A partly soggy Father’s Day

Update: 9:30 pm. Tornado watch extended into the far southern suburbs of the Twin Cities….Doppler shows strong storms over Dakota county, but the most extreme cells are still rumbling across far southern Minnesota. An isolated tornado may develop near Mankato, Waseca, Northfield, Gaylord and Faribault – the watch is in effect until 10 pm but may be extended longer. The storms do not seem to be weakening, they’re sustaining their strength, and the tornado risk may linger beyond 10 pm, especially near the Iowa border. People living over southern MN should stay alert and be ready to seek shelter. An isolated tornado can’t be ruled out just south/east of the Twin Cities, near Cottage Grove and Hastings, even though this part of the state isn’t in the tornado watch.

BULLETIN – EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
907 PM CDT SUN JUN 21 2009

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN THE TWIN CITIES HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR…
NORTHERN FREEBORN COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA…

* UNTIL 1000 PM CDT

* AT 906 PM CDT…TRAINED WEATHER SPOTTERS REPORTED A TORNADO NEAR
MANCHESTER…OR ABOUT OVER MANCHESTER. RADAR SHOWED THE TORNADIC
STORM MOVING NORTHEAST AT 15 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE…
MANCHESTER…
ALBERT LEA…
CLARKS GROVE…
HAYWARD…

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

WHEN A TORNADO WARNING IS ISSUED BASED ON RADAR…IT MEANS THAT
STRONG ROTATION HAS BEEN DETECTED IN THE STORM. A TORNADO MAY ALREADY
BE ON THE GROUND…OR IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP SHORTLY.

IF YOU ARE CAUGHT OUTSIDE…SEEK SHELTER IN A NEARBY REINFORCED
BUILDING. AS A LAST RESORT…SEEK SHELTER IN A CULVERT…DITCH OR LOW
SPOT AND COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS.

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1000 PM CDT SUNDAY EVENING
FOR SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA.

New Tornado Warnings far southern MN

SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
811 PM CDT SUN JUN 21 2009

MNC043-047-220215-
/O.CON.KMPX.TO.W.0015.000000T0000Z-090622T0215Z/
FARIBAULT MN-FREEBORN MN-
811 PM CDT SUN JUN 21 2009

…A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 915 PM CDT FOR WESTERN
FREEBORN AND SOUTHEASTERN FARIBAULT COUNTIES…

AT 806 PM CDT…TRAINED SPOTTERS REPORTED A TORNADO NEAR WALTERS OR
NORTH OF KIESTER.

AT 810 PM CDT…RADAR INDICATED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WITH STRONG
ROTATION. THE MOST DANGEROUS PART OF THE STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR
WALTERS…OR ABOUT 5 MILES NORTHEAST OF KIESTER…AND MOVING
NORTHEAST AT 10 MPH.

OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE…MANSFIELD…ALDEN…
CONGER…MANCHESTER AND ALBERT LEA.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

THIS STORM HAS A HISTORY OR PRODUCING TORNADOES.

IF YOU ARE CAUGHT OUTSIDE…SEEK SHELTER IN A NEARBY REINFORCED
BUILDING. AS A LAST RESORT…SEEK SHELTER IN A CULVERT…DITCH OR LOW
SPOT AND COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS.

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1000 PM CDT SUNDAY EVENING
FOR SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA.

Tornado warnings south of Mankato

BULLETIN – EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
725 PM CDT SUN JUN 21 2009

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN THE TWIN CITIES HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR…
SOUTHEASTERN BLUE EARTH COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA…
SOUTHWESTERN WASECA COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA…
NORTHEASTERN FARIBAULT COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA…
NORTHWESTERN FREEBORN COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA…

* UNTIL 830 PM CDT

* AT 724 PM CDT…RADAR WAS TRACKING A SEVERE STORM WITH STRONG
ROTATION. THE MOST DANGEROUS PART OF THE STORM WAS NEAR EASTON…OR
ABOUT 5 MILES SOUTHWEST OF MINNESOTA LAKE…AND MOVING NORTHEAST AT
10 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE…
MINNESOTA LAKE…
OTISCO…
WALDORF…

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

HEAVY RAINFALL MAY OBSCURE THIS TORNADO. TAKE COVER NOW! IF YOU WAIT
TO SEE OR HEAR IT COMING…IT MAY BE TOO LATE TO GET TO A SAFE PLACE.

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1000 PM CDT SUNDAY EVENING
FOR SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA.

BULLETIN – EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
727 PM CDT SUN JUN 21 2009

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN THE TWIN CITIES HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR…
EAST CENTRAL BLUE EARTH COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA…
NORTHWESTERN WASECA COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA…

* UNTIL 800 PM CDT

* AT 725 PM CDT…RADAR WAS TRACKING A SEVERE STORM WITH STRONG
ROTATION. THE MOST DANGEROUS PART OF THE STORM WAS 2 MILES
SOUTHEAST OF ST CLAIR…AND MOVING NORTHEAST AT 15 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE…
JANESVILLE…

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

WHEN A TORNADO WARNING IS ISSUED BASED ON RADAR…IT MEANS THAT
STRONG ROTATION HAS BEEN DETECTED IN THE STORM. A TORNADO MAY ALREADY
BE ON THE GROUND…OR IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP SHORTLY.

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1000 PM CDT SUNDAY EVENING
FOR SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA.

Tornado warnings: Faribault & Blue Earth counties

BLUE EARTH MN-FARIBAULT MN-
718 PM CDT SUN JUN 21 2009

…A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 730 PM CDT FOR
NORTHEASTERN FARIBAULT AND SOUTHEASTERN BLUE EARTH COUNTIES…

AT 718 PM CDT…RADAR INDICATED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WITH STRONG
ROTATION. THE MOST DANGEROUS PART OF THE STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR
EASTON…OR ABOUT 5 MILES EAST OF DELAVAN…AND MOVING NORTHEAST AT
10 MPH. A TORNADO WAS REPORTED WITH THIS STORM SOUTHWEST OF EASTON
AT 704 PM.

OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE…MINNESOTA LAKE AND WELLS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

HEAVY RAINFALL MAY OBSCURE THIS TORNADO. TAKE COVER NOW! IF YOU WAIT
TO SEE OR HEAR IT COMING…IT MAY BE TOO LATE TO GET TO A SAFE PLACE.

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1000 PM CDT SUNDAY EVENING
FOR SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA.

Update: 4:06 pm. Doppler radar continues to show scattered showers and a few T-storms north of Redwood Falls. The rain is more widespread and heavier west of the Twin Cities. Our hit-or-miss shower pattern will linger into the evening hours, and a few storms over far southern MN may become severe. A tornado watch has been posted for Iowa and the extreme southern counties of Minnesota until 10 pm, including Austin, Albert Lea, Fairmont and Worthington. Conditions are ripe for potentially violent weather near the Iowa border – I do expect some warnings by the dinner hour. The combination of low-level moisture, ample wind shear and increasing instability will create an environment where rotating, spinning “supercell” thunderstorms can survive for several hours. These are the storms that show up on Doppler radar, but unfortunately only 2 or 3 out of 10 of these spinning T-storms go on to spin up a tornado. For that reason a significant percentage of “Doppler-indicated” tornado warnings turn out to be false alarms. Strong rotation almost always warrants a warning, but not ever spinning T-storm goes on to spawn a twister – the limitations of the science. The NWS and local meteorologists always err on the side of safety. We’d rather over-warn than under-warn. The biggest fear: tornado surivors staring into a television camera saying “it came without warning. There was no warning!” As a result of this paradox meteorologists tend to play it safe and if a rotating storm is detected – the warning goes out, even if there’s not confirmation of a tornado from professionally trained SKYWARN spotters on the ground.



The bottom line: meteorologists don’t want to be in a position of “crying wolf”. But it beats the alternative of playing it so safe that the only tornado warnings that get issued are the result of storm spotters actually SEEING a tornado. If a storm spins a warning goes out. The system is far from perfect, but it shows the limits of science and Doppler radar technology – it only goes so far.

Yep, looks like a weekend out there. Welcome to the official first day of summer (it arrived at 12:45 am in case you forgot to celebrate). Today marks the magical Summer Solstice, the day the sun is higher in the sky than it ever gets in the Northern Hemisphere – in theory, the best day of the year for a sunburn. That won’t be much of a problem today – you’d have to work pretty hard to wind up with a memorable burn out there with thickening clouds and a good chance of showers, even some embedded thunderstorms, by midday and afternoon.

I wish I had better news for dad. This is, after all, his day, and if you forgot to send out a card (like I did) at least pick up the phone and call your pop. An e-mail is just too lame, make an effort! At least dad won’t have to do any watering today; an area of disturbed weather surging into Minnesota from the south will wring anywhere from .5 to 1″ of rain on much of the area today, the best chance of a cool, soaking inch or more of rain coming over central Minnesota, from Mankato and Willmar to St. Cloud and Little Falls. The pattern is marginal for severe weather; SPC has only extreme southeastern Minnesota in a “slight risk” (see below), but the atmosphere may be just unstable enough for a few claps of thunder during the afternoon hours. From Austin and Rochester to the La Crosse area, on the warmer, more unstable eastern side of this disturbance, there may be enough additional wind shear and heating of the ground for large hail and a few isolated reports of wind damage, even a fleeting tornado, but right now it does not look like a widespread outlook.



Although the sun is strongest today, historically, our hottest weather of the year usually lags the Summer Solstice by about 3-4 weeks, usually coming the latter half of July. That may be true, but we’ll get a pretty good taste of the Dog Days come Monday and Tuesday as the mercury surges into the low 90s. Factor in a dew point near 70 (if you must) and the “humature”, the temperature-humidity index, may approach upper 90s, even 100 degrees. Leave it to a meteorologist to leave you feeling worse than you thought possible. In the winter its the dreaded wind chill. Now we have “humature”. Oh well, a couple weeks ago we were all pretty much praying for a hot spell. It’s almost here.

SPC outlook for Sunday showing a slight risk of severe thunderstorms extending into extreme southeastern MN, including Rochester, Austin, Albert Lea and Winona, where wind profiles and additional heating of the ground may be sufficient to spawn a few isolated storms capable of large hail and damaging winds.

WRF outlook for 7 am today. A sunny start is likely up north, in the lakes region, but people living in Windom, Pipestone and Fairmont may wake up to puddles. Get out EARLY if you want to beat the rain.

WRF forecast for 1 pm Sunday showing the heaviest showers/storms stretching from southwest into central Minnesota, maybe some 1″+ rainfall amounts from Redwood Falls into St. Cloud and Willmar. It should be raining in St. Cloud and the Twin Cities by midday.

WRF temperature prediction for 1 pm today, showing cool 60s over much of southwestern and central Minnesota, where the heaviest, steadiest rain is predicted. This time of year thick cloud cover and rain can make a 15-20 degree difference in temperatures. Warmer weather is expected over southeastern Minnesota and far northern counties, where precipitation will be spotty and more showery.

WRF prediction for 7 pm today. The heaviest showers/storms spread into Little Falls, Brainerd and Wadena. A few storms far southeast may be strong to severe, but any severe weather will affect a tiny percentage of Minnesota, well under 1/2 of 1% of the state.

Weather Headlines

* 84 degree high on Saturday, 86 in the Twin Cities.

* Today: rain likely, best chance midday into the evening hours, over 1″ for much of central MN by late tonight.

* Slight severe storm threat far southeastern Minnesota later today.

* 90 degree+ highs Monday and Tuesday, heat index may approach 100 south/west of the MN River.

* Turning slightly cooler and less humid the latter half of the week.

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