Sunday, June 7, 2015

Salvaging a Pretty Nice Sunday - Mother of All El Nino's Brewing?

79 F. high temperature in the Twin Cities Saturday.
76 F. average high on June 6.
84 F. high on June 6, 2014.

.69" rain fell at MSP International Airport yesterday.

Risk of Bridal Showers

"Will we see showers?" Um, rain showers, bathroom showers, bridal showers? Please be specific. My amazing daughter-in-law is having her bridal shower today. Thank you for having it indoors, Tracy.
June is prime time for grad parties and weddings - cruel irony, since June is, on average, the wettest month of the year, with the best chance of hail, high water and cloud to ground lightning.

As a rough rule of thumb an easterly wind often implies rain or snow. A northwest breeze traditionally accompanies a rising barometer, with slow clearing and a diminishing threat of rain.

That will be the case today; a wet start gives way to lukewarm sun and highs near 80F. An instability T-shower may sprout later today, especially north and west of St. Cloud, but most of the time should be dry and suitable for outdoor fun, including St. Paul's Grand 'ol Day Parade.

A fleeting flash of summer heat is brewing; highs near 90F Tuesday before cooling down. Another swarm of thunderstorms drops more heavy rain by Thursday.

We may break the soggy weekend curse; models hint at showers next Saturday but a pretty nice Sunday with 70s to near 80F. By late June Minnesota may be on the edge of a building heat wave.

Saturday Soaking. The heaviest rains last night fell over the eastern suburbs of the Twin Cities, MPX Doppler radar estimates showing some 1 to 1.5" amounts east of I-35E, lesser amounts over the western 'burbs. Some 2-3" amounts soaked a swath from Owatonna and Rochester to Eau Claire, with as much as 4-5" northwest of St. Cloud.

June Is Living Up To Its (Soggy) Reputation. The wettest, most severe month of the year is on track to live up to expectations. NOAA's GFS guidance prints out some additional 2-4" amounts for much of Minnesota and the Upper Midwest by next Wednesday. You can see the projected track of "Blanca" in the eastern Pacific (missing Cabo) and another plume of tropical moisture extending from Jamaica into the Gulf of Mexico and New Orleans late in the period. Animation: AerisWeather.

Flashes of Heat - Interrupted by Downpours. Temperatures mellow into Tuesday before a weak cool frontal passage drops temperatures and humidity levels the latter half of the week, setting up a boundary that will support more heavy showers and T-storms late Thursday into Saturday. It's early but right now Sunday appears to be the sunnier, nicer, warmer day next weekend. Source: Weatherspark.

Moderately Warm. The massive ridge feature predicted earlier for the central Plains may not materialize by late June; models going back and forth with each new run. The 500 mb solution for the evening of Sunday, June 21 shows a fairly active zonal flow; sizzling heat for the southern USA and Mississippi Valley, but waves of low pressure swept up in the northern branch of the jet stream, sparking more showers and storms. An active, wet and potentially severe pattern for Minnesota. Hardly unusual for June.

Biggest El Nino Since 1998? Every new NOAA prediction seems to increase the predicted intensity of the warming of Pacific Ocean water for later in 2015. El Nino correlates with warmer weather for most of the USA, and a lesser risk of hurricane formation in the Carribean and Atlantic due to stronger subtropical winds aloft. Odds would also favor a longer, warmer autumn. Would I bet the farm on that? Nope.

A Very Wet May. Here's a clip from meteorologist D.J. Kayser's weather blog (who also works with me at AerisWeather): "After a dry start to the year (we covered that last month here), May really ramped up the precipitation across the state of Minnesota, with many areas picking up much needed rainfall to help the drought situation and help get some moisture into the crop fields. However, some of it was too much, as there were reports of “downed out portions of fields” according to the USDA crop report that was issued for the week ending May 24th. According to Minnesota climatologist Mark Seeley, this May will likely be one of the top fifteen wettest Mays on record for the state, and is the fifth straight May with above average rain..."

June 2015: Cold Start, Followed By Rain. Soil moisture is now adequate across most of Minnesota for farming and gardening - let's hope we don't have a June as wet as 2014 (wettest, statewide, in the state's history). Here's an excerpt from Dr. Mark Seeley at Minnesota Weather Talk: "The month of June started with cold temperatures earlier this week.  On June 1st many northern cities were visited by frosty temperatures including International Falls, Bigfork, Cloquet, Hibbing, Crane Lake, and Gunflint Lake.  It was as cold as 37°F at Preston (Fillmore County) in southern Minnesota but no frosts were reported in that section of the state.  A few observers reported record low temperatures for the date including: 29°F at Ely, 27°F at Floodwood, 26°F at Orr, 25°F at Embarrass, and 24°F at Togo (Itasca County), also the coldest temperature in the nation on June 1st this year..."

Most of Minnesota Is Drought-Free. What a difference a week makes. A month too. In just the last week the percentage of Minnesota in moderate drought has fallen from 24% to 12%. Last week 87% of the state was abnormally dry; now that number is down to 51%. As you can see on the U.S. Drought Monitor map above most of the state, especially central and southern counties now have sufficient soil moisture. Amazing how fast the pattern turned.

What's The Difference Between "Partly Cloudy" and "Mostly Sunny"? A question that comes up all the time - here's an excerpt of a good explainer at Gizmodo: "...Mostly Sunny” and “Partly Cloudy” are apparently interchangeable, and apply when the OCC is between 26% and 50%.”Partly Sunny” and “Mostly Cloudy” can also be synonyms, when the OCC is between 51% and 69%, although “Mostly Cloudy” can be applied for OCC up to 87%. At an OCC of 88% and above, the sky is considered “Cloudy” or “Overcast...”

Ray Kurzweil: Humans Will Be Hybrids by 2013. Imagine Siri as a permanent inhabitant of your brain, now super-charged by the cloud. She's now available 24/7 to help you - or judge you - or track you. I'm sold! Here's an excerpt from CNN Money: "...Kurzweil predicts that humans will become hybrids in the 2030s. That means our brains will be able to connect directly to the cloud, where there will be thousands of computers, and those computers will augment our existing intelligence. He said the brain will connect via nanobots -- tiny robots made from DNA strands. "Our thinking then will be a hybrid of biological and non-biological thinking," he said..."

TODAY: Wet start, then lukewarm sun. Winds: NW 15. High: near 80

SUNDAY NIGHT: Clearing and mild. Low: 63

MONDAY: Warm sun, T-showers over Wisconsin. High: 82

TUESDAY: Hot sun, late-day thunder? Wake-up: 65. High: 89

WEDNESDAY: Plenty of sunshine, less humid. Wake-up: 66. High: 82

THURSDAY: Showers and storms, heavy rain possible. Wake-up: 62. High: 76

FRIDAY: A few T-storms linger. Wake-up: 61. High: 77

SATURDAY: Drier, intervals of sunshine. Wake-up: 62. High: 79

Climate Stories....

Pope Francis The Chemist Should Give Congress a Science Lesson. TIME Magazine has the Op-Ed; here's an excerpt: "...Pope Francis defies the liberal-conservative divide that shapes Congress, and given his straightforward, pull-no-punches approach, he will likely challenge both Democrats and Republicans to reject the “throwaway culture” that he has repeatedly denounced during his papacy. In particular, the pope is likely to challenge Republicans to accept the reality of climate change and to support measures that would protect the environment. Meanwhile, he’s likely to challenge Democrats on abortion, as he treats the issue as integral to social justice and the defense of human rights..." (File Photo: AP)

Here's Why The Global Warming Hiatus Might Not Exist. Climate Central has an explanation; here's an excerpt: "The global warming hiatus — a decade-plus slowdown in warming — could be chalked up to some buoys, a few extra years of data and a couple buckets of seawater. That’s the finding of a new study published on Thursday in Science, which uses updated information about how temperature is recorded, particularly at sea, to take a second look at the global average temperature. The findings show a slight but notable increase in that average temperature, putting a dent in the idea that global warming has slowed over the past 15 years, a trend highlighted in the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report..."

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