Summery week ahead; Isolated thunder threat; Rare Venus transit Tuesday

80s return to Minnesota this week

Isolated thunder threat today, again later this week

Quick look forecast: (Slight thunder threat today for metro)

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Source: Twin Cities NWS

Comfy: 50s dew points early this week

Sultry: Tropical 70s dew points possible this weekend?

Warmest spring on record in most Minnesota locations

2nd wettest spring at MSP Airport

Wettest May on record at several Minnesota locations

Rare Venus “transit” of the sun Tuesday evening

105 years – next time we’ll see a Venus solar transit from earth

46 degrees Lake Superior water temp in Grand Marais harbor this weekend

Mostly Summery, with a chance:

Welcome back to summer in Minnesota.

This 1st full week of June will have the look and feel of summer. Highs will return to the 80s in most of Minnesota, with a nagging thunder threat.

A weak low pressure trough running from about Duluth to the metro will slide slowly east today. The weak trough will be the focus for a few potential showers and T-Storms today.

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Source: NOAA/College of Du Page Weather Lab

We can’t rule out a few isolated storms this afternoon, with local downpours drifting slowly southeast in a weak northwest flow aloft.

Temps may climb as high as the mid 80s Tuesday, and the thunder threat will increase (just in time) for the weekend as heat and humidity push north ahead of a developing warm front Saturday.

90 degrees looks like a good bet again by Sunday and with our first bout of tropical level dew points in the 70s by this weekend it could get really steamy around here by Sunday!

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Source: Iowa State University

Does my AC still work??

Warmest (and 2nd wettest) spring on record:

Another month, another record. May is the 12th straight month above average in Minnesota. We’ve just lived through the warmest year on record overall in Minnesota and the USA overall according to NOAA.

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Source: Paul Huttner photo/NOAA data

During the past 12 months our temperatures in the metro have run about +5.7 degrees vs. average. That’s like living in Omaha, Nebraska folks. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to live in “Nebraska, with lakes” now you know.

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Paul Huttner photo/NWS data

Go… Huskers?

This is also the warmest spring on record for much of Minnesota according to the Minnesota Climate Working Group.

Record Warm Spring: 2012

Spring 2012 is the warmest Spring on record over central and southern Minnesota and is in the top five warmest over northern Minnesota.

Meteorological Spring (March-May) will finish with an estimate of 54.0 degrees at the Twin Cities International Airport. This will make 2012 the warmest spring on record since modern record keeping began in 1873. The old record was 52.5 degrees in 1977. In addition, 2012 is the warmest Spring on record for other locations across central and southern Minnesota, including St. Cloud and Rochester. Farther to the north, Duluth tied the warmest spring on record and International Falls had the 4th warmest spring.

The warm spring was helped out enormously by the warmest March recorded in Minnesota’s history. The average temperature in the Twin Cities was 48.3 degrees, 15.5 degrees above normal. April followed with 50.0 degrees, 2.5 degrees above normal and May 2012 (though May 30) had 63.9 degrees, 4.9 degrees above normal.

It was also a wet spring as well. The total precipitation in the Twin Cities from March to May 2012 was 13.78 inches, 5.87 inches above normal. This was enough to finish in second place for the wettest meteorological Spring back to 1871. The wettest Spring on record is 1965 with 16.13 inches of precipitation.

Wet too!

Check out these Minnesota locations that just recorded the wettest May on record.

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Paul Huttner photo/MN Climate Working Group data

Sky Show: Rare Venus solar “transit” Tuesday evening

Okay, this one is going to be tough to see without specialized solar glasses.

An extremely rare solar transit of Venus will occur Tuesday evening in Minnesota, and mus of the USA.

The (black) disc of Venus will cross the face of the sun (“1st contact”) beginning around 5:03pm CDT Tuesday evening. The “transit” will take over 6 hours, meaning it will still be going on when the sun sets at about 8:56pm Tuesday.

You may have noticed bright Venus in the western evening sky the past few months has disappeared recently. That’s because it’s getting closer to the crossing the sun, and is tougher to see.

This should be a pretty cool event, but you’ll need special “solar glasses” to see it. The “pinhole trick” may not worth, because the resolution may not be good enough.

Here are some more details from space,com.

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

And a cool animation of Venus and Mercury crossing near the sun from NASA’s SOHO Observatory courtesy of

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Enjoy safely!


  • Lars

    Nice report Paul. Any idea why it’s so cold in Stockholm, Sweden (snow over the weekend) and Amsterdam?