We’re leading charmed weather lives in Minnesota this week.

Intense 100 degree heat bakes the east coast. A raging wildfire just north of L.A. forces 20,000 residents to evacuate. Here in Minnesota? A blissfully quiet weather pattern brings blue skies and pleasantly warm summer temperatures.

Green grass and blue sly in Victoria, Minnesota. Paul Huttner/MPR News

Counting our weather blessings indeed.

East Coast heat wave

Washington D.C. hit 100 degrees today for the first time since 2012. I saw a heat index of 115 in metro D.C. today. The same heat core that baked Minnesota last Thursday has now stalled ‘back east.’ Heat index values pushed past the 100 degree mark across mush of the southeastern U.S. Monday.

Oklahoma Mesonet

Sand Fire rages near Los Angeles

Meanwhile on the west coast, intense heat and drought is fueling the 33,000 acre sand fire just north of Los Angeles.

The fire has grown dramatically in size, doubling, then doubling again in the past few days.

The L.A. forecast? More heat and smog with a side of smoke plumes.

Los Angeles NWS

Minnesota’s summer downpours

Residents of L.A. would cheer for some of our Minnesota super-sized downpours this summer.

Minnesota continues to see abundant rainfall this summer. Our high dew point air masses have fueled some incredible rainfall rates of 2″ to 3″ per hour in the past few weeks. Saturday’s deluge dumped a quick 3″ to 4″ swath of rain between the metro and St. Cloud. I can’t recall seeing seen it rain that hard in Minnesota in many years.

Buckets.

Wind farms visible on Doppler

This tweet from the Twin Cities NWS caught my eye today. When atmospheric conditions are just right, the air mass can bend the radar beam and keep it closer to earth. It’s called ‘superrefraction’ of the radar beam.

NOAA

That’s why Minnesota’s growing number of wind farms show up on Doppler over southern Minnesota some mornings.

Twin Cities Urban Heat Island active

Ever drive from the downtowns late at night into the suburbs? You can feel the cooler air as you move away from the city. Several urban heat island studies confirm that temperatures can be 10+ degrees warmer in the urban core than well outside cities at night and in the early morning.

University of Minnesota

Here’s an interesting project called Islands in the Sun from the University of Minnesota.