Tropical Pacific connection: Another soaker ahead

Blue skies and warm breezes are a welcome sight early this week. Monday’s near perfect August weather in late September is a bonus for Minnesota this time of year.

Now savvy weather eyes turn toward the desert southwest, where tropical moisture is dumping heavy rains. Flash flood watches (and some warnings) are in effect for a big chunk of Arizona, New Mexico and even southern California as tropical moisture surges north.

I’ve worked many tropical systems during my days in Tucson, Ariz., as they recurve north from the eastern Pacific. They are often prolific rainfall producers. The interaction with mountains in Arizona produces enhanced orographic rainfall effects and triggers flash floods that quickly turn dry river beds (washes) into raging torrents in places like Tucson.

University of Illinois

The Tucson National Weather Service is on high alert today, as flash flood warnings fly with multi-inch rainfall totals.

The culprit in the southwest floods? Tropical depression Sixteen-E sliding north into Arizona from the Gulf of California.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Minnesota’s tropical connection

Gee Paul, all that southwest weather stuff is mildly interesting. So what does it have to do with Minnesota?

Great question. As tropical moisture gets caught up in southwest flow aloft in the next 24 hours, it makes a beeline for Minnesota.

Watch the maps. You can see how the rain zone is quickly “advected” northeast in the Upper Midwest Tuesday night and Wednesday.


We’ll have time to tweak rainfall totals Tuesday, but another multi inch soaker is quite possible Wednesday. Here’s NOAA’s initial shot for the rain zone this week across the Upper Midwest. I won’t be surprised if these 2 inch-plus amounts verify, with the potential for some heavier, possibly flash flood generating totals.


Stay tuned as we get a better gauge on the incoming system Tuesday.

Weekend weather winning streak continues?

It’s been a great run of weekends this September. Just how you draw up the end of a perfect summer. The long range snapshot suggests another winning weekend with plenty of sun and unseasonably warm temperatures once again. Charmed weather lives indeed.


Stay tuned.