It’s getting to be a trend in recent years.

Minnesota’s version of weather whiplash features record rainfall and floods in spring and early summer. Then in July or early August somebody flips the weather switch to “dry”.

In 40-plus years of watching weather pattern in Minnesota I’ve never heard the term “flash drought” uttered until the past couple of years.

This summer seems to be following suit. The wettest year on record through June has yielded just .45 inch rainfall the past two weeks. The forecast looks to favor a dry bias in the next two weeks overall. Homeowners who were fighting off record high river and lake levels may be begging for rain for crunchy lawns in the next few weeks.

Welcome to Minnesota. Land of All or Nothing.

1728 msp

No doubt about it. This week will bring some of the most pleasant weather of summer to Minnesota if you like low humidity, increasingly sunny skies and comfortable temps. Our Monday morning gray gives way to an increasingly sunny afternoon today.

A lazy wedge of high pressure noses into western Minnesota and loiters overhead this week. Wisconsin sits closer to a swirling Great Lakes low, and closer to a few scattered showers sliding south in the cool northerly flow each afternoon.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Drying out again in southeastern Minnesota

Last week’s derecho up north dumped several inches of rain. In southern Minnesota including the metro we’ve been trending much drier. Most areas have seen less than .45 inch in the past two weeks, and some less than .25 inch in the past seven days.

Here’s the seven-day rainfall tally from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service.


Emerging drought?

Don’t look now, but things are drying up quickly in the south. It may stay that way.

A persistent northwest flow means a cooler and drier than average bias the next 1-2 weeks. Here’s the 16-day output from NOAA’s Global Forecast System, which suggest scant rainfall with under half an inch the next 16 days for the metro.

NOAA via IPS Meteostar

Dog days of summer? Not so much this year. But we’ll enjoy some very peasant weather the next two weeks. Take that Phoenix as you enjoy 108 degrees!

Monsoon active in Southwest

Speaking of Phoenix, the summer monsoon is in full effect. That means rounds of afternoon thunderstorms sweeping in off the mountains. Rain bearing storms are three times more common around Tucson vs. Phoenix, where storms often produce dry microbursts that kick up a wall of dust several hundred feet into the air and sent it racing north into metro Phoenix.

Here’s an impressive shot of the latest haboob that rolled into metro Phoenix Friday.

The North American Monsoon brings life giving summer rains to the deserts of Arizona and much of the inter-mountain West. Several inches of rainfall have graced Arizona’s high country the past 30 days. Yes, parts of the Desert Southwest have been wetter than Minnesota in recent weeks.


By the way when you hear someone use the term “monsoon season” it is actually a misnomer. The term monsoon means “season” from Arabic. So “monsoon season” is redundant. “Summer Monsoon is a much better term to describe the magnificent pattern that brings new life in summer to overheated southwest deserts.

It’s a great slice of weather life that most Minnesotans never get to experience. I highly recommend you take the opportunity to visit Tucson this time of year if you get the chance. You may be rewarded with some of the greatest storm watching and lightning shows you’ll ever see.