October 16, 1996: Early evening storms produced 3/4 to 1 3/4 inch hail in Nicollet, Dakota, Brown, Watonwan, and Martin Counties. In Scott County near St. Patrick, hail fell intermittently for an hour and the area received 3 1/2 inches of rainfall. In Watonwan County, wind gusts up to 63 mph moved several garages off their foundations, destroyed a Cattle shed and a corn crib, and uprooted and toppled trees. Southwest of Lake Crystal in Blue Earth County, a garage was blown over onto a vehicle. A 250 gallon fuel tank was also blown over.
October 16, 1937: Snowstorm leaves 10 inches at Bird Island.
October 16, 1880: Earliest blizzard in Minnesota. Struck western Minnesota and the eastern Dakotas especially hard. Over a foot of snow in western counties. Railroads were blocked. Damage done to Great Lakes shipping. Huge drifts exceeding 20 ft formed in the Canby area lasted until the next spring when flooding occurred across the Minnesota River Valley.
A Mild Winter Outlook?
Bug-Killing Cold Saturday
My winter outlook hasn't changed. "Colder with some snow". Take it to the bank. When in doubt, talk fast, wave your arms and deal in vague generalities. The truth: if I could deliver a consistently accurate 3-6 month forecast I'd be sipping umbrella drinks on my own personal island.
NOAA just came out with their prediction for December through February. Based on a powerful El Nino warming of the Pacific, changes in the AO (Arctic Oscillation) and the MJO (Madden-Julian Oscillation) the forecast for Minnesota and Wisconsin calls for milder and slightly drier than average. That's consistent with previous El Nino events, but every warming phase is different.
That said, I think (I hope) we won't be tracking a persistent and perpetual polar vortex this winter. New England may get smacked, but a milder, Pacific wind should keep us consistently milder than average, with a few slaps of cold and snow. We'll see.
Today feels like October as the jackets come out. Clear skies and light winds set the stage for a hard freeze tonight in the suburbs: a few hours below 28F - cold enough to kill off most plant life, including ragweed.
Plan on a sunny weekend; 70s return Monday. The ECMWF hints at a tropical storm in the Gulf in 1 week.
Image credit above: "How temperatures around the globe varied from average during September 2015, the second warmest September on record." Credit: NASA
File photo above: "View of drought in Rio Jacarei, region of Joanopolis, interior of Sao Paulo, southeastern Brazil, on February 14, 2014. The level of Cantareira System, abastace dam that almost 9 million people in Sao Paulo is in 18.7%, the lowest level since 1974." Photo by: LUIS MOURA/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
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Photo credit: "Out of hand." Eric Pickersgill.
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TODAY: Partly sunny, brisk. Winds: NW 10-15. High: 49
FRIDAY NIGHT: Heavy jackets for football games. Clear and frosty. Low: 30
SATURDAY: Hard freeze early. Cool sun with light winds. Winds: SW 5-10. High: 52
SUNDAY: Sunny and windy. Winds: SE 10-20. Wake-up: 37. High: 59
MONDAY: Some sun, lukewarm again. Wake-up: 46. High: 72
TUESDAY: Clouding up, showers late. Wake-up: 56. High: 65
WEDNESDAY: Cooler, few showers linger. Wake-up: 52. High: 57
THURSDAY: Cool sunshine returns. Wake-up: 41. High: 52
Photo credit here: "By 1978 Exxon’s senior scientists were telling top management that climate change was real, caused by man, and would raise global temperatures by 2-3C." Photograph: Pat Sullivan/AP.
* More perspective from Huffington Post.
Photo credit above: Flickr/Ken Hodge.
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