Septembery Thursday; Rain tonight; AZ smoke from space

The bloom is fading on the lilacs. The June bugs are pretty much toast. And it feels like school should be starting up today, instead of the last day of school for many districts.

Did we go to bed in June and wake up in September?

With temperatures 50 degrees cooler than just 36 hours ago you have to wonder.

Let’s break down the forecast as we look ahead into the weekend.


Thursday feels like September in Minnesota. A mixed bag of clouds & sun and a brisk northeast breeze combined with temps in the 60s will make for a chilly but pleasant day.

78 degrees: The average high for today, June 9th.

68 degrees: My forecast high for the metro at around 4pm today

September 23rd: The date when our average high is 68 degrees

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Thursday night & Friday:

Our next weathermaker rolls into Minnesota tonight and Friday.

A moderate strength low pressure system is slowly pulling east from the northern Rockies and heading for Minnesota. Ahead of the system, a warm front in Iowa will pull up moisture and develop a “stratiform rain” area tonight and move it north into southern Minnesota.

As opposed to convective precip, stratiform rain is more widespread and consistent, so the rain area could be a soaker for most all of Minnesota by late Friday.

It looks like the rain will focus on southern Minnesota overnight into early Friday, then shift north as Friday wears on. Skies may brighten and the rain may taper in southern Minnesota Friday PM.

Rainfall totals with this system appear to be in the .30″ to .70″ range generally speaking, with some locally higher 1″ totals possible.

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On the higher end of the scale, last night’s NAM model was cranking out as much as 1.22″ of rain for the metro, but has come down to around .60″ on the overnight run. The GFS is hanging with about .30″ on the lower end.

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Modles cranking out soaking rains overnight for the Twin Cities.

We’ve only picked up .02″ of rain in the metro so far in June, so most areas could use a good soaking. The timing is good for the most part. Temps will feel cool and linger in the 60s Friday.

Decent weekend?

Depending on your perspective, this might be a half decent weekend forecast.

Look for a mix of sun & clouds both Saturday and Sunday. Highs should be in the cool 60s Saturday, moderating into the low 70s Sunday.

Right now, the weekend looks mostly dry. It could be better, but it could be worse this weekend!

Montana Floods:

The scene we saw on Minnesota rivers has played out this year from Mississippi to Montana. Heavy snow in the northern Rockies combines with recent rainfall has river at or near record flood stage in Montana.

NOAA has the details:

…Western Flooding Continues…

Published: Thu, 09 Jun 2011 08:07:12 EDT

“More heavy rainfall — 1 to 3 inches in the past 24 hours — fell over central and eastern Montana, causing extensive flash flooding of streams and tributaries, as well as main stem river flooding. Many homes have been flooded in the Helena and Glasgow vicinities and a significant number of bridges and roads are impassable. The Milk River near Glasgow reached a record stage of 33.9 feet this morning, and is within one foot of the top of the levee protecting Glasgow.”

AZ smoke plume visible from space:

Check out these amazing images from NOAA satellites as the smoke plume from Arizona’s huge Wallow Fire streams northeast nto Minnesota Tuesday. (UW-Madison CIMSS Satellite Blog)

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Now look at the image below as isolated thunderheads blew near sunset in Tuesday’s heat, as the CB towers and setting sun cast shadows on the smoke plume into Wisconsin!

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Do you remember how the sky turned an orangey color around sunset during the heat on Tuesday as those isolated T-Storms blew in St. Paul and raced east into Wisconsin?

We were witnessing a smoky pall from the AZ Wallow Fire plume as the cold front pushed in.

Remarkable how events over 1,000 miles away can affect our sky and weather in Minnesota!

Adios La Nina:

The latest ENSO Advisory from CPC is the final La Nina adviory for this event.

We can probably thanks, blame or curse La Nina for our snowy winter, and our chilly turbulent spring in Minnesota.

It looks like La Nina is finally bitting the dust in the tropical Pacific.

Modles trend towards “ENSO neutral” or even a slight El Nino by next winter. That could portend winter next year that is less harsh than last winter.


CPC modles show rising SST’s in the tropical Pacific this year.

Stay tuned!


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