Classic warm front weather, Hurricane Jerry forming in the Gulf?

It’s unlikely anyone will ever ask you, but if they do this is how a typical warm front happens in Minnesota.

1) Clouds roll in on southeast winds.

2) Scattered drizzle, showers and cool temps precede the front. A few thundershowers develop overnight as the front approaches.

3) Dew points rise from the 40s into the sticky 60s.

4) Morning clouds, fog and showers give way to mixed afternoon sun, and temps soar toward 80 degrees.

(Image: University of Illinois)

There. Now let them try and stump you at your next cocktail party. Skies should gradually brighten today, and you may see the sun this afternoon at times. If we get enough sun, it will feel like August around here by 5 p.m. into this evening as we work into the warmer air mass.

Enjoy the brief summer rerun. The next cold front is always on the way in late September and  with another shot of (welcome) rain tomorrow and cooler temps by Friday.

Hit or miss rains

Today’s early morning rain was hit or miss. Most areas in the metro picked up less than .15 inch totals. Some luckier spots around Kenyon, Zumbrota and Red Wing picked up a half-inch with a lucky inch along Interstate 90 west of Albert Lea. Here’s the storm total rainfall estimate from Weather Underground.

(Image: NOAA data via Weather Underground)

Highs today in the warm sector will be sunshine dependent. Southwest Minnesota will see the sun earliest, and that should help boost temps well into the 80s. Where clouds linger temps will be slower to rise and stuck in the 70s. Northeast Minnesota will enjoy clouds and cooler breezes off Lake Superior today and remain in the 60s.

(Image: Twin Cities National Weather Service)

Thursday cool front brings storms and slight severe risk

Our warm sector will be short lived this week.  The next cool front triggers showers and thunderstorms in northwest Minnesota by tonight and rolls through the Twin Cities by morning. Here are the risk areas from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center.

Slight severe risk through tonight favors Red River Valley. Image: NOAA SPC

The early morning frontal timing should limit severe threat for the metro Thursday morning. By afternoon, enough heating should occur from a sliver of southeast Minnesota into Wisconsin and Iowa to renew the slight risk for severe storms.

(Image: NOAA SPC)

Thursday’s early morning storm shot could be a little bumpy in the metro, and provide another much needed shot of rain. Most of the models suggest under .50 inch totals but a few lucky spots could do slightly better.

(Image: NOAA models via Iowa State University)

The heaviest rains and best chance for some 1 inch-plus totals should fall as storms are able to regenerate south and east Thursday afternoon.

Image: NOAA Weather Prediction Center

Temperature roller coaster ahead

Temps plunge again behind Thursday’s cool front. Highs should stay in the 60s Friday and probably Saturday. You’ll notice the drier fall like air mass as dew points plummet again into the 30s. A milder southerly flow will push tamps back into the 70s by Sunday and into next week.

(Image: European model data via Weatherspark)

Hurricane Jerry developing in Gulf of Mexico?

Just when you thought it was safe to relax this hurricane season, Jerry may come calling. It’s just hard to get too worked up about a potential hurricane named Jerry. Seems more of a friend than a threat.

Here’s the deal. A tropical low is already dumping heavy rains over the tip of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The system shows signs of spinning up into a tropical storm within the next 48 hours…and moving slowly north into the Gulf of Mexico. NOAA’s National Hurricane Center gives the system a 70 percent chance of becoming Tropical Storm Jerry within 48 hours.

(Image: NOAA NHC)

Hurricane Hunters are likely on the way to investigate the system later today. Here’s the discussion from NHC.

SATELLITE IMAGES AND SURFACE OBSERVATIONS FROM MEXICO INDICATE  THAT THE BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE IS CENTERED NEAR THE WEST COAST OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA. THIS SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO MOVE OVER THE BAY OF CAMPECHE AND THE SOUTHWESTERN GULF OF MEXICO DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS…WHERE ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO BE CONDUCIVE FOR THE FORMATION OF A TROPICAL DEPRESSION.

THIS SYSTEM HAS A HIGH CHANCE…70 PERCENT…OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AND A HIGH CHANCE…80 PERCENT…OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 5 DAYS. AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT IS SCHEDULED TO INVESTIGATE THE SYSTEM LATER TODAY…IF NECESSARY. REGARDLESS OF DEVELOPMENT… THIS DISTURBANCE WILL LIKELY SPREAD HEAVY RAINS OVER PORTIONS OF EASTERN MEXICO AND COULD CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLOODS AND MUDSLIDES OVER AREAS ALREADY IMPACTED BY TORRENTIAL RAINS DURING THE PAST SEVERAL DAYS.

Most models favor a slow trek north for Jerry the next 72 hours. Solutions then diverge greatly after that. Some suggest an eventual track toward the Florida panhandle by this weekend. Here are the “spaghetti model” track layouts for the next few days.

(Image: South Florida Water Management District)

Hurricane intensity is far less predictable than tracks, which can be tough enough. Many models suggest Jerry could reach hurricane intensity within about 72 hours.

(Image: University of Wisconsin Milwaukee)