(Update: 4:45 pm) The narrow band of light showers is now pushing into Wisconsin, nothing but "dead clouds" left behind, covering the entire state. It'll be a good afternoon to ignore the weather outside, clouds lingering, temperatures a good 15 degrees cooler than yesterday as a light breeze blows from the north. Even though it looks threatening out there we don't expect any significant rain, so after-school activities and assorted ball games should come off without a hitch. Did we ever luck out over the Memorial Day weekend or what? Amazingly good luck.
* Memorial Day high temperatures ranged from 84 at Redwood Falls to 78 in the Twin Cities, 77 at St. Cloud, and a chilly, rainy 58 degrees at International Falls.
* The same front that sparked moderate/heavy rain & T-storms over far western and northwestern MN yesterday is weakening, showers are now to our east, moving away from the Twin Cities.
* Wind shift to the north means afternoon temperatures 10-15 degrees cooler than yesterday.
* Drier Wednesday, residual moisture may spark an isolated shower, most of the area stays dry.
* Mild Thursday on tap, but cooler, Canadian air pushes south by late-week.
* Canadian high pressure promises a relatively cool Saturday, in spite of sunny intervals highs may not climb out of the 50s (north) and 60s (south).
* Growing chance of showers/thunder by Sunday PM as milder air tries to return.
* Long-range computer guidance hinting at a string of 80s next week as more summerlike weather returns to Minnesota.
(Latest high-res 1 km. visible satellite image shows a layer of stubborn, stale "dead clouds", capable of blotting out the sun, keeping us 10-15 degrees cooler than we would be otherwise, but no producing any rain or drizzle for the most part). This residual moisture will linger into part of Wednesday - we can't rule out a shower or sprinkle through the period, especially south of the Twin Cities).
How's this for going out on a shaky limb? The CPC, Climate Prediction Center, a division of NOAA in Washington D.C. is predicting a slightly cooler than average summer for much of Minnesota and the Dakotas. Based on sea surface temperature trends (a developing El Nino, a slow warming trend of equatorial Pacific Ocean water) and prevailing jet stream winds circulating around the Northern Hemisphere, there is a slight tendancy toward cooler than normal conditions close to home for the months of June, July and August. During an average summer we experience at least 13-14 days above 90 degrees. It's entirely possible we'll have fewer (stinking hot) days this summer, maybe 8-10, if you believe the guidance. If you have your heart set on a hot, blazing summer I would't worry too much - in spite of best efforts these long range 90 day forecasts are not terribly accurate. Time will tell.
The same 90-Day Outlook suggests that precipitation amounts are literally a flip of a coin, a 50-50 chance of near normal rainfall - potentially good news for Minnesota's farmers, and anyone with a lawn or garden. Considering southestern Minnesota is still suffering through a moderate drought, I find the last summer forecast vaguely reassuring.
Today: More clouds than sun, cooler with little more than a passing shower or sprinkle. Winds: N 5-10. High: 66
Tonight: Patchy clouds, cooler than average. Low: 50
Wednesday: Intervals of sun, slight chance of an isolated shower (most of the area stays dry). High: 68
Thursday: Mostly sunny and milder. High: 76
Friday: Mix of clouds and sun, breezy, turning cooler. High: 69
Saturday: Partly cloudy, cool for late May. High: 66 (holding in the 50s over northern lakes).
Sunday: Sunny start, then increasing clouds. Chance of PM showers/T-storms. High: 67
Monday: Better chance of showers and T-storms, humid. High: 73
Tuesday: Some sun, warming up. High: near 80
NWS Data for Memorial Day
MAX/MIN TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION TABLE FOR MINNESOTA
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
723 PM CDT MON MAY 25 2009
VALUES REPRESENT 12 HOUR HIGH...18 HOUR LOW
AND PRECIPITATION OVER THE LAST 24 HOURS
SNOW FALL OVER THE LAST 24 HOURS AND SNOW DEPTH AT 6PM
: STATION MAX MIN 24-HR
: NAME TEMP TEMP PCPN
AXN : ALEXANDRIA MN ARPT : 79 / 57 / 0.00
STC : ST CLOUD MN ARPT : 77 / 51 / 0.00
MSP : MINNEAPOLIS MN ARPT : 78 / 55 / 0.00
RWF : REDWOOD FALLS MN ARPT : 84 / 61 / 0.00
DLH : DULUTH AIRPORT : 64 / 46 / 0.00
INL : INTERNATIONAL FALLS : 58 / 47 / 0.12
HIB : HIBBING ARPT : 68 / 38 / 0.00
GNA : GRAND MARAIS MN : 55 / 42 / 0.00
RST : ROCHESTER MN ARPT : 73 / 49 / 0.00