Muddling Through June
By Todd Nelson
"Lovely day we're having" is a phrase that I've heard uttered a few times around the office lately. I know it's a bit tongue and cheek, but I'm glad folks have a little sense of humor about the less than ideal weather we've been dealing with as of late. January was the last time that the average monthly temperature ended above average. We've had 4 consecutive months with below average temperatures and June seems to following suit as we're nearly 5 degrees below average so far this month!
If there's any silver lining to the cool and soggy spring we've had, it's that drought conditions continue to ease. However, this cool, wet weather is having an impact on farming. According to the USDA, only 87% of Minnesota's corn crop had been planted by June 2nd, which is nearly 10% below the 2008-2012 average. By this time last year 100% of the states corn crop had been planted.
Good news, you're saving money on your lawn/garden watering and A/C bills this year! Saturday looks like a good lawn mowing day before our next storm system rolls through PM Saturday. Look for AM Sunday puddles and warming temps next week. By the way, I still haven't seen a skeeter.
Todd's StarTribune Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota
FRIDAY: A rare sun sighting? PM sprinkles possible. High: 70. Wind: East 5
FRIDAY NIGHT: Lingering sprinkles early, then some clearing. Low: 55
SATURDAY: Better day of the weekend: AM sun, T-showers late. High: 73
SUNDAY: Rain tapers, drier by late PM. Wake-up: 60. High: 68
MONDAY: Partly sunny, lukewarm. Wake-up: 57. High: 76
TUESDAY: Intervals of warm sun. Finally. Wake-up: 59. High: 80
WEDNESDAY: Isolated T-shower south, some PM sun. Wake-up: 61. High: 81
THURSDAY: More sun, pleasant day. Wake-up: 62. High: 80
RIP Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras and Carl Young
I have to admit that the blog is a bit light today... I couldn't make it to Colorado for Tim and Paul's funeral, but watched it online. They and Carl will be missed by many in the scientific world and by their families.
The National Hurricane Center has been a little busy over the past few days tracking ANDREA, which developed in the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday evening. Flooding rains have been the biggest threat with this storm so far, but tornadoes have also been an issue as outer bands from Andrea protrude from the center of circulation. Thanks to @nosliwrw for the stormy picture below out of Panama City Beach, FL from Thursday
Widespread Rainfall/Severe Threat
Often times when dealing with tropical system, people just focus on center of circulation, but the threat for heavy rain, flooding and severe weather can extend up to several hundred miles from the center of circulation. Take a look at the radar from earlier Thursday when the center of circulation with ANDREA was more apparent; focus more on the heavy rain and thunderstorms that surround the center of circulation and note how far reaching the bands are! Keep in mind that some of those thunderstorm bands produced tornadoes across Florida on Thursday too!
At one point midday Thursday, there were 6 tornado warnings across central Florida! All the individual (smaller) red boxes indicated the tornado warnings at that time!
ANDREA Storm Damage
Thanks to @Shaneyeida for the picture below from Gulfport, FL - According to the Storm Prediction Center, this is an area that had an apparent tornado with other damage being reported
Here's the Gulfport, FL tornado report from Thursday
ANDREA Skirts Along the East Coast
Another big component to Tropical Storms are their capability to bring copious amounts of rain to a specific region. Unfortunately, the widespread rainfall will be far reaching over the next few days as the remnants of ANDREA ride along the East Coast all the way to the Northern New England Region.
NOAA's HPC 3 day rainfall forecast from Thursday suggested a wide swath of heavy rainfall potential from Florida to Maine through the early weekend. The rain will be heavy when it comes down, but one of the factors that may help to contribute in keeping these numbers down will be her speed as she moves Northeast. It appears that ANDREA will continue to pick up speed as she lifts northeast.
Southeast Drought Improvement
With all this rain, I thought it would be interesting to look at how far we've come in the drought department since last year at this time. The image below from the U.S. Drought Monitor suggests a marked improvement since June 2012! At this time last year, nearly 20% of the region was in an EXTREME DROUGHT and nearly 50% was in a MODERATE DROUGHT. The latest update had only 2% in a MODERATE DROUGHT!!
Thanks to a very cool and soggy Spring, drought conditions in the Midwest have been nearly wiped out! Since September 4th, 2012 we've gone from nearly 15% EXTREME DROUGHT and 90% abnormally dry to only 3% MODERATE DROUGHT and 9% abnormally dry.
Central Plains Drought Update
We've also seen an improvement in the Central Plains over the last several months! Since September 2004, we've gone from nearly 25% EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT to only 8% and from 61% EXTREME DROUGHT to nearly 20% !!
U.S. Drought Monitor
"This U.S. Drought Monitor week saw overall improvements in some drought-stricken areas as significant rain fell across the Great Plains, Midwest, and northern interior portions of the West. In the West, heavy rainfall over the eastern half of Montana and northern Wyoming helped to ease drought conditions. Conditions continued to deteriorate in parts of the Southwest, Great Basin, and interior portions of the Pacific Northwest as a result of below-normal precipitation over the winter and spring months. Overall, temperatures were well above normal in the Southwest while much of the Intermountain West and Pacific Northwest were well below normal. Temperatures were below normal across most of the Great Plains and western portions of the Midwest while the eastern third of the conterminous U.S. experienced temperatures well above average – especially in New England and the Mid-Atlantic region. In Alaska, temperatures were above normal throughout most of the state, while precipitation was above normal in southeastern Alaska."
I thought this was interesting... Take a look at the wind flow map below! Hard to tell where's there's circulation isn't there? Pretty dramatic circulation over the Southeast associated with ANDREA on Thursday wasn't there?
Thanks for checking in, have a great weekend ahead!
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