Classic July weekend; Fresh front next week

Warm and humid with plenty of summer sunshine. You can’t draw it up any more classic this weekend for Minnesota.

Northwest flow

The only real rain chance this weekend arrives on Sunday. A cool front begins to sag south. Behind the front, a fresh Canadian air mass arrives next week. Our upper air flow drives in from the northwest next week.

NOAA

Summer perfection?

Highs in the 70s to near 80? Dew points in the 50s? Where do I sign?

NOAA via Weather Bell.

I don’t see any real heat spikes right now for the next 1-2 weeks.

Warm summer so far

2018 has been one of the warmest growing seasons on record. Dr. Mark Seeley has more on this warm season.

Topic: Near Historic Heat for the Growing Season

Michelle Margraf of the NOAA-NWS Office in Chanhassen put me onto the near historically warm growing season we have been having in Minnesota so far in 2018. Since May 1st, often considered the beginning of the growing season we can look at temperature patterns since that date in 2018. May was nearly 6 degrees F warmer than normal on a statewide basis, while June was nearly 3 degrees F warmer than normal. So the combination of May-June in 2018 produced the 4th warmest start to the growing season in state history, averaging 4.5 degrees F warmer than normal. Only 1934, 1977, and 1988 were warmer.

Now so far for July the average temperature across the state is about 4 degrees F warmer than normal, with extremes of 96 degrees F at Gaylord and 41 degrees F at Brimson. Heat Index values (a measure of warmth which considers both temperature and dew point) have soared up to 105 to 120 degrees F around southern Minnesota already this month. If this pattern of warmth persists throughout the balance of July then we will record the warmest May-July period in state history. Fortunately the second half of July looks to be near normal or cooler than normal, so we will fall off this record-setting pace.

Nevertheless both Michelle Margraf and Dr. Kenny Blumenfeld have noted the for the Twin Cities it has been the 3rd warmest growing season so far (May 1 to July 9th) trailing only 1934 and 1988 (see graphic below). BTW this is mostly due to unusually warm minimum temperatures, rather than unusually warm daytime maximum temperatures, a trend we have been observing with climate change. The warm nights have promoted good production of many vegetable crops, beans and squash being two of them. Elsewhere, especially in south-central and southwestern counties, 4 to 9 inches of rain has inundated many agricultural crop fields. As recently as Thursday, July 12th some areas of east central Minnesota reported 3 to 4 inch rains.