Summery Preview; 1st 90 possible Friday; Thunder threat Saturday

Windy today Gusts to 30+ mph this afternoon

Whitecaps on Minnesota lakes today

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Source: Twin Cities NWS

90 degrees possible Friday and Saturday in the metro

June 3rd 1st 90 degree day last year

May 28th average date of season’s 1st 90 degree day in the past 5 years

17 days at or above 90 degrees in 2011 at MSP

14 days – average # of 90 degree days each year at MSP

Saturday thunder – Growing thunder threat Saturday PM & night

Click for Twin Cities, Minnesota Forecast

Winds of May:

“Gusty & Dusty” was the phrase in Arizona when the wind kicked up like today in Minnesota. Thankfully we’ve had rain, and grass and other green and growing things hold rich soil in place n Minnesota. We don’t often see huge clouds of airborne dust.

A developing warm front will help spike southerly winds today 20 to 30+ mph in much of Minnesota.

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Source: NWS

Look for whitecaps and some impressive waves to kick up Minnesota’s 10,000+ on lakes today. More than a “walleye chop,” waves on area lakes will be more like a “Northern Chop” the next two days. Be careful out there!

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Source: NWS

Spotty showers & T-Storms:

The may be few and far between, but scattered showers and a T-Storm or two will ride the frontal boundary today. SPC is not impressed with severe potential, but a few of the more vigorous showers may aid gusts in an already gusty “synoptic” environment.

“Hot Front:” Season’s 1st 90 for the metro?

As the “hot front” pushes north Friday, temps will make a run at 90 degrees in the metro and will likely see some mid 90s in western Minnesota.

One method of forecasting surface temps is to use the 850 millibar “mix down” method on breezy summer days. If you take the 850 millibar temp (about 5k feet up) and bring it down to the surface “dry adiabatically” you get a projected surface maximum or “high temp” for that day.

This was the tried and true technique at “Weather Command” in Chicago where I spent my early years cutting my teeth in this biz as an operational forecaster.

If you take Friday’s NAM projected 850 millibar temp of +20C degrees and mix it down, you get about 90 to 94 degrees in western Minnesota…and perhaps as far east as the metro.

That assumes “100% of possible sunshine” and other factors falling into place. I’d say there’s at least a 50/50 chance of hitting 90 in the metro Friday, and if everything goes right a few bank thermometers could flash as high as 92 late Friday afternoon.

If we reach 90 Friday and/or Saturday, it will be about 2 weeks earlier than the past 5 year average for the season’s 1st 90 degree day at MSP, which has occurred about May 28th.

Does my AC still work?

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Source: Twin Cities NWS

Saturday Night (Fever) & Thunder Threat:

Temps will make another run at 90 Saturday in Minnesota, and the chances for thunder will grow from west to east.

A cool front will cut into western Minnesota late Saturday. Storms will line up along the front in western Minnesota Saturday afternoon and evening. A few pop up storms can’t be ruled out ahead of the front Saturday PM as far east as the metro, but the best chance for thunder and a soaking rain will come later Saturday night into Sunday morning.

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Source: ISU

The front should push out of here early Sunday, leaving a cooler and less humid day by Sunday afternoon.

Of course, the weather looks blissfully sunny and quiet as we start next week. I’ll kick the weather computer to see if we can get the timing right for perfect weekends and rain during the week, preferably at night.

Good luck with that!

Storm Ready? Asking the right questions

It’s great to hear MPR/KARE11 listeners and viewers are reacting to and thinking about our link to our MPR/KARE11 safety tips.

Paul Huttner

Make it a great Thursday!


  • Ellen Brown

    I don’t really know how/where to voice this suggestion but hope this will work. Seems to me I remember a request for comments re tornado readiness. For a long time….ever really….I have been confused by tornado “watch” vs “warning.” These terms are not sufficiently descriptive for me to know whether I am supposed to “watch” for conditions or for actual tornados or be “warned” that conditions exist or that actual tornados have been spotted. So I never know what level of readiness I should assume: open eyes or take cover. I think it would help a lot to change the terminology.