Sunday, June 27, 2010

Storm Recap - Sunday Clearing Trend (and a spectacular week)

Sunday Tornado Reports. The NWS reported tornadoes near Blue Earth, north of Winnebago and Freeborn, Brownsdale and west of Good Thunder. There may have been more - we won't know until the NWS dispatches teams to these communities to look for evidence of more touchdowns. For a complete wrap-up of wind, hail and tornado reports, click here.



Gulf Residents Are Holding Their Breath. Alex came ashore over Belize late Saturday, the tropical storm will weaken over land, but then re-intensify as it moves back over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The GFDL is predicting winds over 100 mph before (Hurricane) Alex comes ashore somewhere on the Texas coast Thursday morning. Most of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill is in the eastern Gulf of Mexico - the tropical storm/hurricane will whip up huge swells, capable of pushing the underwater "clouds" of crude toward the Gulf coast. My hunch is that the storm may accelerate the amount of oil reaching coastal Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and even Florida this week. I hope I'm wrong. For the latest updates click over to the NHC web site for the latest on Alex.

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

Today: Wet start, increasingly sunny, windy and pleasant. Winds: NW 15-25. High: 84

Sunday night: Clear and comfortable. Low: 62

Monday: Plenty of sun, pleasant (lower humidity levels). High: 77

Tuesday: Mostly sunny and beautiful. High: 82

Wednesday: Blue sky, still spectacular. high: 84

Thursday: Generous sunshine, getting warmer. High: 85

Friday: Partly sunny, sticky. High: 86

Saturday: Less sun, muggy and warm - a growing chance of a T-storm. High: 82



I'm getting sick of using the term, "supercell". Good grief. When were we all magically transported to Oklahoma? I counted at least 5 tornadoes Sunday evening (bringing our unofficial subtotal for the year up to 35, give or take). I also saw some 2-4" rainfall amounts from near Glencoe to Bloomington, where streets flooded, cars were submerged - getting around the south metro last night was a crazy mess, lightning darting (almost continuously), horizontal rains. Delightful.

Rainfall Recap. As of 12:15 am Sunday morning much of the south metro had received 1-3" rains, I wouldn't be surprised to see a few 4"+ reports come out. To put that into perspective that's nearly a month's worth of rain in about 3 hours. No wonder streets (temporarily) turned into rivers and traffic came to a screeching halt.

Yesterday's noisy front will push east today, winds shift around to the west to northwest (gusting to 25 mph at times). Dramamine recommended if you're heading out on the lake later, but the sun should be more noticeable as the day goes on, humidity levels dropping off as the day goes on. We can all decompress, relax, not stress about Doppler-speak. I know it sounds incredible, but it may not rain again until next Saturday. High pressure migrating south out of Canada will temporarily stall out, leaving us mostly sunny and mostly-dry from today through Friday. You'll notice a nice dip in temperature and humidity over the next 48 hours, before a southerly breeze tugs the mercury (and dreaded dew point) back up to more summerlike levels by the end of the week.

Congratulations: you are the proud recipient of improving weather today, and a weather winning streak of sunny, beautiful days from Monday through at least Friday. We'll try to pin down the all-important holiday weekend outlook - it's still too early to get specific. Count on a few stray T-storms and be pleasantly surprised if they fail to materialize. Right now I do NOT see steady rains or cold temperatures - I think it will be classic summertime weather, partly sunny, partly thundery, most of the time dry (and sticky). Cue the lake, the beach, the pool. No worries!

Star Tribune Print Weather Column

Basement dwellers


"Paul here, can't come to the phone. I'm in my basement, under the stairs, watching TV, snacking, too scared to come out. Leave a message. I'll get back to you in October." What a June, the tornado count over 30 and rising (rapidly). Most TV meteorologists were traumatized (as kids) by wild weather: a tornado, flood, hurricane, something that left a lasting mark. Many severe storm survivors

display symptoms similar to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) victims: anxiety, anger, pacing, elevated heart rate, sweaty palms - an inability to sleep (or concentrate) when storms are imminent.


Storm phobias are real, but treatable with therapy. The truth: if you have a basement or sturdy (interior) room you're relatively safe. Why the sudden spike in tornadoes? The front, the atmospheric tug-of-war separating steamy, tropical air to our south from comfortable Canadian air has stalled overhead; storm ripples aloft inflaming this battle-zone, setting off repeated rounds of spinning T-storms able to focus wind shear into violent updrafts. A wet start today gives way to PM clearing, 5 dry, comfortable days/row next week! Sticky, thundery weather returns next weekend, highs: 80s.


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