Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Instant hot front - record high for MSP!

Weather Headlines - an amazing day of extreme weather across the Gopher State!

* Record 93 in the Twin Cities (old record was 89, set in 1977 and 1978). Avg. high for this date: 71. Mora (far north metro: 50s all day!)

* Wind advisory posted for gusts over 40 mph. One of the reasons for the extreme heat: "compressional warming". As air descends it dries out and warms rapidly - today's strong winds at the surface may have compounded the warming effect.

* 100 degrees this afternoon at Granite Falls! 99 at Owatonna.

* 34 degrees at Grand Marais, nearly a 70 degree temperature temperature contrast across the state - amazing.

* Temperatures reach the 80s again Wednesday, 90 not out of the question close to home.

* Next cool front arrives early Thursday with a few hours of showers, possible thunder. Computer models predicting chance of .10 to .25" of rain.

* Southern moisture forecast to slide off to our south across Nebraska and Iowa until Monday. Odds favor sunny, dry weather much of Saturday and Sunday.

* Scattered showers/T-storms move in Monday, Memorial Day, but most of the day still looks dry.

* Weak tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico will probably encounter to much wind shear aloft to strengthen into Tropical Storm Ada.

This photo brought back some fond memories. I remember it well, my little kids teaching me how to fish, the correct way to hold the rod and reel, how to put a lure or live bait on the hook. It was only yesterday....

There is growing angst about the holiday weekend weather, but so far so good. You should be mildly optimistic about the weather, with sunshine much of Saturday and Sunday, Memorial Day may bring a few hours of rain (and thunder), keeping your favorite fishing hole a few degrees cooler, but remember, a little rain and a falling barometer is good for catching monster-walleye. At least that's what the pros like the Lindner brothers up in Brainerd keep telling me. We'll keep you posted on that rapidly evolving holiday weekend weather.

Paul's Outlook

Tonight: Wind Advisory for gusts over 40 mph this evening. Partly cloudy, unusually mild for mid May. Low: 64

Wednesday: Hot hazy sun, summer-like again. Isolated late-day showers far north. High: near 90

Thursday: Showers and possible thunder early, PM clearing, cooler. High: near 70

Friday: Mix of clouds and sun. High: 68

Saturday: looks like the better day right now. Partly sunny and mild. High: 71

Sunday: Lingering sun, still lukewarm, probably dry. High: 73

Monday (Memorial Day): More clouds, a bit cooler and unsettled. Risk of a shower or T-storm, especially PM hours. High: near 70

Note: I'm coming clean. I have to be honest with you. I'm out east for a couple of days, watching my son "graduate" from his Plebe (freshman) year at the Naval Academy. He's had a pretty tough year, and I'm here showing him a little fatherly love and moral support. Through the magic of the Internet and a laptop that works much of the time I can still check Doppler radar, current weather the various models and keep an eye on Minnesota's spastic weather patterns. Today was hotter than expected (I updated the high to 85, which I thought was a stretch). The dry air overhead heated rapidly, reaching a record of at least 93 (as of 4 pm). That smashes the old record of 89, set most recently on this date in 1978. While the south metro cooked, folks up in Mora (far northern Metro) were wandering around in light jackets, highs in the 50s under a sunny sky. Tomorrow may be nearly as hot: 90 possible once again. The only significant chance of rain all week comes Thursday morning. Tomorrow you'll be able to head out the door in shorts (if you can get away with it). The computer models can't seem to decide which day of the weekend will be wetter: they keep flip-flopping back and forth, now it appears that Monday may be the partly-thundery day. Nothing severe is brewing, and with a little planning and luck you should be able to salvage most of our outdoor plans this upcoming weekend, which is a big one, I know. Saturday and Sunday look like the 2 best days here locally, and up north at the cabin, with ample sun, and temperatures pretty close to normal for this date. Most of Memorial Day looks dry, with only a few hours of showers and possible storms, the best chance of a little rain coming far northern and western counties. The barometer will be falling, which may help your luck out on your favorite luck. Yes, the water is cold, but the air should be lukewarm most of the holiday weekend, and with any luck the fish will be biting.


This is one of the crazy traditions at the U.S. Naval Academy during commissioning week, an event called "Herndon". All 1,000+ Plebes (first year students) compete to try to climb an obelisk, a rock solid pillar that has been greased down with lard. The goal: take down a Plebe hat at the top of the obelisk and replace it with a cap (this year it was the cap of a Plebe who died after contracting meningitis). My son, Brett, is somewhere near the bottom of the pile of bodies. They literally stand on each others shoulders (heads and various other body parts) making a human pyramid until one brave, borderline crazy Plebe reaches the very top, nearly 30 feet above the ground. On Monday they accomplished this feat in a potentially record-breaking time of 1 hour, 14 minutes. Tomorrow I watch the Blue Angels practice their amazing air show in the skies above Annapolis, Maryland. The Plebes graduate officially on Friday, when they are "Plebes no more" and move on to become "Youngsters" (sophomores). I'm still trying to get some of the Naval lingo down, so please forgive me if I've mangled some of the terminology. It's more confusing than meteorology....

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