September 30, 1985: 4 inches of snow fell in Ely, with just a trace at the Twin Cities
Fair Weather Holding Pattern Into The Weekend
To paraphrase Charles Dickens: it's the best of times - and the worst of times. No relief for California's mega-drought. Flooding rains are swamping the east coast with a potential hurricane strike by late week. We'll have to keep an eye on "Joaquin"; model track forecasts are all over the map. Literally. Confidence levels are very low.
For years I've been observing that weather, increasingly, is getting "stuck", stalling for extended periods of time. I have no idea if this is another symptom of climate disruption, but jet stream winds are more erratic than I can ever remember. When weather stalls bad things unfold: epic droughts and biblical floods. The same blocking or holding pattern flooding much of the east this week will keep us sunny, cool and calm.
Like Palm Springs in November.
A perpetual ridge of high pressure keeps us dry into the weekend; the next chance of rain next Tuesday at the earliest.
No frost in sight close to the metro; highs mostly in the 60s. NOAA's GFS model has a few 70s into mid-October.
Minnesota gets the better end of the weather deal. For now.
* Latest data, track and intensity projections from the National Hurricane Center.
GFS Solution. This animation is from the 18z run Tuesday, but it showed a westward track in Joaquin's projected track, the hurricane getting sucked into a broad cyclonic circulation around a sprawling low pressure system over the southeastern USA. Will it stay offshore or "hook" inland near Norfolk or even New Jersey? It's too early to tell. But I still have a bad feeling about Joaquin. I hope I'm wrong.
* Confidence levels remain very low with Tropical Storm Joaquin. The computer models are still (literally) all over the map with projected path and intensity. The storm should become a hurricane by Wednesday.
* The ECMWF or "European" model whisk Joaquin harmlessly out to sea, but it's still much too early for complacency.
* NOAA's HWRF and the Canadian (GEMS) model both bring a very strong Hurricane Joaquin into the Norfolk/Chesapeake Bay area by Saturday. The odds of this verifying are 1 in 3 but rising. Right now the probabilities suggest that the bulk of Joaquin's wind and surf will remain just offshore, but I wouldn't dream of letting my guard down right now for facilities from the Carolinas to Boston.
* What we have right now is a). low confidence due to b). dueling models. The model I put the most stock in, the ECMWF, does take Joaquin into the Atlantic with no disruption to east coast facilities. This is an important data point. All other things being equal the "Euro" tends to do a better job with tropical systems, but it's not infallible. No model is. The fact that other, high-resolution models, including the National Hurricane Center's hurricane model, the HWRF, still brings Joaquin inland over the Chesapeake Bay Saturday is still troublesome. This is why I am not (totally) dismissing or downplaying the risks from this tropical system. I was hoping for more clarity today as model solutions aligned. That, unfortunately, has not happened.
Summary: This is one of the toughest hurricane forecasts I've had to make in 30 years. The truth: we still don't have enough agreement in the models to say Joaquin is moving out to sea, or definitely impacting the USA. I would make sure facilities from the Carolinas to New England are prepared for a direct strike, increase readiness among staff, but we need more data, another model run or two before confidence levels increase to the point where we can make a specific call on track and intensity. I wish we could give you more to go on. But the key operative phrases are 1). stay tuned, and b). stay alert. If you're not just a little bit paranoid you're probably not paying attention.
More updates on Wednesday, when I HOPE the situation with Joaquin crystalizes a bit.
Paul Douglas, AerisWeather.
* Latest Minnesota Fall Color map here, courtesy of the DNR.
Warming Up Again. Long-range 500 mb guidance (GFS) shows another ridge building over much of the USA within 2 weeks, hinting at another stretch of abnormally mild weather, probably a few 70s within 7-14 days. Winter is coming - but it doesn't seem to be in any great hurry this year.
No Canadian Slaps. The next few nights will be about as chilly as it's going to get for the next 2 weeks, a mild, zonal, west to east jet stream flow aloft keeping us milder than average. The GFS model has readings near 70F on October 14. Don't pack away the shorts just yet.
Graphic credit above: "Estimates of three life-years saved per 100 microgram decrease of total suspended particles per cubic meter." Michael Greenstone; E.P.A.
Photo credit above: "Renewable energy sources (combined solar, wind and biofuel) have overtaken coal, the most polluting energy source, in the UK for the first time."(Credit: Shutterstock)
THURSDAY: A cool-blue sky. Winds: E 8-13. High: 63
FRIDAY: Partly sunny, more free A/C. Wake-up: 42. High: 61
SATURDAY: Sunglasses required. More sunshine. Winds: E 10-15. Wake-up: 41. High: 62
SUNDAY: Mix of clouds and sun. Winds: NE 8-13. Wake-up: 43. High: 63
MONDAY: Three guesses: sunny. Wake-up: 43. High: 62
TUESDAY: Showers, possible thunder. Wake-up: 45. High: 61
Photo credit above: "Glaciers and humans coexisted until the latter’s decisions began making the former disappear." Photograph: Andrew Harnik/AP
Photo credit above: "A petrol pump nozzle at an Exxon gas station." Photograph: Matt Slocum/AP.
File photo above: Daniella Beccaria/seattlepi.com via AP, File.
File photo credit above: "Smoke billows from a coal-fired power plant in Beijing, China, Nov. 13, 2014." AP.
Photo credit above: Evan Vucci—AP. "
Photo credit above: " " Credit Lalo de Almeida for The New York Times.