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Sunday smiles

Now THIS is more like it – mid June the way it was probably meant to be, wearing far too little clothing, oiled up with foul-smelling sunscreen, wrestling with towels/bait/sandwiches/adult beverages/cheap $10 Walgreen sunglasses/magazines/folding chairs/binoculars/digital cameras – lugging an armful of (pardon me) CRAP down to the water’s edge, staking out my turf, dangling my toes, ah, the heck-with-it, time to JUMP (not dive, no thank you) into the deep end of the lake/pool.

It’s time. It’s here. Like flicking a switch, suddenly it’s summer, we’re off to the races, Gentlemen (and women) start your tanning/splashing. The air sweet with the smell of freshly-mowed lawns, kids laughing, dogs barking happily, wide-eyed toddlers in bicycle helmets.

The mass evacuation is well underway. Turn off the TV. Close up the PC. Stop your damn Twittering for a full hour (are you capable of disconnecting and just conversing, face to face?) Quit fiddling with your iPhone long enough to doze off to the eclectic sounds of the Current or Cities 97…no, I’m not answering my cell phone anytime soon. Let it roll over to voicemail. My badly-needed ration of summer is here, and I’m going to enjoy it. I’ve been waiting for this heavenly moment for WEEKS and nothing or nobody is going to distract me from soaking up the sweet (tardy) sounds, smells and luxurious warmth of summer.

Today should wind up being the perfect day of weather you’ve been daydreaming about for, well, weeks. The showers that chased cabin-owners indoors up north yesterday are long gone, a weak bubble of high pressure parked over the Great Lakes will treat us to hazy sun, low 80s, with a 65% risk of a memorable sunburn if you’re not careful. Yes, lake water temperatures are chilly. People with heart conditions or a low threshhold of pain may want to think twice before jumping into the lake, but the rest of us – go for it.

80-degree warmth lingers into Monday but computer models are hinting at a prolonged period of disturbed, showery, cooler weather from Tuesday into Friday as a trough of low pressure, a nagging wrinkle of chilled air aloft, sets up shop almost directly over Minnesota. Tuesday may wind up being the wettest day, with some .25 to .50″ rainfall amounts, but weather systems will slow to a crawl, this “holding pattern” keeping us showery and unsettled (and a few degrees cooler) into much of next week. The outlook for next weekend is still questionable, rain may linger over Wisconsin next Saturday, eastern counties of Minnesota still cloudy and cool. At this point I’m betting that Sunday will be the nicer, sunnier, warmer day of the week. The week after next still looks warmer, a stretch of 80s seems likely the last full week of June; I still wouldn’t be shocked to see a 90 or two crop up with dog-day levels of humidity as the dew point finally approaches 70.

Summer is late, but it’s finally here. Drop what you’re doing. Run, don’t walk to the nearest cool, inviting body of water and soak up a fine Sunday. Here in Minnesota we EARN our summers. That’s never been truer than this year. The stunted Summer of ’09 has finally swept into town. I hope you can take the time to enjoy.

Yesterday’s showers affected roughly the northern half of Minnesota. Based on Doppler rainfall estimates you can see where the heaviest rains fell on Saturday. The upper atmosphere is more stable now, it’s warmed several miles above the ground, and that should prevent a repeat of more showers later today.

Visible satellie image showing nothing but severe/clear across Minnesota. Don’t forget the sunscreen. With the sun angle as high in the sky as it ever gets the risk of a sizzling burn is off the scale.

Forecast weather map around 1 pm today, showing showers and storms staying well south/west of Minnesota.

Much of western and central Minnesota is still too dry. This map shows percentage of normal rainfall from April 1 to June 8. All the red-shaded areas have experienced only 30-40% of normal rains. If this pattern continues drought conditions may spread into much of the corn and bean-growing counties of Minnesota, so let’s not sweat the showers predicted for much of next week.

Paul’s Outlook

Today: Hazy sun, pleasantly warm. Winds: South/southwest 5-10. High: 82

Tonight: Mostly clear, dry. Low: 57

Monday: Murky, hazy sun, still warm. High: near 80

Tuesday: More clouds, good chance of showers and T-storms. High: 73

Wednesday: Unsettled, another shower or two likely. High: 74

Thursday: Partly cloudy, brief dry spell possible. High: 76

Friday: Clouds increase, a few spotty PM T-showers. High: 77

Saturday: Dry much of the day. Best chance of a shower over far eastern MN and Wisconsin. High: 78

Sunday: Probably the nicer, sunnier, milder day. More sun. High: 81

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