Instant July weekend; Smokey skies; La Nina returns

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90 Friday’s high temp at MSP

73 average high Friday

+17 degrees vs. average Friday

16 days at or above 90 at MSP this year

13 days on average at or above 90 at MSP

80s continue this weekend!

July Rewind:

Our friendly upper level high pressure ridge is in control over Minnesota this weekend. The warmest part of the system, called the “thermal ridge” set up smack dab over Minnesota bringing the late summer warmth to the region.

90 with a north wind?

We don’t often hit 90 in Minnesota with a northerly wind direction. Friday’s oddball mini heat wave was courtesy of a thermal ridge that spilled in from the northwest, instead of the usual southwest.

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Smokey Skies:

Did you notice the whitish tint to the sky Friday?

Smoke from the fire near the Fernberg Road east of Ely produced a plume of smoke that drifted south through western Wisconsin & into the metro Friday.

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When you add streamlines (surface wind flow) to the picture you can see how the low level wind trajectory was perfect for funneling the diffuse smoke plume into the metro Friday.

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Many MPR listeners noticed the smokey white tint in metro skies Friday.

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MNDOT Cam at I-394 near Ridgedale captures whitish sky Friday.

La Nina: Part II

It’s official, La Nina is back in the Pacific.

Pacific SST’s have been cooling late this summer, and it looks like La Nina conditions will persist into the coming winter.

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Blue colors indicate growing area of below average SST’s in the tropical Pacific.

You may recall that last winter’s strong La Nina was largely tagged for producing the heavy snowfall totals in the Midwest, and the 4th snowiest winter on record at MSP with 86.4″!

Not al La Nina’s are created equal though and this may end up being a bit less strong. While not impossible, it is unlikely we’ll see that much snow again this winter.

Stay tuned!


  • Bill


    What happened from a meteorological perspective today that created temps well above forecast and winds that, at least this evening, are also stronger than forecast? Inquiring minds …..