Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Moderate Metro Drought

Weather Headlines

* High of 63 on Tuesday, only 66 in the Twin Cities: temperatures about 5-10 degrees cooler than average for May 26.

* In spite of Tuesday's cooler front May temperatures still about 2-3 degrees above normal.

* Lingering moisture in the lowest few thousand feet of the atmosphere will mean a gray start, sprinkles and a light shower can't be ruled out, especially south of the Minnesota River during the morning - skies brighten by afternoon with a chance of spying the setting sun this evening.

* Dry, pleasantly mild Thursday, highs well into the 70s.

* Slight shower risk Friday, especially early in the day.

* Turning noticeably cooler by Saturday as chilly air leaks southward out of Canada. Pack a jacket if you're heading north to the cabin this upcoming weekend, lows dip into the 40s.

* Weekend showers possible: timing still up in the air. Sunday looks like the wetter day right thing seems fairly certain: it WON'T be as nice as last weekend.

As of May 17 roughly 7" of Minnesota was experiencing moderate drought conditions, a major improvement from last October, when nearly 40% of the state was much too dry. As you can see, the greatest areas of concern are from the Twin Cities metro area on south towards Rochester, Lake City and Winona. In recent weeks the most significant rains (and scattered T-storms) have swept across northern and central counties, largely bypassing southeastern Minnesota. Rainfall deficits of 2-3" for May are quite common in the moderate drought region. If this area picks up significant rain in the next few weeks farmer should still be able to salvage a good crop later this year. It's still a little too early to panic. Elsewhere, from Willmar and St. Cloud north to Little Falls on west to the Dakota line soil moisture is adequate, and if we avoid significant hail (most likely in June) much of Minnesota may be on track for a bumper crop.

Paul's Outlook

Today: Mostly cloudy, a few morning sprinkles - skies slowly brighten this afternoon. Winds: N 5-15. High: 65

Tonight: Partial clearing, seasonably cool. Low: 52

Thursday: Sunshine returns! Possibly the warmest, nicest day of the week. High: near 80

Friday: Early showers, then clearing, starting to cool off. High: 74

Saturday: Partly sunny with a cool breeze. High: 65 (holding in the 50s up north).

Sunday: Clouds increase, growing chance of showers. High: 69

Monday: Unsettled, another shower or two. High: 72

Tuesday: Morning sun, PM clouds, slight shower risk. High: 68

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