September Preview: 30s up north this weekend? “Short summer” of 2013?

Fragile summer of 2013?

It took forever to get here, and it may be hanging on by a thread later this week. Ask our MPR weather fans along the North Shore about the summer of 2013 and you might get a blank look or a knowing smile.

“What summer?”

The summer of 2013 has been fickle so far to say the least. In this Updraft we’ll look at some data that confirms what you already know. This has the potential to be one of the “shorter” summers in recent memory. But before the lump in your throat gets too big fear not. It looks like summer will be back next week.

Want some good news? Our recent July warm spell has turbo-boosted crop growth in Minnesota. Most fields are looking better by the day.  More from the latest MN Crop Report below.

And at least we don’t have to deal with Arizona’s severe flash floods this week. Why are flash floods more common in the Desert Southwest anyway? We could have used a little rain in the metro with Monday’s “dry” frontal passage. Storms soaked parts of Wisconsin and Iowa.

Mother Nature has done an outstanding  job of watering at the Weather Lab yet this year, but that string may come to an end this week. Now, where did I stash my lawn sprinkler?

+4.1 degrees – July temps vs. average so far at MSP

15″ average corn growth in Minnesota last week

Lawns drying out in the metro. Image: Paul Huttner MPR News

Metro Bypass:

Those of us hoping for a little rain with Monday’s cool front will have to wait. The front sailed through the metro dry–a victim of bad timing coming through before heating could trigger storms. Here’s a look at the line of storms that did blow up about 3 hours after the front sneaked stealthily through the metro.

Image: Wxunderground

Funnel clouds and golf ball sized hail pelted Iowa and Wisconsin.

ARX: 2 SE Fountain City [Buffalo Co, WI] trained spotter reports FUNNEL CLOUD at 04:48 PM CDT — spotter reports funnel cloud over mississippi river between goodview and fountain city. rotation confirmed by another law enforcement officer.

The NWS La Crosse skycam captured this wall cloud, a lowering of the cloud base that can produce tornadoes in severe storms. Here’s the shot over the Mississippi River looking west into Minnesota late Monday afternoon.

Image NWS La Crosse

Here are the updated storm reports from NOAA’s SPC.

 In Search of July?

July has been toasty in Minnesota so far. With temps running +4.1 degrees vs. average at MSP we’ve enjoyed the look and feel of summer. Parts of Minnesota may wonder where it went later this week. The coolest air mass in over a month is pouring south from Canada this week. Here’s the GOES 1km visible satellite “mesoanalysis” with winds and temps on top.

A stiff northwest wind is pushing summer-like 80 degree temps south away from Minnesota this week. Image: NOAA via College of Dupage.

Lows will reach the 40s and 50s in Minnesota this week. Another reinforcing shot of cool air this weekend may feed some upper 30s into Ely and the BWCA for overnight temps this weekend. Blue on the weather map in July. Nice.

Image: NOAA

 Short Summer of 2013?

Yes…it was as difficult to type it as it is to look at  in print. But remember this date.

June 16th

That’s the day summer began for real in Minnesota this year. A look at Twin Cities climate data shows only 5 days at or above 80 degrees before June 16th. Since June 16th we’ve enjoyed all but 3 days at or above the 80 degree mark at MSP Airport.

The 80 degree mark has taken hold for only about 5 weeks so far this “summer.” We’ve only logged 9 days at or above 90 this summer. Last year we had already tallied 22 days above 90 by this date.

Summery weather and more 80s will likely return next week. But it remains to be seen how long the 80s will hang on this year. Yes the…um…State Fair starts 4 weeks from Thursday with Labor Day is a mere 6 weeks away.

My weather advice? Soak up every 80 degree day between now and Labor Day.

You can hear the corn grow!

You know it’s warm when corn in Minnesota grows 15″ in one week. That’s great news for Minnesota farmers. 64% of Minnesota’s corn crop is now rated as “good” or excellent.” 81% of topsoil is rated as “adequate.”

Heres’ more from this week’s Minnesota Crop Report.

Image: National Agricultural Statistics Service Minnesota Field Office

Is the sweet corn ready yet?