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Extension > Mark Seeley's WeatherTalk > Drought holding status quo in Minnesota

Friday, August 24, 2012

Drought holding status quo in Minnesota

Drought holding status quo in Minnesota

The U.S. Drought Monitor showed that the drought status in Minnesota this week remained about the same as the previous two weeks, with all or parts of 28 counties still affected by severe drought. Rainfall for the week ranged from 0.20 inches to over 2 inches around the state and remained very spotty in distribution. Most observers are reporting less than normal rainfall for the month. Some hail ranging from half to one inch in diameter was reported in central Minnesota communities on Wednesday this week, and on Thursday (Aug 23) the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for areas in Carver County (the first tornado warning in Minnesota since May). Strong winds were reported (62 mph near Hutchinson in some counties, along with intense rainfall amounts (2.85 inches at Watertown, 2.68 inches at New Prague, and 1.76 inches at Jordan). The outlook continues to favor above normal rainfall for the last part of August and first part of September. Fifty percent of the state's corn crop was already in the dent stage, and corn was maturing rapidly towards what will be an early harvest season.

See you at the State Fair

Though I am no longer broadcasting the Minnesota Weather Quiz from the State Fair on Minnesota Public Radio, I will be at the Fairgrounds MPR booth (Judson and Nelson Streets) on Sunday, September 2nd at noon with Morning Edition newscaster Phil Picardi. We will talk weather headlines from 2012 and take questions from the audience. If you are planning to attend the State Fair that day, please drop by for a chat. 

Early fall color in the cards this year?

With an early green-up this spring and a dry weather pattern prevailing in so many places around the state leaf color change may be early and somewhat accelerated this fall. In anticipation of this Minnesota citizens may want to start monitoring the fall leaf color reports on the DNR web site.

Typically the earliest leaf color changes are found in northeastern counties and Canadian border counties.

20th Anniversary of Hurricane Andrew

On August 24th, 1992 Hurricane Andrew, a category 5 storm (winds 157 mph or greater) struck Homestead, FL and crossed the Florida Peninsula, devastating much of the landscape. When all was said and done the storm accounted for 39 deaths and nearly $27 billion in damages, the costliest hurricane ever. The National Weather Service in Miami, FL has issued a narrative about this great storm which you can find on their web site.

Weekly Weather potpourri

Typhoon Bolaven, south of Japan in the Western Pacific is expected to gain strength over the next two days and become a super typhoon (winds over 130 mph). Peak wind gusts may exceed 160 mph, and sea wave heights already at 47 feet may exceed 50 feet. This large storm will bring rain to Kyoto in Japan and strong wind and storm surge to South Koreas by next week.

Typhoon Tembin was over southernmost Taiwan and bringing heavy rains, winds up to 100 mph and sea waves approaching 40 feet. It was very slow moving and expected to remain a typhoon well into next week as it meanders around in the South China Sea.

The National Ice Center in Colorado reported this week that the extent of Arctic sea ice is expected to shrink next week to a new record low level, breaking the record of 1.66 million square miles of sea ice at the end of summer in 2007. The remarkable loss in Arctic sea ice this year is due to a very early spring warm up at high latitude, as well as a very warm summer. You can read more at the National Ice Center web site.

The NOAA Storm Prediction Center continues to report a very low number of tornadoes in the USA this month. Less than 20 reports have been filed so far, following a record low number of just 24 in the month of July. Widespread drought in the central USA has certainly suppressed the severe weather activity since June.

MPR listener question

Will Tropical Storm Isaac become a hurricane and threaten the Tampa, FL area next week while the GOP convention is going on?

Answer: There is such a threat, but the probability of this happening is uncertain still. If Isaac tracks into the Gulf of Mexico, both ocean temperature and winds aloft conditions appear to favor strengthening to hurricane status. As it moves north in the Gulf the track of the storm could bend to the east towards the Florida coastline. There will be much more certain information available on the track of Isaac by late Saturday and Sunday. You can follow the tracking forecasts, roughly every six hours at the NOAA National Hurricane Center web site.

Twin Cities Almanac for August 24th

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 79 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 59 degrees F (plus or minus 6 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for August 24th

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 98 degrees F in 1948; lowest daily maximum temperature of 56 degrees F in 1915; lowest daily minimum temperature of 43 F in 1887; highest daily minimum temperature of 76 F in 1948; and record precipitation of 4.08 inches in 1893.
 
Average dew point for August 24th is 58 degrees F, with a maximum of 75 degrees F in 1975 and 2011 and a minimum of 27 degrees F in 1934.

All-time state records for August 24th

The state record high temperature for this date is 107 degrees F at Worthington (Nobles County) and Pipestone in 1936. The state record low temperature for this date is 22 degrees F at Tower (St Louis County) in 1977. State record precipitation for this date is 5.96 inches at Windom (Cottonwood County) in 1940; and no snowfall has been reported on this date.

Past Weather Features:

On August 24, 1893 strong thunderstorms brought heavy rain to the Twin Cities area. A number of observers reported 3-4 inches of rainfall.

August 24, 1940 brought heavy thunderstorms to southwestern and south-central counties of Minnesota as many observers reported 3 to 5 inches of rainfall, with flooded out roads and farm fields.

August 24, 1948 was probably the hottest in state history with over 80 communities reporting daytime temperatures of 90 F or higher. It was the middle of a six day heat wave for most, as day after day reached or exceeded 90 degrees F. In some places the overnight low did not fall below 80 degrees.

Outlook

Somewhat warm temperatures this weekend with a chance for showers and thunderstorms on Saturday. Continued warm into next week with another chance for showers by Wednesday.

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