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Nice weather (in your cubicle)

[Yes, I too am bummed that Mr. Favre will not be wearing purple and gold anytime soon. Although he never visited (personally), one of his wife’s best friends flew to MSP to look at rental homes 2 weeks ago. They went through our home in Eden Prairie and inquired about pets (Brett wanted to bring his favorite black lab to Minnesota) and he liked our old neighborhood because it would be close to a nearby Catholic school for his 10-year-old daughter. We were talking with their realtors, and like everyone else in the state, waiting, wondering, hoping he’d decide to take one more calculated risk and light up the Metrodome. No such luck. So close … oh well, it was a nice fantasy while it lasted. …]

Rainfall Deficit since June 1, 2008 courtesy of the MN State Climate Office. The greatest shortage is directly over the Twin Cities metro – since last summer rainfall deficits of 12-16″ are commonplace. For a great overview on the (deepening) Drought of ’09 from the State Climate Office click here.

Speaking of fantasy, 68% of Minnesotans polled by my totally unscientific survey are JUST FINE with our relatively cool, dry summer of ’09 and want me to SHUT UP about the lack of 90s, Dog Days, etc etc. Nobody appears to be on the fence, mind you. Either you are THRILLED with the free outbreak of air conditioning, or you feel cheated by the utter dearth of anything approaching a “hot front.” So is it really summer if the mercury doesn’t top 90? If you’re not sweaty and agitated, staring at dew points in the (drippy) 70s? Humidity levels have been reasonable all summer long, less moisture bubbling northward from the Gulf one big reason why we’ve had less than half our normal allotment of tornadoes, hailstorms and flash floods. The pattern in July has been remarkably persistent – a broad area of cold low pressure stalled out near Hudson Bay — just sitting there, doing the twist, rotating cool front after cool front south of the border. A veritable cool front machine! This storm has been unusually far south since early July and the fact that it has stalled out, succumbed to the mother of all blocking patterns, has produced a real head-scratcher of a summer for meteorologists trying to find a culprit.

Rainfall Last week, courtesy of the DNR Waters Division and the MN State Climatology Office. Much of central Minnesota experienced ample rains (along with the eastern suburbs of the Twin Cities) but there was virtually NO rain over far southwestern Minnesota and much of the Red River Valley. Coupled with cooler than normal weather this growing dry rut may take an increasing toll on Minnesota’s fall harvest.

July 2009 is just a few days shy of making headlines as the coolest July on record for International Falls, and in the top 10 coolest Julys on record for Duluth. Here are the stats:

Average July Temperatures:

Interational Falls: -7.3° (Coolest on record)
Duluth: -3.1° (Top ten coolest on record)
St. Cloud: -3.3°
Twin Cities: -2.9°
Rochester: -4.5°

While we’ve been anywhere from 2 to 9 degrees cooler than average, the western U.S. and Canada has been sizzling. Yesterday, with our new “Meteo Earth” technology that we’ve been showing off during our video weather reports, we were able to show real-time temperatures in the 80s to near 90 all across the Canadian Yukon, the Northwest Territories, much of Alaska right up to the Arctic Circle. There’s this crazy imbalance: cool weather from Minnesota into the Great Lakes and New England, while the western regions of North America are BAKING through one of the hottest Julys on record. Makes no sense.

Along the leading edge of each reinforcing surge of cool, Canadian air a “short wave,” a wrinkle of chilly air aloft, is sparking showers and thunderstorms. One such disturbance arrives Thursday with a few hours of rain, keeping temperatures cooler than normal, holding in the 60s over most of Minnesota. Rainfall amounts should be light (nothing new there), under a third of an inch for the Twin Cities, maybe .10 to .20″ for St. Cloud, and little or no rain north of Brainerd.

The sun returns Friday as temperatures surge toward 80 degrees, but yet another cool zinger sparks more showers Friday night into the breakfast hour Saturday. Skies rapidly clear out on Saturday with sunshine probably the rule most of Saturday and all day Sunday. Yes, this weekend will be cooler than average, to the tune of 5-10 degrees below normal. Highs hold in the mid 70s for the Twin Cities and St. Cloud, but I could see highs in the upper 60s and low 70s for many northern lakes this weekend, a bit cool for the lake, but tolerable. Nights will be brisk, bordering on chilly, ranging from mid 40s to low 50s. Another taste of late September for your camping/swimming/grilling enjoyment. Take an extra blanket, sweat shirt and a few more logs for the fireplace.

WRF/NMM Model Temperatures at 1 pm Saturday. Readings may hold in the 60s over much of northern Minnesota, topping 70 south/east of Little Falls and Mille Lacs — winds blowing from the northwest. Meanwhile readings from St. Louis to Chicago should climb close to 90 Saturday afternoon.

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Jeff Klein on 07/30/2009 - 08:49 am.

    The weather is indeed beautiful; there’s a reason why 70 is “room temperature”. When the usual ugly stuff returns next year, where do I move where it’s supposed to be like this?

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