"Virga". If you were out and about Sunday you saw some striking examples of virga, which is simply precipitation that evaporates before reaching the ground. Against a bright background (close to sunrise or sunset) these darker wisps of falling rain or snow can resemble twisters - they are often mistaken for tornadoes, but a lack of rotation (or lightning/hail) is a tip-off that there is nothing severe to worry about. Officially MSP had a "trace" of rain on Sunday, keeping our streak alive. Today will be the 24th day in a row without measurable rain in the Twin Cities metro area.
Super Typhoon Megi.Thousands of residents of the Philippines have been forced to evacuate their homes in the wake of Super Typhoon Megi, which struck the northernmost island of Luzon with sustained winds of 165 mph, but there are unconfirmed reports of SUSTAINED WINDS CLOSE TO 200 mph at ground level along the coast - roughly equivalent to a 40 mile wide EF-4 tornado! Megi hit the Philippines as a very strong category 5 hurricane (called typhoons in the western Pacific). The Weather Underground estimates that Megi may be the 16th strongest hurricane/typhoon ever recorded, with a central pressure of 918 millibars. Now the storm is regaining some of its strength lost crossing the mountanous terrain of Luzon. It's heading toward China, where more than 100,000 coastal residents have already been evacuated. More on the monster storm here.
Eye. The University of Wisconsin CIMSS Blog has more details on Megi, including a radar lapse of the Super Typhoon traversing the northern island of Luzon. The storm is perfectly symmetrical - a hint of the fury 200+ miles below.
Aftermath. The BBC has some amazing photos of the aftermath of Super Typhoon Megi here.
2010 October Rainfall in the Twin Cities: Trace. Driest Octobers on record: 1842 and 1857 (no rain fell during those 2 Octobers in the mid 1800s).
Below Normal? What's going on here? For the first time since October 3 the Twin Cities experienced a "cooler than average day" on Monday with a high of 56 (average high is 58). Two weeks in a row of warmer than normal weather is nothing to sneeze at, especially in October. Highs statewide were in the 50s under a partly sky. Yesterday will probably wind up being the coolest day of the next week.
Paul's Conservation MN Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
Today: Bright sun, a bit milder. Winds: W 10-15. High: 62
Tuesday night: Clear and seasonably cool. Low: 42
Wednesday: Blue sky, even nicer! High: 64
Thursday: Plenty of sun, a bit cooler (light jackets return). High: 55
Friday: Patchy frost in the suburbs early - then lot's of sunshine. High: 59
Saturday: Nicer day of the weekend? Still sunny, still spectacular, still feels like September. High: 60
Sunday: Sun fades behind high clouds - still dry, a few degrees milder. High: 63
Monday: Getting cloudier with a growing chance of rain. High: near 60
* Long-range (GFS) models are hinting at potentially heavy rain on Saturday, Oct. 30, giving way to slightly drier, cooler weather for Halloween. Right now I'm predicting highs in the 40s for October 31. No heavy snow or ice, but a definite hint of wind chill is possible for Trick or Treating this year. No, odds are it will NOT be in the 60s. Then again, with a little luck we won't have 27" of snow for Halloween either. Still haunted by 1991. I want to believe that the Halloween Superstorm was truly a once in a lifetime event!
"Over the last several years many of us have engaged in study, reflection, and prayer related to the issue of climate change (often called “global warming”). For most of us, until recently this has not been treated as a pressing issue or major priority. Indeed, many of us have required considerable convincing before becoming persuaded that climate change is a real problem and that it ought to matter to us as Christians. But now we have seen and heard enough to offer the following moral argument related to the matter of human-induced climate change. We commend the four simple but urgent claims offered in this document to all who will listen, beginning with our brothers and sisters in the Christian community, and urge all to take the appropriate actions that follow from them." The complete document, an "Evangelical Call To Action" is here.