"September 20, 2018 - At Least 4 Tornadoes Touched Down "
Severe storms broke out Thursday evening across southeastern MN and at least 4 tornadoes were confirmed by the National Weather Service. Storm surveys are still yet to come, but here's the latest from the National Weather Serive regarding the severe weather from Thursday evening:
Tornado - Near Granada, Minnesota
Tornado - Near Morristown, Minnesota
Tornado - Near Faribault, Minnesota
Tornado - Near Lake Elysian and Waterville, Minnesota
"A line of severe thunderstorms moved through southern Minnesota and into west central Wisconsin during the late afternoon and early evening of Thursday, September 20, 2018. Prior to the development of severe storms, numerous showers and thunderstorms affected much of central and southern Minnesota during the morning and early- to mid-afternoon. This activity developed well north of a warm front, which was located over northern Iowa at the time. The warm front quickly surged north during the mid- to late-afternoon as a strengthening low pressure system moved northeast from Nebraska toward southern Minnesota. Scattered non-severe thunderstorms continued to develop north of the warm front as a broken line of strong to severe storms developed from the low pressure system southward ahead of the attendant cold front. These storms raced northeast at up to 65 mph, and moved across southern Minnesota and into west central Wisconsin from around 430 PM through 8 PM. Widespread severe weather occurred with these storms."

"As of 800 AM, Friday, September 21, 2018, damage survey teams from the NWS were in the process of surveying areas of damage across the area impacted by the storms. Radar data and spotter reports indicated that a few tornadoes likely occurred with the storms, and survey teams will make the final determination as to if, when, and where tornadoes occurred. This page will be updated as new information is received."

See the latest from the NWS & Updated Storm Survey Results HERE:

Storm Damage - Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Thursday was a very wet and active day with reports of wind damage and tornadoes across the parts of the state. Take a look at the picture that @Fairmonth_Wx_Obs shared with the @NWSTwinCities on Twitter. As many as 6 PRELIMINARY tornadoes were reported in Minnesota yesterday, all of which will be surveyed by the National Weather Service in the coming days. These reports will then be given a damage rating scale - stay tuned!
Storm Reports - Thursday, September 20th, 2018
The National Weather Service was busy issuing a number tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings across parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin Thursday evening. The image below shows where the warnings were issued, including the storm damage reports. Cleanup efforts will be underway in several communities over the next several days in the wake of Thursday evening's storms. The good news is that weather looks pretty quiet over the next few days with the next best chance of rain/thunder arriving late Monday.
Thunderstorm Wind Gusts - Thursday, September 20th, 2018
Here is a list of impressive wind gusts reported from Thursday's evenings storms as they rumbled across parts of southeastn Minnesota, including the Twin Cities. Note the 70mph reported at the Mankato Airport and a 63mph wind gust near Red Wing! Keep in mind that severe level criteria for wind gusts are 58mph+.
Record Rainfall - Thursday, September 20th 2018
Thursday, September 20th was the WETTEST day of 2018 so far at the KMSP Airport! 3.28" of rain fell making it not only a daily rainfall record (Previous: 1.82" set in 1902), but it also become the 4th wettest September day on record (wettest 4.96" set 9/12/1903) #mnwx
Record Rainfall - Thursday, September 20th, 2018
Record daily rains also fell in Sioux Fall, SD and Rochester, MN at 3.09" at 1.80" respectively. Interestingly, 6.94" of rain has fallen in Sioux Falls, SD through the first 20 days of September, which is nearly 5" above average for the month! They have also recieved 33.92" of liquid in 2018 so far, which is 12.65" above average, making it the WETTEST January 1st - September 20th on record.
VERY Wet Last Week of Summer
The last several days have been VERY wet across parts of the Upper Midwest. Take a look at the estimated rainfall over the last 7 days across Minnesota, which shows several inches of rain across much of the state, which is WELL above normal. The official tally at the MSP Airport this month is 6.50", which is the 8th wettest September on record. 
Hints of Fall Moving In Fast...
Thanks to Jason Peterson for the picture below who submitted this photo to the MN DNR Fall Color Report. This picture was taken at along the Tettegouche Ski Trails where 25%-50% color is being reported.
 MN DNR Fall Color Update
The MN DNR continues to update their fall color report for the 2018 fall season and fall colors are starting to show up fast! Most of northwestern MN is reporting 25%-50% color, while 10%-25% is now showing up across the Twin Cities Metro!
Typical dates for peak fall colors in Minnesota

According to the MN DNR, the typical peak for fall color starts in mid/late September across far northern Minnesota, while folks in the Twin Cities enjoy it around late September to mid October.


"Although it may feel like this hot and steamy summer may never end, fall -- with its mercifully cooler weather, pumpkin drinks, and changing leaves -- is nearly upon us. So, it'd behoove you to start looking at the trees. The changing of the seasons brings with it ample reason to break out a flannel shirt and walk through the stunning fall foliage all across the country, and thanks to the above-average moisture and temperatures this summer, you'll have plenty of time to ensure that you can venture into the woods and take it all in. You may have missed your chance to fit in another summer trip this year, but on the bright side, you have more than enough time to plot an adventure through American's stunning forests to catch the changing leaves, or dare we say go "leaf peeping." To make matters even easier, SmokyMountains.com has released its annual interactive fall foliage forecast map, predicting when and where the leaves will be at their most vibrant hues of red, yellow, orange, and brown. And while there's no forecast that's 100% accurate, the map can serve as your primary resource if you're inclined to wander into the woods this fall."

See more from Thrillist HERE:


Seasonal Allergies... SNIFF SNIFF
Thanks to a VERY wet week, allergies over the last several days have been a little less annoying. However, we still have yet to see our first frost/freeze, so seasonal sufferers may still have to deal with waves of higher pollen counts. The upcoming forecast suggests that we will have slightly better allergy conditions with readings in the low to low-medium range through early next week. Regardless, keep the allergy meds flowing... Hopefully we'll all get through this together - AAACHOOOO!

"How Weather Affects Allergy Forecast"

"Weather plays a direct role in the severity and length of the allergy season. Weather conditions will increase the amount of pollen production to yield high pollen levels or decrease pollen production to yield low pollen levels. A mild winter can signify an early allergy season, since trees tend to start pollinating earlier. Dry, windy weather spreads pollen quickly, producing a higher distribution of pollen…increasing allergy symptoms. A late freeze can delay tree pollination, producing lower pollen counts. Rain can reduce the pollen count by washing pollen from the air, thereby providing relief for allergy sufferers. Although sometimes rain can cause an adverse effect: rain in late fall or winter can increase tree pollination amounts, causing higher pollen levels. Increased rain in spring makes grass grow faster to produce more unwanted pollen."

See more from Pollen.com HERE:


US Drought Monitor - Minnesota

Despite recent heavy rains across parts of the state, the latest update from the US Drought Monitor shows that parts of northwestern Minnesota are still considered to be moderate to severe drought. There really wasn't much of a change since last week; a little more than 8% of the region is considered to be in a moderate drought, while 0.27% of the region is under a severe drought. Abnormally dry conditions remain the same at 33%.

High Temps Saturday
After a little pathcy frost up north early Saturday morning, high temps on Saturday will be quiet a bit cooler than average with readings only warming into the 50s and 60s. 

Weather Outlook
The weather loop below from Saturday to PM Monday shows fairly quiet weather across much of the region through the weekend. However, another cool front will push through Monday and bring more showers and a few T-storms to the region.
Rainfall Potential Through AM Wednesday
According to NOAA's WPC, areas of heavy rain will be possible across far northern MN over the next 5 days. Some locations could see up to 1"+, especially in the Arrowhead. Meanwhile, locations closer to the Twin Cities could see up to 0.5" through early next week, much of which will move through on Monday.
Extended Temperature Outlook
The extended forecast as we head through the end of September and the first part of October shows MUCH cooler weather ahead. It'll feel very much like fall as we head through the end of the month with highs only warming into the 50s. Overnight lows will also be quite chilly, consistently in the 40s and possible even into the 30s. However, the weekend is looking a little warmer with highs bumping back up close to 70F on Sunday, perhaps even on Monday prior to the cold front blasting through. 
Average First Frost?
While must of the state still has yet to see its first frost of the season, a few locations up north have already dipped into the 20s earlier this month. Note that the average first frost date (32F) typically happens between October 1st-10th around the Twin Cities and southeastern Minnesota, while much of the rest of the state typically sees it between September 21st-30th. So, on average, we are less than 1 month away from our first official frost here in the Twin Cities. #WinterIsComing

A Lousy Week Gives Way to a Brilliant Weekend
By Paul Douglas

Loretta set me straight during breakfast at "The Barn" in Brainerd on Friday. "God made lousy weather so people would talk about lousy weather, instead of other people." She has a point.

Between Monday and Thursday just over 5 inches of rain pummeled the Twin Cities, with considerably more in some locations. Street flooding, hail, damaging winds, and as many as half a dozen tornadoes, in late September? Odd, but Minnesota weather is frequently freakish.

We are due for a break, and it's arrived. Friday's windblown puddles give way to a fairly nice weekend, with 60s today and low to mid 70s on Sunday.

A family of Alberta Clippers swoop out of Canada next week, each burst of showers and wind dragging progressively cooler air in its wake. Monday looks wet; another round of showers on Thursday. I could see a frost or even a freeze over the northern half of Minnesota by the latter half of next week; GFS guidance hinting at a metro frost risk October 1-3.

A few spasms of chilly air are coming, but I'm predicting a longer, milder-than-average autumn in Minnesota. Thank you El Nino.

Extended Forecast

SATURDAY: Comfortable sunshine. Winds: S 10-20. High: 65.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy and quiet. Winds: SE 5. Low: 51.

SUNDAY: Partly sunny. Milder breeze. Winds: SE 10-20. High: 72.

MONDAY: Dry start. PM showers and T-storms. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 58. High: 77.

TUESDAY: Chilly and unsettled. Few showers. Winds: NW 15-25. Wake-up: 55. High: 63.

WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny. A nice day. Winds: W 7-12. Wake-up: 48. High: 64.

THURSDAY: Gusty winds. More showers. Winds: NW 15-25. Wake-up: 49. High: 57.

FRIDAY: More clouds than sun, cool. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 44. High: 56.

This Day in Weather History
September 22nd

1996: A brief cold air funnel touchdown results in roof damage in Washington County.

1936: Summer-like heat continues with 101 at Ada, Beardsley and Moorhead.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis
September 22nd

Average High: 69F (Record: 95F set in 1936)
Average Low: 49F (Record: 26F set in 1974)

Record Rainfall: 2.80" set in 1895
Record Snowfall: 0.0"

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
September 2nd

Sunrise: 7:00am
Sunset: 7:10pm

Hours of Daylight: ~12 hours & 10 minutes

Daylight LOST since yesterday: ~3 minutes & 6 seconds
Daylight LOST since summer solstice (June 21st): 3 hours and 27 Minutes

Moon Phase for September 22nd at Midnight
1.8 Days Until Full "Harvest" Moon

Traditionally, this designation goes to the full moon that occurs closest to the autumnal (fall) equinox. The Harvest Moon usually comes in September, but (on average) once or twice per decade, it will fall in early October. At the peak of the harvest, farmers can work into the night by the light of this moon. Usually, the moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later each night across the U.S., and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and Europe. Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans and wild rice — the chief Native American staples — are now ready for gathering. Fullness occurs at 8:54 p.m. CDT .


What's in the Night Sky?

According to EarthSky.org this is what will be visible in the night sky over the next several nights: 

"The 2018 autumnal equinox for the Northern Hemisphere (spring equinox for the Southern Hemisphere) will take place on Sunday, September 23, at 1:54 UTC. At this special moment – the instant of the September equinox – the sun is at zenith, or straight overhead, as seen from Earth’s equator. That’s the meaning of an equinox. The September equinox sun crosses the sky’s equator, going from north to south. Who will see the sun overhead at the moment of this year’s equinox? If you were on the sun on September 23 at 1:54 UTC, you’d see the hemisphere of Earth shown in the simulated image below. Looks like you’d have to be on a ship in the Pacific Ocean, some 35o north of Canberra, New South Wales, Australia, to see the sun exactly directly overhead at noon at the exact moment of the equinox. But no matter. Everyone along Earth’s equator on the day of the equinox – and for a day or two before and after it – will experience that noonday sun more or less overhead."


"Florence death toll climbs even as cleanup is underway"

"South Carolina's storm losses alone were estimated at $1.2 billion.The death toll from Tropical Storm Florence rose to 41 even as cleanup was well underway and leaders in impacted areas prepared to ask the federal government for what could amount to billions of dollars in aid. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster estimated Friday that his state has suffered $1.2 billion in "financial impact" from the storm, according to a letter he sent to the state's representatives in Congress. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called on state lawmakers to convene a special assembly on storm damage before he puts in a request for cash from Washington. "As I’ve traveled around the state surveying damage and meeting with people who have lost everything, it’s clear that the destruction in eastern North Carolina is historic," he said in a statement."

See more from NBCNews HERE: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/weather/florence-death-toll-climbs-even-cleanup-underway-n911696


Tropical Climatology

This is neat map from NOAA's NHC, which shows where we typically see tropical cyclones develop during the end of September. Keep in mind that September 10th is the average peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, so even though we are passed the typical peak, things can still be VERY active.

Average Peak of Atlantic Hurricane Season

According to NOAA, the average peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season is on September 10th. Note that on average, things are still pretty active through the 2nd half of September into October.


2018 Lightning Fatalities - EIGHTEEN

Did you know that lightning ranks as one of the top weather related killers in the U.S.? An average of nearly 50 people are killed each year in the United States and so far this year, 18 people have died from lightning; 14 have been males and only 4 have been females. Interestingly, from 2008-2017, 234 males have died, while only 65 females have died.

See Lightning Safety Tips From NOAA HERE:


PRELIMINARY Tornado Count This Year

According to NOAAs SPC, the PRELIMINARY tornado count across the US this year stands at 843 (through September 20th). Note that this is less than the last couple of years, but more than what we had in 2013. Keep in mind that the short-term average (2005-2015) suggests an average of more than 1,219 tornadoes.


Average Tornadoes in September By State

Here's the average number of tornadoes during the month of September by state. Florida sees the most with 8, while Minnesota averages only 2 tornadoes.

3-7 Day Hazard Forecast

1.) Heavy rain across portions of the Middle Mississippi Valley, the Lower Mississippi Valley, the Ohio Valley, and the Tennessee Valley, Sun, Sep 23.
2.) Heavy rain across portions of the Lower Mississippi Valley, the Tennessee Valley, the Middle Mississippi Valley, the Great Lakes, and the Ohio Valley, Tue, Sep 25.
3.) Much below normal temperatures across portions of the Northern Plains and the Northern Rockies, Thu, Sep 27.
4.) Flooding possible across portions of the Southeast, the Middle Mississippi Valley, the Great Lakes, the Upper Mississippi Valley, and the Northern Plains.
5.) Flooding occurring or imminent across portions of the Southeast, the Great Lakes, the Mid-Atlantic, and the Southern Plains.
6.) Heavy rain across Kodiak Island and coastal portions of the South Coast of Alaska, Wed, Sep 26.
High winds across coastal portions of southwest mainland Alaska, Sun, Sep 23.
7.) Slight risk of much below normal temperatures for portions of the Great Basin, Northern and Central rockies, Central and Northern Plains, Upper and Middle Mississippi Valley, and Great Lakes, Fri-Sun, Sep 28-Sep 30.
8.) Slight risk of much below normal temperatures for portions of the Northeast, Great Lakes, Central Appalachians, and northern Mid-Atlantic, Mon-Tue, Oct 1-2.
9.) Moderate risk of much below normal temperatures for portions of the Upper Mississippi Valley and the Northern Plains, Fri-Sat, Sep 28-Sep 29.
10.) Slight risk of heavy precipitation for portions of the Lower Mississippi Valley, the Tennessee Valley, the Middle Mississippi Valley, the Southern Appalachians, the Southeast, and the Southern Plains, Fri-Sun, Sep 28-Sep 30.
11.) Moderate risk of heavy precipitation for portions of the Southeast, the Lower Mississippi Valley, the Southern Plains, and the Tennessee Valley, Fri-Sun, Sep 28-Sep 30.
12.) Slight risk of heavy precipitation for coastal portions of the South Coast of Alaska, Fri-Thu, Sep 28-Oct 4.
13.) Severe Drought across the Central Plains, the Central Rockies, the Lower Mississippi Valley, the Central Great Basin, the Northern Plains, the Southern Plains, Hawaii, the Northern Great Basin, the Southern Rockies, the Middle Mississippi Valley, the Northeast, California, the Northern Rockies, the Upper Mississippi Valley, the Pacific Northwest, and the Southwest.


 Temperature Anomaly on Friday

The temperature anomaly across North America on Friday showed well above average temps across much of the eastern half of the nation, while much cooler than average temps were found across much of Canada and into the High Plains.

Temperature Trend

The middle part of September was pretty warm across much of the nation, but we're heading into more Fall-like temps as we approach the end of the month/early part of October. Here's the 850mb temp anomaly from Saturday to Wednesday. Note that the warmer than average temps will move east, while cooler than average temps look to start filtering into the Upper Midwest.


8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's CPC, September 28th - October 4th looks to be cooler than average across much of the Central US and Upper Midwest. With that said, we might start seeing a little more frost across the far north towards the end of the month.


Weather Outlook Ahead

The weather loop below shows heavy rain across the Southern US through the weekend ahead. This moisture is in association with the remnants of TD19 that developed in the Eastern Pacific last week.


7 Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's WPC, the 7-day precipitation outlook suggests areas of very heavy rain across the Southern US with pockets of 5" to 7" tallies across northern Texas, southeastern Oklahoma and into parts of Arkansas. Flood concerns will be in place here through the weekend. 

US Drought Outlook

Here is the national drought map from September 18th, which shows extreme and exceptional drought conditions across much of the Four-Corners region. However, areas of heavy rain in the Central and Southern Plains as of late has really helped improve drought conditions there. Additional heavy rains over the weekend will further improve drought conditions there.

"NASA Just Captured Data on an Incredibly Rare Type of Cloud in Earth's Atmosphere"

"In certain times of the year, at the polar regions of Earth, just after the Sun has set, sometimes you can see electric-blue clouds high up in the sky. These clouds are called noctilucent or polar mesospheric clouds (PMC) and apart from being exceptionally pretty, they can also help scientists understand turbulence in the atmosphere. On 8 July 2018, a giant balloon was launched in Estrange, Sweden to study these fantastic clouds. For five days, the balloon floated over 50 miles (80 kilometres) above the Earth across the arctic to Western Nunavut, Canada. The mission, called the PMC Turbo mission, had seven imaging systems on board, as well as a LIDAR (light detection and ranging) tool. It captured a staggering 6 million images - filling up 120 terabytes of storage. "From what we've seen so far, we expect to have a really spectacular dataset from this mission," said Dave Fritts, principal investigator of the mission at Global Atmospheric Technologies and Sciences. "Our cameras were likely able to capture some really interesting events and we hope will provide new insights into these complex dynamics. "The clouds themselves come to be when ice crystals form on tiny meteor remnants in the upper atmosphere."

See more from Science Alert HERE:


"A groundbreaking Hurricane Florence study could change how we think about climate"

"As Hurricane Florence approached the Carolinas last week, up to 1 million residents boarded up their windows, emptied grocery shelves and gas pumps, and evacuated with their families to escape the storm’s impending wrath. Simultaneously, scientists in other parts of the country were scrambling to produce a landmark study: one that would put numbers to just how much worse climate change had made this dangerous storm. They found that the slow-moving hurricane would bring 50 percent more rain to the Carolinas due to climate change. The researchers from Stony Brook University in New York and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California released their findings on Wednesday — two days before the storm even made landfall. “We knew it was going to be an impactful storm,” Kevin Reed, lead author on the study, tells Grist. “We decided: This technology we’ve been using in previous storms — why not apply it in real time?”

See more from Grist HERE:


"August 2018: Earth's Fifth Warmest August on Record"

"August 2018 was the planet's fifth-warmest August since record keeping began in 1880, said NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) on Monday. NASA also rated August 2018 as the fifth-warmest August on record, with the only warmer August months coming in 2016, 2017, 2014, and 2015. Occasional differences in rankings between NASA and NOAA arise mostly due to how they handle data-sparse regions such as the Arctic, where few surface weather stations exist. Global land temperatures during August 2018 were the sixth warmest on record, and global ocean temperatures were the fifth warmest on record, according to NOAA. Global satellite-measured temperatures in August 2018 for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were the ninth and seventh warmest in the 40-year record, respectively, according to the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) and RSS."

See more from Wunderground HERE:3


"El Niño watch: Here’s what it means for cities"

"There’s a 70 percent chance of an El Niño event occurring this winter. Think back a few years to the winter of 2015-2016 and you might remember a plethora of headlines surrounding El Niño, a phenomenon that can influence weather patterns around the world. That winter, we wondered whether a record-breaking El Niño event could save California from drought and how it impacted snow in the Northeast. Now, El Niño is set to return. In an update from earlier this month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirmed that there’s a 50-55 percent chance of an El Niño onset in the U.S. through November. By winter, the chance of El Niño conditions increases to about 65-70 percent. But what does it all mean, and why should city dwellers care? Curbed breaks through the hype to tell you what exactly El Niño is and what you can expect this winter."


See more from Curbed HERE:


"At Least 3.4 Million Farm Animals Drowned in the Aftermath of Hurricane Florence"

"Millions more are still at risk of dying from exposure, starvation, or drowning as the Carolinas recover. More than 5,500 pigs and 3.4 million chickens and turkeys have been killed in Hurricane Florence, mostly by drowning in record-breaking floods in North Carolina, says the state’s agriculture department. That number is expected to rise in the coming days, says North Carolina Department Agriculture and Consumer Services, as many farm owners have not had the opportunity to properly account for their losses, and millions of farm animals are still stranded in high-risk flooded areas. Hurricane Florence, which made landfall in North Carolina on September 14, claimed at least 37 human lives and cost $17 billion in damages. But the storm has also taken a brutal toll on some of the country’s biggest livestock suppliers. Sanderson Farms, the third largest poultry supplier in the US, has alone."

See more from MotherBoard HERE:

Thanks for checking in and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX

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