August Doldrums: Lazy weather mix this week

Welcome to the August doldrums.

This time of year weather systems struggle for definition and identity. The weather maps lack strong fronts and air mass contrast in the Upper Midwest. The last cool breezes of spring are long gone. The first fresh fall cold fronts are still a concept void of form.

Natalie Babbitt nailed it.

“The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.”

―Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

A summer sky in Minnesota. Image: Paul Huttner/MPR News.

Spotty thundershowers

Summertime moisture bubbles up into spotty thundershowers today. NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center does not include Minnesota in any severe weather risk areas today, but local downpours could be vigorous. NOAA’s HRRR model captures the essence of the spotty cells today.

NOAA via tropical tidbits.

Mostly 80s

I am reminded of how some of us pine for an 80-degree day in February or March. This time of year we take highs in the 80s for granted. Summer has ripened indeed.

NOAA forecast temperatures for Minneapolis via Weather Bell.

Dakotas weekend heat wave

The upper air maps favor a significant heat event in the Dakotas over the weekend. A ridge of high pressure topples over into the Dakotas from the west by Saturday.

NOAA upper air map for Saturday evening.

It’s interesting to see that the heat seems to fade before it reaches Minnesota. But the models for the Dakotas this weekend show a big dome of 100-degree heat. Highs approaching 100-degrees may spill into the Red River Valley and northwest Minnesota Sunday afternoon.

NOAA GFS model temperatures Saturday into Sunday via tropical tidbits.

Hail swath visible from space

Check out the thermal signature left behind on the ground from this hail core in Nebraska.

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