What a delightful way to end the month of June. Afternoon temperatures have been in the 60s and 70s. Dew points have fallen toward or into the 50s. Perfect!

Lawns and gradens are growing nicely. After the storms that swept through late yesterday, my backyard rain gauge had measured 4.10 inches of rain for the month, which is average for June. MSP Airport got 4.40 inches.

Visible satellite images show that we are between weather systems. Yesterday’s storms have moved off to the east while areas of showers and thunderstorms over the Dakotas have struggled to reach Minnesota because of blocking high pressure. We are left with partly to mostly cloudy skies and hazy smoke from Canadian wildfires.

Minnesota is between weather systems today. NOAA

In fact, the storms in the east have really blossomed this afternoon. Severe thunderstorm watches have been posted from Florida to New York State. There have been many reports of severe winds.

Lightning often is a greater threat to humans than is wind or hail.

Lightning has been particularly intense this afternoon, especially across the South from Texas to northern Florida and Georgia and in Ohio. Vaisala

A treat in the evening sky

This evening’s sky will bring a special treat. The bright planets Venus and Jupiter have appeared to be approaching each other in the western sky for a month or so. This evening they will have their closest-together position in the sky of this event, called a conjunction, when they appear just a third of an angular degree apart. In reality, of course, they are far apart in space as Venus lies between Earth and the sun while Jupiter is on the far side of the sun and 12 times farther away than Venus. So look to the west during dark twilight or a little later. They might appear as a single object to the unaided eye, but a small telescope would show Venus as a bright crescent while Jupiter will be a fully lit disk.

Farther down the week in weather

Wednesday and Thursday should remain mostly dry during this stuck weather pattern. Some scattered showers and storms might break out at times, mainly in southwestern Minnesota and possibly the Arrowhead, but most of us will remain dry through Saturday.

Five-day forecast rainfall through 7 a.m. Saturday. Close to 5 inches of rain could pour on areas around Missouri, Kentucky, northeastern Arkansas and much of Tennessee. NOAA Weather Prediction Center

The next significant weather maker is likely to be a cold front that will arrive on Sunday, although the models disagree on the timing. The long range forecast at this time is that thunderstorms are likely to break out across much of Minnesota sometime during Sunday.

Looking even farther ahead, which is risky in weather forecasting, the NOAA Climate Prediction Center’s outlook for July rainfall in Minnesota is to trend toward near normal or possibly lean a bit toward the wet side in the southern part of the state. Specific rainfall forecasts are not very reliable during the convective season due to the scattered nature of most thunderstorms, but these outlooks give us an idea of how the major weather systems might behave during the month.

Much of the U.S. west of the Mississippi River, but not drought-plagued California, might lean toward the wet side of normal in July.