Friday, May 28, 2010

A Better Than Average Holiday Weekend

More crazy coincidences:

* According to Pete Boulay at the MN State Climatology Office the spring of 2010 will probably go into the record books as the warmest on record.

* So far 2010 is the warmest on record, globally.

* Over the next 72 hours most towns will pick up less than 2-3 hours of rain.

* Today: hottest, sunniest day - best day for the lake.

* Few isolated severe storms possible later today over the western third of MN.

* Jacket/sweatshirt weather up north by Monday morning, wake-up temperatures in the 40s.

"Tornadogenesis." Witness the formation of a small, brief tornado near Tribune, Kansas. One necessary attribute for tornado-chasing: patience. A clip worth watching is here.

Friday Memories. NWS data show a Friday high of 91 in Redwood Falls, 86 in St. Cloud and 85 in the Twin Cities. Tell that to folks up in Grand Marais, where the high was a chilly 62. T-storms rumbled across far northern MN, .26" rain reported at International Falls.

We made it - we endured, we schlepped through another work-week, daydreaming about the (holiday) weekend to come, and it's here. And for some quirky, head-scratching reason the weather is going to cooperate - well, for the most part. Compared to Memorial Day weekends gone by, this one will be considerably better than average, photo-worthy skies, dry weather the vast majority of the 3-day weekend, a temperature for every Minnesotan.

What do I mean by that? If you like it hot (and breezy) you'll love today, enough sun for highs in the mid 80s to near 90 (south/west of the MN River). Lug along sunscreen AND a little Dramamine if you're heading out to your favorite lake - winds blowing from the south will gust as high as 25 to 30 mph, a bit choppy, especially afternoon hours. It will feel more like late July than late May, THE BEST DAY for the lake, pool or golf course. The best news: in spite of the heat dew points will hold in the 40s, possibly rising into the low 50s, meaning it should still feel very comfortable out there - nothing like last Monday's steam-bath.

Storms? Yes, but mainly over far western Minnesota by the afternoon/evening hours, and a small percentage could be severe, with large hail and damaging wind gusts. Some watches may be issued later today from Windom north to Detroit Lakes, Moorhead, Thief River Falls and Hallock - if you're hanging out in the far western part of Minnesota, you may be under the gun by Saturday evening. Stay alert for possible watches/warnings.

Saturday Severe Risk. According to SPC a few isolated severe storms may blossom over far western Minnesota, forming out ahead of an eastbound cool front. Expect some watches/warnings later today, mainly north/west of Alexandria.

Sunday will be a transition-day as a cool front pushes in from the Dakotas, the risk of showers and embedded T-storms shifting east as the day goes on. Brainerd Lakes area may see a couple hours of (hard) rain by midday, the risk increases by mid afternoon on 'Tonka and White Bear lake, storms not rumbling into the Lake Pepin area until the dinner hour. Again, MOST of the day Sunday will be dry, just have a plan B for those 1-3 hours that may be threatening. Expect highs in the 70s, winds gradually shifting around to the west on the backside of that cool front.

The coolest, most comfortable day? Monday, Memorial Day will feel a bit more like mid September, highs holding in the 60s (nipping 70 over southern counties). The sun should be out morning and midday hours with a fresh northwest breeze (10-20 mph) but instability clouds may sprout during the afternoon hours, even a stray sprinkle or (light) shower up north by late afternoon.

Please allow me to summarize:

Hottest/sunniest day: Saturday

Wettest day: Sunday (although T-storms arrive by Saturday night out west)

Coolest day: Monday (northern MN will wake up to 40s - pack a jacket or sweatshirt!)

A Blizzard of Records. Check out one week's worth of records (record highs in red, record warm low temperatures in yellow, record cold in blue, etc). To see an interactive map with details for each record, click here to see Ham Weather's interactive maps.

Hurricane Outlook. "This season could be one of the more active on record." The official hurricane season kicks off June 1, and NHC (National Hurricane Center) meteorologists are expecting a busier-than-average season. Their forecast: 23 named tropical storms (sustained winds at least 39 mph), 8 to 14 hurricanes (74 mph +) with 3 to 7 of those reaching "major" status, sustained winds over 111 mph. What happens when hurricanes reach the oily waters of the Gulf of Mexico? No idea - this scenario has never played out before. More details here. NHC also has a pdf explaining the possible impact of hurricanes on the growing oil spill here.

Rebuttal. According to NewBlues, a popular subscription site that has a unique take on media (and breaking news in general). The one very hairy Dr. James Hansimian is predicting fewer hurricanes. Oh the conflict...

The Perils of Summer. O.K. It's one of the few things we DON'T have to worry about in Minnesota - rip currents. But if you're vacationing on either coast (or even Florida) this is must-viewing - every year hundreds of Americans find themselves flailing away, far from shore, swept up in these fickle currents. The risk of drowning is high if you don't do the right thing. Click here to see the video from ABC News.

Paul's SC Times Outlook for St. Cloud and all of central Minnesota

Today: Sunny, windy and hot. Relatively low humidity. Winds: S 15-30 (choppy on area lakes). Strong/severe T-storms over far western MN by late PM). High: 88

Saturday night: T-storms possible, especially western half of MN. Low: 62

Sunday: Unsettled with increasing clouds, PM shower or T-storm. Winds: West 10-20. High: 75

Memorial Day: Partly sunny, breezy, noticeably cooler. Clouds increase by afternoon, especially up north. Winds: SW 5-15. High: 69

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy, unsettled. High: 67

Wednesday: More clouds than sun, still comfortable. High: 71

Thursday: Partly sunny and mild. High: 73

Friday: Mix of clouds and sun. High: 77