A Complete 180
Spring weather often sets the tone for the summer to come. Last year flowers were blooming in March, an omen of record summer heat and deepening drought. This spring's chill and freak April snows may be a premonition of a radically different summer for Minnesota, one characterized by cooler, wetter weather, with frequent severe outbreaks & occasional heat spikes, but nothing like 2012.
A Year Without a Summer? Probably nothing that dire, but something tells me you'll be checking Doppler online, and on your smartphone, more often than you'd like. The upside? Water in our lakes, and if hail holds off a potential bumper crop for corn, wheat and beets.
Why the shift? The jet stream, the main superhighway for storms, is howling an average of 400-600 miles farther south than last year at this time. The frontal boundary separating chilly from blast-furnace heat may stall out near Minnesota into much of June, possibly longer, increasing the risk of frequent storms.
The most intense T-storms will rumble south of MSP today; the best chance of T-storms Thursday - then drying out & cooling off by late week. No hot fronts in sight, just a soggy taste of late April.
Mosquitoes are doing high-fives right about now.
A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION. DO NOT DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE INTO AREAS WHERE THE WATER COVERS THE ROADWAY. THE WATER DEPTH MAY BE TOO GREAT TO ALLOW YOUR CAR TO CROSS SAFELY. VEHICLES IN RISING WATER SHOULD BE ABANDONED QUICKLY. IF YOUR VEHICLE STALLS...ABANDON IT AND SEEK HIGHER GROUND IMMEDIATELY. RAPIDLY RISING WATER MAY ENGULF YOUR VEHICLE AND ITS OCCUPANTS AND SWEEP THEM AWAY. MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND. YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.
Image credit above: "Cut-off centers of low pressure loitered near California and the U.S. South early this week, with the polar jet stream in a summerlike position across northern Canada. Shown here are upper-level winds as of 8:00 a.m. EDT on May 6." (Image courtesy NOAA/NCEP Model Analysis & Guidance.)
Photo credit above: "In Moore, Okla., there have been dramatic examples of survivors who lived through the killer tornado because the home or other building they were in had a safe room or fortified basement." Jocelyn Augustino/FEMA
Photo credit above: "National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb talks this month in Fort Lauderdale about the lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy and expectations for the Atlantic storm season that begins Saturday. Knabb and hurricane center forecasters joined emergency managers at the annual Governor’s Hurricane Conference." (The Associated Press)
Photo credit: "The trend of average global surface temperatures has shown a clear rise above the long-term averages - the 10 warmest years on record have been since 1998." Credit: flickr/Global Jet.
Image credit above: "