Thursday, July 29, 2010

A little rain won't stop our weekend parade.

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

Friday: Scattered storms throughout the day. High: 82

Friday night: Mostly cloudy skies; clearing after midnight. Low: 65

Saturday: Partly cloudy with a bit more humidity, but pleasant. High: 84

Sunday: Morning sun with some afternoon clouds; an isolated storm. Storms igniting in western Minnesota later in the day. Metro area and northern MN remain rain free for most of the day. High: 86

Monday: Disturbance moves in. Storms possible throughout. High: 85

Tuesday: Early morning storms becoming very spotty by late morning. High: 87

Wednesday: Dewpoints drop (aka less humid). Comfortable. High: Near 86

Thursday: Sun & Clouds. High: 85

Forecast Details

Here’s the scoop: yes, there’s a chance of rain, but I think we’re going to be ok for the weekend. Good news, right? Getting to the lake may be a bit tricky tomorrow though with traffic because not only will we have our let’s-go-up-north traffic, we may have to deal with a bit a rain as well. A low from the Pacific Northwest will track through the upper Midwest tonight and Friday. southern Minnesota seems to be a good target for heavy rain and maybe some severe weather overnight. After midnight, we pick up on the development of a mesoscale convective system (MCS) in southwestern Minnesota. That’s just a fancy name for an organized cluster of thunderstorms that can quickly turn strong to severe. Here’s the progression based on one of our models:

Stronger storms earlier in the day, but still unsettled in the PM.

Meanwhile, we’re not quite expecting severe storms here in the Metro, but some hefty rain can’t be ruled out—especially early in the morning. We’ll keep a chance of scattered storms in the forecast throughout the day though as this disturbance seems to slow down considerably. The high that brought us the fabulous weather today will shift eastward and will slow the progression of this next storm system, keeping a prolonged opportunity for rain in the Twin Cities.

The rain should be out of the way by the time the weekend rolls around and temperatures will warm. It will be a bit more humid, but nothing terrible. Seems like a good weekend to hang out here:

Joe's Lodge Cam on Lake Andrusia, Bemidji

Sunday does look a bit interesting as a new disturbance inches its way closer. This could spew a few isolated PM storms, but we're expecting the bulk of the rain associated with that to occur overnight and into Monday.

Severe Weather Roundup

Looks like Minnesota really dodged a bullet on Tuesday. That’s the day that we had an impressive line of storms develop along a cold front. The line fizzled out quite a bit by the time it worked into the metro area, but reports of gusts in excess of 50 mph were common-place north of the Twin Cities. A 71 mph wind gust near St. Cloud was reported as the severe storms rushed through around 6:11pm CT.

That line did manage to spawn a couple of tornadoes officially, but these occurred in Wisconsin. One impacted Iron county and it was the first in 40 years (since July 7, 1970). It’s only the 4th tornado in that county since 1950. Ashland county experienced its first tornado since May 12, 1998. Bayfield county received baseball size hail that caused significant damage. Speaking of hail, when those storms were impacting Vivian, South Dakota, they managed to produce the largest on record in the US for diameter and weight: 8" in diameter, 18.5" in circumference. Minnesota got away with no tornadoes and no huge hail—what a relief!

Record-setting hail stone from Vivian, SD.

Nonetheless, it has been an active year for us. So far in 2010, we’ve had 40 confirmed tornadoes. Our annual average is 26. On average, according to data gathered between 1950 and 2007, about 18 tornadoes occur between the months of June and August in Minnesota. 34% of those tornadoes occur in June. The most tornadoes we’ve ever seen in a year was 74 in 2001. The most in one month: 38 in June of 2001. The most in a day: 27 on June 16, 1992.

Wadena Tornado: June, 2010


This week, two parents were arrested after leaving their infant in a hot car this past Tuesday in the Metro. Remember how dreadfully hot it was that day? I shudder to think about what it felt like in that car (especially for a young child!). The baby was left inside it for 20 minutes. Fortunately, this occurred a bit earlier in the day (around 12:30PM) when the temperature was just below 90. But temps easily worked their way up into the 90s. Heat indices were hovering around 100 degrees for a good while that afternoon. The baby seems to be ok, but it’s important to realize that an enclosed vehicle can heat up to around 120 degrees on a hot summer day. It also heats up VERY quickly. While 20 minutes may not sound like much, it can be deadly. To learn more about hypothermia, click here.

Did you know? The hottest temperature ever recorded in Minnesota was on this date back in 1917 when Beardsley soared to 114.5 degrees.

Fortunately, dew points made a remarkable recovery after that muggy day… dropping by a good 20 degrees after the front moved through. The following Wednesday was absolutely beautiful. Remember that the dew point temperature is the temperature at which the air needs to cool to in order for condensation to occur. In less technical terms, it’s a direct relationship to moisture content in the air. Dew points in the lower to mid 70s is when it starts to feel uncomfortable. It gets downright oppressive when you get up to 78 or (even worse) in the 80s. The highest dew point temperature on record for the Twin Cities was 81 degrees at 11:00am on July 30, 1999.

We’re not expecting horribly humid conditions at the end of the week. Dew points will go from the 50s into the 60s, which is still “acceptable” for many. Temperatures seem to be sitting pretty in the mid 80s for a while. I’m not seeing any signs of a heat spike in our immediate future. All-in-all, it looks to be a great weekend to be outdoors. I know I'll probably be out on my bike enjoying it.

Enjoy the weekend! – Susie Martin

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