Not A Bad Weekend
Yes, it's true. Summer is winding down quickly, but summer weather won't disappoint this weekend. Other than smoky skies, warm temps and sunshine will lure many Minnesotans outdoors. Saturday will be your best bet at the lake, but Sunday won't be bad either. Clouds look to increase through the day Sunday as our next rain maker approaches late in the day.
Air Quality Alert Through 12pm Sunday
An Air Quality Alert has been issued for northern Minnesota until noon Sunday. Smoke from Canadian wildfires is slowly moving into the region, making air quality unhealthy for sensitive groups and people who are active outdoors.
Detailed forecast from the MPCA: "High pressure is slowly moving east from Minnesota while a slow-moving cold front is located across the far northwest corner of the state. An expansive area of Canadian wildfire smoke is slowly moving into northwest Minnesota and will envelop much of the northern portions of the state by Friday morning. AQI conditions will change quickly from green (good) to yellow (moderate) to orange (unhealthy for sensitive groups) over the northern 1/2 of the state by Friday afternoon. An Air Quality Alert will be issued for the northern 1/2 of the state valid Thu night through Noon Sunday. The southern 1/2 of the state including the Twin Cities is expected to begin experiencing smoky conditions and degraded air quality by Friday evening. An air quality alert will likely be issued for this area tomorrow and valid for Friday night through Sunday."
For more information on the current air quality, visit the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency website HERE:

US Drought Monitor - Minnesota

Dry weather across parts of the state have been helped to bring abnormally dry conditions back to 41% of the state, which is up from the 18% last week. Note that much of the metro is considered to be abnormally dry now, while 7% of the state is now under a Moderate drought.

High Temps Saturday
Highs on Saturday will be nearly 5F to 15F above average across the state as many of us warm into the 80s and lower 90s. Dewpoints won't be too sticky with readings hovering around 60F, however, a few locations in southwestern MN could see dewpoints in the mid 60s. Note that smoky conditions will be found across much of northern Minnesota where air quality alerts are in place through midday Sunday.
Weather Outlook
Weather conditions through the weekend ahead look fairly quiet on Saturday, but sour a bit late Sunday as our next system moves through the middle part of the country. Rain chances will move through later Sunday and wrap up Monday with brighter weather returning around midweek next week.
Rainfall Potential
According to the latest GFS model, rainfall potential across the southern two-thirds of the state looks heavier than it does farther north. Some spots in far southwestern Minnesota could see upwards of 1" rain through Monday. 
Thunder Threat Saturday & Sunday
According to NOAA's SPC, there is a general thunderstorm risk across the far northwestern part of the state on Saturday, while much of the state is under a general thunderstorm risk on Sunday. 

Extended Temperature Outlook
The extended forecast through the end of August suggests warm temperatures continuing through the weekend before a cool down next week. While much of next week looks fairly comfortable, it does appear that warmer temps return by the end of the month. The GEFS forecast (top image) seems a little warmer than the ECMWF (bottom image), but both show warmer temps through the end of August.
Not A Bad Weekend. Warm With T-Storms Late Sunday
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas.

I went for a run earlier this week and couldn't believe how noisy it was! The relentless buzzing of cicadas made me feel like I was through a chainsaw factory, good grief!

There's no question it's August. Grasshoppers and stressed out lawns are reminders that these are the hazy, lazy days of summer. Enjoy it because those fall fronts aren't too far away.

According to the US Drought Monitor, 41 percent of the state is considered to be abnormally dry, which is up from 18 percent last week. There is also a growing moderate drought area across far northwestern Minnesota, where rainfall is nearly 2 to 4 inches below average since the beginning of meteorological summer (June 1st). Lawns across the metro are barking for rain as we are more than 1 inch below normal through the first 17 days of August.

Warm & hazy conditions persist today with Air Quality Alerts in place across northern Minnesota due to Canadian Wildfires. Sunday starts dry, but an approaching cool front ignites a few late day T-storms. Monday looks damp and Septemberish.

Extended Forecast

SATURDAY: Warm & hazy. Winds: SSW 5-10. High: 87.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and quiet. Winds: SE 5. Low: 67

SUNDAY: Dry start. Late day rumbles. Winds: SSW 5-10. High: 84.

SUNDAY NIGHT: Chance of showers and storms. Winds: S 5. Low: 66

MONDAY: Cool and damp with lingering T-showers. Winds: N 5-10. High: 77.

TUESDAY: Cooler. Spotty afternoon shower? Winds: NNW 5-10. Wake-up: 60. High: 77.

WEDNESDAY: Bright sun and comfy. Winds: SSW 8-13. Wake-up: 59. High: 80.

THURSDAY: Fair time! Stay PM T-storm? Winds: SSW 10-15. Wake-up: 61. High: 81.

FRIDAY: Probably dry. Not too sweaty. Winds: N 5-10. Wake-up: 64. High: 81.

This Day in Weather History
August 18th

1953: Four heifers near St. Martin were lucky; a tornado picked them up and set them back down again, unharmed.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis
August 18th

Average High: 80F (Record: 98F set in 1976)
Average Low: 62F (Record: 41F set in 1977)

Record Rainfall: 2.26" set in 1907
Record Snowfall: NONE

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
August 18th

Sunrise: 6:18am
Sunset: 8:14pm

Hours of Daylight: ~13 hours & 56 minutes

Daylight LOST since yesterday: ~2 minutes & 49 seconds
Daylight LOST since summer solstice (June 21st): 1 hour and 41 Minutes

Moon Phase for August 18th at Midnight
1.0 Day Since First Quarter


What's in the Night Sky?

According to this is what will be visible in the night sky over the next several nights:


Atlantic Outlook

According to NOAA's National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Ernesto continues to churn northeast in the Northcentral Atlantic and will pose no threat to the US. However, it could impact parts of Ireland, Scottland and England this weekend.
Eastern Pacific Outlook
The NHC will continue issuing advisories for Hurricane LANE in the Eastern Pacific, which is the 12th named storm and the 6th hurricane of the season. There is also another wave that the NHC is watching, which has a low chance of tropical formation over the next 5 days.
Tracking LANE
According to NOAA's NHC, LANE will continue to intensify and become a major hurricane this weekend as it continues to drift west. Interestingly, LANE could have a very similar track to what HECTOR took early last week and drift south of the Hawaiian islands early next week.

Tropical Climatology
This is neat map from NOAA's NHC, which shows where we typically see tropical cyclones develop during the middle part of August. Note that in the Atlantic, we really start to see things heat up with many waves developing west of Africa, in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and along the East Coast of the US.
Average Peak of Atlantic Hurricane Season

According to NOAA, the average peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season is on September 10th. Note that activity (on average) in late June and early July remains pretty tame. Things really start to heat up in August and September though!

2018 Lightning Fatalities - FIFTEEN

Did you know that lightning ranks as one of the top weather related killers in the U.S.? An average of nearly 50 people are killed each year in the United States and so far this year, 15 people have died from lightning; 12 have been males and only 3 have been females. Interestingly, from 2008-2017, 232 males have died, while only 64 females have died.

See Lightning Safety Tips From NOAA HERE:


PRELIMINARY Tornado Count This Year

According to NOAAs SPC, the PRELIMINARY tornado count across the US this year stands at 704 (through August 5th). Note that this is less than the last couple of years, but close to what we had in 2013. Keep in mind that the short-term average (2005-2015) suggests an average of more than 1,100 tornadoes.


Average Tornadoes in August By State

Here's the average number of tornadoes during the month of August by state. Florida sees the most with 7, while Minnesota averages 5 tornadoes. During the dog days of Summer, the tornado count typically fades across the nation.

3-7 Day Hazard Forecast

1.)Heavy rain across portions of the eastern portion of the Great Plains, Mississippi Valley, Sun, Aug 19.
2.) Heavy rain across portions of the Northeast, the Central Appalachians, the Middle Mississippi Valley, the Mid-Atlantic, the Upper Mississippi Valley, Great Lakes, and the Ohio Valley, Mon-Tue, Aug 20-Aug 21.
3.) Heavy rain across coastal portions of the Southeast and the Mid-Atlantic, Sun-Mon, Aug 19-Aug 20, and Wed-Thu, Aug 22-Aug 23.
Flooding occurring or imminent across portions of the Mid-Atlantic, the Lower Mississippi Valley, and the Southern Plains.
4.) Heavy rain across portions of the South Coat of Alaska and Kodiak Island, Sun-Wed, Aug 19-Aug 22.
Slight risk of heavy precipitation for portions of the Central Plains, the Northern Plains, the Great Lakes, the Middle Mississippi Valley, the Upper Mississippi Valley, and the Ohio Valley, Fri-Tue, Aug 24-Aug 28.
5.) Slight risk of heavy precipitation for portions of the Desert Southwest, Fri-Tue, Aug 24-Aug 28.
Severe drought for parts of the middle to lower Mississippi Valley, Great Plains, and western U.S., and the Big Island of Hawaii.


 Temperature Anomaly on Friday

The temperature anomaly across North America on Friday showed temperatures well above average across the Western US and across Canada. Meanwhile, the central part of the country was a little cooler than average thanks to showers and thunderstorms.

Temperature Trend

Here's the temperature anomaly as we head through the 3rd weekend of August. Note that it'll initially be a little warmer than average in the Upper Midwest, but a blob of cooler than average temps will funnel in through early next week. This cool blob will take up residence over much of the Central US through the week ahead, while warmer than average temperatures continue over the Western US. 


Weather Outlook Ahead

The weather loop below shows active weather continuing in the Eastern US through the weekend, while more acrive weather returns to the Central US. Keep in mind that strong to severe storms will be possible along with locally heavy rain. 


7 Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's WPC, the 7-day precipitation outlook suggests areas of heavy rain across much of the eastern two-thrids of the nation with heavier pockets of rain possible east of the Mississippi River Valley. Some spots could see several inches of rain with isolated flood concerns, while most folks in the Western US will remain dry.

US Drought Outlook

Here is the national drought map from August 14th, which shows extreme and exceptional drought conditions across much of the Four-Corners region and for a few areas in the Central and Southern Plains. The good news is that several locations in the Central and Southern US have had some fairly good rains over the recent days/week, so some improvement is being seen there. Also, the Monsoon season continues in the Southwest, so some locations should (hopefully) continue to see improvement there. 


8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's CPC, August 24th - 30th will be warmer than average across much of the nation with the exception of the Northern Rockies and the Central US.

"Dumb, angry and unhealthy: The weird, lesser-known effects of climate change"
"CLIMATE change has been in the headlines a lot recently and for very good reason – it feels like the world is burning. Consider the extreme weather events we’ve witnessed in just the last couple of months – a heatwave across the northern hemisphere; deadly forest fires blazing in California, Greece, and remarkably Finland; Tokyo and Toronto sizzling under record-setting heat as the death toll rises from heat exhaustion; Australia suffering its worst drought in living memory while others are lost to extreme flooding in India. All of this is happening at the same time on our little blue planet. And scientists warn it will only get worse if we don’t drastically pick up our pace when it comes to climate action."

See more from Asian Correspondent HERE:


"Carr Fire’s horrendous tornado captured in newly released videos"

"Videos released Wednesday by California fire officials show the massive fire tornado that tore through Redding on July 26 as the Carr Fire entered the city. The tornado was 1,000 feet in diameter at its base — about the size of three football fields — and “surprised many highly experienced firefighters,” according to a report by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention. The tornado damaged large oak trees, lifted large steel power line towers from the ground, ripped off roofs, flipped vehicles and a steel marine shipping container. Its peak temperature likely exceeded 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit, the report said."

See more from SFChronicle HERE:


"Wildlife, animals suffer in Europe's summer of extreme heat"

""The problem with a heat wave that goes on and on is that a lot of the plants the insects depend on dry up. Humans aren't the only things suffering during this summer's European heat wave. From hedgehogs to birds to insects, the extreme temperatures and lack of rain has taken a toll on animals of all sizes. The faster than usual evaporation of water has forced some animals in the U.K. to leave their natural habitats as they try to quench their thirsts."

See more from NBCNews HERE:


"A ‘perfect storm’ of wildfires puts Seattle’s terrible air quality in the record books"

"If this week’s smoky skies seem unprecedented, that’s not far wrong: Thanks to an unusually unfortunate weather pattern, Seattle just recorded its worst 24-hour air quality in almost two decades of recordkeeping. University of Washington atmospheric scientist Cliff Mass called attention to the high levels in a blog post today. “I have been here a long time, and I have never seen anything this bad,” Mass wrote. How bad is it? Mass said particulate readings from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency’s Duwamish monitoring site have registered the worst 24-hour average air quality since the agency began keeping records in 2000.

See more from Geek Wire HERE:


"Shocking 106-Year-Old Newspaper Article Predicts Global Warming"

"If you think the climate change debate is a recent issue, think again. For the past few years, an image of a 1912 article proclaiming that coal consumption can have a negative effect on the climate has circulated online. The image in question is from the August 14, 1912 issue of the New Zealand newspaper, Rodney and Otamatea Times, Waitemata and Kaipara Gazette. Skeptics will find the original article available in the digital archives of the New Zealand National Library. The article declares that, at the time, the 2 million tons of coal being burned a year add 7 million tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Even in 1912, the negative impact was clear. “This tends to make the air a more effective blanket for the earth and to raise its temperatures. The effect may be considerable in a few centuries.”

See more from My Modern Met HERE:


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