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Paul Douglas on Weather

Soggy Saturday - Better Sunday and Memorial Day

"What Ever Happened to Normal Weather?"

Here's a great article about the effects of climate change by Paul Douglas on The Guardian:

"Whatever happened to normal weather? Earth has always experienced epic storms, debilitating drought, and biblical floods. But lately it seems the treadmill of disruptive weather has been set to fast-forward. God’s grandiose Symphony of the Seasons, the natural ebb and flow of the atmosphere, is playing out of tune, sounding more like a talent-free second grade orchestra, with shrill horns, violins screeching off-key, cymbal crashes coming in at the wrong time. Something has changed."

Read the full article HERE:


Severe Storms in the Red River Valley

Thanks to Kathy Weidner for the pictures below who was traveling east on I-94 just west of Fargo, ND Friday afternoon as they approached tornadic storms centered over the Red River Valley. Interestingly, there was a brief tornado touchdown in Clay county, MN just east of the Fargo/Moorehead area.

Tornado in SE Moorehead

Tornadic Storm Friday Afternoon

Here is the radar loop from Friday afternoon and note the cluster of storms over the Red River Valley. There were a couple of storms just east of the Fargo/Moorehead area that produced a number of funnel clouds and a brief tornado touchdown.

Storm Reports Friday
There were a few tornado reports near the Fargo/Moorehead area on Friday afternoon. The good news is that no major damage was reported other than to a row of trees


Soggy Saturday - Better Sunday and Memorial Day
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas

Rain rain go away, come again another day. Ah, the sweet sounds of a 6 year and 4 year old singing in tandem... Are my boys just bored or are they subtly telling me that it's my fault the rain is ruining their holiday weekend so far? How do I politely tell them that their father's magical weather making powers aren't real? On second thought, maybe I can threaten rotten weather as a punishment.

While meteorologists are only messengers, we tend to be human punching bags. We're blamed when the weather is inclement, but like to take credit when the weather is flawless!

Unfortunately, we're off to a soggy start this holiday weekend. Have a plan b today as scads of showers and storms swirl through the Upper Midwest. The good news is that the weekend won't be a washout, weather improves a little tomorrow with only a few stray PM T-storms and perhaps even a little better on Memorial Day.

If your plans take you outdoors this weekend, be prepared to seek shelter if skies look threatening or you hear rumbles in the distance.


Extended Forecast

FRIDAY NIGHT: More showers and storms developing late Low: 62. Winds: ESE 5.

SATURDAY: Wettest day, numerous T-storms. High: 74. Winds: NNW 5 mph.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Wet. showers and storms early. Low: 60. Winds: W 5mph

SUNDAY: Sun and cloud mix. Stray afternoon T-storm possible. High: 79. Wind: WNW 10-15 mph.

MEMORIAL DAY MONDAY: Mild sun. Spotty PM thunder south. Wake-up: 60. High: 80. Wind: ESE 7-12 mph.

TUESDAY: Scattered PM storms with locally heavy rain. Sticky. Wake-up: 61. High: 77. Winds: SE 8-13mph.

WEDNESDAY: Still warm and unsettled. Wake-up: 60. High: 75. Winds: SSW 5-10mph

THURSDAY: Soggy start. More PM sun and breezy. Wake-up: 59. High: 71. Winds: NW 10-15mph.

FRIDAY: Bright sun, near average temps. Wake-up: 53. High: 72. Winds: N 5-10mph.

This Day in Weather History
May 27th

1965: Late season snow falls across much of Minnesota with Duluth and Caribou reporting an inch.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis
May 27th

Average High: 73F (Record: 98F set in 1934)
Average Low: 53F (Record: 36F set in 1965)

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
May 27th

Sunrise: 5:32am
Sunset: 8:49pm

*Daylight Gained Since Yesterday: ~1mins & 37secs
*Daylight Gained Since Winter Solstice: ~6hours & 32mins
*Length of Day: ~15hours & 16mins
*Additional Light We Will Gain By Summer Solstice (June 20th): ~19mins

Moon Phase for May 28th at Midnight
0.2 Days Before Last Quarter


Extended Outlook

The extended outlook through the early part of June suggests fairly warm temperatures continuing through the end of the month, but the long range suggests cooler than average temperatures returning as we get into the early June with highs potentially dipping into the 60s by the first full week of June.

6 to 10 Day Temp Trend

According to NOAA's CPC, the 6 to 10 day forecast suggests equal chances above and below average temperatures, however, it does appear that cooler temperatures look to return as we get into the early part of June.


Saturday Weather Outlook

High temperatures on Saturday look to be highly dependent on rain and cloud cover. Although it won't be sunny, highs will still be in the 70s with dewpoints in the 50s and 60s across the region.

Saturday Weather Outlook

Light winds look to continue on Saturday as an area of low pressure swirls through the region.

Saturday Weather Outlook

Scattered showers and thunderstorms look likely as we move into Saturday as an area of low pressure slides through the region. Sky conditions look mostly cloudy, so it won't feel quite as warm as it did on Thursday.

Simulated Radar

Here's the simulated radar from midday Friday to Sunday night, which suggests areas of heavy rainfall rotating through the region. Although the holiday weekend doesn't look like a washout, Saturday could feature  few heavier downpours.

Rainfall Potential

The MN rainfall potential through PM Monday suggests heavy rainfall shifting east through parts of NE Minnesota and into Wisconsin. However, it does appear that another round of heavier rain may be setting up across far southern MN by late Monday.


National Weather Outlook

Another round of heavy rainfall potential looks to lift north through the Upper Midwest on Saturday, but weather conditions look to improve as we heady deeper into the holiday weekend with drier weather late Sunday and Memorial Day Monday.


5 Day Rainfall

According to NOAA's HPC, the 5 day rainfall forecast suggests heavy rainfall potential still across the Central U.S.. Some 1" to 3"+ rainfall tallies can't be ruled out, which may lead to flooding in areas that see heavy rainfall in a short amount of time.


May Snow in the High Elevations

While heavy rainfall and severe storms continue to develop in the Central part of the country, snowfall continues across the high elevations in the Rockies. Here was a picture from the NWS out of Grand Junction, CO from early Friday.


IR Satellite Loop

Here was a view of the newly formed tropical system in the Atlantic basin that developed on Friday afternoon. Note that the system is heading NW and will likely impact the SE coast over the holiday weekend.

Tropical Depression #2
Here was the information on Tropical Depression #2 as of PM Friday.
 At 800 PM EDT (0000 UTC), the center of Tropical Depression Two was located near latitude 28.8 North, longitude 75.1 West. The depression is moving toward the west-northwest near 13 mph (20 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue for the next 24 hours. A reduction in forward speed is expected by Saturday night as the system nears the coast. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and the depression is expected to become a tropical storm later tonight or on Saturday.


Stormy Southeast This Holiday Weekend

Here is a look at the tropical system as it forecast to slide into South Carolina over the weekend. the forecast actually calls for this to develop into tropical storm Bonnie this weekend.


"New Tar Sands Impact on Climate, Air Quality Found"

"In one of the first studies of its kind, scientists have found that tar sands production in Canada is one of North America’s largest sources of secondary organic aerosols — air pollutants that affect the climate, cloud formation and public health. The study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, showed that the production of tar sands and other heavy oil — thick, highly viscous crude oil that is difficult to produce — are a major source of aerosols, a component of fine particle air pollution, which can affect regional weather patterns and increase the risk of lung and heart disease."

Read more from Climate Central HERE:


"How satellites are helping to fight climate change"

They may be many, many miles up in the air, but satellites have a vital role to play when it comes to analysing our planet and its climate. In the U.S., for example, NASA says it has over a dozen "Earth science" spacecraft and instruments in orbit, and is conducting research on everything from solar activity to rising sea levels, air pollution and "changes in sea ice and land ice." The European Space Agency (ESA), based in Paris, is also keen to stress just how important the relationship between space and our climate is. "The data we get from space in influencing people about climate change is very, very important," Philip Haines, the European Space Agency's head of telecom business development, told CNBC's Sustainable Energy. The ESA says that climate change is arguably "the greatest challenge facing mankind in the 21st century," and for Haines, the data gathered from up in the heavens is invaluable.

Read more from CNBC HERE:


Thanks for checking in and have a wonderful holiday weekend ahead! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX

Thundery Lumps in our Tropical Holiday Stew

Early Morning Severe Storms on Thursday in SE Minnesota

A fairly significant line of strong to severe storms rolled across southern Minnesota Wednesday night/early Thursday morning. Heavy rain and loud thunder clipped the southern metro, but there were a few severe storm reports in south-central Minnesota.

Storm Reports

Some of the severe storm reports from PM Wednesday to AM Thursday shows that 1.25" diameter hail fell in Courtland as well as thunderstorm wind damage in Blue Earth and Ellendale.


Tornado on Wednesday?

Going back to Wednesday. An isolated storm developed in the afternoon near Villard, MN and was actually responsible for spawning a tornado. There were reports of: BOATS FLIPPED ... SHED DAMAGED AND SHINGLES OFF ROOFS NEAR AMELIA LAKE.

Radar From Tornadic Storm Wednesday Afternoon

This is what the radar looked like as the storm passed over the Lake Amelia area. Note the radar on the left shows a fairly small "hook" near Villard and Amelia Lake, while the screen on the right shows the inbound/outbound winds and a fairly tight couplet (red and green close together). This would indicate tight rotation within the storm. 

Thundery Lumps in our Tropical Holiday Stew
By Paul Douglas
After listening to people complain about the cold for the better part of 5 months I'm in no mood to complain about a little warmth and humidity. Make my sauna medium-rare, please.
I'm trying to keep a sense of perspective. We're not tracking the tornadoes that have carved up Kansas and Oklahoma in recent days. We're not stuck on a barrier island off the Carolina coast, wondering if a clump of thunderstorms over the Bahamas will strengthen into Tropical Storm Bonnie by Sunday. Minnesota's weather won't be as awe-inspiring as last weekend, but it can always be worse.
Studying the models I still think Sunday and Monday will be the best outdoor-days of the holiday weekend, with enough hazy sun for 80 degrees. Showers and T-storms will be heaviest and most widespread today and Saturday as a weak, slow-moving trough of low pressure pushes across the Plains. No all-day washouts, but you would be well-advised to have a Plan B later Friday and Saturday.
No heatwaves brewing, in fact a a push of cool Canadian air may keep us in the 60s by late next week. Free A/C courtesy of Manitoba.
Extended Forecast

THURSDAY NIGHT: Increasing clouds with a showers and storms late. Low: 64. Winds: WSW 5.

FRIDAY: More T-storms with locally heavy rain. High: 80. Wind: S 10-15 mph.

FRIDAY NIGHT: Showers and storms. Low: 63. Winds: SSE 5.

SATURDAY: Wettest day, numerous T-storms. High: 76. Wind: S 10-15 mph.

SUNDAY: Lake worth. Drier with more sun, another T-storm. Wake-up: 63. High: 81. Wind: W 10-15 mph.

MEMORIAL DAY MONDAY: Peeks of sun. Late day thunder risk. Wake-up: 64. High: 83. Wind: E 7-12 mph.

TUESDAY: Shocker: more t-storms. Sticky. Wake-up: 65. High: 78. Winds: SE 8-13mph.

WEDNESDAY: More T-storms, some strong? Wake-up: 63. High: 77. Winds: SE 10-20mph

THURSDAY: Partly sunny, cooler and less wind. Wake-up: 58. High: 70. Winds: W 10-15mph.

This Day in Weather History
May 27th
1930: The Great Empire Builder Tornado occurs. A direct hit derails a famous train in Norman County.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
May 27th
Average High: 73F (Record: 95F set in 1969)
Average Low: 52F (Record: 34F set in 1907)
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
May 27th
Sunrise: 5:33am
Sunset: 8:47pm
*Daylight Gained Since Yesterday: ~1min & 40secs
*Daylight Gain Since Winter Solstice: ~6hours & 30mins
*Length of Day: ~15hours & 16mins
Moon Phase for May 27th at Midnight
1.2 Days Before Last Quarter
Extended Forecast
Good news warm weather fans! Warmish weather looks to continue throughout much of the rest of May with highs in the upper 70s and 80s. These warm temps will also be accompanied by muggier dewpoints, so by Minnesota standards, this might be a little too warm... Note the slightly larger cool down as we head into the early part of June with highs dipping into the 70s.
6 to 10 Day Temperature Outlook
While we are getting indications of a slight cool down into the early part of June, NOAA's CPC 6 to 10 day temperature outlook is still suggesting a fairly decent chance of warmer than average temps across the Upper Midwest/Great Lakes Region from May 31 to June 4.

Friday Weather Outlook
Warmer than average temperatures continue on Friday with highs in the 70s across the state. Temps will be running about 5 degrees above average or so with dewpoints in the 50s and 60s, which means that it will feel like another summer day. Note that the first day of Meteorological Summer doesn't start until June 1st, while the first day of astronomical summer doesn't start until June 20th.
Friday Weather Outlook
Friday appears to be another unsettled day across the Upper Midwest with spotty showers and storms rolling through the state. There doesn't appear to be as much sunshine as there was on Thursday either. However, even with cloudier skies and rain chances, it'll feel lukewarm and muggy.
Friday Weather Outlook
As our next impulse of energy rolls into the region with scattered showers and storm, winds will be on the increase. Note that winds on Friday will be out of the east as the low approaches from the southwest.  Overall wind speeds don't look like a big issue, but there could be a few gusts that approaches 15mph across parts of the state at times.
Simulated Radar
The simulate radar below from AM Thursday to 7pm Saturday shows mostly quiet weather conditions from earlier Thursday to a more unsettled outlook PM Thursday into Friday and Saturday. Keep in mind that there doesn't appear to be any widespread severe storms, but there could be a few isolated strong ones with heavy rainfall chances.
Precipitation Potential
The rainfall potential shows a fairly good soaking across much of Minnesota and Wisconsin through 7pm Sunday. This will come by of numerous swarms of showers and storms from PM Thursday to Saturday

National Weather Outlook
As another impulse of energy rolls northeast through the middle part of the country through PM Saturday, widespread showers and storms will produce strong to severe storms and areas of heavy rainfall. While the best chance of severe weather with this particular storm system was on Thursday, there will still be a decent chance of strong to severe storms on Friday and Saturday in the Central U.S... There will also be areas of potential flooding that develop with this system too.
Severe Threat Friday
Severe Threat Saturday
Rainfall Potential
Widespread showers and storms will continue across the central part of the country over the next several days with chance of strong to severe storms and heavy rainfall. Take a look at NOAA's WPC 5 day rainfall forecast through AM Tuesday. Note the widespread 2" to 4"+ from parts of the Upper Midwest to the Coastal Bend of Texas. Areas of flooding can't be ruled out as heavy rainfall from convective storms continue into the weekend.

Invest 91L
Take a look at the blob of clouds seen on the IR satellite loop below. While it may not look like much at first, this batch of clouds has a pretty good chance of tropical development within the next couple/few days. Interestingly, this mass is moving slowly NW toward the Lower 48 and could impact parts of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states over the Memorial Weekend Holiday.
Tropical Development?
Interestingly, this particular area of low pressure has caught the attention of the National Hurricane Center. They are deeming this particular system as having a high chance of tropical development within the next 5 days! Note that the system seems to be tracking NW toward Georgia and South Carolina. Stay tuned...
 1. Shower activity associated with the low pressure area located between Bermuda and the Bahamas has become somewhat better organized since yesterday, and the circulation of the low has become a little better defined. Environmental conditions are expected to be generally conducive for a tropical or subtropical cyclone to form on Friday or Saturday while this system moves west-northwestward or northwestward toward the southeastern United States coast. All interests along the southeast coast from Georgia through North Carolina should monitor the progress of this low. An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate the low on Friday afternoon. The next Special Tropical Weather Outlook on this disturbance will be issued by 8 AM EDT Friday morning. For additional information on this system, see High Seas Forecasts issued by the National Weather Service. * Formation chance through 48 hours...high...80 percent * Formation chance through 5 days...high...80 percent High Seas Forecasts issued by the National Weather Service can be found under AWIPS Header NFDHSFAT1 and WMO Header FZNT01 KWBC. Forecaster Kimberlain
Coastal Storm This Weekend
The extended forecast shows that particular area of low pressure snuggling up to the Coast of South Carolina by 7pm Saturday. This would potentially bring heavy rainfall, gusty winds and heavy surf along the coast just in time for the upcoming Memorial Weekend Holiday.

Space weather is a hidden risk to Arctic cruises, and it could be a significant one
Here's an interesting story from the WashingtonPost regarding Space Weather and how it could impact Arctic cruises.
“Space weather” refers to huge eruptions of radiation and plasma from the surface of the sun. The eruptions can cause geomagnetic storms here on Earth that spark brilliant auroras near the poles, but they can affect or even bring down the electrical grid, radio communications, GPS and other satellite services. The storms can last days to weeks, depending on its strength. And to make matters even more precarious, space weather forecasting is about as mature in 2016 as weather forecasting was in 1930. So as the Serenity journeys through the Arctic on a route that no other cruise ship has yet succeeded in sailing, a strong geomagnetic storm could bring down its GPS and communication with the rest of the world. High wind, heavy seas and, most menacingly, sea ice could necessitate a rescue, and communications and positioning are necessities in bringing emergency responders."

Thanks for checking in and have a great weekend ahead! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX