Soggy weekend; Farmers make progress

The weekend is here, and so is the rain.

Without getting too depressed about our 90% “success rate” for wet weekends this year, let’s break down the weekend forecast and see if we can find some dry hours between the raindrops.

It looks like most of the (heavier) rain will be front loaded for the first half of the weekend, and we may get more dry hours late Saturday & Sunday.

Friday Night:

Scattered showers and a few thunder claps. Local downpours. Temps steady in the 60s. Winds E 5-15 & gusty at times.

Rainfall totals generally .25″ to .50″

Saturday:

The main wave of precip will ride north from Iowa in the wee hours of Saturday morning. This wave will likely produce heavy downpours overnight, and some embedded thunder.

Signs are the rain could last well into Saturday morning, but there may be a drying trend with mixed sunshine Saturday afternoon.

Temps in the 60s warming into the upper 70s Saturday PM. Wind SE- S 5-12 mph.

Rainfall totals .50″ to 1″ overnight into Saturday AM, with some isolated higher totals.

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NAM model paints widespread .50″ to 1″+ rainfall totals this weekend.

Saturday night & Sunday:

This should be the drier, nicer half of the weekend. In fact, Saturday evening & night could be downright nice in many locations with temps in the 70s and partly cloudy skies.

Sunday should feature several dry hours. Chances for pop-up showers and a few scattered T-Storms will increase Sunday PM.

You can track the weekend rain blobs on Doppler.

-Latest Twin Cities radar loop

Temperatures may push 80 degrees by Sunday PM, making it feel like summer!

Severe risk?

The vast majority of the showers and storms this weekend will be “garden variety.” Some may contain small hail, downpours and gusty winds, but most should stay well below severe limits.

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The slight exceptions could come late Saturday and Sunday PM when a few isolated T-Storms could blossom and turn severe. SPC has placed the slight risk area south of Minnesota to just the Iowa border for Saturday. My hunch is that may get moved a bit further north later Saturday of Sunday PM.

Bottom line: Looks like everyone will see a good soaking (.50″ to 1″+) this weekend, especially during the first half. You may be able to sneak in a few dry & potentially sunny hours late Saturday & Sunday.

Dry week a bonus for farmers:

5 dry days in a row were a good thing for farmers in the Upper Midwest.

Major progress was made in planting last week and it accelerated this week. The dry spell came at a critical time. As you can see from the graph below, 2011 planting is far behind last year and the 5 year running average.

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Ample sunshine and low humidity made for excellent drying conditions for soggy fields.

As you can see form the table below, as much as 1″ of moisture likely evaporated from soggy topsoil this week in Minnesota.

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Soil temperatures also warmed dramatically this week from into the upper 50s & low 60s in most areas. That is why crops are germinating rapidly now, and your back yard is looking greener than ever!

May you “walk between the raindrops” this weekend!

PH

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