Brightest days: Summer solstice weekend ahead

June has a way of redeeming herself.

Just when the maps look perpetually soggy, a ray of sunshine appears. A crack in the weather time-space continuum lets the sun shine through. Murky mornings suddenly evolve into beach-worthy afternoons.

We shoehorn in a half decent weekend. Friday is the new Saturday, and it looks dry for much of Minnesota. Big storms rumble through northwest Minnesota by Friday evening, flashing and splashing across Minnesota Friday night into Saturday morning. The timing favors Saturday morning storms in Duluth for Grandma’s Marathon and in the metro. We may just squeak out some dry hours for Rock The Garden Saturday afternoon and Sunday before rain chances rise again Sunday night.

The brightest days of the year are upon us now. Summer solstice weekend is here.

  • 11:38 am CDT Sunday: Summer solstice (sun reaches the farthest point north of 2015)
  • 68.5 degrees: Sun angle above the noon horizon in the metro this weekend
  • 15 hours 36 minutes of daylight in the Twin Cities for the next week
  • 9:03 pm: Sunset time at MSP Airport from Sunday through July 1

Summer solstice Sunday

Sunday is a day many Minnesotans wait for all year. After the long dark winter, and generally stormy springs the sun reaches the highest point in the sky in Minnesota. The earth’s axis is favorably tilted toward the sun in June in the northern hemisphere.

University of California Santa Barbara

Notice how the sun shines on the north walls of your home in the morning and evening these days? That because in addition to the sun being high in the noon sky, it also rises and sets at the furthest point north of due west of the year. Those north windows actually let in some sunlight this time of year.

NOAA

Here’s more on the summer solstice from The Guardian.

Since the Earth is tilted on its axis with respect to the celestial sphere, an astronomer plotting the position of the Sun during the year will see it rise and fall with respect to the celestial equator (that is, its declination will increase and decrease during the year).

The summer solstice for the northern hemisphere is 21 June, when the Sun will reach its greatest declination. For an observer, this means we will see the Sun at its highest point in the sky of the year at local noon.

Dry Friday, severe risk west

Eastern Minnesota and the Twin Cites enjoys dry skies Friday. The next low pressure wave rolls into western Minnesota with a new batch of showers and storms. There is a risk for severe storms Friday especially in the Red River Valley. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some severe cells, and possibly a bow echo with damaging winds in western Minnesota.

The storms likely lose some steam as they move east across Minnesota after dark Friday night. By Saturday morning, scattered storms concentrate on eastern Minnesota. The severe risk picks up again east into Wisconsin as the heat of the day kicks in Saturday afternoon.

Here’s a look at frontal timing. If the timing stays on track, the bulk of the rain could clear the metro Saturday afternoon. Weather fingers crossed.

NOAA

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of rain chances this weekend. Again, we may just get lucky enough to squeeze out a mostly dry window in the metro from Saturday afternoon through most of Sunday before rain chances increase again Sunday night. There may be enough instability though to see an isolated pop up shower or thunderstorm. Hopefully it’s not at the Walker. Keep that pocket-sized concert poncho handy just in case.

Rock the Garden/Twin Cities

Weatherspark

Grandma’s Marathon/Duluth

Here’s a closer look at Duluth for Grandma’s Marathon weekend. A chilly rain and wind off the lake looks like it could make for a tough run. Bring the rain gear.

Duluth Forecast – Weatherspark

TD Bill rains on

Tropical Depression Bill has staying power as he moves inland this week. Bill has dumped anywhere from 3 to 11 inches of rainfall across a swath of Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Mesonet

More rain falls into Friday morning as slow moving Bill takes his time.

Next up for Bill? The Ohio River Valley. Here’s the rainfall outlook form NOAA’s Weather Prediction center.

NOAA

The wider view counts Bill’s rains, and weekend rain over Minnesota.

NOAA

Pick your spots this weekend and you’ll enjoy some dry summery hours.