"Weather Rope". Hahahaha. Yes, I've received my fair share of creative forecasting tools over the years. Weather Rocks. Weather Ropes? Yes, when the rope is wet, it's raining. If it's white: snow. Swinging around wildly? Windy. Hahahaha. That's why I did "backyard" weather for 14 years. Quoting my old news director, "If you're outside at least you'll get the CURRENT weather right." Thanks again for that vote of confidence.
Saturday Flashback. As many as 8 separate tornadoes may have touched down on Minnesota, bring out subtotal for 2010 close to 40, well above average. The NWS has more details on Saturday's severe storm outbreak here.
Supercell. No, I don't get a buck every time I write the word "supercell". But NWS Doppler showed the track of the (Kansas-like) storm that survived the trek all the way from near Cold Spring (where it spawned 4.5" diameter hail) to Watertown, where it spun up a tornado over the far southwestern suburbs late Saturday afternoon. Yes, it's a bit odd for Minnesota in July.
Monday Almanac. Clouds kept much of the state a few degrees cooler than average (only 67 up in Grand Marais, where locals were wandering around in sweatshirts and light jackets). Highs ranged from 78 at St. Cloud to 80 in the Twin Cities.
Paul's Star Tribune Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota
Today: Plenty of sun, pleasant most of the day. An isolated T-shower possible by late afternoon. Winds: NW 7-12. High: 82
Tuesday night: Mostly clear. Low: 65
Wednesday: Sunshine most of the day, an isolated storm can't be ruled out around the dinner hour. High: 85
Thursday: More numerous and widespread T-storms, some heavy. High: 84
Friday: A wet, stormy start, then increasingly sunny as the day goes on. High: 86
Saturday: Mostly-pleasant, sun much of the day, a stray late-day T-storm possible, especially up north. High: 83
Sunday: Mostly sunny, dry across central/northern MN - a few T-storms possible far southeastern MN. High: 86
Monday: Partly sunny, seasonably warm. High: 85
O.K. It was a drab Monday, not as much sun as I thought, but hunched over a hot laptop in my designer-cubicle it didn't much matter that the sky overhead was linking a few sprinkles. At least the sirens weren't sounding, no mad dashes to the basement armed with flashlights and portable radios. No "rotation" on Doppler, a welcome dearth of "supercell" thunderstorms. I'm ok with that, in fact the clouds kept us about 5-7 degrees cooler than we would have been, otherwise. Fewer reports of sunburn statewide.
During summer the afternoon high temperature is a direct function of how long the sun is out on any given day. Cloudy days in July are consistently 5-15 degrees cooler than sunny days, throw in steady rain and the mercury will run 20-25 degrees cooler than if the sky overhead was bright blue. It's rare to have a mostly cloudy day in mid summer - you would expect that in fall, winter or spring, but only a stalled front (or an "upper air disturbance" - a wrinkle of unusually cold air aloft) can spark a full day of gray. That was the case today - a puddle of chilly air about 4-8 miles overhead kept the sky irritated and unsettled, sparking a few showers and sprinkles, but the strongest storms passed off to our south across Iowa.
A weak "dirty high" floating overhead will keep our skies sunny to partly cloudy into much of Thursday. An isolated late-day T-shower is possible later today, again Wednesday evening, but at any given time more than 90% of Minnesota will be warm (and dry). The odds of pulling off your after-work outdoor plans are pretty good, but I can't guarantee a dry sky. With more sun temperatures surge into the mid 80s today and Wednesday, a little more humidity creeping back into the picture.
Noisy Thursday? Any late-day storms will be isolated today and Wednesday (affecting less than 5-10% of Minnesota at any given time around the dinner hour). The approach of a warm frontal boundary increases the intensity and coverage of T-storms Thursday, one GFS run printing out over 2" of rain. The wind profile near this warm frontal boundary may be marginally ripe for a few severe storms. Stay tuned.
Models bring a frontal boundary north again Thursday with a better chance of T-storms, some could be strong, even severe (although a widespread outbreak similar to what happened last Saturday is unlikely). A stormy start Friday gives way to a clearing trend during the day, and I'm fairly optimistic that MOST of the weekend will dry, sunny and humid with highs in the 80s. Models are hinting at a few spotty late-day T-showers Saturday, mainly over central and northern MN, but the vast majority of the day should be dry. Sunday looks drier and sunnier statewide, with the best chance of a few lingering T-storms over far southeastern MN. The weekend outlook is a lot more promising for the Brainerd Lakes area than Rochester.
Extended Outlook: 90s? The GFS keeps trying to bring superheated air back into Minnesota - now it's hinting at a streak of 90s starting Friday, July 30, possibly 4-6 days in a row above 90. We'll see. Much of America is overheated - it's only a matter of time before we get our turn.
Wall Cloud. Here is storm chaser video of a wall cloud and small funnel in Groton, South Dakota, severe weather that swept through the northeastern part of the state on Saturday.
Electrifying! Check out this amazing time-lapse YouTube footage of a severe electrical storm in upstate New York July 17-18.
The Hot Apple. New York City is on track for the hottest July in the city's history, taxing the city's aging power grid to the max. Read the overheated details here.
Chance of a UFO. China is all abuzz about a series of UFO sightings in recent days. 2 UFO sightings in a single week, one that shut down a major airport. What the heck is going on over there? Here are more details.
June: Hottest Month in Recorded History. Here are the details on the hottest month (worldwide) ever recorded, the 4th month in a row of record warmth around the planet. June was the 304th consecutive month with average temperatures above the 20th century average. I know - I know - just another coincidence. Those crazy radicals at NOAA are at it again.
Antarctic Cold Gripping Much of Argentina. Meanwhile, south of the equator, unusual cold is gripping much of Argentina, where at least 9 deaths have been blamed on icy winds, at least half of the country covered in snow at last report. You can understand why so many people are confused about climate change - the overall temperature trend is undeniably upward (climate) - and yet we still see outbreaks of extreme cold (weather). The story is here.
Landslide Warnings. The sloppy remains of Typhoon Conson is swirling into Vietnam, producing historic flooding. China has experienced some of the worst flooding in decades this year. The story is here.
Singapore Floods. 3 severe flash floods in 30 days? Local authorities aren't sure what's going on, some are blaming a La Nina pattern brewing in the Pacific - others believe climate change may be a factor. Not sure who or what to blame, but flash flooding seems to be on an uptick worldwide. Some shaky home video of the flooding is here.