Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sunday Night Rain/Thunder Chance

Long Shadows
By Paul Douglas

My oldest son, Walt, summed up an improbable year better than his old man ever could. "Worst winter in 30 years, lousy spring, June monsoons and a delayed summer. I didn't think we could salvage 2014. But this fall has made up for the pain."

On Friday highs topped 80F over parts of western Minnesota; Indian Summer spills into Monday with more 60s. Our lukewarm fall is consistent with recent trends: longer, milder autumns - delaying lake ice formation and persistent snow cover. There are exceptions to every rule, but since about 2000 winter kicks off a few weeks later than it did 50 years ago.

Our weather honeymoon goes off the rails later this week as temperatures tumble. Not exactly arctic but more typical of November.

The overall pattern favors chilly intrusions from Michigan to New England, spinning up a series of big east coast storms. A family of storms will soak the west coast; California seeing some desperately-needed rain in the coming weeks.

In spite of next week's temperature relapse I see a mild, Pacific bias here into November. No idea about March, but it would appear that we'll tip-toe into winter in the coming weeks. Better than a cold slap across the face.


SATURDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and cool. Low: 39

SUNDAY: Fading sun, still breezy. High: near 63. Winds: SE 10-15

SUNDAY NIGHT: Chance of showers/storms overnight. Low: 50

MONDAY: Peeks of sun. Stray shower early. High: 63

TUESDAY: Mostly cloudy and cooler, feels like October. Wake-up: 43. High: 49

WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny and brisk. Wake-up: 33. High: 47

THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy, feels like November. Wake-up: 35. High: 50

HALLOWEEN: Clear, cool and dry for Walking Dead Reunion. Wake-up: 30. High: 45

SATURDAY: Hard freeze. Bright sun and breezy. Wake-up: 26. High: 47


This Day in Weather History
October 26th

1996: An unusual outbreak of severe occurred across north central Minnesota. Intense low pressure tracking into Minnesota produced blizzard conditions over portions of South Dakota, while further east in Minnesota, unseasonably mild temperatures developed. Temperatures climbed near 70 with dew points in the 50s. 1 to 1 3/4 inch hail and strong winds were reported in Lac Qui Parle, Yellow Medicine, Chippewa, and Swift Counties. These storms produced 12 tornadoes, the largest reported were F2s. Southwest of Alexandria in Douglas County, an F2 tornado with a 9 mile track destroyed several homes. One women sustained broken bones and internal injuries when a portion of her house, with her inside, was flung 200 feet onto the interstate. This tornado also pushed over a 500 pound fuel tank. Tornadoes also touched down in Swift, Kandiyohi, Pope, Stearns, and Isanti Counties.

1985: Indian Summer across Minnesota. Twin Cities hits 70.


Average High/Low for Minneapolis
October 26th

Average High: 53F (Record: 83F set in 1955)
Average Low: 36F (Record: 16 set in 1962)


Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
October 26th

Sunrise: 7:43am
Sunset: 6:10pm


Moon Phase for October 26th at Midnight
3.4 Days Since New Moon


Minneapolis Temperature Trend
After several days of spectacular fall weather, temperatures will take a bit of a tumble at the end of the month/early November. It won't be terribly cold, just more like it should be at this time of the year. Fear not, extended model runs may be suggesting yet another mild stretch of weather close to the MN Deer Hunting Opener... Stay tuned.

Sunday Weather Outlook
An approaching cold front will bring a few showers/storms to the region late Sunday night. Prior to the arrival of the front, winds will pick up out of the southeast and temperatures will warm to the lower 70s across southern MN. MSP will see highs in the mid 60s once again.

Sunday Night Weather Outlook
A cold front slides through the region on Sunday night and brings a slight chance of showers/storms through the overnight hours. Not much rain is expected... October 2014 has seen 1.75" of rain, most of which fell in the first 2 days of the month; October 1st: 0.68" and October 2nd: 0.78".

Minnesota Weather Outlook
Sunday nights precipitation chance looks to blow through rather quickly with the heaviest precipitation staying across northern Minnesota and into northern Wisconsin. Don't be surprised if you hear a few rumbles of thunder as the front rolls through.

Precipitation Outlook
Here's another look at the precipitation potential as the front slides through the region late Sunday/early Monday. Again note how most of the accumulating rain stays across northern Minnesota and into Wisconsin.

National Weather Outlook
Our rain/thunder chance that rolls through on Sunday night/early Monday is actually part of a much larger area of low pressure in the western U.S. that has been blasting that area with heavy wind and lots of precipitation. Post front, temperatures will drop enough of bring a wintry mix to the Mountains and even some accumulations at lower elevations.

National Precipitation Outlook
Heavy precipitation will continue in the northwestern part of the nation, especially along the coast and the Cascades. Some of this moisture in the western U.S. will be in the form of snow!

Western Snowfall Potential
Although the snow potential isn't much through early next week, it's just another sign of things to come. This is one of the first big western storms of the season and it's just a matter of time before a similar storm with cold enough air buries the mountains! I'm sure skiers and snowboarders are getting anxious.

Ana Lives!!
As of early Saturday, Ana was a weak category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 75mph! If you remember, Ana was the storm that impacted the Hawaiian Islands last weekend. It's not all that often that you see tropical systems in the Central Pacific this far north.

Tracking Ana
As of Saturday, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center had Ana becoming a Tropical Storm over the weekend, but it could potentially stay a Tropical Storm through early next week! Keep in mind that this storm will help to bring more heavy precipitation to the Pacific Northwest through the early part of next week.

Looking Ahead... Sunday
The image below shows the upper level 500mb vorticity (spin) by PM Sunday. Note the trough over the Northwest, this feature (bringing cooler, windy and wet weather to the Northwest now) is kicking our warm and dry weather east. Prior to the trough moving in, temperatures on Sunday will be quite warm over the central U.S..

Heavy Northwest Precipitation
According to NOAA's HPC, the 7 day precipitation outlook suggests several inches of precipitation possibly through the week ahead. Flood concerns could become an issued if this keeps up.

Here's the 850mb temperature outlook for Sunday and note the large bubble of warmth taking up residence in the central part of the country.

Temperatures on Sunday will still be well above normal prior to the trough of low pressure moving through.

Looking Ahead... Tuesday
The trough of low pressure by Tuesday will have moved into the Great Lakes Region with some much colder temperatures moving in as well.

The 850mb temperature profile by Tuesday shows the much colder air moving into the Midwest/Great Lakes by then. Temperatures could actually be cold enough near the international border for a little wintry by midweek!

Tuesday's high temperatures will certainly be MUCH cooler than what we've been dealing with, but interestingly, that will be closer to where we should be at this time of the year!

Midweek Snow Potential?
Some of the extended model runs are suggesting a slight chance of a little wintry mix/snow as the weather feature mentioned above moves through midweek. It appears that any non-accumulating snow potential looks to stay across northern Minnesota. Keep in mind that MSP averages 0.6" of snow in October and we've seen 0.0" this year!

X-Flare Causes Radio Blackouts??
Here's an interesting story about a very large sunspot is creating minor radio blackouts here on Earth...

"A pulse of extreme UV radiation from the flare ionized the upper layers of Earth's atmosphere, causing a brief but strong blackout of HF radio communications over the dayside of Earth. Such blackouts may be noticed by amateur radio operators, aviators, and mariners.
Coronagraph data from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) suggest that the explosion did not hurl a significant CME toward our planet. (Interestinngly, none of the X-flares from this active region has so far produced a major CME.) As a result, Earth-effects may be limited to the radio blackout."

Read more from HERE:

Thanks for checking in and have a great rest of your weekend! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX

Friday, October 24, 2014

Unforgettable: Indian Summer Spills into Monday

67 F. high yesterday in the Twin Cities.
72 F. high in St. Cloud
81 F. high in Madison, Minnesota Friday.
54 F. average high on October 24.
44 F. high on October 24, 2013.

October 24, 1887: Albert Lea set a record low of -6 degrees F.
October 24, 1830: Heat wave at Ft. Snelling. Temperature reached 80.


Dear Diary: I take back everything bad I've ever said about Minnesota weather. The last few weeks have been an inspiration. Not one "Hey Paul, can't you DO something about this?" No death-stares or helpful suggestions from strangers about what I can do with my Doppler. I honestly can't remember a fall this remarkable.

On October 25, 1887 the Twin Cities woke up to 12F, prevailing winds howling from the polar regions. In contrast highs reach the 60s again today, the 13th day above 60F so far in October. A ridge of high pressure parked over the Plains has kept numbing air bottled to our north, jet stream steering winds churning high overhead more Pacific than Canadian.

Of course the big question is how long this mild bias will linger, and whether a developing El Nino will help us avoid a rerun of last winter's cruel arctic block.

The atmosphere remains too warm aloft for snow into the second week of November, but you'll still get some mileage out of a favorite jacket. We may see a few refreshing(?) days in the 40s next week.
Nothing Nanook is brewing looking out 2 weeks, but the Witch Watch remains in effect next Friday: mostly clear, 45-50F.

No scary blizzards this year.

Daily Statewide Climate Records in 2014. Dr. Mark Seeley takes a look at general trends this year and specific towns where new climate records have been broken. Here's an excerpt of this week's WeatherTalk: "...In general this year across Minnesota has been cooler than normal, with mixed precipitation (most areas above normal, but with some drier than normal spots).  For a statewide look, temperature-wise five months have been abnormally cool and four months near normal.  Moisture-wise three months have been drier than normal, three months near normal, and three months above normal, with a record-setting wettest June in history. In June over 30 climate stations set new monthly rainfall records, with several reports over 12 inches. Amidst the data for 2014 so far, there are nine statewide daily climate records which have been set..." (Image credit:

Watch Hurricane Odile Ravage Resort in Baja California, Mexico in Newly Released Video. has a video clip showing security camera footage as the back half of Odile's eyewall came ashore. Amazing. Here's an excerpt: "...In the video above, you can see the gripping footage taken shortly after Odile's eye passed over the resort, as the back end of the hurricane began to ravage Cabo San Lucas. The footage appears to be from a hotel security camera, but you can clearly see Morgerman and his crew documenting the storm and sheltering inside the damaged resort. "Odile was the strongest hurricane landfall of 2014 in either the eastern Pacific or Atlantic basins," said senior meteorologist..."

* Technical problems with satellites data possibly impacting model accuracy? Details from Capital Weather Gang.

Student Storm Chasers Develop Drones to Probe Killer Tornadoes. Here's an idea that has merit, although anything flying into a 100-300 mph swirling landfill of debris is going to have trouble surviving and operating to spec. Here's a clip from Scientific American: "...The main body looks a little like a miniature B-2 stealth bomber, with a body made of foam aviation fiberglass. The team has made several prototypes and will soon be finished with the drone it will use to fly into the storm, but Causey said the team will need likely several attempts before it can make its design work. In order to fund the designs and the biggest expense—costs related to storm chasing like food, gas and hotels—the team has begun a Kickstarter campaign to help raise money..."

Photo credit above: "Student storm chasers and the drone that has replaced their truck, from left to right: Warren Causey, Nolan Lunsford and Brent Bouthiller."  Photo by Warren Causey, courtesy of the Sirens Project

1934 Drought In Dust Bowl Days Was Worst in Thousand Years for U.S.: NASA. Here's a clip from a story at NBC News that made me do a double-take: "The drought of 1934 wasn’t just bad, it was the worst. That’s the finding of a reconstruction of North American drought history over the past 1,000 years, done by scientists from NASA and Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Their study, to be published in the Oct. 17 issue of Geophysical Research Letters, concludes the drought of 1934 during the Dust Bowl years in the North American Plains was 30 percent more severe than the next worst, which occurred in 1580, NASA said. The scientists used tree ring records from 1000 to 2005 along with modern observations..." (Image: Wikipedia).

Rising Above The Risk: America's First Tsunami Refuge. Yes, it puts our cold fronts into stark perspective. Here's the intro to a press release from The Geological Society of America: "Washington’s coast is so close to the seismically active Cascadia Subduction Zone that if a megathrust earthquake were to occur, a tsunami would hit the Washington shoreline in just 25 minutes. One coastal community is preparing for such a disaster by starting construction on the nation’s first tsunami evacuation refuge, large enough to shelter more than 1,000 people who are within 20-minute walking distance. The vertical evacuation-refuge will be the roof of the gym of the new school in Grays Harbor County, Washington. The Ocosta Elementary School and Tsunami Safe Haven will be the first of its kind in the nation and will be the culmination of 18 years of effort, said Tim Walsh, who is a Chief Hazard Geologist at the Department of Natural Resources and has been working on this project since The National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program was formed in 1995..."

Elephants Able To Detect Rainstorms 150 Miles Away. Forget Doppler, I'm buying an elephant. Here's the intro to an explanation at Popular Science: "Lions may be the kings of the animal world, but at least elephants could make for spunky meteorologists. New research is revealing that elephants have a radar-like spidey sense, capable of detecting an approaching rainstorm up to 150 miles off. While this may seem like an impractical talent, researchers say elephants' weather-predicting could help human conservationists save the animals from poachers. The elephants’ abilities are rooted in their excellent hearing skills..." (File photo: Wikipedia).

Vehicle Owners With Defective Air Bags Urged to Take Immediate Action. I checked on my family's vehicles to see if any might be threatened by shrapnel-shooting air bags and wanted to share the link with you. Here's a list of all the vehicles impacted, courtesy of NHTSA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: "The list below corrects the list that accompanied our October 20 advisory, which incorrectly included certain vehicles. The numbers cited for potentially affected vehicles below are subject to change and adjustment because there may be cases of vehicles being counted more than once. Owners should check their VIN periodically as manufacturers continue to add VINs to the database. Once owner recall notices are available, owners can retrieve a copy from, or will receive one by U.S. mail and are advised to carefully follow the enclosed instructions..."

Most Energy Efficient States in the USA? Minnesota came in at #10, details from ACEEE, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Here's an excerpt of their report, hightlighted at "Governors and lawmakers in state capitals across the nation continue to take major steps to lower energy costs, reduce pollution, and save consumers money by increasing their states' energy efficiency, according to the findings of the 8th edition of the State Energy Efficiency Scorecard released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Available online at, the report found that in 2014 Massachusetts (#1) continues to edge out California (#2) as the most energy-efficient state in the nation for the fourth year in a row. Following these states in the top 10 are: Rhode Island (marking the state's first time in top five), Oregon, and Vermont (all tied for #3); Connecticut (#6); New York (#7); Washington (#8); Maryland (#9); and Minnesota (#10)..."

* Minneapolis: 8th Most Energy Efficient City. ACEEE has the Twin Cities behind Boston (#1), New York City, Washington D.C., Austin and Seattle. The city summary is here.

For $100,000 You Can Clone Your Dog. No, I'm not entirely comfortable with where this is heading either. But if you're disgusted and/or curious click on story details from Bloomberg Businessweek.

There's More To Life Than Being Happy. Could the pursuit of happiness be making us more unhappy? Is happiness an accidental byproduct of the pursuit of something....more? Here's a clip from an article at The Atlantic that got my attention: "...At this writing, Gallup also reports that nearly 60 percent all Americans today feel happy, without a lot of stress or worry. On the other hand, according to the Center for Disease Control, about 4 out of 10 Americans have not discovered a satisfying life purpose. Forty percent either do not think their lives have a clear sense of purpose or are neutral about whether their lives have purpose. Nearly a quarter of Americans feel neutral or do not have a strong sense of what makes their lives meaningful. Research has shown that having purpose and meaning in life increases overall well-being and life satisfaction, improves mental and physical health, enhances resiliency, enhances self-esteem, and decreases the chances of depression..."

Watching This Porcupine Taste a Pumpkin Is Why The World Is Going To Be Okay Today. Thanks to Mother Jones for including some sugar with the medicine; here's a clip: "...Teddy Bear, an 11-year-old male North American porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum), is something of a YouTube star at this point, it seems. According to Zooiversity's website, he's raked in 11.5 million views from 16 viral videos and enjoys a following from over 19,000 Facebook fans..."

TODAY: Sunny, breezy, pleasant. Winds: NW 10-15. High: 63
SATURDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and cool. Low: 39
SUNDAY: Fading sun, still breeze. High: near 60
MONDAY: More clouds, still mild. Showers north/east of MSP. Wake-up: 50. High: 64
TUESDAY: Mostly cloudy and cooler, feels like October. Wake-up: 44. High: 51
WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny and brisk. Wake-up: 33. High: 49
THURSDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, chilly. Wake-up: 36. High: 53
HALLOWEEN: Clear, cool and dry for Walking Dead Reunion. Wake-up: 30. High: 48

Climate Stories...

Canada Switches on World's First Carbon Capture Power Plant. An encouraging step to control CO2 emissions, but it's one plant, and the price is still cost-prohibitive. Here's more from The Guardian: "Canada has switched on the first large-scale coal-fired power plant fitted with a technology that proponents say enables the burning of fossil fuels without tipping the world into a climate catastrophe. The project, the first commercial-scale plant equipped with carbon capture and storage technology, was held up by the coal industry as a real life example that it is possible to go on burning the dirtiest of fossil fuels while avoiding dangerous global warming..."

Photo credit above: "Boundary Dam CCS power plant in Canada." Photograph: SaskPowerCCS.

Pragmatism on Climate Change Trumps Politics at Local Level Across U.S. While D.C. congressmen pontificate, awash in special interest money, residents of south Florida are seeing the impacts of a warming atmosphere and rising sea washing up over their loafers. Here's an excerpt from The New York Times: "...While politicians are increasingly willing to include environmental messages in their campaigns, many at the national level still steer clear of the politically charged topic of climate change. But in communities across the country where the effects are lapping at the doorsteps of residents, pragmatism often trumps politics, and candidates as well as elected officials across the political spectrum are embracing the issue. Some local Republican officials in Florida and elsewhere say they can no longer follow the lead of state and national party leaders..."

Photo credit above: "George Neugent, the commissioner of Monroe County, on a residential dock in Key Colony Beach, Fla. The recent king tide brought seawater over the docks in the community."  Credit Kristen Livengood for The New York Times

Big Insurance Won't Prep or Pay for Climate Change, Fails To See Irony. Grist dives into the existential threat to the insurance industry that is climate change; here's a snippet: "...Actually thinking about and preparing for climate change is going to be a headache for the insurance industry, just like it is for the rest of us. But in their case, there’s a clear financial incentive, and there’s an opportunity to use their data to help improve our existing climate models. There’s also the fact that insurers, if they aren’t blocked by local governments, can do a lot to make sure that property after a disaster is rebuilt more sensibly..."

State and Local Climate Adaptation Plans. The Georgetown Climate Center has an interactive tool that lets you explore what individual states are doing to prepare for increasing climate volatility and extremes: "States and communities around the country have begun to prepare for the climate changes that are already underway.  This planning process typically results in a document called an adaptation plan. (Above) is a map that highlights the status of state adaptation efforts. Click on a state to view a summary of its progress to date and to access its full profile page. State profile pages include a detailed breakdown of each state's adaptation work and links to local adaptation plans and resources..."

Rosenburg: Politicians Agree That They Aren't Scientists. Saying "I'm not a scientist" when it's politicically inconvenient is a cop-out. An Op-Ed at Newsday on Long Island caught my eye; here's an excerpt: "...But as marine science professor David Hastings told Scott, scientists are the "mapmakers" while politicians are the "navigators." The navigator must ultimately choose the ship's course, but to do so while ignoring - or arbitrarily redrawing - the map is a perilous business. The distinction and the process should be familiar to any elected official. After all, politicians aren't engineers, but they approve infrastructure projects. They aren't accountants, but they create budgets. They aren't inventors, but they make patent laws..."

As Planet Warms, Scientists Predict Changes for Autumn Leaf Season. Here's an excerpt from a story at Think Progress: "...“Global climate change will not eliminate fall leaf color, but the best displays will move northward and upward in elevation in response to warming. For forests in their present location, fall foliage displays will occur later in the season and may last longer, but will be of diminished quality due to less intense red colors,” Neufeld writes. “The fall foliage displays that our grandchildren will see at the end of this century will not be the ones we see today.” (Graphic above: Climate Central).

Methane Leaks Wipe Out Any Climate Benefit of Fracking, Satellite Observations Confirm. Natural gas is cleaner, assuming there are few methane leaks around the drill heads, which may turn out to be a big assumption. Joe Romm has the article at Think Progress; here's the intro: "Satellite observations of huge oil and gas basins in East Texas and North Dakota confirm staggering 9 and 10 percent leakage rates of heat-trapping methane. “In conclusion,” researchers write, “at the current methane loss rates, a net climate benefit on all time frames owing to tapping unconventional resources in the analyzed tight formations is unlikely.” In short, fracking speeds up human-caused climate change, thanks to methane leaks alone. Remember, natural gas is mostly methane, (CH4), a super-potent greenhouse gas, which traps 86 times as much heat as CO2 over a 20-year period..."

A Retreat From Weather Disasters. There is no constitutional right to property insurance or flood insurance. What happens when enough insurance companies reach the conclusion that risks are just too high to insure specific communities? It's already happening, as reported by The New York Times; here's an excerpt: "...As the damages wrought by increasingly disruptive weather patterns have climbed around the world, the insurance industry seems to have quietly engaged in what looks a lot like a retreat. A report to be released Wednesday by Ceres, the sustainability advocacy group, makes the point forcefully. “Over the past 30 years annual losses from natural catastrophes have continued to increase while the insured portion has declined,” it concluded. Last year, less than a third of the $116 billion in worldwide losses from weather-related disasters were covered by insurance, according to data from the reinsurer Swiss Re..."

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fantastic Friday

Solar Eclipse
Here's the best I could do with Thursday's Partial Solar Eclipse in the Twin Cities. Note the glare in the bottom right corner of the picture; it's in the shape of Pacman - the glare is actually showing the partial solar eclipse!!

Wow Factor
By Paul Douglas

At the risk of editorializing, Friday will be an atmospheric balm from on high - more late August than late October. All those brave souls who kept their boats in the water an extra month will be smiling this afternoon. Expect blue sky, a soft breeze and 70 degrees by mid-afternoon, 20F warmer than average.

Kirk Dornfeld writes: "Can we truly call this current weather Indian Summer when we haven't yet had a killing frost? Or did I miss the frost?" The mercury at MSP International (the official reading) got down to 31F on October 11, with fairly widespread frost. The definition of Indian Summer is a little loose and subjective, but generally described as any warm days following the first cold weather or hard frost. Today fits that definition.

The weekend doesn't look too shabby with highs in the 60s spilling over into Monday, when a clap of thunder heralds the arrival of a cooler front.

Next week feels more like October, but nothing harsh is shaping up...yet. Expect Trick or Treat temperatures around 50F under a dry sky.

California may see a break in the drought; a colder/wetter pattern out west favoring a mild, Pacific flow for Minnesota. An Indian Summer November?


THURSDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy, patchy ground fog. Low: 47
FRIDAY: Indian Summer returns. Perfect weather - warm sun. High: near 70. Winds: S 5-10
FRIDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy and quiet. Low: 51
SATURDAY: Plenty of sun, cooler breeze. High: 63
SUNDAY: Partly sunny, breezy. Clouds increase PM hours. Showers Sunday night. Low: 42. High: 61
MONDAY: Mild sun, passing T-storm. Wake-up: 50. High: 61
TUESDAY: Partly sunny, light jackets return. Wake-up: 46. High: 50
WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny and brisk. Wake-up: 38. High: 49
THURSDAY: Mix of clouds and sun. Octoberish. Wake-up: 36. High: 53.


This Day in Weather History
October 24th

1922: Storm over Minnesota brings 55 mph winds at Collegeville.


Average High/Low for Minneapolis
October 24th

Average High: 54F (Record: 80F set in 1989)
Average Low: 37F (Record: 15F set in 1887)


Sunrise/Sunset Times
October 24th

Sunrise: 7:40am
Sunset: 6:13pm


Moon Phase for October 24th at Midnight
1.4 Days Since New Moon


Minneapolis Temperature Trend
 According to extended weather models, we could be in for a fairly decent chilly by the end of the month/early November. With that said, enjoy the next few days with mostly dry weather and highs in the 60s to near 70. Things begin to change early/mid next week as a large trough of low pressure works east. The first weekend of November could be a chilly one.


Friday Weather Outlook
WOW! Weather conditions on Friday look incredible! Highs in the 70s across much of the state with a mild southwest breeze. Clock out of work early if you can and soak up the sunshine. Cooler temperatures are on the way next week.

Friday Highs From Normal
Here's how much above average we'll be on Friday. Note that much of the Upper Midwest will be nearly 10F to 20F degrees above average!

Weather Outlook
Say so long to the precipitation for a few days. The line of showers that moved through late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning is long gone and mostly dry weather will persist through much of the next several days

Average Snowfall for Minneapolis
Whether you like it or not, we're not too far away from talking about snow. According to NOAA, the average (1981-2010) monthly snowfall for Minneapolis in October is 0.6" we have yet to see anything officially. However, Duluth, MN saw a trace of snow on October 3rd and 4th (Duluth averages 2.3" according to 1981-2010 averages). Interestingly, the average snow for November in Minneapolis and Duluth goes up significantly, Minneapolis typically sees 9.3" while Duluth averages 13.7". Thanks to my good friend and colleague D.J. Kayser, he found that the average 1" snow depth at Minneapolis is November 17th.

National Weather Outlook
Heavy rainfall in the Northeast will continue to taper through the end of the week. Weather conditions will improve greatly by the weekend as the storm system pulls away from the coast. There is also another very strong area of low pressure in the West that will continue to bring heavy rain to coastal communities through the weekend.

Heavy Rain in the Northwest
Portland, OR picked up 1.88" of rain on Wednesday, which makes in the wettest day in 2014 and the 3rd wettest October day on record since 1871. The loop below shows the precipitable water or how much moisture there is in the atmosphere and note the bright strip of heavier moisture that has positioned itself from north of Hawaii to the Pacific Northwest. This is part of the reason for all the heavy rainfall in the Northwest as of late.

Heavy Northwest Rain
Here's a look at the satellite from earlier Wednesday, which shows a very large low pressure system in the Gulf of Alaska. The strong upper level winds are pulling a lot of this heavier moisture from tropics. Interestingly, some of the moisture headed into next week could be related to the remnants of Tropical Storm Ana that slid south of Hawaii last weekend.

Remnants of Tropical Storm Ana to Affect the Pacific Northwest?
The National Weather Service has put together a nice blog explainer on how remnants from Tropical Storm Ana that slid south of Hawaii last weekend may have an effect on the Pacific Northwest by early next week.

Read more from the NWS HERE:

Rainfall Potential
According to NOAA's HPC, the 5 day rainfall potential suggests quite a bit of heavy rainfall across the West Coast from northern California to Washington!

U.S. Drought Monitor
The latest update from the U.S. Drought Monitor showed the worst of the drought still across the western U.S. with much of the EXCEPTIONAL drought across California.
"SUMMARY: The major weather system that affected much of the nation’s midsection last week left abundant precipitation this week from the mid-Atlantic up into New England. Hurricane Ana lost strength as it approached Hawaii and Tropical Storm Ana passed south of the Hawaiian Island dumping up to 10 inches of rain in its path."

"LOOKING AHEAD:  During the October 22- 27, 2014 time period, precipitation is expected in the Pacific Northwest, southern Florida, and New England. Warmer than normal temperatures are expected throughout most of the interior of the nation. For the ensuing 5 days (October 28- November 1, 2014), the odds favor normal to above-normal temperatures across country with the exception of southeast Alaska. Above-normal precipitation is likely from the Pacific Northwest into the northern Great Plains and Upper Midwest, as well as in southern Florida and northwest Alaska. Below-normal precipitation is expected in a wide area from the Southwest through the Southern Plains and Southeast and up through the Lower Midwest and into the Mid-Atlantic and New England, as well as southeast Alaska."

"Moisture fell in areas of the extreme Southwest and in the coastal areas of the Pacific Northwest this Drought Monitor week. As a result, areas of Moderate (D1) and Severe Drought (D2) were reduced in southwest New Mexico around Hidalgo County. Likewise the area of Extreme Drought (D3) was reduced in the northeast part of the state near San Juan County. There are numerous reports of improvement in pasture and grassland conditions but longer-term deficits remain over much of the state, resulting in conservative improvements. The same is true in the Pacific Northwest. Despite recent rains along the coast, long-term deficits are still being felt so improvement was held in check for another week. The rain has reduced the fire danger. As of October 17, only two large fires are burning in the country and they are both in California. To date, there have been 41,790 wildfires in 2014 that burned 3,070,737 acres. This is well below the 62,864 fire and 6,796,329 acre average of the last ten years (source: National Interagency Fire Center)."

California Drought Continues
"Many areas in California have experienced three below normal rainfall seasons resulting in a reduction of reservoir levels, lowering groundwater levels, and drier than normal vegetation that has contributed to heightened wildfire concerns. In response to this, on January 17, 2014 California Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought state of emergency in California. The full text of the emergency proclamation can be accessed at:
On April 25, 2014 Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order to redouble the state drought actions. The full text of the executive order can be accessed at:
Below is the U.S. Drought Monitor Map depicting drought conditions across the country as of September 23, 2014. This current map classifies 82% of California in extreme and exceptional drought and 58% of California in exceptional drought."

The National Weather Service has a great map and pictures of how the drought has affected southern California, see more HERE:

(Photo Credit NOAA)

Changes Ahead
Take a look at the 500mb vorticity (spin) map below for Friday and note the large ridge of high pressure that takes up most of the western U.S.. This ridge is pushing the upper level winds north along the International border, which will help to keep the colder air in Canada for now...

Here's the 850mb temperature outlook for Friday, which mimics that of the 500mb vorticity map above. Warmer weather corresponds with ridging in the western U.S., while cooler weather is kept in check across Canada.

500mb Vorticity on Tuesday, October 28th
By early next week a fairly large trough of low pressure begins to settle into the Upper Midwest with much cooler temperatures along with it.

The 850mb temperatures outlook for Tuesday of next week mimics that of the 500mb vorticity map above, which shows a fairly decent pocket of cold weather heading south of the border along with that trough.

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