Thursday Marked The Third Straight 90F+ High At MSP
Thursday marked the third day in a row with a high of at least 90F in the Twin Cities, meaning we are officially in a heat wave. While we just barely didn't tie/break the record for the day in the Twin Cities (92F in 1939), we did see record highs in Fargo and Marquette on Thursday.
Another 90F degree day is expected in the Twin Cities on Saturday as highs approach the record for the day (92F in 1923). While most of the day will feature a mix of sun and clouds to mainly sunny skies, we will once again be watching the chance of pop-up showers and storms scattered across the region in the afternoon/evening hours.
Looking statewide, it's another rinse-and-repeat day on Saturday, similar to the past few days, where pop-up showers and storms capable of heavy rain will occur during the afternoon and evening hours. Otherwise, a mix of sun and clouds to mainly sunny skies are expected. Highs range from the 70s along and near the North Shore to the 80s and low 90s elsewhere.
Several record highs (or near record highs) will be possible across the state as we head through Saturday. The best chances will be in areas like the Twin Cities, St. Cloud, Hibbing, and International Falls - as well as over in parts of Wisconsin and in the Red River Valley.
Sunny, Hot Sunday With Lesser Storm Chances
As we head toward the second half of the weekend, the hot weather sticks around with most areas of Minnesota reaching the 80s and low 90s once again. There won't be as much of a storm chance across the state on Sunday, with the best chance occurring in northern Minnesota near the Canadian border.
Not As Hot Next Week
For those who don't like highs in the 90s (I'm counting myself in this sector), we're still watching a cool down in the forecast as we head into next week. As a cold front sinks south on Monday, bringing us one last good chance of rain for the moment, some Canadian cooler air will also sink south for the middle of the week with an area of high pressure in the Great Lakes. Highs Tuesday and Wednesday will be around 80F before we warm back into the low/mid-80s for the rest of next week and the following weekend.
Abnormally Dry Conditions Expanding Across Minnesota
Over the past week, abnormally dry conditions have quickly expanded across Minnesota. 65.63% of the state is now considered abnormally dry according to the Drought Monitor issued on Thursday, up from 30.4% last week. The amount of the state under Moderate Drought (down in southwestern Minnesota) also slightly increased to 0.84% (up from 0.27%).
Reviewing The "30-30 Rule" for Lightning
By Paul Douglas
During an average year 270 Americans are struck by lightning. Roughly 1 in 10 victims succumb to their injuries, and survivors often experience debilitating symptoms for the rest of their lives. The odds of being struck by lightning are less than 1 in a million, but considerably higher in Florida, the "Lightning Capital of the US". Take a bow, Orlando.
You've heard the expression "bolt from the blue"? People have been struck with blue sky overhead, a storm 10 miles away. Which brings me to the "30-30 Rule". If you can count 30 seconds between the flash and the bang, head inside. Then wait 30 minutes after the last thunderclap before resuming outdoor activities. This will lower your risk of an "enlightening experience".
An isolated T-storm is possible later today, but most of us won't get wet. Highs nudge 90F the next 2-3 days with a mostly-dry Sunday, statewide.
Cooler Canadian air filters south of the border, providing some relief next week. That's right, a cool front is now "80s". That was sudden.
Paul's Extended Twin Cities Forecast
SATURDAY: Hot sun, isolated T-storm. Wake up 70. High 90. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind SE 7-12 mph.
SUNDAY: Sunny and hot. Probably dry. Wake up 70. High 92. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind E 5-10 mph.
MONDAY: Clouds increase, stray T-shower. Wake up 69. High 89. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind NE 7-12 mph.
TUESDAY: Morning shower, then clearing, cooler. Wake up 64. High 81. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind E 10-20 mph.
WEDNESDAY: Comfortable sunshine, lower humidity. Wake up 57. High 78. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind SE 5-10 mph.
THURSDAY: Sunny and warmer. Wake up 54. High 82. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind S 5-10 mph.
FRIDAY: Clouds increase, isolated shower. Wake up 60. High 85. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind SW 7-12 mph.
Minneapolis Weather Almanac And Sun Data
*Length Of Day: 15 hours, 25 minutes, and 16 seconds
*Daylight GAINED Since Yesterday: 1 minute and 17 seconds
*Most Sunlight In A Day: June 21st (15 hours, 36 minutes, 51 seconds)
*Earliest Sunrises Of The Year: June 13th-17th (5:25 AM)
*Earliest Sunsets Of The Year: June 21st-July 2nd (9:03 PM)
This Day in Weather History
1955: Seven people are killed on Lake Traverse when their boat is overturned by strong winds from a thunderstorm.
National Weather Forecast
More pop-up showers and storms are expected on Saturday across the central portion of the nation. We will also see some shower and storm potential with a nearby frontal boundary in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic, and a few storms still will be possible in Florida due to nearby Arlene.
Heavy rain will pummel parts of Montana and the Southern Plains from Friday through Sunday, with rainfall amounts of 3"+ possible that could lead to flooding.
Arlene will continue to sag southward and weaken over the next day or so, being ripped apart by upper-level winds. No landfall is expected.
Wildfire 'smelling sensors' could help first responders protect at-risk communities
More from Smart Cities Dive: "Oakland, California, is testing a new, high-tech approach to protect residents from wildfires — 10 sensors, strategically located in areas where human development meets wilderness, that can detect fires and immediately notify the city's fire department. "Just like we have commercial and residential fire alarms that notify dispatch, whether it be directly or through third parties, these sensors do the exact same thing," Oakland Fire Chief Reginald Freeman said in a video posted on Twitter last week, a day after a press conference announcing the two-year pilot program. The Oakland initiative is one piece of a larger effort by the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate to determine how environmental sensors can help prepare first-responder communities nationwide for climate and natural disasters, said Jeff Booth, director of the directorate's Sensors and Platforms Technology Center, in an interview."
More from Politico: "Last year was the year of the Inflation Reduction Act. It was also the year of decline in new renewable energy installations in the U.S. Supply chain constraints, interconnection issues and policy uncertainty resulted in significant delays in clean power projects coming online, according to a report from the American Clean Power Association. Last year saw 15 percent fewer installations compared with 2021, making it the first time in five years that industry experienced a decline. Solar accounted for 68 percent of the delayed capacity, due primarily to trade restrictions making it difficult to source panels. Those delays underscore the need to speed up the permitting process for clean energy projects, the trade group argued. The setbacks have continued into this year. The first quarter of 2023 saw a 36 percent drop in installations compared with last year, marking the slowest start to a year since 2020. Maintaining last year's project installation volume through 2035 would provide only 30 percent of what's needed to reach a net-zero grid by then, the report said."
Xcel will reassess investments in Minnesota after regulators' rate hike decision
More from the Star Tribune: "Xcel Energy said it will reconsider significant investments in Minnesota after state regulators on Thursday approved a three-year rate increase that was much less than what the the state's largest utility wanted. The Minnesota Public Utility Commission (PUC) approved the $306 million — or 9% — increase, which also was less than the state Department of Commerce and an administrative law judge recommended. Xcel was most recently asking for $440 million over three years. ... The utility filed a petition late Thursday asking the PUC to withdraw its $330 million Clean Transportation Portfolio proposal. The centerpiece of that plan would have Xcel building and owning 730 electric vehicle fast chargers in Minnesota, which would make the state home to the largest utility-owned charging system in the country."
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- D.J. Kayser