MN DNR Fall Color Update
First Frosts of the Season Nearing...
Looking back at the last 30 years of data at the MSP Airport, the average first frost (32F or colder) is October 12th, which is less than 1 month from now! The earliest was on September 20th back in 1991, but the latest was November 18th in 2016. Last year, our first frost was on October 11th.
Soggy September So Far...
Fall Ragweed Allergies
AACHOO!! Fall allergy sufferers have been having some issues lately, but the good news is that pollen levels have been a little lower as of late. According to Pollen.com, our pollen levels will be holding in the low-medium range over the next several days.
"What Is a Ragweed Allergy?"
"Ragweed pollen is one of the most common causes of seasonal allergies in the United States. Many people have an adverse immune response when they breathe in the pollen. Normally, the immune system defends the body against harmful invaders, such as viruses and bacteria, to ward off illnesses. In people with ragweed allergies, the immune system mistakes ragweed pollen as a dangerous substance. This causes the immune system to produce chemicals that fight against the pollen, even though it’s harmless. The reaction leads to a variety of irritating symptoms, such as sneezing, running nose, and itchy eyes. Approximately 26 percent of Americans have a ragweed allergy. The allergy is unlikely to go away once it has developed. However, symptoms can be treated with medications and allergy shots. Making certain lifestyle changes may also help relieve the symptoms associated with ragweed allergies."
"Climate Change Is Going to Make Ragweed Allergies Even Worse, Study Finds"
"There’s no shortage of horrible things that will become more common in the near future due to climate change, like coastal flooding, extreme weather, and disease-causing ticks, to name a few. But new research published Thursday in PLOS-One adds another annoyance to the list: Allergy-causing ragweed. The common ragweed, or Ambrosia artemisiifolia as it’s formally called, is a voracious plant known for quickly overtaking whatever environment it’s suited to inhabit. The plant grows annually through the warmer parts of the year in the U.S. Importantly for us, it’s also an abundant source of pollen, making it one of the leading triggers of hay fever and asthma. Though native to parts of North America, ragweed has invaded much of Europe, Asia, and other areas with relatively temperate weather, including some of the Southern United States. Given ragweed’s love of warmer temperatures, scientists have feared that climate change has and will continue to help it spread further. There’s already research suggesting that this is happening in Europe, but the authors of this latest study say theirs is the first to consider the future of ragweed in North America."
"Phenology: September 10th, 2019"
US Drought Monitor
According to the latest US Drought Monitor (updated on September 17th), 0.00% of the state of Minnesota was either in a drought or abnormally dry! The last time 0.00% of the state was drought free was earlier this year in mid May. This has been an extremely wet year, no question!
2019 Yearly Precipitation So Far...
2019 has been a pretty wet year across much of the Upper Midwest. In fact, many locations are several inches above average precipitation, some even in the double digits above average, including the Twin Cities, which is more than 10" above average so far this year and at its 2nd wettest start on record. Unbelieveably, Rochester is already at its wettest year on record and it's only mid September!
Heavy Rain Sinking South Into Houston Metro. A band of heavy rain has been sinking southward toward Houston over the past couple of hours. This is producing torrential hourly rainfall amounts. At Houston Intercontinental Airport, 3.40” of rain fell in an hour (8:53-9:53 AM) with 6.24” in total reported in just under two hours (8:53-10:44 AM), and a Harris County Flood Control District rain gauge (Greens Bayou @ US 59) reported 6.24” in an hour. This is already causing significant and life-threatening flash flooding across northern Harris County, with roads impassable and water rescues being requested. A Civil Emergency Message was issued at 9:09 AM from the Harris, Montgomery, Liberty, and Chambers Offices of Emergency Management that advises residents to stay put and do not venture out onto local roadways.
Civil Emergency Message:
One Hour Rainfall Totals Through 10:38 AM From The Harris County Flood Warning System:
Flash Flood Warnings & Emergencies. Several Flash Flood Emergencies are in place across southeastern Texas as of 11 AM CDT, including one for north central Harris County until Noon. This does include the northeastern portion of the 610 loop.
Flash Flood Emergencies In Texas As Of 11 AM:
- NORTH CENTRAL HARRIS COUNTY until Noon.
- SOUTHERN HARDIN, JEFFERSON, EXTREME SOUTHERN JASPER AND SOUTHERN NEWTON COUNTIES until 1:15 PM.
- SOUTHWESTERN SAN JACINTO, EAST CENTRAL MONTGOMERY, CHAMBERS, AND LIBERTY COUNTIES until 2 PM.
- SOUTHEASTERN MONTGOMERY, NORTHWESTERN CHAMBERS, SOUTHWESTERN LIBERTY, AND NORTHEASTERN HARRIS COUNTIES until 2:15 PM.
Flash Flood Emergency for north central Harris County:
Meanwhile, a Flash Flood Warning has been issued for southeastern Harris County, including downtown Houston, as rainfall rates of 2-4” per hour are possible and flash flooding is expected to begin shortly. Again, residents are advised not to venture out onto local roadways and stay put.
Flash Flood Warning for southeastern Harris County:
D.J. Kayser, Meteorologist, Praedictix
8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook
According to NOAA's CPC, the temperature outlook through the end of the month and early October suggests a pretty tight temperature contrast setting up across the Plains. This could be a little concerning as several rounds of showers and storms maybe possible, some of which could be strong to severe along with areas of heavy rain. Stay tuned.
Here's the temperature outlook for the MSP Airport through the end of September, which shows a pretty warm temp over the next few days. However, the extended outlook towards early October looks much cooler and very fall-like at that point, so soak up the warmth while we have it!
Warmest September Temps on Record at MSP
Here are the warmest temps on record at MSP for the month of September. Note that there has only been (1) 100 degree day, which happened back in 1931. Highs in the 90s are certainly more common and have happened quite a few times. In fact, last year in 2018 we had a high of 92 in September and in 2017 there was a 94 degree high temp. Since 2000, there have been (9) 90 high temps during the month of September.
A Wet 2019 Continues. More Weekend Storms
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas.
Imelda has been a very surprising storm to say the least. Earlier this week, it gained tropical storm status just before making landfall along the Texas Coast. Despite being downgraded to a tropical depression, slow moving Imelda wreaked havoc across parts of southeast Texas with reports of 30 to more than 40 inches of rain in just a matter of days.
Hurricane Harvey impacted some of the same areas back in August 2017 and was considered the wettest tropical cyclone is U.S. history, where more than 60 inches of rain fell in Netherland, TX.
In other news, Rochester, MN picked up more than a half an inch of rain on Thursday morning, which put them over the top as the wettest year on record and it's only mid September! The previous record wettest year was just shy of 44 inches set in 1990.
Minneapolis is still sitting at its 2nd wettest start to any year on record with more rain on the way late tonight into Saturday, go figure.
By the way, the Autumnal Equinox arrives Monday with bright sun returning to a blue sky near you.
FRIDAY: Sticky with a few storms. Winds: SE 10-15. High: 83.
FRIDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Chance of storms overnight. Winds: S 5-10. Low: 68.
SATURDAY: Breezy with scattered storms. Winds: SSW 10-20. High: 77.
SUNDAY: Cooler breeze. Passing shower up north. Winds: WNW 10-20. Wake-up: 57 High: 72.
MONDAY: Bright sunshine returns. Winds: SSW 7-12. Wake-up: 54 High: 73.
TUESDAY: Increasing PM rumble threat. Winds:SSW 5-10. Wake-up: 55. High: 75.
WEDNESDAY: Windy. Lingering shower or storm. Winds: WNW 10-20. Wake-up: 56. High: 71.
THURSDAY: Dry skies return. Winds: SSE 7-12. Wake-up: 63 High: 80.
This Day in Weather History
2001: 3/4 to 1 3/4 inch hail falls in Freeborn and Faribault counties.
1972: A downpour in Duluth produces 5 1/2 inches in ten hours.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
Average High: 70F (Record: 91F set in 1931)
Average Low: 50F (Record: 28F set in 1962)
Record Rainfall: 1.82" set in 1902
Record Snowfall: Trace set in 1927
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Hours of Daylight: ~12 hours & 17 minutes
Daylight LOST since yesterday: ~ 3 minutes & 6 seconds
Daylight LOST since summer solstice (June 21st): ~ 3 hours & 41 minutes
Moon Phase for September 20th at Midnight
0.8 Days Before Last Quarter Moon
What's in the Night Sky?
"Tonight, since the moon is waning and gone from the sky in early evening, find the Andromeda galaxy, the great spiral galaxy next door to our Milky Way. It’s the most distant thing you can see with your eye alone. It’s best seen in the evening at this time of year, assuming you’re in the Northern Hemisphere. Most people find the galaxy by star-hopping from the constellation Cassiopeia, which is a very noticeable M- or W-shaped pattern on the sky’s dome. I learned to find the Andromeda galaxy by star-hopping from the Great Square of Pegasus, to the two graceful streams of stars making up the constellation Andromeda. Look at the chart at the top of this post. It shows both constellations – Cassiopeia and Andromeda – so you can see the galaxy’s location with respect to both. Notice the star Schedar in Cassiopeia. It’s the constellation’s brightest star, and it points to the galaxy."
2019 Preliminary Tornado Count