Sunday, August 22, 2010

Monday Heat - Free A/C by Midweek

Favre Compound. No it's not quite big enough to show up from space (this is an aerial photo from Bing) but Brett Favre's Mississippi home is impressive alright. True, this has absolutely nothing to do with Minnesota's weather, but it's a slow weather-day and I thought you might get a kick out of seeing this, courtesy of The web has turned all of us into digital voyeurs. If I just wasted 10-15 seconds of your busy day my sincere apologies.

Stunning. I can't imagine a finer Sunday. Under a cloudless sky temperatures shot up 5-10 degrees above average, reaching 88 in St. Cloud and the Twin Cities, a respectable 91 at Redwood Falls. By the way, August temperatures are averaging 6 degrees F. above normal in the Twin Cities. Every month this summer has trended warmer than average.

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

Today: Warm sunshine, windy, humid. Winds: S 15-25, gusting to 30 this afternoon. High: 88

Monday night: Showers likely, slight chance of thunder. Low: 66

Tuesday: Damp start, then plenty of sun, breezy, turning less humid. high: 77

Wednesday: Bright sun, winds ease up a bit. Comfortably cool. High: 73

Thursday (Day #1 of the MN State Fair!) Blue sky, beautiful. High: 77

Friday: Sunny, still very nice, warming up again. High: 83

Saturday: Probably the nicer day of the weekend. Partly sunny, slight chance of thunder late. High: 84

Sunday: More clouds, unsettled with a few hours of showers, possible T-storms. High: 83

What can you say after a day like Sunday? Mere adjectives don't do the weather justice. Flawless. The pinnacle of weather perfection. I can't imagine a better day, warm sweet air with the consistency of butter, a gentle breeze - not a cloud in the sky. Minnesotans were almost frantic to get out there and soak up a magical Sunday. After a summer of mind-boggling weather records (693 individual reports of severe weather, including 123 tornadoes) we earned yesterday's reminder of how remarkable the weather can be at this latitude in late August. I want to memorize Sunday's sky - this is how I want to remember the (manic) Summer of '10 - not cowering in the basement holding the NOAA Weather Radio up to my ear - waiting for the all-clear.

What a summer...

This week's weather scenario is fairly straightforward - one more unusually warm, sunny (windy) day today, a cool frontal passage tonight with a few hours of showers (and possible thunder, but for once odds do NOT favor anything severe), followed by fresh, Canadian air Tuesday and Wednesday - another definite hint of September is about 24 hours away. By Wednesday morning folks up north will be squeezing into sweatshirts and light jackets as temperatures dip into the 40s. A stiff northwest wind begins to ease up on Wednesday, turning around to the south on Thursday, the kick-off of the Minnesota State Fair. The first 2 days of the fair may be the best, weatherwise - blue sky, low humidity, lukewarm afternoon temperatures, about as good as it ever gets in late August.

We warm into the 80s late in the week, a dying cool front sparking a few random T-storms by late Saturday (but most of the day should be dry and ok for the lake, highs in the upper 70s north to low/mid 80s south). It looks like showers and storms may be more widespread Sunday, a storm spinning up nearby capable of steadier, heavier rain late Sunday into Monday - so we get off to a wet start to September.

Nothing severe. Nothing controversial - no weather headlines close to home, a welcome dearth of EF-4 tornadoes and volleyball-size hail. After this summer, more than ever - I take NOTHING for granted...

Free Watering. All the models bring a few hours of rain into town late tonight, the atmosphere marginally unstable enough for a few embedded thundershowers - but nothing severe is expected. The heaviest amounts: southwestern MN, where some .50"+ rainfall totals are possible, closer to .20" for St. Cloud and maybe .10" in and around the Twin Cities.

Danielle. NHC weather models show Tropical Storm Danielle strengthening into a category 2 hurricane by the end of the week, steering winds aloft will probably keep it out in the Atlantic, a potential risk to Bermuda and ships in the North Atlantic. The latest from NHC is here.

Hard To Comprehend. 693 severe storm reports so far this summer in Minnesota. The red dots are tornado touchdowns (123). The blue dots: straight-line wind reports (360) and the green dots are reports of severe, 1"+ hail (210 at last report). Welcome to Minnesota, the Severe Storm Capital of the USA (at least this year). Mom would be proud. See the SPC statistics for yourself here.

Funnels In Unusual Places. Tornado season should be winding to a close (in theory) as the atmosphere over North America becomes more stable, cooling near the surface while remaining relatively warm aloft. This funnel cloud was spotted last Thursday near Canton, Georgia.

Pakistan Flood Update. Hundreds of thousands of residents of Pakistan's southern province have fled to higher ground in recent days as the worst flooding in that nation's history continues. The latest from Reuters is here.

Flood Threat in the U.K. Another day, another report of severe flooding, this time in southern England.

Severe Flooding in Northeastern China. More than 127,000 people have been evacuated along the Chinese border with North Korea. The story from the New York Times is here.

Jupiter Fireball. For the third time in 13 months amateur astronomers have detected evidence of major impacts on the surface of Jupiter. To see video of a fireball hitting the solar system's largest planet click here.

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