Tropical: More pop-up thundershowers with heavy downpours today

“Schwül” is the German word for humid. Some translate as “close.”

It’s feels close out there again today. Dew points in the mid-60s are fuel for more spotty pop-up thundershowers Wednesday afternoon. Throw in an infusion of moisture from the remnants of Tropical Storm Alberto and you may find yourself under a gully washer again.

Low severe threat, but not zero

These are the days that worry me as a meteorologist. Severe weather parameters are low today. But a weak low pressure center passes over the Twin Cities region under peeks of an intense, almost June sun. Storms today may have just enough spin, or vorticity to generate small-scale rotations that can produce brief tornadoes. The Twin Cities National Weather Service agrees in their morning forecast discussion.

Severe potential looks minimal, but not zero. Given the numerous outflow boundaries, potential for locally enhanced instability, and up to 30 kts of 0-3km shear, a weak, brief tornado cannot be completely ruled out.

Given such weak low level flow and small hodographs on a larger scale, aid would need to come from local effects that are not predictable more than a few radar scans in advance.

Bottom line: Today’s storms will produce some locally heavy downpours again. Most will probably not be severe, but there is just enough heating and low-level spin I can’t rule out an isolated small tornado. There. I said it.

Higher severe risks today are found in the northern Rockies and Oklahoma.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Sump pump symphony

The Weather Lab sump pump is humming away. We picked up 2.2 inches in Victoria in the past 24 hours. Many of us saw 1 to 3-plus inches over the past two days. Here’s the rainfall list from CoCoRaHS.

Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network

Temps moderate

Out string of six days in May at or above 90 degrees is a record. Only the Dust Bowl May of 1934 produced more 90-degree days in the Twin Cities with eight total. Preview of coming attractions this summer?

Temperatures moderate the next few days. Saturday brings another round of rain and thunder. Sunday looks like the sunnier drier day this weekend with dew points falling into the comfy low 50s.

NOAA, via Weather Bell

America’s first climate refugees

The shrinking island of Isle de Jean Charles is disappearing on the Louisiana coast. Now the State of Louisiana is buying 515 acres 40 miles inland, to relocate America’s first “climate refugees.” And the federal government is using your tax dollars to make it happen.

Yes, we’re already paying for climate change.

NOAA has the story.

The Louisiana Office of Community Development has reached an agreement to buy a 515-acre tract in Terrebonne Parish near Schriever for $11.7 million to relocate about 80 residents from the rapidly-sinking Isle de Jean Charles community, the agency announced Tuesday (March 20).

The purchase will be funded with money from a $48.3 million grant from the National Disaster Resilience Competition, funded by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and administered by the Louisiana Office of Community Development.

Thursday on MPR’s Climate Cast, we interview author Elizabeth Rush who visited the tiny island and spoke with people there.

  • Joel Fischer

    Hi Paul. If i’m not mistaken, the word you’re looking for is schwül. Schwul is slang for gay. I’m not a German scholar, so I could be wrong. 🙂

    • Gabe Ormsby

      You got it right, Joel.

    • Paul Huttner

      We are searching for the elusive umlaut key.