September 23, 1985: Early snow over portions of Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Just under a half inch (.4) recorded at the Twin City Airport. Most of it fell during the afternoon.
September 23, 1937: From summer to winter. The temperature was 101 at Wheaton. Then a cold front came through causing the mercury to tumble below freezing.
Maps Resemble Late August
"Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night" wrote Hal Borland. Autumn arrived, officially, at 3:21 AM, as the sun's
direct rays fell on the Tropic of Cancer.
For the record, "meteorological autumn", marking the end of the 90 warmest days, historically, came on September 1.
The calendar says fall, but summer is still simmering; excess heat from a jumbo El Nino brewing in the Pacific, and the warmest year on record, worldwide, will continue to flavor Minnesota's weather. I still see a warm bias into spring of 2016. We will have winter, but odds are it won't be as savage as usual in these parts.
Thunder-wear is recommended today; showers and T-storms are likely - today the wettest day in sight. A stretch of beautiful weather returns Friday into Sunday with highs near 80F.
A shower may pop up Sunday night, but another surge of warmth pushes the mercury past 80F again next week, based on the "Euro" model.
It was the 3rd best summer of weather since 1903. September has been just as amazing.
Soggy 36 Hours. Conditions are ripe for showers and thundershowers, some heavy, into early Thursday, with the heaviest amounts over central and southwestern Minnesota, where some 1-2" rainfall totals can't be ruled out. Map: Twin Cities National Weather Service.
Drip Dries Will Be Drooping. Although it won't be a steady, stratiform rainfall, the kind of rain you get in October or March, amounts may be significant; most NOAA models printing out nearly an inch of rain for St. Paul. Source: Aeris Enterprise.
Balmy Into Early Next Week. NOAA models show temperatures continuing to trend as much as 10-15F above average into the middle of next week, with a potential cool-down late next week. ECMWF guidance hints at unusually warm weather lingering all of next week with the warmest temperatures (more 80s?) midweek and late week. Place your bets.
Californians Fear El Nino's Dark Side Will Bring More Trouble. Floods...in the midst of the worst drought in 500 years? It's a distinct possibility as El Nino warming of the Pacific shifts the core of the jet stream, the main storm track, 500-1000 miles farther south than typical during the winter months. But will this pattern actually emerge in the coming months? Here's a clip from Bloomberg Business: "...They weren’t touting it as the savior that will end the state’s four-year drought. Instead, they were looking at a darker scenario where the weather-changing phenomenon adds another year of dryness in the north while ravaging the south with floods. “What do you say when the governor asks you what to do? ‘You prepare for flood and drought because there is a possibility you can get both,”’ said Mike Anderson, state climatologist. While it bucks conventional wisdom, the scenario is a real possibility..."
Image credit above: "Severe bluff erosion, along the southern end of Ocean Beach, San Francisco, California, including damage to the guard rail of the Great Highway (Calif. Hwy.1). The severe winter erosion led to lane closures of the highway and an emergency, $5 million revetment along the base of this bluff. This storm damage occurred during the 2009-2010 El Niño, which, on average, eroded the shoreline 55 meters that winter."
Image credit above: "Notice on NOAA websites during the 2013 Government Shutdown." Courtesy of NOAA website.
Map credit above: "This graphic shows the annual average urban heat island effect in 2010." (Photo: University of Georgia)
This animation shows one image from each day of the satellite's life -- a total of 3,641 full disk visible images.
* TIME has additional perspective on a growing problem with trash.
Illustration credit above: Thomas Kuhlenbeck/Ikon Images/Corbis.
THURSDAY: AM shower, then clearing. Winds: SE 7-12. High: 74
FRIDAY: Partly sunny and pleasant. Wake-up: 58. High: 79
SATURDAY: Warm sun, no complaints. Wake-up: 59. High: near 80
SUNDAY: Warm sun, late thunder? Wake-up: 60. High: 82
MONDAY: Sunny, breezy and cooler. Wake-up: 58. High: 71
TUESDAY: More mild sunshine. Wow. Wake-up: 56. High: 74
Graphic above courtesy of Greg Laden, who has additional perspective in this blog post: "...Notice that Exxon 1981 had it right. The revelations of the Exxon research, and the fact that it was kept secret and all that, is an interesting story. And, that story will develop over coming days, week, and months. But I don’t want to lose track of the other story, in some ways even more interesting. How surprised should we be, after all, that a major corporation would both look into and ignore, possibly even repress, the science associated with their primary activity? Not at all, really. But what is surprising is that we (and by “we” I mean scientists who have studied climate change) have understood the basic problem for a very long time, and decades of research have confirmed early findings, and of course, added important details...."
Dear Pope Francis: Use Capitalism to Fight Climate Change. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed at Forbes: "...Freeing up the private sector should mean much increased production, and lower prices, which would allow the generation of cheap power from natural gas fired power plants, and the displacement of coal. Whether it would reach US levels (consumption has dropped by roughly 300 million tons in seven years) is not important. Significant progress could be made at little or no cost, and possibly a profit to the economy and government."
Image credit: "Model simulation showing average ocean current velocities and sea surface temperatures near Japan." IPCC