Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Welcome Dose of Sunshine

Saturday Weather Almanac. High: 67, Low: 56, Rainfall: 0"

Paul's Outlook

Today: Plenty of sun, less wind, low humidity, slightly cooler than average. Winds: SW 5-10. High: 78

Tonight: Mostly clear and cool. Low: 55

Monday: Warm sun most of the day. Showers and T-storms arrive late Monday night. High: 82

Tuesday: Unsettled with a lingering shower or storm around town. High: near 80

Wednesday: More sun, fewer clouds - Isolated T-shower, especially far southern MN. High: 82

Thursday: Intervals of sun, temperatures near normal for a change. High: 83

Friday: Clouds increase, late-day thunderstorm possible. High: 81

Saturday: Cooler with more clouds, slight shower risk, especially PM hours. High: 77

Sunday: Mix of clouds and sun, cooler than average. High: 76

WRF/NMM Precipitation Outlook, from 1 am to 7 am Tuesday morning. The model is printing out about .40" for St. Cloud, but closer to 1" for the Twin Cities metro. I'm a bit skeptical - the models have been consistently over-predicting rain so far this summer; this upcoming front will probably be no exception.

GFS Outlook for next Sunday, July 26. Long-range models are hinting at a pretty good chance of showers and scattered T-storms Saturday, especially over the southeastern half of Minnesota, a better chance PM hours Saturday, especially closer to Wisconsin. Although it's admittedly early Sunday appears to be the drier day, with partly sunny skies, temperatures probably holding in the 70s.

Showery weather will hang on from late Monday night into Wednesday morning, the heaviest, steadiest rains probably passing off to our south and east (again). We dry out a bit during the day Wednesday and Friday, before a series of clipper-like disturbances racing southeastward out of Canada spark a few, mainly late-day showers and storms late Friday, again Saturday. The confidence level (this far out) is low, so tune in (every 15 minutes would be nice) for updates as we fine-tune the forecast for the last weekend of July. How did THAT happen?

Rainfall (Departure from Normal) Since June 1, courtesy of NOAA's Midwestern Regional Climate Center at the Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, IL. The driest counties of Minnesota stretch from the Twin Cities westward to St. Cloud, Willmar and Mankato. Much of the Minnesota Arrowhead is also running a rainfall deficit of as much as 3-4". The driest part of the Twin Cities: east metro, also experiencing a 3-4" deficit, although I've heard other figures that place the deficit in moisture closer to 6" since April 1.

Summer Statistics

The National Weather Service has put together a nice page of updated statistics, showcasing how cool and dry we've been since June 1. For all the details click here.

A Few Highlights (or low-lights, as the case may be):

Twin Cities Temperatures: 1.5 degrees F. cooler than average

Twin Cities Rainfall since June 1: 2-3" drier than average (eastern suburbs of St. Paul are 3-4" drier than average since June 1).

Days with thunder/lightning so far this summer: 11 (normal as of July 18 is 23).

Various Tornado and Warning Statistics

First Minnesota Tornado: June 17th (3rd Latest Since '50)

First Minnesota Tornado Warning: June 17th (3rd Latest Since At Least 1986)

First Warning For the Twin Cities Metro: June 17th (Latest Since At Least 1986)

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