Stormy start Friday, Lake Minnetonka eases no wake rules

Hit or miss.

That’s the nature of summer showers and thunderstorms. One neighborhood gets soaked, the next town over stays dry. Welcome to every summer forecasters nightmare.

“Paul am I going to get rain at this weekend’s garden party?” Definitely maybe. The weather reality for Cottage Grove may be very different than nearby Woodbury.

One thing for sure, it will be a lot louder on Lake Minnetonka this weekend.

Boaters enjoy a “no wake” 4th of July sunset on Lake Minnetonka. Paul Huttner/MPR news

Gentlemen, start your Jet Skis

As expected the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District has eased no wake rules this week on Lake Minnetonka.

Lake levels have been falling steadily during the recent metro dry spell. There are still wake restrictions for some of the smaller bays and within 600 feet of shoreline. Her’s the release from the LMCD.

Minimum Wake Restrictions to be Lifted
on Portions of Lake Minnetonka
July 24, 2014 (MINNEAPOLIS) –On Friday, July 25th, the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District (LMCD) will lift wake restrictions for certain areas of Lake Minnetonka. Currently, the entire lake is a minimum wake zone as imposed by LMCD. On Friday, July 25th, a wake will be allowed when motorized watercrafts are at least 600 feet from shoreline. Some areas of Lake Minnetonka will remain under full wake restrictions including smaller bays.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and the LMCD are urging boaters to comply with speed and wake restrictions still in place. All watercraft operators are urged to manage their wakes responsibly and stay away from the shoreline.

“Starting Friday, you can resume boating and personal watercraft activities that require higher speeds on Lake Minnetonka as long as you stay away from the shore. I know everyone will be excited to tube, wake-board and use personal watercraft on the lake now that water levels have dropped,” said Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek. “We are expecting these new guidelines to greatly increase the amount of boat traffic on Lake Minnetonka, and we are urging everyone to remain courteous and alert.”

Speed limits and wake restrictions are in place to protect the public and to help prevent damage to the shoreline, boat lifts, and other structures.

In addition to the minimum wake restrictions for the shoreline of Lake Minnetonka, watercraft operators must also operate with minimum wakes within 600 feet of all Quiet Water Areas, which include:

• Channels and designated bays
• Docks & piers
• Bathing areas & areas where people are swimming or have posted a scuba diver’s warning flag
• Anchored rafts or watercraft

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Weekend outlook

Clearly Friday has become the new Saturday. When people talk about the weekend now, Friday now seems to be included as a weekend day by default. When, exactly did that happen anyway? That’s what I’d call progress.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the coming weekend, including Friday. Look for a band of thunderstorms to blow quickly through the Twin Cities and eastern Minnesota Friday morning between 6 and 8 am.


Your best bet for a sunny warm lake-worthy day is Friday PM and Saturday. Another round of thundershowers rolls in Saturday night, with cooler breezes Sunday.


Overall, I’d give this weekend a 6 of 10 weather stars. Saturday should be a good day to get out and enjoy life. Most of the rain should be at night.

NOAA GoesPro  for hurricane research?

Here’s an interesting angle on hurricane research. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is experimenting with oblique aerials for assessing hurricane damage from Hurricane Arthur.

Imagery collected by NOAA in the aftermath of Hurricane Arthur tested new photographic techniques that may lead to more comprehensive post-storm surveys in the future. Shown here: the North Carolina coast near Rodanthe shortly after Hurricane Arthur passed through the area. NOAA

The story and some pretty cool aerials from NOAA.

On the morning of July 4th, 2014, less than 12 hours after Hurricane Arthur roared up the coast of North Carolina and Virginia, NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey began flying survey missions to take aerial photographs to document damage, erosion, and potential impacts to navigation.

This collection of coastline imagery, now available online, employs new photographic techniques that NGS experts expect will lead to more comprehensive post-storm surveys in the future.

These missions marked the first time that surveyors collected oblique imagery, or images taken at an angle rather than straight down, in response to a tropical cyclone. The advantage to this type of approach is that it allows the team to photograph a wider area and also improves the visibility of vertical structures, such as the sides of buildings, as opposed to only the tops of buildings as typically seen in traditional imagery.

In addition to the photos collected along the coast, the survey team evaluated a GoPro®to collect video during the flight. The goal of this new layered approach in aerial video and photo documentation is to provide and evaluate better visual context that might be missing in vertical photography alone — the sole type of imagery gathered by NOAA surveyors in past missions.