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Extension > Mark Seeley's WeatherTalk > High frequency of cloud cover and showers

Friday, June 14, 2013

High frequency of cloud cover and showers

High frequency of cloud cover and showers

June has kept up the weather trend from May, producing day after day of cloud cover and periodic shower activity. A few sunny days have prevailed in the north, but much of the state has seen most days dominated by cloud cover, fog, mist, or showers. Some observers have already reported over 50 percent of normal rainfall for June,including 2.09 inches at Kabetogama, 2.17 inches at Dawson and Tracy, 2.41 inches at Milan, 2.37 inches at Montevideo, 3.13 inches at Jordan, 3.27 inches at Rice, 2.55 inches at Chanhassen, 2.06 inches at Milaca, 2.38 inches at Moose Lake, 2.58 inches at Luverne, 2.82 inches at Minnesota, 2.52 inches at Pipestone, 2.45 inches at Caledonia, and 2.76 inches at Minnesota City.

Thunderstorms brought some near record or record-setting daily rainfalls to the central part of the state on Wednesday (June 12), including 2.28 inches at Green Isle, 3.30 inches at Arlington, 2.83 inches at Carver, 2.99 inches at Shakopee, 1.90 inches at Chanhassen, and 1.75 inches at Winthrop. The severe weather reports on Wednesday were more numerous in Iowa and the eastern Corn Belt with reports of strong winds, hail, and tornadoes (18 reports).

The rainfall and wet soils have resulted in prevented planting for some corn fields, where producers will be able to collect crop insurance payments if they don't plant corn. Others may opt to plant corn, but not for grain, just for silage to feed livestock. Some soybeans are still being planted late, along with some late planting of alfalfa fields which were so adversely affected by winter stress. Alfalfa hay cutting has progressed very slowly with little of the hay harvest completed.

Weekly Weather potpourri

A Centennial Celebration is planned for next month at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center in Death Valley, CA. On July 10, 2013 there will be a celebration of the 100th birthday of the world-record high temperature measurement that occurred at Greenland Ranch in Death Valley on the afternoon of July 10, 1913 when the thermometer registered 134 degrees F. The National Park Service at Furnace Creek, along with the National Weather Service at Las Vegas, NV are co-hosting this event. Attendees will learn why Death Valley is the hottest place on Earth and how to endure such conditions. Several prominent scientists will speak on the occasion.

Environment Canada announced this week a new weather safety tool available on their web site. It is designed to show where lightning strikes are occurring and it is called the lightning danger map. It may be useful to Minnesota citizens as well because the mapped warnings overlap into Minnesota and the Great Lakes states. Their theme is "when thunder roars, go indoors." You can view the map here.

The Danube River in Germany, Austria, and Hungary began to slowly fall this week after reaching record flood crests in many places. Serbia will see the Danube crest there by the weekend. In Germany parts of the Danube had reached the highest flood levels since 1501. Some areas had received 7-9 inches of rainfall earlier this month, while parts of the Alps reported several feet of snow from an unusual June weather pattern. Estimated damages from these floods according to insurance estimates may run into several billions of dollars.

The Black Forest fire northeast of Colorado Springs, CO continued to burn this week provoking further evacuations. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed Executive Orders to declare disaster emergencies associated with the Black Forest fire, the Royal Gorge fire, and the Klickus fire. All these fires were wind-driven and affected by widespread dry conditions. Afternoon relative humidity readings have ranged from just 2-3 percent in some of the fire areas, with wind gusts of 30 to 50 mph.

MPR listener question

What is the average duration of rainfall from a thunderstorm over any particular spot on the landscape? Only a few sunny days have prevailed up north this spring and much of our rain has come from heavy thunderstorms.

Answer: Good question. Studies from the Storm Prediction Center in Oklahoma suggest that the average duration of single cell thunderstorm rainfall ranges from 20-30 minutes. Mesoscale thunderstorm complexes and supercells can bring intense rainfalls that last on average from 1 to 3 hours. In extreme cases they may last for 5-6 hours. There is a latitude effect as well. Thunderstorms at lower latitudes, subtropical or tropical in origin tend to form into larger cells, both vertically and horizontally. Therefore they have greater longevity before they disperse. Thunderstorm cells at higher latitudes tend to be smaller in size and move faster across the landscape, so that they tend to run their course more rapidly.

Twin Cities Almanac for June 14th

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 75 degrees F (plus or minus 9 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 59 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for June 14th

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 98 degrees F in 1987; lowest daily maximum temperature of 60 degrees F in 1917; lowest daily minimum temperature of 44 F in 1927; highest daily minimum temperature of 73 F in 1893; and record precipitation of 2.48 inches in 1924; No snow has been recorded on this date.

Average dew point for June 14th is 56 degrees F, with a maximum of 74 degrees F in 1981 and a minimum of 33 degrees F in 1961.

All-time state records for June 14th

The state record high temperature for this date is 105 degrees F at Montevideo (Chippewa County) in 1979. The state record low temperature for this date is 27 degrees F at Alborn (St Louis County) and Little Fork (Koochiching County) in 1927. State record precipitation for this date is 5.70 inches at Fosston (Polk County) in 1921; and no snow has fallen on this date.

Past Weather Features:

Perhaps the coldest June 14 occurred in 1927 when many northern and central Minnesota climate observers reported frost. Temperatures fell into the 30s F causing some crop damage, but most crops recovered, and the month finished with numerous days in the 80s and 90s F.

The hottest June 14 in state history occurred in 1979. During a 3-day Heat Wave from June 13-15 over 20 Minnesota communities reported daytime high temperatures of 100 degrees F or higher, mostly in central and western parts of the state. Thankfully a cold front brought thunderstorms later in the day on the 15th and temperatures cooled down into the 70s and 80s F for the next several days.

Between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm on June 14, 1981 an F-3 tornado (winds 158-206 mph) crossed the Twin Cities area from Edina to Lake Owasso, a 16 mile track. It caused the most damage to Roseville, especially near the Har-Mar Mall where the storm took the roof off the State Farm Insurance building. More than 80 people were injured by the storm which caused over $47 million in damages.

One of the wettest June periods in state history occurred over June 10-16, 2001. Large thunderstorms brought strong winds, tornadoes, hail, and flooding rains to many parts of the state over that period. At least 36 tornado reports were filed over that period, the worst ones causing injuries to several people and homes near Benson, MN on the 11th. Hail and high wind reports were widespread, with winds up to 70 mph near Fergus Falls. Rains of 3 to 4 inches were common, and a few places reported 5-6 inches of rainfall with associated street flooding, especially near Wells which received 6.18 inches.

June 14-15, 2012 brought strong thunderstorms to Dakota and Goodhue Counties in southeastern Minnesota. Rainfall of 6-8 inches brought a record flood crest to the Cannon River, closing roads and causing a great deal of erosion. Cannon Falls reported a record 8.83 inches, Northfield 7.13 inches, and Red Wing 6.37 inches.

Word of the Week: Gandiegow

I was reminded of this Scottish term for a heavy shower when an observer from Shakopee called to report a heavy thunderstorm on Wednesday this week (June 12) and used this term to describe it. BBC meteorologists in the United Kingdom still sometimes use this word to describe heavy showers.

Outlook

Cloudy with showers on Saturday, perhaps a few heavy thunderstorms. Warmer on Sunday with a chance for scattered showers by evening. Continued chances for showers on Monday, then drier on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. Temperatures will warm to near seasonal averages.

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