October 21, 1913: Long Prairie had a record low of a chilly 8 degrees Fahrenheit.
A year ago today it snowed in the Twin Cities, just a trace of flurries, a high of 40F after waking up to 26F. This year temperatures are 20F warmer; a few rain showers in the forecast later today.
Does that imply a milder winter to come? You can't look out your window and make an accurate 3-4 month forecast. As much as we all want to know, the severity of winter cold and snow will depend on how fast El Nino can warm up the Pacific Ocean, and blocking patterns over North America that have yet to show up.
Weather rarely repeats itself from one year to the next - everything I'm looking at leads me to believe this winter won't be as rough as last, with more of a milder, Pacific flow than last year.
Winds pick up today ahead of a sloppy front; a few hours of rain by tonight. Friday will feel like early September with a shot at 70F. Expect 70-degree warmth again Sunday before jackets return by Tuesday. Next week's predicted weather map looks more like mid-September than late October, dominated by a zonal, west to east wind flow. That should mean 50s on Halloween.
I expect a mild bias to spill over into at least mid-November. After that? "Partly to mostly with a chance."
When in doubt, mumble.
Future Radar. As a nor'easter wraps up over New England, moisture-laded winds blowing off the Atlantic dropping some 2-4" rains capable of flash flooding. Heavy rain pushes into the Pacific Northwest, while a weak frontal boundary drags a few hours of showers into Minnesota by tonight. 60-hour accumulated rainfall forecast: NOAA and HAMweather.
Image credit above: "On Oct. 16 at 17:45 UTC (1:45 p.m. EDT) NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image of Hurricane Gonzalo (08L) in the Atlantic Ocean." (Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team)
Animation credit above: "A map showing sea surface temperature anomalies leading up and during the 1997-98 super El Nino." Credit: NOAA View
Image credit above: " Photograph: ISS/NASA.
Image credits above: "Scientists scanned nearly 40,000 images taken from Nimbus 1 to create the earliest satellite views of Antarctic sea ice and land (left and center). Using computer programs to pick out ice-covered areas was much more challenging than when using modern satellite images (right)." Photographs by (left and middle) NSIDC; (right) NASA/Reuters.
* EarthSky has an image of the first documented 5th order rainbow, sunlight reflected 5 times within raindrops, creating a fairly amazing optical illusion.
TODAY: Clouds increase, late PM showers. Winds: S 15+ High: near 60
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Showers likely. Low: 50
THURSDAY: Damp start, then slow clearing, still mild. High: 66
FRIDAY: Lukewarm sunshine. No complaints. Wake-up: 40. High: 68
SATURDAY: Sunny, slightly cooler breeze. Wake-up: 45. High: 63
SUNDAY: Summer in late October. Sunny and warm. Wake-up: 46. High: 72
MONDAY: Unsettled, isolated shower possible. Wake-up: 48. High: 59
TUESDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, cool breeze. Feels like October again. Wake-up: 38. High: 52
Photo credit above: Trip Advisor.
Map credit: NOAA NCDC.