Monday, October 26, 2009

7th wettest October in the Twin Cities

October temperatures in the Twin Cities: 7.5 degrees colder than average

Drip-dries drooping? A little extra-soggy around the edges? Moss growing on your north side? No wonder: you are surviving/enduring/tolerating the 5th wettest October since modern-day weather records were first started around 1891. So far the National Weather Service reports 4.82" of rain has fallen - that's 3.13" wetter than average for the month to date. This coming after one of the driest, warmest Septembers ever observed. Makes me wonder what's brewing for mid/late November. Speaking of - the weather map still looks more like early November than late October, like we've fast-forwarded a couple weeks into the future, based on the speed, the forward-motion of weather systems, and the quantity of numbing, bitter air showing up over northern Canada. There are no signs of it taking a plunge toward Minnesota anytime soon, in fact long-long range models are hinting at 60 by the end of the first week of November, maybe a string of 50s and low 60s into the second week of November. I know I'm a die-hard optimist, but the fact that we're running 4-6 degrees colder than average so far in October PROBABLY implies at least one nice run of Indian Summer left. I'll be shocked if we don't see at least one more day above 60. Shocked and disappointed.

Wettest Octobers in the Twin Cities. Graphic courtesy of the National Weather Service in Chanhassen.

In the short term today will be about as close to Indian Summer as we're going to see for at least the next 1-2 weeks. With bright sun and a stiff south breeze the mercury should rise well into the 50s - a few overly-optimistic bank thermometers over southern and western Minnesota could nudge 60. Soak it up - today easily the nicest day of the entire week. The next storm approaching from the Rockies (where they're bracing for some 1-2 foot snowfall amounts over the higher elevations) will pump Gulf moisture northward, increasing our cloud cover Wednesday; by Thursday a few rain showers are likely, even a stray clap of thunder - best chance over southeastern Minnesota! The timing and track are still up in the air - but as winds swing around to the west/northwest on Friday temperatures will tumble through the 50s into the 40s, rain could change to wet snow over far northern and western Minnesota by Friday evening. I think the heaviest/steadiest rains will be to our east by the time high school football games hit Friday evening, but it WILL be blustery, turning cooler - heavy jacket weather for sure.

GFS Weather Model valid 7 pm Halloween Eve. Check out the "wrap-around" precipitation spiraling around a deepening storm charging toward Hudson Bay. Those isobars spaced tightly together imply strong winds - the green shaded region over central/northern Minnesota could mean snow showers. Factor in 25 mph. wind gusts and temperatures in the mid 30s and the windchill factor will dip into the 20s, possibly the teens. Factor in a few extra layers under those scary/cute Halloween costumes Saturday PM.

Halloween Preview

Everything I've seen leads me to believe that Halloween '09 will be windy and colder than average - a few computer models are even hinting at flurries and sprinkles, mainly from St. Cloud on north toward Brainerd and Duluth. I doubt we'll see any accumulating snow late Saturday, but plan on wind chills dipping into the 20s. It will FEEL like December. Yeah, I know - scary stuff.

Daylight Saving Time

No, it's not "daylight savingS time". It's daylight saving time. Don't forget to FALL BACK one hour before hitting the sack late Saturday night - an extra hour of sleep this weekend. Hallelujah! The downside: by Sunday the sun will set before 5 pm. Yes, we're quickly spiraling into the dark days. That's why we decorate our trees with lights in December, to try and cheer ourselves up (and celebrate Christmas, of course).

Sunday Vikes-Green Bay Outlook

Just got a look at the latest guidance: weather could be a significant factor for Sunday's big game in Green Bay (have you heard about this cross-border "showdown"?) How could you avoid it? If you're making the trek expect:

Mostly cloudy skies.
Brisk northwest winds at 10-20 mph.
A few passing sprinkles, even a few flurries.
Gametime temperatures in the mid 40s (go for the heavy jacket - you won't regret it).

Paul's Outlook for the Twin Cities

Today: Bright sun, pleasant (nicest day of the week). Winds: S/SE 10-20. High: 58

Tonight: Partly cloudy, not as chilly. Low: 40

Wednesday: Increasing clouds - still dry, a stiff breeze. High: 55

Thursday: Mostly cloudy, a growing chance of showers. High: 54

Friday: Windy, turning cooler with leftover showers. High: 53 (early - falling into the 40s).

Saturday/Halloween: Mostly cloudy, gusty and colder with a few passing flurries/sprinkles. High: 43

Sunday: Partly sunny, still chilly for late October. High: 47

Monday: Cloudy, chance of a light rain-snow mix. High: 43

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