Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Not Bad for a Holiday Weekend

Brush with Fame. If you watch "Rescue Me" on FX you know who that guy is standing next to Don Shelby. That's actor (and all-around good guy) Dennis Leary, who plays a beleaguered, mentally-tortured firefighter in one of the best shows on television. He was in town at the State Theater earlier this week for the "Rescue Me Comedy Tour", and posed for a photo with a (very excited) Don and Mark Rosen. For the record: Leary was in town raising money for the families of firefighters lost in 9/11. "Rescue Me" is definitely not kid-friendly, but do yourself a favor and check out the show. It's dark, hilarious and poignant - nothing like it on the tube.

Hurricane Alex. The first hurricane of the season came ashore well south of Brownsville, Texas around 11 pm (central) time last night, with sustained winds close to 100 mph, a category 2 storm. One model brings the tropical remains of Alex all the way into Phoenix by Tuesday of next week. That seems unlikely, but the precise track of this (rapidly weakening) storm remains a mystery. Graphics courtesy of Ham Weather.

Paul's Conservation MN Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota

Today: Sunny, windy and warmer. Winds: South 15-30. High: 85

Thursday night: Clear and mild. Low: 65

Friday: Plenty of sun, still gusty and warm. High: 87

Saturday: Sticky with hazy sun, bordering on HOT! T-storms possible late in the day across far northern/western MN. Winds: S 15-25 (choppy on area lakes). High: near 90

Saturday night: T-storms likely, especially central and western MN. Low: 70

Sunday: More clouds, unsettled with showers and T-storms likely. Winds: SW/W 10-15. High: 82

Monday: Partly sunny, breezy and less humid. Winds: W/NW 10-15. High: 84

Tuesday: Intervals of sun, still warm. High: 85

Wednesday: Patchy clouds, chance of a passing shower or T-storm. High: 82

* 32 at Embarrass, MN Wednesday morning. Yes, patchy frost was reported between Tower and Embarrass, a little over a week after the Summer Solstice!

Wednesday Magic. What a day - bright sun across most of the state, the temperature in Hibbing rose nearly 40 degrees, from a morning low of 35. International Falls woke up to 36 F, one degree away from an all-time record. Highs ranged from a brisk 62 at Grand Marais to a balmy 82 at Redwood Falls.

If we could only bottle this weather and save it for November - or February, or mid April. I hope you've been able to soak up this incredible streak of sunny weather, as good as it ever gets in Minnesota. A transfusion of Canadian air dropped dew points into the 40s, more typical of late September than late June and early July. And what a start to a new month: more blue sky, a gusty breeze (blowing from the south/southeast at speeds up to 25-30 mph right into Saturday). Those warm winds will start to pump moisture from the Gulf of Mexico northward, and summerlike levels of humidity will return - dew points in the 60s by Friday, maybe pushing 70 by late Saturday.

Flood Warnings. As much as 2-5" of rain fell in the Minnesota River Valley last Saturday, nearly a month's worth of rain in less than 8 hours. The Cottonwood and Minnesota Rivers are both expected to crest above flood stage - all the details from the NWS are here.

July is the only month in Minnesota where frost hasn't been observed somewhere up north. We came close to shattering that record though - Wednesday morning the mercury sank to an eye-popping 32 up at Embarrass, just a little over 1 week after the summer solstice. Amazing.

From frost to heat, in the meteorological blink of an eye. 90 is possible Saturday if the sun stays out (likely). Factor in a dew point from 65-70 and it may feel like mid, even upper 90s Saturday, a true taste of summertime heat. Stake out your favorite lake or pool and you'll be just fine. Umbrellas optional for Taste of Minnesota much of Saturday, again Monday, but if you're heading out on the 4th it's a different story. Although I don't expect a raging, all-day rain-out, I could see 2-5 hours of showers and T-storms Sunday, definitely the wettest, most unsettled day of the holiday weekend.

Partly-Soggy Sunday. No panic - it won't rain all day (I pray) but a few hours of showers and storms are expected Sunday as a cooler, drier front pushes in from the Dakotas. In the metro area the best chance of T-storms will come during the afternoon and evening hours. Plan on more clouds, high humidity levels, winds easing up a bit, shifting to the southwest, then more westerly by late in the day.

Holiday Weather Recap:

Hottest, windiest day: Saturday (south winds gust over 30 mph. at times).

Wettest day: Sunday (2-5 hours of showers and a few heavy T-storms).

Most comfortable day: Monday. A welcome drop in humidity is expected behind a cool frontal passage, highs still in the low to mid 80s under a mostly sunny sky.

July Climate Data. Curious about averages and record for July? No? Just killing time. Click here for your very own (free) climate calendar for July. You'll be the envy of the neighborhood.

Blown Away. Do you enjoy watching reporters almost become airborne during hurricane live shots? If so you'll enjoy this delightful collage of "stand-ups". Nobody did it better than Dan Rather, who got his big break covering a hurricane moving into Houston. Click here to waste a few more valuable minutes, video courtesy of the Mother Nature Network. I didn't even know there WAS a Mother Nature Network.

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