Get ready for a summery weekend, and what may be the hottest day of the year in the Twin Cities Sunday.

Our high dew point “free sauna” air mass lingers this weekend. That moisture is fuel for scattered thunderstorms, which will again roam Minnesota this weekend. The most concentrated thunderstorm action should favor western and northern Minnesota. With tropical dew points hovering around 70 degrees, when it rains, it will pour.

  • 92 degrees — hottest temp at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport so far in 2014 on July 21
  • 2 — number of 90 degree days so far at the airport  in 2014
  • 13 days – annual average number of 90-degree days in the Twin Cities

Miami, with Corn Dogs: Mostly steamy, partly thundery

Our topical air mass resembles Miami this weekend.

With corn dogs. And pronto pups. On a stick.

A free helping of sweat to come with your favorite State Fair fare this weekend. Here’s the warm front responsible for pushing our tropical air mass, and some scattered storms into Minnesota this weekend.


512 hot htermo

Sunday “heat storm” could be hottest of 2014?

If all the ingredients fall into place, Sunday may be the hottest day of 2014 in the Twin Cities. We’ve managed just 2 days at or above 90 so far this year in our muted summer. The latest model trends fire the low pressure center up to our west through the eastern Dakotas. That should pull the warm front bodily through Minnesota Sunday, and send a surge of heat into the metro and southern Minnesota.

We hit 92 on July 21 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Some of the model indicators for Sunday afternoon crank out 850 millibar temperatures as high as +27C (more than 80 degrees) about 5,000 feet above ground level. If we get enough sun and a mixing breeze, that may be good enough for mid-90s Sunday afternoon.

Heat index values will likely approach 100 in the Twin Cities metro area and southern Minnesota by 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday.


Hints of September next week?

The last unofficial week of summer arrives next week.  How did that happen anyway?

A cool front blows in more free AC with a September like air mass featuring much more comfortable dew points in the 50s.


NOAA: Mild fall and winter ahead?

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has just released long- range outlooks favor a milder than average fall and winter in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. The outlook is based on the still possible El Nino event, that NOAA put the odds of at 65 pecent.


My MPR colleague and University of Minnesota climate specialist Mark Seeley has more in this week’s Weather Talk.

Topic: New Seasonal Climate Outlook

The NOAA Climate Prediction Center issued new seasonal climate outlooks on Thursday this week.  They call for equal chances of above or below normal temperatures and precipitation for September across Minnesota.  For later in autumn and early winter, the outlook clearly favors warmer than normal temperatures for the western Great Lakes Region for October through February.  This is predominately based on the formation of an El Nino episode this fall which is correlated mild winters in our region.  More at…

John Abraham posts on MPR’s Climate Cast in UK’s Guardian

You may have heard University of St. Thomas professor John Abraham chat with Kerri Miller and I on many of our Climate Cast segments on MPR News. John writes on all things climate for The Guardian, which is reportedly the 3rd highest trafficked online news site in the world.

A few weeks ago John asked me if he could write about what we’re doing with MPR’s Climate Cast, which is apparently quite unique in reporting on evolving climate science in the world of radio.

John posted this piece Thursday in the guardian. I’m a little shy about posting this, but thought it might be of interest to Updraft readers and Climate Cast listeners.

Here’s a snippet.

It’s very rare that a meteorologist, let alone a major media organization, take time to bring in-depth discussions to their listeners. But, just this has happened approximately a year ago at Minnesota Public Radio, the largest public radio enterprise in the United States with their star meteorologist Paul Huttner and his deeply knowledgeable host Kerri Miller. This unique venture (a weekly climate show CLIMATE CAST and a weather and climate blog UPDRAFT) and talented team is setting the standard for climate reporting in the United States. 

In barely a year, their guest list has included Kevin Trenberth, Ben Santer, Jennifer Francis, Gary Yohe, Anthony Leiserowitz, Steve Vavrus, and Ralph Keeling among others. The depth and reach of Climate Cast have motivated my selection of Paul as my latest Scientist in Focus.

I always appreciate your comments on where we’re going with Climate Cast. Our goal is simply to present the latest evolving climate science. We try to focus on what we know, and talk about what we still don’t know a climate science continues to evolve. My view is that climate change is not just a problem, it may present a great opportunity to advance our economy and even our civilization. We try to focus both on how earth’s climate is changing, and also on what solutions and opportunities are evolving.

CC logo

I’m away on vacation next week soaking up what’s left of a Minnesota summer. Craig Edwards, Bill Endersen and Ron Trenda will capably man the MPR Weather Lab next week. MPR is very lucky to have assembled such a great team of highly experienced Twin Cities based meteorologists.

Enjoy the week and see you in September!