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An unsettled sky

Paul Douglas

This photo brought back some fond memories. I remember it well, my little kids teaching me how to fish, the correct way to hold the rod and reel, how to put a lure or live bait on the hook. It was only yesterday …

There is growing angst about the holiday weekend weather, but so far so good. You should be mildly optimistic about the weather, with sunshine much of Saturday and Monday, Memorial Day. A few hours of rain (and thunder) is possible Sunday, keeping your favorite fishing hole a few degrees cooler, but remember, a little rain and a falling barometer is good for catching monster-walleye. At least that’s what the pros like the Lindner brothers up in Brainerd keep telling me. We’ll keep you posted.

Note: I’m coming clean. I have to be honest with you. I’m out east for a couple of days, watching my son “graduate” from his Plebe (freshman) year at the Naval Academy. He’s had a pretty tough year, and I’m here showing him a little fatherly love and moral support. Through the magic of the Internet and a laptop that works much of the time I can still check Doppler radar, current weather the various models and keep an eye on Minnesota’s spastic weather patterns. Since there isn’t too much going on back home I’m going to keep today’s column short and sweet. The only significant chance of rain all week comes Thursday morning. Tomorrow you’ll be able to head out the door in shorts (if you can get away with it). The computer models can’t seem to decide which day of the weekend will be wetter: they keep flip-flopping back and forth, now it appears that Sunday may be the partly-thundery day. Nothing severe is brewing, and with a little planning and luck you should be able to salvage most of our outdoor plans this upcoming weekend, which is a big one, I know. Saturday and Monday (Memorial Day) look like the 2 best days here locally, and up north at the cabin, with ample sun, and temperatures pretty close to normal for this date. Unless Sunday’s front stalls (possible, but unlikely) I think we’ll experience one of the nicer Memorial Days we’ve seen in recent years, which would be a nice change of pace. Yes, the water is cold, but the air should be lukewarm by midday and afternoon, and with any luck the fish will be biting.

The video below shows one of the crazy traditions at the U.S. Naval Academy during commissioning week, an event called “Herndon”. All 1,000+ Plebes (first year students) compete to try to climb an obelisk, a rock solid pillar that has been greased down with lard. The goal: take down a Plebe hat at the top of the obelisk and replace it with a cap (this year it was the cap of a Plebe who died after contracting meningitis). My son, Brett, is somewhere near the bottom of the pile of bodies. They literally stand on each others shoulders (heads and various other body parts) making a human pyramid until one brave, borderline crazy Plebe reaches the very top, nearly 30 feet above the ground. On Monday they accomplished this feat in a potentially record-breaking time of 1 hour, 14 minutes.

Tomorrow I watch the Blue Angels practice their amazing air show in the skies above Annapolis, Maryland. The Plebes graduate officially on Friday, when they are “Plebes no more” and move on to become “Youngsters” (sophomores). I’m still trying to get some of the Naval lingo down, so please forgive me if I’ve mangled some of the terminology. It’s more confusing than meteorology….

Weather Headlines

• 80 degree high in St. Cloud Monday, 82 in the Twin Cities, 88 reported at Redwood Falls.

• Grand Marais chills out at 56 (for a high) Monday as a cold breeze blows off Superior.

• Dying cool front arrives with more clouds today, slight (1 in 5) chance of a passing shower or sprinkle.

• More clouds keep temperatures a few degrees cooler than yesterday, but still warmer than average.

• Wednesday: low 80s possible, potential for late-day T-storms diminishes.

• Next cool front arrives early Thursday with a few hours of showers, possible thunder. Computer models predicting chance of .05 to .15″ of rain.

• Southern moisture probably holds off until Sunday, when showers and a few heavy T-storms arrive. Saturday now appears to be the nicer, drier, sunnier day.

• Front should keep moving east, treating us to one of the nicer Memorial Days in recent years.

• Weak tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico will probably encounter to much wind shear aloft to strengthen into Tropical Storm Ada.

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