Rare Venus transit Tuesday; Wet MN soils; North Shore swift water (photos)

5:03pm CDT approximate time of the start of Venus “solar transit” Tuesday

6 hours and 40 minutes – duration of the Venus transit

8:56pm sunset in the metro Tuesday (Venus transit still in progress)

95% of Minnesota soils rated with “adequate to surplus” topsoil moisture

Quick look forecast for MSP:

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Source: Twin Cities NWS

84 years – Coldest June weekend since 1928 in Stockholm, Sweden

Swift water on many North Shore rivers these days after a wet May

Quick look forecast: (For Grand Marais and the North Shore)

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Source: Duluth NWS

Rare Venus “Solar Transit” Tuesday:

This one may be worth watching with the right “eyewear.”

A rare solar transit of Venus across the face of the sun takes place Tuesday evening in Minnesota and much of the USA. You could wait until the next one, but you’ll need to be around in another 105 years to see it!

Here’s the catch: You can’t see it safely without special eye protection, and that may be hard to find. A call to the Science Museum of Minnesota Monday afternoon confirms they do not carry any solar glasses, and they do not know of any place in the Twin Cities to get your hands on protective eyewear in the metro.

Here is everything you wanted to know about the Venus solar transit Tuesday evening from space.com.

Find out about the planet Venus' dramatic trip across the face of the sun in June 2012 in this SPACE.com infographic.
Source SPACE.com: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration

Many people are planning to watch the transit of Venus on Tuesday (June 5), but it’s extremely important that prospective viewers be warned to take special precautions (as with a solar eclipse) to view the silhouette of Venus against the brilliant disk of the sun.

For the United States and Canada the transit will begin when the dark disk of Venus first touches the outer edge of the sun, an event that astronomers call Contact I. From the Eastern U.S. and Eastern Canada, Contact I should occur around 6:03 p.m. EDT (2203 GMT). From the Western U.S. and Western Canada, Contact I should occur around 3:06 p.m. PDT.

It will take about 18 minutes for the black disk of Venus to move completely onto the sun’s face; ultimately bringing its black disk just inside the sun’s upper left edge. If you imagine the sun’s disk as the face of a clock, Contact I will occur between the 11:30 and 12 o’clock position. Venus will then progress along a track that will run diagonally from the upper left to the lower right.

Here’s a safe way to use binoculars to project an image of the transit. Mom was right….DON”T look directly at the sun with your naked eyes.

Drought gone; soaked soils now

It took a flood to end the drought in MN…and boy did it work. A full 95% of Minnesota topsoil is now rated “adequate to surplus.”

Here’s the latest topsoil moisture report from Monday’s MN Crop Report.

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Source: USDA

You can see that our warm (and recently wet) spring has given corn and soybean development a head start vs. the 5 year average.

Europe Shivers: Coldest June weekend in 84 years

Could there be a new wave of Scandinavian immigration to Minnesota soon?

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Credit: Phys.org

This was the coldest June weekend in Sweden since 1928. Details from Phys.org.

On Saturday, as blustery winds and heavy rain fell on the capital, “Stockholm reported a high of just six degrees. We have not seen such a low June temperature since 1928,” the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) wrote in a statement.

And the cold and wet looked to be settling in for the better part of the coming week.

“On Thursday and Friday the weather will stabilize a bit with fewer showers and a little more sun, and temperatures will slowly rise,” the institute said, noting however that another rainstorm was due to move in over the country next weekend.

After the long, cold winter, the chilly and wet weather of late has left many Swedes longing for warmer climes.

Charter group Ving said Saturday its tour bookings increased by 31 percent during the past week from the previous week.

“Summer is coming soon and people don’t dare take a chance (on the weather in Sweden), they want to make sure they get some sun during their holiday,” Ving spokeswoman Magdalena Oehrn told Swedish news agency TT.

North Shore rivers are back:

A big thank you to the North House Folk School (especially Greg Wright and Jessa Frost) and the good people of Grand Marais who came out to share observations and questions during my talk about “Minnesota’s Changing Climate” Saturday evening.

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Photos by Paul Huttner-MPR News

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Gathering for a weather talk

It’s great to work for MPR and to get the opportunity to meet so many intelligent, curious dedicated MPR listeners. We are Minnesota Public Radio, after all.

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Pizza baking in the stone oven

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The finished product…yum!

At the risk of broadcasting what may be the best kept secret (that many Minnesotans already know) Grand Marais is one of those “secret special places.” You just can’t find that many spots with the fantastic geography, harbor and scenic views in Minnesota. It’s like our own mini our “San Diego of the North” on a really chilly ocean.

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Quiet harbor

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Moonrise over Grand Marais CG station

It’s great to see how the wet spring has the rivers raging on the North Shore again. Allow me to share a few photos from the weekend.

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Temperance River roars

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Looking downstream


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