Memorial Day Forecast - Wet And Cooler Than Average

Well, it seems typical that we can't ever escape an extended holiday stretch without some inclement weather, and it looks like we'll see that as we head into Memorial Day Monday. Rain is in the forecast with the potential of at least a half an inch to an inch of accumulation in the Twin Cities.

As an area of low pressure moves across Nebraska and Iowa, rain chances will be around throughout a good portion of the day Monday in central and southern Minnesota. This is where the heaviest rain is expected to fall as well. In parts of northern Minnesota, a frontal boundary will help keep shower chances around as well. Highs will mainly be in the 50s and 60s.

Highs across the state Memorial Day are expected to be 5-15 degrees below average.

This is the expected rain across the state through 1 AM Tuesday morning. The heaviest rain Monday will fall across southern Minnesota, where 1-2" of rain could fall in spots. As you head into northern Minnesota, rainfall amounts will be lighter.

With this rain expected to fall on top of already saturated soil, we could easily see some runoff and therefore flooding across parts of southern Minnesota.

A few of the storms across far southern Minnesota could also be on the strong side Monday with a Marginal Risk of severe weather in place.

Some strong wind gusts are also expected Monday, particularly across southern Minnesota. In some areas, wind gusts up to 30 mph will be possible.


Much Cooler This Memorial Day Vs. Last Year

This Memorial Day will be certainly cooler than last year! If you don't remember last year, the Twin Cities hit a high of 100F - the earliest 100F reading on record for MSP. The warmest location in the state was a CO-OP station out in Madison, where the thermometer hit 102F. Meanwhile, by the lake in Grand Marais, the high only reached 65F, but Grand Portage saw a high of 55F.

The Minnesota State Climatology Department has more on the 100F reading at MSP last Memorial Day: "On May 28, 2018 the mercury reached 100 degrees at the Twin Cities International Airport. This is the earliest reading of 100 degrees at the official Twin Cities reporting site since 1871. A large area of high pressure entrenched across the midsection of the country set the stage for a pre-summer heat wave. From May 24-29, 2018 the mercury climbed at or above 90 degrees for six days in a row, the second most number of 90 degree maximum temperatures or higher in May for the Twin Cities, with only 1934 having more 90 degree days with eight. The 100-degree reading set the maximum temperature record for May 28, breaking the old record of 98 in 1934. "


So... Just How Much Precipitation Have We've Gotten So Far?

It doesn't take a meteorologist to know that it's been a wet year so far across the region. So, just how much precipitation has fallen? Let me break this down into three time periods:

  • Month of May (So Far)

We'll start off in the Twin Cities, where 4.85" of rain has fallen through the 25th at MSP airport. That is over 2" above average through that date - and certainly more than we average during the entire month (3.36"). Just a note that May is, on average, the fourth wettest month of the year in the Twin Cities. We would need less than two more inches of rain to reach the record books as a top ten wettest May on record. Right now, if we didn't see any more rain this month, this would be the 27th wettest May on record.

Meanwhile, if we look at May rain through just the 25th, it was the 15th wettest start to May on record at MSP.

Expanding to show the entire state, almost everyone is running above average so far this month - the exceptions being Hibbing and Baudette. You can see the heaviest precipitation has fallen in central and southern Minnesota, with over 6" of rain so far this month in Rochester. Both Rochester (7th wettest start to the month through the 25th) and St. Cloud (8th wettest start to the month) are running over 3" above average.

  • Meteorological Spring (So Far)

Since March 1st in the Twin Cities, we have picked up 10.76" of precipitation. That is exactly 3.50" above average, and puts us less than an inch and a half away from a top ten wettest meteorological spring on record. However, if we didn't see anymore rain this meteorological spring, it would be the 22nd wettest on record.

When we look at precipitation between March 1st and May 25th, it is the 15th wettest start to meteorological spring on record at MSP.

  • 2019 (So Far)

As we look statewide, every climate site is running above average since the beginning of the year across Minnesota. Across central and southern Minnesota, these locations are running at least 4" above average.

Looking at just the Twin Cities, the 13.78" of precipitation that has fallen so far this year is good enough for the 9th wettest start to the year on record.


Honoring Fallen Heroes on a Soggy Memorial Day
By Paul Douglas

"A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself" wrote Joseph Campbell. Today we honor men and women who gave everything, including their lives, to ensure that we can live in freedom, searching for our better angels, in this remarkable experiment of a nation.

With a son in the Navy I have new empathy for families who have lost loved ones, and all those serving today. Thank you doesn't seem nearly enough.

My hope is that you are sick and tired of lukewarm sunshine. If you were rooting for heavy rain on Memorial Day you're in luck!

Ugh. A conga-line of storms returns this week. Heavy rain is likely today - another surge of showers and T-storms Tuesday, when a few may turn severe over southern Minnesota.

Much of the nation has been battered by tornadoes - nearly 200 in the last week. Our cool bias has inoculated Minnesota from the most severe storms.

An inch or two of rain is possible, before skies clear late week.

I still don't see any sweaty hot fronts. Hey, that's not a bug - it's a feature!


Extended Twin Cities Forecast

MONDAY (Memorial Day): Rain, heavy at times. High 60. Low 52. Chance of precipitation 100%. Wind E 15-25 mph.

TUESDAY: Showers & T-storms, some strong. High 64. Low 55. Chance of precipitation 90%. Wind E 10-15 mph.

WEDNESDAY: Showers slowly taper during the day. High 65. Low 57. Chance of precipitation 50%. Wind NW 7-12 mph.

THURSDAY: Blue sky, more spring in your step. High 75. Low 59. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind NW 7-12 mph.

FRIDAY: Breezy and warm. T-storm possible late. High 81. Low 61. Chance of precipitation 40%. Wind SW 10-20 mph.

SATURDAY: Passing showers, risk of thunder. High 70. Low 56. Chance of precipitation 60%. Wind N 8-13 mph.

SUNDAY: Partly sunny, nicer day of weekend? High 75. Low 57. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind W 7-12 mph.


This Day in Weather History
May 27th

1930: The Great Empire Builder Tornado occurs. A direct hit derails a famous train in Norman County.


Average Temperatures & Precipitation for Minneapolis
May 27th

Average High: 73F (Record: 95F set in 1969)
Average Low: 52F (Record: 34F set in 1907)
Average Precipitation: 0.10" (Record: 2.17" set in 1978)
Average Snow: 0.0" (Record: Trace in 1965)


Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
May 27th

Sunrise: 5:33 AM
Sunset: 8:47 PM

*Length Of Day: 15 hours, 14 minutes and 48 seconds
*Daylight Gained Since Yesterday: ~1 minutes and 43 seconds

*When Will We See 15.5 Hours Of Daylight? June 8th (15 hours, 30 minutes, and 43 seconds)
*Next Sunrise At/Before 5:30 AM: May 31st (5:30 AM)
*Next Sunset At/After 9 PM: June 12th (9:00 PM)


Extended Minnesota Weather Outlook

As we head into Tuesday, another area of low pressure will bring another chance of showers and storms along with it by the afternoon and evening hours across southern and central Minnesota. Most of northern Minnesota should remain dry. The warmest temperatures Tuesday will be in northwestern Minnesota, where they will climb into the 70s. Highs in the 60s are expected elsewhere expect along the North Shore, where they will likely stay in the 50s in spots.

Central and southern Minnesota will see highs that are 5-10 degrees below average Tuesday, with highs closer to (if not above) average across parts of northern Minnesota.

A few of the storms across southern Minnesota could once again be on the strong side Tuesday. Parts of southern Minnesota are under a Slight Risk of severe weather, with large hail and damaging winds the main threats.

Memorial Day will be the coolest day of the week in the Twin Cities, with highs expected to climb back into the 70s toward the middle of the week. There's the potential they could make a run toward 80F by Friday.

After the Tuesday/early Wednesday rain, it does appear we'll see a break in the rain Thursday before another system brings more rain in Friday into early next weekend.


National Weather Forecast

For Memorial Day Monday, an area of low pressure moving across the central United States will help spark off more showers and storms from the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes south into western Texas. Another area of low pressure in the Great Basin/Rockies will help produce rain and higher elevation snow. A front draped across parts of the Mid-Atlantic could help spark off some showers and storms. The other story will be the continuing heat in the Southeast, where some locations could see highs in the 100s.

Numerous record highs are expected across the Southeast Monday once again, stretching from northern Mississippi and eastern Tennessee into northern Florida. Each circle above indicates that a record high could be broken in that location.

At least an additional 1-3" of rain is expected across parts of the Plains that have been hit hard with recent heavy rain and severe storms. Parts of Wyoming eastward into southern Minnesota could pick up an additional 2-4"+ of rain as well through Tuesday evening.


Corn Planting Difficulties

More from Iowa State: "The struggle with planting this year's corn crop is well known and has reached a crisis point with multiple government programs and potential legislation now clouding the decision process for farmers. The featured map depicts the most recent USDA estimates for statewide corn planting progress with Iowa faring a bit better than surrounding states. The departures shown are against a previous ten year average. The weather continues to not cooperate with round after round of storms impacting some portion of the corn belt and the near term forecast is not good either."

What Prevents Pluto’s Ocean from Freezing?

More from Scientific American: "Buried oceans like the one thought to slosh beneath the icy surface of the dwarf planet Pluto may be incredibly common across the cosmos. A gassy insulating layer probably keeps Pluto’s liquid-water ocean from freezing solid, a new study reports. And something similar could be happening under the surfaces of frigid worlds in other solar systems as well, study team members said. “This could mean there are more oceans in the universe than previously thought, making the existence of extraterrestrial life more plausible,” lead author Shunichi Kamata, of Hokkaido University in Japan, said in a statement.

Warming may increase risk of rapidly intensifying hurricanes along U.S. East Coast

More from "New model simulations of future Atlantic hurricane seasons suggest that higher greenhouse gas emissions will reduce vertical wind shear in an inconvenient place: along the U.S. East Coast. Inconvenient because active hurricane eras, such as the one we’ve been experiencing since the mid-1990s, tend to simultaneously produce relatively high vertical wind shear along the U.S. East Coast. This shear acts like a “speed bump” to landfalling hurricanes, making them less likely to rapidly intensify before coming ashore."


Thanks for checking in and have a great Monday! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter (@dkayserwx) and like me on Facebook (Meteorologist D.J. Kayser)!

 - D.J. Kayser

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Already 8th Wettest Spring - 6.68" Rain So Far in May