Minnesota State Fair
 
Sunday will be day 4 of the Minnesota State Fair and the weather will not disappoint. It looks like another comfortable day with a chance of showers and perhaps a few rumbles of thunder late. When it comes to weather at the Fair, we've had a lot of wild swings. From extreme heat, to chilly temps and even severe storms. Here's a brief summary of the Fair history from the MN DNR:
 
"The Minnesota State Fair has been held at its current site since 1885. Before that it was held at a variety of locations including Fort Snelling. There were some years when the Fair was not held because of war, disease, or for logistical reasons. These years are: 1861 (Civil War), 1862 (Civil and Indian War), 1893 (Columbian Exposition), 1945 (fuel shortage because of WWII), and 1946 (outbreak of Polio.) Beginning in 1975, the fair has a 12-day run each year ending with Labor Day. Thus since 1975, the Fair begins on a Thursday in August. Before 1975, the Fair was held for shorter durations (eleven days from 1972 to 1974, ten days from 1939 to 1971, eight days from 1919 to 1938 and six days from 1885 to 1918). The 2019 Minnesota State Fair runs August 22-September 2."
 
 
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MN State Fair Attendance Records
 
If you've been to the State Fair recently, you've probably noticed how croweded it gets. Take a look at some of the daily attendances over the last couple of years, including the opening day this year, which set a new daily record! Last year, more than 2 MILLION people attended the Fair, which was an all-time record. 
 
 
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Weather Outlook Sunday
 
High temps on Sunday will be cooler than average across the region with readings running nearly -5F below average. There is a chance of a few showers and perhaps a rumble of thunder, but the best chance looks like it'll be in far western and northern MN. The Twin Cities could see a few showers, but it looks like the threat will be mainly after the dinner hour. 
 
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Comfy Dewpoints Sunday

Dewpoints on Sunday will be a little higher than they were yesterday and late last week, but they will still be comfortable. Keep in mind that when dewpoints get into the 60s, it starts to get a little more sticky and slightly more uncomfortable. 

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Thunder Threat Sunday and Monday
 
Here's the severe threat for Sunday and Monday, which suggests somewhat unsettled weather across the Dakotas and far Western MN later today. Some of the storms there could produce large hail and damaging winds. Storms look to move east Sunday night and into Monday, but should diminish a bit before redeveloping across Wisconsin on Monday. 
 


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Weather Outlook Sunday into Monday
 
A storm system will move through the Upper Midwest late weekend and early next week with scattered showers and storms, some of which could be on the strong to severe side with locally heavy rainfall. The heaviest rain will move through the Twin Cities area late Sunday night into Monday. 
 

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Precipitation Potential Through AM Tuesday

According to NOAA's NDFD data, widespread rainfall of nearly 1" could be possible late Sunday into Monday as our next storm system moves through. The heaviest rain appears to be across the northern part of the state, where some 1.5" to nearly 2" tallies can't be ruled out. 

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Can Dogday Cicadas Forecast the First Frosts of Fall? 

I don't know about you, but I've been hearing a lot of buzzing from my backyard trees lately. The loud buzzing is coming from our friendly dog day cicadas, which are pretty common in late July and August. The old adage states that when you hear the first buzz of a dog day cicada, then frost is only 6 weeks away! Here's an excerpt from Yesterday Island regarding nature's thermometer: "Insects are an important part of summer and of our collective impression of the passing seasons. When I reflect upon a quintessential summer, I think of June bugs, grasshoppers, butterflies, perhaps on more cynical days, deer flies, mosquitoes, wasps…back to good days…fireflies, moths, and as the dog days of summer come, the cicada. For the past two to three weeks we have been able to hear the rasping,  buzzing sound of cicadas emanating from trees from downtown to ‘Sconset. Often heard but rarely seen, these harbingers of late summer warm weather days remind us that fall is around the corner. According to folk legend, when you hear the first song of the dog-day cicadas, it means there’s just six weeks until frost. While this may not be a precise predictor, there is some merit to the claim. Dog-day cicadas, as their name implies, appear during the long, hot summer days of late July and August."
 
 

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MN DNR Fall Color Update
 
Fall is just around the corner and that means fall colors! We're still several weeks away from anything really popping close to home, but surprisingly, folks across the far north will probably start seeing some signs of fall colors in the coming weeks! However, according to the MN DNR, fall colors are starting to show across parts of western and northern MN, where some of the ground folliage is around 10%. 
 
 
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Average Peak Color in Minnesota
 
According to the MN DNR, peak color typically arrives across the far northern part of the state in mid/late September, while folks in the Twin Cities have to wait until late September/mid October. It's hard to believe, but fall colors will be here before you know it!
 
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2nd Wettest Start to Any Year on Record at the MSP Airport
 
It certainly has been a wet go of things across the Upper Midwest this year. In fact, the Twin Cities has had more than 30" liquid precipitation this year, which is nearly 9" above average for the year thus far. Interestingly, this is the 2nd wettest start to any year on record. Also note that the average precipitation for the entire year is 30.61", so with several months of 2019 left, we should have no problem getting way above that average precipitation number. 
 
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Fall Ragweed Allergies

AACHOO!! Fall allergy sufferers are having some issues now that the the fall allergy season is in full swing. Take a look at the forecast through the middle part of next week, which suggests a fairly high pollen count. The nice thing is that there is a little rain in the forecast on Monday and Tuesday, which should help things a bit those days. 

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"What Is a Ragweed Allergy?"

"Ragweed pollen is one of the most common causes of seasonal allergies in the United States. Many people have an adverse immune response when they breathe in the pollen. Normally, the immune system defends the body against harmful invaders, such as viruses and bacteria, to ward off illnesses. In people with ragweed allergies, the immune system mistakes ragweed pollen as a dangerous substance. This causes the immune system to produce chemicals that fight against the pollen, even though it’s harmless. The reaction leads to a variety of irritating symptoms, such as sneezing, running nose, and itchy eyes. Approximately 26 percent of Americans have a ragweed allergy. The allergy is unlikely to go away once it has developed. However, symptoms can be treated with medications and allergy shots. Making certain lifestyle changes may also help relieve the symptoms associated with ragweed allergies."

See more from HeathLine.com HERE:

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"Climate Change Is Going to Make Ragweed Allergies Even Worse, Study Finds"

"There’s no shortage of horrible things that will become more common in the near future due to climate change, like coastal flooding, extreme weather, and disease-causing ticks, to name a few. But new research published Thursday in PLOS-One adds another annoyance to the list: Allergy-causing ragweed. The common ragweed, or Ambrosia artemisiifolia as it’s formally called, is a voracious plant known for quickly overtaking whatever environment it’s suited to inhabit. The plant grows annually through the warmer parts of the year in the U.S. Importantly for us, it’s also an abundant source of pollen, making it one of the leading triggers of hay fever and asthma. Though native to parts of North America, ragweed has invaded much of Europe, Asia, and other areas with relatively temperate weather, including some of the Southern United States. Given ragweed’s love of warmer temperatures, scientists have feared that climate change has and will continue to help it spread further. There’s already research suggesting that this is happening in Europe, but the authors of this latest study say theirs is the first to consider the future of ragweed in North America."

See more from Gizmodo HERE:

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"Phenology: August 21st, 2019"

If you've got a spare moment, have a listen to this wonderful podcast from John Latimer, a resident phenologist in northern Minnesota on KAXE. John is very knowledeable in the outdoor world and how certain events in nature are related to changes in the weather and climate. Here's the latest phenology report from last week: "Phenology is the biological nature of events as they relate to climate.  Each week we hear from listeners who have been paying attention to nature in our Talkback segment and John Latimer takes a close look at the blooms and changes happening while considering how the timing measures up to past years in his Phenology Report. Butterflies setting a woman's mind at ease, orioles making another woman late for work, and families of trumpeter swans and otters melting John's heart are just a sampling of what's in the reports this week.  Take a listen to find out more!"
 
 
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US Drought Monitor

According to the latest US Drought Monitor (updated on August 20th), much of the state is still drought free! Thanks to significant precipitation so far this year, much of us have had very little to worry about in terms of being too dry. However, in recent weeks, it certianly has been dry in a few locations. Lawns and gardens have been a bit parched as of late, so a little bit of rain on Saturday did help where it fell.

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11th Wettest Start to August at MSP (So Far Through August, 23rd)

Through August 23rd, 5.46" of rain has fallen at the MSP Airport, which is the 11th wettest start to any August on record. With that said, if no more precipitation were to fall through the end of the month, this would be the 25th wettest August on Record. However, it appears that late Sunday into Monday and Tuesday could bring nearly 1" of rain to parts of the region, which could help boost number even more. It's still too early to tell, but some models are suggesting another round of rain next weekend, so stay tuned.

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2019 Yearly Precipitation So Far...

2019 has been a pretty wet year across much of the Upper Midwest. In fact, many locations are several inches above average precipitation, some even in the double digits above average like Sioux Falls, SD and Rochester, MN. Interestingly, Rochester is at its wettest start to the year on record with 36.61" of liquid and if it didn't rain or snow the rest of the year there, it would be the 21st wettest year ever in recorded history. The Twin Cities is at its 2nd wettest start to the year on record with a surplus of +9.09".

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Tropical Update
 
According to NOAA's National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Dorian has formed in the Central Atlantic and could could become a hurricane as it approaches the Lesser Antilles on Tuesday. There is also another wave of energy located on the east coast of Florida that has a 90% chance of tropical formation within the next 5 days. 
 

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Tropical Storm Dorian
 
Here's the forecast track for Dorian through next week, which suggests some intensification over the next several days and could become a hurricane by the early or middle part of next week as it approaches the Lesser Antilles. Stay tuned.
 

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National Precipitation Since January 1st
 
Take a look at the precipitaiton across the nation since January 1st and note how many locations are above average so far this year. Some of the wettest locations have been in the Central US, where St. Louis is more than 13" above average and off to its wettest start to any year on record. It's also nice to see folks in California are still dealing with a precipitation surplus thanks to a very wet start to 2019. However, the last several weeks have been very dry there.
 
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US Drought Monitor
 
According to the US Drought Monitor, there a few locations across the country that are a bit dry, but there doesn't appear to be anything widespread or significant. However, areas in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest seem to a little bit more dry than others. We've also seen an uptick in the drought across the Southern Plains where severe and even extreme drought conditions have been popping up. 
 
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8 to 14 Day Precipitation Outlook
 
According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, weather conditions will be wetter than average across the Upper Midwest and also across the Southwest as we head into the first week of September. 
 
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8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's CPC, Fall-like weather will settle in across the Central US with temps running below average through the first week of September. Meanwhile, Summer-like weather will continue across the Western US and across much of Alaska.


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Extended Temperature Outlook for the Twin Cities

Here's the temperature outlook for the MSP Airport through the end of the month and into the early part of September. Note that highs will only warm into the 70s for much of the week ahead. Tuesday and Wednesday may struggle to get into the 70s in the wake of a cool front that will bring nearly 1" of rain to the region late Sunday and Monday. 

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Warmest August Temps at MSP on Record
 
Here's a look at the highest temps ever recorded in the Twin Cities during the month of August. Note that there have only been four, 100F+ degree days. The most recent hot temp during the month of August was back in 2001 when we hit 99F !! The month with the most 100F+ days in the Twin Cities is July with that happening 25 times! Interestingly, we've only hit 100F+ at the MSP Aiport (31 times) in recorded history...
 

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Definition of "Fair Weather": 70s Into Labor Day. Monday Looks Like Wettest Day

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Wet Monday ahead, but pleasant highs expected through Labor Day