Cool Start To August
Even though we started the month off with highs around 90 in the Twin Cities, periods of cooler weather have helped the average temperature so far be below average across the entire state. In parts of the state, average temperatures are ranging from between 3-5 degrees below average. Through the 11th, the average temperature in the Twin Cities was 69.4 degrees, which is 3.2 degrees below average.
The cool conditions have been observed in our lows as well, with mornings in the 30s across parts of northern Minnesota this month. The coolest low so far this month has been in Brimson and Embarrass, each hitting 37. Hibbing got down to 38 on the 5th. This is really starting to make you think fall (and pumpkin spiced everything) is right around the corner, doesn’t it?
What Does Probability of Precipitation Mean?
By Paul Douglas
Communicating the weather forecast can be just as challenging as predicting tomorrow’s weather. Meteorologists look at current data and weather models before developing a vision of what tomorrow’s sky may look like. Of course weather changes (rapidly) so the forecast needs to reflect those expected changes. We are using words and symbols to reflect how the atmosphere should evolve over time.
During the summer I refer to expected showers as “isolated”, “scattered”, “numerous” – or if everyone will get wet, “rain”. A 30 percent probability doesn’t mean 30 percent of us will get wet, or it’ll rain 30 percent of the time. It means that on 3 out of 10 days a single point will pick up .01 inches of rain or more. That’s why I avoid probabilities.
Showers and T-storms will be numerous today, keeping us cooler than yesterday. A shower may spill into Monday; more numerous T-storms return late Tuesday into Wednesday; again on Friday.
Next weekend looks sunnier and warmer, and I’m stubbornly persistent in my prediction of sticky 80s and a few 90s for the State Fair. Wait for it.
Twin Cities Extended Forecast
SUNDAY: Few showers, storms. High 72. Low 60. Chance of precipitation 60%. Wind S 5-10 mph.
MONDAY: Patchy clouds, stray shower. High 75. Low 61. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind SE 5-10 mph.
TUESDAY: Partly sunny, T-storms arrive late. High 80. Low 64. Chance of precipitation 40%. Wind SE 8-13 mph.
WEDNESDAY: Lingering showers, T-showers. High 79. Low 62. Chance of precipitation 60%. Wind S 10-15 mph.
THURSDAY: Sunnier. Drier. Better outdoor day. High 82. Low 63. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind NW 5-10 mph.
FRIDAY: Another round of T-storms. High 80. Low 62. Chance of precipitation 50%. Wind S 7-12 mph.
SATURDAY: Warm sunshine as winds diminish. High 83. Low 64. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind NW 7-12 mph.
This Day in Weather History
1964: Minnesota receives a taste of fall, with lows of 26 in Bigfork and 30 in Campbell.
Average Temperatures & Precipitation for Minneapolis
Average High: 81F (Record: 98F set in 1880)
Average Low: 63F (Record: 48F set in 1997)
Average Precipitation: 0.14″ (Record: 2.05″ set in 2007)
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Sunrise: 6:12 AM
Sunset: 8:22 PM
*Length Of Day: 14 hours, 9 minutes and 9 seconds
*Daylight Lost Since Yesterday: ~2 minute and 43 seconds
*Next Sunrise At/After 6 PM: August 2nd (6:00 AM)
*Next Sunset At/Before 8 PM: August 26th (8:00 PM)
Minnesota Weather Outlook
Rain will be possible Sunday across southern Minnesota – more steady throughout the day for places like St. Cloud, Alexandria and Marshall but moving east into locations like the Twin Cities and Rochester by the afternoon hours. Where the rain falls, temperatures will be cooler, only making it into the low 70s across southern Minnesota. Alexandria might not make it out of the 60s! Across northern Minnesota, sunnier skies are expected with some areas climbing into the upper 70s for highs.
We stay relatively cool into early in the week in the Twin Cities, with highs in the 70s expected. Temperatures should climb back into the 80s for a majority of the middle and end of the week, which will be slightly above average at times. You may notice, however, that models aren’t currently forecast 90s at this point in the next couple weeks.
Rain chances Sunday will be the greatest over southern and western Minnesota. Rain chances start to taper off the further north and east that you go. This graphic is valid for the 7 AM to 7 PM time frame on Sunday.
This system could produce some half inch to inch rainfall totals across parts of southern and central Minnesota through early next week.
We look to be in an active pattern this week, with more rain in the extended forecast. The potential for rain increases once again Tuesday Night into Wednesday and into late in the week. Rainfall totals in the Twin Cities could approach an inch and a half by next weekend.
National Weather Outlook
Cool weather (for this time of year) will continue to sit across a good potion of the nation Sunday, with highs that are a good 5-15 degrees below average across parts of the Upper Midwest and Central Plains. Warmer than average temperatures will be found across parts of central and southern Texas, as well as parts of Montana. A stalled frontal boundary will help bring rain – heavy at times – to parts of the South Central and Southeast United States. A cold front will be moving through the Northeast, bringing a shot of cooler air and some lingering early day showers. A system will be moving into the North Central U.S., bringing rain and cool temperatures.
Three pockets of heavy rain is possible through Thursday morning across parts of the nation: in the Northern Plains, Southern Plains, and in the Mid-Atlantic. In each of these areas, rainfall amounts of 2-4″ will be possible.
Rounds of heavy storms could produce heavy rain across parts of Oklahoma and Texas through Tuesday morning. Some areas have already been hit by heavy rain over the past few days, so this could lead to a flash flood threat, especially in Oklahoma and along the Red River.
With a weak cold front stalling across portions of the region into early in the week, rainfall totals could top an inch across portions of the Carolinas through Tuesday morning.
We also continue to have our eyes on the Atlantic, where a low pressure center has about a 60% chance of becoming a tropical system in the next 48 hours, and a 70% chance in the next five days. The good news is that models continue to indicate that whether or not this system becomes a tropical depression, it should turn away from the lower 48.
Cloudy For The Eclipse?
The Capital Weather Gang released their latest forecast for the solar eclipse on August 21st. The best chance of cloud cover appears to be over the central U.S. at the moment. More: “The possibility of an approaching cold front raises the risk of clouds for Washington and Oregon. Smoke in Pacific Northwest could be less extensive as the front could push smoke north into Canada. Possible storm system in center of country poses greatest risk for extensive cloud cover.”
Poisoned Cattle From Drought
With drought continuing over parts of the central U.S., farmers are not only having to worry about their crops. Livestock is also at risk, and there’s even the threat of poisoned animals. More from KELO-TV: ““With the creeks down and the ponds getting lower, because of the evaporation livestock mortality could be the next thing,” Schoon said. That’s because the water quality in this part of the state is becoming a serious issue. Lyman County rancher Quint Garnos says his neighbor lost a few cattle already. “When the dams get real low, the minerals get higher and it’s poisonous to the cows,” Garnos said.”
Wildfire Danger On Lumber Lands
Due to the ongoing drought in Montana, at least one lumber company is having to take action to prevent fires on their public access lands. More from the Western News: “Citing increasing risk of wildfire, F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber Company on Aug. 7 imposed restrictions on public access to lands it owns in Flathead, Lake and Lincoln Counties that are in addition to Stage II Fire Restrictions (fwp.mt.gov/news/drought/definitions.html#stageII) already in place. The additional restrictions include no use of motorized vehicles on or off road (unless on an open public road); no use of any internal combustion engines on any lands; no camping; no fires of any kind; no smoking; and no fireworks.”
Increase In Indian Farmer Suicides Due To Climate Change
A new study shows a link between warming temperatures in the growing season in India and an increasing amount of suicides among farmers in the country. More from Climate Central: “A suicide epidemic among India’s farmers has shaken the country and contributed to a doubling of the nation’s suicide rate since 1980. It’s a widespread and intensely personal issue, one that has been difficult to tease out the root source. Debt, mental health, lack of social services, weather vagaries and even media coverage have all been put forward as part of the problem. Now, recent research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that climate change could also be playing a role.” (Image: An Indian farmer plows his field. Credit: Kannan Muthuraman/flickr)
Sea Turtle Deaths Attributed To Climate Change
Warmer waters are apparently luring sea turtles further up the Atlantic coast during the summer, however that could lead to trouble for them in the fall once it starts to cool down. More from Popular Science: “Every year, young sea turtles migrate up the East Coast to spend the summer foraging in northerly waters. Sometimes, they wind up in the Gulf of Maine, which stretches from Cape Cod Bay to Nova Scotia. As the weather cools, the turtles, including endangered Kemp’s ridley and loggerhead turtles, begin to swim south.” (Image: A cold-stunned Kemp’s ridley sea turtle waits its turn to be slowly warmed up in a kiddie pool. Julie O’Neil)
– D.J. Kayser