"Hailers". NWS Doppler at 6:18 PM. 1.5" diameter hail has been reported in Bloomington and Burnsville, the most severe T-storms pushing across the south metro. Here's the latetest Severe Storm Warning valid until 7 PM for much of the southern Twin Cities. Most of the storms will be out of the metro by 8 PM. Details from NOAA:
BULLETIN - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN 613 PM CDT MON JUL 7 2014
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN THE TWIN CITIES HAS ISSUED A
* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR... DAKOTA COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL MINNESOTA... SOUTHEASTERN HENNEPIN COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL MINNESOTA... NORTHEASTERN LE SUEUR COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA... NORTHERN RICE COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA... EASTERN SCOTT COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL MINNESOTA... SOUTHWESTERN WASHINGTON COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL MINNESOTA...
* UNTIL 700 PM CDT
* AT 612 PM CDT...SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WERE LOCATED ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM EDINA TO 6 MILES WEST OF BURNSVILLE TO LE CENTER... AND MOVING EAST AT 55 MPH.
HAZARD...60 MPH WIND GUSTS AND NICKEL SIZE HAIL.
IMPACT...EXPECT DAMAGE TO ROOFS...SIDING AND TREES.
* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE... MSP INTL AIRPORT...BURNSVILLE...FARIBAULT...RICHFIELD...MALL OF AMERICA...FORT SNELLING...EAGAN...LAKEVILLE...NORTHFIELD...CREDIT RIVER...VESELI...KILKENNY...LONSDALE...APPLE VALLEY...MENDOTA HEIGHTS...SOUTH ST PAUL AIRPORT...WEBSTER...ELKO NEW MARKET... SUNFISH LAKE AND LAKEVILLE AIRPORT.
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Natural variability, El Nino kicking in - many factors may explain why it's been in the 70s and 80s out east (with tornadoes in unusual places for February). Minnesota just experienced the warmest, most prolonged February warmth on record (since 1871). A fluke? Perhaps, but what we're witnessing is consistent with a slowly warming planet. Hate to keep banging the drum, but ignoring the trends won't make them go away.
How did you cope with the (fake) Blizzard of '17? Residents of the metro are rolling their eyes, but 75 miles southeast of MSP it was a full-blown blizzard with a foot of snow, ice and high winds creating treacherous travel conditions. Which is vaguely interesting, but it didn't happen in my yard, so it doesn't matter, right? I get it: all weather, like politics, is local. The sun comes out today with less wind; temperatures moderating into the low 40s early next week.
Back on Monday I predicted "a couple of inches" for today. Then some of NOAA's models began showing crazy amounts of snow, as much as 12-15" in the immediate metro, so I ratcheted up expected snowfall amounts (you can't ignore the NAM model, right?) Turns out my initial instincts were closer to the mark. Heaviest snow bands set up south of the metro with a full-blown blizzard over southern Minnesota. Yet another example where the ECMWF (European) outperforms NOAA's models. Which doesn't make me happy, btw.
There's still a chance of 10 or 12" of snow in the metro, although the odds have dropped a bit as some of NOAA's models catch up with a southward shift in the ECWMF (European) guidance package. The Twin Cities are on the northern edge of plowable snow amounts with the one-foot-plus amounts south of the Minnesota River. Confidence levels are still low for a storm less than 18 hours away - models are all over the map. Literally. This is why meteorologists show up at the isobar some nights.