Irene track shifts east; MSP’s warm summer numbers

A quick update on Hurricane Irene.

BULLETIN

HURRICANE IRENE INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 14A

NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL092011

800 PM EDT TUE AUG 23 2011

…IRENE BEARING DOWN ON THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS…

SUMMARY OF 800 PM EDT…0000 UTC…INFORMATION

———————————————-

LOCATION…21.1N 71.8W

ABOUT 50 MI…80 KM WSW OF GRAND TURK ISLAND

ABOUT 90 MI…145 KM E OF GREAT INAGUA ISLAND

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…90 MPH…150 KM/H

PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 295 DEGREES AT 9 MPH…15 KM/H

MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…969 MB…28.61 INCHES

As I said in my morning post, Irene is slated to intensify and become a major hurricane in the next 24 hours.

The one change worth noting is that Tuesday’s forecast model trends are to push Irene further to the east. This may suggest that Irene will not produce a direct hit on the Carolina coast….it could be more of a glancing (but still substantial) blow on the Outer Banks.

Here are the latest spaghetti models.

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This potentially good news for places like Myrtle Beach and Charleston may be bad news for News for Long Island and Cape Cod. Irene may spend more time over open ocean, and that could mean a potentially stronger hurricane if the tracks near New York City and Boston verify.

After Tuesday’s rare earthquake on the East Coast, some areas may feel the forces of an earthquake and hurricane in the same week for the first time ever!

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Stay tuned!

Warm summer, but no 90s so far in August?

Southern Minnesota flirted with 90 today, with plenty of humidity to boot. Believe it or not MSP and much of Minnesota has not recorded a 90 degree temperatures so far in August!

14 days at or above 90 at MSP Airport so far in 2011.

13 days on average at or above 90 each year at MSP.

25 days this summer with highs between 85 and 89 degrees at MSP this summer!

40 days at or above 85 degrees at MSP in 2011.

+1.1 degrees vs. average temps at MSP in June

+ 5.6 degrees vs. average in July

+2.2 degrees so far in August

+3 degrees vs. average at MSP sumemr of 2011!

It feels like it’s been warm this summer, and the numbers support that.

With just one week left in “meteorological summer” we are running about 3 degrees warmer than average for the summer of 2011 in the Twin Cities and much of Minnesota.

There’s been plenty of beach weather, and after a chilly start, lake water temperatures finally warmed up into the lower 80s by mid-July in the south and well into the 70s up north.

To me the most interesting stat is the number of 90 degree days this year.

MSP Airport has recorded 14 days of 90 degree pus heat. That’s only one above the annual average of 13 days. But we’ve had 6 days with a high of 89 degrees, and 25 days with highs between 85 and 89 degrees!

Add up all the days above 85 degrees (very warm by any standards) and we’ve (enjoyed?) a full 40 days at or above 85 degrees this summer.

Not bad!

“Fresh Front” Ahead Wednesday:

After a fairly sweaty Tuesday PM & night, a cool front will sweep away the hot humid air mass which made a brief cameo in Minnesota.

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Look for a fresh northwest breeze building Wednesday.

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Fresh gusty northwest winds Wednesday afternoon!

It will still be warm and feel like summer with highs in the 80s, but dew points will plunge into the 50s Wednesday afternoon and evening! It will fell downright comfy by sunset Wednesday night.

That sunset is now at 8:04pm, which is a full hour earlier (gulp) than in late June! You can see the boats on area lakes heading for shore about 90 minutes earlier than two months ago.

“Fair” Forecast: Good to great

Thursday’s weather may be just “perfect” for the opening of the Minnesota State Fair. A weak bubble of high pressure overhead will bring all day sunshine, highs in the low 80s and comfy humidity with dew points in the upper 50s.

Does it get any better?

In fact the first few days of the fair may be ideal. It looks like the best shot of a thundery rainy day will come Sunday.

Here’s the NWS version of the forecast.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 83. Northwest wind at 7 mph becoming southwest.

Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 64.

Friday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 83.

Friday Night: A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 65.

Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 78.

Saturday Night: A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 62.

Sunday: A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 77. (Note: I would put the rain chances higher for Sunday…more like 50-60%)

Monday: A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 74.

Tuesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 75.

It’s always hard to believe State Fair time is here this week. It seems to come up fast every year, but also just at the point where maybe…just maybe, you think we’ve had a long enough summer that we can lazily drift into fall next month,

I’m convinced the Minnesota State Fair is the perfect “psychological tonic” for Minnesotans to begin the slow transition into school and the fall season.

We stroll lazily around the Fair, soak up the last real doses of summer, enjoy the foods, sights, smells and sounds. We savor the summer that was, while we convince ourselves “it’s been a great summer” and we tell ourselves we are realy looking forward to fall.

By the way, if you enjoy the wistful and nostalgic feelings some seem to get this time of year I highly recommend watching an old Twilight Zone episode “Walking Distance.”

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It’s a great study on how we all would like to go back to the summers of our youth at some point. It is widely considered to be one of the best Twilight Zone episodes ever produced.

Another feeling I get this time of year a powerful sense of transition. I also recommend watching American Graffiti sometime in the next two weeks. The Lucas classic perfectly captures the seasonal and life transitions that seem to occur as summer eases into September.

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But I digress.

PH

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