With a son at the U.S. Naval Academy I take nothing for granted, like so many military families I start and end every day with a prayer. "This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave," wrote Elmer Davis. Go out of your way to thank a member of the military today. Their sacrifice makes it possible for us to travel, grill, play on the lake and enjoy rights that most people on the planet do not take for granted.
The weather will be smile-worthy today, blue sky, a light south breeze, afternoon readings: mid 70s. A few instability showers may sprout north of Leech Lake, but a dry sky prevails over central and southern counties. The next storm drops .25 to .50" rain Tuesday, a cool, brisk Wednesday giving way to a beautiful Thursday. Showers and T-storms arrive late Friday, but most of next weekend will be dry and lukewarm. Nice.
Sunday Showers/Storms. As expected an eastbound cool front lit up the Doppler radar screen, many towns picking up 30-60 minutes of rain (even a little thunder/lightning) south/east of the metro area. As is usually the case during the summer season rainfall amounts were highly variable and fickle, ranging from nothing to as much as .15".
Sunday Almanac. Before the front arrived the mercury climbed to 81 at MSP International Airport, 83 in St. Paul, 91 in Eau Claire, WI. Behind the front Alexandria only mustered a high of 68, St. Cloud saw 72.
Paul's Conservation MN Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota
Memorial Day: Plenty of sun - VERY nice! PM showers pop far northern MN. Winds: S/SW 5-10. High: 78
Monday night: Partly cloudy. Low: 62
Tuesday: Mostly cloudy, unsettled with showers and a few T-storms possible. High: 75
Wednesday: Damp start, mostly cloudy, unusually cool for early June. High: 68
Thursday: Partly sunny and pleasant. High: near 70
Friday: Partly sunny - showers/T-storms arrive late. High: 75
Saturday: More clouds than sun, probably dry. High: 73
Sunday: Sun much of the day (showers may arrive Sunday night). High: 76
"Supercell" Time Lapse. The dangling (rotating) wall cloud observed in southeastern Colorado on May 25 was an immediate tip-off that this was no ordinary, garden-variety thunderstorm. It's here that a tornado is most likely to form. Click here to see a time lapse of this intensifying supercell (sometimes called a "mesocyclone").
China Tornado. The USA sees more tornadoes than any other nation on Earth. Number 2 on the list? China, followed closely by Russia and Australia - other regions where large contrasts in temperature and moisture can cause thunderstorms to mutate into spinning "supercells."
Light Show. There is a correlation between the frequency of lightning and the severity of a thunderstorm. If you see nearly continuous lightning there's a strong probability that the storm is especially severe, capable of large hail, damaging winds, even an isolated tornado. This storm struck near Goodland, Kansas on May 23.
Spreading Stain. An estimated 25% of the Gulf of Mexico is closed to fishing, according to NOAA. The oil from the Deepwater Horizon well is now being swept up into the "Loop Current", a natural, clockwise circulation of water in the Gulf - meaning it's a matter of days before more significant oil begins to wash up onto Florida's west coast. The story is here.
Is Your Lake Safe For Summer Recreation? Conservation Minnesota has put together an amazing site that allows you to check water quality for any lake in the state - you may be surprised by the results. I know I was - I was VERY surprised to see high levels of mercury on Pelican Lake, up near Breezy Point. That's a potentially big deal, especially for kids and pregnant women - before you dig into that fresh walleye click here to head over to checkmylake.org. Better safe than sorry. An article explaining the initiative is here. While you're there enter the "This Lake Matters" contest and represent your favorite lake - why is it so special? Time to spread the word...