Update on shower and thunder chances; solar eclipse weather

A cool front will move slowly through Minnesota Sunday afternoon and evening, then it’s expected to stall out near the Iowa border Sunday night.

Scattered showers and a few thunderstorms are possible over central and southern Minnesota Sunday afternoon, Sunday evening and Sunday night.

In the Twin Cities metro area, scattered showers and an isolated thunderstorm are possible anytime from about mid-afternoon into Sunday evening and Sunday night.

Severe weather outlook

The Storm Prediction Center of the National Weather Service shows a marginal risk of severe weather in southern Minnesota Sunday afternoon through Sunday night:

NWS Storm Prediction Center

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Updated severe weather outlook

Around midday Sunday, the Storm Prediction Center of the National Weather Service expanded the marginal risk for severe weather Sunday afternoon and Sunday night to include the far southeastern tip of Dakota county and part of western Wisconsin:

NWS Storm Prediction Center

Marginal risk means that an isolated severe thunderstorm is possible.

A small part of south-central Minnesota is in a slight risk of severe weather, which means that scattered severe thunderstorms are possible.

The chance of strong to severe thunderstorms in southern Minnesota would be anytime from late Sunday afternoon into Sunday evening and the overnight hours of Sunday night.

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Updated weather information can be heard on the Minnesota Public Radio Network, and you can read about any watches and warnings in the MPR news live weather blog.

Temperature trends 

Sunday highs are expected to be mainly in the 70s in the northwestern half of Minnesota, with 80s in the southeastern half of Minnesota.

On Monday, highs in the 70s will be common but a few spots will touch 80 degrees:

Looking ahead, the Twin Cities metro area is expected to see highs in the mid to upper 70s Tuesday through Friday.

Eclipse weather on Monday

The solar eclipse is almost here!

You can get details on the timing of the eclipse at any location, and the percentage of the sun that will be covered by the moon, at NASA’s interactive eclipse site.

Here’s what is shows the Twin Cities metro area:

NASA

At the peak of the eclipse, at 1:06 p.m. CDT Monday, about 83% of the sun’s disc will be covered by the moon in the Twin Cities.

But will clouds block our view?

The latest info from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale forecast model shows that clouds could be a problem in parts of southern Minnesota and even in the Twin Cities metro area:

NOAA NAM forecast cloud coverage noon to 2 p.m Monday

A lot will depend on whether showers and isolated thunderstorms form near the stationary front that is expected to be over far southern Minnesota.

Check later forecasts…all you need is a break in the clouds for a few minutes near 1:06 p.m. to see the peak!

Safe viewing

I almost hesitate to use the phrase “see the solar eclipse”.

I wouldn’t want anyone to severely damage their eyesight by looking at the sun.

According to NASA:

The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” (example shown at left) or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun; they transmit thousands of times too much sunlight. Refer to the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters & Viewers (link is external) page for a list of manufacturers and authorized dealers of eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers verified to be compliant with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard for such products.

Always inspect your solar filter before use; if scratched or damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter.
Always supervise children using solar filters.
Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After looking at the sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the sun.
Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device.
Similarly, do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury.
Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device. Note that solar filters must be attached to the front of any telescope, binoculars, camera lens, or other optics.

There are indirect ways to view the eclipse as well.

One way to safely view the eclipse is to make a small hole in a piece of paper or thin cardboard, and then let the sun shine through that hole and onto a flat surface:

NASA

NASA has some excellent solar eclipse information.

Minnesota Public Radio will team up with National Public Radio for special solar eclipse coverage from noon to 3 p.m. CDT on Monday.

3 tornadoes Friday evening

The Sioux Falls office of the NWS states that three tornadoes touched down in southwestern Minnesota Friday evening.

The NWS damage survey indicates that two tornadoes occurred near Rushmore, and another touched down near Bigelow.

There weren’t any reports of human injuries, but a hog farm north of Rushmore reportedly lost 20 to 30 hogs.

Here are summaries of the three tornadoes that touched down Friday evening:

NWS Sioux Falls, SD NWS Sioux Falls, SD NWS Sioux Falls, SD

Programming note

You can hear my live weather updates on Minnesota Public Radio at 7:49 a.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and at 7:35 a.m., 9:35 a.m. and 4:35 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday.