A Wet May Marks High Waters...
 
Thanks to areas of heavy rain so far this month, several bodies of water across the state are running high. Thanks to Chris Blaisdell for the picture below who took this picture on Shady Oak Lake in Hopkins! 
 
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Wet May Continues...
 
Here's a look at how much rain has fallen across the state (through May 22nd). Note that many locations across the southern two-thirds of the state are running well above average. In fact, the Twin Cities is nearly 2.5" above average for the month, while St. Cloud is nearly 3.5" above average!
 
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10th Wettest Start to May on Record (Through May 22nd)
 
Through May 22nd, the Twin Cities has seen 4.81" of precipitation this month, which is the 10th wettest start to any May on record at MSP! Keep in mind that the wettest May on record was back in 1906 when 10.33" of precipitation fell. 
 
 
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10th Wettest Start to Spring on Record (March 1st - May 22nd)
 
Through May 22nd, the MSP Airport has seen 10.72" of rain since March 1st, which is the 10th wettest start to a meteorological spring on record. Keep in mind that the wettest spring on record was back in 1965 when 16.13" of precipitation fell. Interestingly, we only need 1.39" of additional rain to climb into the top 10 wettest springs ever in recorded history (through May 31st). 
 
 
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7th Wettest Start to Any Year on Record (January 1st - May 22nd)
 
Through May 22nd, the MSP Airport has seen 13.74" of liquid this year, which is good enough for the 7th wettest start to any year on record! My concern is that with such a cool and wet start to our year, the mosquito population this summer is going to be out of control... I hope I am wrong.
 
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7 Day Precipitation Forecast
 
According to NOAA's WPC, the 7 day precipitation forecast suggests an additional 1" to 2" of rain possible across the southern half of the state. Some locations may even see close to 3" if thunderstorm activity gets involved!
 
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Soggy Start to Friday
 
Here's the weather outlook from AM Friday to PM Saturday, which suggests a fairly soggy start to the day Friday and some lingering showers across the northern part of the state. However, as we slide through Saturday, only a few leftover showers will be possible up north, while the more significant rain associated with thunderstorms will be found to our south across parts of Iowa and southern Wisconsin.
 
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Severe Threat Friday
 
According to NOAA's SPC, there is a MARGINAL Risk of severe storms across far southeastern MN on Friday. It appears that large hail and damaging winds would be the primary threat if any strong storms decide to develop later in the day. 
 

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Friday Weather Outlook
 
Here's a look at our high temps on Friday, which will be quite a bit warmer than it has been. Interestingly, the MSP has had its 25th coldest May on record so far. 70s will feel very nice across the southern half the state considering it has been so chilly as of late! Folks in far northern MN will still be cooler than average by -10F to -15F!
 
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Extended Temperature Outlook
 
Here's the extended temperature outlook through the early part of June, which suggests warmer temps building into the region by the weekend. In fact, we've got 70s for highs this holiday weekend. Monday could be a little more unsettle with showers and thunderstorms possible then. 
 
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Temperature Outlook
 
According to NOAA's CPC, the temperature outlook from May 31st - June 6th finally looks to be warming across the Central US! For once, we may not be below average in the temperature department. 
 
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Spring Leaf Anomaly
 
Here's an interesting map for folks that are looking forward to spring. It's the NPN Spring Leaf Anomaly map, which shows that spring has indeed sprung across the southern tier of the nation. The red colors indicate that spring leaves are actually emerging earlier than average in those areas, while blue colors indicate that we're a little behind average in other spots.

"May 20th, 2019 - Spring leaf out is nearly complete across the Continental U.S. and has just arrived in parts of Alaska. In the west, spring leaf out is 1-2 weeks early in parts of California and Nevada, and 2-3 weeks late in much of Oregon and Washington. In the east, spring leaf out is 1-2 weeks early in the upper Southeast, and 1-2 weeks late across the Great Plains, southern Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. Spring bloom has arrived on time to 2 weeks early in much of the South, Appalachian Mountains, and mid-Atlantic. Parts of Arizona, California, Nevada, and the Southern Great Plains are 1-2 weeks late. Spring bloom is 9 days late in the Chicago area and 2 days late in Boston."

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Above Average Holiday Weekend
By Paul Douglas
 
At the rate we're going skeeters will show up on Doppler any day now. Welcome to the 7th wettest start to any year since 1872. Nearly 5 inches of rain has swamped the metro so far in May. Docks are floating (it's not a bug, it's a feature!) Lake shore is vanishing as water levels spike.
 
But it would be premature to write off a stinking hot summer. True, odds favor a cool, wet bias spilling over into summer, but odds are we'll still see our fair share of 80s and a few 90s. Remind me not to complain about a hot front anytime soon.
 
You'll be shocked to hear that showers are in the forecast today; even a clap of thunder. But it should be too cool and stable overhead for anything severe. Subtle silver linings. Skies clear by evening and a pretty nice weekend is on tap. Expect 70s with sunshine both days. An instability shower may sprout in the Brainerd Lakes Saturday afternoon. Sunday looks like the sunnier, drier day, statewide. Showers and T-storms return on Monday. Of course. Hey, 2 out of 3 is pretty good odds for a holiday!
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Extended Forecast

FRIDAY: Showers possible T-storm. Winds: S 15-25. High: 73.

FRIDAY NIGHT: Chance of T-showers. Winds: SSW 5. Low: 49.

SATURDAY: Lukewarm sun. PM showers up north. Winds: NW 8-13. High: 74.

SUNDAY: Plent of sun. Best day statewide. Winds: SE 5-10. Wake-up: 55. High: 76

MONDAY: Showers and T-storms, some heavy. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 60. High: 73.

TUESDAY: A bit cooler, few showers. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 56. High: 66.

WEDNESDAY: Shocking news: More showers & windy. Winds: NW 15-30. Wake-up: 53. High: 61.

THURSDAY: Partly sunny. Wind and cool. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 45. High: 58.
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This Day in Weather History
May 24th

1925: After seeing a high of 99 degrees two days earlier, the Twin Cities picks up a tenth (.10) of an inch of snow.

1908: Tornadoes hit the counties of Martin and Blue Earth.
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Average High/Low for Minneapolis
May 24th

Average High: 72F (Record: 95F set in 2010)
Average Low: 51F (Record: 32F set in 1925)

Record Rainfall: 1.27" set in 1937
Record Snowfall: 0.1" set in 1925
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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
May 19th

Sunrise: 5:36am
Sunset: 8:44pm

Hours of Daylight: ~15 hours & 9 minutes

Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 1 minute & 52 seconds
Daylight GAINED since winter solstice (December 21st): ~6 hours and 24 minutes
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Moon Phase for May 14th at Midnight
1.4 Days Before Last Quarter Moon

See more from Space HERE:

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What's in the Night Sky?

"On May 26, 2019, the moon will be at last quarter. And the moon will also be at apogee, its farthest point from Earth for this month. As it happens, this is the year’s closest coincidence of a last quarter moon with lunar apogee. The close alignment the two events gives us the closest lunar apogee – the closest far-moon – of 2019. Moon at apogee: May 26, 2019 at 13:27 UTC Last quarter moon: May 26, 2019 at 16:34 Universal Time You can see that only about three hours separate the moon at its exact last quarter phase, and the moon’s farthest point from Earth for the month of May, 2019. There are a total of 13 lunar apogees and 12 last quarter moons in 2019. But this close alignment of last quarter moon and lunar apogee on May 26, 2019, gives us the closest lunar apogee of the year. This month’s lunar apogee finds the moon at a distance of 251,120 miles or 404,138 km. Contrast this distance with that of the year’s farthest lunar apogee on February 5, 2019, when it was the new moon that closely aligned with lunar apogee: 252,621 miles or 406,555 km."

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Average Tornadoes By State in May
 
According to NOAA, the number of tornadoes in May is at its peak across the country with most happening in the Tornado Valley. Note that Minnesota sees an average of 6 tornadoes during the month.
 
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2019 Preliminary Tornado Count
 
Here's the 2019 preliminary tornado count across the nation, which shows a fairly high concentration across the Lower Mississippi Valley and Gulf Coast States. Note that we have not seen any tornadoes this year in Minnesota. Last year, our first tornado didn't happen until the end of May. However, in 2017, our first tornadoes happened in early March!
 
 
 2019 Preliminary Tornado Count
 
Here's a look at how many tornadoes there have been across the country so far this year. The preliminary count through May 8th suggests that there have been a total of 779,  which is above the 2005-2015 short term average of 676. Interestingly, this has been the busiest tornado season since 2012, when nearly 709 tornadoes were reported. Interestingly, more than 1,100 tornades were reported at this time in 2011.
 
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"Unbelievable tornado videos, photos captured by viewers"
 
 

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"The mobs are ruining storm chasing"
 
I had heard grumblings about the downsides to storm chasing for a long time - poor driving habits, traffic jams as cars converge near violent storms, and the dangers of rogue chasers and hobbyists. It had always been on my mind, but four years of venturing to the Plains had taught me it was just something I'd have to live with. I always brushed it off as an unavoidable byproduct of chasing. But Monday was different. I witnessed firsthand the practices that will drive me away from the sport I once loved with my entire being. The past week of storm chasing has been eye-opening. In just seven days, I've encountered:

--Chase vehicles parked perpendicular to roads blocking major intersections

--Multiple chasers with red/blue police lights "pulling over" others to clear their path to the storm; in 70 mph winds and egg-sized hail and less than a mile from a tornado, this could have been deadly

--Traffic jams 200 cars deep

--Chasers parking on/in the road to take pictures, blocking traffic

--Chasers barreling down a one-lane road at 90 mph

--Chasers driving on the wrong side of the road

The dangers speak for themselves."

See more from Greenwich Time HERE:


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"Three Problems With The Word 'Bust' During Real-Time Weather Threats"

"Earlier this week the Great Plains experienced severe weather. This statement is not particularly unusual at this time of the year.  If you were following the majority of meteorological messages leading up to Monday, dire warnings about an epic tornado outbreak were being conveyed. In fact, NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) tweeted that morning: The latest forecast from SPC has increased the tornado probabilities from 30% to 45% from northwest Texas into central Oklahoma. The last time a 45% tornado outlook was issued was during the Tornado Outbreak in Oklahoma and Kansas on 14 April 2012. They also issued a Particularly Dangerous Situation (PDS) tornado watch for parts of Texas and Oklahoma. SPC noted that "This is only the second watch in SPC history where every category of watch probabilities (torn, wind, hail) are at greater than 95%." There was virtual certainty that these things were going to happen, and they actually did. On Monday May 20th, I personally watched tornado polygons illuminate my weather radar screen much of the day. Yet, the word forecast "bust" started creeping into the narrative of our insular meteorology community. Here are three dangers of the word "bust" in such real-time weather events."

See more from Forbes HERE:


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"Here’s how to build a hurricane-resistant house — not as expensive as you may think"

"June marks the start of Atlantic hurricane season. After years of record damage from increasingly powerful storms, homeowners and builders are looking intensely at ways to fortify their homes. While there is no such thing as a hurricane-proof home, there are levels of resistance, and levels of investment. The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety created a hurricane “fortified home” standard a decade ago. It is a voluntary guideline, but so far only 8,000 homes have built to that designation. Those that do sell for 7% more, according to a University of Alabama study."

See more from CNBC HERE:


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"Climate change is almost too big a problem to study. The solution? Volcanoes."

"There is no owner’s manual for planet Earth. It would be convenient if there were, because our planet’s climate system works like a massive engine - one that humanity is currently blindly tinkering with by pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. We are now operating at CO2 levels not seen for at least 800,000 years. Scientists faced with the difficult task of trying to predict how these elevated CO2 levels are going to affect life on Earth have recently turned to one of the only forces as powerful as the climate engine: volcanoes. Experiments to understand how ecosystems might respond to climate change are difficult to perform because of the sheer scale of the problem. One approach has been to use open-top chambers, where CO2 is essentially trapped in a big plastic bubble, which can be as small as a meter in diameter or as large as a greenhouse, so that scientists can measure how the plants and animals inside adjust to high-CO2 conditions. The famous Biosphere 2 experiment in Arizona took this to the extreme by trading the plastic chamber for a three-acre greenhouse. Information gleaned from these types of experiments is then fed into computer models that spit out predictions of how increased CO2 levels will affect forests and other vegetation, along with the animals that depend on them."

See more from Massive Science HERE:

 
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Thanks for checking in and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX

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