Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Rare Sunshine Sighting

Yes, that was the "sun" peaking through on Tuesday. The "sun" is a nearby star, roughly 93 million miles from Earth, the source of all life-giving warmth and sustenance. It has been notably absent for most of June, in fact we have yet to experience one totally "sunny" day for all of June. Very odd. Welcome to Seattle, with lakes. Yes, it's getting old, and yes, there is hope in the 7-Day Outlook. I think we've turned a (big) corner.

Wednesday will restore some of your faith in a Minnesota June, enough sun for 80 degrees, no blips or blobs on Doppler radar. Today will put a little spring back in your step, the best day in sight, weatherwise. Soak it up, the arrival of a warm front marking the leading edge of sticky, 60-degree dew point air will ignite a few memorable T-storms Thursday, a tiny percentage may turn severe, especially over western Minnesota. No tornadoes yet in Minnesota this year - which is pretty remarkable. Last year our first tornado touchdown came on June 17, it's rare to be going this late in the season without a confirmed touchdown. Not complaining, mind you, just worried about the other shoe dropping (soon). Watches and warnings are likely Thursday, but a surge of drier air shoves this troubled front to our south Friday - leaving us with blue sky and low to mid 80s. That fickle front does yet another U-turn, approaching from the south on Saturday, possibly setting the stage for a few PM T-storms. The best chance of storms will probably come over central and northern MN Saturday afternoon/evening, but in truth, it's still too early to try and get specific about weekend weather details. Just know there's a risk of Saturday thunder, but right now I do not see the dynamics that would lead to an all-day rain event. I have to believe that this upcoming Saturday will be better than the last 3 Saturdays, not perfect, but better. Right now the models keep us mostly-dry on Sunday under a partly sunny sky - most of the T-storms rumbling across Iowa, possibly grazing far southern counties of Minnesota. Highs range from mid 70s north to low 80s south, a little more lake-worthy than the last few weekends.

* Sauk Rapids reports 1.45" of rain in 45 minutes around 1 pm Tuesday, a tropical deluge, one that triggered a little street flooding.

Tuesday Almanac. There was just enough sun across central and southern MN for some low to mid 70s yesterday, 76 in the Twin Cities, 74 at St. Cloud, where .13" of rain fell. Just up the road in Sauk Rapids: 1.45" (in 45 minutes!) Duluth picked up a third of an inch of rain, highs holding at 61.

Rock 'n Roll Thursday? The approach of a warm frontal boundary will set the stage for a few strong to potentially severe thunderstorms Thursday - best chance over far western MN, but a few memorable T-storms may rumble into the metro area later in the day.

Saturday Storms? The GFS model prints out a thunder bulls-eye right over central MN Saturday PM, along a warm frontal boundary. The best chance of sunshine? Morning and midday hours, but (once again) have a Plan B for the mid afternoon through evening hours, just in case the sky opens up overhead.

Any truly summerlike weather in sight? The GFS model is suggesting a few 90-degree days toward the very end of June, but no prolonged Dog Days in sight, at least looking out 15 days or so.

Stormy Episodes. The GFS is hinting at 3 distinct windows for precipitation: T-storms late Thursday, another chance over the weekend, perhaps another 1"+ of rain by next Monday & Tuesday. Lawn watering still optional until further notice.

Enjoy today's tranquil sunshine and lukewarm temperatures. Thursday could be "lively" in the weather center. I'm hopeful that we'll experience a nicer weekend, although I probably said something similar a week ago. What can possibly go wrong - and what time?

At some point Mother Nature will cut us a break - we're due for a nice weekend. Hopefully our number is about to come up.

Soggy Iowa. Some counties in southern Iowa have already picked up nearly 12" of rain during the first HALF of June! As wet as it's been here in Minnesota, as much as 3 to 4 times more rain has fallen one state to our south.

1 in 500 Year Flood. Climatologists are now referring to Monday's inundation of the northern suburbs of Oklahoma City as a 1 in 500 year event. Some suburbs picked up over 10" of rain in less than 6-8 hours. The problem is: we've been seeing a lot of these 1 in 500 year floods: Nashville a couple months ago, Arkansas experienced historic floods last weekend. A fluke? Here are more photos from the flash flood - you quickly get a sense of the sheer power of moving water.

Bangladesh Mudslide. At least 58 people are dead, dozens missing, presumably buried under towering piles of mud that came roaring down a hillside in Bangladesh. The story from the BBC is here.

Before We Go. It's hard to find any good news emanating from the Gulf of Mexico these days. But this story is a rare hint of sunshine in an otherwise gloomy outlook, inexplicable, unlikely, stranger than fiction. What happens when an angry sea turtle hits "record" on an underwater video camera? Click here to see why I just had to include this story in today's weather blog.

* Efforts to Repel Oil Spill Described as Chaotic. Why has the response from BP (and the federal, state and local governments) been so haphazard? Who really is in control of the spill? Good question - this N.Y. Times article attempts to explain how things could have gone so terribly wrong.

Unbelievably Sad. I couldn't believe this story - talk about good intentions going horribly wrong.

The Perils of Sleep Deprivation. I know exactly how the guy in the back row feels. I'm feeling kind of sleepy, come to think of it. Talk about overnight sensation - he already has his own Facebook page with over 11,000 fans. The full clip is here.

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

Today: Blue sky, very pleasant - nicest day yet this month. Winds: W 8-13. High: 82

Wednesday night: Partly cloudy, still quiet. Low: 66

Thursday: Sun gives way to increasing clouds, sticky, with a few strong/severe storms possible PM hours. High: 87

Friday: Lot's of sun - probably dry. High: 84

Saturday: Sunny start, PM T-storms possible. Winds: East 10-15+ High: 81

Sunday: Drier statewide with a mix of clouds and sun, showers/storms possible far southern MN, near the Iowa border. Winds: NW 5-10. High: 83

Monday: Unsettled with more showers and storms. High: 84

Tuesday: Intervals of sun, still warm. High: 82

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