Here’s the latest from Pete Boulay at the State Climatology Office: Hhighs below 60 for 3 days/row, first time that’s happened in June since 1951!
There have been only 3 other years since 1872 where the temperature has stayed below 60 degree for 3 straight days in June — 1917, 1935 and 1937. The furnace may kick on again tonight, a couple more nights to make a fire in the fireplace before more typical, summerlike weather returns next week….string of 80s expected … finally!
Has Paul lost his mind? Perhaps. I blame the weather for my various mental disorders, but Doggie Doppler is real. Meet Max, my 13 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (who I now have to lift onto the sofa to watch TV with me). He’s getting old, but his lightning-spotting skills are extraordinary. It’s happened numerous times. I’m sound asleep – suddenly I hear a frantic scratching sound. I look down, and there is Max, staring up at me with those big eyes. Scratch – Scratch! Calm down, what’s wrong! I get up, pace around the bedroom, Max out of breath, yipping, barking uncontrollably. What is it? Do you have to go outside and pee? Fresh water in your bowl? What’s going on here? I try to go back to sleep but half an hour later I hear it again. Scratch-Scratch! By now I can see flashes of distant lightning on the horizon. Ah ha! Max, like many other members of the canine family, has an inate ability to detect lightning before the rest of us. Not sure if it’s a 6th sense or maybe he’s sneaking out into the family room watching the Weather Channel on cable. But every time he wakes me up at 3 am, invariably – inevitably, a thunderstorm comes rumbling in about 30-60 minutes later. Like clockwork! Not sure if cats have this ability, but who needs NEXRAD Doppler radar when you can tap reliable Doggie Doppler? Works every time.
Looks like Max (and the rest of us) will get a break from wild thunderstorms for the forseeable future. The atmosphere will be a bit too cool and dry for any widespread T-storm activity, although I can’t entirely rule out a stray thundershower from late this afternoon into Wednesday morning, again on Thursday as a weak upper air disturbance drifts overhead. At least the sun will try to make a cameo appearance today; if it’s out for just a couple of hours we should see highs in the low 60s. That’s still nearly 15 degrees cooler than normal, but we’ll take what we can get at this point.
Temperatures always cool off with altitude, but unusually cold air a few miles overhead will leave our sky unstable and capable of a quick shower or thundershower by afternoon. Another wrinkle of cold air passing above our heads Thursday may spark another round of showers and stray storms, computer models print out another .20 to .30″ of rain between now and Thursday night. As high pressure drifts into the Great Lakes our winds at the surface will switch around, blowing from the southeast, luring the mercury into the 70s by the weekend, still cooler than we should be, but a step in the right direction. Right now it looks like the upcoming weekend weather will be EVEN NICER than last weekend! That won’t be too hard to pull off, when you consider we enjoyed a drenching rain last Saturday and rare June wind chill on Sunday. The sun should be out most of Saturday, mid 70s seem like a good bet, locally and up at the cabin. Sunday should be a few degrees warmer with the best chance of late-day T-storms coming over far northwestern Minnesota. 80 is not out of the question Sunday afternoon, especially south & west of the Minnesota River.
50s in June is unusual, but not unprecedented. Keep in mind: July is the only month where snow hasn’t been reported at a regular airport or observation site. That’s a harrowing statistic, one that will strike fear into the heart of mere mortals. If you look at the 90 warmest days of the year, historically, “meteorological summer” really began June 1, not the 21st. Tell that to the atmosphere. Summer got off to a slow start last year, with rain just about every weekend in June, but it wasn’t quite this chilly. The atmosphere has an uncanny ability to balance things out. Spells of unusually cool weather are often followed by bouts of unusually warm weather, so we’ll see if we get a few extra 90 degree days in August (or September).
Stay alert for a rare sunshine sighting. Watch for a quick hit-or-miss shower later today and again Thursday. And if your furry friend scratches your bed during the wee hours of the morning, better close the windows and batten down the hatches, just in case.
If you don’t entirely trust your dog to detect distant lightning (or you don’t have a dog) here’s another good alternative. Vaisala own’s the USA’s premiere lightning detection network. Every lightning strike gives off an electromagnetic burst of charged particles, which can be detected, and then triangulated to calculate exactly where the bolt struck. This is a pay service, but the company makes 30 minute old lightning data available at no charge to the public. This is a helpful tool, but because of the significant delay don’t count on this map to show you real-time lightning strikes. As of midnight last night there were over 38,000 cloud to ground strikes across the USA. To see the very latest image (again, delayed by 30 minutes) click here.
Courtesy of the National Weather Service, here are the predicted highs for northern and central Minnesota for Saturday, well up into the 70s across just about the entire region. The map immediately above shows predicted wind speed & direction. Winds are forecast to be blowing from the southeast at 5-10 mph, with a few gusts as high as 15 mph. possible.
For the latest (graphical) forecast for any region of Minnesota, including predicted highs, cloud cover, dew points, winds, etc click here, choose the day you’re interested in, then hover your computer’s mouse over the parameter you wish to see. The forecast will pop up before your eyes. Pretty cool.
* 55 degree “high” reported at St. Cloud Monday, 57 in the Twin Cities, more than 20 degrees cooler than average.
* June temperatures running 6-7 degrees cooler than average, to date.
* Some sun today, milder than yesterday. 20-35% of Minnesota will experience a PM shower or thundershower.
* Dry most of Wednesday, another round of showers bubbles up Thursday, potential for .20 to .30″ of additional rain.
* Slow warming trend extends into the weekend: low to mid 70s Saturday, mid to upper 70s Sunday. Most of the weekend looks dry right now.
* A few 80-degree highs return next week, when it will finally start to feel like summer again.