Patchy frost this morning - advisories issued north/east of the Twin Cities.
80 by Monday? Weather models hinting at unusually warm weather much of next week. It may feel more like late August than early October. Global warming? No - just random weather, proving that we live in one of the more extreme climates in the USA.
.36" rain in the Twin Cities in September (driest on record).
6/10": average snowfall in the Twin Cities in October. Sorry. I'm just the messenger. No snow in sight anytime soon (looking out 2 weeks or so).
60-degree highs showing up on the long-range 15 day GFS outlook into the third week of October. No bitter fronts are imminent.
...WETTEST SEPTEMBER ON RECORD AT BALTIMORE MD... A RECORD MONTHLY RAINFALL OF 13.32 INCHES WAS SET FOR SEPTEMBER AT BALTIMORE IN 2011. THIS BREAKS THE OLD SEPTEMBER RECORD OF 12.41 SET IN 1934. THE TWO-MONTH PERIOD OF AUGUST TO SEPTEMBER 2011 WAS THE WETTEST TWO-MONTH PERIOD ON RECORD FOR BALTIMORE. THE 23.70 INCHES OF RAINFALL DURING THIS TIME SURPASSED THE PREVIOUS WETTEST TWO-MONTH PERIOD OF 19.04 INCHES IN AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 1934
* Baltimore photo credit here.
Wild And Windy. Winds gusted to 60 mph in the Chicagoland area late Thursday into Friday morning as a poweful Alberta Clipper raced across the Great Lakes, a strong contrast in atmospheric pressure whipping up violent winds. Here's a post from WGN TV's Tom Skilling on Facebook: “Amazing scenes along Lake Michigan this morning! There were towering waves driven by gale force winds. The NOAA buoy, 50 miles ESE of Milwaukee, recorded 23 ft. waves! The NOAA lake level sensor at Cal Harbor reported a 2.5 ft water level rise this AM in the storm surge. The rise put beaches half under water! Peak Chi gusts: 46 ORD, 45 MDW. Area gusts late Thu reached 60 mph Pecatonica & Peotone, 58 mph RFD. Monroe WI reported a 68 mph gust. Winds this AM on MI side of lake hit 68 mph a mile near South Haven & 61 mph at Sable Point. Many call the waves the biggest they’ve seen.” (photo above courtesy of KSDK).
0.36" at MSP Airport (driest ever)
0.25" at Marshall (2nd driest)
0.05" at Lamberton (driest ever)
0.23" at Pipestone (2nd driest)
0.39" at Chaska (3rd driest)
0.41" at Wheaton (5th driest)
0.21" at Madison (driest ever)
0.34" at Browns Valley (3rd driest)
0.36" at Milan (4th driest)
0.39" at Gull Lake (5th driest)"
* Photo of Red Wing taken on Friday courtesy of Bernie White.
30 Day Rainfall. September has been a month of all or nothing. Parts of southwestern Minnesota picked up less than a tenth of an inch of rain, while central Pennsylvania has been inundated under 20" of rain - 6 to 7 month's worth of rain. Irene and Lee were the major culprits, but last week's stalled "cut-off" low over the Great Lakes kept a steady stream of tropical moisture flowing northward, fueling more torrential rains. Click here to see rainfall data from NOAA.
Dry Spell. The next chance of rain for most of the Upper Midwest won't come until the end of next week, probably late Friday and Friday night. It's early, but the GFS model clears skies on Saturday, highs probably holding in the 60s. Again, no numbing fronts in sight - yet.
* Pagami Creek Blaze is now 67% contained.
Photo credit: ""
Mighty Ophelia. As of midday Friday Hurricane Ophelia had become the 3rd "major" category 3 or stronger hurricane of the 2011 season, with sustained winds of 125 mph. Only 2005 has seen more named storms than 2011. Satellite image courtesy of NOAA.
Near-Miss For Bermuda. It appears that Hurricane Ophelia's 120-130 mph winds will track just east of Bermuda, probably missing the Canadian Maritimes early next week. Map courtesy of NHC and Ham Weather.
* Click here to see the latest Drought Monitor snapshot for Texas, courtesy of NOAA.
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
SATURDAY NIGHT: Clear and pleasant. Low: 48
Climate Change: Will Chocolate Become A Costly Luxury? Uh oh. Don't mess with my coffee or my chocolate. Now you definitely have my attention. Theweek.com has a story I was sorely tempted to censor (for your mental health): "If temperatures continue to rise, a new report suggests, West Africa, source of half the world's chocolate, will be unfit to grow the coveted beans. Is the world's cocoa supply in danger? That's what a new study from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) suggests, singling out a familiar culprit: Global warming. The findings [see PDF] reveal that annual temperature increases will hamper the crop-production efforts in West Africa, which currently supplies half of the world's chocolate — at least if preventive measures aren't taken. Here's what you should know: How hot are we talking? The study, which consulted 19 climate-change models, indicates that a mere two degrees Celcius increase by 2050 will render areas like Ghana and the Ivory Coast too hot to grow cocoa, says The Washington Post. As cocoa trees struggle to obtain enough water, the developmental stages of cocoa pods that house "the prized cocoa bean" — source of the chocolate we know and love — would be disturbed. The effects of a shortage — including a leap in the price of chocolate — could be felt as soon as 2030. "
Climate Skeptic Proves That He Knows How To Waste Time, Money. Media Matters has the story of Anthony Watts, one of the most vocal and shrill climate skeptics: "Their newest descent into failure comes courtesy of one Anthony Watts, who claims to have proven conclusively that Al Gore "doctored a video that's supposed to prove his global warming theories." Here is the video, from Current TV, in which Bill Nye walks us through a simple experiment demonstrating the warming effects of carbon dioxide."