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It’s the same!

I feel a little like Steve Martin, who plays a hopelessly happy, glib weather-joker for a TV station in Los Angeles in one of my all-time favorite movies ever made, “L.A. Story”.

I feel a little like Steve Martin, who plays a hopelessly happy, glib weather-joker for a TV station in Los Angeles in one of my all-time favorite movies ever made, “L.A. Story”. One line in particular comes to mind: “it’s the same!” He’s referring to the weather, of course, day after day of hazy, lazy, smogified sunshine. “It’s the same!” In one memorable scene he delivers the line from a swimming pool (he’s the one on the raft clutching the microphone with both hands). Everything goes swimmingly, until one morning he wakes up, and the weather is NOT the same. It’s pouring – flooding – horrifically stormy. The forecast was dead wrong, and Mr. Martin winds up looking for a job.

It isn’t very often that I can stare at the maps, look out the Amish Doppler (window) and shout out, “it’s the same!” Today will probably be the 10th day above 80 so far in September. We’ve had an amazing run of weather – people tell me this is the nicest spell of weather anyone can remember, post-Labor Day. The drought is getting worse (see details below). It hasn’t rained all month (unless you count the whopping .01″ that fell on the 11th). Another example of All or Nothing. One of the 10 wettest Augusts on record, followed by what will almost certainly be one of the 10 driest Septembers on record. We just careen from one extreme to the next. “Average” weather is a joke – no such thing.

Latest Drought Monitor. Soil moisture in the immediate St. Cloud area is adequate, much better than in the Twin Cities, where moderate/severe drought conditions can be found over the northern suburbs. Moderate drought lingers near Rochester, Alexandria and the Walker/Bemidji area.

Fire Danger, according to the MN DNR. The risk of brushfires is high in the Brainerd – Wadena – Thief River Falls – Crookston area. Be careful out there this weekend, the combination of bright sun, tinder-dry brush, and increasing winds will increase the risk of fire.

A weak bubble of high pressure straddling the Upper Midwest keeps us sunny, hazy and dry into Sunday, the last 2 phenomenal, August-like days in sight. Low 80s are possible each day – if clouds stream in faster tomorrow the mercury could hold in the upper 70s, but both days of the weekend look pretty phenomenal (considering it could be SNOWING up north with FROST into central counties!) No, I take nothing for granted.

WRF/NMM Model for 7 pm Monday. This shows predicted rainfall from 1 pm to 7 pm Monday, the best chance of heavy showers (.50″+ amounts) over southwestern and south central counties of Minnesota.

Showers arrive late Sunday night and Monday, with showery rains lingering into the first half of next week as a storm “cuts-off”, stalls over the central Plains. We’ll be on the fringe of this next weather-maker, but a few hours of showers are possible each day Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Drier air wraps into this dying storm’s circulation the latter half of next week, meaning more sun and fewer showers. Eventually a bigger storm will wind up over the Great Lakes, with a broad shield of rain approaching from the east by next weekend. Most of the rain will stay over Wisconsin, which is too bad, considering how dry it’s gotten out there. The GFS 15 Day Model keeps us warmer than average through the first 2 or 3 days of October. After that: all days are off.

Arctic Sea Ice Melt 3rd Greatest on Record. The National Snow and Ice Data Center announced Thursday that the Arctic sea ice reached its annual low last week. Ice extended just shy of 2 million square miles. That is 620,000 square miles less than the 30-year average. The complete article is here.

Modis, high-res NASA Satellite Image of the Twin Cities area. It’s pretty easy to see the Mississippi River, Lake Lake Minnetonka just left of center, the St. Croix River marking the boundary with Wisconsin. This is 250 meter imagery taken from a low-orbiting satellite passing 225 miles above the Midwest a couple times daily. For the very latest imagery click here. The imagery is really quite amazing – you can see small scale features that don’t show up on the usual (GOES) weather satellites, which are positioned 22,300 miles above the equator. It’s the highest resolution imagery I’ve found on-line, definitely bookmark-worthy!

Paul’s Outlook for the Twin Cities

Today: Hazy sun, fantastic, August-like weather hangs on. Winds: S 5-15. High: 82

Tonight: Mostly clear, mild for late September. Low: 58

Sunday: Hazy sun, then increasing PM clouds – dry during the daylight hours. High: 81

Monday: More clouds, unsettled, growing chance of showers. High: 72

Tuesday: More clouds than sun, a few showers in the area. High: 70

Wednesday: Still damp, partly sunny with a passing shower or two. High: 70

Thursday: Mix of clouds and sun, seasonable temperatures. High: 69

Friday: Ample sun, getting nicer again. High: near 70