Wednesday's Wind-Whipped Rain Showers

Spits of wind-whipped rain showers continued on the western flank of a fairly vigorous area of low pressure for mid August. I actually had a brief bout of anxiety thinking about the upcoming cold season, thinking it's going to be here before we know it. Enjoy the upcoming weather while you can, Tuesday and Wednesday's weather was a little taste of what's right around the corner...

Fall-Like Storm

Here's a neat animation of the fall-like storm system that was with us on Tuesday and Wednesday. Note the tight counter-clockwise circulation as it slid northeast toward Lake Superior. This was responsible for late Septemberish/early Octoberish temperatures and heavy rainfall tallies. The good news is that the storm system will loosen it's grip on the region Thursday. Friday will feel like August again with sunshine and temps near 80 degrees.

Tuesday Rainfall

Radar estimated rainfall tallies from AM Tuesday to AM Wednesday showed pockets of heavy rain across parts of the Upper Mississippi Valley. Note the several 1" to 2" amounts during that time frame.


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Severe Threat Saturday?

...SUMMARY... SCATTERED SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING FROM MINNESOTA SOUTH INTO EASTERN NEBRASKA. DAMAGING WINDS AND HAIL ARE THE PRIMARY THREATS. ...UPPER MS VALLEY TO MID MO VALLEY... NRN ROCKIES UPPER TROUGH WILL EJECT INTO THE DAKOTAS SATURDAY AFTERNOON WITH AN AREA OF FOCUSED HEIGHT FALLS FORECAST TO SPREAD INTO THE UPPER MS VALLEY BY PEAK HEATING. NAM/GFS/ECMWF ALL AGREE A NEAR 70KT 500MB SPEED MAX WILL TRANSLATE ALONG THE SD/NEBRASKA BORDER INTO SWRN MN WHERE ASCENT IS EXPECTED TO CONCENTRATE. A NARROW CORRIDOR OF STRONG BOUNDARY-LAYER HEATING IS EXPECTED AHEAD OF SURGING COLD FRONT WHERE SFC TEMPERATURES SHOULD RISE INTO THE LOWER 80S PRIOR TO CONVECTIVE INITIATION. LOW-LEVEL MOISTURE SHOULD EASILY RETURN TO THIS REGION PRIOR TO THE WIND SHIFT AS PW VALUES ARE FORECAST ON THE ORDER OF 1.75 INCHES WITH MUCAPE APPROACHING 2000 J/KG. WHILE CINH MAY INHIBIT TSTM DEVELOPMENT THROUGH EARLY AFTERNOON...FRONTAL CONVERGENCE AND DAYTIME HEATING WILL LIKELY GENERATE ROBUST CONVECTION BY 21Z WITHIN A FAVORABLY SHEARED ENVIRONMENT FOR ORGANIZED SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS. EARLY STORM MODE MAY BE SUPERCELLULAR BUT IT APPEARS THUNDERSTORM CLUSTERS/LINE SEGMENTS MAY BE MORE COMMON BY EARLY EVENING AS COLD FRONT PROGRESSES INTO ERN MN/IA.

Saturday Severe Threat

Warmer and somewhat muggy conditions will help to set the stage for a what looks like a fairly thundery Saturday evening/night across parts of the Upper Midwest. The image below is the 6 hourly precipitation forecast through 7pm Saturday. Stay tuned for more updates as we get closer to the weekend.

Bucket List
By Paul Douglas

Zermatt. Bavaria. Maui. Watercolor. Coronado Island. Pelican Lake. Excelsior. A few of my favorite spots on the planet and I'm determined to find more. I'm up to 47 countries, and there's much more to explore.

My wife and I have made a conscious decision not to wait until we're in our 80s. Too many unknowns. So we're setting out now, seeing as much of the planet as we can, always relieved to return home to Minnesota.

Recent research suggests that experiences, not things, provide the most lasting satisfaction. We buy stuff, it makes us happy for a little while, then the thrill wears off. But trips - time with friends and family - those memories seem to endure. What's on your bucket list?

The sun makes a cameo appearance today; temperatures warming into Saturday, when a few late-day T-storms herald the arrival of another autumnal push of fresh air. Sunday looks windy & showery; then we dry out and warm up again next week.

The maps sure don't look like mid-August. A ridiculously resilient ridge of high pressure out west keeps a parade of cool fronts sailing south into Minnesota.

But summer isn't over. The GFS model still brings 90s into town late August and early September.
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THURSDAY: Hints of September. Fresh sun. High: 73. Winds: WNW 10-15

THURSDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and quiet. Low: 61. Winds: Turning SSE 5mph.

FRIDAY:Warm sun, feels like August again. High: 83.

SATURDAY: Sunny start, late PM t-storms. Wake-up: 65. High: 82

SUNDAY: Showers north, windy and cooler. Wake-up: 59. High: 73.

MONDAY: Sunny with a cool breeze. Wake-up: 55. High: 74.

TUESDAY: Warm sun, less sun. Wake-up: 59. High: 80

WEDNESDAY: Parly sunny, parly sweaty. Wake-up: 63. High: 82.
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This Day in Weather History
August 20th

1904: Both downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul were hit by tornadoes. This was the highest official wind ever recorded in Minnesota over one minute (110 mph in St. Paul).
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Average High/Low for Minneapolis
August 20th

Average High: 80F (Record: 97F set in 1972)
Average Low: 62F (Record: 40F set in 1950)
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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
August 20th

Sunrise: 6:21am
Sunset: 8:11pm
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Moon Phase for August 20th at Midnight
1.5 Days Before First Quarter


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Minneapolis Temperature Trend

After a brief fall-like weather stint, temperatures will gradually warm through the rest of the week to near average temps late this week/weekend ahead. It appears that Saturday will be another fairly warm and muggy day with a chance of a few strong to severe storms late in the day. Post-front Sunday, we cool back down to slightly below average levels. However, note the (potential) big warm up as we approach the start of the MN State Fair late next week! Extended models suggests highs near 100°?? Stay tuned!

Last 100°+ Days in Minneapolis?

According to NOAA's NCDC the average (1981-2010) number of 100°+ days in Minneapolis is only 0.3 days per year! 0.1 days in June and 0.2 days in July.

Last Time Minneapolis hit 100°+: 102° on July 6th, 2012. However, 2 days earlier we hit 101° on July 4th, 2012.

Interestingly, we have only hit 100°+ 4 times since 2006: 103° on June 7th 2011 & 101° on July 31, 2006


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Thursday Weather Outlook

Refreshing sunshine. Thursday's forecast calls for highs in the 70s with less wind. The good news is that our fall-like storm system will loosen its grip across the region, so it won't feel quite as Octoberish as it did on Wednesday.

Thursday Weather Outlook

Any lingering showers will be confined to the extreme NE part of MN. Much of the rest of the region will enjoy comfortable sunshine. More sunshine and back to near average temps return Friday.

Rainfall Potential

Looking ahead to our storm system on Saturday, rainfall tallies look to increase pretty quickly as we head through the PM hours. The image below suggests rainfall tallies through 7pm Saturday with pockets of heavy rain developing over central and northern MN.


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National Weather Outlook

So long fall-like storm. The trailing cold front will continue to push east with scattered showers and storms through Friday. An area of high pressure moves in behind it with drier, cooler weather through the end of the week. Note our next developing impulse of energy across the High Plains late Friday & Saturday. This will help to trigger additional strong storms over the weekend. Stay tuned.

Severe Threat Thursday

...SUMMARY... LOCALIZED DAMAGING WIND GUSTS WILL BE POSSIBLE WITH STRONGER THUNDERSTORMS EXPECTED ACROSS PARTS OF THE LOWER GREAT LAKES REGION AND THE UPPER OHIO VALLEY TO THE MID ATLANTIC COAST THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON TO EARLY EVENING. ...SYNOPSIS... AN UPPER RIDGE ANCHORED ALONG AND OFF THE SOUTHERN ATLANTIC COAST WITH HIGH HEIGHTS ALSO REMAINING IN PLACE ACROSS AND TO THE EAST OF MAINE WILL LIMIT THE EASTWARD MOVEMENT OF THE INTERIOR U.S. MID-UPPER LEVEL TROUGH. THE STRONGEST HEIGHT FALLS WITH THIS TROUGH ARE EXPECTED TO SPREAD ACROSS THE GREAT LAKES INTO EASTERN ONTARIO AND WESTERN QUEBEC AHEAD OF THE TRACK OF THIS TROUGH. A 500-MB SPEED MAX AND TRAILING LOBE OF VORTICITY SHOULD MOVE TO THE NORTHEAST ACROSS WV/WESTERN PA AND WESTERN NY THIS AFTERNOON. AN ASSOCIATED SURFACE COLD FRONT IS EXPECTED TO ADVANCE FROM THE LOWER GREAT LAKES REGION AND OHIO VALLEY INTO NORTHERN AND MID ATLANTIC COASTAL AREAS...WHILE STALLING AND WEAKENING ACROSS THE GULF STATES AND SOUTHERN PLAINS.

Severe Threat Friday

...SUMMARY... ISOLATED STRONG THUNDERSTORMS ARE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE HIGH PLAINS FROM WESTERN KANSAS INTO NORTHWEST TEXAS. ...CENTRAL/SOUTHERN HIGH PLAINS... LATEST SHORT-RANGE MODEL GUIDANCE CONTINUES TO SUPPORT A STRONG SHORT-WAVE TROUGH DIGGING SEWD INTO THE NRN ROCKIES DURING THE DAY2 PERIOD. WELL SOUTH OF THIS FEATURE...A WEAK DISTURBANCE WILL TRANSLATE ESEWD ATOP FLATTENED SWRN U.S. RIDGE INTO THE HIGH PLAINS OF KS/OK/TX. THIS FEATURE SHOULD ENCOURAGE A NWD ADVANCE OF SIGNIFICANTLY MORE MOIST/BUOYANT AIR MASS INTO THE RED RIVER REGION WHERE A SFC WARM FRONT SHOULD BE LOCATED BY 22/00Z. WHILE LOW-LEVEL WARM ADVECTION IS NOT EXPECTED TO BE PARTICULARLY STRONG...30KT LLJ SHOULD IMPINGE THE WRN FRINGE OF THE WARM FRONT AIDING ELEVATED CONVECTION THROUGH THE PERIOD. SCT TSTMS WILL LIKELY BE ONGOING AT SUNRISE FRIDAY ACROSS THE SRN PLAINS NORTH OF THE WARM FRONT AND CLOUDS/PRECIPITATION SHOULD LIMIT BOUNDARY-LAYER HEATING ACROSS MUCH OF ERN OK/KS DURING THE DAY. HOWEVER...ACROSS THE HIGH PLAINS IT APPEARS STRONGER SFC HEATING SHOULD BE NOTED AND BUOYANCY IS EXPECTED TO BE SOMEWHAT GREATER ACROSS WRN KS/OK/NWRN TX. ROBUST CONVECTION MAY DEVELOP OVER THESE REGIONS DURING THE AFTERNOON/EVENING HOURS WHERE MODEST VERTICAL SHEAR PROFILES SHOULD SUPPORT AT LEAST A LOW PROBABILITY FOR ORGANIZED TSTMS. IN FACT...FORECAST SOUNDINGS SUGGEST VEERING WIND PROFILES WITH HEIGHT MAY BE ADEQUATE FOR A FEW WEAK SUPERCELLS. FOR THIS REASON CAT1 OUTLOOK WILL BE MAINTAINED ACROSS THIS REGION. IF WEAK MID-LEVEL DISTURBANCE IS MORE SIGNIFICANT THAN EXPECTED THEN PROBABILITIES MAY NEED TO BE INCREASED TO ACCOUNT FOR HAIL/WIND THREAT.

Severe Threat Saturday

...SUMMARY... SCATTERED SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING FROM MINNESOTA SOUTH INTO EASTERN NEBRASKA. DAMAGING WINDS AND HAIL ARE THE PRIMARY THREATS. ...UPPER MS VALLEY TO MID MO VALLEY... NRN ROCKIES UPPER TROUGH WILL EJECT INTO THE DAKOTAS SATURDAY AFTERNOON WITH AN AREA OF FOCUSED HEIGHT FALLS FORECAST TO SPREAD INTO THE UPPER MS VALLEY BY PEAK HEATING. NAM/GFS/ECMWF ALL AGREE A NEAR 70KT 500MB SPEED MAX WILL TRANSLATE ALONG THE SD/NEBRASKA BORDER INTO SWRN MN WHERE ASCENT IS EXPECTED TO CONCENTRATE. A NARROW CORRIDOR OF STRONG BOUNDARY-LAYER HEATING IS EXPECTED AHEAD OF SURGING COLD FRONT WHERE SFC TEMPERATURES SHOULD RISE INTO THE LOWER 80S PRIOR TO CONVECTIVE INITIATION. LOW-LEVEL MOISTURE SHOULD EASILY RETURN TO THIS REGION PRIOR TO THE WIND SHIFT AS PW VALUES ARE FORECAST ON THE ORDER OF 1.75 INCHES WITH MUCAPE APPROACHING 2000 J/KG. WHILE CINH MAY INHIBIT TSTM DEVELOPMENT THROUGH EARLY AFTERNOON...FRONTAL CONVERGENCE AND DAYTIME HEATING WILL LIKELY GENERATE ROBUST CONVECTION BY 21Z WITHIN A FAVORABLY SHEARED ENVIRONMENT FOR ORGANIZED SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS. EARLY STORM MODE MAY BE SUPERCELLULAR BUT IT APPEARS THUNDERSTORM CLUSTERS/LINE SEGMENTS MAY BE MORE COMMON BY EARLY EVENING AS COLD FRONT PROGRESSES INTO ERN MN/IA.

5 Day Precipitation Outlook

Heavy pockets of rain will continue to fall across the eastern half of the country, but the heaviest appears to be along and east of the Appalachians as the front slides east Thursday and Friday. Unfortunately, dry weather continues in the Western U.S., where large wildfires continue to burn.

Update on Danny

According to NOAA's NHC, Danny was still a tropical storm on Wednesday morning, but is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane later this week or early weekend. Danny is the 4th named storm of the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which has a 90% chance of being below average according to the latest NHC forecast.

Tracking Danny

Here's the official NHC forecast track for Danny. Note that Danny is expected to strengthen to hurricane status later this week/early weekend as it tracks toward the Eastern Caribbean.


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Problems in the Pacific

Menacing typhoons in the West Pacific continue at incredible strength. Both GONI and ATSANI were equivalent to major hurricanes on Wednesday evening (CDT), running at category 4 strength

(Image via: JMA/NOAA - himawari-8 Satellite)

Typhoon GONI

Typhoon GONI is another impressive species in the Western Pacific. The satellite loop from Wednesday evening (CDT) showed a very large, clean eye with intense thunderstorm activity (bright reds) surrounding the eyewall

Tracking GONI

According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, GONI will take a hard right, steering east of Taiwan. The good news is that it won't be a direct hit like Typhoon SOUDELOR did 2 weekends ago, but heavy rain, strong winds and high surf will still impact the island.

Typhoon ATSANI

Typhoon ATSANI was the stronger of the 2 typhoons on Wednesday. It was just below the category 5 classification with sustained just below 156mph. It really is incredible to think that Mother Nature can produce something so beautiful, yet so violent. Note the near perfectly symmetrical eye!

Tracking ATSANI

The good news is that Typhoon ATSANI looks to stay 'mostly' over open water. A problem for ships and slow moving whales, ATSANI could briefly clip up to Super Typhoon status with sustained winds possibly exceeding 160mph...

Thanks for checking in and have a great rest of your week. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX

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Back to the 80s Friday; Strong Storms PM Saturday