Sunday, October 9, 2016

Early October Brings Best Odds of Cloudless Skies at MSP

TODAY: Brilliant blue sky. Winds: SE 7-12. High: 60

SUNDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Low: 49

MONDAY: Fading sun, stray shower late. Winds: S 10-20.  High: 70

TUESDAY: Mostly cloudy, isolated shower. Winds: SW 8-13. Wake-up: 57. High: 67

WEDNESDAY: Showers taper, turning cooler. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 44. High: 52

THURSDAY: Early frost? Partly sunny and cool. Wake-up: 36. High: 54

FRIDAY: More clouds than sun, a bit milder. Wake-up: 43. High: 60

SATURDAY: Sunny spurts, lukewarm breeze. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 49. High: 69

Early October Brings Out the Sun Across Minnesota

"A day without sunshine is like, you know, night" said Steve Martin. Mother Nature was on her best behavior during the Ryder Cup; 5 postcard-perfect days in a row. No, you're not imagining it: we see the sunniest weather of the year in late September and early October.

According to Kenny Blumenfeld at the Minnesota DNR - the probability of crystal clear skies is 600 percent greater in early October than mid-June.

June 2017 brides: please consider fall nuptials.

Many suburbs haven't seen the first killing frost yet, so technically it's not Indian Summer. Not yet. But 60F will feel great today under a flawless sky; 70F Monday before cooling off later this week. Expect a dry sky until midweek, when a few light showers may pop up on Doppler. No drenching rains until the middle of next week. Farmers should take full advantage of drier weather this week.

Hurricane Matthew wasn't a worst-case scenario, but coastal communities from Savannah and Hilton Head to Charleston experienced some of the worst storm surge flooding since Hugo in 1989. Florida dodged a bullet this time around.

Minnesota's Spectacular Early Autumn Micro-Season. Put your vacation request for 2017 in now. Ask for September 27 to October 3, give or take. Odds are you won't be disappointed with the weather, as reported in a fascinating post at the Minnesota DNR: "...The five days ending on October 3rd were virtually cloud-free in many parts of the state, and the Twin Cities had fewer clouds than any other 5-day period this year. In fact, to find a comparably cloudless period, you would have to go back to October 2015! The fact that it was nearly the same time of year is no coincidence: clear skies and traditionally pleasant weather are more common during this period than any other time of year in the Upper Midwest. The late Dr. Don Baker and his colleagues first discovered this “micro-season” of agreeable weather during the early 1980s. They observed that from the Canadian border down into Missouri, clear days (those with no cloud cover between sunrise and sunset) were by far most common from the last week in September through much of October, with a sharp spike centered on the period between September 27th and October 3rd..."

America's Super Polluters. The Center for Public Integrity has a must-read article: "...The Center, which merged two federal datasets to create an unprecedented picture of air emissions, found that a third of the toxic air releases in 2014 from power plants, factories and other facilities came from just 100 complexes out of more than 20,000 reporting to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A third of the greenhouse-gas emissions reported by industrial sites came from just 100, too. Some academics have a name for them: super polluters. Twenty-two sites appeared on both lists. They include ExxonMobil’s massive refinery and petrochemical complex in Baytown, Texas, and a slew of coal-fired power plants, from FirstEnergy’s Harrison in West Virginia to Conemaugh in Pennsylvania, owned by companies including NRG Energy and PSEG. Four are in a single region — southwest Indiana..."

Range Is All The Rage in Paris, as Electic Cars Steal the Show. The New York Times reports: "For perhaps the first time at a major international auto salon, the stars of the Paris Motor Show are electric cars. The 2016 show, open to the public through Oct. 16, also has the usual sampling of futuristic designs and prototypes. And of course there are some conventional new models soon to hit dealer showrooms. But this show may end up being best remembered as a tipping point for an electric car revolution poised to challenge the automobile industry’s internal-combustion status quo — although some of the excitement is still speculative, of course..."

Photo credit: "The Paris Motor Show runs through Oct. 16." Credit Michel Euler/Associated Press.

24th Annual Kuehnast Lecture at University of Minnesota on Wednesday. I'm looking forward to introducing one of my heroes, Rep. Bob Inglis from South Carolina, who is leading the effort to find a conservative solution to climate change. Here's an excerpt from Dr. Mark Seeley at WeatherTalk: "...The 24th Annual Kuehnast Endowment Lecture will take place on Wednesday, October 12th at 2pm in the University of Minnesota St Paul Campus Student Center Theater. Our topic this year is “Climate Change and the American Free Enterprise System.” Our speakers are Paul Douglas, former Twin Cities broadcast meteorologist and President of Aeris Weather; and Bob Inglis, former South Carolina Republican Congressman and founder of, which is centered on conservative principles and a free-enterprise solution to climate change. This program is free and open to the public."

* More details on the Kuehnast Lecture Series and how you can participate here.

* Photo credit: AerisWeather meteorologist Todd Nelson.

Climate Stories....

A Military View on Climate Change: It's Eroding Our National Security and We Should Prepare for It. A friend of mine, fellow Penn Stater Admiral David Titley (retired) has the story for The Center for Climate and Security; here's the intro: "In this presidential election year we have heard much about some issues, such as immigration and trade, and less about others. For example, climate change was discussed for an estimated 82 seconds in the first presidential debate last week, and for just 37 minutes in all presidential and vice presidential debates since the year 2000. Many observers think climate change deserves more attention. They might be surprised to learn that U.S. military leaders and defense planners agree. The armed forces have been studying climate change for years from a perspective that rarely is mentioned in the news: as a national security threat. And they agree that it poses serious risks..."

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