The natives are getting restless. It's been like pulling teeth trying to get the sun out around here lately. Solar radiations measurements at the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus show that we've just endured the third gloomiest May since 1963.
The high frequency of rain events has been equally impressive. Our area trails have received measurable rain on 18 of the past 31 days.
Blame a highly amplified jet stream for the slow-moving nature of storms over the Midwest. This recent weather pattern has allowed storms to sit over a particular region for long periods of time.
Our total rainfall for May 2013 is around 6 inches and while this amount is above normal it doesn't event come close to the top 15 wettest Mays in the Twin Cities. The wettest May for us was back in 1906 with 10.33 inches of rain.
Other Midwest states have received 6-8 inches of rain just within the past 7 days! Iowa, for example, experienced their wettest Spring in 141 years with over 16 inches during this past May.
Past 7 Day Midwest Rainfall
The record foot of snow that fell across southeastern MN in early May combined with the recent frequent rains have resulted in May monthly rainfall being 300% above average.
Finally, a clearing trend takes place Sunday-Monday. The drier weather will be brief, however. Wettest days next week will be Tuesday-Wednesday. Showers persist into Thursday with cooler than normal conditions lasting into the early part of June.
Saturday: Afternoon thunderstorms. H: 71 Wind: NW 10-15
Saturday Night: Clearing, cooler. L: 47 Wind: NW 5-10
Sunday: Sunny! Dry for riding. H: 68 L: 50 Wind: NW 5-10
Monday: Dry, increasing afternoon clouds. H: 73 L: 54 Wind: CALM
Tuesday: Storms. Locally heavy rain of over 1". H: 68 L: 53 Wind: E 10
Wednesday: Showers linger, cloudy. H: 67 L: 53 Wind: NW 5-10
The road bikes have been dusted off, tuned up and ridden...and ridden a lot lately. Many metro mountain bike trails remain closed all thanks to frequent rains amounting to over 4.50" this month.
And just when we thought the atmosphere couldn't spit more rain...it rains again. The Midwest mountain biker can't catch a break!
Tuesday: Cloudy, lull in the rain. H: 71 Wind: E 2-4
Tuesday Night: Mostly cloudy. L: 60 Wind: SE 2-4
Wednesday: Afternoon thunderstorms, some severe. H: 80 L: 66 Wind: SE 5-10
Thursday: More showers & storms. H: 81 L: 64 Wind: SE 10-15
Friday: Isolated morning rain. Afternoon clearing. H: 78 L: 58 Wind: SW 10-15
Saturday: Isolated showers, clouds clearing late. H: 70 L: 51 Wind: W 10-15
Sunday: Sunny, dry north breeze. H: 72 L: 53 Wind: N 5-10
A solid 1 inch of rain is likely the next 5 days out. The beginning of June looks to remain quite soggy. Sure, a few dry days may allow for sporadic trail riding but, overall, I think the pattern favors wet trail conditions.
Thinking about trading in the bike for a boat? Might not be a bad idea. The Twin Cities measured rain on 16 of the past 24 days this month. The total monthly rainfall is 4.50" with 3" of that rain falling since last Friday! Geesh!
Soil moisture across southeastern Minnesota is now 4" above normal. Many trails continue to be too soggy to ride or even do trail maintenance. The high frequency rain, however, has nearly ended the drought in the metro. Since the beginning of the year progress has been made in regards to an overall decrease in drought conditions statewide.
This weekend will be similar to last weekend. A mixture of storms and sun will define our holiday. Camping? Be sure to bring the rain gear...
Saturday: Morning thunderstorms, partial afternoon clearing. H: 63 Wind: SE 9-11
Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy. L: 48 Wind: ESE 9
Sunday: Thundershowers. Heaviest rain stays across southern MN. H: 64 L: 53
Memorial Day: Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Warmer. H: 72 L: 61 Wind: SE 10-15
Tuesday: Showers and storms early. Dry, partly sunny afternoon. H: 81 L: 66 Wind: S 7-9
Wednesday: Partly cloudy, a passing shower. H: 87 L: 65 Wind: S 10
Cool and Wet Summer?
The summer solstice is rapidly approaching on June 21. After that date, the days start getting shorter. Eek!
I've been worried that this summer might turn out to be somewhat cool and damp...much like what the current weather pattern has been. The general thinking among climate scientists is that the warming/melting of ice around the north pole will decrease the temperature gradient between the north pole and the tropics which will, in turn, weaken the jet stream. A weaker jet stream allows for a lazy weather pattern across the county, one that allows the same kind of weather to stick around the same spots for extended periods of time.
I hope I'm wrong but this is the second blocking pattern across the country in two weeks as yet another lazy storm begins to impact the area over the next few days. Might be tough to break this large scale weather pattern.
Past 24 Hour Rainfall
The trails are saturated with the 2-4 inches of rain we received over the weekend. Additional rains early this week will likely produce some minor flooding in those favored low-lying areas. Time to trade the bike in for a boat?
Gushing with the recent rains.
Past 7 Day Rainfall
Tuesday: Thundershowers. H: 71 Wind: S 5-10
Tuesday Night: Showers. L: 53 Wind: N 4-7
Wednesday: Lingering showers. Cooler. H: 65 L: 48 Wind: N 10-15
Thursday: Sunny, dry with lower humidity. H: 70 L: 50 Wind: NE 4-7
Friday: Increasing afternoon clouds. H: 71 L: 55 Wind: SSE 10-15
Saturday: Thunderstorm. H: 74 L: 57 Wind: SE 10-15
Sunday: Thunderstorms. H: 75 L: 58 Wind: S 10-15
Time to do some much-needed bike maintenance? This weekend might be the perfect time to do it as Minnesota has now entered into a wet and stormy weather pattern. Parts of southern Minnesota have already received over 1 inch of rain on Friday.
Showers and thunderstorms will continue to impact our area trails through at least Tuesday. Total rainfall amounts could be in excess of 1-3 inches which is good for drought but bad for the Minnesota mountain biker. Be sure to stay updated on the current trail conditions.
Saturday: Morning showers, afternoon peeks of sun. H: 80 Wind: SSE 10-15
Saturday Night: Showers & thunderstorms. Rain 0.25" L: 66 Wind: SE 10-15
Sunday: Thundershowers, especially in the afternoon. H: 82 L: 65 Wind: SE 10-15
Monday: More rain and storms. H: 80 L: 56 Wind: SE 5-10
Tuesday: Thunder threat continues. Cooler & breezy. H: 65 L: 50 Wind: NNE 10-15 G 20
Wednesday: Lingering showers, remaining cool. H: 64 L: 50 Wind: NE 5-10
Bike History Repeating Itself?
The bike was king back in 1896. One out of every 12 New Yorkers had a bike during that period in time. While the bicycle had its heyday in the late 1800's just a few short years later the bicycle fell from grace. Many factors contributed to the bike's decreased popularity from the Gilded Age society to the invention of the automobile. You can read more on the Cycles of Fashion: A look back at the bicycle’s meteoric rise to the height of nineteenth century fashion, and its subsequent fall, provides striking parallels to today's bike culture by Daniel London. Great read.
NWS Twin Cities Weather Story