“May Monsoon” moves in; Warm thundery weekend mixes sun & rain; Ice out up north


Call it our May Monsoon…or a “June Preview.”

Either way get ready for a change for the wetter the next few days. This is the rainy season in Minnesota.

The culprit?

A strong low pressure system that will “stall” over the eastern Dakotas and western Minnesota this weekend into next week.

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The result?

Occasional bouts of rain and thunder…and some of the rain will be heavy at times.

No, the weekend won’t be a total washout, but you’ll have to pick your spots to enjoy that Twins game or stroll through Art-A-Whirl “up Nordeast.”

In this Updraft we’ll try and time out some of the rain…and track rapid ice out trends in central and northern Minnesota this week.

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Rainy Season

Yes, that’s a lot of rain & thunderstorm symbols in the NWS forecast the next few days.

To be sure, most of Minnesota will see several bouts of showers and T-Storms into early next week. The good news is…even though rain will come down heavy at times, the weekend won’t be a total wash out.

-Latest Twin Cities radar loop from WxUnderground

Here’s a quick breakdown of the weekend at this point:

Friday: Wave #1 rolls in with showers and T-Storms overnight through Friday morning. Rain focuses on southern Minnesota and will be locally heavy at times…and overall rainfall totals should be between .50″ and 1″ including the Twin Cities… but may top 1″ in some areas.

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Most of the rain should fall in the AM hours…and we may some peeks of PM/evening sun in the metro.

Saturday & Sunday:

As the low spins in the eastern Dakotas this weekend…scattered showers and T-Storms will pop up around Minnesota.

Right now…Saturday looks like the drier day for the metro. I can’t rule out a stray shower or T-Storm…but we should see many dry hours Saturday. High temps should approach 80F in the south…with 60s & 70s up north.

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Sunday looks like the wetter day of the weekend as showers & T-Storms become more widespread. You’ll notice the humidity by Sunday as dew points climb into the summer like 60s!

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Severe Threat Increases:

The risk for severe storms increases Saturday over the eastern Dakotas and far western Minnesota. I am concerned there will be enough spin…or “wind shear” to produce some tornadoes Saturday…especially in eastern South Dakota and far western Minnesota.

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Chances for a few severe storms may increase close to southern Minnesota…and possibly as far north as the metro by Sunday evening as more upper level energy rides in fromt the southwest. Looking at the maps, I anticipate NOAA’s SPC may bump the risk area north Friday to include the metro for Sunday afternoon and evening.

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Keep an eye and ear out for the possibility of an increased threat for severe storms…and possibly a few tornadoes in southern Minnesota Sunday afternoon and evening.

Monday & Tuesday: The wettest period may actually be Monday & Tuesday as the stalled upper low begins to pull east over Minnesota.

The patchwork of occasional scattered rain the next few days will give most areas a good shot at some widespread 2″+ rainfall totals. A bigger area of 3″ top 5″+ totals will favor the northwest half of Minnesota.

Check out the impressive totals from NOAA’s “Weather Prediction Center” (WPC)

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The good news is we can use a good soaking for lakes, rivers, lawns and fields.

Going…going… gone: Ice going fast up north

This week’s warmth and breezes has taken out ice fast in central and northern Minnesota.

Many lakes in northern Minnesota are now ice free…including many of the BWCA area lakes.

Here’s the closeup 250 meter resolution NASA MODIS shot over northeast MN Thursday.

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Even sprawling and stubborn “Ice Queen” Lake Mille Lacs is finally giving up her icy crust. Check out the sequence of NASA MODIS satellite shots this week that shows the big lake nearly ice free as of Wednesday.

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Not all the ice is out at Mille Lacs. Here’s the webcam shot from an “iced in” Hunter’s Point Resort on the east side of Mille Lacs Thursday.

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You can catch up with the latest ice out reports as the come into the MN DNR here.

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Paul Huttner

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