Severe Storms on Friday
A line of severe thunderstorms roared across parts of Central MN and into Wisconsin late Friday afternoon and evening with reports of baseball size and near 80mph wind gusts. The image below is a water vapor satellite view of the storms as they moved into Central Wisconsin. Note the black color to the cloud tops. That indicates a very cold cloud top and estimates suggested that they peaked at nearly 12 miles high in the atmosphere. 
Baseball Size Hail Near Rock Creek, MN
WOW - take a look at this picture that @JSorensen32 took near Rock Creek, MN on I-35 yesterday. He reported baseball size hail as they were sitting still on the highway as the very large hail stones pelted his vehicle. Must have been a very scary situation! Glad everyone is ok!

Wind Damage in Wisconsin
There were a number of wind damage reports that stretched from MN into Wisconsin with extensive tree damage and even downed power lines. This picture from @DanielHouseNFL was tweeted to the @NWSTwinCities out of Barron, WI, where some very large trees were downed by strong winds. 

Severe Storm Reports
Here's a list of storm reports as the line of thunderstorms rumbled east into Wisconsin. Note the 84mph wind gust reported in Cushing, WI and the baseball size (2.75") reported near Randall and Pine City, MN.
Extreme Heat Friday
It was a hot one out there on Friday with high temps in the 90s and dewpoints in the 70s, heat index values topped out in the triple digits. Some of the highest values reached 116F with a 115F heat index value at the MSP Airport. Good grief!!

Saturday Weather Outlook
Thankfully, the excessive heat that was in place on Thursday and Friday across much of the state will begin to sag south on Saturday. Temperatures on Saturday will only warm into upper 70s and lower 80s, which will be nearly -5F below average. Dewpoints will also conitnue to fall through the 60s throughout the day on Saturday, so it'll continually feel more comfortable as the day wears on. 

Extended Temperature Outlook

Here's the temperature outlook through the rest of July and into the early part of August. Note that after the excessive heat late last week, temps will finally take a dip into more cooler and comfortable conditions through the weekend and through much of next week. Highs will only warm into the upper 70s and low/mid 80s. 


Southern Severe Risk on Saturday

According to NOAA's SPC, the severe threat on Saturday looks to move farther south. However, folks in far southern Minnesota and into across parts of Iowa and Wisconsin are still under a SLIGHT Risk of severe storms. 


Weather Outlook Ahead

After a very unsettled day Friday with strong to severe storms across parts of Central MN and into Wisconsin, showers and storms will still be possible across parts of Minnesota once again on Saturday. However, it doesn't appear to be as volatile.


Rainfall Potential Through AM Tuesday

Here's the rainfall potential through PM Monday, which shows another round of potentially heavier rain across parts of the southern US. Keep in mind that much of this rain would be with us on Sunday with pockets of locally heavy rain up to 1" or more.

Last 100F Day...
It's going to be a hot several days ahead and there's a chance that a few select cities could hit 100F for the first time in a few years.

"Dangerous Heat Wave Affects Millions - Significant Severe Risk In Midwest"
Key Messages:
  • Two thirds of the United States will experience dangerous heat and high humidity with heat indices climbing to 105 to 110 degrees. The Midwest, Central U.S., Ohio Valley, Mid Atlantic, and Northeast are under Excessive Heat Warnings and Heat Advisories into the weekend.

  • Numerous record highs and overnight warm minimum temperatures are likely. Hot temperatures at night pose a significant threat as most don’t tend to think of how hot, humid weather at night can affect the human body.

  • This is a prolonged heat event that will last through the weekend.

  • Millions will be affected with our largest cities being impacted by the heat wave: New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Cincinnati, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City, Indianapolis.

  • The “urban heat island effect” will be notable during this heat wave, with major metropolitan areas experiencing high temperatures and heat indices than their rural counterparts due to extensive land modification and human activity.

  • The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has upgraded the severe risk to MODERATE in the upper Midwest. Strong thunderstorms with strong tornadoes and potentially widespread wind damage may occur from central Minnesota across northern WIsconsin during the mid-afternoon and evening hours.

Excessive Heat Warnings & Heat Advisories. A large ridge of high pressure stretches from the Central U.S. into the eastern tier, delivering a life-threatening heat wave through the weekend. Note that widespread Excessive Heat Warnings are in effect along with Heat Advisories. Record heat is expected. The worst of the heat will occur late afternoon into the evening for most locations (3 PM - 7 PM).

Northeast & Mid Atlantic Forecast. Widespread heat will grip the region with record temperatures possible. Afternoon temperatures will climb into the upper 90s and possibly 100. Heat indices will peak between 105 and 110 degrees with a few locations even peaking above 110 this weekend.

Central Plains and Midwest Forecast. Dangerous heat and humidity will be in progress for this part of the country today. Into the weekend, we will see improvements as the heat breaks from west to east with a cold front progressing through. By Sunday, most of the dangerous heat will have subsided.

Heat Safety Tips. Here are some heat safety tips from NOAA for the next several days. This heat is not to be taken lightly through the rest of the week and the weekend across the central and Northeastern United States. While we typically see hot weather during the summer, it’ll be the stretch of consecutive hot days and warm nights that will be problematic. You can find more heat safety tips here:

Susie Martin, Meteorologist, Praedictix.

8-14 Day Temperature Outlook
According to NOAA's CPC, the 8 to 14 day temperature oulook suggests warmer than average temperatures continuing across the Western US and Alaska. However, cooler than average temperatures will be found across parts of the Central US by the end of the month.

Central US Precipitation Since January 1st

Take a look at how much precipitation has fallen across the nation since January 1st. Note that much of our big surpluses are across the Central US, where some spots are nearly a foot above average! Interestingly, Minneapolis is still nearly 7" above average for the year, while much of California is still dealing with a fairly impressive surplus! The only locations that are really below average are those in the Pacific Northwest! Seattle and Portland are nearly 4" to 6" below average. 

Activity in the Eastern Pacific
According to NOAA's NHC, there are 2 waves of energy that have a Low and High chance of tropical formation within the next 5 days. So far, there have been 3 named storms, 2 of which have been hurricanes: Hurricane Alvin, Hurricane Barbara and Tropical Storm Cosme. The next named storm would be Dalila.

Somewhat Soggy Saturday. Heat and Humidity Breaks
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas

"That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind." Those words were bravely spoken by Neil Armstrong on the surface of the moon, 50 years ago today. Unreal!

This was an incredible achievement during the "Space Race", which ultimately led to and the continuation of a number of sophisticated weather satellites that are orbiting Earth today.

Yesterday was a hot and humid day across much of the Upper Midwest with heat index values well into the triple digits. Strong to severe storms have been developing on the outer periphery of this heat dome with areas of locally heavy rain. The good news is that the excessive heat will settle south of us through the weekend with dewpoints falling through the 60s today and even into the 50s by early next week!

Today will be somewhat soggy with lingering rain and rumbles, but bright sunshine returns tomorrow and through much of next week. It'll be a pleasant and summery stretch with more comfy temps and less humidity.

Summer is flying by. The State Fair is only 5 weeks away! Slow down

Extended Forecast

SATURDAY: Scattered t-storms southern MN. Winds: NNE 5-10. High: 79.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Shower ends early, then patchy fog. Winds: calm. Low: 61

SUNDAY: Less humid. Few PM showers? Winds: NNW 5-10. High: 78.

MONDAY: Gorgeous! Brigh sunshine and low humidity. Winds: NNW 5-10. Wake-up: 60. High: 79.

TUESDAY: Dry start. Isolated PM shower. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 60. High: 81.

WEDNESDAY: Warmer. Slightly more humid. Winds: WSW 5-10. Wake-up: 64. High: 84.

THURSDAY: Breezy and mild. Looks dry. Winds: SSE 10-20. Wake-up: 65. High: 85.

FRIDAY: Mild temps. Spotty PM rumble. Winds: SW 10-15. Wake-up: 68. High: 84.

This Day in Weather History
July 20th

1951: A tornado hits Minneapolis and Richfield, killing five people.

1909: 10.75 inches of rain falls in 24 hours at Beaulieu in Mahnomen County. This record would stand for over 50 years. Bagley receives an estimated 10 inches.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis
July 20th

Average High: 84F (Record: 102F set in 1901)
Average Low: 64F (Record: 51F set in 1950)

Record Rainfall: 2.75" set in 1987
Record Snowfall: NONE

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
July 20th

Sunrise: 5:46am
Sunset: 8:52pm

Hours of Daylight: ~15 hours & 7 minutes

Daylight LOST since yesterday: ~ 1 minute & 52 seconds
Daylight LOST since summer solstice (June 21st): ~ 37 minutes

Moon Phase for July 20th at Midnight
3.8 Days Before Last Quarter Moon


What's in the Night Sky?

"Tonight’s chart has you looking eastward at the famous Summer Triangle. Today, notice the star Deneb, the northernmost star in the Summer Triangle. Its constellation is Cygnus the Swan. In a dark country sky, you can see that Cygnus is flying along the starlit trail of the summer Milky Way. The photo below is from Annie Lewis in Spain. She solved the problem of picking out the Summer Triangle from among many stars in the night sky by looking for the Triangle in the east soon after sunset. These three stars are, after all, among the brightest in the sky."

See more from Earth Sky HERE:

Average Tornadoes By State in July
According to NOAA, the number of tornadoes in July is quite a bit less across much of the nation, especially across the southern US. However, folks across the Plains and Upper Midwest still see (on average) a fair amount of tornadoes. Note that Minnesota typically sees 11 tornadoes, which is the 2nd highest behind June when we average 15.
2019 Preliminary Tornado Count
Here's the 2019 preliminary tornado count across the nation, which shows nearly 1,300 tornadoes since the beginning of the year. May was a very active month and produced several hundred tornadoes across the Central uS and across parts of the Ohio Valley.

2019 Preliminary Tornado Count

Here's a look at how many tornadoes there have been across the country so far this year. The preliminary count through July 17th suggests that there have been a total of 1,314  which is above the 2005-2015 short term average of 1066. Interestingly, this has been the busiest tornado season since 2011, when nearly 1,650 tornadoes were reported.
Saturday Weather Outlook
Here's a look at high temps across the nation on Saturday, which shows dangerous levels of heat continuing across much of the Central US and along the Eastern Seaboard. Some areas will be nearly +10F to +15F above average with very high dewpoints making it feel more like 100F or more! Note that Washington DC could reach 100F on Saturday and it would be the first time since August of 2016.
National Weather Outlook
The weather outlook as we head into the weekend looks fairly unsettled on the outer periphery of the dome of hot and humid weather. However, these storms will begin pushing south along a cold front as it sags south over the next few days. Behind that front, cooler and less humid air will settle in across the Upper Midwest. 

Heavy Ranifall Potential
According to NOAA's WPC, areas of heavy rain will continue across parts of the Central and Eastern US with localized areas of flooding. There will also be pockets of heavy rain in the Desert Southwest where monsoon storms will develop. 
"‘Quite phenomenal’: Arctic heatwave hits most northerly settlement in world"
"‘It’s an absolute record, we’ve never seen that before,’ says Canadian meteorologist. The planet’s most northerly human settlement is in the midst of an “unprecedented” heatwave as parts of the Arctic endure one of their hottest summers on record. Canada’s weather agency confirmed on Tuesday that temperatures in Alert, Nunavut, peaked at 21C at the weekend – far exceeding the July average for the area of around 5C. Overnight temperatures on Sunday remained above 15C; again, well in excess of nighttime lows that usually hover around freezing in a settlement that lies less than 900km from the North Pole."

"‘Sunny-day flooding’ is projected to put parts of the US underwater for at least 100 days per year. Here’s what the Gulf and East coasts should expect."
"Increasingly, sunny days don't guarantee dry ground for those living along the coast. As sea levels rise due to climate change, high tides are creeping further up onto coastal land, flooding communities even without any rain or stormy weather. Oceans along US coasts have risen nearly 10 inches (25 centimeters) since 1920 (12 inches when you factor in sinking land). That has led high-tide flooding to occur twice as often now as it did nearly two decades ago, according to a recent report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)."

"EPA: Unhealthy Air Days Increased in 2018"
"The agency’s annual air quality report found that last year saw an increase in the number of days that air pollution could have harmed sensitive populations. THE NUMBER OF DAYS WITH air pollution levels high enough to endanger elderly people or children increased last year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The agency's annual air quality report found that among 35 major U.S. cities last year, there were a combined 799 days when the air was unhealthy for "sensitive" groups, which the EPA said can include the elderly, children, and people with heart or respiratory diseases. Concentrations of several air pollutants, including ozone and particulate matter, increased from 2017 to 2018, according to the report."

"World Hunger Is On the Rise and ‘Climate Shocks’ Are Partly to Blame, UN Says"
"A staggering 2 billion people around the world don’t have enough nutritious food to eat, and climate shocks like drought, heat waves, and extreme rainfall have played a large role in their plight, according to a new United Nations (UN) report. At the same time, the world also has an increasing number of people who are becoming obese, showing that our food system is bifurcating at the seams into the have-too-muches and the have-nots. Many of those suffering from hunger live in the developing world. And the trends are only likely to get worse as climate change causes food prices to spike, according to another UN report on climate change and land that was leaked on Monday to India’s The Wire. Together, the findings show that the world needs to get its act together and reimagine the agricultural system we’ve relied on to make it more equitable and ready for a hotter planet."

See more from Gizmodo HERE:


"A house made of plastic soda bottles can withstand winds twice as strong as a Category 5 hurricane. Take a look inside."

"Hurricane Barry didn't create as much damage as its predecessors like Katrina or Harvey, but it did serve as a reminder that hurricanes are becoming stronger and more devastating. When the Category 1 storm hit the Louisiana coast on Saturday, about 75,000 homes and businesses lost power. If the winds had picked up, they might have been powerful enough to uproot trees or damage homes. While designing homes to withstand hurricanes often requires extra cash, construction companies are slowly finding new ways to bring hurricane-safe features to the masses. Recently, a Canadian construction firm called JD Composites built a 2,000-square-foot home made of recycled plastic bottles that it says can also withstand Category 5 winds. Take a look inside the sleek (but sound) structure."

See more from Business Insider HERE:


"Russia’s permafrost is melting and it could have a devastating global effect"

"An environmental vicious circle is taking hold in Russia and other parts of the Arctic as permafrost – the frozen ground beneath a quarter of the Northern Hemisphere and almost 20% of Earth’s landmass – thaws. Rising temperatures are causing the ice that binds soil, rocks and sand in the ground to disintegrate, setting in motion a process that releases greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases heat the Earth by absorbing energy and slowing the rate at which it escapes into space – in effect they form a blanket over the Earth. “Permafrost warming has the potential to amplify global climate change,” scientist Dr Boris K Biskaborn of the Alfred Wegener Institute, a polar and marine research organization, writes in an article published in the journal Nature. “When frozen sediments thaw it unlocks soil organic carbon.”

See more from World Economic Forum HERE:


"NASA releases stunning image of ISS crossing in front of the sun"

The photo shows the International Space Station as it orbits the Earth, as it does every 90 minutes. The photo is remarkable because it offers a glimpse of the star at a time when there were no sunspots. In November, astronauts aboard the ISS plan to grow Española chili pepper plants. NASA published a stunning photo showing the International Space Station cross in front of the sun. Regarding the picture, which was captured by Rainee Colacurcio, NASA officials wrote: "Transiting the sun is not very unusual for the ISS, which orbits the Earth about every 90 minutes, but getting one's timing and equipment just right for a great image is rare. Strangely, besides that fake spot, in this recent two-image composite, the sun lacked any real sunspots. The featured picture combines two images — one capturing the space station transiting the sun — and another taken consecutively capturing details of the sun's surface. "The photo is remarkable because it offers a glimpse of the star at a moment when it was devoid of sunspots. As NASA further described: "Sunspots have been rare on the sun since the dawn of the current Solar Minimum, a period of low solar activity. For reasons not yet fully understood, the number of sunspots occurring during both the previous and current solar minima have been unusually low."

See more from Big Think HERE:


"Another Intense Heat Wave May Team Up with Drought in Europe Next Week"

"Severe midsummer dryness is paving the way for a new episode of heat in Europe next week, less than a month after the continent endured its hottest June on record. Models indicate a strong ridge of upper-level high pressure developing over Europe, which may lead to a multiday stretch of temperatures in the 35-40°C (95-104°F) range in many areas. The heat will spread from Spain this coming weekend northeastward into France by early next week and across western and central Europe as the week unfolds. Even London may see temperatures above 30°C (86°F) by late next week. The heat wave of late June set dozens of all-time high temperatures across Europe, a feat all the more amazing for having occurred so early in the summer. Next week’s heat is unlikely to be as seasonally impressive, given that Europe is normally at its hottest from late July into early August. It's still too soon to know where the worst heat will occur and how long the heat wave will last, and this could end up being more of a “normal” midsummer heat wave than a record-smasher. Regardless, the heat will intensify drought conditions that are already causing serious impacts. The parched soil could allow surface temperatures to rise even further than models are projecting. Most of the incoming solar energy will go to heating up the surface rather than evaporating moisture, and computer models do not always fully capture this shift in energy balance."

See more from Wunderground HERE:


Thanks for checking in and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX

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