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Very Pleasant Sunday Expected With Highs In The Mid 80s

Saturday Late Morning/Early Afternoon Severe Storms
 

Yellow dot = wind damage/gust.
 
Storms rolled through the metro area during the late morning/early afternoon hours with strong wind gusts, knocking down some trees and power lines. There was a 52 mph wind gust reported 8 miles SSE of Cannon Falls, and a 48 mph wind gust 2 miles west of Bay City, WI.
 
 
Very heavy rain also fell just north of the metro with storms, including 5" reported in the Howard Lake area, 4.50" in Ramsey, and 3.75" in Monticello.
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Guiding A Ship Through 80-100+ mph Winds
 
 
As the severe storms blew through Duluth early Thursday morning, the Algoma Guardian was just entering the Duluth ship canal. The Duluth News Tribune has the story of how the captain of the ship prevented it from going into the side of the canal, and of the bridge operator who had to ride out the wind at the top of the structure. Of note, the bridge's wind gauge saw a peak gust of 80 mph, but the Algoma Guardian saw a peak gust of 103 mph. Here a clip from the beginning of the story: "A 729-foot freighter was making its way through the Duluth ship canal when the winds began to howl early Thursday. As the strong straight-line winds from severe storms began to quickly turn the Algoma Guardian sideways in the canal, Capt. Monford Organ's main concern was getting the freighter into the Duluth Harbor Basin without any damage."
 
Dennis O'Hara posted on YouTube the webcam footage of the Algoma Guardian going through the Duluth canal and under the bridge early Thursday morning, which is where the above image comes from.
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July 23-24, 1987 Flooding
 
 
This year marks the 29th anniversary of the 1987 flooding across the Twin Cities, which brought much of the metro very heavy rain. The Twin Cities airport picked up 10" of rain over the two days, 9.15" of that falling on the 23rd. That day goes down in history as the wettest day in Twin Cities history. Here's some more information on the heavy rain from climate historian Tom St. Martin that the Minnesota Climatology Working Group posted a few years ago on the 25th anniversary:

"The heaviest rainfall ever officially recorded at a Twin Cities weather station fell between about 1800 hours CDT on 23 July and about 0200 hours CDT on 24 July 1987. During this eight hour interval, observers at the Twin Cities International airport station measured an even ten inches of rain (9.15 inches of which fell in a five hour period). And, although it escaped the worst of the storm, most parts of St. Paul received totals in the five to seven inch range, including 5.47 inches at the St. Paul NWS cooperative station; 5.30 inches at the North St. Paul NWS cooperative station; and 6.03 inches at the compiler's St. Paul Battle Creek area station. In addition to the heavy rainfall, the 23-24 July storm spawned a tornado which first touched down at about 1900 hours CDT near Goose Lake in the northwestern corner of the Twin Cities area. The funnel then moved in a southeasterly direction, causing extensive damage in the Twin Cities suburbs of Maple Grove and Brooklyn Park. Damage in other areas (including St. Paul) was extensive, largely the result of flooded homes and businesses, ruptured storm sewers, and washed out or inundated streets and highways. Two flood related deaths were reported and property damage was estimated to be in excess of $30 million (by any calculation, one of the greatest weather related losses ever to occur in Minnesota)."

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129° In The Middle East


3 PM (local time) temperatures Friday. Map: Aeris Weather.

Think it has been hot here recently? The thermometer hit 129 in at least two Middle East locations last Thursday and Friday. The Capital Weather Gang has more: "The temperature in Mitribah, Kuwait, surged Thursday to a blistering 129.2 degrees (54 Celsius). And on Friday in Basra, Iraq, the mercury soared to 129.0 degrees (53.9 Celsius). If confirmed, these incredible measurements would represent the two hottest temperatures ever recorded in the Eastern Hemisphere, according to Weather Underground meteorologist Jeff Masters and weather historian Christopher Burt, who broke the news."

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Free Solar Energy Returns Today - 80s This Week
By Paul Douglas

Don't think the atmosphere and oceans are warming? Acknowledge the science - or don't. We may disagree on the severity of the problem, but I suspect we might agree on a solution.

We need more energy, want to pay less, with fewer unpleasant side effects and dependencies. The cost of solar is dropping faster than the price at the pump.

Citizens League is hosting a clean energy conference in Minneapolis on Monday, focused on conservative, economy-empowering solutions. "The pace of decarbonization is ultimately going to be driven by economics, not politics" said David Strom.

The swarm of severe, flooding thunderstorms, the sprawling "MCS system" that fouled up your Saturday plans, gives way to a drying northwest breeze today. The sun comes out with mid-80s and a dew point in the 60s. A salvageable Sunday!

The good news: the heat wave is history, at least looking out 2-3 weeks. No more sultry 90s, but instability T-showers may sprout each afternoon from Tuesday into next weekend.

With flooded basements and downed trees, many of us could use a break. It arrives today.

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Extended Forecast for Minneapolis
 
SUNDAY: Partly sunny, warm. High 86. Low 65. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind NW 10-15 mph.
MONDAY: As good as it gets. Bright sunshine. High 85. Low 69. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind NW 5-10 mph.
TUESDAY: Sunny start, late T-storm risk. High 89. Low 70. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind S 8-13 mph.
WEDNESDAY: Unsettled, showers and T-storms. High 84. Low 68. Chance of precipitation 50%. Wind SE 8-13 mph.
THURSDAY: Instability showers & storms linger. High 79. Low 67. Chance of precipitation 70%. Wind NE 7-12 mph.
FRIDAY: Peeks of sun, passing shower. High 80. Low 66. Chance of precipitation 50%. Wind NE 5-10 mph.
SATURDAY: Ditto. AM sun, few PM T-storms. High 81. Low 65. Chance of precipitation 60%. Wind E 5-10 mph.

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This Day in Weather History
July 24th

1987: A historic deluge ends in the Twin Cities. Two-day totals include over a foot of rain at Bloomington. Nearly 10 inches falls in downtown Minneapolis, and near 9 inches is recorded in St. Paul. At one time the water reaches a depth of 13.5 feet on I-494 near East Bush Lake Road. I-494 in Bloomington would be closed for nearly 5 days.
 
1891: Heavy frost hits Elkton in Mower County in southeast Minnesota. The frost kills all vegetable crops. The low in Elkton is 34, and the Twin Cities have a low of 49.

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Average Temperatures & Precipitation for Minneapolis
July 24th

Average High: 83F (Record: 104F set in 1941)
Average Low: 64F (Record: 49F set in 1891)
Average Precipitation: 0.14" (Record: 1.69" set in 2012)
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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
July 24th

Sunrise: 5:50 AM
Sunset: 8:48 PM

*Length Of Day: 14 hours, 57 minutes and 58 seconds

*Daylight Lost Since Yesterday: ~2 mins & 5 secs

*Next Sunrise That Is Before 6 AM: August 3rd (6:01 AM)
*Next Sunset That Is Before 8:30 PM: August 8th (8:29 PM)

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Sunday And Beyond Minnesota Weather Outlook
 
 
We'll see temperatures a little cooler Sunday behind the cold front, with highs only making it into the mid 80s here across the Twin Cities.
 

4km NAM forecast clouds and precipitation for 1 PM Sunday. Map: Aeris Weather.
 
The good news is that Sunday will be much calmer across Minnesota with mainly sunny skies expected across the southern portions of the state. A few more clouds can be expected across northern Minnesota.
 
Looking into the future, temperaturewise, our weather models are hinting at a little cool down as we head into late this week, with highs nearing 80 by next Friday/Saturday. However, the long term forecast shows the signal of potentially another heat burst as we head into the first week of August. This bears watching over the next week or so to see if it sticks around in the models or fades away.
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National Forecast Outlook

 
Storms will be possible in the central Plains and Ohio Valley along a cold front moving through the region - the same one that brought Minnesota storms Saturday. A weak upper level low will bring the chance of some showers and storms to parts of the Southeast. Some storms will also be possible in parts of the Southwest. Some of the storms over the upper Great Lakes and the central High Plains could be strong to severe, with hail and wind the main threats.
 
 
Much of the nation will be warm on Sunday, with highs in the 80s expected in each state across the lower 48. 90s will be possible as far north as parts of Nebraska to the New York City area.
 
 
The heaviest rain Sunday will be across central parts of the U.S., where 1" will be possible. More rain is possible across parts of the Gulf Coast, with the potential of at least a half an inch.
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Thanks for checking in and have a great Sunday! Don't forget you can follow me on Twitter (@dkayserwx) or on Facebook (Meteorologist D.J. Kayser)!

-D.J. Kayser

Strong Afternoon/Evening Storms Possible Saturday

Thursday Severe Weather Recap
 
 
Here's a quick look at all the wind reports across Minnesota and into Wisconsin and the U.P. of Michigan from the squall line that moved through the region early Thursday morning. The top wind report was 83 mph recorded in Hallock, and a 69 mph wind gust was reported at the Duluth airport. You can read more about the squall line Thursday morning from the NWS Duluth office.
 
Meanwhile, many are without power still across northern Minnesota, but crews are making progress. Read more from the Duluth News Tribune.
 
Photo: Minnesota DNR
 
Some Minnesota state parks and recreation areas sustained damage in the storms Thursday. This was a tree down in front of the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center in Itasca State Park. According to the Minnesota DNR as of earlier on Friday, "Itasca State Park campgrounds are open and most lodging facilities will reopen at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 23. There are still some temporary closures of remote campsites, group camps and lodging facilities. Visitors affected by the closures are being contacted by the DNR.  An emergency crew of about 30 is on-site cutting downed trees, cleaning up debris and making trails passable. The park is gradually opening facilities as areas are being cleared of downed trees and debris.  Check the Itasca State Park page for the most current conditions. Douglas Lodge restaurant will reopen on Saturday. The Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center and Wilderness Drive continue to be closed and Itasca’s phone system is still down."

Read more about other state parks and recreation areas damaged in the storm at the Minnesota DNR website. View more damage photos from Itasca State Park on the Minnesota DNR facebook page.

 
 
Here was what some of the storm damage looked like in the Hill City area, as captured by NWS Duluth senior meteorologist Amanda Graning.
 
 
Meanwhile, not even the NWS Duluth office could escape the storms. NWS Duluth meteorologist Joe Moore shared this picture of a tree snapped in front of the office.
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Dew Points Friday Afternoon
 
Dew Point temperatures at 4 pm Friday. Map: Aeris Weather.
 
While we were able to mix some drier air in on Friday across the Twin Cities, those across southern Minnesota weren't as lucky. Here were the dew points at 4 pm - it was as high as 80 degrees at the Rochester airport!
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July 23-24, 1987 Flooding
 
 
This year marks the 29th anniversary of the 1987 flooding across the Twin Cities, which brought much of the metro very heavy rain. The Twin Cities airport picked up 10" of rain over the two days, 9.15" of that falling on the 23rd. That day goes down in history as the wettest day in Twin Cities history. Here's some more information on the heavy rain from climate historian Tom St. Martin that the Minnesota Climatology Working Group posted a few years ago on the 25th anniversary:
 
"The heaviest rainfall ever officially recorded at a Twin Cities weather station fell between about 1800 hours CDT on 23 July and about 0200 hours CDT on 24 July 1987. During this eight hour interval, observers at the Twin Cities International airport station measured an even ten inches of rain (9.15 inches of which fell in a five hour period). And, although it escaped the worst of the storm, most parts of St. Paul received totals in the five to seven inch range, including 5.47 inches at the St. Paul NWS cooperative station; 5.30 inches at the North St. Paul NWS cooperative station; and 6.03 inches at the compiler's St. Paul Battle Creek area station. In addition to the heavy rainfall, the 23-24 July storm spawned a tornado which first touched down at about 1900 hours CDT near Goose Lake in the northwestern corner of the Twin Cities area. The funnel then moved in a southeasterly direction, causing extensive damage in the Twin Cities suburbs of Maple Grove and Brooklyn Park. Damage in other areas (including St. Paul) was extensive, largely the result of flooded homes and businesses, ruptured storm sewers, and washed out or inundated streets and highways. Two flood related deaths were reported and property damage was estimated to be in excess of $30 million (by any calculation, one of the greatest weather related losses ever to occur in Minnesota)."

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Risk of Acronyms - Severe Saturday, Then Cooler
By: Paul Douglas
 
When it comes to acronyms meteorology is even worse than the military: NOAA SPC has a svr risk today, with a good chance of an MCS system. NDFD data hints at low 90s before severe storms bubble up; NOAA's 4km NAM shows an afternoon CAPE of 5000 with a LI (lifted index) of -11. You get the idea. It's probably like this in every business, but get two nerdy meteorologists babbling about the weather and you may need subtitles.
 
Today should be the 4th day in a row of 90s; the last day of our July heat-wave. Dew points in the 70s will fuel today's thunderstorm outbreak, and once again I could see straight-line winds in excess of 60-70 mph. The best chance of running and screaming comes between 4-9 pm. Keep an eye on the sky and your smart phone, and always scope out a nearby shelter, just in case. Winds swing to the west Sunday with more sunshine and lower humidity - the nicer day of the weekend for the lake.
 
A beautiful Monday gives way to scattered showers and T-showers Tuesday into Friday as temperatures cool. With luck we may salvage warm sunshine next weekend, without any 90s.
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Extended Forecast for Minneapolis
 
SATURDAY: PM severe storm risk. High 91. Low 68. Chance of precipitation 80%. Wind SE 10-20 mph.
SUNDAY: Partly sunny, breezy, less humid. High 85. Low 67. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind NW 10-15 mph.
MONDAY: Blue sky, best day in sight. High 86. Low 70. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind W 5-10 mph.
TUESDAY: Less sun, risk of a T-storm. High 85. Low 69. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind SW 8-13 mph.
WEDNESDAY: AM sunshine, few PM storms pop up. High 83. Low 68. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind SE 7-12 mph.
THURSDAY: Still unsettled, scattered T-showers. High 82. Low 66. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind SE 10-15 mph.
FRIDAY: Showers and T-storms linger. High 79. Low 63. Chance of precipitation 50%. Wind NE 10-15 mph.

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This Day in Weather History
July 23rd

1987: The greatest deluge ever recorded begins in the Twin Cities, with 10 inches of rain in six hours at MSP airport.

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Average Temperatures & Precipitation for Minneapolis
July 23rd

Average High: 83F (Record: 105F set in 1934)
Average Low: 64F (Record: 47F set in 1876)
Average Precipitation: 0.12" (Record: 9.15" set in 1987)
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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
July 23rd

Sunrise: 5:49 AM
Sunset: 8:49 PM

*Length Of Day: 15 hours, 00 minutes and 3 seconds

*Daylight Lost Since Yesterday: ~2 mins & 2 secs

*Next Sunrise That Is Before 6 AM: August 3rd (6:01 AM)
*Next Sunset That Is Before 8:30 PM: August 8th (8:29 PM)

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Saturday Minnesota Weather Outlook
 

If you are heading out to any activities later today, like the Aquatennial, keep an eye to the sky. Two rounds of strong to severe storms are possible today across the region, as shown in the above graphic from the NWS Twin Cities.

 
 
There is an Enhanced Risk of severe weather (in orange) in place across portions of Minnesota today, including the Twin Cities. The main threat with strong/severe storms today will be damaging winds. Hail and an isolated tornado or two can't be ruled out, however.
 
 
Heavy rain will also be a concern with these storms. There is the potential parts of central Minnesota could end up with 1-2"+ Saturday into Saturday Night.
 
 
Due to the favorable environment tomorrow for a heavy rain threat, combined with the recent heavy rain, a Flash Flood Watch has been issued for areas north of the metro, including Brainerd, Duluth, Hinckley and Foley. This is in effect from Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning.
 
 
Highs will be a touch cooler across the region Saturday, with highs only around 90 here in the Twin Cities.
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Saturday National Forecast Outlook
 
 
Looking nationally, we'll also be watching the potential of scattered storms across parts of the eastern U.S. and in the Southwest.
 
 
Besides the severe threat across the North Central U.S. (including Minnesota), there is a Marginal Threat of severe weather across parts of New England. Isolated damaging winds and hail would be the main threat.
 
 
Heavy rain will also be possible in parts of the Southeast as we go through the weekend, with the potential of 1-2" of rain.
 
 
Record heat is possible in the Southwest Saturday, and 100s will be possible in the central Plains as far north as Kansas. Heat will also continue to spread into the Northeast, with highs into the mid/upper 90s as far north as the New York City area.
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Thanks for checking in and have a great Saturday! Don't forget you can follow me on Twitter (@dkayserwx) or on Facebook (Meteorologist D.J. Kayser)!

-D.J. Kayser