Sunday, September 4, 2011

Several Days of Sunshine Commeth

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

LABOR DAYBest day of the weekend? Frosty start up north - otherwise, chilly for everyone, bright sun and light winds throughout the afternoon. High: 68.

MONDAY NIGHT: Clear and very cool. Low: 49

TUESDAY: Lot's of sunshine, lukewarm. High: 72

WEDNESDAY: Sunshine continues. Comfy temps and low humidity Low: 53. High: 74

THURSDAY: More blue sky, very pleasant. Low: 55. High: 78

FRIDAY: Another beauty. Low: 58. High 80

SATURDAY: Quiet. More sun with only a few passing clouds. Low: 61. High:81

SUNDAY: Stray PM Shower? Mostly dry. Low: 60. High: 78

We certainly have had our fair share of heat this summer, haven't we? I'm sure, to some, this latest cool spell feels quite nice. By the way, the last time day time high temperatures were in the 60s at the MSP airport was back in late June, a little more than 2 months ago. Since then, we've endured 15 days of 90 degree (or higher) heat and dew point values at 75 degrees (or higher) for nearly 100 hours.

Isn't it amazing how we can have such a wide range of temperatures in just a few days? We go from the 90s September 1st to overnight lows in the 40s a few days later. Thanks to high pressure sitting overhead, skies will clear, winds will die down and the atmosphere will dry out. It's actually quiet good timing high pressure is going to get blocked up by two tropical systems to our south and east. It's interesting how sotrms so far away from us can play such a role in our weather locally. Lee and Katia will slowly plague the eastern half of the nation with wind and rain, while we enjoy several days of comfortable, sunny weather. Though, I've noticed some lawns around town getting a little brown out there, some rain would be nice.

Fair Weather at the Fair
We managed to make it through the Minnesota State Fair this year no real excitement on the baby front, For those of you tuned into yesterday's StarTribune Weather Blog, I mentioned that my wife is 38 weeks pregnant with our 2nd child and we had planned on going to the Fair Sunday. I thought for sure we'd walk around and end up at the animal birthing center with a baby of our own, but she made it! The weather was actually very enjoyable for those who can't stand heat. It got a little dicey there in the morning when temperatures were stuck in the low 50s with cloudy skies and a good drizzle coming down. I think I even heard a young girl ask her mother: "Why is it snowing out?" - Most folks were bundled tightly with colored rain ponchos flashing all over the Fair Grounds. Crowds and lines were kept to a minimum through the morning hours, but sunshine and not so sweaty weather called many to Falcon Heights for their favorite food item on a stick. This was my view around midday looking down Judson Ave towards the animal barns.

Sunday's Passing Showers
Despite the chilly start and breezy winds, Sunday ended up being a very comfortable day. A few instability showers popped up with brief downpours being reported on the northwest side of town. The showers also were responsible for rainbow sightings too, here's what I caught:

High Pressure Makes An Extended Stay
Our fair weather friend is going to be making an extended stay through the rest of the week. Expect several days of sunshine, light winds and very comfortable weather, especially through the first half of the week. Clear skies, light winds and dry air is the perfect recipe for radiational cooling, which can drop temperatures to near the dew point. Note that dew point values have fallen into the 30s and 40s in spots across the state, so you guessed it... expect very chilly conditions during the morning hours through early week. In fact, the National Weather Service in Duluth, MN issued a Frost Advisory for parts of the Arrowhead Sunday Night/Early Monday as temperatures threatened to dip into the lower 30s. I expect to see, perhaps, another Frost Advisory for similar areas Monday Night/Early Tuesday as readings rival that of Monday mornings low temperatures.
Frost Advisory Sunday Night/Early Monday

Weather Set Up
Take a look at the image below, it shows the large bubble of High Pressure anchored over the western Great Lakes Region as Lee and Katia slide bottle up the eastern half of the nation. The yellow arrows don't necessarily represent the movement of Lee and Katia, but they do represent the fact that they are pushing the High Pressure back to the wast, not allowing it to move in an easterly direction. Like a ball bouncing off of a wall, high pressure is running into wall of low pressure on the east coast, which will keep the high centered in one spots for several days before drifting east (slightly) by the end of the week.

Slow Moving Swirl of Tropical Moisture
This Labor Day Weekend, folks in the south have been swamped with heavy rain, gusty winds and threats of isolated tornadoes. Take a look at all the rain across the Deep South thanks to Lee.
 What's Up With Lee?
Lee continues to fling Gulf of Mexico moisture into the Gulf Coast States and it's really starting to become a problem. Take a look at all the flooding headlines issued across the south:
Radar Estimates of Rainfall
Impressive radar estimates of rainfall are coming in across the south. The image below suggests that nearly 10" to 15" of rain has already fallen on spots.
Official and Unofficial Rainfall Totals
Here are some of the higher totals that I found listed through midday Sunday - find more HERE:


HOLDON              13.93
N.O. CAROLLTON      12.97
MAUREPAS            11.97
CONVENT 2S          11.55
GALLIANO            11.40
LIVINGSTON          11.24
N.O. AUDUBON        10.79
SLIDELL CITY        10.62
PASCAGOULA          10.60
COVINGTON           10.46


WAVELAND 1.1NW          14.11 THROUGH 8AM
MARRERO 1.9E            11.61 THROUGH 6AM
MERAUX 0.8WNW           11.18 THROUGH 8AM

Rain Beginning to Spread Northeast
I want to thank Chris Misun for sending in this picture from Meridian Mississippi as rain squalls from Tropical Storm Lee were moving into the area.
Additional Rainfall Expected Through the Week
Tropical Storm Lee is still expected to make a big impact on those east of the Mississippi River Valley through the first full week of September. Waterlogged areas on the Eastern Seaboard are hoping not to see any additional rainfall after Hurricane Irene rolled through, but unfortunately, more heavy rain is expected. 
Hurricane Katia Churns Towards the U.S.
We are also watching Hurricane Katia as latest model runs keep Katia very close to the New England States by late week/this weekend. As of Sunday evening, Katia was a Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds at 105mph.
Where Will Katia Wobble To?
The 'Cone of Uncertainty' has Hurricane Katia sliding ever closer to the U.S. by the end of the week.
Thanks for checking in, enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend!
Meteorologist Todd Nelson

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