Welcome to August.

The Dog Days of Summer are here. It may not feel like it this year without extreme heat and humidity levels, but this first August weekend looks and feels like summer.

Temperatures in the low to mid 80s and dew points in the 60s is pretty typical for early August. The lakes are (reasonably) warm, the landscape is lush green and the mosquito population has finally crashed to late summer levels. Quality of life is high these days.

Not bad.

  • 83 degrees average metro high this weekend
  • 64 degrees average metro low temp this weekend
  • 6:00 am sunrise Saturday, Aug. 2
  • 8:38 pm sunset Saturday evening
  • 14 hours 38 minutes of daylight Saturday (-1 hour since June 21)
  • 2.51 inch rainfall output from Global Forecast System model next 16 days

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Weekend breakdown

For those of you needing a quick forecast fix. Saturday looks stunning, mostly sunny (with a fading smoke plume overhead) and warm with highs in the low to mid-80.

Scattered showers and thunderstorms will slowly work south with an advancing front Saturday night.Scattered storms will roam Minnesota Sunday.

NOAA

You’ll notice more humidity dew points climb into the mid-60s Sunday.

Weatherspark

It should be a beautiful evening as Sir Paul McCartney takes the stage at Target Field. The show will probably go off dry, but I can’t rule out a passing pop-up T-shower at some point Saturday evening. I don’t think we’ll see a repeat of the U2 monsoonal deluge at The Bank. I was there “Singin’ in the Rain” for U2, and will be rockin’ with Mr. McCartney Saturday evening. My MPR colleague and Twins meteorologist Craig Edwards will be working the event for the Twins staff.

Two MPR meteorologists at the McCartney show. What could possibly go wrong?

Yours truly visits Craig Edwards at the Target Field Weather Lab. Photo: Craig Edwards/MPR News

Smoke plume fades a little

The persistent smoke plume overhead may give some ground this weekend as winds try and push from a more westerly direction. Here’s the plume map from late Friday.

NOAA

Wetter pattern next week

All signs point to a wetter weather pattern next week. The latest model runs don’t look as torrential as they did earlier, but the transition from an essentially dry pattern to more significant and frequent rain events appears likely.

Weatherspark NOAA

July went down as cool and drier than average in the weather books. This year so far the metro is running 4.8 degrees colder than average, and among the wettest years on record.  Here’s a look at Twin Cities NWS ThreadEx Data for July and the year to date.

Twin Cities NWS

Dog Days

Yes these are the Dog Days of Summer. Here’s a good explainer from the Weather Channel on why the hottest day of summer are called the “Dog Days.”

NASA

You might have heard of a constellation named Orion. Often referred to as “The Hunter,” Orion is a prominent constellation visible throughout the world. Nearby is the constellation Canis Major, which is Latin for “greater dog.” According to constellation lore, Canis Major is one of Orion’s hunting dogs.

Located in Canis Major is a star named Sirius, also called the “Dog Star.” With the exception of our sun, Sirius is the brightest star visible from Earth. The brilliant, blue-white star’s name comes from the Greek word for “searing.”

Because Sirius is so bright, it was easy to track even for early astronomers. During April and early May, Sirius was visible in the southwest after sunset. But by the time mid-summer would come along, Sirius would rise and fall with the sun and get lost in the daytime light. 

However, the ancients knew that the “Dog Star” was still there, up in the sky with the sun during the hottest time of the year. They reasoned that since Sirius was so bright and up there with the sun, it must be adding to the heat to produce the hottest time of the year.