It's a logical, reasonable question. "Paul, will it rain on my yard this evening?" We respond with probabilities and words like "isolated" and "scattered" thundershowers.
"You have Turbo-Doppler! Why can't you tell me if the storms will hit MY HOUSE?"
Welcome to the world of random weather. We can tell when conditions are ripe for storms, but will your neighborhood be the 10 to 20 percent of the state that sees rain?
In spite of 3 KM resolution models that update every hour the state of the art still can't answer that question with a high degree of confidence. A line of storms? That's straightforward. But hit-or-miss, "popcorn" instability showers? Good luck. Radar on a phone is probably your best tool for pinpointing rain chances for your GPS location. Anything else is an exercise in hand-waving.
Today looks quiet: no pulsating red blobs on Doppler. Storms rumble in Thursday with high humidity. Friday will be the better day to graze the healthy food choices at the State Fair, with highs near 90F. I'll be at the Star Tribune booth around midday to hang out with Vineeta Sawkar and babble about the dew point.
Near 90F Sunday, then a breath of fresh, September air next week.
* 3 KM HRRR model from Tuesday courtesy of NOAA and HAMweather.
Graphic credit above: "
Graphic credit above: National Climatic Data Center.
Photo credit: Wildfire Management Branch.
Photo credit: "Releasing dropsonde. The Global Hawk can deploy multiple dropsondes at altitudes up to 65,000 feet to collect measurements of temperature, pressure, relative humidity and wind speed and direction." (NOAA).
Map credit above: "Tropical storm tracks from 1985 to 2005 reflect the poleward migration of cyclones over the last three decades. Such storms now tend to peak farther away from the equator."
Airborne Phased Array Radar Could Spur a "Quantum Leap" in Hurricane Forecasts. Meteorologists do a good job with track, but predicting intensity changes is more problematic. Will a next-generation doppler system help? Here's an excerpt of a story at The Capital Weather Gang: "Forecasts for the tracks of hurricanes have made huge strides over the past 15 years, improving by over 50 percent. But forecasts for the intensity of hurricanes have lagged, with only modest gains in accuracy seen very recently. A new technology under development at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), known as Airborne Phased Array Radar (APAR), could be a game-changer for improving forecasts for hurricane intensity and other types of severe weather, according to those familiar with the project..." (3-D visualization of Hurricane Katrina: NASA).
Map credit above: " .
TODAY: Warm sunshine, still pleasant. Winds: SE 10. High: 84
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Clouds, a few T-storms likely. Low: 70
THURSDAY: Muggy and hot, few T-storms with locally heavy rain. Some PM sun. Dew point: 70. High: near 90
FRIDAY: Drier, still steamy with more sun. Dew point: 67. Wake-up: 69. High: 89
SATURDAY: Sticky sun, PM T-storms. Dew point: 69. Wake-up: 70. High: 87
SUNDAY: Partly sunny. Stinking hot. Wake-up: 68. High: near 90
MONDAY: Blue sky, breathing much easier. Dew point: 53. Wake-up: 63. High: 73
TUESDAY: Sunny start, late showers. Dew point: 49. Wake-up: 57. High: 72
Photo credit above: "CEO Richard Edelman speaking at Davos in 2011." Image: Robert Scoble/Flickr
Photo credit above: "Researcher Melinda Webster uses a probe to measure snow depth and verify airborne data. She is walking on sea ice near Barrow, Alaska in March 2012. Her backpack holds electronics that power the probe and record the data." Chris Linder / Univ. of Washington.
File photo credit: Eric Mohl/Special to the Star Tribune. "Stunning views like this one compel people to brave the seas to get to Antarctica."
Photo credit above: "
Graphic credit above: " Wikimedia