Murky May: Soggy today; Midweek severe threat; Drought busted

Lilac Weather

The Weather Lab Lilacs are happy this year.

490 lilacs.jpg

My grass has never been this green. Happy hostas dot the “high energy green” spring landscape this year.

That’s what happens when you get a almost year’s worth of rain in 4 months in southeast Minnesota.

Bye bye drought.

Our Murky May muddles on this week with a twist. Warmer temps may crack 80F and bring a midweek thunder threat. Watches and warnings may fly again Wednesday & Thursday.

In other news, skies may dry and clear late week…and we could actually see some sun and dry weather Friday…and again Sunday.

There are also signs that more summery weather is about to take hold in the next 1-2 weeks.

Hello June!

490 ql.png

Todaycast: More of the same

Our weather pattern is stuck again.

We call them “blocking patterns” in meteorology. It’s why we get 4 consecutive days of clouds with occasional showers.

Expect some morning showers again today…with a chance of a stray thunderstorm late this afternoon & evening.

-Latest Twin Cities radar loop

Iowa Inundation:

It could be worse…the stalled and troubled warm front parked over Iowa Memorial Day weekend and delivered flooding rains.

490 dsm flood vid.png

As much as 4″ to 8″ of rain pounded northwest Iowa since Friday.

490 ia raonfall.png

The Des Moines NWS has more on the continued flood potential.

490 dsm flood info.png

Midweek severe risk

Low pressure in the Rockies will lift the Iowa warm front north into Minnesota tomorrow.

NOAA’s NAM model bring in 2 primary waves of rain & thunder Wednesday & Thursday.

490 nam anim.gif

As the front lifts north, expect a better chance of strong…and possibly severe thunderstorms late Wednesday & Thursday. The best chance for severe storms looks like late PM & evening Wednesday…with another chance Thursday.

NOAA’s SPC has “risked” parts of southern Minnesota Wednesday and Thursday.

490 wxs.png

Keep an eye on the sky and an ear to your weather radio this week.

How to dismantle a drought:

The past 4 months in Minnesota have been nothing short of remarkable in busting last year’s drought.

Parts of southeast Minnesota have seen 20″ precip totals (rain/snow) since January 1st.

490 pcp since ajn 1.gif

That’s a year’s worth of rain for western Minnesota, and among the wettest 1% of years on record for southeast Minnesota.

490 hist since jan 1.gif

The Minnesota Climate Working Group has more on the remarkable drought busting year of 2013.


The U. S. Drought Monitor, released on May 23 places portions of southwest Minnesota in the Severe Drought category (map at right). Only 7 percent of Minnesota’s landscape is in Severe Drought, a substantial improvement over early April when 67 percent of Minnesota was experiencing Extreme Drought or Severe Drought. The maximum geographic extent of the present drought was late autumn 2012 through mid-winter when 83 percent of the state was rated in the Extreme Drought or Severe Drought categories.

Subsoil moisture across 30 percent of Minnesota’s landscape is said to be Short or Very Short. Only 11 percent of recent reports indicate Short topsoil moisture.

Minnesota’s drought situation is the result of abnormally dry weather beginning in Autumn 2011. In some communities, the long-term dry spell was interrupted by wet weather in Spring 2012, only to have Summer and Fall 2012 precipitation shortfalls and heat downgrade the situation yet again.

Paul Huttner

  • Chris

    As you say, it could be a lot worse, from Saturday to Sunday this past weekend, the Adirondack Mountains in New York State got 3 feet of snow. I am just glad we didn’t get that.

  • Robert

    I just want some consistant sun. Maybe the fact that winter dragged on so long is biasing my memory, but this year it seems like so much more of a struggle to get a sunny, reasonably warm (i.e., seasonably warm) Saturday. What about a handful of sunny days, followed by a rainy day or two? That sounds nice and balanced to me. Instead, mother nature sees to it that we have incessant cloudiness and precipitation, followed by a transient day of sunny skies and milder temperatures. I sware, before the spring is over, the term “blocking pattern” is going to drive me to drink.

    Okay, I feel better.