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Signs indicate Minnesota's severe weather season is coming soon

Apr 26, 2020 11:19AM ● By Editor

By Paul Huttner of Minnesota Public Radio News - April 24, 2020

Most of us in Minnesota will enjoy a quiet last weekend of April this weekend. But the weather maps suggest we could see a few stronger showers and thunderstorms in the next two weeks.

May begins one week from today. And May is really the launching pad for severe season weather in Minnesota.

Statistical peak June 19?

One metric for severe weather trends in Minnesota counting the number of warnings issued by your local weather service office. By that measure, severe weather season ramps up quickly in May and peaks in June.

A look at the number of severe weather warnings issued by the Twin Cities NWS clearly shows the trends. Severe weather probability ramps up in May and peaks between Memorial Day and the 4th of July.

Peak severe season
Number of severe weather warnings in the Twin Cities warning area.
Twin Cities NWS Office

The statistical peak of severe weather season around the Twin Cities? Around June 19 give or take a couple of days. 

The climatology of severe weather

It makes meteorological sense that our stormiest weather of the year arrives in June on average. Our sun angle in the sky, and solar intensity peak with the summer solstice which arrives around June 21. 

1 sun angles
Seasonal sun angles.

June also features a few lingering strong cold fronts that can cut into the moist humid air masses which are now streaming north from the Gulf of Mexico. It’s the perfect combination for severe weather.

Air masses and severe weather
Air masses and severe weather

Looking at the weather maps for the next two weeks, I see the chances growing for stronger storm systems that have the potential for severe weather in Minnesota.

To read the original report and see more weather news, follow this link to Paul Huttner's weather blog at MPR News.

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