Paul's Outlook for the Twin Cities
Today: Mostly cloudy, cooler, a few light showers or sprinkles (better chance of 2-4 hours of rain across Wisconsin). Winds: N 5-15. High: near 70
Tonight: Patchy clouds, drying out. Low: 56
Wednesday: Partly sunny and milder, a drier day. High: 74
Thursday: Warm sun, feels like late August again. High: near 80
Friday: Sun giving way to increasing clouds. Showers, possible T-storm late. High: 77
Saturday: Cloudy, better chance of rain, possibly significant. High: 71
Sunday: Windy and cooler as showers taper off. High: 66 (falling into the 50s later in the day?)
WRF/NMM Model Output valid 7 pm this evening. This top map shows expected rain falling between 1 pm and 7 pm today, the majority of the showers popping just east of the St. Croix River Valley and along the North Shore of Lake Superior. The temperature graphic shows the mildest weather to our east, over Wisconsin, temperatures steadily dropping the farther west you drive across Minnesota today. Dinnertime temperatures range from low 70s in the Twin Cities to upper 60s (St. Cloud) to mid and upper 50s over far western Minnesota, near the Dakota line, closer to the cold upper-level low, where locals may need a light jacket much of the day.
Mother Nature is teasing us again, flashing a few showers close to home, a mere glimpse of rain, but I don't see any significant rainfall amounts until possibly Saturday, when a surge of southern moisture finally reaches Minnesota. That's right: Saturday appears to be the wettest day in sight. In the meantime most of the showers will push into Wisconsin today, weakening - losing all upper-air support. A storm is in the process of stalling out near Denver (dumping more than 10" of snow above 9,000 feet near Aspen, Colorado), keeping the Mile High City soggy and cool, highs stuck in the 50s. As that storm in the upper atmosphere drifts away from Minnesota (tracking southwestward!) we should see more of the sun Wednesday and Thursday, temperatures rising well into the 70s to near 80. The latter half of the week looks dry, with rain probably holding off until Saturday (see the models below). Rain may linger into Sunday morning/midday, tapering to sprinkles/drizzle by afternoon as winds swing around to the north or northwest, temperatures falling through the 60s into the 50s. No, it doesn't look like an awe-inspiring weekend, but (everyone - in unison)....we need the rain! At the rate we're going this could easily turn into one of the 10 driest Septembers on record for much of Minnesota.
GFS Output for Saturday evening at 7 pm. The map shows surface isobars and expected rainfall, the heaviest amounts showing up as yellows and reds. It's still early, but right now Saturday appears to be the wettest day in sight, the best chance of significant rainfall amounts we've had all September. We're due...
Temperature Trend for December, January and February. Here's the latest long-range outlook from CPC, the Climate Prediction Center in Washington D.C. (part of NOAA). Based almost entirely on El Nino, the warming equatorial water off the coast of Peru and Equator there is a statistical bias toward milder winters over the northern tier states, cooler/wetter weather predicted for much of the southern U.S. One thing that isn't being factored in: sunspots, or a lack thereof. A number of scientists are tracing America's cooler than average summer to a complete dearth of sunspots, the fewest since the 1920. Stay tuned...this is 'gonna get interesting. Place your bets.
Agricultural Summary (thanks to the Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture)
Last week's warm, dry weather allowed small grain producers to bring this
year's harvest closer to completion, according to the USDA, NASS, Minnesota
Field Office. As of Sunday, 86 percent of spring wheat was harvested, an 18
percentage-point increase from last week; while barley was 90 percent
harvested a 12 point gain from one week ago. Nearly 7 days were suitable
for fieldwork, statewide.
Average temperatures ranged from 4 to 15 degrees above normal throughout
the state. No reporting stations recorded any measurable precipitation. As
of Sunday, rainfall amounts were one-half to over 3 inches below normal
over the past four weeks. Topsoil moisture supplies were 53 percent
adequate to surplus, down from 66 percent last week.
Seventy-six percent of corn was at or beyond the dent stage, 20 points
higher than a week ago, but 17 points behind last year and 15 points behind
the five-year average. Four percent of corn was rated mature compared to 16
percent last year and 40 percent average. Forty-nine percent of soybeans
were dropping leaves, up 33 points from last week and one point ahead of
last year's pace. Ten percent of soybeans were rated mature, 3 points ahead
of last year, but 18 points behind average, as harvest began in some areas.
Statewide, 70 percent of corn and 66 percent of soybeans were rated in good
to excellent condition, both down 2 points from a week ago.
Sugarbeet harvest was 8 percent complete with 68 percent of the crop in
good to excellent condition. Potatoes were 37 percent harvested by week's
end. Sweet corn harvest advanced to 83 percent complete. Other crops being
harvested included dry beans at 25 percent and canola at 46 percent