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May the way it was meant to be

Yesterday was turbulent, a wild wind from the west gusting to 50 mph at times. Wind advisories were posted for much of Minnesota, an advancing front sparking strong to severe thunderstorms over southeastern counties of the state with reports of 1″ (quarter-size) hail. High winds brought down trees over southwestern Wisconsin, but there were no reports of extensive damage or injuries.Today will be close to perfect as a bubble of high pressure passes directly over Minnesota (look for the giant blue “H” drifting over your house). Or not.

The sun will be out most of the day, a few popcorn cumulus clouds sprouting this afternoon, in response to the sun’s heating of the ground. A gentle breeze will blow from the west during the morning, shifting around to a more southerly direction by afternoon. Temperatures will run a few degrees below average for May 14, but in the sun it will feel lukewarm and very pleasant.

Keep in mind you can get just as sunburnt at 60 degrees as you can at 90 F. Oddly enough many people associate heat with the risk of sunburn, when in reality it’s a function of the date on the calendar and the subsequent sun angle. Considering the summer solstice is only 5 weeks away – the sun is about as high in the sky as it ever gets, meaning a significant risk of sunburn if you’re going to be outside for more than an hour or so. Do yourself a favor: consider a moisturizer with built-in sunscreen protection. It will help to prevent premature wrinkling, and lower your risk of melanoma, a sometimes fatal type of skin cancer.

Sneak outside for an extra-long lunch break (I’ll write you a note) because tomorrow looks unsettled and showery, as yet another sloppy front approaches from the Dakotas. Computer models print out about a quarter inch of rain with a slight chance of thunder (although conditions don’t favor anything severe).

Dust off your light jacket for Saturday; although not as chilly as a week ago (Fishing Opener) highs will hold in the upper 50s to near 60 with a mix of clouds and sun, a hint of October in the air. It still appears that Sunday will be the nicer day, more sun, less wind and highs topping 60. A significant warming trend is brewing for early next week with 70s returning by Tuesday; one model is even hinting at 80 before T-storms cool us off a little by midweek. Summer is TRYING – still no prolonged heat in sight, just hints of warmth. Looks like summer is coming only reluctantly this year.

Check out the 75 hour precipitation forecast from coolwx.com. You can see a bullseye of heavy rain over the Midwest, well south and east of Minnesota. The graphic to the upper right shows expected snowfall (I know, seems a shame to have to show you this on May 15, 5 weeks from the summer solstice). I’m just the messenger, remember? A coating to 1/2″ of snow may fall north of Grand Rapids and Bemidji, maybe enough slush to ice up a few roads in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area by tonight. Good grief, I’m having a rare, fleeting “where-the-heck-am-I-living moment.” It’ll pass….

Weather Headlines

• Today: cooler than average, but the sun shines most of the day, about 5 degrees cooler than average.

• Friday frontal passage with 2-4 hours of rain, as much as a quarter inch of rain may fall on some towns and farms.

• Jacket-worthy Saturday on tap with highs stuck in the 50s and a stiff breeze. The sun should be peeking through, especially PM hours.

• Sunday: nicer day of the weekend, less wind, 5-7 degrees warmer than Saturday with more sunshine.

• 70s return early next week, even a shot at 80 by Tuesday.

• Is your lawn/garden getting 1″ of water every week? That’s how much is required during the spring/summer months. Most towns haven’t seen 1″ of rain the last 7 days, some watering advised.

Paul’s Outlook

Today: Plenty of sun, very pleasant! Winds: W/S 5-15. High: 61

Tonight: Fine evening, clouds increase overnight. Low: 46

Friday: More clouds, a passing shower, possible thunder. High: 64

Saturday: A mix of clouds and sun, breezy and noticeably cooler. Jacket weather returns. High: 55

Sunday: More sun, less wind, turning milder. High: 62

Monday: Partly cloudy, lukewarm. High: 73

Tuesday: Windy and warm, chance of T-storms late. High: near 80

Wednesday: Showers and storms likely, turning cooler. High: 67 (falling during the PM).

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