Warm Start To July So Far

The past few days have been around or warmer than average across the state, helping to bring the mean temperature through the first week of July to above average levels in many areas. This follows recent trends, according to University of Minnesota Extension climatologist and meteorologist Mark Seeley in his latest WeatherTalk column: “Five of the most recent seven months of July have been warmer than normal in Minnesota, while 21 of the past 23 months have been warmer than normal in Minnesota as well. The highest temperature of the summer so far was observed at Browns Valley (Traverse County) on Wednesday (July 6) of this week with an afternoon reading of 98 degrees F. In addition at least 15 climate stations have reported overnight lows in the 70s F this week. That is about 6-10 degrees F above normal.


Sunday Afternoon Storms – Highs Right Around Average
By DJ Kayser, filling in for Douglas

Where does the time go?

It feels like summer just started yesterday, but here we are – quickly approaching the middle of July. As we do so, we are also entering what is, on average, the warmest part of the year. Our average high tops off at 84 each day between July 6th and the 21st, and then it’s all downhill from there (at least until the middle of winter).

Luckily, temperatures will hang within a few degrees of average over the next week. Storms – some of which could be on the strong side – will be possible later today, bringing the potential of over a half an inch of rain. More downpours will be possible toward the middle of the week as another system moves through the region. That will bring the return of very muggy conditions as well as dew points will be hovering around 70 once again by Wednesday. After that, we look to end the week on a nice note, with sunnier skies.

Make sure to make time to get out and enjoy the nice, summer weather while you can. Fall will probably creep up on you faster than you think!


Extended Twin Cities Forecast

SUNDAY: Afternoon storm potential. High 86. Low 66. Chance of precipitation 40%. Wind SW 5-10 mph.
MONDAY: Lingering morning storms across southern Minnesota. High 84. Low 66. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind NE 3-5 mph.
TUESDAY: Muggy conditions. Storms possible late. High 87. Low 69. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind SE 5-10 mph.
WEDNESDAY: Dew points near 70. Scattered afternoon storms. High 88. Low 68. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind W 5-10 mph.
THURSDAY: Decreasing clouds. Not as muggy. High 84. Low 67. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind N 5-10 mph.
FRIDAY: Highs around average. Mainly sunny. High 84. Low 65. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind SW 5-15 mph.
SATURDAY: A nice, sunny summer day expected. High 86. Low 67. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind S 5-10 mph.


This Day in Weather History
July 9th

1932: A tornado touches down near Springfield and moves into St. James, causing 500 thousand dollars in damage.


Average Temperatures & Precipitation for Minneapolis
July 9th

Average High: 84F (Record: 99F set in 1976)
Average Low: 64F (Record: 48F set in 1895)
Average Precipitation: 0.14″ (Record: 2.55″ set in 2000)

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
July 9th

Sunrise: 5:35 AM
Sunset: 9:00 PM

*Length Of Day: 15 hours, 24 minutes and 21 seconds
*Daylight Lost Since Yesterday: ~1 minute and 16 seconds

*Next Sunrise At/After 6 PM: August 2nd (6:00 AM)
*Next Sunset Before 9 PM: July 10th (8:59 PM)


Minnesota Weather Outlook

Highs will be in the 70s and 80s for the most part across Minnesota on Sunday, with the chance of a few storms. The warm spots will be in southwest Minnesota, where some areas have the potential to reach the low 90s. However, if you want real heat you have to head further into the Dakotas, where areas like Pierre will be in the 100s for highs. The cool spots look to be along the north shore, where Grand Marais may only see a high in the 60s by the lake.

Temperatures on Sunday will be right around average across most of the state, however highs could be a good five or so degrees above average across parts of southwest and west-central Minnesota.

Temperatures this week in the Twin Cities will hang around average, with highs sticking for the most part in the mid 80s.

Some of the storms during the afternoon through the overnight could be on the strong to severe side. A Slight Risk of severe weather is in place from central Minnesota (approximately the St. Cloud and Milaca areas) southeastward through the Twin Cities. Large hail and damaging winds would be the main threats.

Through early in the week the rain is expected to be the heaviest across southern Minnesota, where areas like the Twin Cities, Mankato and Rochester could pick up a half an inch to an inch of rain, most of this coming in the storm activity we expect later in the day on Sunday.

We do have a few chances of rain in the forecast this week. After we get through the storm chances Sunday and Sunday Night we will watch a few impulses move across the region. The one that looks the have the best chance of accumulating precipitation will occur as we head into Tuesday Night and Wednesday. Models are hinting at another rain chance sometime next weekend or early next week.


National Weather Outlook

Sunday Forecast

Hot weather will be observed Sunday across the western U.S., with highs in the 100s for areas like Salt Lake City and Phoenix. Meanwhile, areas from Charlotte to Portland, ME, will only see highs in the 80s. Numerous scattered storms can be expected across the country.

Warmer than average weather will continue Sunday across the western United States into parts of the Northern Plains, with highs a good 5-15 degrees above average for this time of year. The cooler weather will predominately be in the eastern U.S., with highs 5-10 degrees below average.

Some of the heaviest rain through the weekend into the middle of next week is expected across the lower Great Lakes, where over two inches of rain could fall. Heavier rain is also expected along the Gulf Coast and along the Atlantic coastal areas of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Pockets of heavier rain are also possible in the Southwest as the monsoon season starts up.

Taking a closer look at Southeast, places like Mobile, Orlando and Cape Hatteras could end up with over an inch of rain through the end of the weekend and into early next week.

Meanwhile, across the Southwest the heat won’t be as extreme as it has been the past few days on Sunday, with temperatures backing off a few degrees in areas like Phoenix and Las Vegas. We won’t see nearly as many record highs, either.


Record Setting Tornadoes In Maine
Last Saturday (July 1st) was a record breaking day in Maine, as five tornadoes touched down on a single day. That beats the previous record of four, set in July of 2010. More from the Portland Press Herald: “The weather service confirmed Wednesday that an EF-0 tornado, the weakest category, touched down near Otisfield around 6:35 p.m. Saturday, packing maximum wind speeds of 75 mph. It cut a 75-yard wide path for 2.5 miles from Bolsters Mill Road, where it pushed tree branches onto power lines, to Bell Hill Road, where a large pine tree fell on a house. The tornado also blew down trees on Peaco Hill Road and Rayville Road in Otisfield.
Lower 48 Saw Second Warmest Start To Year On Record
NOAA released numbers for the first half of the year Friday (along with June climate numbers), and the first half of the year ended up being the second warmest on record for the lower 48. According to the news release: “The year-to-date (YTD, January through June 2017) average temperature was 50.9 degrees F, 3.4 degrees above the 20th-century average. This was the second warmest first-half of the year in the record, 1.2 degrees cooler than 2012. The YTD precipitation total for the Lower 48 states was 17.86 inches, 2.55 inches above average. This ranked as the sixth wettest YTD on record.
Big Stories In June: Southwest Heat and Southeast Rain
Tucson, AZ saw their warmest June on record as the Southwest scorched, meanwhile Tropical Storm Cindy contributed to the wettest June on record in Gainesville, FL. More from Praedictix: “The heat dominated parts of the middle and end of June 2017 in the Southwest, with numerous locations setting daily records… with some seeing consecutive days in a row with record temperatures! The peak of the heat appeared to occur around June 20th, when Phoenix saw a record high of 119 (tying for their 4th warmest high ever on record) and Las Vegas hit 117 (tying for the warmest temperature ever recorded in Las Vegas history). This heat only allowed one location, however, to see their warmest June on record – that was in Tuscon, AZ, which saw four record highs during the month and shattered numerous all-time consecutive day streak records.
Nine U.S. Billion Dollar Disasters In First Half Of 2017
According to NOAA, there were nine extreme weather events during the first half of 2017 that each added up to at least a billion dollars in damage. There were 57 deaths in these nine events which included two floods and a freeze. It wasn’t the most on record for the first half of the year, however – that record is 10, set in both 2011 and 2016. There was a grand total of 15 billion dollar events last year.
Rain Delay… But With No Rain?
That’s exactly what occurred Thursday Night at the Nationals vs. Braves game in Washington D.C. So why did this happen? It’s unclear – but the Capital Weather Gang tried to figure it out: “We’re going to remember Thursday night’s Nationals vs. Braves game — not for shutout pitching or a game-winning RBI by Anthony Rendon, but for a three-hour rain delay that included everything but rain. Fans at the park were annoyed, right up to the moment they left without seeing any baseball. Managers were blaming the meteorologists. Park officials were mopping up the damage on social media. Even the players were doling out the snark.

100 Billion “Failed Stars”

No, that’s not the number of people that tried out for “American Idol,” “The Voice,” or another one of those (too) many singing competitions. That’s the number of brown dwarfs that scientists are now estimating exist in our galaxy. More from Gizmodo: “New research suggests our galaxy contains as many as 100 billion brown dwarfs—a type of celestial object that didn’t have quite what it takes to become a full-fledged star. The finding shows just how ubiquitous brown dwarfs really are, and how many false starts are involved in the formation of new stars. Brown dwarfs exist in a hazy area of astronomy. They’re too hot and big to be planets—about 15 to 80 times the mass of Jupiter—but they’re too small to be stars, lacking enough mass to sustain stable hydrogen fusion at their cores. Brown dwarfs are a result of processes that normally lead to the formation of stars, so they’re often referred to as “failed stars.” Harsh, but that’s astronomy for you.

Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech

Ready To Be Godzilla?
You might have the opportunity to virtually fly through cities in iOS 11 according to a new feature discovered in the beta builds. More from Gizmodo: “With the introduction of iOS 11 and a development tool called ARKit, Apple is betting that augmented reality could be the next revolutionary feature for smartphones. At the very least, it’s facilitated a secret feature that lets iPhone users pretend they’re giant monsters stomping through a tiny city.
Want Some Vinegar With Your Wheat?
A new study has found that crops like rice and wheat can continue to prosper in drought conditions – if they are grown in acetate, which is found in vinegar. More from Popular Science: “With the threat of climate change looming, farmers and scientists alike are realizing that crops have become more resistant to events like droughts if we want to maintain a reliable food source. It sounds—and sort of looks—like something out of a middle school science experiment, but according to a study done at RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science in Japan, a new and simple way to increase a plant’s drought tolerance is to grow it in vinegar.
Image: “After 14 days in drought conditions, only the plants treated with acetic acid (in the middle column) survived. (RIKEN)
Volvo To Go All Hybrid Or Electric By 2019
One bold step for an auto maker? Volvo announced earlier this week that every new model they release, starting in 2019, will be either partially or fully electric. WIRED, however, doesn’t think it is all that bold: “But take a close look and it will become evident that going electric isn’t that risky at all. The international winds of regulation blow toward gas and diesel alternatives. The industry’s Next Big Thing—autonomous vehicles—will be battery-powered. Even consumers, especially those at the top of the market—the place where Volvo’s customers like to hang—look to be interested in EVs. So, in reality, Volvo and its competitors are being pushed into electric propulsion. The Swedes are just rolling with it—and boasting that they’re driving the change.
Image: Volvo Car Corporation


Thanks for checking in and have a great Sunday! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@dkayserwx) and like me on Facebook (Meteorologist D.J. Kayser)!

 – D.J. Kayser