Rain now, Twins rainouts, Cardinals “tornado” victory?

Here comes the rain again…..

Our next weathermaker is pumping rainfall north into Minnesota. This one looks potent, and most of Minnesota south east of a Worthington to Duluth line will see a good soaking in the next 36 hours.

-Latest Twin Cities radar

Let’s break down the system at hand.

The track:

Low pressure is deepening and moving north. The track of the surface low through eastern Iowa, almost due north assures plenty of gulf moisture will be dragged north with the system, then wrung out over Minnesota.

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Speed: Slow motion rain machine:

The system’s slow motion will mean a long duration event. Most of the rain will fall Tuesday as the storm stalls over Wisconsin… but rain (and snow?) may linger in some areas Wednesday and even early Thursday before the system finally pulls east.

Super soaker:

Cold air and slow movement will make this system an efficient rain producer. Look for the potential for an all day steady rain in much of southern Minnesota Tuesday into Tuesday night. There may be some embedded heavy rain pockets, and a clap of thunder is a possibility.

Rainfall totals should be heavy in southern Minnesota, then taper off as you move northwest. A cutting northeast wind and temps in the 40s will make it feel more like March at times.

Here are some projected rainfall totals by Wednesday evening.

Detroit Lakes to Bemidji: Light rainfall generally under .25″. Little or rain north.

Twin Cities to Duluth: Generally .50″ to 1″ with some heavier totals in the south & east metro possible.

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South & east of the metro including the I-90 corridor; Fairmont, Albert Lea, Rochester, Mankato, Owatonna Red Wing & Eau Claire:

Rainfall totals here could exceed 1″ to 2″+ by late Wednesday.

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Bottom line: This will be a steady soaking rain for most areas of southern Minnesota.

Snowfall potential?

May begins on Sunday, so you wouldn’t think we’d have to be talking about snow potential this week. Then again, this is Minnesota. We’ve been spoiled the past few years it seems.

It appears the atmosphere will be marginally cold enough for some wet snowflakes to mix in early Wednesday, especially north and east of the metro. Some slushy accumulations are possible, especially from Hinckley to Rice Lake and Hayward and maybe even near Duluth early Wednesday.

Better by Friday: Friday looks like the next best day after Monday’s beautiful weather. Temperatures should surge onto the (upper?) 60s again. The respite may be brief with another storm rolling in Friday night & Saturday.

Twins match 2010 rainout totals in April?

We all watched happily in amazement as the Twins dodged a series of weather bullets last season at Target Field. It looks like the weather law of averages is catching up this year.

Last season featured just two games all season postponed due to weather at Target Field. It looks like we’ll match (and maybe exceed) that total in April in 2011.

Friday night’s Twins-Indians was game postponed. Right now I’d say there’s a 90%+ chance tomorrow’s Twins-Rays game is a washout. And Wednesday night looks iffy too. Thursday may be playable depending on how fast the system moves east.

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That could be 3 games in April postponed due to weather at TF in 2011. Add a 4th from Yankee Stadium on April 6th and the Twins have some making up to do. Look for some doubleheaders later this year.

Did the Cardinals use a “severe weather strategy” to beat the Reds?

Thanks to my partner in weather crime (and Twins meteorologist) Craig Edwards for passing this along today.

It seems Tony LaRussa may have used incoming severe weather to pull a fast one on the Cincinnati Reds Friday night.

Check out the story from stltoday.com.

“A weather-delayed game the Cardinals ultimately won 4-2 at Busch Stadium negotiated its first turn almost 30 minutes before first pitch when the Cardinals notified the Cincinnati Reds that the game would start as scheduled despite an ominous weather forecast.

In a piece of managerial legerdemain, La Russa held back his scheduled starting pitcher Kyle McClellan; Baker allowed Edinson Volquez to warm as originally planned.

From there, the event evolved into a mix of meteorological intrigue, missed opportunities and a final four-out stand that left McClellan the winning pitcher, Mitch Boggs a successful closer and the Cardinals alone in first place for the first time since last Aug. 13.

La Russa told Miguel Batista that he would be making an unscheduled start shortly before the Cardinals notified Baker of their decision to start the game on time. Baker said afterward he was informed by the Cardinals that a window of 45-60 minutes remained after first pitch, a version also supported by the umpiring crew.

“They told us we had a window of an hour. That window turned into two minutes,” said crew chief John Hirschbeck.

In this case, the window slammed on Baker’s hands.

Because the home team, not the umpiring crew, controls a game’s first pitch, McClellan replacement Miguel Batista served his first offering at 7:16 p.m., barely two minutes before a squall shut down proceedings after only six pitches.

Downpours, high wind and a tornado warning for downtown St. Louis froze the game for 2 hours, 10 minutes. Less than two years removed from elbow ligament replacement, Volquez never took the mound. Baker instead summoned lefthander Matt Maloney (0-1) to make his 10th major-league start in less than ideal circumstances.

“We had a few minutes [notice],” Baker said. “But that wasn’t an issue. It didn’t matter what Tony did. I wasn’t going to have to follow what he did.”

Asked whether the club contemplated delaying first pitch until dangerous weather passed, La Russa said, “The forecasts were flying fast and furious. They’re just guessing. You don’t know what’s going to happen. But right after we announced it was starting on time — around 7:05 — somebody said it was raining at [Interstate] 270 and they thought it’d be here in 15 minutes. By then, it’s pretty tough to back off.

“Sure enough, five minutes into the game it’s raining.”

When the game resumed McClellan was ready to take his turn, albeit in what surely will hold up as the season’s longest relief appearance.

Asked after the game whether he believed the Cardinals operated under a different weather advisory than what he received, Baker said, “I’d say there’s a pretty good chance. But, hey, it almost worked out for us.”

Believe me, there will be days when the Twins will win a game because they have quality weather help in the dugout. Who knew the teams MVP could be an accurate weather forecast?

PH

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