Let’s hope public safety officials continue being judicious about the use of severe weather warning sirens

June 17, 2010: the mildly ominous sky that triggered storm sirens Jessica Paxton and Ross Currier, unhappy that the Taste got shut down

Two years ago on Day 1 of the Taste of Northfield, local public safety officials triggered sirens for a storm that was 60 miles away and never arrived, effectively shutting down the event for no good reason and making Jessica and Ross very unhappy. Day 2/Friday night was spectacular.

Today, severe weather is a distinct possibility and this year, Taste of Northfield is only one day, not two. (Tomorrow’s forecast looks perfect for outdoor events.) So a lot is riding on today’s weather. 

I think there have been 4 or more severe thunderstorms warnings issued by the National Weather Service in the Twin Cities (NWS) for the Northfield area this year (anyone have links to confirm?) and I’m pretty sure all have proved to be a bust. Maybe a lightning strike or two but nothing close to severe. 

Thankfully, local public safety officials who have their finger on the sirens have not pulled the trigger on any of those non-severe storms. And hopefully today, they’ll be likewise judicious.


  1. Griff Wigley said:

    Anyone know if the NWS does post-mortems on the accuracy of their severe weather warnings? Do they make them public?

    June 14, 2012
  2. Griff Wigley said:

    My 3:15 pm weather tweet:

    Holy shit! There are puddles in my yard! The grass is soaked! The sky is soooo gray! Send photos! #northfieldsocialmediapantiesinabunch

    June 14, 2012
  3. Griff Wigley said:

    Thank you, Northfield area public safety officials, for not triggering the sirens for heavy rain and vague reports of ‘rotations.’ Restraint appreciated.

    June 14, 2012
  4. Griff Wigley said:

    Taste of Northfield tweet at 3:48 pm:

    The Taste committee just decided to postpone today’s event. We will reschedule for later this summer. Stay tuned and stay dry!! #bummer?

    June 14, 2012
  5. Does anyone have a rain gauge capacious enough to record how much rain we got?

    June 15, 2012
  6. Griff Wigley said:

    Andy, the Carleton Weather Database says we got 5.9 inches.

    The Cannon River is receding this morning, as there evidently wasn’t as much heavy rain in the watershed as there was here and to the east. Cannon Falls got over 8 inches and I saw an MPR tweet reporting over 10 inches at the Stanton airport.

    June 15, 2012
  7. Griff Wigley said:

    Barry, I actually like the idea of putting on a helmet if a tornado is imminent. It would have to be a stylish helmet, tho.

    June 15, 2012
  8. Phil Poyner said:

    The standard manual rain gauge used by the network of volunteer observers is 4″ in diameter with an overall capacity of 275mm (11″). There are bigger rain gauges out there, but that’s the “typical”. Automated stations, such as ASOS and AWOS, use what’s called a tipping bucket rain gauge with an infinite capacity.

    For a map of the 24-hour measurements from 7 AM this morning, take a look at this site…http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ncrfc/content/weather/precipitation/precip_maps/webPrecipLarge.php?left_hydrology=precip_view It updates as more observations filter in.

    June 15, 2012
  9. Peggy Moldenhauer said:

    I actually have the 4′ opening, 11

    June 22, 2012
  10. Peggy Moldenhauer said:

    I have the gauge required to be a volunteer precipitation observer. I had 7.72″ on Thursday but amounts will vary across the city. I’m over by the golf course. Total in my backyard from Thursday, 14 June through Wednesday, 20 June was 13.51″ Plenty of green grass but no veggie garden anymore.

    June 22, 2012

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