Happy 4th of July! We made it, the cold beverages are chilling, plenty of fresh meat in the cooler ready for grilling, bug repellent (check), sunscreen (check - but will we need it?) The short answer is yes, in spite of a gray, damp, questionable start the sun should break through by midday, enough intervals of hazy, murky sun for afternoon highs near 80. Morning showers generally south of the Twin Cities should push toward Chicago and St. Louis, some residual cloudiness possible over the southern third of Minnesota this evening, but (God-willing) nothing falling from the sky tonight around 10 pm. The only booms, thuds and crackles will come from fireworks, not from electrostatic bipolar generators ("thunderstorms", for us mere mortals).
Last night's smear of rain and thunder is streaking rapidly southeast, the weather will (slowly) improve as the day goes on with sunshine on the increase. No sweltering heat, no hideous humidity, nothing severe to chase you indoors later in the day. I always get paranoid on the 4th of July - if anything can go wrong, it usually does, especially on a major holiday. All those (millions) of Minnesotans outdoors, at the mercy of the elements. What a tempting target for Mother Nature! O.K. I'm being medicated, taking deep, cleansing breaths, glancing over at the Doppler for reassurance, hoping for the best.
Every year on the 4th there's a little neighborhood parade that goes past our house, a little impromptu affair, kids with wagons, assorted neighborhood dogs, a rag-tag parade of home aid floats and a few WW II vets, rightfully the center of attention and admiration. Somehow I got "drafted" by my dear wife to participate this year - she's decorated my old 1985 convertible with flags, red, white and blue bunting - she has me wearing some ridiculous Uncle Sam top hat. That's how my day is starting - it can only go downhill from there. Actually I've been drafted to work at WeatherNation, my little weather outsourcing company that provides the video forecasts for Conservation Minnesota, MinnPost.com and other web sites, cable channels and broadcasters around the nation. I was scheduled to take the day off, but my dear friend and colleague, Todd Nelson, who fills in for me on these posts when I'm away, is a proud new papa. Congratulations to Todd, his wonderful wife Sheena, and little Crosby, who entered the world a little more than 1 week early Thursday night, all 6 1/2 pounds of him. All 3 are doing very well, I'm happy to say. Talk about an amazing 4th of July gift!
WRF/NAM Outlook for 7 pm this evening. This is a graphic showing accumulated rain from 1 pm this afternoon through 7 pm this evening, showing the heaviest rains falling over eastern Iowa and Illinois. Showers should drift out of far southern Minnesota, most of the state experiencing dry weather this afternoon and tonight. We hope.
7 pm Predicted Temperatures, showing readings near 80 over much of southern Minnesota, upper 70s farther north. The mercury drops to 70-73 in time for fireworks around 10 pm.
7 pm Relative Humidity and Wind Streamlines. The blue-shaded areas are the highest relative humidity, suggesting patchy clouds may linger over far southern Minnesota during the evening hours, winds blowing from the northwest.
WRF/NAM Outlook for 1 pm tomorrow. As you can see dry weather is predicted over most of Minnesota, the only exception: a few isolated showers or T-showers over far southwestern counties, near Windom and Pipestone.
The sun should be out much of the midday and afternoon hours, odds favor dry weather for the rocket's red glare from 9:30 to 10:30 pm tonight. Hopefully the only thing showing up on the dreaded Doppler will be mosquitoes. I swear some of them are big enough this summer to actually show up on radar! The sun returns much of Sunday, only a small chance of a late-day, instability T-shower around the dinner hour. If the sun stays out most of the afternoon (likely) the mercury may reach low 80s over central and southern counties, a few degrees cooler in lake country up north.
Yes, the weather has been comfortably cool in recent days; we're due for a change in the weather, and - as advertised - next week will sure look and feel more like typical summer weather, highs well up in the 80s each day. In fact I'm fairly confident we'll sample 90 degrees by Wednesday and Thursday, then cooling (slightly) in time for what looks like a very nice stretch of weather next weekend, the weekend of July 11-12. The best chance of thunder? A stray, fleeting storm is possible Tuesday, more numerous, widespread showers and storms Friday ahead of a cooler front. Next Saturday may start out damp, but puddles will quickly vanish, the sun out most of the day Saturday and Sunday. That's right, we may actually salvage 2 (count 'em) TWO dry days in a row - no a weekend! Miraculous.
That's all I've got. Just enough time for a nap before my big, 3 block parade debut, then off to WeatherNation, where I'll slap on (extra) makeup, so I don't scare small children. Tune in later on for the latest fireworks-forecast. Fingers (and eyes) crossed. Right now things look pretty good for the biggest holiday of summer. Have a safe and happy 4th!
Today: Damp start. Clouds giving way to partly sunny conditions. Winds: NW 5-15. High: 79
Tonight: Clear to partly cloudy. Fireworks temperatures holding near 70. Low: 58
Sunday: Sun most of the day, a few degrees warmer. Winds: W/NW 10-20. High: 82
Monday: Generous sun, definitely feels like summer again. High: 85
Tuesday: More humidity, less sun, passing T-storm possible. High: 86
Wednesday: Hot sun, sticky. High: near 90
Thursday: The Dog Days of July. More hot sunshine likely. High: 91
Friday: Unsettled with a good chance of showers/storms. High: 84
Saturday: Damp start, then increasing sunshine. High: 85
Sunday: Plenty of sun, get to a lake, fast! High: 86