Monday, June 8, 2009

Rapid Drying

Well, if you check the forecast (often) you knew it was going to rain (hard) late last night into the morning hours today. Computer models were all over the place in terms of rainfall amounts, some 3" deluges were predicted for the Twin Cities, with generally under an inch for the St. Cloud area. How much fell? Here are some amounts as of 9 am:

St. Cloud: .67"
Crystal: .63"
MSP Airport: .49"
Eden Prairie: .49"
St. Paul: .62"
Redwood Falls: 1.17"

Doppler rainfall estimates of 1-2" were commonplace south of the Twin Cities, toward Rochester, Mankato and Cannon Falls. Coupled with Saturday's rain this latest stormy binge certainly helped our drought situation, especially south of the Minnesota River, but my hunch is that at least moderate drought conditions will continue across much of east central Minnesota, especially northern suburbs of the Twin Cities.

Soil moisture is much improved statewide, we really do seem to be moving into a wetter pattern as of the last 3-5 days. This week will be cooler than average by 5-10 degrees, there are some signs 80+ may return next week, along with a higher risk of severe thunderstorms. It's been amazingly quiet in terms of damaging hail, straight-line winds and tornadoes. June is prime time for severe weather in Minnesota (as well as our wettest month of the year with 4" on average). Things may act up a little more as early as next week.

In the meantime here's a chronology of the T-storms that rumbled across the state during the wee hours of the morning, as captured by MPX Doppler Radar in Chanhassen, MN. The line moved faster than predicted, and that's why rainfall totals weren't as high as some of the models were suggesting.

Here is a brief chronology of last night's storms, starting around 3:30 am.

The loop ends around 7:30 am. The heaviest amounts fell over southern Minnesota (1-2" were commonplace). A few light showers/sprinkles are possible the rest this afternoon, but the heaviest rains are now to our east.

No, the sky didn't look quite this wild earlier today. These clouds (visible over New Zealand) may represent an entirely new cloud type called "Asperatus". For the first time in over 50 years the WMO, the World Meteorological Society, may have to update its Almanac of Clouds. For more on this story from National Geographic click here to read the latest at my weather/climate blog, "ClimateSpot".

Paul's Outlook

This afternoon: Mostly cloudy, passing sprinkle or light shower. Winds: NW 10-15. High: 55

Tonight: Partial clearing, cooling off. Low: 45

Tuesday: Partly sunny, more springlike. High: 65

Wednesday: Sunny start, clouds increase. Showers/T-storms late in the day & night. High: 69

Thursday: Mix of clouds and sun, mild. High: 72

Friday: Some sun, growing chance of a shower/T-storm. High: 76

Saturday: Damp start, then increasingly sunny and pleasant. High: 74

Sunday: Plenty of sun, warmer. Risk of late-day showers/storms. High: 79

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