90s Next Week

Lutsen 99er. Photo courtesy: Aaron McCabea

Showers stayed mainly south of Lutsen today so it turned out to be a great day for racing at the Lutsen 99er.  The race went on despite many traffic detours on the way to Lutsen, especially through Duluth, due to the flooding rain last week.  This race sounds pretty awesome and I’m kicking myself for not signing up sooner.  The website says: “This is a 99 mile (39 mile option also offered) race course that takes advantage of the scenery and topography of Minnesota’s North Shore. We will start at Lutsen Ski Resort, in Minnesota’s Sawtooth Mountains, overlooking majestic Lake Superior, as we begin a fantastic Category 3 climb. Once over the ridgeline, the course takes advantage of the glacially sculpted terrain, rolling hills, and numerous lakes and streams. This area is the southern range of the Boreal Forest. You will be riding on sections of road and trail that see as much moose traffic as people traffic at any given time.”  Nice.

Most of the rain missed the Twin Cities today so the trails are in pretty good shape.  I rode Theo on Friday and all is dry but some spots are a bit rutted from last week’s heavy rain events.  After today, our weather looks rather dry (and hot) this upcoming week.  High temperatures could be pushing 90° by Wednesday!  Our next chance of rain looks to be late in the week…around Thursday/Friday.

This will be a quick blog post since I’m meeting my best friend, Jess, for our 4th Annual Grand Rounds Bike Ride.  We try to ride the Grand Rounds at least once a year.  The mountain bike will have to be put aside…just for one day.

CycleCast

Sunday: Partly sunny.  Comfortable with low dewpoint air in place. H: Low 80s

Monday: Sunny. H: Near 80

Tuesday: Partly sunny.  Slightly humid. H: Low 80s

Wednesday: Hot and humid! Dewpoint near 70°. H: 92°

Thursday: Most of the day dry.  A storm late. H: Mid 80s

Friday: A few showers and thunderstorms.  Mostly cloudy. H: Low 80s

Historic Duluth Flooding

Duluth Tunnel Flooding. Photo: @dchura

My heart goes out to those in Duluth.  They are experiencing the worst flooding in 40 years.  In three days, from June 17 to June 19, a total of 8 to 10 inches of rain feel across northeastern MN.  This amount of rain wreaked havoc on area rivers and caused tremendous damage to roads.

One of many sinkholes. Photo: Homeland Security Emergency Management

Sadly, the Miller Creek flooded the Lake Superior Zoo, drowning nearly a dozen animals including the beloved donkey, Ashley.  During the flooding, the polar bear, Berlin, escaped but was quickly found, tranquilized, and returned to safety.  A pair of seals also escaped and were found flailing around on Grand Avenue.  They too were retrieved and are doing just fine.

Feisty, the seal, making a break for it. Photo: Ellie Burcar

On Tuesday June 19th, a slow moving warm front started to drift from the Twin Cities to Duluth.  This front allowed for continuous thunderstorms to form over the same spots in northern Minnesota.  The warm front was easily seen on radar moving through the metro.

Position of warm front Tuesday afternoon

The surface map above shows the warm front moving through the Twin Cities Tuesday.  Where the warm front had yet to move through, the temperatures were in the 60s. For example, the temperature ahead of the warm front in St. Cloud was 68° early Tuesday afternoon.  Areas passed the front were immersed in the warm, humid air with temps well into the 80s.  Mankato, for example, was at 84 degrees.
This is the same front the basically stalled just south of Duluth and helped to produced 9 inches.  Two Harbors reported the most rain with 9.93 inches.
On a brighter note, summer has officially begun!  The summer solstice was at exactly 6:09 pm on Wednesday.  That is when the sun was at it’s highest latitude position in the sky in the Northern Hemisphere.  Wednesday was the longest day of the year when you count by daylight hours.
CycleCast
Friday: Partly sunny. Light NW breeze. H: near 80°
Saturday: Increasing clouds.  Showers and thunderstorms later in the afternoon. H: low 80s
Sunday: Morning rain, then decreasing clouds to a partly cloudy afternoon. H: low 80s
Monday-Wednesday:  Really nice.  These dry days will really help to dry out the area trails. H: around 80°

Storms Firing Up, Again

An old weather folklore says: Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.  Red sky at night, sailors delight.

Tuesday morning sunrise. Photo: NWS Duluth

In Duluth this morning, the rising sun in the east was shining on clouds to the west.  Generally, clouds moving in from the west indicate an approaching storm.  If the red sky were to appear at nightfall then the setting sun in the west would be shining on exiting clouds to the east indicating a clearing sky and hence why sailors can delight.

With the red/pink sky in Duluth this morning it might be worth heeding the warning.  There is a concern for severe thunderstorms across the state later today.  Severe weather already moved into the area this morning producing heavy rain and damaging winds.  There were numerous reports of downed trees and power lines in Apple Valley earlier today.

Snapped Power Poles in Apple Valley. Photo: WNTV Meteorologist Bryan Karrick

24 Hour Rainfall Totals

Murphy-Hanrehan: 0.75″
Carver Lake Park/Battle Creek: 0.65″
Lebanon: 0.55″

The second round of severe weather is expected this afternoon and evening.  The best chance for severe thunderstorms is just northwest of the metro from, say, from St. Cloud to Duluth and mainly impacting the I-94 corridor.  Damaging winds and large hail are the primary concerns.  Heavy rain is also a concern with the warm and humid air in place.  Rainfall rates of 1″/hour are expected in spots.  Therefore, the majority of this area is under a Flash Flood Watch.

Severe Storm OutlookFlash Flood Watch

Flash Flood Watch

I do predict the majority of the severe weather will be well north of the Twin Cities.  Additional rain and cooler conditions are expected by Wednesday.