Fourth Of July Outlook

Are you prepping for your Fourth of July celebrations? I've got your forecast in just a moment for the Fourth, but first here's some climatology. Normally our highs are in the low 80s with lows in the mid-60s, however we have been as warm as 101 (back in 2012) and started off the morning as cold as 43 (in 1972).

This year we should see highs top off around 90 during the mid to late afternoon hours in the Twin Cities, with temperatures a touch cooler than that at Noon and 5 PM. We will have to watch the potential of showers and storms across the region throughout the day - hopefully they won't put a damper on any festivites, including evening fireworks.

Here's a look at the forecast statewide for the Fourth of July. We will keep our eye on the thunderstorm potential for most locations. Highs will predominately be in the 80s across the state.


Looking Back At June Precipitation

One of the major stories across parts of Minnesota was heavy rain, with numerous rounds of storms across parts of southern Minnesota and one major rain event in parts of east-central Minnesota. Some of these areas ended up with over 9" of rain in June. This heavy rainfall lead to flooding on local rivers, some of which has continued into July. The 7.29" of rain that fell in Sioux Falls was good enough for the sixth wettest June on record.

Numerous observers in southern Minnesota reported over 10" of rain during the month of June, with 13.09" in Lake Wilson.

Areas of central Minnesota ended up in between the heaviest rain pockets, with locations like the Twin Cities, St. Cloud and Brainerd ending up with below average rainfall for the month.


Strong Wind Gusts Sunday


24 Hour Rainfall Across The State (Through 5 PM Sunday)


Rain Amounts At Climate Sites Through The Late Afternoon Hours Sunday

Record rain fell Sunday at the St. Cloud airport. Through 4 PM, 1.37" of rain had fallen, beating the previous record of 1.28" in 1962.


Yesterday's Raging Rainstorm Was Atypical for July
By Paul Douglas

"You didn't predict THIS!" my wife shrieked Sunday morning, waving her hands at the sheets of rain pounding the windshield. "A few days ago, no, but by Friday and Saturday we included heavy rain in Sunday's forecast" I said. She shrugged. "The forecast changes as new data arrives" I explained, to no avail. People take their weekend forecasts personally.

Sunday's wild storm was atypical for the summer months; an intense cyclone more typical of March or October.

A sharp temperature gradient & 70-degree dew points over Wisconsin fueled a rapidly intensifying storm; winds spiraling into this partial vacuum gusted past 50 mph. For a time it looked like Tropical Storm Fern out there. Surreal. July usually brings city-scale, hit-or-miss T-storms, not the statewide smear of heavy rain we all experienced yesterday.

A more sedate summer pattern returns this week, with a dry sky today giving way to random storms Tuesday. July 4th should be a classic summer day with low 90s, sticky humidity levels and T-storms later in the day. Slight relief arrives late week but July will be stinking hot.


Extended Twin Cities Forecast

MONDAY: Warm sunshine, dry. High 87. Low 69. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind SW 8-13 mph.
TUESDAY: Sticky, few T-storms north/west. High 90. Low 72. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind S 10-20 mph.
WEDNESDAY: Tropical, more numerous T-storms. High 92. Low 73. Chance of precipitation 60%. Wind S 10-15 mph.
THURSDAY: Partly sunny, slight dip in humidity. High 86. Low 66. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind NE 5-10 mph.
FRIDAY: Sunny and a touch more comfortable. High 85. Low 64. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind NE 5-10 mph.
SATURDAY: Plenty of sun, a good lake day. High 86. Low 68. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind S 8-13 mph.
SUNDAY: Less sun, risk of a PM T-storm. High 89. Low 69. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind SW 8-13 mph.


This Day in Weather History
July 2nd

1989: Softball sized hail falls near Dorset, and baseball sized hail is reported at Nevis in Hubbard County.

1972: A low of 32 is recorded at Big Falls in Koochiching County.


Average Temperatures & Precipitation for Minneapolis
July 2nd

Average High: 83F (Record: 99F set in 2012)
Average Low: 63F (Record: 49F set in 1924)
Average Precipitation: 0.12" (Record: 2.18" set in 1992)


Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
July 2nd

Sunrise: 5:31 AM
Sunset: 9:03 PM

*Length Of Day: 15 hours, 32 minutes and 5 seconds
*Daylight Lost Since Yesterday: ~43 seconds

*Next Sunrise Of 6 AM Or Later: August 3rd (6:00 AM)
*Next Sunrise Of 9 PM Or Earlier: July 8th (9:00 PM)


Minnesota Weather Outlook

Sunshine is expected Monday across most of the state, with the potential of late day and overnight storms (mainly over central/northern Minnesota) as a warm front approaches the state and moisture increases. A few of those storms could be on the strong side - more on that in a moment. Highs will be in the 80s across most of the state Monday.

Highs will be above average across the state on Monday, with departures of 5-10 degrees possible across northern Minnesota.

Again, a few of those storms Monday and Monday Night could be on the strong side, with a Slight Risk of severe weather across parts of western Minnesota. Large hail and damaging winds would be the main threats.

A few storms on Tuesday could also be on the strong side, with a Marginal Risk in place. Large hail and damaging winds would be the main threats.

Temperatures will remain warm as we head through most of the week of the Fourth of July here in the Twin Cities, with highs in the upper 80s to low 90s through Thursday. We do see a cold front slide through Thursday, helping to drop temperatures a few more degrees (into the low and mid-80s) for the end of the week.

In the precipitation department, we do see scattered storm chances through the first half of the week, with a better chance of rain as a cold front moves through Wednesday Night/Thursday.


National Weather Forecast

On Monday, a cold front will be sinking south from the Ohio Valley into the Northeast, sparking off scattered showers and storms. Meanwhile, an area of low pressure with a warm front will slowly lift into parts of the upper Midwest, bringing the chance of some storms ahead of it in the afternoon and overnight hours. A weak low pressure area will bring heavy rain to parts of the northern Gulf Coast, with pop-up afternoon showers and storms expected across the rest of the Southeast. The other story Monday will be the heat along the East Coast, with 90s possible as far north as Maine.

Another day of record highs will be possible Monday in parts of the Northeast, including at D.C.-Dulles, Albany, Burlington and Caribou.

Some record highs will be possible Tuesday as well in the Northeast including Manchester and Caribou.

Skipping ahead to Independence Day, storms will be possible across parts of the upper Midwest into the Great Lakes, as well as across parts of the Southern United States and along the East Coast. Drier weather is expected out in the western United States.

The Fourth of July could be a particularly steamy day across parts of Texas, the Ohio and mid-Mississippi Valleys, and in parts of Massachusetts. All these areas could see heat index values top 105 according to the Weather Prediction Center.

We'll be watching a couple areas of heavier rain across the country through Friday morning. The first area across parts of the Gulf Coast will have the potential of picking up 2-5" of rain particularly Monday and Tuesday as a weak low pressure area moves through and has plenty of atmospheric moisture to work with. The second area is across parts of the upper Midwest, where 1-3" of rain could fall, especially on Tuesday.

Out in the Eastern Pacific, we are tracking "Fabio" which became the sixth named storm of the season Sunday - the earliest in the season that a sixth system has been named in this portion of the ocean. Fabio will undergo rapid intensification in the next couple days, becoming a major hurricane late Monday.


Des Moines Flooding: Heavy Rain Saturday Night Led To A Flash Flood Emergency

More from the Des Moines Register: "Ankeny received the heaviest rainfall in the metro, with reports up to 7 inches, National Weather Service meteorologist Alex Kroll said.  In less than three hours Saturday, the metro saw 6 to 7 inches of rain, possibly reaching record breaking levels, Kroll said.  What’s most alarming are the reports of flooding in areas that don’t typically see that much standing water, Kroll said.  “We advise absolutely no travel through Polk County this evening,” Kroll said.  Earlier, the Des Moines Fire Department was spread thin as they responded to severe weather-related calls.  The department was “extremely, extremely busy” with most units responding to flash flooding affecting northwest Des Moines, Rick Thomas, Des Moines Fire Department spokesman, said around 10 p.m.  Thomas said there were eight trapped vehicles due to flooding, some of which firefighters were struggling to reach."

Iowa flooding: Saylorville now expected to reach 4 feet shy of 1993 record

More from the Des Moines Register: "The Saylorville Lake reservoir is forecast to crest at about 888 feet by next weekend — a depth that is above the lip of the concrete emergency spillway, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Sunday.  Much of the Des Moines area got 6 to 7 inches of rain in less than three hours Saturday, and the flash flooding resulted in one death, rescues of people stranded in their vehicles, apartment evacuations and a house explosion in Urbandale.  As of 9 a.m. on Sunday, the Saylorville Lake reservoir stands at 878.39 feet, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. It increased over 2 feet in the last 24 hours. Saylorville Lake reached 866.6 feet above sea level Tuesday afternoon, an increase of more than 15 feet in just five days.  The top of the dam's spillway is at 884 feet; that figure can be increased to 890 feet with the use of pneumatic crest gates."

Iowa Flooding: Radio personality Larry Cotlar has died after being swept away by floodwaters

More from KCCI-TV in Des Moines: "A Des Moines man is dead, after floodwaters swept him into a creek. It happened at 50th Street and Twana Drive, on the northwest side. The victim in this incident has been identified as 66 year old Des Moines resident Larry Bruce Cotlar.  Cotlar has been a sports radio personality on more than one station for many years."

Arizona got no drought relief in June. When will the monsoon start?

More from the AZCentral: "Flagstaff meteorologist Brian Klimowski has an answer for people who ask him if or, more often, when monsoon rain will come.  Yes.  Klimowski, Meteorologist in Charge at the National Weather Service office in Flagstaff, made that joke during a monthly webinar on the topic of Arizona’s ongoing drought conditions Thursday.  He just can't say when.   Arizona's drought map remained unchanged in June, with 97 percent of the state experiencing at least severe drought conditions and about 16 percent falling under the exceptional drought category. And, like this time last month, meteorologists are predicting monsoon rain could begin soon."

Weather-Smart Electric Grids Are Needed for Wind and Solar Power to Surge

More from Scientific American: "The wind power boom in the Pacific Northwest's Columbia River Gorge is both a renewable energy success story and a cautionary tale. Engineers packed the gorge with thousands of wind turbines that power two million to three million homes. The carbon-free energy, however, regularly causes migraines for operators at the Bonneville Power Administration, based in Portland, Ore., who manage the regional electricity grid. Changing weather shifts winds across the broad span of turbines, creating huge power swings. The havoc is multiplied by Mount Hood, which towers over the gorge and divides the prevailing winds like a big boulder in a stream. The wake from the split meanders through the gorge's wind farms, causing output to spike and slump. For Bonneville, it is akin to a big nuclear power plant on a dimmer switch, with power swinging up and down."

Offshore Wind Could Finally Start to Catch on in the US

More from Earther: "There’s a huge amount of energy blowing in the wind right offshore, but America has been slow to take advantage of it, with just one small offshore wind farm in U.S. waters. But that may soon be changing.  Last month, Massachusetts selected an 800 megawatt (MW) offshore wind project to power about 400,000 homes off Martha’s Vineyard, while Rhode Island announced a 400 MW project in the same general area. Around the same time, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy committed to a whopping 3,500 MW of offshore wind by 2030—the largest state pledge to date.  Massachusetts as well as other states like New York have rolled out ambitious offshore wind targets in recent years too, and even the federal government has made some tentative nods of approval. On Tuesday, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources had a surprisingly harmonious discussion of a bill aimed at boosting offshore wind through job training programs. In April, oil-loving Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said there was an “enormous opportunity” blowing in the wind offshore."


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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