Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hot & Thundery

So it boils down to this: either light jackets and drought, or steamy, thundery weather with a slight chance of a tornado? Two fairly unappealing choices. More tornadoes were reported across far southern Minnesota Sunday evening, Kansas-style "supercell" thunderstorms whipping up golf ball size hail and at least 2-4 tornadoes near Manchester and Twin Lakes. The violent storms blossomed along a slow-moving warm frontal boundary, which will push to our north and east today, leaving us in a hazy, hot, humidified airmass - 90 degrees seems likely today, maybe some mid 90s south and west of the Minnesota River Valley. Factor in dew point temperatures near 70 and we may be looking at a heat index in the upper 90s over parts of southwestern MN later today. Yikes.

After a damp, gray start the sun should be out much of today - odds favor any boiling, bubbling thunderheads erupting east of Minnesota across Wisconsin. But a surge of moisture approaching from the south tomorrow may spark more T-storms - the NAM/WRF model prints out nearly 1.5" of rain by Wednesday, so once again, lawn-watering may be optional this week. It looks like the hottest, most uncomfortable weather will come early this week, a more westerly wind flow dropping humidity levels and temperatures back down a little closer to normal levels the latter half of the week.

More showers and storms arrive Friday, followed by a clearing trend in time for what appears to be a mostly sunny, mostly-dry weekend. Highs reach the low 80s Saturday, but cool off a bit for Sunday, possibly holding in the 70s over the northern half of Minnesota. So again, we should get a brief break from the thunder & lightning today, but more storms sweep back into Minnesota Tuesday and Wednesday, probably the two wettest days of the week. Thursday looks dry, with only a smattering of T-storms Friday PM as a cooler, more comfortable front arrives in time for a pretty nice weekend. Fingers crossed that we can salvage a memorable last weekend of June (without any sirens sounding nearby). My fingers (and eyes) are crossed.

SPC outlook for today, showing the greatest risk of severe storms to our south and west, possibly brushing far southwestern counties of Minnesota. Any storms today should be isolated, but more numerous, potentially severe storms return to almost all of Minnesota tomorrow. More watches and warnings are likely statewide on Tuesday.

.56" of rain fell on St. Cloud yesterday, 69" Alexandria, .30" Redwood Falls, .13" at Rochester, but only .03" in the Twin Cities.

Paul's Outlook

Today: Becoming sunny, hazy and hot. An isolated T-storm is possible later today, best chance far southwestern MN. Winds: W/SW 5-15. High: near 90

Tonight: Warm and muggy. Low: 70

Tuesday: Unsettled with showers and T-storms likely, some severe. High: 89

Wednesday: A threatening sky, more showers and scattered storms. High: 86

Thursday: Sunshine returns, a quieter day. High: 87

Friday: Sunny start, a few PM T-storms rumble into town. High: 84

Saturday (June 27): Breezy with plenty of sun, less humidity. High: 85

Sunday: Mix of clouds and sun, more comfortable. High: 81 (holding in the 70s up north).

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