Saturday Severe Threat
...NRN PLAINS INTO MN... ONGOING STORMS OVER ERN SD ARE EXPECTED TO MOVE NEWD AND GRADUALLY WEAKEN THROUGH THE MORNING HOURS. LOW-LEVEL MOISTURE TRANSPORT INTO THE REGION WILL GRADUALLY INCREASE THROUGH TONIGHT AS THE SURFACE LOW DEVELOPS TOWARD THE NRN PLAINS...RESULTING IN SUFFICIENT INSTABILITY TO SUPPORT STRONG TO SEVERE STORMS THIS AFTERNOON INTO TONIGHT. CONVECTION IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP INITIALLY OVER THE CENTRAL AND ERN DAKOTAS ALONG/NORTH OF THE WARM FRONT WHERE LOW-LEVEL CONVERGENCE AND WARM ADVECTION WILL BE MAXIMIZED. HAIL AND DAMAGING WIND GUSTS WILL BE THE PRIMARY THREATS...HOWEVER...SEVERAL TORNADOES WILL ALSO BE POSSIBLE ESPECIALLY ALONG/NORTH OF THE WARM FRONT WHERE BACKED LOW-LEVEL WINDS WILL ENHANCE VERTICAL SHEAR AND SRH.
Image credit: Bret Starnes
By Todd Nelson
"Summer breeze makes me feel fine." I think I have something in common with Seals and Crofts. They must have liked warm days back in 1972 as much as I like them now!
After a cool week last week, today is going to feel very much like summer. Although it won't be a picture perfect day, a warm south breeze will help to transport warmer and more humid weather conditions back into the Upper Midwest. Highs will warm into the 70s to near 80 degrees across much of the state with dewpoints warming into the 60s. A little muggy by Minnesota standards.
The culprit for our more summer-like feel this weekend is a fairly robust storm system moving in from the Four Corners Region of the Southwestern U.S.. Earlier this week, parts of California and the Rockies saw snow, while we turn a little more unsettled through the day today and tomorrow. The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted parts of the state as potential risk areas for severe weather later today and Sunday, so keep up to date with latest forecasts near you.
The storm blows east early next week with highs dipping into the low 50s. Light snow may be possible across northern MN early Monday. YUCK!
FRIDAY NIGHT: Increasing clouds, chance of a shower or storm by early morning. Low: 59. Wind: ESE 5.
SATURDAY: A few spotty showers/storms possible early. Otherwise, breezy, mild and a little muggy with spotty PM thundershowers. Some could be strong late. High: near 80. Winds: SSE 10-20.
SATURDAY NIGHT: Scattered showers and storms. Some possibly strong with heavy rain. Low: 65. Winds: SSE 10-20.
SUNDAY: Scattered showers and storms. Some strong, possibly severe with a few heavy downpours. High: 78.
MONDAY: Breezy and much cooler. Lingering clouds and light showers with light snow up north early. Wake-up: 48. High: 55.
TUESDAY: Bright sun, less wind and still cool for May. Wake-up: 39. High: 60.
WEDNESDAY: More clouds, a few showers possible in southern MN. Wake-up: 43. High: 62.
THURSDAY: A little warmer, nothing rough. Wake-up: 46. High: 67.
FRIDAY: Finally back to average? Wake-up: 50. High: 70.
This Day in Weather History
1934: Hot spell, with temperatures over 100 across much of Minnesota.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
Average High: 69F (Record: 94F set in 1934)
Average Low: 49F (Record: 31F set in 1929)
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Moon Phase for May 16th at Midnight
0.9 Days Before New Moon
Minneapolis Temperature Trend
If you weren't a fan of the cooler weather earlier this week, you're in luck this weekend! Temperatures look to warm quite a bit Saturday and Sunday with highs in the 70s to near 80F. Interestingly, it appears the dewpoints will warm to near 60F on Saturday, so it might even feel a little muggy. Enjoy the warmth because it looks like we cool down again early next week with highs dipping back down into the 50s and 60s for much of the week. Looking ahead to Memorial Weekend, average temperatures look to return with a potential cooler day on Memorial Day itself, stay tuned.
Saturday Weather Outlook
Saturday is going to be a warm, breezy and somewhat muggy day. We haven't really had high dewpoints quite yet this season, so dewpoints in the low to mid 60s across much of the state will make it feel a lot like summer. Highs across much of the state will be in the 70s to near 80F in a few locations.
Saturday Weather Outlook
The warm and more humid weather will also bring a chance of showers and thunderstorms to the region. Saturday will be breezy and unsettled with some spotty showers and storms, but the best of thundershowers will be late in the day/through the overnight hours. Some of the storms could actually be a little on the strong side. Sunday could also feature some strong to severe storms...
Quiet weather conditions on Friday will give way to a little more unsettled weekend. Saturday may feature a few spotty showers or storms early in the day, but more widespread rain/thunder looks possible through the afternoon/evening hours, some of which could be a little on the strong side. We'll also have to watch the thunder threat Sunday as the storm systems continues to slide our way. The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin as potential risk areas for severe storms Sunday.
Rainfall potential through the weekend looks pretty impressive. While areas near the Twin Cities could see nearly 0.75", areas across western and northwestern Minnesota could see as much as 1" to nearly 2".
7 Day Precipitation Potential
According to NOAA's HPC, the 7 day precipitation potential keeps much of the Central U.S. quite soggy. Keep in mind that a majority of this moisture will take place over the next few days as our next storm system slides through the middle part of the country. Interestingly, note where some of the heaviest moisture looks to fall. Parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas continue to get dumped on. Rainfall tallies over the last 7 days suggest nearly 6" to 12" of rain has fallen where an additional 2" to 4"+ could potentially fall through the end of next week.
Rainfall Past 14 Days
Radar estimated rainfall over the past 14 days suggests that nearly 6" to 12"+ rainfall has occurred in many locations along and near the Texas/Oklahoma/Arkansas border. The suggested maximum within the area below is 16.1" !!
Well, here's some good news! Thanks to all the recent moisture, drought conditions continue to improve across the South-Central U.S.. Get this, for the first time since July 2012, Texas is finally without EXCEPTIONAL drought conditions! Last week, nearly 2% of Texas was considered to be in an exceptional drought, now 0%
Increasing Instability: 4pm Saturday
Instability across the central part of the country looks fairly impressive by the afternoon hours Saturday. Note that there is a pretty decent amount as far north as the Upper Midwest, while the best instability looks to be across the Deep South.
Severe Threat Saturday
...SUMMARY... A WIDESPREAD THREAT OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IS EXPECTED ACROSS THE PLAINS STATES TODAY THROUGH TONIGHT...FROM PARTS OF NEBRASKA SOUTHWARD TO TEXAS. RISKS WILL INCLUDE VERY LARGE HAIL...DAMAGING WIND GUSTS...AND SEVERAL TORNADOES -- WITH A FEW STRONG/LONG-LIVED TORNADOES POSSIBLE. ...SYNOPSIS... EXPANSIVE UPPER LOW CENTERED OVER UT IS FORECAST TO MOVE NEWD ACROSS THE NRN ROCKIES TODAY...WHILE A NEW CLOSED CIRCULATION DEVELOPS OVER THE NRN PLAINS TONIGHT AS A STRONG MID/UPPER LEVEL JET STREAK ROTATES NEWD ACROSS THE SRN AND CENTRAL PLAINS THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT. AT THE SURFACE...LOWS CURRENTLY OVER NERN WY/SERN MT AND SERN CO WILL CONSOLIDATE AS THE CO LOW DEEPENS AND MOVES NEWD TONIGHT INTO NRN NEB/SRN SD BY THE END OF THE PERIOD. A PACIFIC COLD FRONT/DRY LINE EXTENDING FROM ERN CO INTO SRN NM WILL MOVE EWD INTO SWRN KS/ERN TX PANHANDLE/BIG BEND REGION BY 00Z...CONTINUING EWD ACROSS CENTRAL PARTS OF NEB...KS...AND OK BY LATE TONIGHT. OVERALL SYNOPTIC SETUP FOR CONVECTIVE DEVELOPMENT LATER TODAY IS COMPLICATED BY AN ONGOING BAND OF STORMS FROM SERN NEB...CENTRAL KS...AND WRN OK INTO THE TX PANHANDLE...WITH NEW STORMS DEVELOPING INTO THE TX SOUTH PLAINS. THIS HAS LIKELY STABILIZED THE POST-CONVECTIVE ENVIRONMENT CHARACTERIZED BY COOLER LOW-LEVEL TEMPERATURES AND WEAKER LAPSE RATES. THERE IS CONSIDERABLE UNCERTAINTY IN THE SUBSEQUENT EVOLUTION OF THIS EARLY CONVECTION AND DEGREE OF AIR MASS RECOVERY IN ITS WAKE DURING THE LATE MORNING/AFTERNOON...AND HOW THIS EVOLVES WILL IMPACT LOCATIONS AND LIKELIHOOD OF SEVERE STORMS THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING. GIVEN THE FAVORABLE SYNOPTIC PATTERN...HAVE OPTED TO MAKE LIMITED ADJUSTMENTS TO THE OUTLOOK AREAS WITH THE EXPECTATION THAT THE MESOSCALE SCENARIO WILL BECOME MORE EVIDENT AS THE DAY PROGRESSES. ...NEB SWD INTO TX... EXAMINATION OF MULTI-MODEL GUIDANCE INCLUDING MANY CONVECTION-ALLOWING MODELS INDICATE ONGOING STORMS WILL CONTINUE MOVING EWD/NEWD THROUGH THE MORNING ACROSS THE PLAINS...WITH SOME GUIDANCE INDICATING POTENTIAL FOR A SLOW WEAKENING TREND BY LATE MORNING. HOWEVER...STORM INTENSITY ON THE LEADING EDGE WILL NEED TO BE MONITORED AND IF ORGANIZED CONVECTION IS MAINTAINED INTO THE LATE MORNING/EARLY AFTERNOON...A SEVERE THREAT MAY DEVELOP FROM ERN KS INTO PARTS OF CENTRAL/NERN OK IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE CURRENT CONVECTIVE BAND. NNE/SSW ORIENTATION OF THE ONGOING CONVECTIVE BAND AND PRONOUNCED MERIDIONAL COMPONENT OF MID/UPPER LEVEL WINDS OVER THE PLAINS SUGGESTS CLOUD COVER WILL BE SLOW TO DIMINISH TO THE WEST OF THE CURRENT STORMS. ASSUMING A GRADUAL THINNING OF CLOUDS AND ASSOCIATED DIABATIC HEATING COUPLED WITH A RETURN OF LOW-LEVEL MOISTURE TO THE EAST OF THE PACIFIC FRONT/DRY LINE...DESTABILIZATION WOULD OCCUR OVER THE HIGH PLAINS OF SWRN NEB/WRN KS SWD INTO THE TX PANHANDLE BY EARLY/MID AFTERNOON. STRONG DYNAMIC FORCING WITHIN THE LEFT-EXIT REGION OF THE UPPER LEVEL JET AND STRENGTHENING LOW-LEVEL CONVERGENCE ARE EXPECTED TO BE SUFFICIENT FOR REDEVELOPMENT OF SCATTERED STORMS WITHIN A WEAKLY CAPPED ENVIRONMENT FROM CENTRAL NEB SWD ACROSS WRN KS AND THE ERN TX PANHANDLE AND SOUTH PLAINS BY MID-LATE AFTERNOON...WITH ACTIVITY SPREADING EWD/NEWD THROUGH THE EVENING HOURS. STRONG DEEP LAYER SHEAR AND CLOCKWISE-TURNING LOW-LEVEL HODOGRAPHS WILL PROMOTE ROTATING UPDRAFTS...ESPECIALLY FOR ANY PERSISTENT DISCRETE STORMS THAT DEVELOP. OUTPUT FROM MOST CONVECTION-ALLOWING MODELS SUPPORT THIS WITH VARIOUS DEPICTIONS OF A FEW LONG-TRACK SUPERCELLS ACROSS SRN NEB...WRN/CENTRAL PARTS OF KS AND OK...AND THE WRN PART OF N TX. VERY LARGE HAIL...DAMAGING WIND GUSTS...AND SEVERAL STRONG LONG-TRACK TORNADOES WILL BE POSSIBLE DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING MAINLY WITHIN THE MDT RISK AREA. THE ACTIVITY IS EXPECTED TO GRADUALLY ORGANIZE INTO SEVERAL LINEAR SEGMENTS ADVANCING EWD/NEWD DURING THE EVENING AND OVERNIGHT HOURS TOWARD THE MIDDLE MO VALLEY AND THE OZARKS WITH THE PRIMARY SEVERE THREAT TRANSITIONING TO DAMAGING WIND GUSTS. A FEW SEVERE STORMS ARE ALSO EXPECTED TO DEVELOP SWWD ALONG THE PACIFIC FRONT FROM NRN TX TOWARD PARTS OF SWRN TX DURING THE EVENING WITH ACTIVITY CONTINUING INTO THE NIGHT. HAIL AND STRONG WIND GUSTS WILL BE THE PRIMARY THREATS. ...NRN PLAINS INTO MN... ONGOING STORMS OVER ERN SD ARE EXPECTED TO MOVE NEWD AND GRADUALLY WEAKEN THROUGH THE MORNING HOURS. LOW-LEVEL MOISTURE TRANSPORT INTO THE REGION WILL GRADUALLY INCREASE THROUGH TONIGHT AS THE SURFACE LOW DEVELOPS TOWARD THE NRN PLAINS...RESULTING IN SUFFICIENT INSTABILITY TO SUPPORT STRONG TO SEVERE STORMS THIS AFTERNOON INTO TONIGHT. CONVECTION IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP INITIALLY OVER THE CENTRAL AND ERN DAKOTAS ALONG/NORTH OF THE WARM FRONT WHERE LOW-LEVEL CONVERGENCE AND WARM ADVECTION WILL BE MAXIMIZED. HAIL AND DAMAGING WIND GUSTS WILL BE THE PRIMARY THREATS...HOWEVER...SEVERAL TORNADOES WILL ALSO BE POSSIBLE ESPECIALLY ALONG/NORTH OF THE WARM FRONT WHERE BACKED LOW-LEVEL WINDS WILL ENHANCE VERTICAL SHEAR AND SRH. ...PA/SRN NY INTO NRN NJ... WIDELY SCATTERED GENERALLY WEAK CONVECTION IS SPREADING EWD FROM THE SRN GREAT LAKES ACROSS PA INTO SRN NEW ENGLAND THIS MORNING...IN ASSOCIATION WITH SEVERAL WEAK PERTURBATIONS IN THE MID/UPPER LEVEL FLOW. WIDESPREAD CLOUD COVER ACROSS THE AREA WILL LIMIT THE MAGNITUDE OF HEATING/DESTABILIZATION TODAY...BUT POCKETS OF ENHANCED HEATING COUPLED WITH MODERATELY STRONG WESTERLY LOW-MID LEVEL WINDS WILL ENHANCE POTENTIAL FOR A FEW STRONG MULTI-CELL STORMS THIS AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING.
Increasing Instability: 4pm Sunday
Instability on Sunday doesn't look quite as far north or as impressive as it does on Saturday, but there's still plenty for a few strong to severe storms across parts of the Midwest.
Severe Threat Sunday
...SYNOPSIS... A VIGOROUS SHORTWAVE IMPULSE EXPECTED TO BE NEAR THE MID-MO VALLEY AT 12Z/SUN SHOULD PROGRESS N/NE INTO THE UPPER MS VALLEY SUN AFTERNOON/EVENING AND THEN SLOWLY DRIFT E. AS THIS OCCURS...OCCLUDING SURFACE CYCLONE OVER THE UPPER MIDWEST WILL UNDERGO CYCLOLYSIS SUN NIGHT. COMPOSITE DRYLINE/PACIFIC FRONT SHOULD ADVANCE INTO IA TO THE SRN GREAT PLAINS BEFORE STALLING...AS A MORE ROBUST COLD FRONT SURGES SE AND REACHES THE LOWER MO VALLEY TO SRN HIGH PLAINS BY 12Z/MON. ...MID/UPPER MS VALLEY... ALTHOUGH AN INITIALLY INTENSE MID-LEVEL JET SHOULD BE IN THE PROCESS OF WEAKENING DURING THE PERIOD...STRONG EFFECTIVE SHEAR SHOULD BE MAINTAINED THROUGH THE DIURNAL HEATING CYCLE. UNCERTAINTY EXISTS OVER THE DEGREE OF DESTABILIZATION IN THE WAKE OF LIKELY EARLY-DAY STORMS AND EXTENSIVE UPSTREAM CONVECTION ON D2. IN ADDITION...FORECAST SOUNDINGS DEPICT PERVASIVE VEER-BACK WIND PROFILES SIGNATURES IN THE MID/UPPER-LEVELS GIVEN THE OCCLUDING NATURE OF THE DEEP CYCLONE. GUIDANCE DIFFERS IN TIMING THE ASCENT ASSOCIATED WITH THE SHORTWAVE IMPULSE...SUGGESTING THAT AFTERNOON CONVECTIVE COVERAGE MIGHT REMAIN SPARSE S OF THE UPPER MS VALLEY. AS SUCH...WILL MAINTAIN SLIGHT RISK THIS OUTLOOK. ...MID-SOUTH TO SRN GREAT PLAINS... LESS ORGANIZED MULTICELL TSTMS SHOULD DEVELOP ALONG REMNANT CONVECTIVE OUTFLOW FROM D2 CONVECTION AND PERHAPS ALONG THE DRYLINE. LACK OF GREATER FORCED ASCENT AND WEAKENING FLOW FIELDS DURING THE DAY SUGGEST THE RISK FOR SEVERE STORMS WILL BE COMPARATIVELY MARGINAL TO FARTHER N.
Snow in Arizona?
This was the view from Flagstaff, AZ Friday morning as a storm system was moving through the Western U.S.. Interestingly, this storm system is the same one that will bring us warm, somewhat muggy and unsettled weather this weekend.
Now this is pretty slick! If you're in to taking selfies, this might be the ultimate selfie! A drone video camera that will follow you!
"Lily is a self-flying drone that is always following you, following a certain set of commands. It follows a small circular tracker, which you can have in your pocket or on your boat. With one tap of the tracker, Lily can execute some nifty camera moves, all while staying focused on you. The camera inside, Bradlow says, is roughly equivalent to the GoPro Hero 3: It can shoot 1080p video, or 720p up to 120 frames per second—there’s some tech inside that will detect when you hit a jump while snowboarding and automatically kick the camera into slow-mo. It’ll also shoot 12-megapixel stills and it can make a cool 360-degree panorama. It can fly 25 miles per hour, is totally waterproof, lasts up to 20 minutes on a charge, and has range up to 100 feet. Bradlow says it could move faster and have more range, but the point isn’t to map agricultural landscapes—it’s to take pictures, or have the Lily chase you down the slopes while you carve some powder."
Thanks for checking in and have a great weekend ahead! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX