MSP Airport still leaves the metro about .73" short of average this month.
Rain shifts north today:
The upper low spinning through will push the rain shield slowly north today. Look for the most consistent rain to fall north of the metro...St. Cloud, Mille Lacs, Mora, Hinckley and Duluth will see more steady rainfall today.
Rainfall will be more spotty from the metro south, as slightly drier air begins to work in from Iowa.
The upper low responsible for the rain will lift slowly north through Thursday, and a weak ridge of high pressure will build in. That should bring an end to the rain for now, and sunshine will return and help boost temps to near 80 in southern Minnesota Thursday.
June like weekend:
The weekend ahead looks like classic June. That means a mixed bag of sunshine, clouds and some occasional rain & thunder.
Timing is still uncertain at this point, but the best chance for scattered showers & some thunder appears to be late Friday PM/evening, and maybe again Saturday night into early Sunday AM.
In between it may feel a bit more summery at times, with temps near 80 this weekend.
Monday may get a bit stormy as the main low pressure system finally swings through Minnesota.
There are still signs that more consistent heat may build in the last week of June.
Dry spell helped farmers:
This week's Minnesota Crop Report highlights 6 days in the past week suitable for fieldwork in Minnesota. That's the first time this wet spring that farmers have been able to spend that much time in the field. Planting is nearly complete now thanks to the recent dry weather.
The details in this week's crop report.
LIMITED RAIN AIDS IN CROP PLANTING AND DEVELOPMENT
"Limited precipitation allowed planting to near
completion for several crops, according to the
USDA, NASS, Minnesota Field Office. As of
June 12, planting of barley, green peas, and
potatoes was virtually complete at 98 percent or
greater. Planting of dry beans, sweet corn, and
sunflowers advanced at least 19 percentage
points, though all three crops remained behind
last year and average. Six days were rated
suitable for fieldwork statewide, the highest
number so far this year."
Posted at 3:12 PM on June 13, 2011
by Paul Huttner
Filed under: Rainfall
A quick update on trends as we head into early evening.
Radars and satellite showing showers & a few T-Storms increasing in western & north central MN as expected today. Showers will generally move northeast at around 30 mph or so.
It looks like the metro may stay dry until at least 7pm or so, with shower chances increasing as we head toward sunset and after dark.
SPC risk areas today have maintained slight risk for severe weather mostly south & west of Minnesota. That's where the best "dynamics" are for any severe storms to form.
So far this looks like a general "garden variety" summer rain with most rainfall amounts generally under .25" tonight. The bigger chance of significant rain comes Wednesday.
I know my garden will appreciate any rain tonight!
Posted at 4:43 PM on June 9, 2011
by Paul Huttner
Filed under: Rainfall
+10.1 degrees: June temperatures vs. average at MSP Airport through June 8th
3 number of 90+ degree days so far this year in the metro and most of southern Minnesota
103 degrees: Hottest day in the metro in 23 years on June 7th
.02" June rainfall at MSP Airport through June 8th.
June came in like July:
June 2011 rolled in on a hot streak. It's almost as if somebody flipped a switch and decided summer was here June 1st. Some facts about June so far through June 8th.
- Every day has featured above average temperatures
- 7 of the first 8 days have been above 80 degrees
- There has been a 52 degree range in temps so far this month (From 103 to 51!)
Welcome to Minnesota where anything can, and usually does, happen in weather. Sometimes in the same week!
The cold front than scoured out our record heat and humidity early this week brings a decidedly chilly spring (or fall) feel to the air. It's as if we're in rewind back to May on the weather maps.
One thing June has been so far is dry, and our current weather system is bringing some much needed rainfall.
The low pressure system pulling out of the Rockies is a pretty good rainmaker.
Showers will continue to spread north from southern Minnesota overnight into the north through Friday. Skies may brighten as the rain tapers off in the south Friday PM.
Overall rainfall totals look to be between .30" to .70" for many locations. Some local areas could see an inch of rain. Tenps will be cool in the upper 50s and lower 60s.
Severe risk stays south:
It appears the best energy and instability for severe weather will remain well south of Minnesota.
It appears the system will pull east of the area by Saturday afternoon. This should lead to a clearing trend, and much of Minnesota looks to see a return to sunshine and some puffy fair weather cumulus clouds Saturday afternoon.
Temps may rebound into the upper 60s, which is still a good 10 degrees below average for June 11th.
Sunday may start sunny, with a weak system attempting to spread some clouds and a few showers into Minnesota Sunday afternoon and evening. Highs may crack 70 in most areas Sunday!
AZ Wallow Fire Updates:
Here's a great tool to keep track of the huge Wallow Fire in eastern Arizona. The blaze is still 0% contained, which means it is basically spreading at the whim of the winds.
Twins "Storm Ready"
The Minnesota Twins made it offical this week. They've received the "Storm Ready" certification from NWS.
"The Minnesota Twins have become the first American League team, and Target Field the first Minnesota sports facility, to attain StormReady Supporter status. The National Weather Service and the local StormReady board are pleased to have awarded this designation to the Twins at a ceremony Thursday morning, June 9.
Stormready is a National Weather Service program through which counties and communities develop plans to protect residents from severe weather. This includes informing residents of the threats, promoting readiness through community outreach and education, developing a hazardous weather plan that includes weather spotter training and emergency exercises, having multiple ways to receive and distribute warnings, and having a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center."
I may be biased, but in my book the Twins were "storm ready" the minute Craig Edwards stepped into Target Field!
Hope your lawn & garden appreciates the rain!
You can't please all of the people all of the time, but chances are you'll find some weather you like in the next two weeks in Minnesota.
As Rod Serling used to say in the classic Twilight Zone series; "Submitted for your approval."
Thursday: Weather perfection
It just doesn't get much better than this in Minnesota. Some of the best weather on the planet will hover over Minnesota today. Look for a mix of sunshine and a few clouds today. Cloud cover will be greatest in southern Minnesota today, and may nudge the metro from time to time.
High temperatures will make the lower 70s in most areas this afternoon, with cooler 50s near Lake Superior on the North Shore. Winds will be light from the east.
Friday & Saturday: Next rainmaker moves in
Our next weathermaker has been sitting over the Rockies all week. The "Omega Block" high pressure cell that has delivered dry sunny weather to Minnesota is breaking down. Low pressure will swirl east from the Rockies into Minnesota this weekend.
The first waves of rain (& some thunder) should arrive Friday. A few rounds of showers and embedded T-Storms will move through Saturday. At this time various forecast model scenarios for Saturday range from a round or two of rain & thunder, to an all-day washout.
Rainfall Friday & Saturday could easily fall into the .50" to 1"+ category for many locations in Minnesota. Due to the convective nature of the precip, there could be some downpours with localized heavier rainfall totals. Some 2"+ totals can't be ruled out this weekend.
Temps may hover around 70 for much of Saturday, with 60s under some of the heavier shower bands.
Sure would be nice to get a dry weekend for baseball tournaments for once, but it just doesn't appear to be in the cards for Saturday.
Sunday: Drier day of the weekend?
By Sunday the core of the heavy rain producing part of the storm will shift east of Minnesota. We may mix in several hours of sunny to partly cloudy skies, but a few pop up showers can't be ruled out Sunday.
It may feel a bit more like summer Sunday PM, with highs in the upper 70s.
"Wurzer Weather" Ahead: First summery heat wave in sight?
My MPR colleague and Morning Edition Host Cathy Wurzer loves hot, summery weather. Cathy just might be a happy camper in about two weeks.
MPR's Cathy Wurzer
This may be going way out on the proverbial weather limb, but there may be a trend developing that could bring the first summer-like heat to Minnesota the first week of June. (Yes, can you believe June 1st is only 13 days away?!)
The latest GFS model trends indicate the possibility of a hot dome of high pressure developing in the east and shifting westward into the central USA in two weeks. This "Bermuda High" pattern is the mechanism which brings summertime heat to the eastern half of the good old USA.
If the Bermuda High shifts west into the central U.S. a hot humid air mass will pump warm air and Gulf moisture north into the Upper Midwest.
It is early, but it's possible our first prolonged string of humid 80 degree plus weather is one the way the first week of June. If the pattern intensifies, we could even see our first 90s of the season in about two weeks.
We just turned off the heat. Is it already time to get the AC unit tuned up? Welcome to Minnesota.
Brightest 60 days ahead!
It's hard to fathom after what seemed like endless winter, but the longest daylight of the year is now upon us.
We hit 15 hours of daylight in the Twin Cities today. We will have at least 15 hours of daylight from now until July 24th. Check out this cool sunrise/sunset calendar to track our increasing daylight.
It's hard to believe but the summer solstice arrives in less than 5 weeks! What happened to spring in Minnesota?
April 2011: "Tornado Katrina"
The Weather Channel's Stu Ostro has an interesting look at April's record tornado outbreaks. Did we just witness a "Tornado Katrina" last month?
"The ingredients were "textbook." I mean, literally what I learned from a textbook more than 30 years ago. The atmosphere was explosively unstable with summerlike heat and humidity, interacting with a classic wind shear setup as a strong jet stream and upper-level trough crashed overhead. Also, dry air aloft (dark red shades on the left image below) put a lid on things and allowed the energy to build up until it blew sky high.
Not only were the elements perfect for a tornado outbreak, they were present to an extreme degree. The observed EHI ("Energy Helicity Index"), a measure which represents a combination of instability and wind shear, was extraordinary, higher than during the time of two notorious [E]F5s, the Moore, Oklahoma and Greensburg, Kansas tornadoes on May 3, 1999 and May 4, 2007, respectively.
Such a set of combustible ingredients, plus a remarkable number of supercells with hook echoes on radar and "ground-truth" observations of tornadoes, led Dr. Forbes and me to decide to up TWC's "TOR:CON" index to a 10 for northern Alabama, meaning a 100% chance of a tornado within 50 miles, the first time that's been done since the product was developed a couple of years ago."
Many of us who studied meteorology have always used the April 1974 "Super Outbreak" as the baseline for tornado extremes. Last month blew those numbers out of the water, and reminded us all that weather records are meant to be broken.
NOAA Geodetic Survey: Go West young man!
What do you think of as the center of the United States? New York? Chicago? Maybe L.A.?
Nope. Try Plato, Missouri.
That's the newest "center of national population" according to NOAA's Geodetic survey from 2010 U.S. Census data.
Plato is in the Ozarks in south central Missouri about 100 miles southwest of St. Louis.
The USA population center shifted about 20 miles further southwest since 2000. It has moved 873 miles southwest since 1790 when the first center was calculated to be just west of Baltimore, MD.
The population center has shifted steadily west over the past 200 years as you might expect. It was in southern Ohio in the 1850s, southern Indiana in 1900, and southern Illinois in the 1950s through the 1970s. The population center has resided in Missouri since 1980.
"Washington is not a place to live in. The rents are high, the food is bad, the dust is disgusting and the morals are deplorable. Go West, young man, go West and grow up with the country." -- Horace Greeley
They say there are no guarantees in weather, but there are a few things we seem to be able to count on in Minnesota in May.
-We'll likely get our first bouts of severe weather
-We usually hit 80 for the first time
-It seems the fishing opener is usually cool and wet
Check, check, and check this week.
The next low pressure wave is lifting north into Minnesota today. Bands of showers wrapping around the low will spiral through, and gain intensity this afternoon.
It looks like most areas will see between .25" and .50" of rainfall by late tonight. Southwest Minnesota may as much as 1"+ as the system spins through today.
A cooler northeast wind is dropping temps into the 40s and 50s.
We may catch a break in the rain Friday before more rain wraps in Saturday. There may be some 1"+ totals through Sunday.
Chilly soggy fishing opener:
It sometimes seems fishing opener weekend is plagued by cool windy wet weather. This year will fully live up to expectations.
A cool low pressure system will swirl over Minnesota this weekend. Rain should be on the increase Saturday, with weather gradually improving from north to south Sunday.
Here's the breakdown.
Friday: Windy & cool with mixed sun south & west, showers north & east. Highs in the 40s north and 50s south. Wind NE 10-22mph with choppy lakes.
Saturday: Windy & cool with scattered showers increasing statewide. Highs 40s north & 50s south. Wind NE 15-25 mph. Again, choppy water with some bigger waves on the big lakes.
Sunday: Weather improves from north to south. Sunny with lighter winds north. Showers south. Afternoon highs in the 60s from Brainerd north. 50s south. Wind NE gradually diminishing north to 5-12 mph. NE 10-20 mph south.
Weather tip: Find a quiet bay on the north end of your favorite lake where wave action will be less. A fireplace in the cabin will be very nice this weekend!
Good luck on the opener. Stay warm and dry, and remember those lake water temps are still hypothermic! With the cold water, wind and waves, life jackets are not optional this weekend.
Minnesota's first tornado of 2011: St. Michael EF1
The damage survey is in and it confirms what we saw Tuesday. Minnesota's first tornado of the year tore through St. Michael Tuesday evening.
Here are the details from Todd Krause and the survey team at the Twin Cities NWS.
Location: St. Michael, MN
Time: Approximately 7:58pm
Path length: 3 miles
Intensity: EF1 rating with top winds of 90 mph. Most of the damage was EF0 with 70-80 mph winds.
The details from Twin Cities NWS.
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
514 PM CDT WED MAY 11 2011
...PRELIMINARY RATING ASSIGNED TO THE ST MICHAEL AREA TORNADO...
A NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE STORM DAMAGE ASSESSMENT WAS DONE TODAY
FOR THE STORM THAT OCCURRED IN FAR EASTERN WRIGHT COUNTY ON
TUESDAY EVENING. HERE ARE THE PRELIMINARY DETAILS...WHICH ARE
SUBJECT TO FURTHER REVIEW IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS.
EVENT...EF-1 TORNADO. EF-Scale
MAXIMUM WIND SPEEDS...NEAR 90 MPH.
PATH LENGTH...APPROXIMATELY THREE MILES.
PATH DETAILS...FROM TWO MILES NORTHWEST OF DOWNTOWN HANOVER...NEAR
THE INTERSECTIONS OF COUNTY ROADS 34 AND 120...NORTH NORTHEAST TO
ONE MILE WEST OF ST. MICHAEL...DISSIPATING JUST SOUTHEAST OF THE
45TH STREET AND JAMISON AVENUE INTERSECTION.
TIMING...THIS IS STILL BEING DETERMINED...BUT LIKELY TOUCHDOWN
OCCURRED JUST PRIOR TO 800 PM.
OTHER NOTES...MUCH OF THE DAMAGE WAS IN LINE WITH EF-0 DAMAGE AND
WIND SPEEDS OF 70 TO 80 MPH. THE STRONGEST INTENSITY OF EF-1 WAS
SEEN NEAR THE END OF THE PATH...WHERE A GARAGE WAS HEAVILY
Summary of the Tornado
"The tornado touched down just east of the intersection of County Roads 34 and120 and tracked north-northeast for 3.1 miles. The only time it deviated from this track was toward the end of its existence, when it made a slight turn toward the north-northwest and intensified. After hitting the house, it turned back toward the north-northeast and quickly dissipated. The tornado was narrow, only 75 feet wide at most, and it was often narrower than 75 feet.
Most eyewitnesses did not realize there was a tornado, because they did not see the debris swirling at ground level and the funnel did not extend all the way to the ground. It turns out that the condensation funnel only extended downward for some distance, then it appeared like there was nothing, then the debris at the surface. However, the violently rotating wind made it all the way to the ground but there was not enough humidity in the few thousand feet above the ground to condense and create the cloud that makes the tornado visible."
Mississippi falling at Memphis:
The mighty Mississippi has crested is finally starting to fall at Memphis.
The 47.87' crest Tuesday appears to be the 2nd highest flood of record in Memphis, within 1 foot of the record of 48.7' reached in 1937.
Historical Crests for Mississippi River at Memphis
(1) 48.70 ft on 02/10/1937
(2) 45.80 ft on 04/23/1927
(3) 40.76 ft on 03/14/1997
(4) 40.50 ft on 05/08/1973
(5) 40.50 ft on 02/22/1950
(6) 40.30 ft on 03/07/1975
(7) 40.20 ft on 05/22/1961
(8) 39.20 ft on 04/06/1945
(9) 39.20 ft on 05/15/1983
(10) 39.10 ft on 06/01/1995
The Mississippi river did set new records this year near Memphis.
The flood bubble is now moving downstream to Vicksburg, Mississippi where the river is expected to crest next week at record levels.
Flood from space:
Ironically, one of the best ways to see a big flood like this is from space. The Mississippi has swollen to 3 miles wide near Memphis.
Check out the before and after images form NASA's Earth Observatory (Landsat 5 satellite) as the river swells near Memphis.
Lightning strikes plane landing at London's Heathrow Airport:
Believe it or not, airplanes are largely safe from lightning strikes. Want proof? Check out this "striking" video from a plane on final approach to London's Heathrow Airport.
The UAE jet landed minutes later with its more than 500 passengers and crew unscathed... without a scratch on the plane.
The footage was captured last month in South West London by photographer Chris Dawson, who said he thought the weather conditions that day would be perfect for a lightning storm. Boy was he right.
A phenomenon known as the skin effect generally keeps people in cars and airplanes safe from lighting strikes.
It's been an interesting start to the weather of 2011 to say the least.
First, record snows last winter. Next, top 5 floods this spring in the Upper Midwest. Then, the biggest tornado outbreak in U.S. history.
And now, there are literally floods and drought going on at the same time.
First the rain. The latest rainfall system overnight and early Thursday has dropped another .25" to .50" in and around the metro. My La Crosse Technology digital weather station recorded .36" of rainfall in Deephaven in the west metro as of Thursday morning.
To the west an arc of heavier, more persistent rains has dropped anywhere from .50" to 1" from near Redwood Falls (.52") through Hector, Litchfield (1.06") and St. Cloud. (.54")
NEXRAD storm total rainfall shows heavist precip west of metro.
Soil moisture was already high going into last fall. This spring has been wet enough in Minnesota that we're now dealing with a surplus soil moisture in most of the state, and a very late spring planting season.
Check out these numbers form this week's Minnesota Crop Report.
1% of corn planted so far this year
46% of corn planted by this time (5 year average)
84% of corn planted by this time last year
1.3 days suitable for field work last week
In addition 44% of Minnesota's topsoil moisture is listed as "surplus."
Add it all up and you have one of the wettest and latest spring planting seasons in recent memory, and nearly a full month behind last year!
Further south: "Epic Flood" makes rivers flow backwards!
All that water from snowmelt had to go somewhere, and the swollen Mississippi is bursting to the south. Combine the runoff from Minnesota's snowmelt with torrential spring rains and you have a 500 year flood.
Cairo, Illinois is in the unfortunate geographic position of lying at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. The result is blown dikes to save the town, and floodwaters so high that tributaries flowing into these rivers are actually flowing backwards!
Meanwhile, drought creeps north
During an April trip to Kansas, I was stunned to see firsthand just how quickly the landscape changed from flood to drought.
Rivers as close as Des Moines and southern Iowa are running low, and a full fledged drought is expanding north from Texas and Oklahoma into Kansas and Nebraska.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows the expanding drought to the south, even as the Mississippi reaches all time flood crests in the southern states.
Adios La Nina!
And should we say good riddance? Today's latest CPC ENSO discussion shows La Nina has faded, and ENSO neutral conditions are returning.
This may be one reason why our cool La Nina spring weather is beginning to turn for the milder. It also may portend a more active hurricane season with more U.S. landfalls this year.
SST's actually above normal now in the eastern Pacific.
Our weather improves:
Rain has tapered in many areas today as the weather system pulls out. Look for a few scattered showers to linger today.
High pressure will bring a return to sunny skies with highs in the upper 60s Friday!
At least the heavy rain is over.
The core of the steady rain delivering part of our weather system is fading, but the cold, wind, and lighter mist & drizzle will linger overnight into early Wednesday.
Part 2 of our slow motion weather system will bring a return of rain and even some possible snow showers by late Wednesday in the "wrap around" precip shield on the system's back side.
It looks like several locations will set daily rainfall records for April 26th.
So far Twin Cities Airport has bucketed 1.44" of rain as of late afternoon. That smashes the previous daily rainfall record of 1.26" set in 1893.
Here are some additional rainfall totals from today:
St. Paul Holman Field 1.51"
Target Field - Visitor's dugout 1.45"
Eden Prairie 1.44"
Rainfall "Bull's Eye:"
Today's swirling rainfall vortex centered from the metro down to Rochester, with a huge area of 1"+ rainfall totals.
The system's heavy precip "conveyor belt" is breaking down and the heavier steadier rainfall is fading. Now the colder air is wrapping into the system from the northeast. Look for a changeover to snow in many areas tonight into Wednesday. Precip may "phase" back and forth from drizzle to snow Wednesday during the daylight hours with temperatures hovering either side of the critical 32 degree mark in the lowest 5,000 feet of the atmosphere.
It does look like there will be some slushy accumulations from the North Shore and Duluth into northwest Wisconsin.
It may be cold enough for some wet snowflakes in the metro overnight and then again Wednesday evening. Oh the joy!
Twins tie 2010 rain out tally, in April!:
The score is tied at 2, and it's only the top of the 2nd inning.
Today's 2nd rainout of the 2011 season at Target Field ties the entire total for 2010, and it's still only April. There is a chance we'll see rainout or "snowout?" # 3 Wednesday evening at Target Field.
A double header is scheduled for Thursday with the Rays.
Thankfully the Minnesota Twins (and fans) lead charmed weather lives last year. You knew the law of weather averages, and outdoor baseball would catch up in 2011.
How do they decide?
A variety of weather sources and factors go into deciding when a Twins game will be postponed by weather.
MPR colleague and Twin Meteorologist Craig Edwards is in frequent contact with Twins management and grounds crew Chief Larry DiVito. Craig and Larry assess weather and field conditions on game day. Larry knows his field, and how much it water is can take.
The infield is covered and playable under most conditions up to game time. The outfield drains extremely well at TF, but any ground that soaks up 1.5" of rain on game day is going to be wet. It's tough to keep baseballs dry and highly paid athletes from sliding (and risking potential injury) on wet turf.
A little "inside baseball" here. Larry is a bit of a weather geek himself, and I mean that in a good way. He's pretty savvy at using weather toys on his phone and computers in the TF "Weather Lab" to keep track of things. When you combine Larry's field & turf expertese and weather sense with Craig's meteorological professionalism and decades of Twin Cities weather experience, you've got a winning weather team making decisions for the Twins.
Other factors that may go into a decision to postpone are not unique to Minnesota, and are common in MLB. Fan comfort, possible future open dates and return road trips for teams all factor in. Nobody with the Twins has ever told me this, but I have to believe concession sales are much higher on a warm day in August than a on a wet cold 42 degree day in April. If you can get a make up game then, it's bigger bank.
I don't have any inside information on how "baseball decisions" factor in with the Twins, but it wouldn't surprise me if they are a factor. If a team is injured, or using a 5th starter and the ace is up tomorrow, why not postpone and make up the date later when you're healthy?
After my post yesterday on the Cardinals moves before Friday's severe weather outbreak, nothing would surprise me. Hey, all's fair in love, war and baseball right?
To me the bottom line is that we wanted outdoor baseball, and we got it. Fans will have to adjust to rainouts and rain delays, cold days at the ballpark etc. I think the Twins made a good move postponing early today and giving fans a heads up so they could avoid the trip to Target Field well in advance.
There will be plenty of nice warm sunny days at TF this season to enjoy.
Hang in there!
Update 9:45 am:
1.22" rainfall (and counting) at the Huttner Weather lab in the west metro as of 9:45am.
***Orignal post 9:02am***
Talk about April showers...on steroids.
A major Midwest storm is wringing out steady moderate to heavy rainfall in Minnesota & western Wisconsin today.
The storm is producing some impressive rainfall totals. Rains have already topped 1 inch in southeast Minnesota, and will likely top 2"+ in some areas by early Wednesday.
To the south, another severe weather outbreak has left at least 7 dead in Arkansas overnight. Preliminary SPC reports indicate as many as 38 tornadoes swept across Texas, Arkansas & Tennessee Monday & Monday night.
The same area remains under a moderate to high risk for severe weather and tornadoes today according the latest convective outlook from SPC.
Here's the alarming verbiage form SPC today.
"The Storm Prediction Center is forecasting a major severe weather outbreak today and/or tonight. Details below."
A powerful spring storm is responsible for both our soggy Tuesday and the deadly severe outbreak in the Southern Plains.
The surface low is winding up in eastern Iowa this morning, and will stall over Wisconsin through tomorrow.
The slow motion storm will mean rain (and some snow) will linger over the Upper Midwest, with another day of severe weather along the trailing cold front in the south.
Rainfall totals are already impressive. Over an inch has fallen near Rochester, with a healthy .95" in the weather lab Deephaven rain gauge as of 8:20 am.
Here are some other rainfall totals as of 7 am this morning.
This NWS storm total rainfall estimate map may end up on the conservative side.
A strong steady wind is howling today as the storm winds up and wraps into Minnesota. Winds are gusting to over 30 mph in some areas.
Snow mixes in tonight & Wednesday?
It does appear the lowest mile of the atmosphere will be just cold enough to mix in some wet snowflakes late tonight and early Wednesday. The best chance for accumulating snow will be north & east of the metro. There could be a few inches of slush early Wednesday morning in Rice Lake, Hayward & Spooner up toward the Brule River.
Any snow that does mix in in the metro will not stick with temps above freezing.
Severe April 2011: All time USA tornado record?
The swarm of tornado outbreaks this month is simply freakish, off the charts crazy.
Remember these are preliminary numbers, but check out these stunning numbers so far in April from SPC.
559 (and counting daily) - Preliminary USA tornado count so far in April 2011.
267 - Previous April tornado record set in 1974 (Year of the "Super Outbreak.")
543 - All time monthly USA tornado record set in May 2003.
39 - tornado fatalities so far this month. (3 year running April average is 6.)
12 - "Killer tornadoes" so far this month. (Annual average is 22.)
38 - Additional tornado reports Monday.
Even with the expected "downward adjustment" from preliminary to final tornado numbers in April, it seems clear we have already smashed the previous April record of 267 tornadoes from the "Super Outbreak" year of 1974.
As we add more tornaodes today, it's possible we may make a run at the all time monthly record of 543 set in May 2003 when the final numbers are counted.
It is clear that this April will be one for the (tornado) record books.
The Big Question: Why?
There is consensus that tornadoes increase in the central plains in La Nina years like 2011.
Here's a post from the excellent 'Capital Weather Gang" blog.
"A study that examined the relationship between sea surface temperatures in the Pacific and the number of tornadoes in the U.S. found a weak correlation between La Nina and a greater number of tornadoes. Another study found tornadoes during La Niña years had longer than average track lengths, more violent tornadoes, and a good probability of having an outbreak of 40 or more tornadoes. Brooks points out that both the Palm Sunday tornado outbreak in 1965 and the Super Outbreak in 1974 occurred during La Nina years."
There is also evidence that though overall annual tornado numbers have increased dramatically since the 1950s. Some (much?) of that increase is due to increased and more accurate reporting of tornadoes.
Today's Doppler networks, high resolutions satellite, TV weather wars and caravans of nomadic storm chasers roaming the plains with digital video cameras and cell phones leave very few tornadoes undetected.
What we don't know is why some years like this year are so off the charts, out of control tornado spawning beasts.
I've had the pleasure if sharing interviews and dinner with folks like Greg Carbin at SPC and Howie Bluestein who are featured in the NY Times piece that came out Monday. It is because of dedicated people like Greg & Howie (and thousands of others) that we have success stories like Friday's EF-4 (possible EF-5?) tornado in St. Louis where NWS warnings gave a 22 minute lead time and nobody was seriously hurt or killed.
We did not get so lucky last night in Arkansas, where violent tornadoes and flash flood claimed multiple lives.
Here in Minnesota we can take away a couple of things. Last year's all time Minnesota tornado record (final tally of 113?) may not have been a freak occurrence. Our overall tornado numbers have nearly doubled since the 1950s from around 26 per year to nearly 50.
Also, severe weather season will move north over the next 4-6 weeks. Now is the time to be ready, so that if the St. Louis & Arkansas type tornadoes move north you'll be prepared.
Here comes the rain again.....
Our next weathermaker is pumping rainfall north into Minnesota. This one looks potent, and most of Minnesota south east of a Worthington to Duluth line will see a good soaking in the next 36 hours.
Let's break down the system at hand.
Low pressure is deepening and moving north. The track of the surface low through eastern Iowa, almost due north assures plenty of gulf moisture will be dragged north with the system, then wrung out over Minnesota.
Speed: Slow motion rain machine:
The system's slow motion will mean a long duration event. Most of the rain will fall Tuesday as the storm stalls over Wisconsin... but rain (and snow?) may linger in some areas Wednesday and even early Thursday before the system finally pulls east.
Cold air and slow movement will make this system an efficient rain producer. Look for the potential for an all day steady rain in much of southern Minnesota Tuesday into Tuesday night. There may be some embedded heavy rain pockets, and a clap of thunder is a possibility.
Rainfall totals should be heavy in southern Minnesota, then taper off as you move northwest. A cutting northeast wind and temps in the 40s will make it feel more like March at times.
Here are some projected rainfall totals by Wednesday evening.
Detroit Lakes to Bemidji: Light rainfall generally under .25". Little or rain north.
Twin Cities to Duluth: Generally .50" to 1" with some heavier totals in the south & east metro possible.
South & east of the metro including the I-90 corridor; Fairmont, Albert Lea, Rochester, Mankato, Owatonna Red Wing & Eau Claire:
Rainfall totals here could exceed 1" to 2"+ by late Wednesday.
Bottom line: This will be a steady soaking rain for most areas of southern Minnesota.
May begins on Sunday, so you wouldn't think we'd have to be talking about snow potential this week. Then again, this is Minnesota. We've been spoiled the past few years it seems.
It appears the atmosphere will be marginally cold enough for some wet snowflakes to mix in early Wednesday, especially north and east of the metro. Some slushy accumulations are possible, especially from Hinckley to Rice Lake and Hayward and maybe even near Duluth early Wednesday.
Better by Friday: Friday looks like the next best day after Monday's beautiful weather. Temperatures should surge onto the (upper?) 60s again. The respite may be brief with another storm rolling in Friday night & Saturday.
Twins match 2010 rainout totals in April?
We all watched happily in amazement as the Twins dodged a series of weather bullets last season at Target Field. It looks like the weather law of averages is catching up this year.
Last season featured just two games all season postponed due to weather at Target Field. It looks like we'll match (and maybe exceed) that total in April in 2011.
Friday night's Twins-Indians was game postponed. Right now I'd say there's a 90%+ chance tomorrow's Twins-Rays game is a washout. And Wednesday night looks iffy too. Thursday may be playable depending on how fast the system moves east.
That could be 3 games in April postponed due to weather at TF in 2011. Add a 4th from Yankee Stadium on April 6th and the Twins have some making up to do. Look for some doubleheaders later this year.
Did the Cardinals use a "severe weather strategy" to beat the Reds?
Thanks to my partner in weather crime (and Twins meteorologist) Craig Edwards for passing this along today.
It seems Tony LaRussa may have used incoming severe weather to pull a fast one on the Cincinnati Reds Friday night.
Check out the story from stltoday.com.
"A weather-delayed game the Cardinals ultimately won 4-2 at Busch Stadium negotiated its first turn almost 30 minutes before first pitch when the Cardinals notified the Cincinnati Reds that the game would start as scheduled despite an ominous weather forecast.
In a piece of managerial legerdemain, La Russa held back his scheduled starting pitcher Kyle McClellan; Baker allowed Edinson Volquez to warm as originally planned.
From there, the event evolved into a mix of meteorological intrigue, missed opportunities and a final four-out stand that left McClellan the winning pitcher, Mitch Boggs a successful closer and the Cardinals alone in first place for the first time since last Aug. 13.
La Russa told Miguel Batista that he would be making an unscheduled start shortly before the Cardinals notified Baker of their decision to start the game on time. Baker said afterward he was informed by the Cardinals that a window of 45-60 minutes remained after first pitch, a version also supported by the umpiring crew.
"They told us we had a window of an hour. That window turned into two minutes," said crew chief John Hirschbeck.
In this case, the window slammed on Baker's hands.
Because the home team, not the umpiring crew, controls a game's first pitch, McClellan replacement Miguel Batista served his first offering at 7:16 p.m., barely two minutes before a squall shut down proceedings after only six pitches.
Downpours, high wind and a tornado warning for downtown St. Louis froze the game for 2 hours, 10 minutes. Less than two years removed from elbow ligament replacement, Volquez never took the mound. Baker instead summoned lefthander Matt Maloney (0-1) to make his 10th major-league start in less than ideal circumstances.
"We had a few minutes [notice]," Baker said. "But that wasn't an issue. It didn't matter what Tony did. I wasn't going to have to follow what he did."
Asked whether the club contemplated delaying first pitch until dangerous weather passed, La Russa said, "The forecasts were flying fast and furious. They're just guessing. You don't know what's going to happen. But right after we announced it was starting on time -- around 7:05 -- somebody said it was raining at [Interstate] 270 and they thought it'd be here in 15 minutes. By then, it's pretty tough to back off.
"Sure enough, five minutes into the game it's raining."
When the game resumed McClellan was ready to take his turn, albeit in what surely will hold up as the season's longest relief appearance.
Asked after the game whether he believed the Cardinals operated under a different weather advisory than what he received, Baker said, "I'd say there's a pretty good chance. But, hey, it almost worked out for us."
Believe me, there will be days when the Twins will win a game because they have quality weather help in the dugout. Who knew the teams MVP could be an accurate weather forecast?
Incredible rainfall totals are still pouring in from southern Minnesota this afternoon. Here are a few from Twin Cities NWS today.
PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
220 PM CDT THU SEP 23 2010
HIGHWAY 52 CLOSED FROM NEAR ZUMBROTA TO PINE ISLAND DUE
TO WATER OVER THE ROADS /RUNOFF FROM FARM FIELDS/.
NUMEROUS ROAD CLOSURES IN ZUMBROTA COUNTY INCLUDING
HIGHWAY 60 NEAR BOMBAY AND HIGHWAY 56 NEAR WEST CONCORD
DUE TO OVERFLOWING CREEKS.
0641 AM HEAVY RAIN S MAPLETON E6.00 INCH TRAINED SPOTTER
SPOTTER MEASURED 6+ INCHES OF RAINFALL. AMOUNT OVER 6
INCHES IS UNKNOWN BECAUSE HIS GAUGE HAD OVERFLOWED.
0715 AM FLASH FLOOD 1 ENE MINNESOTA LAKE FARIBAULT TRAINED SPOTTER
8.35 INCHES OF RAIN WITH PONDING AND STANDING WATER AND
LOCAL STREAMS RISING QUICKLY.
0940 AM FLOOD ST JAMES M8.75 INCH WATONWAN TRAINED SPOTTER
NUMEROUS STREETS UNDERWATER WITH SOME CLOSED. A FEW
APARTMENTS HAVE BEEN EVACUATED DUE TO WATER.
0800 AM FLASH FLOOD TRUMAN MARTIN EMERGENCY MNGR
ROADS FLOODED IN TRUMAN. FOUR TO FIVE FEET OF WATER IN
BASEMENTS. EGRESS WINDOWS BROKEN DUE TO FLOODING.
0151 PM HEAVY RAIN 17 NE OWATONNA M8.00 INCH GOODHUE TRAINED SPOTTER
0215 PM HEAVY RAIN AMBOY M10.53 INCH BLUE EARTH TRAINED SPOTTER
That's 10.5" of rain in 24 hours in Amboy south of Mankato. That's nearly a SUMMER'S worth of rain in one day.
Widespread reports of river, creek and basement flooding continue to flow in. Here's the doppler storm total rainfall loop as of mid-afternoon.
You can clearly see the swath of 6" to 10" north of I-90 in southern Minnesota. Rainfall of 3" to 4" edges right up into southern Dakota and Scott counties in the far south metro. 1" to 2" rainfall is common in the south half of the metro, with lesser amounts north.
The Twin Cities has so far dodged a major flood event by about 50-60 miles.
Here are some rainfall totals for the metro and St. Cloud:
-Twin Cities Airport 2.24"
-Target Field 2.2" (courtesy Larry DiVito Minnesota Twins)
-St. Paul 2.02"
-Eden Prairie (Flying Cloud) 1.96"
-St. Cloud .56"
Southeast Minnesota is also getting hit hard wither over 5" in Rochester.
The good news is trends indicate the heaviest, steadiest rains are finally tapering off. There will be a few showers and maybe a clap of thunder this evening, but most of the rain has fallen. Still, it will take hours and days for floodwaters to recede in much of southern Minnesota.
(original post 8:16am)
Persistent heavy rains are causing what can only be described as a major flood event in southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Rainfall totals of between 4" to over 9" have been reported, with flooding in progress in a swath running north of I-90. This is TWO MONTH'S worth of rain in a day. This is a potentially life threatening situation. Get the latest flood warnings here.
Incredible rainfall totals:
This is going to be a record rainfall event for many Minnesota locations. Here are some rainfall totals as of early Thursday morning. Many of these totals will increase today. We could see some rainfall totals in excess of 1 FOOT by Friday morning.
PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
723 AM CDT THU SEP 23 2010
..TIME... ...EVENT... ...CITY LOCATION... ...LAT.LON...
..DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
0713 AM HEAVY RAIN AMBOY 43.89N 94.16W
09/23/2010 M9.02 INCH BLUE EARTH MN CO-OP OBSERVER
0515 AM HEAVY RAIN JORDAN 44.67N 93.63W
09/23/2010 M2.35 INCH SCOTT MN CO-OP OBSERVER
0700 AM HEAVY RAIN MONTEVIDEO 44.95N 95.72W
09/23/2010 M1.92 INCH CHIPPEWA MN CO-OP OBSERVER
0700 AM HEAVY RAIN NORTHFIELD 44.45N 93.17W
09/23/2010 M5.20 INCH RICE MN CO-OP OBSERVER
0700 AM HEAVY RAIN SPRINGFIELD 44.24N 94.98W
09/23/2010 M4.00 INCH BROWN MN CO-OP OBSERVER
0715 AM FLASH FLOOD 1 ENE MINNESOTA LAKE 43.85N 93.81W
09/23/2010 FARIBAULT MN TRAINED SPOTTER
8.35 INCHES OF RAIN WITH PONDING AND STANDING WATER AND
LOCAL STREAMS RISING QUICKLY.
0715 AM HEAVY RAIN WELCOME 43.67N 94.62W
09/23/2010 M4.90 INCH MARTIN MN TRAINED SPOTTER
Here are some additional totals:
Doppler storm total rainfall shows a swath of 4" to 9" rainfall north of I-90 corridor in south central MN.
Flooding is in progress and will continue today in southern Minnesota. People in areas near rivers and streams should seek higher ground. This is a dangerous situation. Do not drive into flooded waters.
-Twin Cities radar loop
-Twin Cities NEXRAD storm total rainfall loop
Severe threat increasing:
As if two month's worth of rainfall isn't enough, the threat for severe storms will increase in southern Minnesota this afternoon. As the surface low pressure system pulls north with a potent warm front, warm and unstable air will open the door for severe storms.
Keep an eye out for possible severe T-Storm warnings (and even a stray tornado warning) later today.
Persistent heavy rainfall swamped southern Minnesota with 2" to more than 4" of rain Wednesday night. NWS has issued flood warnings for several counties along and north of the I-90 corridor in southern Minnesota.
Waves of rainfall will continue to develop and lift north through Thursday. Expect periods of rain, sometimes heavy. There is a slight risk for a few severe storms as well.
This may be a situation where we see some incredible rainfall totals as the slow moving storm pushes north into Minnesota Thursday.
NEXRAD storm total rainfall loop shows 2" to 4" rainfall totals in southern Minnesota.
Some locations will see a month's worth of rainfall in a day or two. The latest indications are that some areas in southern Minnesota could see over 5" to 7"+ rainfall by Friday morning.
Stay tuned for updated warnings here.
(original post 3:25pm)
Forecast: Flood Watch
Get ready for some really big puddles.
A powerful fall like storm system is taking aim for Minnesota. We're on track for a potentially heavy rainfall event in much of Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin through Thursday and into Friday morning.
The lead wave of rainfall is already here, and by the time wave number two rolls through Thursday, some areas may have rain gauges brimming with 2" to 4"+ rainfall totals.
The Twin Cities NWS has issued a flood watch through Friday morning for the metro and much of central Minnesota and northern Wisconsin.
It appears the first wave may come through without severe weather, but as warm and humid and increasingly unstable air is drawn north with the system, there is the potential for some severe storms into Thursday.
Bottom line: get ready for some potential heavy rainfall over the next 36 hours, and keep an eye out for possible severe weather, especially in southern Minnesota.
The latest forecast models coming in indicate the potential for a major rainfall event for parts of southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin, including the Twin Cities metro area.
It now appears at least two waves of rain and thunder may roll in starting Wednesday afternoon. By Thursday night, some areas could be swamped with anywhere from 2" to as much as 4"+ in the wettest scenario. Localized flooding could be an issue by Thursday night into Friday morning.
The first wave may roll into eastern Minnesota and the Twin Cities anytime after 3pm Wednesday and continue through Wednesday night. The second wave may brew Thursday.
The air to the south of the warm front with this system will be very warm and unstable. There is a risk for thunderstorms, some of which could be severe. The Twin Cities appears to be right on the northern edge of the potential severe risk area.
Enjoy the tranquil weather tonight and early Wednesday, then be ready to batten down the hatches for potentially heavy rain by late Wednesday and Thursday.
Original post 9:00 am
You gotta love September in Minnesota.
We've had several frosty mornings in northeast Minnesota last weekend. Then came Monday.
It started cool, with Octoberish temperature levels in the 50s under a steely sky. It was 52 in the Twin Cities at 5:43am. Okay, that's pretty normal stuff for late September.
That was before the super turbo charged warm front blasted in from Iowa. As skies cleared and the sun popped out Monday afternoon south of the warm front, temperatures shot up anywhere from 10 to 20 degrees in just a few hours.
It hit 90 in Luverne, St. James, Mankato, and Fairmont. The temperature spike continued after sundown, with the Twin Cities reaching the daily high of 80 degrees at 11:37pm!
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHANHASSEN MN
201 AM CDT TUE SEP 21 2010
MAXIMUM 80 1137 PM
I saw a July-like 97 degrees Monday in northern Nebraska and southern South Dakota.
Check out the temperature surge as the front pushed north Monday afternoon.
As a cool front swept through overnight, a few storms rumbled along with it. Here are some rainfall totals.
Twin Cities Airport .56"
St. Paul .40"
Eden Prairie .17"
There were also a few hail reports and some tree branches down. Hail fell with one particular cell as it crossed from near Twin Cities Airport, into Highland Park and onto Hudson, Wisconsin.
MPX: Hudson [St. Croix Co, WI] law enforcement reports HAIL of marble size (M0.50 INCH) at 01:52 AM CDT -- branches down and power outages reported.
MPX: Mahtomedi [Washington Co, MN] trained spotter reports HAIL of ping pong ball size (M1.50 INCH) at 01:50 AM CDT --
MPX: 2 Sw St Paul [Ramsey Co, MN] trained spotter reports HAIL of ping pong ball size (M1.50 INCH) at 01:45 AM CDT -- in highland park area. spotter indicates a dead tree is down in neighborhood.
MPX: 2 Sw St Paul [Ramsey Co, MN] trained spotter reports HAIL of half dollar size (M1.25 INCH) at 01:40 AM CDT -- in highland park area power also is out.
MPX: 1 E Richfield [Hennepin Co, MN] asos reports HAIL of quarter size (M1.00 INCH) at 01:37 AM CDT -- observed at msp international airport.
Doppler storm total rainfall shows some streaks of 1" rainfall under heavier cells. Doppler tends to estmate a little high when hail is present in cloud towers like the storms overnight.
Heavy rain Thursday:
A strong low pressure system is headed this way Wednesday night and Thursday. This one looks like it will be an efficient ran producer, and most of the southern half of Minnesota could see heavy rain starting Wednesday night and continuing through Thursday.
It looks like some widespread 1" to 2" rainfall totals are likely. There could be some isoletd areas of 3"+ with this potent system.
The weather maps for Thursday have the look of a major low pressure system that would produce a major winter storm if this were December. We can be thankful it's still September and we're looking at an inch or two of rain instead of a foot or more of snow!
Enjoy the sun and mild temps in the lower 70s today!
Weather Lab moves to Target Field tonight:
And wish me luck tonight.
I'll be filling in for Craig Edwards as game day meteorologist for the Minnesota Twins at Target Field tonight. The Twins could clinch the division title tonight if they win and Oakland beats the White Sox.
Tune in to KNOW 91.1FM for my live weathercast from Target Field at about 5:48pm assuming we get all the kinks worked out right.
Posted at 8:18 AM on September 15, 2010
by Paul Huttner
Filed under: Rainfall
Our wet Wednesday arrived with a flash and a bang this morning.
Wave #1 of showers and a few thunder boomers woke us around 5am this morning. The next wave is moving through southern Minnesota today, and a third wave may linger into this evening.
A vigorous low pressure system is bringing a good shot of rainfall to southern Minnesota today. By the time it's done tonight, many areas will record .50" to 1" of rainfall, with some rain gauges brimming with over an inch.
NEXRAD Storm total rainfall shows heaviest rains in southwest Minnesota Wednesday morning.
Here are some rainfall totals around the metro with the morning wave of rain.
Eden Prairie .12"
St. Paul .24"
Twin Cities Airport .29"
Though we'll see a little lightning and hear some cracks of thunder, it appears most of the rain will come through without widespread severe weather. Still, there is a slight risk for severe weather over portions of southern Minnesota, with a better chance in Iowa today.
Expect occasional rain and some thunder through this evening before the system pulls out tonight.
NOAA is showing off some amazing images from the new GOES 15 weather satellite.
Check out the loop of Hurricane Igor. The loop begins with images every 30 minutes and then shows images every minute a few seconds in. Notice the incredible detail in Igor's eye. Talk about showing off a new weather toy!
GOES-15, has successfully completed five months of on-orbit testing and has been accepted into service. It is the third and final spacecraft in the GOES N-P Series of geostationary environmental weather satellites.
Wednesday super soaker:
Wednesday looks like a good day to test that new rain coat or umbrella. A strong low pressure system will slide east into Minnesota from the Dakotas Wednesday. Look for rain to begin in northwest Minnesota Wednesday morning, then spread east across the rest of the state by midday and afternoon. The heaviest, steadiest rains will fall from after lunchtime into early Wednesday evening before the rain tapers off Wednesday night from west to east.
Rainfall totals could be significant. The models are cranking out between .50" and 1.50"+ depending on where you live, and the exact track of the system. Some isolated 2" amounts appear possible in a band north of the I-94 corridor from Alexandria to the north metro.
The sun will return on Thursday for a nice September day.
The strongest storm of the Atlantic hurricane season so far is exploding with intensity today.
Hurricane Earl packs winds of 145 mph as it turns north for a brush with the Outer Banks of North Carolina tonight. Earl is at or near peak intensity today as it rides over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream.
Earl is a potentially catastrophic Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane intensity scale.
Here are the Thursday AM stats on Earl from NHC:
HURRICANE EARL INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 32A
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL072010
800 AM EDT THU SEP 02 2010
...INTENSE HURRICANE EARL CONTINUES ON A NORTH-NORTHWESTWARD
TRACK...EXPECTED TO PASS NEAR THE OUTER BANKS TONIGHT...
SUMMARY OF 800 AM EDT...1200 UTC...INFORMATION
ABOUT 355 MI...575 KM S OF CAPE HATTERAS NORTH CAROLINA
ABOUT 820 MI...1315 KM SSW OF NANTUCKET MASSACHUSETTS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...145 MPH...230 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNW OR 330 DEGREES AT 18 MPH...30 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...932 MB...27.52 INCHES
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS REMAIN NEAR 145 MPH...230 KM/HR...WITH
HIGHER GUSTS. EARL IS A CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE ON THE
SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE. A GRADUAL WEAKENING IS
EXPECTED TO START LATER TODAY...BUT EARL IS EXPECTED TO BE A MAJOR
HURRICANE WHEN IT PASSES NEAR THE OUTER BANKS.
The eye of Earl is expected to pass just east the Outer Banks late tonight. Hurricane force winds extend out 90 miles from Earl's center, and tropical storm force winds extend about 130 miles from Earl.
Regardless of the exact path of Earl's potentially devastating eyewall, the size of Earl will bring hurricane force winds and dangerous storm surge to the Outer Banks overnight tonight.
Cape Cod Next?
Earl's track has been shifted slightly to the west after about 24 hours. That brings the possibility of a direct hit or very near miss on Cape Cod into play Friday night into Saturday morning.
September chill blows in:
Get set for the coldest air mass in nearly 3 months.
Temperatures are in the 40s and upper 30s in Saskatchewan this morning. That chill air mass will spill in behind a cold front tonight.
Friday will bring blustery northwest winds and temperatures that will struggle to climb out of the 60s.
The Fairgrounds picked up .68" of rain this morning, making this likely the wettes day of the Fair in 2010. Look for a mix of clouds and sun today, with a few more pop up showers possible.
The weather will mellow for the Labor Day weekend with more sun and highs climbing back into the 70s. After a dry Saturday and Sunday, the next chance of showers will move this way on Labor Day.
Powerful Hurricane Earl has the attention of the U.S. East Coast.
The powerful Category 4 storm is the season's first major hurricane, and it looks to make a close pass on North Carolina's Outer Banks Thursday. Here are the numbers from NHC.
HURRICANE EARL INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 24B
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL072010
900 AM AST TUE AUG 31 2010
...EARL CONTINUES TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST WITH LITTLE CHANGE IN
SUMMARY OF 900 AM AST...1300 UTC...INFORMATION
ABOUT 200 MI...325 KM NNW OF SAN JUAN PUERTO RICO
ABOUT 230 MI...370 KM E OF GRAND TURK ISLAND
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...135 MPH...215 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 300 DEGREES AT 13 MPH...20 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...935 MB...27.61 INCHES
Intensity forecasts for Earl fluctuate between about 135 and 140 mph for the next 36 hours, with a gradual decrease in wind speed after that. Earl will likely still be a major Category 3 or 4 hurricane as it brushes the North Carolina coast Thursday.
The latest model trends continue to push Earl westward, a little closer to the Carolina coast Thursday. There is a chance Earl could score a direct hit on the Outer Banks. Even if the center of Earl passes off shore, the storm will still trigger coastal flooding and erosion with pounding waves and storms surge.
Check out the radar loop from Pureto Rico as Earl passes by to the north of the island.
Storm risk again today:
Round one of thunderstorms woke many of us overnight. Lighting and heavy downpours we're the featured fare with the early AM storms.
NEXRAD storm total rainfall paints a swath of 2" to 3" rainfall west of the metro.
There are some impressive rainfall reports from overnight in southwest Minnesota.
Granite Falls 3"
Amounts were lighter but significant in the Twin Cities area.
MSP Airport .35"
Huttner Weather Lab (west metro) .45"
Forest Lake .90"
Round #2 should develop this afternoon, but the intensity and location of the storms could be largely cloud dependant.
If the debris clouds from the morning storms breaks, and we get ample sun early this afternoon we could see storms fire near the metro late PM. If the clouds hold a little longer, storms may form east of the Twin Cities and shift the sever weather potential to Wisconsin, southeast Minnesota and Iowa.
Stay tuned for possible watches and warnings late this afternoon.
Posted at 3:19 PM on August 24, 2010
by Craig Edwards
Filed under: Rainfall
I like this image because you can quickly capture where the heaviest rain fell Monday afternoon through 7AM Tuesday morning. Luverne in southwest Minnesota received slightly more than a half inch, while Tracy, Minnesota tallied just shy of eight tenths of an inch of rain. Redwood Falls was doused with 0.93 inches of rain. The rain gauge at Winnebago collected nearly an inch.
In Hibbing, the rainfall was 0.81 nches. So the darker green represents pretty much three quarters to close to one inch of total rainfall.
Around the Twin Cities, I spied only 0.16 inches at St. Paul Holman Airport, while Chanhassen measured 0.44 inches.
Bemidji 0.20 inches
Duluth 0.11 inches
Rochester 0.05 inches
Remember this image is only an approximation. Ground truth tells the real story.
More clouds than sun covered far northern Minnesota this afternoon. Bemidji, who reached a high of 86 on Monday found the thermometer stuck in the middle 60s this afternoon.
Delightfully refreshing temperatures are in store through Thursday. By Friday afternoon you'll be basking in an airmass that once again feels like summer. Warm temperatures are likely for the weekend. That's getting a little ahead of ourselves.
You may hear a little thunder overnight tonight.
The latest discussions from SPC indicate that the thunder threat will increase during the overnight hours. There is still a slight risk for severe storms overnight in much of southern Minnesota.
There will be a few showers around during the evening hours, but it looks like the best chance for severe storms and locally heavy rainfall may occur overnight.
Keep an eye and an ear on the thunder threat overnight!
August may rumble again for much of Minnesota through tonight into Friday.
A warm front is draped from eastern South Dakota through southern Minnesota today. As a low pressure wave surges toward Minnesota later today, showers and T-Storms will increase near the front. Action may be going in much of southwest Minnesota today, and gradually spread east into the metro by late afternoon and tonight.
The atmosphere is unstable enough that some of the storms may reach severe potential later today and tonight. It appears the highest chances for severe weather will be in southwest Minnesota today, then transition toward the metro and eastern Minnesota this evening and overnight.
The primary threats will be large hail and damaging winds, but a few isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out...especially in southwest Minnesota. It is possible that Minnesota will add to our already nation leading torando tally again today into Friday.
Heavy rainfall potential:
Some of the storms may dump locally heavy rainfall as they move slowly northeast. Forecast models are cranking out an average of about 1.25" of rainfall for southern into central Minnesota. Keep in mind that summertime convective rains are not usually evenly distributed, and amounts will vary greatly depending on location.
Chances for storms will increase from west to east across southern Minnesota today and tonight. Keep an eye and ear out for possible warnings as the day (and night) wears on.
It was a nice break while it lasted.
Get ready for another round of showers and thunderstorms in most of central and southern Minnesota over the next 24 hours. But this batch may be a little different.
A September like cool front will sag slowly south today through Minnesota. The frontal boundary is the focal point for scattered "garden variety" showers and storms during the morning and early PM, but may trigger a few isolated severe storms later this afternoon and evening.
NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has laid out a slight risk for severe storms for central and southern Minnesota this afternoon and tonight. I am in line with SPC thinking that the scenario today lacks a main upper air "trigger" to produce widespread severe weather. Still, with the surface boundary just north of the Twin Cities late today, there may be enough oomph for a few isolated severe storms.
SPC is calling for about a 15% chance for severe hail (1" diameter or larger) and/or damaging winds late today and this evening.
Two rain shots?
The front will hang around into Friday, but we may see two distinct waves of potential rainfall. The first one late today and tonight looks to be the lesser in terms of rainfall totals. We may see a break in rain most of Thursday, before the second stronger wave moves east late Thursday night and Friday morning. This second wave could produce some locally heavy rainfall over an inch in some areas overnight Thursday into Friday AM.
(click to enlarge images)
Overall the severe threat this week does not look as insanely high as what we've seen so far this summer season, but keep an eye out for an isolated severe storm or two later today.
Our fresh Canadian air mass was a beautiful respite from the sticky summer of 2010. As a warm front gurgles north this weekend, humidity, heat and (a few severe) storms are back.
Expect a little bit of everything this weekend.
Let's break down the weekend forecast one day at a time.
Most of Minnesota will enjoy a lovely evening with gradually rising humidity and gentle breezes. There will be a few scattered showers and T-Storms in far southern Minnesota along the I-90 corridor. Look for overnight lows in the 40s north, 50s central and 60s south.
Heat and humidity will bubble back north Saturday as a warm front moves north. Thunderstorms will increase in the eastern Dakotas, southern and western Minnesota as the day wears on.
The atmosphere overhead will be unstable enough that a storm could pop up anytime Saturday, but it looks like the most organized T-Storm clusters will move from western Minnesota early Saturday toward the Twin Cites metro by Saturday evening and into Saturday night.
Highs will be mostly in the 80s. Winds south 5-15 mph.
There is a slight risk that some of the storms could be severe. The SPC has placed much of Minnesota under a slight risk for severe storms Saturday.
If severe weather occurs, the primary threat appears to be high winds and hail. A few isolated tornadoes are possible, but the atmosphere lacks widespread strong low level wind shear or "spin" to support large, long lived monster tornadoes. Translation? Maybe a spotty tornado or two but probably no big time June 17th style tornado outbreak.
Most areas may see between a thrid and three quarters of an inch of rain. A few of the storms could be "heavy rainers." There will be enough juice in the atmosphere to produce locally heavy rainfall over an inch if storms stall out in some areas.
A few storms may linger in eastern Minnesota Sunday morning. It looks like the warm front will then move north, which puts most of Minnesota into the hot sticky tropical air mass. Look for dew points to bubble into the sticky 70s again by Sunday. Temperatures should soar into the 90s again in much of southern Minnesota.
It looks like Sunday afternoon and evening may be (mostly) storm free. The heat and humidity will have air conditioners humming once again, and your favorite lake, beach or Dairy Queen will do a brisk business.
Enjoy a summer like weekend, but keep an eye out fro storms especially Saturday and Saturday night.
Update 12:00 am Friday
It looks more like the metro wil be on the northern fringe of the rain. The heaviest rainfall looks to be south of the metro, for Mankato. Waseca, Fairmont, Worthington, and Albert Lea. A few showers and a T-Storm may still rumbe in the metro through Friday morning.
Welcome to another shot of rain Friday for southern Minnesota.
A soggy warm front is gurgling north, and triggering another round of showers and T-Storms, mainy in the southern third of the state. Locally heavy downpours appear to be the main flavor of this system, hopefully with less severe weather than the onslaught we've endured the past 6 weeks.
NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has NOT placed Minnesota under a risk for severe weather Friday.
Some of the rainfall could be on the heavy side in southern Minnesota. Various models crank out anywhere 1 to 2 inches of rainfall with this system south and west of the metro. There could be some isolated heavier amounts in slow moving storms.
For the metro, it looks like the best money is on under .25"of rain for most areas through Friday morning. As is always the case, if storms slow down or "train" over the same area, rainfall amounts could be locally higher.
Showers and thunderstorms are ongoing overnight and will move east and north Friday. It looks like most of the action will be on Friday morning, and a gradual trend toward drier skies will kick in Friday PM.
Saturday and Sunday look good, with one exception. The next wave may push showers and a few T-Storms into western Minnesota Sunday and into the east by as early as Sunday night.
All in all, the trend appears to favor fewer bouts of severe weather over the next week or so. If that verifies, it would be a welcome break for storm weary Minnesotans, and a few meteorologists I know!
You may notice some vivid reddish sunsets the next few days in Minnesota.
A shift to a northwesterly wind flow in the upper atmosphere is feeding smoke from Canadian forest fires aloft into the skies over Minnesota.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
DESCRIPTIVE TEXT NARRATIVE FOR SMOKE/DUST OBSERVED IN SATELLITE IMAGERY
THROUGH 0102Z July 29, 2010
The numerous large wildfires of SE Northwest Territories, SW Nunavut,
and N Saskatchewan continue to emit copious amounts of dense smoke.
Dense smoke covers a large portion of N Saskatchewan into W Manitoba, the
NE corner of ND and the northern half of MN. Moderate smoke is connected
to this area over central and northern Saskatchewan over SE NW Territories
and S continental Nunavut into much of western and northern Hudson Bay.
A few other areas of moderate smoke can be seen over N Lake Superior
and NE Ontario as it moves S and SE around the western side of the large
vortex over James Bay and E Quebec.
Next rain Friday:
It appears our next shot of rain will roll in Friday. Expect a chance of showers and storms to move into northwest Minnesota tonight and overspread the state Friday.
The best chance for heavy rains appears to be in the southwest half of the state, but the system will have to be monitored.
In the mean time, enjoy a picture postcard Thursday, and watch for a reddish sunset tonight!
It looks like a half decent weekend in Minnesota. The question is which half?
Here's the scoop. Plan the day at the lake for Sunday.
A slow moving low pressure system will bring another wave or two of rain and thunder through southern Minnesota and Iowa this weekend. The next wave overnight and into Friday morning should again favor areas along the I-90 corridor. A flash flood watch has been posted for southwest Minnesota into Friday.
1" to 3" rainfall totals last night has saturated ground in the southern quarter of Minnesota, and it won't take much additional rainfall to get rapid rises in rivers and creeks.
The highest risk for severe weather Friday appreas to be south of the metro in southern Minnesota and into Iowa and Wisconsin.
For the metro and points north, it appears the heaviest and more persistent rains may stay south of us until Friday night. In fact, some of the models portray a fairly nice weather pattern until the next wave of storms rumbles in Friday night. That's the wave that could linger into Saturday, keeping a few persistent showers in the forecast until things finally clear out late in the day Saturday.
Sunday still looks like a classic. Plenty of sun, low humidity and warm temps in the 80s.
Indications are Tropical Storm Bonnie may graze the southern tip of Florida and move into the Gulf of Mexico this weekend.
A parade of showers and embedded thunderstorms is marching across southern Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin today.
The Twin Cities metro area is on the northern edges of this weather system. We can expect rain from time to time, but there may be several "dry" (not raining but plenty humid) hours through Friday.
The system will generally come in two main waves. The first this morning has dumped heavy rain in southern Minnesota, including nearly 3 inches in Blue Earth and Fairmont.
Doppler storm total rainfall shows multi-inch rainfall along and north of the I-90 corridor in Minnesota.
Rainfall reports on the ground confirm the doppler estimates. Here are some rainfall totals as of 6 AM this morning.
STATION MAX MIN 24-HR
: NAME TEMP TEMP PCPN
AXN : ALEXANDRIA MN ARPT : 83 / 69 / 0.00
EAU : EAU CLAIRE WI AIRPORT : 84 / 66 / 0.08
STC : ST CLOUD MN ARPT : 86 / 69 / 0.00
MIC : CRYSTAL MN ARPT : 88 / 69 / 0.03
MSP : MINNEAPOLIS MN ARPT : 88 / 68 / 0.23
STP : ST PAUL MN ARPT : 88 / 68 / 0.28
FCM : FLYING CLOUD MN ARPT : 88 / 69 / 0.25
RWF : REDWOOD FALLS MN ARPT : 86 / 68 / 0.27
BTHM5 : BLUE EARTH : 90 / 60 / 2.61
CHKM5 : CHASKA 2 NW : 86 / 58 / 0.12
FIRM5 : FAIRMONT : 85 / 68 / 2.95
ZMPM5 : FARMINGTON CWSU : M / M / 0.62
FORM5 : FOREST LAKE 5 NE : 88 / 60 / 0.00
HSTM5 : HASTINGS LOCK/DAM 2 : 87 / 65 / 0.22
HDSM5 : HENDERSON 3 W : 83 / 62 / 0.70
KIMM5 : KIMBALL 3 N : 83 / 61 / 0.00
LFLM5 : LITTLE FALLS : M / M / 0.02
LNGM5 : LONG PRAIRIE : 81 / 58 / 0.00
MKAM5 : MANKATO : 85 / 61 / 1.61
LSAM5 : MINNEAPOLIS LOWER ST : M / M / 0.14
MVDM5 : MONTEVIDEO 1 SW : 83 / 60 / 0.11
MGNM5 : MORGAN : M / M / 0.72
RDWM5 : RED WING LOCK/DAM 3 : 88 / 65 / 0.27
REWM5 : REDWOOD FALLS : 86 / 59 / 0.17
RCEM5 : RICE : 84 / 60 / 0.03
SPEM5 : ST PETER : 87 / 61 / 1.06
SFDM5 : SPRINGFIELD 1 NW : M / M / 1.49
SWRM5 : STILLWATER WTP : M / M / 0.25
Thursday's weather will play out in large part depending on where you live. In far southern Minnesota the chances for rain, heavy rain, and severe weather will be the greatest. There is a flash flood watch out through this evening basically south of the metro.
In the Twin Cities if we get some sun mixed in this afternoon that could spur scattered thunderstorms to redevelop, and bring tropical downpours to areas underneath the dew point rich storms.
The second wave of this system appears to be due in Friday night and could linger into parts of Saturday. The weather should improve dramatically later Saturday and into Sunday, which could be spectacular with bright sun, lower humidity and highs in the 80s.
Tropical Storm Bonnie?
NHC is betting on naming the season's second storm today. A storng easterly wave near Cuba may become Tropical Storm Bonnie at any moment.
Forecast models differ on the eventual intensity of Bonnie. Some models approach hurricane force within about 48 hours.
The forecasts agree more on where Bonnie will head, and you guessed it...the track looks to be right into the heart of the oil spill zone.
As we saw with Alex, even a tropical storm can wreak havoc on oil cleanup operations and drive more oil ashore through wind and wave action as well as with even minor storm surge.
Stay tuned as "Bonnie" moves into the Gulf the next 48 hours.
Outdoor baseball in Minnesota: Twins lucky weather winning streak?
I'm happy to report that the Minnesota Twins have been extremely lucky regarding the timing of rain and severe weather events so far this summer. It's almost uncanny how the games at Target Filed have dodged rain and severe weather for the most part.
You've heard of "weather rocks" and "weather ropes" which profess that "if it's wet, it's raining etc." It seems like the Twins almost have their own version at Target Field. If it's storming, the game is tomorrow. If there's lightning, the game just ended, if it's wet for days, the Twin are on a road trip!
I credit the good weather luck to my partner in weather crime Craig Edwards, who watches the skies for the Twins daily on game days. Let's hope the weather winning streak keeps going this summer.
Here's a forecast that gets to the point.
Expect rain Thursday.
Get set for the next round of storms in Minnesota. This batch could bring good ole' fashioned gully washers.
An approaching warm front and low pressure center will bring the next wave of showers and thunderstorms overnight and into Thursday. A potentially strong low level jet stream around 5k feet will feed moisture into the region overnight. Storms in the Dakotas will ride east into southern Minnesota overnight.
It looks like the best bet for arrival in the metro will be toward sunrise and rain chances will continue into Thursday morning before the first wave slides east as the day wears on.
The SPC has placed southern Minnesota under a slight risk for severe storms.
There could be high winds and hail but it appears the biggest threat may be slow moving storms that can dump heavy rains in excess of 1" to 2"+ capable of flash flooding.
Keep the NOAA Weather Radio and MPR handy as the day wears on Thursday.
Local meteorologists should be getting combat pay this month.
A look at some of the numbers during the onslaught of severe storms the past month by the Twin Cities NWS shows that we've had three times as many reports of severe weather in the past month as we had all of last year!
Here are the numbers from the Twin Cities NWS office:
The June 17th to July 17th Numbers
All statistics are for the 51 county NWS Chanhassen County Warning Area unless otherwise stated.
•395 preliminary reports of severe weather.
•2009 only had 120 total separate severe weather documented and verified.*
•Tornado counts are still being assessed and the surveying, coordinating, and documenting process takes time, thus the initial tornado number count will change some in the coming days to weeks, but to this point 37 have been documented.
•204 total severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings issued, with 72 being tornado warnings.
•The main six events each had at least 20 warnings issued.
•The Storms Prediction Center (SPC) has included some portion of the area in five moderate risks of severe weather in their Day 1 Daily Convective Outlook. The area was under five total moderate risks in the day 1 outlook in the two year span from June 12th, 2008 through June 16th, 2010.
It appears our next wave of storms will arrive in the early morning hours on Thursday. A strong low level jet stream (around 5k feet) will drive fresh moisture northward from Iowa into southern Minnesota overnight. The moist unstable air will be acted upon by a strong "short wave" in the upper atmosphere, and that should trigger an MCS (Mesoscale convective system) style cluster of organized heavy thunderstorms overnight.
The forecast models are cranking out some impressive rainfall totals with this system. Widespread .50" to 1/5" totals appear likely, with the NAM model cranking out an amazing 4" by Thursday afternoon. This is probably high for most areas....but it gives you the idea that there may be some locally heavy and potentially flooding rains with this system.
Keep an eye and ear out for heavy rainfall and severe weather again early Thursday.
This weekend should have a little something for everyone. A little sun, a little heat, a few showers and some thunder.
A fairly typical July weather pattern is setting up this weekend. Saturday will be the hotter more humid day. Look for plenty of increasingly hazy sun in southern Minnesota, with the best chance of scattered thunderstorms roaming the northern half of the state.
A cool front will slide slowly through northern Minnesota Saturday, and ease into the metro and southern Minnesota early Sunday. Expect scattered showers and thunderstorms with the front to light up radars as they pass through.
Temperatures will be in the 70s and 80s north and central, but may push 90 in southern Minnesota Saturday. Humidity will be on the rise as dew points climb back through the 60s.
A few of the storms could reach severe threshold this weekend, but if the timing works out right the storms will come through the highly populated metro overnight Saturday into Sunday morning. If that timing holds, the storms MAY have a litte less oomph as they come through the metro, before regenerating in southeast Minnesota Sunday afternoon.
NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has placed a slight risk for severe storms as the front moves through this weekend.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows the effects of recent rains in much of Minnesota. The percentage of area in Minnesota classified in drought status has dropped from 39.2% to 21.9% over the past 3 months.
Drought is still hanging on in Minnesota's Arrowhead region.
Rio Grande flood:
Tropical Depression "Two" has dumped more heavy rain on the Rio Grande watershed along the Texas Mexico border. Coming on the heels of Hurricane Alex, some areas have recieved as much as 20" of rainfall in the past two weeks. Severe flooding is occurring along both the Mexico and U.S. sides of the river.
The Rio Grande was only 3 feet deep a few weeks ago, and is now running 40 feet deep in some areas. Thsi is the highest level in 45 years, and the 3rd highest crest on the Rio Grande in history.
Posted at 2:34 PM on July 7, 2010
by Paul Huttner
Filed under: Rainfall
A quasi-stationary frontal boundary has set up right in the eastern half of the Twin Cities today. It appears this front will be the focus for scattered showers and thunderstorms through the evening.
Possible wall cloud near 494 and Hwy 169 on MNDOT traffic cam.
Hevay downpours in eastern Eden Prairie and west Bloomington prompt an urban flood advisory from NWS.
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
459 PM CDT WED JUL 7 2010
459 PM CDT WED JUL 7 2010
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN THE TWIN CITIES HAS ISSUED AN
* URBAN AND SMALL STREAM FLOOD ADVISORY FOR AREAS IN...
SOUTHEASTERN HENNEPIN COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL MINNESOTA...
* UNTIL 800 PM CDT
* AT 455 PM CDT...TRAINED WEATHER SPOTTERS REPORTED THUNDERSTORMS
WITH HEAVY RAINFALL ACROSS THE ADVISORY AREA. A STORM SPOTTER
IN WESTERN BLOOMINGTON REPORTED RAIN FALLING AT A RATE OF AROUND 2
INCHES IN AN HOUR.
* RUNOFF FROM THIS EXCESSIVE RAINFALL WILL CAUSE SOME FLOODING TO
OCCUR...ESPECIALLY IN AREAS OF POOR DRAINAGE. SOME LOCATIONS THAT
MAY EXPERIENCE FLOODING INCLUDE...BLOOMINGTON...EDEN
PRAIRIE...EDINA AND RICHFIELD. THIS INCLUDES THE INTERSTATE 35
CONSTRUCTION AREA FROM BLOOMINGTON THROUGH RICHFIELD.
EXCESSIVE RUNOFF FROM THIS STORM WILL CAUSE MINOR FLOODING OF SMALL
CREEKS AND STREAMS...URBAN AREAS...HIGHWAYS...STREETS AND UNDERPASSES
AS WELL AS OTHER DRAINAGE AREAS AND LOW LYING SPOTS.
Twin Cities NWS issues NOWCAST on storms.
SHORT TERM FORECAST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
426 PM CDT WED JUL 7 2010
BLUE EARTH-FARIBAULT-FREEBORN-GOODHUE-LE SUEUR-RICE-STEELE-WASECA-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...ALBERT LEA...MANKATO...OWATONNA...RED WING
426 PM CDT WED JUL 7 2010
HEAVY RAIN PRODUCING THUNDERSTORMS WILL CONTINUE TO ADVANCE
ACROSS SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA LATE THIS AFTERNOON. SOME OF
THE STRONGER STORMS MAY DUMP AN INCH TO AN INCH AND A HALF OF
RAIN IN LESS THAN A HOUR. THIS MAY CAUSE SOME PONDING OF WATER
IN AREAS OF POOR DRAINAGE. AT 420 PM THE LEADING EDGE OF THE
STRONGER STORMS EXTENDED FROM NEAR NORTHFIELD TO OWATONNA TO THE
WELLS AND KIESTER AREA. BEFORE 530 PM THEY SHOULD REACH
ZUMBROTA...BLOOMING PRAIRIE AND ALBERT LEA.
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...MINNEAPOLIS...ST PAUL...STILLWATER
426 PM CDT WED JUL 7 2010
STRONG THUNDERSTORMS WILL AFFECT THE EASTERN TWIN CITIES METRO AREA
UNTIL AROUND 6 PM THIS EVENING. AT 420 PM THE STRONGER
STORMS WERE NEAR LINO LAKES...STILLWATER...COTTAGE GROVE...AND
HAMPTON. IN ADDITION TO VERY HEAVY RAIN SOME SMALL HAIL AND GUSTY
WINDS ARE ALSO POSSIBLE. SOME STREET FLOODING IS POSSIBLE AS AN INCH
OR MORE OF RAIN IS POSSIBLE IN LESS THAN AN HOUR. THESE STORMS WILL
GENERALLY MOVE TO THE NORTHEAST AT 15 TO 20 MPH.
BARRON-CHIPPEWA-DUNN-EAU CLAIRE-PEPIN-PIERCE-POLK-RUSK-ST CROIX-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...CHIPPEWA FALLS...EAU CLAIRE...LADYSMITH...
426 PM CDT WED JUL 7 2010
SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS WILL AFFECT WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN THROUGH
THE EARLY EVENING HOURS. AT 420 PM SOME OF THE STRONGER STORMS WERE
NEAR LADYSMITH TO BLOOMER TO EAU CLAIRE. OTHER STRONG STORMS WERE
BEGINNING TO CROSS THE ST. CROIX RIVER TOWARD NEW RICHMOND...
OSCEOLA...AND RIVER FALLS. SMALL HAIL AND VERY HEAVY RAIN IS
POSSIBLE FROM THE STRONGER STORMS. THEY WILL MOVE TOWARD THE
NORTHEAST AT 15 TO 20 MPH.
Radar Update 3:47pm: Heavier rain cells continue to favor central and east metro for now. There is some sign that storms may "back build" into the central and western metro over the next two hours.
2:52pm radar update: Heavy downpours between downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul and the SE metro.
Twin Cities radar loop shows storms favoring the southest metro Wednesday afternoon.
It appears the heaviest rain corridor may favor the south and east half of the metro, as well as the I-35 corridor southward to Iowa. Since the storms are slow moving, the tropical downpours may result in some hefty rain totals over an inch in some areas.
As is often the case with summer convective thunderstorms, rainfall amounts will be highly localized. The western metro and areas to the west may see only widely scattered activity tonight, as a second cool front pushes in from the west. Still, a few thunderstomrs may pop up west of the frontal boundary.
It appears most of the storms will stay below severe limits, but some may produce locally heavy rains that may cause local street flooding this evening. Keep an eye on storms approaching from the southwest, especially in the eastern metro this evening.
It may feel like the Amazon jungle around here one more time today.
Pooling surface moisture and an approaching cool front may trigger scattered showers and tropical downpours again this afternoon and evening in the southeast half of Minnesota.
If the storms get going, some of the rainfall could be locally heavy.
Tropical dew point levels in the upper 60s and low 70s have been pooling down in Iowa. That moisture may get drawn north ahead of the front later today. Keep an eye out for developing showers and T-Storms anytime after 3pm and into tonight.
As the cool front sweeps through Thursday, a much drier air mass will bring an end to shower chances for a few days and usher in a much more comfortable less humid air mass. You can probably give the air conditioner a rest after today.
Forecast models indicate dew points falling into the comfortable 50s later this week.
Watchful eyes are on a developing tropical wave moving into the southern Gulf of Mexico today. NHC says there is a 40% chance that the wave may become Tropical Storm Bonnie before landfall near the Texas Mexico border Thursday.
East Coast Heat Wave Day 2:
Many locations along the eastern seaboard will hit 100 again today. All six observing sites in the New York City area broke records Tuesday with Central Park sweltering at 103 degrees.
We can be grateful for some of the best (and most comfortable) weather on the planet the next few days.
Weather eyes are on the Gulf of Mexico this week as one tropical wave pounds Louisiana with choppy seas and heavy downpours. Meanwhile, a second and stronger tropical wave is brewing near the Yucatan which could move into the Gulf and strengthen over the next 48 hours. NHC is giving the disturbance about a 30% chance of developing into the Atlantic's second named storm of the season.
Indications are the upper level steering currents will continue to move the wave northwest. Various forecast models are taking he system toward the Texas coast later this week. Overall conditions appear favorable for development, and all eyes will be on the Texas coast later this week.
Eastern Heat Wave:
It's way hotter than the 4th of July out east. Highs will reach 100 degrees today from New York to D.C. as a big area of intense high pressure sprawls out.
The so called Bermuda or Azores High often shifts west and sets up shop over the eastern U.S. during the summer months. This week, the system will trap heat over the east coast. Record power demand is forecast in many eastern cities as residents try to stay cool during the heat wave.
Minnesota's Rain Forest:
If you feel like you're living in the Amazon Jungle this week, you're not far off. Dew points with our extremely humid air mass have been in the 70s. That's a tropical moisture level we only see a few times during the summer in Minnesota.
With that kind of moisture in the air, tropical downpours can dump heavy rain in just a few minutes. Rainfall totals last night ranged from 1" to over 3" in and around eastern Minnesota and the Twin Cities.
The sweaty air mass will linger through Wednesday, before a drier Canadian air mass eases in Thursday and Friday, bringing relief to sweaty Minnesotans.
Welcome to the June Monsoon.
We've just experienced the wettest June in 8 years in the metro and much of Minnesota. So far this month, 6.25" of rain has fallen at Twin Cities International Airport. That's about 2.25" above average for the month, and marks the wettest June since 2002 when 8.30" fell in the Twin Cities.
Many communities in southern Minnesota have recorded similar rainfall totals.
Severe storm reports spiked too.
Check this out from Twin Cities NWS today.
The number of preliminary severe weather reports in the NWS Chanhassen county warning area during the ten day stretch from June 17th-26th was 199. Prior to that, 23 reports of severe weather had been received. The amount of preliminary severe weather reports across the country has spiked as well during the same stretch, with June 17th being initially the most active tornado day in the country so far in 2010.
The weather maps insist the rest of June will remain dry, and the next chance of storms will not approach the region until late Saturday or Sunday.
Latest sunsets of the year this week:
Sunset behind Big Island on Lake Minnetonka Sunday June 27th. Note the crepuscular rays shooting up from above the sun. (Photo by Paul Huttner. Click for bigger image)
The suns sets this week in the Twin Cities at 9:03pm. This marks the latest sunset time of the year in the northern hemisphere. Here are some sunset times this week for select Minnesota locations. Since the sun sets north or due west this week, note that the sun sets later as you move northwest.
Twin Cities 9:03pm
Redwood Falls 9:09pm
St. Cloud 9:10pm
Enjoy the longest evening daylight of the year this week!
Posted at 6:54 AM on June 23, 2010
by Craig Edwards
Filed under: Rainfall
Thunderstorms were a late arrival in Minnesota on Tuesday. While the air mass was juiced up to fire off storms the trigger was jammed. There was a bit a a warm layer at ten thousand feet that capped the instability during the afternoon. This allowed for abundant sunshine and the temperature to climb to ninety or greater in some locations, including the Twin Cities International Airport.
A boundary of convergence, identified as a wind shift line from Hinckley to Willmar, ignited a band of thunderstorms with locally heavy rain overnight. The other region with better upper level dynamics and vertical lift was positioned near the Iowa and Minnesota border where heavy rain also fell last night.
A cold front will displace the warmth of Tuesday and you'll notice both the change in wind direction and the lowering of the humidity today. Thursday should be quite pleasant.
In the Twin Cities we reached ninety-one degrees late Tuesday afternoon. This was the third time we have reached ninety or greater this year. The warmest reading was ninety-five on May 24th. Climate data suggests that on average we reach ninety or better about thirteen days a year. Last year we had only six days of ninety or more in the Twin Cities, none in the month of July.
If it seems like the first half of June has been soggy, you're right.
13 of 15 days have featured at least a trace of measurable (miserable?) rainfall in the Twin Cities and much of Minnesota. Monthly rainfall is running about an inch above average in many locations. I guess the silver lining is, we needed this slow, steady rainfall pattern to alleviate drought, and let the ground soak up early June like a sponge.
There are signs a pattern change is on the way. We may not like all the consequences of the coming change, but it will be warmer.
Today may be the last day much of Minnesota is mired in low clouds, fog and temperatures in the 60s and low 70s for a while. The jet stream, which has been streaming right above Minnesota all month, will lift ever so slightly north over the next 7-10 days.
The slight shift north in the jet stream will bring warmer weather, as the bubble of heat trapped to our south oozes north. Highs in the 80s should become the rule here starting Wednesday.
But as the jet lifts north, it may also bring more energy, and stay close enough to generate some big boomers every couple fo days. This could mean a shift to a more thundery and potentially severe weather pattern. We'll have to keep an eye out for occasional sever storms rumbling through, and it looks like our first batch could arrive Thursday.
Expect an unsettled day today with fog and drizzle giving way to a peek of sunshine which could brew up more scattered showers and a thunderstorm this afternoon.
Clearing should finally set in tomorrow. Remember the sun? We may see more of it Wednesday as temperatures makes a run at 80 degrees.
Girl clings to tree in raging flood waters in Oklahoma City. (AP)
As much a 7" of rain has fallen in and near Oklahoma City Monday. Edmond reports 7" of rain so far. Oklahoma City Airport reports a daily rainfall record of 5.88" so far.
Doppler storm total rainfall confirms the swath of heavy rains.
NEXRAD storm total rainfall shows multi inch rains in Oklahoma City Monday.
The storms have been firing along a weak low pressure system and surface boundary in the southern plains. The area has been the dividing line between intense heat to the south and cooler weather north of the system.
This is an evolving situation that will continue to make headlines in the next 24 to 48 hours.
Here comes the rain again.
Our seemingly never ending series of rainmakers continues today and Tuesday in Minnesota. A slow moving upper level low pressure system is sliding overhead today with another round of showers. The system will linger through Tuesday beofre finally clearing out and allowing a return to sunshine by Wednesday.
It appears our latest wave will produce widespread .25" to .50" rainfall totals over the next 36 hours.
We really shouldn't be too surprised about the rain this time of year. June is our wettest month, climatologically speaking in the Upper Midwest. The Twin Cities (And most of Minnesota) sees an average of 4.34" of rainfall in a typical June.
A check of rainfall numbers this morning shows many areas have soaked up about 2.5" to 3" so far thins June. That's about an inch more than average month to date, give or take.
La Nina Returns?
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) reports that El Nino is history after rapidly dissipating in May. Rapidly cooling sea surface temps (SST's) in the tropical Pacific indicate a shift to a possible La Nina pattern this summer.
It may take a few months for atmospheric circulation patterns to shift, but it could mean a more active hurricane season, and potentially a colder winter for the Upper Midwest.
Posted at 2:45 PM on June 11, 2010
by Paul Huttner
Filed under: Rainfall
A batch of slow moving thunderstorms dumped heavy rainfall in much of south central Minnesota early Friday.
Several locations picked up rainfall in excess of 2", with a few spots recording rainfall topping the 3" mark.
Here's a list of some of the more impressive rainfall amounts.
Lester Prairie 2.63"
Redwood Falls 3.23"
The heaviest rain bands favored areas just west of the metro, but many areas in the metro did pick up another in a series of good soaking rains.
-Brooklyn Center .74"
-St. Louis Park 1"
-Watertown (west of metro) 1.5"
There is still another chance of thunderstorms tonight into Saturday, but it looks like we may salvage a dry day Sunday!
An active warm front and low pressure center has finally pushed areas of rain into southern Minnesota. Some of the rain is locally heavy, with rainfall already in excess of 2" in some areas.
As the main body of the system finally moves through Friday, expcect areas of locally heavy rainfall.
It's not often you see a swath of rainfall forecast at 2" over much of central and southern Minnesota. Check out the graphic from NWS below.
As storms "train" or move over the same areas dumping heavy rainfall, it appears local areas will receive enough rain to meet or exceed flash flood guidance.
Here are some links to keep track of the rain.
Update 3pm: Wave #1 slides just mostly south of the metro. The larger system is still on track and should send a second wave our way tonight into Friday.
Time to clean the weather lab gutters.
Radars are lighting up around the Upper Midwest today as a potent wave of low pressure takes aim. This system has all the ingredients to produce widespread and potentially heavy rainfall totals over the next 48 hours.
Call it a gully washer, frog strangler or goose drowner...the idea is the same. Sustained tropical downpours are likely to produce some muti-inch rainfall totals by Friday afternoon.
Various forecast models are cranking out rainfall totals for southern and central Minnesota into Wisconsin by the inch. The general trend is for 1" to 3" rainfall totals by the weekend. Some of the more aggressive forecasts produce a street flooding 5" by Saturday evening.
The set up is nearly ideal. A slow moving warm front and low pressure combo will set up shop over northern Iowa and southern Minnesota. Waves of instability will ride along the front, producing batches of rain and embedded thunderstorms. Tropical moisture with dew points in the 60s to 70 will surge north from Iowa and trigger heavy downpours.
The biggest threat for severe weather appears to be just south of the metro, from southern Minnesota into Iowa. Still any of the stronger storms that do form will contain vivid lightning and booming thunder. High winds are not out of the question with the stronger storms over southern Minnesota overnight.
Rain will increase in the metro this afternoon and tonight. The so called "flash flood guidance" issued by NWS hydrologists indicates that 2.5 inches of rain could cause flash flooding on smaller rivers and streams in southern Minnesota. It may take closer to 3.5" in central Minnesota. Flash flood watches and warnings may be issued if rainfall totals approach these limits.
Keep an eye out for heavy rain and the potential for localized flooding over the next 48 hours.
"It takes a flood to end a drought."
That's one of the many weather related quotes attributed to Mark Twain.
We may not get a flood, but the end of the drought may be in sight for parts of the Upper Midwest.
An active jet stream overhead is dealing frequent low pressure systems to Minnesota this month. After a mostly dry but windy Wednesday, the next system is already taking aim.
This one could be the wettest of the bunch.
Take a look at some of the various rainfall projections for the next few days.
The forecast models we use are notoriously aggressive with summertime, convective rainfall forecasts, but the set up the next few days may lead to some impressive rainfall totals in some areas. Anytime you get dew points surging toward the tropical 70 degree mark, you can get tropical and potentially flooding downpours.
Check out the anticipated surge in dew points in the metro by Friday.
With that kind of tropical moisture around, the next wave of rain may feature a little more thunder. There's no shortage of moisture for crops this year. SPC keeps the main risk of severe weather just south and west.
Enjoy our windy Wednesday. A pop up shower is not out of the question today, especially in the northern half of Minnesota and Wisconsin. This will be the best day of the week to get the lawn under control before another good soaking rain rolls in.
NEXRAD storm total rainfall shows widespread rainfall totals from .25" to .50"+ covering much of Minnesota. Note the heavier totals along and south of the I-90 corridor in southern Minnesota.
Now THAT'S a million dollar rain.
Our latest weather system has brought widespread, meaningful, soaking rains to most of Minnesota and Wisconsin...including the drought plagued area of the North Shore.
Rainfall amounts have been impressive and consistent. Here at the weather lab in the west metro, the garden soaked up to .90" of new rain. Here are some other rainfall amounts.
Twin Cities Airport .83"
Eden Prairie .56"
St. Paul .77"
St. Cloud .61"
Sioux Falls .25"
Enjoy the return to sunshine Wednesday and Thursday before a juicy and troubled warm front pushes north into the area Thursday evening and hangs around into the weekend. It looks like a scattershot pattern of potentially heavy thunderstorms will set up as we head into the weekend.
Welcome to how June was meant to be in tropical Minnesota.
Update 11:30am: Weather Lab rain gauge in Deephaven now sporting .80" of rain today. Steady moderate to heavy at times in heavier downpours.
Back edge of this wave of rain will exit the metro in the next hour. Still a few more showers moving east in southern Minnesota may clip the metro this afternoon.
Rainfall at MSP approaching .70" with a good deep soaking in most of central and southern Minnesota today.
A nice soaking rain has produced .40" so far at the Huttner Weather Lab in the west metro. I snapped a few photos this morning to document this wet June day.
Twin Cities NEXRAD doppler total rainfall loop shows widespread .25" rains. Note the heavier rainfall near the Iowa border.
It looks liek the rain will gradually end from west to east this afternoon. One model, the RUC or rapid update cycle has the back edge of the rain clearing the metro by about 4 to 5pm today.
It's been a gangbusters start this year for gardens, lawns and farm fields in (most of) the Upper Midwest. All it takes is one look at your lush green lawn or garden this year to know growing conditions are nearly ideal.
Frequent well timed rainfall and perfect temperatures are creating the perfect growing conditions. I did some checking back to last year and compared where we were a year ago. Here's what I found.
So far this growing season has been warmer than last year, especially in June. In the Twin Cities, temperatures in May of 2009 and 2010 ran about 1.5 warmer than average. But in the first week of June, temperatures are running 2.5 degrees above average this year. A year ago today, we began a stretch of 3 days in a row with high only in the 50s in the metro.
Bottom line? Temperatures are about 2 to 3 degrees warmer this growing season than last year to this date.
The biggest difference this year is ample and well timed rainfall. Many areas have soaked up about 2 more inches of rain in May and June than last year. The rains have been frequent and well spaced, with ample sun and warmth in between. The rainfall has also been slow and soaking in nature, without the violent heavy rainfall that runs off before it can soak into the soil.
Bottom line? Rainfall has been nearly perfect so far this growing season in most areas.
Exception to the rule:
Drought still hangs tough in far eastern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Next rainmaker moving in:
A fast moving jet stream overhead is dealing the next low pressure system our way. Expect another shot of rainfall Tuesday, with most areas getting another .25" soaking, with higher amounts in some areas. IT looks like the heaviest rains may fall in far southern Minnesota along the I-90 corridor (where have I heard this song before?) and in Iowa. Heavy thunderstorm clusters could drop 1" to 2"+ in Iowa and Missouri with this system.
Expcet a Tuesday similar to last Saturday with periods of showrrs and maybe a rumble of thunder. It may not rain all day, but there could be several hours of showers overhead.
It was a great weekend to dodge showers and get a little baseball in Big Lake. Thanks to the gracious hospitality of the good folks with Big Lake Baseball, all three tournaments got the games in.
My son Luke plays on a 14 year old Minnetonka travelling baseball team in the Metro Baseball League. They won all 3 games on Sunday, and managed the consolation championship after losing a close 3-2 game late Saturday in the 7th inning.
I've been meaning to post a few baseball pictures when the weather was quiet...and today's the day. We've had to dodge a few showers this season, so what's good for the garden keeps the baseball schedulers busy.
Thanks to coaches Tripp, Egan & Brennan and congrats to the boys on a good weekend of baseball!
A low pressure system sweeping through the Upper Midwest is bringing much needed rainfall to much of Minnesota.
The rain will likely come in a few waves, with breaks in between. There will be thunderstorms embedded within the overall rain areas. Some of the storms could be strong with downpours, some hail and gusty winds, but it looks like the best threat for severe weather will be in eastern South Dakota and Iowa. The system and showers should exit Minnesota by about lunch time Friday.
Most indications hint at a good soaker. Overall the forecast models cluster between .50" and as much as 1". As is typically the case with summertime convective rainfall, amounts can vary greatly over short distances.
Here are a few of the model forecast scenarios for rainfall.
Forecasters at the Twin Cities NWS seem to agree with your truly that this system has the potential for an inch of rain in some areas of southern Minnesota by lunchtime Friday. Here's an excerpt from the PM forecast discussion below.
PWAT VALUES SOAR TO NEARLY 200 PERCENT OF NORMAL TONIGHT
/AROUND 1.8 INCHES/...SO PRECIP AMOUNTS IN THE ONE INCH RANGE ARE
POSSIBLE. PRECIP WILL BE ONGOING OVER EAST CENTRAL MN AND WEST
CENTRAL WI ON FRIDAY MORNING...BUT NOTABLE IMPROVEMENT SHOULD
OCCUR ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON AS THE LOW SHIFTS TO THE UP OF MI.
Keep in mind that Eden Prairie could get and inch of rain, while someplace close by such as Edina could end up with .25" rainfall. That's the fickle nature of highly localized summertime convective rainfall.
I cut the lawn short at the weather lab Thursday. I'm betting on at least .50" to soak things up. I'll let you know how that bet worked out Friday PM.
Drought hangs tough:
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor this week keeps much of eastern Minnesota either abnormally dry or in drought. The abnormally dry conditions expanded a bit in the metro.
Keep in mind the readings were taken before the rainfall Tuesday night. A good shot of rain the next few days could keep the drought from expanding further, or maybe take a bite out of the drought area if some places see an inch or rain or more.
This is how you draw it up on the weather maps for early June in Minnesota.
A classic June day today features plenty of sunshine, low humidity and mild temperatures. Highs will reach the upper 70s in most of Minnesota today, with 60s along the North Shore. Note to self...get the weather lab grass cut and get out and enjoy today.
Next system moves in tonight:
The jet stream is roaring overhead at about 20,000 feet above Minnesota these days. That means fast moving weather systems and rapid weather changes heading our way.
The next weather system will speed toward Minnesota and arrive tonight. Look for showers and thunderstorms to increase in western Minnesota this evening, and move east into eastern Minnesota after midnight. Rain should hang around into early Friday morning, but the system should move out quickly and allow a return to sunshine by Friday afternoon in most areas.
There is the potential (the hope?) for locally heavy downpours, thunder, some hail and gusty winds as the storms slide through southern Minnesota overnight. The best chance for severe weather will be along the I-90 corridor into Iowa, but there could be a few borderline severe storms elsewhere.
Forecast models are clustering rainfall totals between .50" and 1" with this next system. One model, the usually over aggressive NAM is cranking out 1.5" to 2" for the metro by Friday morning! That's likely on the high side, but it gives you the idea that there may be some locally heavy downpours if storms track over the same area.
Duluth: Warmest spring on record
Congratulations Duluth! You've just experienced the warmest spring on record. The months of March through May (meteorological spring) featured an average temperature of 45.6 degrees. This breaks the old record of 44.4 degrees set in the spring of 1977. International Falls tied with 1987 for the second warmest meteorological spring on record with an average temperature of 44.4 degrees. It fell just 0.1 degrees from the warmest spring in 1977.
My colleague Mark Seeley tells me the Twin Cities also finished with the 2nd warmest spring on record.
There's some good news for drought stricken eastern Minnesota. The drought area is shrinking.
A band of heavy rain Sunday night dumped up to 4" of rainfall from near Lake Mille Lacs to Duluth. The rainfall helped erode some of drought designated areas, and Minnesota actually saw a decrease in the percentage of the state under drought designation this week.
According to today's updated U.S. Drought Monitor, areas in Minnesota classified under moderate or severe drought dropped to 19.9% this week, down from 25.3% last week.
Drought hangs on in Wisconsin:
Overall in the Upper Midwest, drought areas held their ground. Much of northern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula is still parched, and classified as moderate or severe drought.
Ample rains and mild temperatures overall have allowed Minnesota farmers to get a jump on the 2010 crop season. The latest Minnesota Crop Report shows crop development ahead of average for this year.
Topsoil moisture is rated as adequate in 87% of Minnesota.
You'll be able to give your air conditioner a much needed rest this week.
Scattered showers and T-Storms will linger into early Wednesday as a slow moving cool front takes its time to push east of Minnesota. The showers will be widely scattered, and will favor areas in Wisconsin and southeast Minnesota. There could be a few scattered showers and T-Storms in the metro overnight.
SPC paints much of Wisconsin with a slight risk for severe storms.
The front is the leading edge of much drier Canadian air mass. The drier air mass is a welcome change for many Minnesotans after a few days of dew points near 70 and temps pushing into the upper 80s and 90s. The fresh infusion of Canadian air will make for sunny warm days and cooler comfortable nights. Good sleeping weather as they used to say back in the day.
The direr air mass will plunge dew points into he 40s for much of the region by Thursday and Friday.
Enjoy the change in air masses, and the free air conditioning!
Powerful thunderstorms overnight dumped torrential rains in and near Duluth.
The storms produced heavy tropical downpours in a swath from near Foley and Milaca to Moose Lake to Duluth, Hermantown and near Two Harbors and Silver Bay. As much as 4 inches of rain has been reported at Hermantown, with 3.9" at Duluth International Airport.
PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DULUTH MN
1133 PM CDT SUN MAY 23 2010
..TIME... ...EVENT... ...CITY LOCATION... ...LAT.LON...
..DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
1132 PM HEAVY RAIN DULUTH 46.78N 92.12W
05/23/2010 M3.91 INCH ST. LOUIS MN OFFICIAL NWS OBS
Duluth's 3.9" rainfall total Sunday night smashes the old daily record rainfall of 1.28" set in 1964.
Duluth radar loop shows multi inch rainfall in a band from south of Lake Mille Lacs to near Duluth and the North Shore.
The storms formed along a stalled frontal boundary dividing a sticky tropical air mass in southern Minnesota from much cooler and drier air in northwest Minnesota.
Here's the first warning from the Duluth NWS:
BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
FLASH FLOOD WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DULUTH MN
1135 PM CDT SUN MAY 23 2010
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN DULUTH MN HAS ISSUED A
* FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR...
NORTH CENTRAL PINE COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL MINNESOTA...
CARLTON COUNTY IN NORTHEAST MINNESOTA...
SOUTHERN LAKE COUNTY IN NORTHEAST MINNESOTA...
SOUTHEASTERN ST. LOUIS COUNTY IN NORTHEAST MINNESOTA...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF DULUTH...
* UNTIL 530 AM CDT
* AT 1128 PM CDT...LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS AND RADAR
INDICATED VERY HEAVY RAIN FROM THUNDERSTORMS OVER THE WARNED AREA.
NEARLY 4 INCHES OF RAIN HAS FALLEN IN THE HERMANTOWN AND OVER THE
HILL IN PARTS OF DULUTH. 3.9 INCHES OF RAIN HAS BEEN REPORTED SO
FAR AT THE DULUTH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. THUNDERSTORMS WILL
CONTINUE TO BE POSSIBLE FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL HOURS...AND RUNOFF
FROM THESE AS WELL AS FROM THE PREVIOUS STORMS MAY CAUSE FLOODING.
THE SAINT LOUIS COUNTY SHERIFF REPORTED WATER OVER PARTS OF MAPLE
GROVE AND UGSTAD ROADS IN HERMANTOWN.
* LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO WHYTE...
WALES...SILVER BAY...MURPHY CITY...FINLAND...BRIMSON AND
ALGER...DULUTH...MOOSE LAKE...SAWYER...ADOLPH...AND HERMANTOWN.
While the flash flood is dangerous, especially at night, there is a silver lining in that rainfall comes in an area of severe drought.
Mark Twain is reported to have said; "It takes a flood to end a drought." It looks like the City of Duluth and parts of northeast Minnesota just got one.
You knew they would get here sooner or later. This year, it looks like you'd better brush up on your mosquito swatting move sooner.
This spring's weather pattern is setting up just right for an early onslaught of what some not so lovingly call our Minnesota state bird, the mosquito.
Several factors have lined up to create what could be an early boom in mosquito numbers this year.
-Unseasonably warm weather in March and April
-A wet start to May has led to ample rainfall and plenty of standing water.
-A pattern change to much warmer weather in the next two weeks will likely lead to a large and early mosquito hatch.
Usually we can get through the Memorial Day holiday with limited numbers of mosquitoes in these parts. The real boom in mosquito numbers usually comes in early June and lasts about a month until numbers begin to fall in mid to late summer.
This year everything from ice out to lilac blooms are occurring 2 to 3 weeks earlier than average. With the weather patterns the way they are, it's a good bet to assume we'll see a healthy crop of mosquitoes in late May this year, as opposed to early June.
The Twin Cities Metropolitan Mosquito Control District has a cool interactive tracker with records of larva activity and treatments for your neighborhood. You can keep track of breeding sites and how they are being treated.
It pays to use bug spray these days with so many mosquito borne illness.
I hope you'll really enjoy the "bug free" warm up over the next week to 10 days. It won't be long until our least favorite summer visitor fills the sky on summery evenings.
Your lawn or farm field may be happy we banked some decent rain in about a week. It's about to get a whole lot sunnier around here.
A fast moving jet stream has sent a series of low pressure systems swirling through the Upper Midwest this month. In the Twin Cities, 10 of the past 11 days have featured at least a trace of rain. Rainfall is running above average this month in many southern Minnesota locations.
PRELIMINARY LOCAL CLIMATOLOGICAL DATA (WS FORM: F-6)
STATION: TWIN CITIES MN
LATITUDE: 44 52 N
LONGITUDE: 93 13 W
DY MAX MIN WTR
1 64 49 0.00
2 64 48 0.00
3 57 46 0.05
4 79 41 T
5 55 47 T
6 54 41 0.04
7 48 34 0.55
8 52 34 T
9 58 32 0.00
10 58 44 0.19
11 46 41 0.47
12 51 42 0.04
PRELIMINARY LOCAL CLIMATOLOGICAL DATA (WS FORM: F-6) , PAGE 2
STATION: TWIN CITIES MN
LATITUDE: 44 52 N
LONGITUDE: 93 13 W
[TEMPERATURE DATA] [PRECIPITATION DATA]
AVERAGE MONTHLY: 49.4 TOTAL FOR MONTH: 1.34
DPTR FM NORMAL: -6.5 DPTR FM NORMAL: 0.24
HIGHEST: 79 ON 4 GRTST 24HR 0.66 ON 10-11
LOWEST: 32 ON 9
Last night's rain and thunder favored the west metro. Here are some local rainfall reports.
MSP Aiprort .25"
Forest Lake .49"
Long Lake .49"
Twin Cities NWS storm total rainfall estimates.
Arrowhead drought hangs tough:
Today's latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows severe drought hanging tough in northeast Minnesota and much of northern Wisconsin. Wetter weather is keeping the drought from expanding in areas south and west.
I have observed wet soils and high pond and lake levels near the weather lab in the west metro. There is standing water in many areas around the west metro in ditches and low spots that have been dry for the past few springs.
Drier and warmer pattern ahead:
As the jet stream shifts north into southern Canada over the next 10 days, drier and much warmer weather will take hold over the Upper Midwest. Temperatures should push 70 by the weekend, and it appears 70s and even 80s are ahead in the coming 10 days.
This should help boost crop development in Minnesota to levels well ahead of average by late May.
Enjoy the warm up as spring and summer like temperatures move in over the next few days.
Posted at 8:29 AM on May 12, 2010
by Paul Huttner
Filed under: Rainfall
Here comes the next wave of rain.
The second and final low pressure system this week is making a move on Minnesota today. Rain showers will spread northward from Iowa today and reach into the metro this afternoon and northern Minnesota by this evening.
This next system does not look quite as potent as Tuesday's, but should produce .25" to .50" in many locations.
It looks as if this may be the last significant low pressure storm to hit Minnesota for a while. After a blustery chilly Thursday, it appears the sun will return by Friday afternoon.
Fishing Opener forecast looks great
This weekend will feature the kind of weather anglers (and resort owners) dream of.
As high pressure builds in expect generally sunny skies and milder temperatures. It looks like temperatures will be near 70 this weekend, with lows in the 40s north to near 50 south.
The Minnesota Climatology Working Group has a great summary of fishing opener weather in Minnesota.
Late May heat wave?
There are signs in the medium range forecast models that temperatures could rise to summer like levels in the next 10 days. A big dome of upper level high pressure could cause a build up of heat in the Midwest, and send very warm air north into Minnesota and Wisconsin by the weekend of May 22nd.
Early indications are temperatures could be well into the upper 80s if the models verify. A shot at the first 90 of the year in Minnesota or Wisconsin is not out of the question.
The overall pattern looks much warmer and drier over the next two weeks. If we can get through the next 48 hours, you'll enjoy the warm up in store as we move through the weekend.
Now that's what we call a long slow soaker in the weather biz.
A slow sprawling low pressure system has dropped widespread rainfall to Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. The rainfall totals are impressive in most areas.
My tallies from NWS data through 4pm Tuesday
-Twin Cities Airport .66"
-Eden Prairie .67"
-St. Paul .66"
-St. Cloud 1.21"
-Redwood Falls 1.39"
From Duluth NWS Tuesday morning:
PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DULUTH MN
854 AM CDT TUE MAY 11 2010
..TIME... ...EVENT... ...CITY LOCATION... ...LAT.LON...
..DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
1102 AM HEAVY RAIN 8 S DANBURY 45.89N 92.37W
05/11/2010 M0.95 INCH BURNETT WI TRAINED SPOTTER
0851 AM HEAVY RAIN 12 N ISLE 46.32N 93.46W
05/11/2010 M0.83 INCH AITKIN MN TRAINED SPOTTER
0851 AM HEAVY RAIN FORT RIPLEY 46.17N 94.36W
05/11/2010 M1.40 INCH CROW WING MN TRAINED SPOTTER
0851 AM HEAVY RAIN 5 SW BRAINERD 46.30N 94.27W
05/11/2010 M1.28 INCH CROW WING MN TRAINED SPOTTER
0851 AM HEAVY RAIN 3 NE NISSWA 46.53N 94.25W
05/11/2010 M0.82 INCH CROW WING MN TRAINED SPOTTER
0851 AM HEAVY RAIN 3 N BRAINERD 46.40N 94.19W
05/11/2010 M1.05 INCH CROW WING MN TRAINED SPOTTER
Look for a brief lull in the rain overnight into early Tuesday. The next weather system will move rapidly back into the region by Tuesday afternoon.
Rainfall totals look generally lighter with the next wave Wednesday into early Thursday. Forecast models are hinting at between .25" and .50" for much of the southern half of Minnesota.
Warming trend this weekend:
Look for a warming trend starting on Friday and lasting into next week. Temperatures should reach 70 by the weekend, and we have a shot at 80 next week. This could be the best fishing opener weekend weather in years. Highs near 70 and lows in the 40s and 50s and mild winds could make for nearly ideal opening weekend weather.
Leave the umbrellas at home and bring the sunscreen!
Get ready for a wet week.
The first of two strong rainmakers is moving into Minnesota. Widespread soaking rains will fall through much of Tuesday. The first system is spinning toward Minnesota from Colorado Monday. The second system is right on its heels, slamming into the Pacific Coast near Oregon.
Rainfall amounts appear to be significant with both systems this week. The first should bring .50" to 1"+ for much of Minnesota and Wisconsin. There may even be some higher totals with this efficient rainmkaer. This is excellent news for drought plagued northeast Minnesota and northern Wisconsin.
The second system will bring additional rainfall Thursday. It may be cold enough to mix in a few snowflakes in areas north and east of the metro.
Warmer weather on the horizon:
After a cool chilly week this week, it appears we will warm dramatically next week. Look for highs approaching 70 late this weekend, and pushing 80 next week.
Hang in there!
Our brief wintery relapse in Minnesota is creating a few firsts.
-This is the first time that much of Minnesota has seen snow since February. The last measurable snow in the Twin Cities was on February 23rd when a mere 0.1" fell.
-The last inch of snow in the metro was Valentine's Day on February 14th. (1.6")
-This is the first time the Twins have postponed a game due to weather at Target Field.
-Saturday's day night doubleheader is the first at Target Field.
-This is the first Twins rainout in nearly 30 years. The last one was at Met Stadium on September 20, 1980.
My partner in weather crime Craig Edwards and I discussed the best options for the Twins today and this weekend given the weather scenario. Craig's advice to the Twins appears to be right on the money as usual.
Rainfall adds up:
Friday's steady rain has added up to an inch in some areas. Check out the NEXRAD stomr total rainfall loop below.
Pockets of yellow indicate 1" rainfall totals scattered around the area.
Most areas around the Twin Cities have received between .30" and .50" of rainfall through Friday afternoon. Rainfall approaching 1" has soaked the north east metro. This is well placed over drought stricken counties.
Rare May Snow:
Rain changing to snow Friday evening will leave anywhere from a slushy coating on grassy areas in the south metro to as much as 1" to 2" north. There may be some areas that see 3"+ from Brainerd to Hinckley to Rice Lake by Saturday morning.
Enjoy a return to sunshine this weekend.
The other show is about to drop with a big thud.
The latest forecast model runs are clustering around a more consistent solution that will change a cold rain over to snow Friday night in the Twin Cities and much of central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. All indications are that we should be ready to see some slushy accumulations on at least lawns and grassy areas around the metro by late Friday night and Saturday morning.
A potent and unseasonable cold low pressure system is tracking east into Minnesota Friday. The system will start as rain in all but far northwest Minnesota, but as colder air works in to the system by Friday night, rain will change to snow.
I would not be shocked to see 1" to 3" of slushy wet snow accumulation in the metro by Saturday morning. The best chance for a 3" total will come in the north metro. Further north, as much as 3" to an isolated 6" could fall from Hinckley to Rice Lake as the system winds up into early Saturday.
The rain that falls will be a blessing for much of Minnesota which remains in or near drought status. Many locations may receive an inch of rainfall.
Be prepared for changing wintery weather conditions through Saturday morning.
You knew the other shoe would drop.
All indications are that our record mild spring is about to take a wintery detour.
A potent low pressure system is heading for the Upper Midwest Thursday into Friday. This one brings a cold rain to much of the state. All indications are that the rain will be so cold it will fall as snow in North Dakota, northern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin.
Expect rainfall to spread from west to east Thursday. It looks as if rain will reach the metro by evening rush hour. The good news is that many locations could see an inch of rain by late Friday. Temperatures will not climb out of the 40s for most of Minnesota Friday.
The system will drag along enough cold air aloft to change rain to snow for much of northern Minnesota by Friday night. Indications are anywhere from 2" to more than 6" of heavy wet snow could fall along a line from Bemidji, to Hinckley to Rice Lake. Enough cold air may mix in Friday night that a few wet snowflakes could fall as far south as the metro.
Get ready for a weather shocker over the next 72 hours!
Okay let's start with the good news.
I found a few signs of our wonderful spring around the weather lab this morning. Here are the pictures.
Rumors of rain:
After a few scattered showers today, a more significant weather system will plow into the Upper Midwest Thursday into Friday. Look for rain to spread from west to east Thursday, and arrive in the metro by late Thursday afternoon or evening.
The good news is that much of Minnesota will see a much needed good soaking Friday.
Snow in May?
It looks like the system will drag enough cold air along to produce some snow on the back side Friday into Friday night. Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin could see accumulating wet snow late Friday into Friday night.
There may even be a few wet snowflakes in the Twin Cities Friday night.
Nicer for Mom:
Look for improving weather conditions as we head into the weekend. High pressure will mean more sun, and less wind. Temps should top out around 60 degrees by Sunday for mom.
Get ready for some big and rapid weather changes this week.
A warm front is the first weather feature to visit Minnesota this week. Look for plenty of sun and an increasing southerly breeze today. That should help boost temperatures into the mid 70s this afternoon.
As the center of low pressure approaches late today, expect a few thunderstorms to develop. There is a slight risk that a few of these storms could turn severe this evening. The best chance of a storm for that evening baseball or lacrosse game will run from the Twin Cities east into Wisconsin between 4pm and 10 pm this evening.
As the cold front roars through this evening you'll notice the west wind howling and driving much colder air into the region tonight. The winds will continue Wednesday, with temperatures mostly in the 50s.
Thursday brings yet another weather change. After a quiet start, all eyes turn west for the next developing weather system heading our way. A potent low driven by jet stream level winds of over 150 mph will bring a wave of much needed rainfall to Minnesota by Thursday evening.
Friday will feature a raw northeast wind, driving rain, and temperatures in the 40s. There is some indication it could be cold enough for snow, yes SNOW for much of the northern half of Minnesota Friday. It's even within the realm of possibility that some snow flakes fly in the Twin Cities late Friday or Friday evening.
Be ready for some rapid weather changes this week. In the meantime, get out and enjoy today...and keep an eye to the sky for developing thunderstorms late this afternoon and this evening.
Congratulations. You've just enjoyed a once in a lifetime April.
When the final numbers are tallied, April's average monthly temperature in the Twin Cities will roll in at about 54.7 degrees Fahrenheit. That's 8.3 degrees warmer than average and the 4th warmest April on record in the Twin Cities since Pioneer records began in 1820. The last April that was this warm in the metro was in 1915.
Here are the top 10 warmest Aprils according to the Minnesota Climatology Working Group.
Rank Temp Year
* as of April 27
Weekend Weather: Mixed bag
Look for a blustery unsettled weekend in Minnesota. Generally speaking, the weather will be better in the southern half of Minnesota this weekend, with cooler showery unsettled weather in the north.
Look for scattered showers in northern Minnesota with weekend highs in the 50s. Southern Minnesota will see a bit more sunshine and just a slight chance of a shower with highs in the 60s. Saturday will feature brisk gusty southwest winds at 15 to 30 mph. Sunday will feature lighter winds from the west at between 10 and 20 mph.
Gulf oil spill comes ashore:
Weather conditions will feature steady brisk southeast to south winds along the Gulf Coast this weekend. That will drive the oil slick on the surface of the Gulf Coast onto shore. Trajectory forecasts put the plume into the Louisiana coastline first, followed by Mississippi, Alabama and eventually Florida by early next week.
It is tragic to watch the oil slowly move ashore knowing that the leak is spewing more oil each day 5,000 feet below the surface. What satellites and video can see on the surface is only a small portion of the total oil that is lurking below in the depths of the Gulf of Mexico. Keep track of the lastest developments from NOAA here.
There's an old saying in Minnesota." If you don't like the weather just wait 15 minutes."
Get ready for a little bit of everything over the next 24 to 48 hours. You may get wind, clouds, sun, rain, lightning, thunder and even hail. Like life, it's all about timing.
A few isolated storms clipped the southeast metro Thursday evening.
Storms dump streaks of rainfall Thursday evening southeast of the metro.
The main focus for much needed rainfall Thursday was in northern Minnesota.
Duluth NEXRAD storm total rainfall shows some (but not enough) rainfall over drought stricken northeast Minnesota Thursday.
A slow moving cold front and waves of low pressure will ride through the Upper Midwest Friday. The system brings waves of rain and thunder through Minnesota.
Rainfall forecasts still cluster around the .50" to .75" range for much of southern Minnesota through Friday. As is typical in springtime convective rainfall, some areas will see more or less depending on where storms track.
There may be a few scattered marginally severe storms packing gusty winds and hail Friday.
Keep an eye on the sky, and on the links below through the day.
Today's updated U.S. Drought Monitor confirms what I've suspected and posted about this week. Drought is expanding its foot print on northeast Minnesota.
The latest report out today plunges Minnesota's Arrowhead region into the "severe drought" category. Moderate drought now covers most of northeast Minnesota and extends southward into the northern metro.
Rain chances increase:
Our long awaited western weather system is finally here.
Thankfully, rain chances will gradually increase across much of Minnesota through tonight into Friday. The trick with this system will be getting soaking rains in any widespread fashion. Such is often the nature of spring and summertime "convective" precipitation.
Two part system?
There are increasing signs this system will come in two waves. Wave 1 is bringing some showers to primarily north central Minnesota today.
Wave 2 is expected to trigger showers and thunderstorms in northwest Iowa and send them plowing into southern Minnesota this afternoon and evening. This second wave appears to have the best shot at brining a much needed half an inch or more of rainfall to the southern half of Minnesota.
Slight risk of severe weather:
There is a slight risk that a few of the storms that do develop through tonight could reach severe limits. Remember, a severe thunderstorm is defined by winds of at least 58mph and hail at least 1" in diameter. The NWS smartly upgraded the hail size threshold for severe thunderstorms from 3/4" to 1" last season in the central U.S. region, and took it nationwide this year. Studies have shown that it takes hail about 1" in diameter to begin to cause damage to crops and property.
Many of the best minds in severe weather work at the NOAA's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. One of the things they do is differentiate between the likelihood of severe weather types, such as large hail, high winds or tornadoes. The best threat for (isolated) damaging thunderstorms appear to be from large hail and high winds through tonight, and not as much from tornadoes. While SPC mentions the remote possibility (2%) of an isolated tornado in the Upper Midwest, the greater likelihood is for large hail and damaging winds (10-15%).
During the 9 years I spent as Chief Meteorologist for the ABC affiliate in Tucson, Arizona I heard this saying more than once. "You're as welcome as rain." That's a compliment in a desert climate. Let's hope you get some meaningful rain in your back yard tonight.
Frost, fire, wind, rain and hail. Only in Minnesota. Take your pick, you'll likely find it somewhere in the Gopher State over the next 48 hours.
What may appear as weather insanity qualifies as job security for meteorologists.
Let's start with frost. Early morning temperatures today dipped below freezing in much of northern Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota. As the center of cool high pressure pulls away, temperatures recover nicely this afternoon.
Meteorologists call the combination of low relative humidity (under 25%) warm temperatures and high winds "fire weather." With those elements in place today, Red Flag Warnings have been issued for eastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota.
Rain, wind & hail?
It looks like the potential for meaningful rainfall is increasing for late Thursday night into Friday. Forecast models are hinting at anywhere form .50" to 1.3" of rain close to the Twin Cities by late Friday. Often the models can be a bit optimistic, but the chances for getting a much needed half inch of rain are increasing.
The main event may hold off until Friday, but there is a chance for a lead wave to touch off a stray passing thunderstorm as early as Thursday morning with the passage of a warm front. Look for a windy, warmer and more humid day Thursday as we enter the "warm sector."
There may be enough instability to produce a few strong to marginally severe storms as the front passes Thursday night or Friday. The main threat appears to be gusty winds and or large hail.
Twitter storm reports:
You can get into the storm reporting action this year via a new experimental NWS program for Twitter storm reports. Get the details here.
Enjoy our nearly perfect spring weather today!
This week's U. S. Drought Monitor is likely to show more yellow and orange in Minnesota. For Minnesota farmers, more yellow and orange leads to less green at harvest time.
While this week's crop report shows farmers are off to the races this year, the U.S. Drought Monitor due out Thursday will likely show more of Minnesota backsliding into drought. Many locations in Minnesota are between 1 and 2 inches below average for rainfall in the past 4 weeks. Unless Minnesota gets widespread significant rainfall soon, the drought status will return for most of eastern Minnesota.
Next weather system critical:
A storm system plowing into the western USA is our next best hope for meaningful rainfall in Minnesota. Forecast models duffer on juts how much rain may fall, but there is the potential for a good soaking in some areas. If the timing is right, several Minnesota locations could see a much needed inch of rainfall. If the system fizzles, there could be many areas that see less than .25" of rain. That little rain is not enough to have a positive impact on drought stricken areas.
If this system does not produce substantial rainfall the drought may deepen rapidly. The medium range forecast maps are hinting at only average to below average rainfall over the next two weeks. As the sun angle increases evaporation will do the same in the coming weeks.
A few bumpy storms?
As the cold front approaches late Thursday into Friday morning, there could be enough moisture and atmospheric lift to trigger a few strong to potentially severe thunderstorms. The timing of the front appears to bring storms into the area at night, which could limit severe potential. Still the system will have to be watched closely for strong storms. Hopefully we will just get some good old fashioned thunder with heavy downpours.
Many Minnesotans will be watching the skies for rain in the next 72 hours.
The timing could be better, but the rain is a blessing this weekend.
A big sloppy low pressure system is tracking south of Minnesota this weekend. This first spring like rain storm of the season is pulling up moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and wringing out showers and thunderstorms over the Upper Midwest.
NOAA surface forecast loop tracks low pressure system from Kansas City to Chicago this weekend.
Gulf moistue priming system:
This is the first time this spring we've seen a system like this track through the Midwest with an open flow of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. The surface flow ahead of the system is pulling up substantial moisture in the form of higher dew points in the 60s and even 70s and feeding it into the storm.
The higher dew points may help wring out more substantial rainfall totals for (especially southern) Minnesota.
Some multi inch rainfall totals may soak Illinois this weekend.
Severe threat south:
It appears the threat for any severe weather will stay south of Minnesota this weekend. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) is tracking severe weather watches and risk areas in the central plains.
Expect occasional rain showers from Friday evening through Saturday tapering off Sunday. Yes, it's the weekend, but I know the Weather Lab trees and hostas will welcome the rainfall any day of the week!
Thursday's updated U.S. Drought Monitor confirms what many in Minnesota already knew just by looking outside. The drought is back.
According to the drought monitor, 25.2% of Minnesota is now in D1 or drought status. The area included is in eastern Minnesota, running east of a line from the northeast metro to International Falls.
The drought is even deeper in northern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. About 10% of Wisconsin in now listed in severe drought. The severe drought area covers mush of northern Wisconsin and extends into Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Weekend rain may help a little:
A low pressure system will likely bring rain to much of southern Minnesota Saturday. Some rain may reach into north central Minnesota, but it looks like the heaviest, most beneficial rains will again fall south of the drought plagued north.
The bottom line is we are easing back into drought in much of Minnesota. There has been enough rain so far in the south to stave off a return to drought status, and this weekend's rain will likely help once again from the metro south. There are also signs in the medium range forecast maps that we may move into a wetter pattern the next 10-14 days, with 2 or 3 opportunities for significant rainfall as weather systems move through. This would be good news for northern Minnesota including the Iron Range, Ely and Duluth and the North Shore!
Hang in there...
Posted at 3:26 PM on April 21, 2010
by Paul Huttner
Filed under: Rainfall
We're due for some much needed rainfall in these parts, and the chances are looking better that some rain may fall in the next 72 hours. As is often the case with weather, the timing could be better.
NOAA surface loop forecast shows low pressure moving into the Midwest by this weekend.
A low pressure system spinning into the West today will track toward the Midwest by Saturday. The low will track through Iowa and Missouri, but it appears it may slide close enough to sideswipe Minnesota and send a wave or two of rain our way Saturday.
The latest model trends indicate a band of rainfall sweeping north out of Iowa Friday evening into southern Minnesota. If trends are correct, there is some indication that the rainfall could slide far enough north to bring some critical rainfall to parts of parched central and northern Minnesota as well.
The system looks like it may pull out of the area pretty quickly on Sunday with rapidly improving weather conditions during the day.
Stay tuned as this system, and our chances for critical rainfall, evolve over the next 48 hours.
April showers bring May flowers.
*Though the rain was not heavy, it was enough to wet streets, windshields and give the Twins grounds crew a run for their money during the first rain showers at Target Field today. It looks like they passed with flying colors as the game went off without a hitch. It only took a few minutes to quickly spruce up the muddy pitcher's mound in mid-game.
*Rainfall totals are generally light today. Stop and start showers have laid down only a few tenths of an inch for the most part.
*Tuesday's rain put the Twin Cities just slightly above average for April so far. We are still running about an inch below average since March 1st.
PRECIPITATION (IN) Average/(Departure from average)
MONTH TO DATE 1.08 0.93 (0.15)
SINCE MAR 1 1.77 2.79 (-1.02)
SINCE JAN 1 2.97 4.62 (-1.65)
*The cool front spawning the showers will stall briefly tonight just southeast of the Twin Cities. That will keep the focus of showers running generally from about Albert Lea and Rochester to Red Wing and the southeast metro over to Menomonie and Rice Lake. A second wave riding along the front may trigger a few more showers in the metro overnight and into early Thursday morning.
*High pressure will build in as we head toward the weekend. Look for a cooler breeze and some gusty winds from late Thursday through Friday.
*The weekend looks spectacular at this point. As high pressure settles in, look for plenty of sunshine and high in the 60s with lows in the 40s in southern Minnesota. Up north highs may hold in the upper 50s with lows in the 30s. It should be a great weekend for getting some of those spring yard chores off the "to do" list.
Enjoy the return to glorious weather as we head toward the weekend!
Radar watchers will have plenty to look at today in Minnesota.
A weak and slow moving cool front will stall over eastern Minnesota later today. Moisture pooling near the front will provide the fuel for scattered showers and thunderstorms.
The moisture, warm winds and frontal position mean it's the kind of day where scattered storms may pop up with little notice. Remember that old saying if you don't like the weather just wait 15 minutes? Today may be that kind of day with rapid weather changes.
Some of the storms may be strong to marginally severe later this afternoon and this evening. Expect the potential for local downpours, gusty winds, lightning and hail today.
The good news is we could use some more rain. Many spots could see another .25" to .50" today, with a few lucky spots seeing higher totals. The weather lab got a nice shot of rain yesterday, but another half inch would be welcome for many fields, lawns and gardens.
Forecast modles indicate chances for more rainfall today.
(click for bigger image)
It appears the best chance for heavy rainfall approaching an inch will be in the southeast metro and western Wisconsin later this afternoon and this evening.
If you are heading out to the Twins game today, expect the possibility of a shower or T-Storm. Since coverage of the storms will be scattered, there may be rainy periods and breaks in the rain this afternoon. Highs should be in the 70s with a mild south wind blowing in from the outfield.
It is interesting to note that on the day of the Gophers home opener at TCF Bank Stadium it remained dry, while over an inch of rain fell just 1 mile from the stadium in localized downpours. The vertical development of convective precipitation causes wide variation in rainfall over short distances.
Here are some resources to keep track today's changeable weather situation.
Now that's what we call a good soaker.
An active warm front is triggering widespread thunderstorms overnight into today. The garden variety grumblers have put down some impressive and beneficial rainfall totals. Here are some rainfall reports as of early Tuesday morning.
St. Paul .46"
MSP Airport .64"
St. Cloud .90"
Eden Prairie 1.34"
The heaviest band of rainfall set up overnight as the storms developed and lingered in an arc west of the metro. Persistent downpours in a band from near Willmar to Hutchinson to Waconia and Norwood in Carver County in the southwest metro laid down anywhere form 3" to as much as 5" according to NEXRAD storm total rainfall estimates.
NEXRAD storm total rainfall algorithm shows deep soaking rainfall west of the Twin Cities.
Keep in mind the radar may have read these amounts a bit high due to hail cores present in the thunderstorms overnight. Still, a good multi inch soaking fell in these areas.
Wider view shows soaking rain in St. Cloud and near the Twin Cities.
The rainfall is extremely well timed and beneficial. Much of Minnesota has been very dry this spring, and the rain will alleviate fire danger, recharge soils and help boost the spring green up.
As the warm front moves north today, expect showers and thunderstorms to favor the northern half of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Showers should gradually end from south to north in the metro today.
Enjoy the much needed rainfall!
Look (and listen) for a few scattered areas of much needed rainfall into early Tuesday morning. A line of storms moving slowly northeast is packing lightning, thunder, heavy downpours, gusty winds and some hail.
A warm front is pushing through southern Minnesota overnight and will trigger scattered showers and a few boomers into Tuesday morning. Most areas will see only a quarter to half inch of rain or so, but some lucky spots may see up to an inch or more.
After the front sails through Tuesday, warm southerly breezes will boost temperatures in the afternoon. Upper 70s will be common, and some spots in southern Minnesota could see the season's first 80 degree reading.
I would not be shocked to see temperatures pushing near 80 as far north as the metro by late Tuesday afternoon.
As if on cue, two rain areas are splitting north and south of the metro. There's still a slim chance a shower could develop overhead as the front moves through, but the best chance is for the game to go off dry, with even some sunshine filtering through.
Showers continue to hang west and south of the metro. Good news so far. We'll have to see how things develop as the front moves through this afternoon. There is still a chance of rain, but it's looking better by the hour.
Outdoor baseball is back in Minnesota!
It's going to be touch and go for rain at Target Field today.
If you are headed out to the game today, be prepared for a little bit of everything.
Here's the breakdown on the forecast today.
-A warm front is pushing moisture north into southern Minnesota. The front is pushing more moisture (dew points in the 40s and 50s) into the region today.
-The system is battling dry air initially over the Twin Cities where dew points are in the 20s. That may mean that some of the rain initially may evaporate before it reaches the ground.
-Various forecast models are bringing the best chance of scattered rain and thunderstorms into the metro between about noon and 4pm. There may also be some lighting and thunder as the system moves through this afternoon.
As is often the case with springtime weather systems, the showers will be scattered in nature. That means there is a chance Target Field may be able to dodge some of the showers today. It could easily be pouring in Bloomington at the MOA (and old Met Stadium site) and not raining at Target Field, or visa versa! There may even be sunny peeks at times today.
Target field is well designed to handle rainfall, so even if we get a batch of showers and thunder, I think it is likely they will play the game today. The dicey part of the forecast looks to be during the pregame and first part of the game today.
After the front pushes through this afternoon, we may see a clearing trend and breezy and milder weather should move in for this evening. Temps should be in the 60s at gametime. Winds should be from the southeast at 10-20 mph. That's blowing in from the outfield.
Here are some resources to keep track of the changeable weather today!
This is how you write up an April weekend in Minnesota.
Plenty of sun, cool mornings and milder afternoons.
Our relatively mild and tranquil April weather continues this weekend. Saturday should feature partly cloudy to mostly sunny skies by afternoon. Expect temperatures in the lower 60s in southern Minnesota, and upper 50s to near 60 north. Winds should be from the west at between 5 and 15 mph.
Sunday looks a bit milder in the south with highs in the mid to upper 60s. Northern Minnesota may see a few clouds Sunday. A light NE wind between 5 and 10 mph should make things feel really nice Sunday.
Temperatures will be running about 8 to 10 degrees above average this weekend. Our averages in the Twin Cities are 54/34. We're on a 6 week winning streak of above average temperatures now. March was 8.9 degrees above average in the metro and April temperatures are off to a running start at 11.2 degrees above average!
Front may affect Twins opener:
All attention will turn to Target Field Monday for the Twins home opener. A warm front will be pushing through southern Minnesota Monday morning. It will likely bring a few showers along as it moves through.
If the front clear the Twin Cities by early afternoon, weather conditions should be nice for opening day baseball at Target Field. Look for breezy SE winds of 15-25 mph (blowing in from right field) and temperatures that could be in the upper 60s to near 70 if we get enough sun.
If the front lingers, weather conditions will change significantly. Clouds and showers could linger into the afternoon, and temperatures could stay in the upper 50s right up to game time.
GFS model rainfall forecast for Monday at 7pm hints at a chance of lingering rain showers in the metro Monday afternoon.
Needless to say, forecasters will be watching the models closely Sunday night and early Monday morning.
Enjoy the beautiful April weekend!
It's a start.
Precious rainfall in southern Minnesota added up in southern Minnesota Tuesday. Here are some totals.
Twin Cities Airport .28"
Eden Prairie .38"
St. Paul .37"
New Ulm 1.6"
The rainfall should help reduce the threat of wildfires for a few days and help boost the spring green up in southern Minnesota.
As expected, the heaviest rains fell in Iowa and southern Wisconsin. Rainfall totals in excess of 1" to 2" drenched areas from Waterloo, Iowa to near Janesville, Wisconsin.
Milder temperatures on the way:
As sunshine returns to the Upper Midwest, temperatures will respond. We'll enjoy a couple of cool (average) spring days today and Thursday with highs in the 50s. Temperatures will rise above average again this weekend with 60s returning by Friday and lasting into the weekend. A surge of warm air will help to boost temperatures back well into the 70s by Monday and Tuesday of next week!
After the 4th warmest March on record for the Twin Cities (+8.9 degrees!), April is off to another gangbusters warm start. The Twin Cities is running 14.2 degrees above average for the first 6 days of April. It looks like the warm trend will continue right into next week.
With record early ice out dates in northeast Minnesota this is truly a once in a lifetime spring for the Upper Midwest.
Enjoy the earliest spring on record in much of Minnesota!
Posted at 8:30 AM on April 6, 2010
by Paul Huttner
Filed under: Rainfall
Radars are lighting up today in southern Minnesota with April showers.
While the rainfall totals may not be as heavy as previously advertised by forecast models, there may be enough to wet down streets, lawns and fields today. Latest indications and model forecast cluster rainfall totals for the metro and much of southern Minnesota around .25" or so.
The rainfall comes at a critical time. Fire danger has been running high this spring. The rainfall will help reduce the threat, even if temporarily until things can green up with the growth of new grasses.
PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO/ROMEOVILLE IL
732 AM CDT TUE APR 06 2010
..DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
0725 AM HAIL BATAVIA 41.85N 88.30W
04/06/2010 M1.75 INCH KANE IL TRAINED SPOTTER
1 INCH TO GOLFBALL SIZED HAIL
Here are some resources to keep track of today's weather system.
Posted at 5:00 PM on April 5, 2010
by Paul Huttner
Filed under: Rainfall
The latest trends in our Midwest weather system indicate that the more consistent rain bands may be sliding a bit to the south. That could mean less beneficial rainfall for parts of central and southern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities metro area.
The first wave with this system is lighting up radar with scattered showers Monday night. There may be a break in the action before the second, stronger wave moves in Tuesday.
Morning and midday forecast model runs are stretching or "shearing" this incoming upper low from north to south over the central plains. This usually produces a more elongated area of rainfall, and prevents deep moisture from being thrown up over the Upper Midwest.
Also, severe weather with clusters of thunderstorms in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana are "sopping up" some of the moisture before it can get dragged further north by the system.
The combination of these two factors may limit the amount of available moisture to generate widespread lasting rains in southern Minnesota. It still looks like the I-90 corridor may see a good soaking of anywhere from .50" to 1"+ of rainfall that extends down into Iowa and southern Wisconsin with this system. Areas from the Twin Cities to Redwood Falls may see somewhat lighter amounts; it's looking more like .25" may be the average that far north of the system. The latest trends indicate St. Cloud may see even lighter amounts.
Forecast models rainfall projections show a trend over the past 24 hours. Notice how the NAM model dropped predicted rainfall from about 1" to .3" in just one model cycle.(click on image for bigger picture)
Stay tuned and we will keep an eye on radars to see how far north the precip is able to make it Tuesday!
A slow moving weather system spinning into the Midwest from near Seattle will set up shop this week. As it moves into the area today, expect clouds to increase and rain to follow by tonight.
The first rain bands should light up radars in Minnesota late this afternoon and this evening. It looks like Tuesday will be the wettest day this week with good soaking rains across much of southern Minnesota.
The surface low will track to near Kansas City by Tuesday afternoon. Minnesota will be on the cooler north side of the system. It looks like the heaviest rains may fall south into Iowa and along the I-90 corridor though Tuesday.
There may be some severe weather as far north as Iowa and the I-90 corridor Tuesday. Severe storms are rumbling through the Kansas City area Monday.
The rain will be a bonus by reducing fire danger and boosting the spring green up in the Upper Midwest. Keep the umbrella handy this week, and enjoy the pitter patter of spring rain on your rooftop.
The green wave is about to hit Minnesota.
Friday's showers mark the first opportunity for some much needed rainfall in the Upper Midwest. As a cold front moved through Minnesota from west to east Friday, scattered showers and a few thunderstorms blew by.
The rain marks the first rainfall for the area in nearly a month. The last time we recorded significant rainfall was on March 10-11 when about half an inch fell, and washed away a good deal of our winter snow pack.
It looks as if the system will sweep through by early Saturday morning, giving us a mostly dry and cooler weekend.
Bigger storm on the horizon?
It looks as if a bigger more potent storm may move in next Tuesday. The system has the wrapped up look of a winter storm, but should be warm enough to produce all rain for most of Minnesota. There may be some snow on the colder west side of the storm in western and north central Minnesota.
Early indications are that this storm could bring an inch or more of rain to many locations Tuesday. The rainfall should help put the kibosh on the spring wildfire season in Minnesota.
After the system passes, another warm up appears ready to move in by late next week and into the following week. It appears 70s and even 80s may return and continue the trend of our early spring weather this year.
With the rainfall and warmth on the way in the next two weeks, it's going to look a lot greener around here by mid April!