Cool north, seasonal south; warmer days ahead

Temperatures climbed to seasonal highs Monday afternoon in southern Minnesota, while mostly cloudy skies kept temperatures in the 60s in the north. Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms in central Minnesota bubbled up in the warmth of the early afternoon sunshine.

Radar screen capture of scattered showers at mid afternoon. Source

The heaviest thundershower, indicated in red, west of Eau Claire, Wis., at 2:12 p.m. CDT, produced some gusty winds and hail as it moved east across the St. Croix River into west central Wisconsin earlier this afternoon.

Storm reports for the past 24 hours.

Visible satellite image from NOAA around 2:15 p.m. CDT

You can see the clouds are less dense in southern Minnesota, allowing the temperatures to climb to near 80 F.

Gardeners will welcome the warmer temperatures expected as we move through the week. Maximum temperatures have struggled to reach 80 F. The high of 86 F at the Twin Cities International Airport on Sunday was the first reading of 80 F or higher in June.

From the Midwest Climate Center, this image shows the departure from normal of the maximum temperatures for the past 30 days.

Sunday’s rainfall in northeast Minnesota tallied from a quarter to as much as a half inch. Not great timing, but welcome nonetheless. Over four-tenths of an inch of rain was measured at the National Weather Service in Duluth.

Rainfall totals for Sunday.

Although storms rumbled across the greater Twin Cities Metro area early Sunday evening, rainfall amounts were less than a quarter inch.

The surface weather map at 3 p.m. CDT showed a weak convergence of the winds associated with the development of the scattered showers. The numerals in red indicate the surface air temperature. It was chilly along the shoreline of Lake Superior.

Surface weather map at 3 p.m. CDT. Source: College of Dupage

click to enlarge image

Warmer temperatures, more typical of summer, look to arrive later in the week and into the weekend. Along with the heat is likely to come some humidity and increasing chances for thunderstorms.

Here is the GFS model forecast of surface temperatures for 1 p.m. CDT on Sunday. Source: NOAA/COD

Thunderstorms could hamper outdoor activities on the weekend.  I hate to throw cold water on your party, but be prepared for bouts of showers Friday night through Sunday.

NOAA’s prediction of rainfall potential as we move through the end of the week.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center forecast normal temperatures next week.

CPC’s outlook for temperatures for the six- to 10-day period.

Enjoy the middle part of the week as rain chances appear to be at their lowest.