"...So far this storm season, four tornadoes have occurred in the seven county Twin Cities metro area, and six tornadoes have been documents within 25 miles of Minneapolis. One of these on May 22nd was responsible for one fatality, and approximately 30 injuries in North Minneapolis." - National Weather Service, in a post below highlighting the risk of tornadoes in major, urban areas.
Minot Flood Update. According to NOAA and the Army Corp of Engineers the situation in Minot has "stabilized". Based on flow levels upstream the expected crest has dropped by nearly 2 feet, still 3-4 feet above the previous historic crest in 1881. Details below.
"...But it is highly improbable that the remarkable extreme weather events of 2010 and 2011 could have all happened in such a short period of time without some powerful climate-altering force at work. The best science we have right now maintains that human-caused emissions of heat-trapping gases like CO2 are the most likely cause of such a climate-altering force." - Dr. Jeff Masters in a comprehensive Wunderblog entry, documenting the historic weather extremes of 2010-2011. This is a must read.
"Don't Sweat The Thunderstorms." Monday morning at 8:30 a 20 meter wide asteroid will pass within 7,500 miles of the Earth's surface, actually entering the upper atmosphere. NASA insists it won't hit our dear planet. Details below.
Fireworks Ban. It's so dry across the south that many communities from Texas to Arizona have BANNED fireworks for the 4th of July. Seems un-American, but these draconian measures are necessary due to an exceptional drought, and an extreme risk of more wildfires. Details below.
Slight Severe Risk Later Today. SPC has much of central and western Minnesota in a "slight risk" of severe storms later today. The latest NAM pulls in respectable levels of CAPE (2000+) and a lifted index of -5 by evening, meaning significant instability, coupled with ample wind shear. A few supercell thunderstorms capable of large hail and even an isolated tornado are possible later, especially over western Minnesota. I expect some watches/warnings later today - stay alert.
Better Than Yesterday? Saturday's forecast was a bust, at least from the Twin Cities on south/east. Much of central and northern Minnesota salvaged a pretty good day with ample sun, but a (small) storm in the upper atmosphere kept the atmosphere south/east of MSP unsettled and showery part of the day. The sun should be out morning and midday hours, but the risk of T-storms will increase later, from west to east, and a few of the storms may turn severe. NAM model map above valid at 1 pm today.
Historic Weather Extremes....Bordering On The Surreal:
Don't Sweat The T-storms....
La Crescent 7.01" Theilman 6.55" Ortonville 5.34"
Worthington 5.36" Fairmont 5.37" Hastings 5.54"
Following a wetter than normal April and May most soils have had little time to dry out. Consequently farmers are having a difficult time getting equipment into the fields in order to do weed control or supplemental fertilizer applications. Fortunately it looks like a drier and warmer weather pattern may prevail for the conclusion of June, after record rains and cool daytime temperatures this week. MSP tied a record cold maximum temperature with just 63 degrees F on Thursday, June 23rd, while Moose Lake reached a high of only 52 degrees F that same day."
2011 Year-to-Date (and record annual) Statistics (as of June 15)
- NWS’s preliminary estimate is that there have been approximately 1,475 tornadoes so far this year.
- The previous yearly record number of tornadoes was set in 2004 with 1,817.
- The overall yearly average number of tornadoes for the past decade is 1,274.
- The preliminary estimated number of tornado fatalities so far this year is 536. NWS records indicate that there were 365 tornado fatalities before the Joplin event. There were 151 fatalities from the Joplin tornado. An additional 18 fatalities were reported in KS, OK, and AR from a tornado outbreak on May 24, 2011.
- 2011 is preliminarily the 6th deadliest tornado year in U.S. history.
Record Heat Continues In The South...
...RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE SET AT DALHART...
A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 108 DEGREES WAS SET AT DALHART
ON JUNE 24. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 107 SET IN 1990.
...RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE SET AT BORGER...
A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 110 DEGREES WAS SET AT BORGER ON
JUNE 24. THIS BROKE THE PREVIOUS RECORD OF 107 DEGREES SET IN 1980. * Amarillo, Texas also set a new record (109). Thanks to Chad Merrill at Earth Networks for passing these along.