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Fantastic Weather Ahead - Spotty Storms Sunday

Minnesota July Rainfall So Far
 
 
July has been a story of the haves and have-nots in the rainfall department. At times heavy rains have set up across parts of central and southeastern Minnesota, bringing them 3-4"+ of rain so far this month. Meanwhile, parts of northwestern and southwestern Minnesota haven't even received an inch of rain so far.
 
Only limited areas of the state have had above average rainfall so far this month. Many areas of northern Minnesota are running a deficit of at least an inch of rain, and with little rain in the forecast through the end of the month it is likely most of these numbers won't improve.
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Fantastic Weather Ahead - Spotty Storms Sunday
By DJ Kayser, filling in for Douglas

Do you feel like you've been watering your plants and lawn a little more frequently?

Most of the state has received below average rainfall so far this month, with the exceptions being parts of central and southeastern Minnesota, where rounds of heavy rain have set up. Even in the Twin Cities, where July is typically the third wettest month of the year, rainfall amounts are slightly below average.

Our fairly dry July will continue as we end the month and head into early August across the state. There are only a couple possible rain blips on our map: one on Sunday, and another toward the middle of next week. Otherwise, we are in for a spectacular stretch of weather, with mainly sunny skies into early August. Highs will be within a few degrees of average, with the typical summertime heat and humidity remaining off to our south.

So there are no weather concerns if you are heading out to Billy Joel later this evening. Temperatures will be in the 70s with light winds and mainly clear skies. Enjoy the nice weather!

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Extended Twin Cities Forecast
 
FRIDAY: A few clouds. Light winds. High 82. Low 63. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind E 3-8 mph.
SATURDAY: Perfect Saturday weather! High 83. Low 64. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind S 3-8 mph.
SUNDAY: Spotty afternoon storms. Partly cloudy. High 82. Low 65. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind SW 3-8 mph.
MONDAY: A few passing clouds. High 85. Low 66. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind SW 3-8 mph.
TUESDAY: Sunny. Storm potential Tuesday Night. High 85. Low 66. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind SW 5-10 mph.
WEDNESDAY: A few lingering showers. Partly sunny. High 82. Low 65. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind NW 5-10 mph.
THURSDAY: A mix of clouds and sun. High 83. Low 63. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind NE 5-10 mph.
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This Day in Weather History
July 28th

1987: Heavy rain falls at La Crosse, WI, where 5 inches are recorded.

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Average Temperatures & Precipitation for Minneapolis
July 28th

Average High: 83F (Record: 100F set in 1955)
Average Low: 64F (Record: 50F set in 1981)
Average Precipitation: 0.13" (Record: 1.48" set in 1942)
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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
July 28th

Sunrise: 5:54 AM
Sunset: 8:44 PM

*Length Of Day: 14 hours, 49 minutes and 39 seconds
*Daylight Lost Since Yesterday: ~2 minute and 15 seconds


*Next Sunrise At/After 6 PM: August 2nd (6:00 AM)
*Next Sunset At/Before 8:30 PM: August 8th (8:29 PM)

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Minnesota Weather Outlook

 

Friday will be an excellent day across the state, with highs in most areas climbing into the upper 70s to low 80s. No rain is expected across the state either, with just a mix of clouds and sun.

As we look at the temperature trend over the next couple weeks, highs will remain mainly around average through the end of July and into August, with not much potential for highs to reach 90 in the Twin Cities.

 

Rainfall chances continue to look light as well over the next couple weeks. There doesn't look to be a large chance of rain in the Twin Cities Sunday - the better chance of rain will be across parts of western Minnesota. A better chance of showers and storms for the Twin Cities will be possible Tuesday Night into Wednesday. That rain is not expected to add up to much, however. After that, we look to be dry through next weekend.

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National Weather Outlook

Friday Forecast

The heat continues to get squished south as we head into the end of the week, with Dallas still expected to reach 100 Friday. Storms will be possible from parts of the Northeast south into the Southeast as a cold front moves through the region. Meanwhile, monsoonal storms will continue across parts of the Desert Southwest.

Some of the heaviest rain through Tuesday morning is expected to be in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, where rainfall totals could top 4" in spots. 2"+ totals will be possible across parts of Colorado, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico as well.

 

Taking a closer look at that heavy rain for the Northeast, areas from Pittsburgh to New York City, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. are expected to pick up 1-4"+ of rain through the first half of the weekend. For D.C., the heaviest rain is expected Friday into Saturday, with most of the rain falling in New York City Friday Night into Saturday. Already some Flash Flood Watches are in effect for parts of the region as we head through the next couple days.

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Heavy Kansas City Rain

 

 

3-8" of rain fell across parts of the Kansas City metro Wednesday Night, causing numerous flooding issues across the region. 2.91" officially fell during the climate day of Wednesday (from 1 AM Wednesday to 1 AM Thursday), creating a new record for the day.

 

 

 

Exceptional Drought Expands in North Dakota, Montana

 

Exceptional drought continued to expand across portions of North Dakota and Montana in the latest update issued by the National Drought Mitigation Center Thursday. 7.6% of North Dakota is now under exceptional drought, up from 6.4% last week. 11.9% of Montana is now under exceptional drought as well, up from 1.5% last week. Here's a snippet from the Drought Monitor on the conditions in the region: "Governors provided much-needed response to the dire drought impacts. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock issued an executive order declaring a drought disaster in 28 counties and five Indian reservations in the eastern part of the state. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts issued an emergency proclamation, allowing the state Emergency Management Agency to address unmet drought needs, particularly those related to wildfires."

Better Clouds... Better Forecast?

Could we get better forecasts just by representing clouds in the models better? That's what scientists at CIRES, NOAA and the University of Wisconsin are hoping. More from the AGU Blogosphere: "Anyone with a cell phone camera and kids or dogs knows that resolution is “expensive”: taking lots of very high-resolution photographs and video clips can quickly fill a device.  An analogous resolution challenge in weather and climate modeling has dogged modelers for years: Computationally, it’s just too expensive to represent certain clouds in the detail needed to make them behave realistically; yet clouds are critical to accurate weather and climate modeling. Now, a team of CIRES, NOAA and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee experts has proposed a solution, and in a test, their new clouds even produced credible drizzle."

Fake Blizzards For Better Planes

 

How do they make sure planes can fly through harsh conditions, like blizzards? Well, they test them in those conditions... in an indoor-weather testing building. More from Popular Science: "ON AUGUST DAYS IN THE FLORIDA PANHANDLE, the tropical heat steam-cooks everything. UPS drivers slap wet bandannas to their foreheads. Pirate-themed mini-golf parks, shimmering like mirages, lay deserted. But a few miles from the Gulf motels and sandy beach malls, engineers like Kirk Parrish face the worst ­snowstorms of their lives. Sheathed in parkas, they cold-start their pickups and drive straight into stinging, ­minus-40-degree whiteout blizzards. Indoors." (Photo: U.S. Navy/Photo by Michael D. Jackson)

Amazing Weather Timelapses

 

Weather timelapses always seem to be amazing (if it is more than just a timelapse of a sunny day, that is). Amazing is certainly the way to describe the latest work from Mike Olbinski. More from Gizmodo: "It might seem like photographer Mike Olbinski is always at the right place at the right time to capture Mother Nature’s fury. But for his latest film, Pursuit, he says he actually spent three months driving across 10 states to capture this amazing timelapse footage, chasing storms and weather patterns for over 28,000 miles."

Phone Case Helps Prevent Overheating, Freezing

 

An phone case that can help keep your phone cool during the summer (and warm during the winter)? Sign me up! More on the Phoozy case (what a name...) from CNET: "A simple sleeve or "capsule" for smartphones that's made out of spacesuit-inspired materials designed to protect astronauts, the Phoozy is the brainchild of Kevin Conway, a NASCAR driver and Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Champion who got tired of "having my phone overheat and shut down when I was outside on a hot summer day or freeze when I was snowboarding."  The Phoozy has a Chromium Thermal Barrier Shell and SpaceTech Penetration Layer, as well as a bit of velcro to keep it closed at the top. The secret to that Chromium Thermal Barrier is that it reflects 90 percent of the sun's energy." (Photo: Sarah Tew/CNET)

Nano-sized Satellites?

 

A company last month sent six satellites into space - each the size of a postage stamp. Could this be the future of satellites? More from Scientific American: "Breakthrough Starshot, the $100 million initiative aiming to send robotic missions to nearby stars by the mid-21st century, has achieved what might prove to be a “Sputnik moment” in successfully lofting its first spacecraft—the smallest ever launched and operated in orbit.  In 1957 the Soviet Union shocked the world by flying the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, an 83-kilogram metallic orb about twice the size of a basketball that broadcast a radio message to anyone listening down on Earth. On June 23, Breakthrough Starshot sent not one but six satellites into low-Earth orbit, riding as supplementary payloads on an Indian rocket launching two other educational satellites built by the European space company OHB System AG. These six satellites are comparatively dainty, but punch far above their weight. Called “Sprites,” each is a 4-gram flake of circuit-board just 3.5 centimeters on a side, packing solar panels, computers, sensors and communications equipment into an area equal to a U.S. postage stamp. Representatives of Breakthrough Starshot, which is funded by the Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, brokered the deal that sent the Sprites piggybacking to orbit. They also worked with the U.S. State Department to ensure the project did not violate strict federal regulations limiting exports of spaceflight hardware." (Image: A prototype Sprite nanosatellite packs power sources, microprocessors, sensors and transmitters into a single tiny circuit board. Credit: Zac Manchester)

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Thanks for checking in and have a great Friday! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter (@dkayserwx) and like me on Facebook (Meteorologist D.J. Kayser)!

 - D.J. Kayser

Sunny, dry and nearly perfect through Saturday

August 21st Solar Eclipse

"The Great American Solar Eclipse is less than one month away. How much of the sun will be covered over your home town? A great way to find out: Animated eclipse maps created by science-artist Larry Koehn. On his web site, there are individual maps for all 50 US states as well as little-known eclipse zones in Canada and Europe. Check it out!"

See more from ShadowAndSubstance HERE:

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Tornado Warned Storm PM Tuesday

Thanks to Julie Kruse for the picture below who snapped this near Eden Prairie Tuesday evening as a tornado warned storm drifted southeast across the southern Metro. While no tornado was reported, the cell did show signs of rotation and the low cloud looked quite ominous. Thank goodness this storm didn't produce a tornado as it would've impacted highly populated areas!

Storm Reports From Tuesday

Storms quickly developed across the region Tuesday afternoon and evening and they were responsible for a few hail and wind damage reports. The image below shows where those storm reports were located with golf ball (1.75") hail being reported in Eden Prairie.

 Stormy Tuesday Night

Here's the radar loop from late Tuesday evening into early Wednesday morning as scattered showers and storms rumbled through the region. Some of the storms produced severe weather reports and locally heavy rains.


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Simulated Radar Ahead...

The simulated radar from AM Thursday to PM Monday shows unsettled mostly quiet weather returning to the Upper Midwest/Great Lake/Ohio Valley as we head into the end of the week/weekend ahead. A bubble of high pressure will be responsible for the sublime weather, which will help to keep mostly sunny skies in place along with comfortable temperatures. Note that as we head into the late weekend/early next week time frame showers and thunderstorms could return to the area.
 
 
Rainfall Potential Ahead
 
The rainfall forecast  through PM Monday shows the heaviest rains from PM Tuesday/AM Wednesday moving southeast of the region. The extended forecast from Thursday - Saturday looks mostly dry with only a little rain potential moving in Sunday & Monday. Stay tuned...
 
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HILARY in the Eastern Pacific
 
The National Hurricane Center continues to track Hilary, which as of early Wednesday was a category 2 hurricane with 105mph sustained winds. HILARY became the is the 8th named storm and the 4th hurricane of the 2017 Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season.
 
 
 Tracking HILARY
 
Here's the official track for HILARY, which has it potentially becoming a major hurricane at some point this week. If it does, it would be the 2nd major hurricane of the season. The other storm was FERNANDA, which developed into a category 4 storm!
 
 
 
HILARY Strength
 
Here's the model outlook for HILARY, which shows a trend towards strengthening over the next few days, but only a few bring this to category 3 strength, which is considered to a major hurricane. The majority of the models keep this storm at a category 1 or 2 through the week.
 
 
Eastern Pacific Outlook: Next 5 Days
 
Weather conditions in the Eastern Pacific continue to remain active as NOAA's NHC is keeping an eye on 3 other waves of energy, 2 of which are named. GREG has become a tropical depression well off to the west, but IRWIN continues a hurricane, which is the 9th named storm of the season and the 5th hurricane of the season. There is also another wave of energy that has a low probability of tropical development in the next 5 days.
 
Tracking IRWIN
 
According to NOAA's NHC, as of early Wednesday, IRWIN was a category 1 hurricane with 80mph sustained winds.
 
 
Tracking IRWIN
 
IRWIN became the 9th named storm of the 2017 Eastern Pacific hurricane season and has become the 5th hurricane of the season! The good news with this storm is that it is not expected to impact any major landmass. 
 
 
 Tracking GREG
 
According to NOAA's NHC, GREG has been downgraded to a tropical depression with sustained winds of 35mph. The good news is that this storm is not expected to pose a threat to any major land mass and should continue to diminish through the end of the week.
 
 
 
 Atlantic Outlook: Next 5 Days

Meanwhile, the Atlantic basin looks fairly quiet, but the NOAA's NHC is now watching a wave in the Eastern Atlantic that has a low probability of tropical formation over the next 5 days.

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PRELIMINARY 2017 Tornado Map

It certainly has been a fairly active first half of 2017 with 1192 preliminary tornado reports through July 25th. Note that this is the most tornadoes through July 25th since 2011, when there were 1,664 reports. The map below shows the distribution of the tornadoes so far this year. 

PRELIMINARY 2017 Tornado Count

According to NOAA's SPC, the PRELIMINARY 2017 tornado count is 1192 (through July 25). Note that is the most active year for tornadoes since 2011, when there were 1,664 tornadoes. Keep in mind there was a major tornado outbreak in the Gulf Coast region from April 25-28, 2011 that spawned nearly 500 tornadoes, some of which were deadly. That outbreak is known as the Super Outbreak of 2011 and has gone down in history as one of the biggest, costliest and one of the deadliest tornado outbreaks in history.


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National Weather Hazards Ahead...

1.) Periods of heavy rain across portions of the Southeast, Sat-Wed, Jul 29-Aug 2.
2.) Periods of heavy rain across portions of the Central and Southern Rockies and the Central and Southern Plains, Sat-Wed, Jul 29-Aug 2.
3.) Flooding possible, likely, occurring or imminent across portions of the Upper and Middle Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes.
4.) Flooding possible across portions of the Central and Southern Plains, the Central and Southern Rockies, and the Rio Grande Valley.
5.) Moderate risk of much above-normal temperatures for portions of the Central Valley of California, Thu-Fri, Aug 3-Aug 4.
6.) Moderate risk of much above-normal temperatures for portions of the Northern Intermountain West, Thu, Aug 3.
7.) Slight risk of much above-normal temperatures for portions of the Great Basin, the Northern Plains, the Northern Rockies, California, the Pacific Northwest, and the Southwest, Thu-Mon, Aug 3-Aug 7.
8.)Severe Drought across parts of the Great Plains, Arizona, California, and Hawaii.

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"The U.S. is predicting droughts sooner with satellites"

"Unlike us humans, soybeans and wheat can't turn to acupuncture or aromatherapy when they're stressed out. And, yes, plants can certainly feel stress. Stress that's caused by too little moisture and exacerbated by high temperatures. "Agricultural stress occurs when crops do not have adequate soil water during their growth cycle," explained agricultural researcher Christopher Hain. "Even if the stress doesn't lead to failure of the crop, it can have significant impacts on end-of-season yield. "Now a new tool is letting the U.S. agriculture community tap into space-based data to see this stress before it takes its toll."

See more from Phys.org HERE:

(ESI for the 3-month period ending August 31, 2016. Color indicates evapotranspiration rates. Red shading indicates anomalously low rates, and green shading represents anomalously high rates. Credit: NASA)

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"The U.S. Drought Is Turning Wheat Into Hay"

"The stunted wheat plants on Robert Ferebee’s parched North Dakota farm were in the worst condition he’d seen in almost three decades. Rather than wait until late July or early August to harvest the crop, Ferebee decided last month to cut his losses and his fields. A drought across the northern Great Plains has forced growers like Ferebee to conclude that their wheat would be more valuable as cattle feed than baker’s flour. They are collecting the crop early -- in some cases before grain kernels have fully formed -- to avoid further damage, and then bundling the tillers and leaves into hay-like bales rather than sending them through a thresher."

See more from Bloomberg HERE:


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"U.S. western agricultural states getting hammered by drought"

"Farmers and scientists in North Dakota, Montana, and South Dakota are praying for rain and preparing for a drought that could cripple the region for decades. "It's been a brutal summer," Montana State University (MSU) scientist Darrin Boss told Xinhua Tuesday, who saw no end in sight to the conditions.Boss is one of 21 scientists at MSU's esteemed 7,000-acre (28.3 square km) Agriculture Research Center near Bozeman, Montana. "It's a crisis ... way more than people think," Mark Watne, president of the North Dakota Farmers Union, said Monday. "I've driven through areas where you would expect to see a spindly wheat stand, but there's no crop left -- it's gone," Watne said. North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana are all experiencing debilitating 2017 droughts that are forcing farmers and politicians to clamor for federal relief."

See more from Xinhaunet.com HERE:


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"Exceptional drought in Northern Plains in July 2017"

"The Northern Plains were in the midst of a punishing drought in July 2017.  Along with a lack of rainfall, the weekly average temperature was more than 90°F for a swath of the region from Montana southward to Kansas, which further accelerated the development of extreme to exception drought in parts of Montana and North and South Dakota. According to the July 18 report from the U.S. Drought Monitor project, 22% of Montana was in severe or exceptional drought. Across an additional 23% of the state, drought conditions were ranked as moderate to severe.  In North Dakota, more than 70 percent of the state was in some level of drought, with 40% of that being extreme or exceptional."

See more from Climate.gov HERE:

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EXCEPTIONAL Drought in Montana

According to the US Drought Monitor, parts of Montana are now under an EXCEPTIONAL Drought. While nearly 2% is considered to be in an EXCEPTIONAL drought, 22% is under an EXTREME drought. Also, nearly 65% of the state is considered to be either abnormally dry or in some type of drought.

EXCEPTIONAL Drought in North Dakota

According to the US Drought Monitor, parts of North Dakota are now under an EXCEPTIONAL Drought. Interestingly, this is the first time since 2006! While a little more than 6% is considered to be in an EXCEPTIONAL drought, more than 40% is under an EXTREME drought, which is up from the nearly 36% last week. Also, nearly 94% of the state is considered to be either abnormally dry or in some type of drought.
 
 
Rain Needed to End Drought
 
Exceptional and Extreme drought conditions are in place over parts of Montana and North and South Dakota due to several days/week of hot and dry weather. The image below suggests how much rain would be needed to end the drought, which suggests nearly 6" to 12" or more!
 

 
US Drought Monitor
 
According to the US Drought Monitor, drought conditions from July 11h to July 18th worsened slightly across the nation. Note that EXCEPTIONAL and EXTREME drought conditions (located across parts of Montana and parts of North and South Dakota increased from last week
 

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National Weather Outlook

Here's the weather outlook through early next week, which suggests that stormy weather will move into the Ohio Valley and Eastern US with strong to severe storms and locally heavy rainfall through through the end of the week. . A bubble of high pressure will slowly move through the Great Lakes Region, which will keep weather conditions quiet and comfortable there until next week. Meanwhile, monsoon storms will continue in the Southwest with areas of locally heavy rain and flash flood potential.

 
Severe Threats: Thursday & Friday
 
According to NOAA's SPC, there is a MARGINAL risk of severe storms has been posted across parts of the Ohio Valley/Mid-Atlantic/Northeast on Thursday. By Friday, the threat shifts farther south to include more of the Mid-Atlantic and parts of the Southeast. In these areas, large hail, damaging winds and locally heavy rains will be possible in these areas.


Excessive Rainfall Potential Thursday & Friday

According to NOAA's WPC, there is a risk of excessive rain through the end of the week with a MODERATE threat of excessive rainfall across parts of the Midwest/Central US today! SLIGHT risks of excessive rainfall move into the Ohio Valley and Southwest on Thursday. The threat of heavy rain continues in the Southwest on Friday, but develops across parts of the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast.
 


 
Localized Heavy Rain Threats

Excessive rainfall potential is possible across parts of the Midwest, Ohio Valley, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States over the next couple days. The rainfall forecast suggests some 1" to 2"+ rainfall tallies through AM Saturday, which could lead to areas of localized flooding. 




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"Gujarat floods: The rainiest monsoon of the decade"

**This July saw the most rainfall for any July in the last decade.
**
Gujarat has received 408mm in July (till July 25) the most rainfall received in July in the last decade.
**
Eight districts have received more than 70% rains of their average annual rainfall.

"This monsoon has had the highest amount of rainfall seen till July 25 in the last decade. The state has received around 534.40mm, about 17mm more than in 2013, which had seen the most rainfall till July 25, in the last decade. This July saw the most rainfall for any July in the last decade. The state has received 408mm in July (till July 25) the most rainfall received in July in the last decade. The average rainfall for Ahmedabad in July is 299mm. In the 25 days of July 2017 so far, Ahmedabad has received 397mm of rain. The data further reveals that the apart from 2013 — when the state received 517.69 mm of rain till this point—the state did not more than 400mm of rain till July 25 in the last decade. Officials said that with August and September months still to come, four districts — Banaskantha, Morbi, Surendranagar and Patan — have received more than 100% of their annual rainfall figures. Eight districts have received more than 70% rains of their average annual rainfall."

See more from IndiaTimes HERE:

(Image courtesty: IndiaTimes)

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High Dewpoints in Phoenix, AZ

Thank to my good friend @pauliniguez for sharing this on Twitter, where dewpoints in Phoenix, AZ on Tuesday morning were in the mid 70s! Yea - that's tropical!! In fact, this was the highest the dewpoint has been in the area since at leat August 2010! This high moisture content can be attributed to the ongoing monsoon season in the Desert Southwest.


 

Monsoon Storms Continue

Here's the simulated radar from Thursday to Monday, which shows the potential of daily monsoon storms continuing across the region. Note that some of the storms could be a little on the strong side with gusty winds, dust storms and locally heavy rain, which could lead to localized flooding. The rainfall forecast below suggests that some areas could see up to 1" of rain or more through the end of the week!

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"Thousands Evacuated as Wildfires Rage in French Riviera"

"Authorities ordered the evacuation of 10,000 people as fires hopscotched around the Riviera for a third day Wednesday, tearing through the forest of La Londe-les-Maures. A violent fire took off in the dry Mediterranean forests around La Londe just before 11 p.m. the night before, and 540 firefighters were sent into the region, the prefect of the Var region, the top state official, said in a statement. About 3,000 campers were among the 10,000 evacuated from La Londe and nearby Bormes-les-Mimosas and La Lavandou, the prefect of the Var region, the top state official, said in a statement."

See more from NBCNews HERE:

(Image Credit: NBCNews)


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"Detwiler Fire Now 80,000 Acres"

"Firefighters dealt with another day of high temperatures and active fire behavior on the northeast corner of the Detwiler Fire. The fire is now estimated at 80,000 acres, still with 65 percent containment. The area of uncompleted line remains in the northeast corner between Coulterville and Briceburg. Firefighters continue to work aggressively throughout the day to reinforce containment lines. Steep and rugged terrain is making access difficult, but crews are making good progress."

See more from SierraNews HERE:

 (Detwiler Fire near Dogtown - photo by Renee Hiatt-Chaty Via SierraNews)

DetWiler Fire - Near Yosemite - California

The Detwiler Fire located near Yosemite National Park in California has ballooned to a very large 80,000 acre fire since Sunday, July 16th. This fire has already consumed more than 130 structures; 63 homes, 67 minor structures and 1 commercial structure. A number of other homes and smaller structures have been damaged as well, but 1,500 other structures are being threatened now. There are almost 4,914 people working on the fire and it is only 65% contained at this point . Higher humidity levels are helping create better fire fighting conditions.

See more from CAL Fire HERE:

 
Lodgepole Complex - Montana

According to Inciweb, one of the largest fires currently burning in the Lower 48 is the Lodgepole Complex located 52 miles NW of Jordan, MT. This particular fire has consumed a whopping 270,000 acres and is only 36% contained. The fire is expected to be fully contained by Wednesday, August 2nd. This particular fire started on Wednesday, July 19th and quickly spread as hot, dry and windy weather created extreme fire behavior. Critical fire weather conditions are possible on Thursday and Friday as gusty winds combine with low humidity levels and a potential for thunderstorms.

See more from Inciweb HERE:

(Image credit: Inciweb)

 
Ongoing Large Wildfires

Here's a look at the current wildfire map across the country. Recent hot and dry weather has helped to spark several wildfires across the Western US, while a few have also been popping up in the Eastern US.

Here's a list of all the current large wildfires from Inciweb:

 
National Smoke Analysis
 
Here's the projected wildfire smoke concentration for midday Thursday, which suggests that smoke from wildfires burning across parts of Canada and the Western US could continue to linger around the High Plains and Upper Midwest. There also appears a very high concentration of smoke from fires burning across the western half of Canada. If you are in these areas, air quality could be a little poor, but these areas may also be enjoying very interesting looking sunrises/sunsets, which tend to look hazy or reddish-orange.
 
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Sunny, dry and nearly perfect through Saturday
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas

We're less than one month away from what is being dubbed as the "Great American Eclipse" and the anticipation is palpable. A total eclipse of the sun will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Columbia, South Carolina on August 21st. Interestingly, this will be the first solar eclipse in the Lower 48 since February 26, 1979; a span of more than 38 years! The next total solar eclipse in the U.S. won't happen until April 8, 2024 and will stretch from Texas to Maine. If you can wait around until September 14, 2099, a total eclipse of the sun will occur right over the Twin Cities - I'll be 117 years young.

I am happy to report that weather conditions will be nearly perfect over the next few days as a bubble of high pressure slowly drifts across the Great Lakes. Sunny, dry and comfortable temperatures will be with us through Saturday... You're welcome!

Lawns and gardens might start to look a little parched by the weekend, but a few late-day rumbles could help freshen things up by Sunday. Temps remain mild with no hot fronts in sight. I'll take it
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Extended Forecast

THURSDAY: Less humid. Few clouds. Winds: NNE 5. High: 83

THURSDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy, the gradual clearing. Winds: NNE 5. Low: 62.

FRIDAY: Another beauty. Bright blue sky. Winds: SE 5. High: 82

SATURDAY: Bingo! Go jump in a lake. Winds: S 5-10. Wake-up: 62. High: 83.

SUNDAY: Spotty late-day rumbles. Winds: WSW 5. Wake-up: 65. High: 83

MONDAY: Stray afternoon thundershower? Winds: E 5. Wake-up: 66. High: 85.

TUESDAY: Slight chance of a PM t-storm. Winds: SSW 5-10. Wake-up: 66. High: 84.

WEDNESDAY: Unsettled. A few thundery downpours. Winds: NNE 5. Wake-up: 68. High: 85
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This Day in Weather History
July 27th

1910: Giant hailstones fall in Todd and Wadena Counties. One stone weighed in at 5 pounds.
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Average High/Low for Minneapolis
July 27th

Average High: 83F (Record: 104F set in 1931)
Average Low: 64F (Record: 49F set in 1971)

Record Rainfall: 6.35" set in 1892
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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
July 27th

Sunrise: 5:53am
Sunset: 8:45pm

Hours of Daylight: 14hours & 52mins

Daylight LOST since yesterday: ~2 minutes and 12 seconds
Daylight LOST since summer solstice (June 20th): ~45 minutes
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Moon Phase for July 27th at Midnight
2.3 Days Before First Quarter Moon 

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Weather Outlook For Thursday

Thursday will be a very nice day across much of the state with highs warming into the 70s and low 80s. There may be a few more clouds across parts of the state, but we'll still have plenty of sun to work with. The other nice thing is that dewpoints values will be lower, so Thursday should shape up to be a fairly nice day!

 
Weather Outlook For Thursday
 
Winds will be very light across the region on Thursday, but they will turn out of the east-southeast, which will help to continue keeping mostly dry and less humid weather in place through the end of the week.
 
 
Weather Outlook For Thursday
 
Here's the weather outlook for Thursday, which suggests dry and mostly sunny weather across the region. 
 
 
 UV Index for Thursdasy- VERY HIGH

The UV Index for Thursday will be VERY HIGH, which means that it will only 15 to 25 minutes or less to burn unprotected skin. With that said, if you are planning on spending any extended length of time outside, make sure you wear appropriate attire and lather on the sun block!

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Weather Outlook For Friday

Friday looks like another stunning with highs in the upper 70s to low 80s. Skies will remain mostly sunny with comfortable dewpoints. Enjoy!

UV Index for Friday - VERY HIGH

Mostly sunny skies on Friday will bring UV Index values into the VERY HIGH range once again. That means that your skin could burn in 15 to 20 minutes or less!

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Minneapolis Temperature Outlook

Here's the temperature outlook through August 10th, which shows temperatures hovering in the 80s through the rest of the month. However, there could be a little dip into the mid/upper 70s through the first few days of August before temperatures sneak back up into the 80s for the first weekend of August.

 
8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's CPC, the extended temperature outlook from August 4th to August 8th suggests cooler than average temperatures moving south into the southern part of the country, while warmer than average temperatures will begin settling into the High Plains.


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Extended Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's CPC, the extended temperature outlook through August 8th shows that a large chunk of the Southern US will be dealing with cooler than normal temperatures, while the western part of the country and the Eastern Seaboard will be above average.

Extended Temperature Outlook

Here's the extended 850mb temperature anomaly loop into early next. This describes how warm or cold (from average) mid/low level temperatures will be over time. Note that the warmer oranges and reds will begin to settle in along the northern tier of the nation through the end of the month/early August, but there some cooler than average temps settling in across the Central US as well.

 
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Weather Outlook Ahead

The weather outlook over the next couple of days shows stormy weather moving from the Midwest into the Ohio Valley and the Eastern US. Some of the storms could be strong to severe with locally heavy rain. There will also be continued monsoon storms in the Southwest that could lead to flash flooding.

5 Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's WPC, the next several days could produce areas of locally heavy rainfall across many areas from the Desert Southwest to the Midwest and eastern half of the country. Some of the heaviest rainfall could add up to as much as 2" to 4"+, which could also lead to areas of localized flooding.


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"Climate Change Will Hit the Poorest the Hardest in the U.S."

"Union County is tucked in northern Florida, half an hour north of Gainesville and an hour west of Jacksonville. It’s Florida’s smallest county, a mostly unremarkable landlocked stretch of pine forest interspersed with lakes. More than 15,000 people call it home, working largely in healthcare, transportation and public administration. The state prison and Target distribution center are among the county’s notable employers. The unemployment rate is low at around 4 percent, but most jobs aren’t high paying. As a result, Union County is Florida’s poorest county by per capita income.' New research shows there’s something else that makes Union County unique: it’s ground zero for the economic damage that climate change will cause in the U.S."

See more from Climate Central HERE:

(County-level annual damages in median scenario for climate during 2080-2099 under business-as-usual emissions trajectory (RCP8.5). Negative damages indicate economic benefits.
Click image to enlarge. Credit: Hsiang, et al. 2017)

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"A Nebraska-Sized Area of Forest Disappeared in 2015"

"A Nebraska-sized chunk of the world’s forests was decimated in 2015 because of wildfire, logging and expanding palm oil plantations, according to a new study. The loss is part of a continuing trend of deforestation that could have devastating implications for the climate. About 49 million acres of forest disappeared worldwide in 2015, mainly in North America and the tropics, putting the year’s global deforestation level at its second-highest point since data gathering began in 2001. In all, the globe lost 47 percent more forested land in 2015 than it did 16 years ago, according to the study by Global Forest Watch."

See more from ClimateCentral HERE:

(Areas shaded in pink show points that have lost trees at least 16 feet in height due to deforestation, wildfire or some other cause of mortality between 2001 and 2015. Credit: Global Forest Watch)

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"Cassini Snaps Dazzling Photo of a 'Ring-Bow' in Saturn's Rings"

"Saturn's glorious rings take center stage in a beautiful new photo by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, which scientists dubbing it a "ring-bow."  "Although the rings lack the many colors of the rainbow, they arc across the sky of Saturn," NASA officials wrote in a photo description today (July 25). "From equatorial locations on the planet, they'd appear very thin since they would be seen edge-on. Closer to the poles, the rings would appear much wider; in some locations (for parts of Saturn's year), they would even block the sun for part of each day." Though NASA released the image today, Cassini actually captured it on April 10, when the probe was about 680,000 miles (1.1 million kilometers) from Saturn's cloud tops, NASA officials said. Each pixel is about 43 miles (69 km) wide, they added."

See more from Space.com HERE:

(This image of Saturn’s rings was taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft on April 10, 2017, when the probe was about 680,000 miles (1.1 million kilometers) from the gas giant. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

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"California Shows How States Can Lead on Climate Change"

"California, which has long been a pioneer in fighting climate change, renewed its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions last week by extending, to 2030, its cap-and-trade program, which effectively puts a price on emissions. It’s a bold, bipartisan commitment that invites similarly ambitious policies from other states, and it sends a strong signal to the world that millions of Americans regard with utmost seriousness a threat the Trump administration refuses to acknowledge, let alone reckon with. The cap-and-trade program, which had been set to end in 2020, is the most important component of California’s plan to reduce planet-warming emissions by 40 percent (from 1990 levels) by 2030. The extension, along with a companion bill to reduce local air pollution, was passed by a two-thirds majority of the State Legislature, including eight crucial votes from Republicans. They defied a Republican president who has not only reneged on America’s global climate commitments, but has tried to undo every climate policy put into place by former President Barack Obama."

See more from NYTimes HERE:

(Image Credit: Rose Wong via NYTimes)

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"A Comic Strip Mirrors the Ravages of Climate Change"

"The newspaper comic strip “Arctic Circle,” by the environmentally minded cartoonist Alex Hallatt, is about talking penguins and their fellow creatures living in the north. Starting Monday, under a caption that says “An Inconvenient Truth,” the menagerie will find their world shrinking and their conversations will be about global warming. Readers will see the drawings diminish to nothing by Friday as a snow bunny muses, “Climate change will lead to habitat loss and the extinction of many species.”Miss Hallatt created the strips to observe the arrival of the documentary “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” in theaters on Friday. The film is a follow-up to the 2006 Oscar-winning documentary featuring Al Gore. Miss Hallatt has no official connection to the film."

See more from NYTImes HERE:

(The cast of “Arctic Circle,” by the cartoonist Alex Hallatt, includes three penguins, a polar bear, a lemming and a bunny. Cre(ditAlex Hallatt/King Features Syndicate))

 

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"Climate change brings one-in-three chance of record rainfall, warns Met Office"

"There is now a one-in-three chance of record rainfall hitting part of England and Wales each winter, according to new Met Office study which highlights the risk of major flooding as the climate warms. The researchers warned that global warming would change the risk of extreme weather and suggested politicians should bear this in mind when planning to protect the public, businesses and infrastructure. A series of storms in the winter of 2013-14 caused widespread flooding and about £1bn-worth of damage in the Thames river valley. Writing in the journal Nature Communications, the Met Office team said they had used computer models of the climate to show that those storms “could have been anticipated”."

See more from Independent HERE:

(A series of storms in the winter of 2013-14 caused widespread flooding Getty via Independent)

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"Climate change challenges sinking city of Venice"

"The Italian city of Venice is prone to frequent flooding because it has sunk five inches over the last century, but it is also grappling with a new challenge: sea-level rise, caused by climate change, which increases the severity. NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent Christopher Livesay reports on the risks, and Italy's plans to mitigate them, as part of our series “Peril and Promise,” on the challenge of climate change."

See more from PBS HERE:

(Image Credit: PBS)

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