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Multi-million dollar downpour

Yep, soggy around the edges and LOVING IT! I can’t remember the last time I’ve been so happy to see a good old fashioned window-rattling, gutter-gushing soaking. In the last 24 hours many Minnesota towns have picked up a MONTH’S worth of rain, 1-3″ amounts are common across the region, enough to put a significant dent in the Drought of ’09 (which is still “extreme” north/east of the Twin Cities). No complaints about the pond-size puddles – or even the slow-motion commute – or the waterproof jackets you’ll need for Friday evening Prep High School football games.

Anatomy of a Soaker
. Doppler radar estimates (as of 9 pm Thursday night) showed the heaviest rainfall amounts over central Minnesota; 2-4″ amounts from Mankato northward to Willmar, Wadena, Hutchinson, Litchfield and Glenwood. The heaviest 2″+ amounts soaked the western suburbs of St. Cloud, slightly lesser amounts east of the city. But it’s no exaggeration to say that a MONTH’S worth of rain fell Thursday and Thursday night. In a little less than 4 hours Thursday afternoon we saw more rain than fell during the ENTIRE month of September!

The heaviest, steadiest (2″+) rains are behind us now – precipitation should be lighter, spottier and more showery today – not the steady downpour we saw Thursday. Moisture wrapping all the way around a sprawling storm pushing into the Great Lakes will keep a few bands of very light rain over the region today and tonight, in fact a few sprinkles or light showers may spill over into early Saturday, especially eastern Minnesota and Wisconsin – but the trend tomorrow should be slowly drying skies, intervals of sun possible by afternoon with temperatures stuck in the 50s (some 40s far north). Sunday still appears to be the brighter, drier day of the weekend, a few degrees milder, light winds from the west/northwest at 5-15 mph. Good news for the thousands of Twin Cities Marathon participants (and the friends and family members cheering them on). My wife runs marathons and she told me that 50s, light winds, patchy clouds would be considered pretty close to perfect weather to run 26+ miles. I’ll take her word for it.

A sight for sore (dry) eyes. This is precisely what Minnesota needed – a prolonged soaking rain fro a deep area of low pressure, one strong enough to pull moisture from the Gulf of Mexico northward. Spiral bands of lingering showers will linger much of today, but additional rain will probably stay under .10 or .20″ as the heaviest rain bands shift towards Milwaukee and Chicago. To see the very latest weather map click here.

2009 Twin Cities Marathon Outlook: partly sunny, dry with light winds (west/northwest at 5-10 much of the day). Expect a chilly 8 am temperature of 43, but readings should recover to 53 by noon and 57 by 4 pm.

Sunday Weather Details. Top map: precipitation outlook, showing showers over the U.P. of Michigan, but dry weather over Minnesota. Bottom map: 1 pm temperature prediction, showing a Twin Cities temperature between 50-55 degrees, a few degrees cooler than average for October 4. Sunday still appears to be the better outdoor day of the weekend.

Time Lapse of a Typhoon. Check out this one-of-a-kind YouTube timelapse of Typhoon Nangka as it swept through Hong Kong. Watch as 4 separate waves of windswept rain surge across the city by clicking here.

Paul’s Outlook for the Twin Cities

Today: Mostly cloudy, windy and RAW with very light showers and sprinkles. Winds: northeast 10-20. High: 52

Tonight: Lingering showers/drizzle, fairly uncomfortable. Low: 42

Saturday: Still chilly and damp. Lingering clouds, a few sprinkles, but drier overall. Winds: NW 10-20. High: 51

Sunday: Better. Partly sunny, drier – milder. High: 58

Monday: More clouds, showers arrive. High: 55

Tuesday: Showers taper off, peeks of sun. High: 54

Wednesday: More clouds than sun, risk of a shower or sprinkle. High: 53

Thursday: Milder with more sun, closer to “average”. High: 58

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