First Tornado Watch of 2013 (posted until 9 pm - includes Twin Cities). Significant Risk of Flash Flooding
May 19, 2013 — 3:34pm
* Doppler estimates: 1" diameter hail pushing into St. Paul and suburbs.
* Tornado Watch posted for the southern half of Minnesota, including the Twin Cities and suburbs, until 9pm.
* A few isolated tornadoes are possible into the evening hours; most locations will see hail, straight-line wind gusts to 65 mph, and localized flash flooding from very heavy rain falling in a short period of time. The vast majority of us will not see tornadic storms.
* 1-3" additional rain possible into the evening hours - falling on saturated soil, resulting in flooding of streets, basements and small streams. If you live in a flood-prone region stay alert.
Ripe. May is peak month for tornadoes across much of the Upper Midwest, so we should take the latest Tornado Watch seriously; an enhanced risk of rotating "supercell" thunderstorms capable of spinning up tornadoes into the evening hours. A stalled storm system aloft is funneling moisture northward - enough wind shear, instability and atmospheric spin for a couple of EF0-EF2 tornadoes.
Monitoring Doppler. Radar is hinting at storms producing 1/2 to 1" diameter hail near Lakeville. The storms to the south of MSP are pushing north, and intensifying. The most dangerous period will be 3:30 pm to 7 pm this evening. NWS Doppler at 3:33 pm.
5 PM This Afternoon. High-resolution HRRR models show the best chance of strong to severe T-storms in the metro between 4 pm and 6 pm, the entire swarm of storms pushing steadily north.
Summary: The first tornado scenario of spring is shaping up over the next couple of hours from St. Cloud and the Twin Cities southward to Mason City and Waterloo, Iowa. I expect a handful of tornadoes into the evening hours, with a 1 in 3 chance of at least one EF-2 or stronger tornado. Stay alert to rapidly evolving conditions and Severe Storm and Tornado Warnings - with the greatest potential for wind damage between now and 8 pm.
Paul Douglas is a nationally respected meteorologist with 35 years of television and radio experience. A serial entrepreneur, Douglas is Senior Meteorologist and Founder of Media Logic Group. Douglas and a team of meteorologists, engineers and developers provide weather services for various media at Broadcast Weather, high-tech alerting and briefing services for companies via Alerts Broadcaster and weather data, apps and API’s from Aeris Weather. His speaking engagements take him around the Midwest with a message of continuous experimentation and reinvention, no matter what business you’re in. He is the public face of “SAVE”, Suicide Awareness, Voices of Education, based in Bloomington. Send Paul a question.
Monday felt like a typical day....in mid-July. A minor reality check sets in today as winds blow from the north; chasing downpours into Iowa and Wisconsin, treating us to a cooling trend into Thursday. We warm up a little next weekend with scattered T-storms by Sunday and early Labor Day. Hey, it's a holiday - keep expectations low. No storms with names....
Well, at least it was better than Saturday. After a foggy (thundery) start the sun came out and temperatures reached the mid-80s. Up north severe storms erupted, even a few large and violent (PDS) tornadoes in Polk County. Yes, a bit odd for late August. Expect sticky sun today with another round of irritable storms later in the day. We cool off and dry out by midweek - more storms may be brewing next weekend, but not as formidable as what residents of Florida and the Carolinas are tracking.
I'm happy to report that today will be even nicer than yesterday! That's a pretty low bar, granted, but we should top 80F today with some sunshine, higher humidity and a few stray T-storms. 80s will be the rule this week, with warmer than average weather spilling into Labor Day weekend. The risk of a Gulf Coast hurricane seems to be increasing again - water temperatures in the Gulf are very warm, which may fuel a big storm within a few days.
Thursday was a breath of fresh air and today will be another fine day with blue sky, light winds and no rain (amazing). Showers and T-storms return late tonight into Saturday as the atmosphere tries to warm up again - Sunday should be sunnier, warmer and drier. Summer comes rushing back next week with more 80s, even a few 90s possible by the end of next week. Hermine impacting Florida and the Gulf Coast? Still a definite maybe, but the storm is a sloppy mess; it's unclear if and when conditions will be ripe for strengthening.
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