Only in Minnesota can one be wandering the streets in shorts, while cloaked in a heavy jacket. Weren’t we in the 90s last week with blowing dust? Today the mercury barely budged, holding near 50 under a gray, melancholy sky that did leak a little rain south and east of St. Paul. ‘Tis the season for Closet Angst. Do I go with the Tommy Bahama shorts and short sleeve shirt and? Or dig a little deeper and pull out the undershirt, long-sleeve woolen shirt and a fresh pair of warm socks?
Meteorologists (myself included) love to babble about the “normal high” or the “average precipitation” for a given date. It’s a statistical myth. There is no such thing as “average weather”, especially here in the Super Bowl of Weather. We tend to ricochet from one extreme to the next, a typical temperature trend looks like an the silhouette of the most gut-wrenching ride at Universal Park in Orlando. Why do we even mention the term? Because we crave perspective, we want to know how unusual a given day is, compared to the alleged norm. It’s somehow comforting to realize that Wednesday’s highs were 20 degrees “below normal” for May 27. It helps us cope, it gives us ammunition for the water cooler, something to Twitter about to friends and family in other (duller) corners of our great nation. Face it, we have Boasting Rights for America. Minnesotans don’t like to brag, unless it’s chatter about the weather, the impossible climate we endure (more like wrestle into submission) much of the year. That’s why people’s eyes get a little bigger when you tell them you’re from Minnesota. Normal conversation skips a bit, people often pause, blink, and stare.
“You live in Minnesota?” Yeah. -30 wind chill in the winter. 100 isn’t unusual in the summer. Hail, high water, tornadoes, floods, blizzards, wind chill, blowing dust, fog, ice, thunder, lightning. Sometimes all of the above in one day. Yes, Minnesotans know something about climate change. We endure it on a daily basis.
Today will reinvigorate your senses and swell your heart with hope. Any stale morning cloud cover gives way to sunshine, and the mercury in your back yard thermometer should take off like a rocket – 80 not out of the question by late afternoon. A weak clipper-like disturbance may spark a stray shower tomorrow, but most of Friday looks dry, temperatures only a couple degrees cooler.
The weekend forecast is crystallizing, the computers not as contradictory as they were yesterday. I can now predict (with more confidence) that Saturday should be the sunnier, nicer day to hang out at the lake (or mow the lawn). An unusually strong storm near Hudson Bay, Canada will cool down the Great Lakes and New England; Minnesota will be on the edge of any cooling, highs should still top 70 both days of the weekend (holding in the 60s up north at the cabin). An eastbound front will shove a few showers across Minnesota Sunday, even an embedded T-storm. It won’t rain all day, but a couple hours of showers are possible during the midday and afternoon hours.
We cool down slightly early next week, and then warm the latter half of the week. Long-range guidance hinting at another outbreak of showers and thundershowers Thursday into Saturday. In fact I wouldn’t be shocked to see the first severe weather outbreak in nearly 2 weeks set up by Friday or Saturday of next week as a vigorous frontal boundary sets up nearby, moisture streaming north out of the Gulf of Mexico. We are overdue for severe weather, one benefit of our current dry spell across much of the state. At some point our luck will run out. I always get nervous in June, with all the outdoor weddings, graduation parties and expeditions up to the cabin. June is historically a). the wettest month of the year and b). the month with the greatest risk of hail and tornadoes. Hey, go ahead and plan that outdoor wedding. Go for it! What can possible go wrong? Note to self: unless you’ve been unusually lucky your entire life, go ahead and rent the tent. If you rent the tent it won’t rain. If you DON’T rent the tent, you are testing fate and the wedding ceremony may end with a lot of running and screaming. Nothing good can come from that.
• Welcome rerun of sunshine today: 20-25 degrees warmer than yesterday!
• Wednesday: 56 degree high in St. Cloud, 59 at Minneapolis/St. Paul.
• Rochester picks up 1.42″ of rain, enough to put a dent in the moderate drought over southeastern Minnesota.
• 20-40% of Minnesota will see a quick shower Friday (best chance northern counties).
* Saturday: shaping up as the nicer, sunnier day of the weekend.
• Few hours of showers expected Sunday.
• Potential for severe storms by the end of next week.
Here in the Land of All or Nothing, the Rainfall Haves vs. the Rainfall Have-Nots, check out the huge variations across the Gopher State. Based on NEXRAD (next-generation radar) Doppler rainfall estimates, most of far western and northern Minnesota has been soaked with 1-2″ of rain in the last 7 days. Across central Minnesota, from St. Cloud to the Twin Cities….barely enough rain to settle the dust. This time of year these dramatic disparities in rainfall are quite common. T-storms tend to be fickle, soaking one town with a few inches of rain while 5 miles down the road the sun is out and farmers are complaining about a lack of rain. A moderate drought lingers over southeastern Minnesota, but Rochester picked up 1.42″ of rain on Wednesday, and farmers in the region couldn’t be happier. Eau Claire, WI saw 1.13″ of rain, only a trace of rain fell at MSP.
To check out the latest 7-Day rainfall tally for yourself, click here.
National Weather Service predicted high temperatures for northwestern MN for Saturday. To check on the latest graphical outlook for up north (or anywhere in the nation) click here.
Heading north this weekend? Check out the National Weather Service’s latest current conditions and 7-Day Outlook right here.
These are the expected high temperatures for northeastern MN and northwestern WI for Saturday, which now looks like the sunnier, nicer, drier day of the weekend. Temperatures will run a couple degrees below normal, but with bright sun much of the day it should feel warmer. Keep in mind the sun angle is just about as high in the sky as it ever gets – the risk of sunburn will be off the scale this weekend. Don’t forget the sunscreen.