A Cruel Reminder
By Todd Nelson
I am reminded by a saying that states: The only thing that separates Minnesota from Canada is a thin barbed wire. There's not much stopping that cold Canadian air from sagging south into neighborhoods near you lately. A large trough of low pressure has buckled the jet stream as far south as the Gulf Coast States, allowing 10° to nearly 20° below average temperatures to settle in. In recent days, many folks across the Midwest/Great Lakes and Ohio Valley have seen their first snows of the season. It's even cold enough for lake effect snow! The higher terrain in Upstate New York could see as much as 5" to 9" of snow by the end of the day Thursday.
Like the flip of a switch, we've gone from highs in the 70s to widespread frost and I don't see the pattern breaking anytime soon. Extended weather models keep us cooler than average for much of the rest of the month. A warmer southwest breeze gets us back to near 50° by Friday, but it's brief.
Another Canadian cold front drops south of the border Saturday; highs in the 40s look to round out the end of October as a larger storm system develops in the Midwest closer to Halloween. Keep the jackets handy; shovels not needed yet. It's a cruel reminder that we live in Minnesota.
THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy and November-like, few flurries/sprinkles possible. High: 42 Winds: NW 10-15
THURSDAY NIGHT: Gradual clearing trend. Another cold night. Low: 27.
FRIDAY: More sun, a little better. Warmer southwest wind develops. High: 51
SATURDAY: Another cold front. Brisk NW winds. Wake-up: 34. High: 45
SUNDAY: Slightly better and brighter, not as breezy. Wake-up: 29. High: 48
MONDAY: Winds pick up, clouds thicken. Chance of rain/flurries late? Wake-up: 34. High: 46
TUESDAY: A few flurries/sprinkles possible early, then drying. Wake-up: 33. High: 44.
WEDNESDAY: Halloween Eve. Light snow possible south? Wake-up: 32. High: 44.
Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013
Over the last few days, there have been many folks from the Midwest to the Great Lakes and the Ohio Valley that have seen their first snows of the season. Within the last 24 hours, some in the higher elevations of the Appalachians and Upstate New York have seen their first snows too, take a look!
Thanks to a large dip in the jet stream, much below average temperatures have settled south of the international border. Interestingly, the air is cold enough for lake effect rain and snow showers! The National Weather service has issued a Lake Effect Snow Warning for Upstate New York thru PM Thursday. As much as 5" to 9" of snow could fall thru that time!
Here's the 3 day snowfall forecast, which shows accumulating snowfall potential across each of the Great Lakes. The heaviest appears to be near the Tug Hill Plateau, downwind of Lake Ontario.
U.S. Snow Cover
Since the turn of the new month, October has boasted some pretty robust snows in the lower elevations east of the Rockies. Early October saw a blockbuster storm across the High Plains, where up to 4ft.+ fell in western South Dakota. Most of that snow has melted, but as of October 23rd, 6% of the nation had snow cover.
Last year at this time, 6.9% of the nation was covered in snow. Note the difference in the snow cover from 2012 to 2013. Last year, the snow cover was generally in the higher terrain out west, where as this year, the snow cover is in the Midwest/Great Lakes due to the colder air in the eastern two-thirds of the nation.
Continued Cold and More Snow
Looking ahead, I don't see much change in the weather maps until next week as a larger storm looks to develop across the Rocky Mountains. Here's the temperature map for Thursday; warm in the west and colder in the east.
Here's the change for next week. A developing storm will move into the Rocky Mountain region with a bundle of colder air welling up behind it. This air mass looks to be cold enough for another snow dump for some in the Mountains. It's still a developing storm and worth watching, but temperatures on the eastern side of that storm look to warm a bit as we get closer to Halloween next Thursday.
More Snow on the Way
Here's a look at an extended weather model, which suggests more snow piling up in the mountain out west as the said storm develops early next week.
We don't typically think of Alaska as being a warm place and it really isn't, but they've had quite a stretch of warm temps lately. Take a look at high from Anchorage, AK. 47° is nearly 10° above average for this time of the year!
Warm Alaska Outlook
According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, the end of October looks to stay quite warm.
U.S. Temp Outlook
Here's a look at the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook for the Lower 48, which looks nearly the same as it has actually been since mid October. Warmer in the west, which the eastern two-thirds of the country look colder than average.
Unfortunately for folks in Acapulco, we've had two tropical systems that have affected the area this hurricane season. The latest has been RAYMOND. The good news is that everybody will love Raymond later this week as he drifts west into the open waters of the Pacific. Beach weather will resume shortly, hang in there!
Here's the latest forecast for Raymond, which shows an overall drift west into the weekend.
Here's the latest track on Lorenzo, which will stay a fish storm in the central Atlantic.
National Wind Map
The surface wind map from midday Wednesday showed the 2 clipper systems that we've been tracking riding along the bottom edge of the extreme cold.
Record Snows This Week
These clipper systems haven't produced a ton of moisture, but just enough moisture and cold air to produce some records snows, if you can believe it. Take a look:
Stay tuned for further update. In the meantime, have a great rest of your week. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWNTV