2013 Tornado Drought and Flooding Rains (Cooler Weekend Ahead)
- Blog Post by: Paul Douglas
- May 8, 2013 - 8:47 PM
Todd's StarTribune Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota
THURSDAY: Soggy start. Periods of light rain with perhaps an isolated rumble of thunder - cooler. Gradual clearing late. High: 62. Winds: NNE 5-15
THURSDAY NIGHT: Lingering shower early, gradual clearing. Low: 36
FRIDAY: Partly cloudy, a drier day. Scattered showers develop overnight. High: 64
SATURDAY: Brief AM shower with intervals of sun, a cool wind. NW 15-30mph. Wake-up: 38. High: 54.
MOTHER'S DAY: Bright sun for mom. Less wind. Wake-up: 33 High: near 60. Wind: NW 10
MONDAY: Turning warmer, passing T-shower? Breezy South wind. Wake-up: 38. High: near 70
TUESDAY: Warmer, feels like summer. Isolated PM Thunder? Wake-up: 53. High: 78
WEDNESDAY: Still mild, afternoon thundershower possible. Wake-up: 53. High: 75
MN Fishing Opener
A high resolution satellite image over central/northern Minnesota from earlier this week showed ice covering several lakes still. You can see some of the larger lakes like Mille Lacs, Leech and Winnie are still "white" meaning they are still ice covered. It looks like there will still be several northern MN lakes that have ice for the weekend MN Fishing Opener!
Past Weather For MN Fishing Openers
Fishing Opener Weather Over The Years. Pete Boulay at the Minnesota Climatology Working Group has a great overview of past weather for Minnesota's Fishing Opener; here's an excerpt: "Minnesota's Fishing Opener weather is typified by partly cloudy to cloudy skies, morning temperatures in the low 40's, and afternoon temperatures climbing to near 70. Three out of four years are free of measurable precipitation. A trace of snow has been reported in northern Minnesota on at least five of the last 64 fishing openers. On at least four occasions, some lakes were still frozen for the opener. Generally there is enough wind to be felt on the face, maybe enough to 'fly' a flag. Weather on Minnesota fishing opener dates is highly variable. 64 years of fishing opener weather data are summarized here to offer a glimpse of what is 'typical' and what is 'extreme'.
Opening day temperatures have started as low as 24 degrees at International Falls (1996,2004), with freezing temperatures possible even in Minneapolis (31 degrees in 1979). On the warm side, St. Cloud saw 92 degrees in 1987, Minneapolis reported 91 in 1987, and International Falls reached 88 in 1977. The average early morning temperature varies from the high 30's in the northeast to the high 40's along the southern border. The average afternoon temperature generally ranges from the mid 60's along the northern border, to the low 70's in the extreme south. Along the shore of Lake Superior, highs are held in the mid 50's..."
Fishing Opener Weather Back To 1948. Sure, it's more than you ever wanted to know, but if you're really bored, troll through this page from The Minnesota Climatology Working Group to see how much worse it could be this weekend.
Governor's Fishing Opener. The Minnesota Historical Society has more details on why our governors probably live in mortal dread of The Fishing Opener.
2013 Tornado Drought
Spring is typically a pretty active time for severe weather across the nation, this year however, it has been relatively quiet!
Bakersfield, CA Tornado
This video is amazing! Thanks to ScubierScuba for the video of the tornado near Bakersfield, CA on Monday. This was rated as an EF0 with winds up to 50mph. Could you image sitting at the stoplight watching this thing? Pretty scary, yea?!?
May 2013 Tornadoes
Interestingly, May 2013 has been pretty quiet for tornadoes. According to the SPC there have only been 3 tornadoes across the nation. 1 in California and 2 in Florida! May by the way is the most active tornado producing month across the nation with an average of nearly 280.
2013 Tornado Count
According to the Storm Prediction Center, there have been 239 tornado reports this year, most of which have been in the areas surrounding the Lower Mississippi Valley.
Below Average Tornadoes
The 239 PRELIMINARY tornadoes are well below the average to date. Interestingly, we are nearly 400 tornadoes below average so far this year!
Tornadoes By Month
Here's how the tornadoes stack up by month so far this year. Note how low the tornado count has been the Spring (since March). We typically see the tornado season ramp up, but it has been fairly quiet. The only months that have been above average this year is January and February.
Average Tornadoes By Month
By the way, May is typically the most active month for tornadoes nationwide; averaging 276 tornadoes. June is also a pretty active month with nearly 250 tornadoes nationwide.
Spring Tornadoes Since 2011
I though this was interesting... Note how many tornadoes we had over the last couple of years March-May vs. 2013 so far. 2011 was an incredible Spring with nearly 1200 tornadoes! That was the same year as the Tuscaloosa/Birmingham tornado out break in late April 2011, which was a 5 day severe weather outbreak from Texas to Canada that produced nearly 360 tornadoes!
2011 Statewide Temp Ranks
Part of the reason why Spring 2011 was so active was because of the jet stream placement. The stronger upper level winds divide the cooler/drier air to the north from the warmer/moist air to the south. The trough of low pressure in the west along with the ridge of high pressure in the east created a favorable environment for strong storms to develop across the nation, ultimately producing several severe weather days.
2012 Statewide Temp Ranks
Spring 2012 was also a fairly quiet in terms of tornadoes, mainly due to the fact that we had a large ridge of high pressure over the central part of the country that brought above very warm/hot summer-like conditions to the country very early in the season.
Spring 2013 Weather Setup
Spring 2013 so far has been a little different in a sense that there has been a little more persistent trough of low pressure in the eastern part of the country allowing cooler than average weather to make frequent trips into the eastern part of the country. Because of this, heat and moisture has had a hard time building into the central/eastern part of the country and ultimately keeping the severe weather threat at a minimum.
Extended Temp Outlook
The extended 6 to 10 day temperature outlook (May 13th-17) looks fairly similar to the average Spring weather setup so far. Cooler in the east and warmer out west.
Thunder Threat Thursday
Here's a look at the weather for Thursday across the nation. The middle part of the country looks a little more active with thunder potential, some of which could be strong to severe in a few places.
Why Did the Alligator Cross the Road
Why did the alligator cross the road? Thanks to the Everglades National Park Facebook page for the picture below. Those tourists seem to be a bit close don't they?
"In Yellowstone you might see a Wolf cross the road, and in Great Smoky Mountains you might see a Bear walking through the campground, but at Everglades we have Alligators that walk the trails"
Florida Is Drying Out!
Sure alligators like the water, but not golfers... In fact it's a 1-stroke penalty! Take a look at the famed island green at the TPC Sawgrass just outside of Jacksonville, FL. The PLAYERS Championship will be held there this weekend (starting Thursday-Sunday) after several inches of rain fell in that area late last week. There were reports of nearly 10" at the course in Ponte Verda Beach, FL! It sounds like they are recovering well from the deluge from a week ago.
7 Day Rainfall
Look at the radar estimates over the last 7 days, note the pockets of red/pink in the Southeast, those are areas of 5"+ rainfall all thanks to that slow moving low pressure system we've been talking about for a week now!
Flooding Rains Near New York
That same low pressure system dropped 1" to 2"+ inches of rain overnight around New York, which caused flooding. Thanks to @jbak21 for the image below out of Hoboken, NJ... Look at all that water! There were several rainfall records set on Wednesday including the reporting stations out of New York.
Here's NOAA's 3 day precipitation forecast across the nation. The storm system in the Northeast and the storm system out west will be responsible for 1" to 2"+ of precipitation for several locations through the early weekend.
Thanks for checking in, have a great rest of your week!
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