"Paul, Minnesota Nice just got tossed out the nearest window this summer". Locals are fuming. I don't miss the heat, but a little sun would be nice as I cut back the vines in my backyard jungle.
I gave a talk to the Minnesota Emergency Managers Association yesterday. A women came up afterwards, a bit dazed. "We had brush fires up north, but couldn't get at water because the lakes were frozen. We had to pull snowplows off MSP's runways in early May because of lightning! You don't have to tell me the weather is getting weirder over time".
Two things on my mind today: if your county is ever under a PDS (Particularly Dangerous Situation) Tornado Watch pay extra-close attention: the risk of large tornadoes is greater. If a confirmed (large) tornado is moving into an urban area the NWS may issue a "Tornado Emergency". One notch more urgent than a regular Tornado Warning.
Expect a volatile, partly-severe summer for Minnesota as the jet stream howls overhead.
The sun comes out today; a few spotty T-storms late Friday into midday Saturday. Sunday looks like the sunnier day of the weekend; highs topping 80. A kink in the jet stream forces hot air north next week; I wouldn't be surprised to see a few sizzling 90s late next week.
Wednesday Severe Outbreak. For a time SPC upgraded the risk near Chicago from moderate to high, which doesn't happen very often. PDS Tornado Watches were issued from far southeastern Minnesota into Iowa, southern Wisconsin and northwest Illinois. 17 tornadoes were observed as of 11 pm last night, 79 severe wind observations and 104 large hail reports. Details from NOAA SPC.
More Like Mid-May. The main branch of the jet stream is still pushing unusually far south - one major reason why we're seeing a big uptick in severe storms and tornadoes; the combination of June-like heat and humidity over the southern states, coupled with an energetic, early-May-like jet stream pattern dipping south, creating the instability and wind shear necessary for severe storm outbreaks. Today we watch the Mid Atlantic region for damaging winds and a few tornadoes. The next system kicks up a few showers Friday into early Saturday over Minnesota and the Upper Midwest, but much of the weekend should be dry from the Dakotas into Minnesota and Wisconsin, a better chance of T-storms Omaha to Des Moines and Chicago.
Thursday Severe Threat. Tomorrow atmospheric dynamics shift east, with a potential for damaging straight-line winds, even a few large tornadoes, from near Richmond to Washington D.C., Baltimore, Annapolis, the Delaware Valley and south Jersey. A slight risk of severe storms (and isolated tornadoes) extends from Birmingham and Atlanta to New York.
Black Forest Blaze. The wildfire burning just north/east of Colorado Springs continues to grow in size and intensity, record heat and gusty winds fanning flames and complicating rescue operations on the scene. Over 6,000 people have been evacuated from the zone - 80 to 100 homes lost, with over 8,000 acres burned. The evacuation order covers roughly 24,000 acres or 48 square miles. With 100-degree heat and winds gusting to 40 mph conditions are very similar to last June's Waldo Canyon Fire, which destroyed 300 homes in the Colorado Springs area. Click here for more information.
June 12 in Minnesota Weather History:
1968: The 13 mile long path of an F5 tornado took it directly through Tracy, MN. Nine people were killed and 111 homes destroyed. Farms outside of town were swept completely away, two of which had been hit by a tornado 44 years earlier
1930: Tornado hits Northfield area, heavy damage at Randolph.
* source: Twin Cities National Weather Service.
Photo credit above: "A rust-blighted leaf on a farm in Colombia." Image: International Center for Tropical Agriculture/Flickr.
Photo credit above: "Climate scientist Jason Box during an expedition in Greenland in July 2008." Photograph: Byrd Polar Research Center