Saturday, July 23, 2016

July 23, 2016: Occasional showers/t'storms through tonight; Heavy rain possible along with a few strong to severe t'storms

/Issued 12:28 PM CDT, Saturday, July 23, 2016/

Radar update from 12:20 PM CDT July 23, 2016:  If this area of rain and storms holds together it could move into Duluth and Superior around 2-3 PM today.

Updated severe weather outlook for this afternoon and evening.  Source, Storm Prediction Center.

NWS hazards map.  Flash flood watch continues through early Sunday morning for the counties shaded in green.  More information at this link

Source, Weather Prediction Center.

*Risk for strong to severe thunderstorms and heavy rain into tonight*

At Noon today there were two areas of thunderstorms -- The first area was lifting north/east across southern, central and eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin -- The second area was over eastern North Dakota with movement mostly toward the east.

The setup for today will feature an area of low pressure lifting through the northern Plains.  A warm front stretching from northern South Dakota to southern Minnesota late this morning will lift slowly toward the north/east through tonight while a cold front over the western Dakotas moves east, reaching the Northland late tonight.

How things play out this afternoon and tonight is uncertain.  There probably won't be much additional heating in most of the Northland this afternoon thanks to a large canopy of clouds associated with the complex of storms in central Minnesota.  This means that temperatures will top out in the 70s and 80s since that's where were at early this afternoon.  The amount of instability will also be held down today with CAPE values generally around 1000 j/kg or less across the Northland.

The chance for a few strong to severe thunderstorms continues into this evening but I think those chances have diminished at least a little bit based on how things look early this afternoon, with that said don't let your guard down as there is still a possibility for a few severe storms into this evening.  Damaging winds and possibly some hail would be the main hazards, I think the chances for a tornado which were low to begin with are even lower now from the Brainerd Lakes, Pine City area east to the Hayward Lakes.

The potential for heavy rainfall continues though with deep moisture lifting north out of southern Minnesota where PWATS ranged from 1.70-2.30" late this morning with dew points in the mid 60s to low 70s.  This moisture will be lifting up and over a warm frontal boundary so the potential for heavy rain does exist -- In fact the heavy rain threat is probably a bigger concern compared to the potential for severe thunderstorms in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.