Saturday, May 9, 2009

A day reserved for the favorite mom in your life!

Weather Headlines

* Today: considerably nicer than yesterday. Less wind. Stale morning/midday clouds giving way to PM sunshine.

* 55 degree high Saturday in St. Cloud, "trace" of snow for International Falls.

* Stormier pattern for the next 1-2 weeks, showery Tuesday, heavier rain in the forecast for next weekend?

* Best chance of rain this week: Tuesday, again Friday. Early word for next weekend is encouraging.

* Potential for strong/severe storms Friday of this week.

I want to take this opportunity to send a long-distance Mother's Day greeting to my dear mom of 79 years. This photo was taken on a vacation in Garmisch, Germany last September. Since then her health has deteriorated, but her spirits are still strong. I'm glad I took the trip while she was still healthy enough to travel and my thoughts are with her today, as they are every day. Let me also send my best to mothers statewide; from "fishing widows" to new mom's to grandmothers statewide - none of us take for granted what you do, arguably the toughest job on the planet. You don't get the thanks and recognition you deserve day to day. I hope you have a memorable Sunday; weatherwise it should be something of a treat...MUCH nicer than yesterday!

Sunday midday satellite image showing residual cloudcover over central and east central MN, much of which should burn off as the day goes on. Plan on more sun, less wind, and milder temperatures later today.

It's baaaack.....

(Courtesy of NOAA). a Here is the forecast for Pacific sea surface temperatures looking out through January, 2010, showing an upward trend, a return of "El Nino" conditions. That's right, it's baaaack. Our favorite little meteorological culprit: El Nino, a mysterious, periodic warming of Pacific Ocean water. It's predicted to be a mild to moderate El Nino this time around, and that may correlate with a cooler, somewhat stormier summer and autumn for Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. In the past El Nino winters have tended to be milder, sometimes significantly warmer. If El Nino is real, than odds would (at the very least) favor next winter may be a bit more "kind and gentle" than last winter was. But then again maybe that's just wishful thinking...

Paul's Outlook

Today: Clouds giving way to increasing sunshine, nicer than yesterday. Winds: 57

Tonight: Clearing, cooling off. Low: 38 (isolated patchy frost in some of the coldest outlying suburbs can't be ruled out.

Monday: Partly cloudy and milder. High: 67

Tuesday: Showers, possible thunderstorms. High: 64

Wednesday: Morning showers taper quickly. Windy with a clearing trend. High: 61

Thursday: Plenty of sun, less wind, a fine spring day. High: near 60

Friday: Showers and thunderstorms likely, some heavy/strong. High: 66

Saturday: Damp start, then partly sunny and breezy. High: 63

Sunday (May 17): Sunny start, but clouds increase during the day. Spotty showers late. High: 61

(7:03 pm Saturday evening update) Doppler shows a ragged band of light to moderate (instability) showers forming from near St. Cloud southwest to Willmar and Olivia - the showers are moving southeast at about 30 mph, moving out of the St. Cloud area by 7:30, reaching the western suburbs of the Twin Cities between 7:30 and 8:00pm. Nothing severe is expected, but some towns, especially west of Minneapolis, may experience a 10-20 minute shower later this evening.

(Saturday afternoon update). A surge of dry air sweeping in from the southwest is pushing the thickest clouds to our east, and there will be intervals of sun for a portion of the afternoon, along with a stiff northwest wind (20 mph+ gusts) and a definite whiff of wind chill. An instability shower or sprinkle can't be ruled out by late afternoon, but the vast majority of the time should be chilly. It will feel more like early October than mid May out there...

(No, it won't look this good out there this evening on your favorite lake. But look at the bright side: no horizontal rain, no flurries, no ice pellets, hail or thunder. Heat exhaustion will NOT be a problem, and I doubt you'll come back with a sunburn. Take a jacket and get ready for a taste of late September or early October. We've seen worse!)

Fishing Opener Weather Trivia from the MN State Climatology Office

* Minnesota's Fishing Opener weather is typified by partly cloudy to cloudy skies, morning temperatures in the low 40's, and afternoon temperatures climbing to near 70. Three out of four years are free of measurable precipitation.

* A trace of snow has been reported in northern Minnesota on at least four of the last 56 fishing openers. On at least three occasions, some lakes were still frozen for the opener.

* Generally there is enough wind to be felt on the face, maybe enough to 'fly' a flag. Weather on Minnesota fishing opener dates is highly variable. 56 years of fishing opener weather data are summarized here to offer a glimpse of what is 'typical' and what is 'extreme'.

* Opening day temperatures have started as low as 24 degrees at International Falls (1996,2004), with freezing temperatures possible even in Minneapolis (31 degrees in 1979). On the warm side, St. Cloud saw 92 degrees in 1987, Minneapolis reported 91 in 1987, and International Falls reached 88 in 1977. The average early morning temperature varies from the high 30's in the northeast to the high 40's along the southern border. The average afternoon temperature generally ranges from the mid 60's along the northern border, to the low 70's in the extreme south. Along the shore of Lake Superior, highs are held in the mid 50's.

* Three quarters of past opening days have been free of measurable precipitation. Two thirds of the fishing openers have been free of any precipitation, measurable or not. On those days with measurable rain, the amounts averaged close to a half-inch in the south and a quarter inch in the north. No amounts over one inch were recorded at either St. Cloud or International Falls, while Minneapolis experienced 1.15 in 1962 and 1.64 in 1965.

* Snowfall has generally has been limited to traces. Traces of snow were officially recorded in 1963 and 1993 at International Falls, and in 1968 at St. Cloud. A tenth (.1) of an inch fell at International Falls in 2000.

* Statewide, less than one year in five offers totally clear skies. The average amount of cloudiness lies near that fuzzy boundary between 'partly cloudy' and 'cloudy', but over half of the dates were classified as cloudy.

* Average daily wind speeds generally range between 8 and 15 miles per hour. This range can is described as 'wind felt on face ...' to '... wind extends light flag'. The predominant wind direction is split fairly evenly between blowing from the northwest, south, and east.

* Fog has been reported on the fishing opener, occurring about one year in ten in the south, about one year in six in the north.

* By early to mid May, Minnesota is entering its thunderstorm season. The possibility of thunderstorms is greatest in the south (about one in seven), less in the north (about one in eleven).

Weather Headlines

* Wet, mostly-gray Saturday on tap for most of Minnesota. Steadiest rains move east into Wisconsin.

* Stray PM shower/sprinkle possible, but most of the day should be dry.

* Persistent northwest wind blowing at 10-20 mph, light chop on area lakes.

* Temperature hold in the upper 40s (far northern lakes), low 50s for Gull, Pelican and Whitefish Chain, mid 50s Mille Lacs and upper 50s for Twin Cities lakes.

* Sunday, Mother's Day should be brighter with intervals of sun - less wind expected, temperatures another 5-10 degrees milder.

Paul's Outlook

Saturday: Mostly cloudy with a cool, damp breeze. Slight chance of a passing sprinkle or light shower. Winds: NW 10-20. High: 55

Saturday night: Lingering clouds, chilly. Low: 38

Sunday: Better and brighter for Mom. Partly sunny and milder with less wind. High: 61

Monday: More clouds than sun, breezy. Isolated shower possible. High: 66

Tuesday: Fading sun, milder - showers, even a T-storm later in the day. High: near 70

Wednesday: Showers taper, turning windy with gradual clearing. High: 65

Thursday: Bright sun, very pleasant. High: 67

Friday: Sun giving way to increasing clouds. High: 72

Saturday: Showers, possible thunder, wetter day of the weekend. High: 69, falling temperatures by PM.

Sunday (May 17): Sun returns, probably the better day of the weekend. High: 66

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