Another Toasty Day Ahead Friday
Wednesday marked the 16th day this year with a high of at least 90F in the Twin Cities (tied for the 28th most to date on record). Friday will be the 17th day this year as highs climb into the low 90s after starting off in the 60s under mainly sunny skies. Heat index values will be a touch higher as we head through the afternoon hours as dewpoints climb into the low 60s. Breezy southerly winds could gust up to 25 mph.
Most locations across the state will climb into the 80s and 90s on Friday (but stay stuck in the 70s along the North Shore for events like Tall Ships in Two Harbors and the Fisherman's Picnic in Grand Marais). A few showers/storms will be possible during the afternoon in northern parts of the state, with more storms popping in western Minnesota during the evening (a few of those could be strong - more in a moment on that).
Once you add in dewpoints in the 60s across southern Minnesota, it'll feel a touch warmer than the air temperature during the afternoon and evening hours.
First image: Forecast loop from 1 PM Friday to 1 AM Saturday.
A few of the storms in western Minnesota later Friday afternoon into the evening hours could be strong to severe. A Marginal Risk (threat level 1 of 5) is in place for a hail and wind threat.
Storms Possible This Weekend
As a cold front slides in on Saturday, we will be watching the potential of storms here in the metro - mainly from the afternoon hours onward. A few of these storms could also be on the strong side. Storm chances will continue into Sunday as well as cooler air moves in. On Sunday highs are likely to only be in the 70s.
As mentioned above, a few storms Saturday into Saturday night could be on the strong side with a Marginal Risk of severe weather (threat level 1 of 5) in place across southern Minnesota from the metro southward. Hail and wind will be the main concerns along with heavier rain.
Rain potential through 7 AM Monday.
I am hopeful that the rain this weekend will be beneficial here across southern Minnesota. Some of our models are showing the potential of over an inch of rain across central and southern Minnesota through the weekend.
Drought Expands Again Over The Past Week
Left: Last week's drought monitor released on July 28th. Right: This week's drought monitor released on August 4th.
Unfortunately, there continues to be bad news in the drought monitor over this past week, as we have seen an expansion of drought across southern Minnesota. Severe Drought now extends westward to Redwood County and has expanded northward to cover much more of the Twin Cities metro. We have also observed an expansion north and west of the Moderate Drought. Breaking down the numbers:
- Severe Drought cover 4% of the state (1.5% last week)
- Moderate Drought cover 13.8% of the state (7% last week)
- Abnormally dry conditions cover 34.2% of the state (30% last week)
Hopefully the rain in the forecast this weekend occurs and we can at least put a halt to this expansion.
Lake Superior is colder this summer, onshore and off
More from the Star Tribune: "University of Minnesota Duluth large lakes researcher Jay Austin told the students he was bringing out to work on Lake Superior this week to pack some winter gear: Despite the August heat, it was going to be chilly 50 miles off Grand Marais. "It's been a remarkably cold year," he said of the lake, and scientists aren't entirely sure why. His group is working on UMD's Blue Heron research vessel, collecting equipment in 600 feet of water that's been monitoring temperatures and currents for a year. He expects to find answers to the unusual cold in that data. One metric that illustrates the unusual temperatures is the point in summer that a layer of the lake reaches 39 degrees. That's when the lake is able to form a warmer layer at the surface. The open waters of Lake Superior typically reach that temperature in late June or early July. As of early this week, that still hadn't happened in the deep central and eastern parts of the lake, Austin said, putting conditions on par with the extremely cold years of 2014 and 1996. Although this past winter was a frigid one, it wasn't as severe as either of those years, he said."
Be Still My Heart: A Weekend Soaking?
By Paul Douglas
From drought to flood in the meteorological twinkle of an eye? It is theoretically possible for parts of southern Minnesota by Sunday. The best chance of a healthy soaking since early June is shaping up for the weekend as a frontal boundary stalls over southern Minnesota. A resulting atmospheric scuffle will spark a few waves of showers and T-storms from tonight into Sunday afternoon. Many thirsty lawns and fields will pick up 1-2" of rain. ECMWF (European) guidance prints out nearly 3" over the southwest suburbs of the Twin Cities. That may be overly optimistic, but I'm encouraged by what I'm seeing.
It can't come a moment too soon. Moderate drought is reported from St. Cloud to Mankato, eastward into the St. Croix River Valley, with severe drought centered on the south metro.
Comfortable 70s early next week give way to more 80s the latter half of the week. More heat and humidity ahead.
Data suggests that recent flooding in Kentucky (9" in 12 hours) was America's deadliest non-tropical flood in 45 years.
Paul's Extended Twin Cities Forecast
FRIDAY: Hot sun. T-storms tonight. Wake up 68. High 92. Chance of precipitation 40%. Wind S 10-20 mph.
SATURDAY: Few showers and T-storms. Wake up 75. High 85. Chance of precipitation 80%. Wind SW 7-12 mph.
SUNDAY: Waves of T-storms, locally heavy rain. Wake up 68. High 74. Chance of precipitation 90%. Wind N 10-20 mph.
MONDAY: Partly sunny and comfortable. Wake up 57. High 76. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind NW 8-13 mph.
TUESDAY: Sunny and mild. Wake up 59. High 81. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind W 8-13 mph.
WEDNESDAY: Warm sunshine. Wake up 65. High 85. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind NW 5-10 mph.
THURSDAY: Sunny and warmer. Wake up 67. High 88. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind S 8-13 mph.
Minneapolis Weather Almanac And Sun Data
*Length Of Day: 14 hours, 30 minutes, and 52 seconds
*Daylight LOST Since Yesterday: 2 minutes and 31 seconds
*When Do We Drop Below 14 Hours Of Daylight?: August 17 (13 hours, 58 minutes, 36 seconds)
*When Does The Sun Start Rising At/After 7 AM?: September 22nd (7:00 AM)
*When Does The Sun Start Setting At/Before 8:30 PM?: August 8th (8:29 PM)
This Day in Weather History
1904: A Detroit Lakes woman is hit by lightning. It melts her hairpins and the steel in her corset, but does not kill her.
National Weather Forecast
A frontal boundary on Friday extending from the central Plains to the Northeast will continue to produce the potential of showers and thunderstorms. Another frontal boundary from the Northern Plains to the western United States will also produce storm chances. More monsoonal rain is expected across the Southwestern states, and some storms will be possible near the Gulf Coast.
While a lot of the lower 48 could see rainfall over the next few days, the heaviest will likely fall across portions of the Mississippi Valley, Ohio Valley, and Gulf Coast, with 2-3" of rain possible in some of these areas.
Xcel's $300M electric vehicle plan includes 730 high-speed chargers in Minnesota
More from the Star Tribune: "Anchored with a huge buildout of fast charging stations, Xcel Energy on Tuesday unveiled a plan to spend $300 million to greatly expand its electric vehicle presence in Minnesota. Minneapolis-based Xcel, in a filing with Minnesota utility regulators, proposed building 730 new fast-charging stations across Minnesota during the next several years — an investment alone of about $170 million. It also would operate those chargers. While other charging station initiatives are underway in the state, none comes close to Xcel's proposal. Currently, Minnesota only has about 55 public DC fast-charging stations, though there are at least another 20 supercharging stations for Tesla owners."
New report quantifies the costs of buying a home that has previously flooded
More from Grist: "Americans take a lot of factors into consideration before buying a new home: Is it in a good school district, how many bathrooms does it have, does it have good bones? New research shows people should also be asking about their home's flood history, because the wrong answer could be costly. A new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, or NRDC, shows that people who buy homes with a history of flooding in three U.S. states — North Carolina, New Jersey, and New York — can expect to pay tens of thousands more dollars in flood damages over the course of their mortgage than the average homeowner. The solution for prospective homebuyers appears to be straightforward: Make sure you take a look at the property's flood history before signing your name on the dotted line. But in most U.S. states, including North Carolina and New Jersey, state laws don't require sellers to disclose whether a home has flooded in the past. In New York, such a requirement exists, but sellers can bypass it by paying a $500 fee."
New technology can help combat climate crisis
More from Northumbria University: "Scientists have created a novel technology that can help to tackle climate change and address the global energy crisis. Northumbria University's Dr Shafeer Kalathil is among a team of esteemed academics behind the project, which uses a chemical process that converts sunlight, water and carbon dioxide into acetate and oxygen to produce high-value fuels and chemicals powered by renewable energy. As part of the process, bacteria are grown on a synthetic semiconductor device known as a photocatalyst sheet, which means that the conversion can take place without the assistance of organic additives, creation of toxins or use of electricity."
- D.J. Kayser