Heat Here to Stay, MN sees CO Smoke

The official high Wednesday was 93° but it felt like 97° with the hint of humidity.  93° is, so far, the highest temperature reading in 2012 with the Twin Cities already reaching 93° three other time this year: June 10,19 & May 18.

High Temps Wednesday

Check out how hot it got in Kansas.  For a time on Wednesday, Hill City, KS was the hottest spot in the WORLD at 115°!  Many record highs have fallen across the country this week with a lot of the records being the hottest of all time.  While the humidity levels may have decreased temporarily in Minnesota, our heat is expected to continue with a slow increase in humidity again through the 4th of July.

The percentage of probability of the heat index exceeding 90° goes up through the 4th.

The 8-14 Day Temperature Outlook shows Minnesota with a good probability of receiving above normal temperatures through the middle of July.

Southern MN had a few isolated showers today.  There were even reports of mammatus clouds over the metro Thursday morning.  These clouds are typically associated with great instability aloft with severe thunderstorms.  Our next chance of rain looks to be Saturday.

Mammatus over North St. Paul Thursday. Photo: Laurel Callaway

CycleCast

Friday: Partly cloudy. Nice day for riding (humidity levels will be in check) H: upper 80s

Saturday: A few thunderstorms in the afternoon.  Slightly humid. H: near 90°

Sunday: Sunny and hot.  H: lower 90s

Monday: Hot & humid.  Dewpoints creeping near 70°.  Chance of storms overnight.  H: lower 90s

Tuesday: Showers & thunderstorms. H: lower 90s

4th o’ July: Lookin’ good so far.  Partly sunny, hot & humid.  Just like it should be, right? H: lower 90s

Notice a smokey, hazy look to the sky?  What you are seeing is smoke from over 60+ wildfires burning out west…especially in Colorado.  This smoke has traveled on southwesterly winds aloft to make it into the Midwest.

The Colorado Springs, CO wildfire has been the most devastating.  I use to live in Colorado Springs and my heart goes out to those who have lost everything…literally.  There are homes that have been completely burnt to the ground…the foundations are unrecognizable which is why it’s difficult to get an estimate on exactly how many homes have been lost.  This Waldo Canyon Fire as of this morning has burned 18,500 acres + with a 5% containment and thousands evacuated.  The Denver branch of the FBI has been called to investigate the cause of the wildfire.  This is probably the worst wildfire season in Colorado history.

This is the view of the Waldo Canyon Fire from the top of Pikes Peak looking down on Colorado Springs.  Erratic winds from thunderstorms on Tuesday pushed this fire rapidly towards the city.  The concern is for more thunderstorms later today which could produce gusty winds and also cloud-to-ground lightning that could induce more wildfires.

32,000 people (and animals) evacuate areas threatened by the Waldo Canyon Fire burning on the northwestern side of Colorado Springs, CO. Photo: AP Photo/The Colorado Springs Gazette, Christian Murdock.

If only the flooding rains in Florida could be sent up to Colorado.  Florida just got done with Tropical Storm Debby.  This storm is well out to sea by now and is now longer a tropical storm but the effects of Debby were very real as the cyclone moved over northern Florida producing 25″ of rain in spots earlier this week.  Slow-moving tropical cyclones like Debby can produce hellish amounts of rain.  The record for the most rain in Florida from a tropical cyclone is 45.2″.  Even Minnesota can see tropical cyclone rain leftovers like what Ester produced in 1992 with 3.83″.

Noctilucent Clouds

Often during the late spring or early summer, “night-shining” clouds can often be seen at high altitudes.  These clouds are mostly seen right at dusk and are believed to form from water vapor freezing in the upper atmosphere.  The picture above was taken by the ISS as it traveled over the Tibetan Plateau but pilots also reported seeing the ‘polar mesospheric clouds’ over Canada.  Read more about these clouds here.

Ridin’ the Glaciers….No Big Deal.

Nothing like riding at full speed…with no brakes..on a sheet of ice.  Now THIS is a mountain bike race.

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