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Paul Douglas on Weather

Weather Bliss - Minor Reality Check Brewing - Dangers of Living in Risky Places

About As Good As It Gets in Late October!

Hi, I'm Paul, your weather emcee and Master of the Obvious. You do realize we could be tromping around in thigh-high snow today, right? Blizzards, ice storms & subzero wind chills are all possible by the third week of October, so any day like today is a minor meteorological miracle - an atmospheric reprieve - another day the air won't hurt your face!

This is as good as it gets in late October, when large north-south contrasts in temperature can whip up fierce, full-latitude storms packing gale force winds. Low 70s and blue sky will feel like a revelation later today; about 15F warmer than average. A lukewarm breeze lingers into Saturday, when a strong southerly fetch of moisture may fuel a few showers and T-showers. Sunday looks drier and cooler; by early next week there will be no doubt in your mind it's late October.

Bitter air never comes south all at once, it arrives in waves. Long-range models suggest the first widespread freeze of the season by the last weekend of October. GFS guidance shows 40s to near 50F on Halloween with showers.

Soak up this amazing warmth!

Minor Reality Check Ahead. Nothing shriek-worthy (yet), but by next week there will be no doubt in your mind that it's late October. Yep, you could see this coming. Twin Cities ECMWF numbers: WeatherBell.

2 Weeks Out: Zonal, But Trending Colder. It's time, long nights and fresh snow are brewing up chilly air across Alaska and western Canada, and this surge of numb will draw closer as we push into early November. Temperatures may rebound a bit for Minnesota around Halloween (50s?) before trending colder after November 1 or so.

November Coin Flip. Right now NOAA's CFS2 (Climate Forecast System) model predicts a warmer than average November for much of Canada and the northern USA; a cold bias for the Gulf Coast. Place your bets. Map: WeatherBell.

Firefighters Gaining Ground Against California's Deadliest Ever Blazes. HuffPost has an update and a measure of good news: "Firefighters began gaining ground on wildfires that killed at least 40 people in the past week, the deadliest blazes in California’s history, as winds eased and searchers combed charred ruins for more victims with hundreds still missing. Two of the three most destructive Northern California fires were more than half contained early on Monday, and some residents who fled the flames in hard-hit Sonoma County could be allowed to return home later in the day, officials said. More than 5,700 structures were destroyed by more than a dozen wildfires that ignited a week ago and consumed an area larger than New York City. Entire neighborhoods in the city of Santa Rosa were reduced to ashes. “Overall, things are feeling optimistic. We’re very cautious about that,” said Brad Gouvea, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection incident commander..."

Wildfires Kill At Least 39 in Portugal and Spain. Reuters has details on some truly apocalyptic blazes: "At least 36 people died in wildfires raging through parched farmlands and forests in Portugal and another three in neighboring northwestern Spain on Sunday and Monday. Firefighters were battling 50 blazes in Portugal and a similar number in Spain. Portugal’s government asked for international help and declared a state of emergency in territory north of the Tagus river - about half of its landmass. Flames ripped across Iberian countryside left tinder-dry by an unusually hot summer and early autumn, fanned by strong winds as remnants of ex-Hurricane Ophelia brushed coastal areas. Television footage showed abandoned villages with many houses in embers and charred vehicles left on the roads..."

It's Time to Ditch the Concept of 100-Year Floods. An article at FiveThirtyEight is a worthy read: "...That’s no surprise to experts, who say the concept of the “100-year flood” is one of the most misunderstood terms in disaster preparedness. In the wake of catastrophic flooding on the Texas coast, the media has been working hard to explain the term, turning out dozens of articles explaining that a “100-year flood” is not a flood that you should expect to happen only once every 100 years. Instead, it refers to a flood that has a 1 percent chance of happening in any given year. Over the course of a 30-year mortgage, a house in a 100-year floodplain has a 26 percent chance of being inundated at least once.1 Stories that emphasize this fact are “doing the Lord’s work,” said Wesley Highfield, professor of marine sciences at Texas A&M University at Galveston. But there are still more holy offices to perform..."

File photo: Reuters, TPX Images.

People Love to Live in Places That Are At Risk for Disaster, "And This Is What Happens". A combination of factors in play. Here's an excerpt from The Washington Post: "...It’s just part of the facts of a highly developed society, is that you have a lot of people and a lot of assets in the face of floods and hurricane and fires,” Brown (D) said at the Wednesday briefing. “And this is what happens.” That might have sounded detached and cerebral while in the middle of a crisis, but it’s what everyone in the emergency management business knows to be true. As a people, we are consistently stepping into the path of destruction. “Natural” disasters have a heavily engineered element. Recent months have delivered a steady pounding of misery, as flooding drowned Houston, hurricanes chewed through Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, and wildfires killed dozens of people in California. If it feels like these things are getting worse, experts say that’s because, in some cases, they are..."

Map credit: USDA, Silvis Lab, NOAA - Washington Post.

California's Fires Aren't "Natural" - Humans Made Them Worse At Every Step. Additional perspective via Vox: "...The study projected that by 2050, 645,000 houses in California will be built in ‘very high’ wildfire severity zones. “We are definitely seeing [construction in fire-prone regions] happen more and more: 95 percent of the population of the state lives on 6 percent of the land,” said Lynne Tolmachoff, a spokesperson for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Californians are drawn to views of mountains, forests, and grasslands and are building ever closer to these features that often have a propensity to burn. And places like Napa and Sonoma counties, picturesque regions that are now charred, have some of the fastest-growing property values and highest-priced homes in the United States. This proximity is part of what’s driving the death toll..."

Map credit: "A map showing population density growth projections (left) and a map showing fire hazards." Mann et al. | Land Use Policy

Northern California is Facing Catastrophic Wildfires More Typically Seen in the South. Experts Aren't Sure Why. A story at The Los Angeles Times caught my eye; here's a clip: "...Until last week, 13 of the 20 most destructive — and 16 of the 20 deadliest — wildfires in modern state history occurred in Southern California. Two years ago, the Valley fire in Lake, Napa and Sonoma counties made the list when it claimed four lives and destroyed 1,955 structures. “It seems like every summer now we’re seeing some big, horrific event like this. Why?” Moritz said. “How much of this is climate change? Was some of this left over from five years of drought?” he said. “How much of this is because we’ve built increasing numbers of homes and communities in relatively fire-prone landscapes?” The last is unquestionably a factor..."

For Clean Energy Jobs, Sky's the Limit. The Star Tribune reports: "...Osborn’s job, wind technician, is the fastest growing occupation in the nation. As utilities rapidly increase the amount of power they get from wind farms, workers willing and able to climb hundreds of feet to keep turbines running smoothly are in high demand. Students in wind power training programs in Minnesota are getting jobs as soon as they graduate or even before. “I do what pays the bills, and I looked at what was happening and will be happening for the next 30 years, and wind maintenance seemed win-win,” said Osborn, who works for Vestas, a global wind energy giant. As wind and solar energy have grown, they’ve created a tide of jobs nationwide in fields from construction to manufacturing. Renewable energy jobs, most of which are in wind and solar, grew by 16 percent to around 6,200 in Minnesota from 2015 to 2016, according to a recent study by Clean Energy Economy Minnesota, an industry-led nonprofit..."

Conservative Think Tank: Plan to Help Coal, Nuclear Power "Arbitrary". TheHill has the story: "...Perry’s proposal aims to prop up coal and nuclear plants by mandating higher payments for the electricity they generate, arguing the two power sources are able to store so much of their fuel on site that they help support the reliability and resilience of the electric grid. But Philip Rossetti, an AAF data analyst, said the plan “does not promote a policy that would necessarily achieve” a more stable electricity system, and instead would “arbitrarily value nuclear and coal power above their market rates.” “The only effect of the [proposal] is to set an arbitrary target of on-site fuel requirements that values coal or nuclear power, regardless of if those sources are able to provide resiliency and reliability at least cost,” Rossetti’s analysis says. AAF’s disapproval of Perry’s plan comes as others raise questions and doubts about the proposal..."

After Hurricane Power Outages, Looking to Alaska's Microgrids for a Better Way. NPR reports: "...More places are exploring creating microgrids after a spate of hurricanes and other storms knocked out power to millions in recent years. In Puerto Rico, especially, advocates say this could help key institutions like hospitals and military bases keep the lights on when the larger grid goes down. They might want to look north — far north — for guidance. "Alaskans have been doing this for 50 years," says Ian Baring-Gould, of the National Renewable Energy Lab in Boulder, Colorado. He says the state's remote communities have "an amazing wealth of expertise in that area." Of course, not all of Alaska's microgrids run on renewable energy..."

Tech Addiction is More of a Problem Than People Realize. Arianna Huffington explains in a story at "We are at an inflection point in our relationship with technology. Technology allows us to do amazing things that have immeasurably improved our lives. But at the same time, it’s accelerated the pace of our lives beyond our ability to keep up. And it’s getting worse. We’re being controlled by something we should be controlling. And it’s consuming our attention and crippling our ability to focus, think, be present, and truly connect with ourselves and the world around us. The numbers only confirm what we all know to be true — we’re addicted. A 2015 Bank of America report found that over 70 percent of Americans sleep next to or with their phone. This addiction comes at a cost. A Pew study from the same year found that 89 percent of phone owners said they’d used their phones in their last social gathering, and 82 percent felt that when they do this it damages the interaction..." (File image: LinkedIn).

Star Collision Scatters Gold and Platinum. CNN reports it was an astronomical gong show. "For the first time, two neutron stars in a nearby galaxy have been observed engaging in a spiral death dance around one another until they collided. What resulted from that collision is being called an "unprecedented" discovery that is ushering in a new era of astronomy, scientists announced Monday. "We can now fill in a few more tiles in the jigsaw puzzle that is the story of our universe," said Laura Cadonati, deputy spokeswoman for the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and professor in the school of physics at Georgia Tech. The collision created the first observed instance of a single source emitting ripples in space-time, known as gravitational waves, as well as light, which was released in the form of a two-second gamma ray burst. The collision also created heavy elements such as gold, platinum and lead, scattering them across the universe in a kilonova -- similar to a supernova -- after the initial fireball..."

U.S. Vs. Japan: Giant Robots Are About to Face Off, Fighting For Their Country. Looks like all those Saturday morning cartoons about transformers are coming true. reports: "...It will battle one of Suidobashi's Kurata robots that, according to PC Mag, weighs 6.5 tons and is about 13 feet tall. When responding to MegaBots' initial challenge two years ago, Suidobashi CEO and founder, Kogoro Kurata had said his team couldn't let another country win because giant robots were part of Japanese culture. MegaBots co-founder, Brinkley Warren, told CNBC in 2015 that the fight could potentially pave the way for a fighting robot league and a billion-dollar sport. Prospective fighting robot fans can watch the battle on MegaBots' Twitch channel on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. PT..."

Headwaters of the Mississippi. Odds are you knew this already, but just in case Atlas Obscura provides a reminder: "Everything has to start somewhere, and the Mississippi River starts in Itasca State Park in Minnesota. The official beginning of the mighty river is on one side of a small rock dam where water from Lake Itasca begins to flow, soon to be joined by water from many other tributaries on its journey to the gulf. At the watershed, the river is tranquil and shallow; it’s a great spot for wading. A large post has been installed next to the headwaters since the 1930s, officially proclaiming the park’s status as the source of the great river and listing its distance to the gulf as 2,552 miles..."

Image credit: R. Stemple.

73 F. high temperature yesterday in the Twin Cities.

58 F. average high on October 17.

72 F. high in the Twin Cities on October 17, 2016.

October 18, 1950: Record high temperatures are set across the area as highs reached the mid to upper 80s. Minneapolis and Farmington saw highs of 87 degrees Fahrenheit, while Albert Lea reached 86 degrees.

October 18, 1916: A blizzard impacts Minnesota. A sharp temperature drop begins as well; Hallock drops from the 60s to 2 above by the 20th.

TODAY: Partly sunny, breezy and mild. Winds: W 10-20. High: 71

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy, a bit cooler. Low: 43

THURSDAY: Sunny. Just try and stay inside. Winds: S 5-10. High: near 70

FRIDAY: Shorts in late October? Lukewarm sunshine. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 55. High: 75

SATURDAY: Sunny start, few PM T-showers possible. Winds: SW 7-12. Wake-up: 60. High: near 70

SUNDAY: Sunnier, drier, cooler day of weekend. Winds: SW 5-10. Wake-up: 48. High: 62

MONDAY: Mostly cloudy, feels like fall again. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 47. High: 57

TUESDAY: Partly sunny and brisk. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 42. High: 51

Climate Stories...

Hurricane Ophelia Sheds Light on Another Climate Change Concern. An article at HuffPost explains: "...Before being downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone, Ophelia was a Category 3 hurricane on Saturday and Sunday. It went farther east than any other previously recorded Category 3 hurricane in the Atlantic Basin and broke a record set in 1980. “As sea surface temperatures continue to warm, the region of the Atlantic Ocean that can support the genesis and strengthening of tropical storms and hurricanes is expanding eastward,” said Michael Mann, a distinguished professor of atmospheric science and the director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University. Hurricanes are not only reaching much farther to the east, but they’re forming farther east as well, Mann noted. Hurricane Irma, which devastated parts of the Caribbean and the southeastern United States last month, was the strongest hurricane to ever form as far east in the Atlantic as it did, he said..."

More Hurricanes to Hit Western Europe Due to Global Warming. Here's an abstract of a 2013 paper at Geophysical Research Letters: "We use a very high resolution global climate model (~25 km grid size) with prescribed sea surface temperatures to show that greenhouse warming enhances the occurrence of hurricane-force (> 32.6 m s–1) storms over western Europe during early autumn (August–October), the majority of which originate as a tropical cyclone. The rise in Atlantic tropical sea surface temperatures extends eastward the breeding ground of tropical cyclones, yielding more frequent and intense hurricanes following pathways directed toward Europe. En route they transform into extratropical depressions and reintensify after merging with the midlatitude baroclinic unstable flow. Our model simulations clearly show that future tropical cyclones are more prone to hit western Europe, and do so earlier in the season, thereby increasing the frequency and impact of hurricane force winds..."

Stanford Climate Scientist Addresses Misconceptions About Climate Change. People can adapt to the averages; it's the extremes that tend to wreak havoc. Here's an excerpt of a story from Stanford News that made me do a double-take: "..."People tend to ask, 'When will the average conditions cross a threshold that results in climate change?' But that's not really relevant. People and ecosystems can adapt to the average conditions, but where things fall apart is in the extremes. We experience damages from climate mainly at the extremes, and it's the extremes that can result in disasters. "Farmers might have enough rain on average to grow corn in Illinois. But in a drought, as in 2012, yields get whacked. Corn yields decline rapidly when temperatures rise above 29 C (84 F). If temperatures are above that 29 C threshold once every 200 years, it may not be a big problem. But if it is every five years, farmers start seeing impacts on yield and, if the high temperatures occur too frequently, on the viability of corn farming in that area. "We're already seeing evidence of climate-change impacts in the increased frequency of extreme events..."

Photo credit: "Poorly developed cornstalks show the effects of prolonged hot, dry weather. Extreme temperatures year after year have an impact on the viability of corn farming in an area, Stanford scientist Chris Field says." Earl D. Walker / Shutterstock

Until Further Notice There Is No Weather

OPHELIA Made Landfall in Ireland
Here was OPHELIA on early Monday morning as it blasted into Ireland with near 70mph sustained winds and gusts up to near 100mph
OPHELIA Strong Winds
Take a look at this tweet from @MetEireann, which shows trees being knocked down on Monday from strong winds associated with OPHELIA.
"Hurricane Ophelia: Woman dies as storm hits Ireland"
"A woman in her 20s has been killed as the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia hit the British Isles. Part of a tree fell on her car in West Waterford, also injuring another passenger, as hurricane-force gusts battered the Republic of Ireland. About 120,000 homes are without power in the Irish Republic, where the government has deployed the army. An amber warning for Northern Ireland, Wales, south west Scotland and the Isle of Man is in force until 23:00 BST. The injured passenger, a woman in her 50s, has been taken to hospital. Her injuries are not life-threatening, the Gardai, Ireland's police force, said. It urged all road users to stay indoors and not travel unless their journey was absolutely necessary. The Met Office has warned of "potential danger to life", with wind gusts off the south coast of Ireland reaching 109mph (176km/h) at Fastnet Rock. A yellow warning of "very windy weather" also covers parts of Scotland, the west and north of England and Wales. BBC weather presenter Chris Fawkes said: "This is one of the strongest storms you're going to see this year."

Fall Color Delight

Minnesota Fall Color Update

According the MN DNR, much of the state is seeing peak color right now with some spots across western and northern Minnesota already past peak!

Follow along as the fall colors change with the MN DNR map HERE:

Typical Fall Color Peak in Minnesota

Here are the typical fall color peak times across the state of Minnesota and note that areas along the northern tier of the state usually see their peak toward the 2nd half of September. However, peak color usually doesn't arrive in central Minnesota until October, but we're getting close.

Wisconsin Fall Color Update

Colors are popping in Wisconsin too! In fact, much of the state is seeing peak color right now!

See more from Travel Wisconsin HERE:


Praedictix Briefing: Monday, October 16th, 2017

* Progress continues to be made on wildfires burning across California. While we will continue to see offshore winds the next couple days which will bring lower humidity values, winds are expected to be lighter. Temperatures will continue to remain warm, however.

* High pressure over the region will start to weaken Tuesday, bringing cooler temperatures and onshore flow. This will help to increase humidity values. A chance of rain also exists Thursday into Friday across the Bay Area.

* These weather conditions will help firefighters help contain at least 15 major wildfires across the state which have burned almost 220,000 acres and 5,700 structures.


Numerous Fires Continue Across California. While progress continues to be made on wildfires across the state, at least 15 major fires continue to burn (mainly across northern California). Some evacuation orders are being lifted across the region. You can view an interactive map of the active wildfires from CAL FIRE and view more information on individual fires.


Central And Southern LNU Complex FiresSome of the fires in the Central and Southern LNU Complexes are seeing containment being made, while fires like the Oakmont and Nuns continue to spread. Here’s the latest acres burned and containment from CAL FIRE as of last night:

  • Central LNU Complex
    • Tubbs Fire: 44,881 acres - 60% contained
    • Pocket Fire: 11,889 acres - 30% contained  
    • Oakmont Fire: 575 - 15% contained  
  • Southern LNU Complex:
    • Atlas Fire: 51,057 acres - 65% contained
    • Nuns Fire (consisting of the Norbbom, Adobe, Pressley and Partrick fires as well): 48,627 acres - 40% contained

As of last night, here is the current situation on the fires according to CAL FIRE:

Tubbs Fire: The most active portion of the fire is still the north-eastern portion around Red Hill and Mount Saint Helena. The fire continues to make short uphill runs around to the north side of the peaks.

Pocket Fire: The fire continues to the east. Crews continue to make progress and increase containment.

Nuns Fire: Fire is progressing to north, spreading at a moderate rate. The fire is being driven by steep slopes and dry fuel.

Oakmont Fire: Fire was very active today, and is progressing in a northerly direction with moderate rate of spread.


Mendocino-Lake Complex. Significant progress continues to be made on the fires in the Mendocino-Lake Complex, which contains both the Redwood Valley and Sulphur Fires. Approximately 900 people are still under evacuation orders due to the Redwood Valley FireHere’s the latest acres burned and containment from CAL FIRE as of last night:

  • Redwood Valley Fire: 35,800 acres - 45% contained
  • Sulphur Fire: 2,207 - 80% contained

Image: AirNow

Air Quality Forecast Today. Air Quality will continue to be unhealthy, especially for sensitive groups, around the Bay Area today due to the smoke from wildfires. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has once again issued a Spare the Air Alert for today. AirNow will have the latest current air quality readings as well as forecasts over the next several days.

Late Week Rain. It appears likely that rain will spread over the Bay Area Thursday as a system drops out of the Gulf of Alaska. Rainfall totals could top a quarter inch in spots. This should help firefighters continue to battle fires across the region. However, be aware that there will likely be some slippery roads as well as this will be the first rain event of the season.

Meteorologist DJ Kayser

Top 20 Deadliest California Wildfires

According to CAL Fire, some of the ongoing wildfires have sadly become some of the deadliest wildfires in the states history. Note the TUBBS Fire has reportedly killed 18, which is considered to the be 3rd most deadly fire in the states history.

Ongoing Large Wildfires

Here's a look at the current wildfire map across the country. While several fires are still ongoing, recent cool and somewhat wet weather has been helping curb the wildfire threat, especially in the Western US.

Here's a list of all the current large wildfires from Inciweb:


Atlantic Outlook Next 5 Days

Here's the Atlantic outlook over the next 5 days, which shows that OPHELIA is no longer in the northeastern part of the Atlantic as it moved quickly over Ireland on Monday. However, there is also another wave of energy that had a MODERATE probability of tropical formation over the next 5 days.
September 10th - Official Peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season
Here's the average Atlantic hurricane season, which shows that peak activity generally occurs on September 10th and stays somewhat active through the month of October, but really diminishes through the month of November. Again, the Atlantic Hurricane Season doesn't officially end until November 30th.
PRELIMINARY 2017 Tornado Map

It certainly has been a fairly active first half of 2017 with 1,433 preliminary tornado reports through October 6th. Note that this is the most tornadoes through that date since 2011, when there were 1,815 reports. The map below shows the distribution of the tornadoes so far this year. 

PRELIMINARY 2017 Tornado Count

According to NOAA's SPC, the PRELIMINARY 2017 tornado count is 1,433 (through October 15th). Note that is the most active year for tornadoes since 2011, when there were 1,815 tornadoes. Keep in mind there was a major tornado outbreak in the Gulf Coast region from April 25-28, 2011 that spawned nearly 500 tornadoes, some of which were deadly. That outbreak is known as the Super Outbreak of 2011 and has gone down in history as one of the biggest, costliest and one of the deadliest tornado outbreaks in history.


National Weather Hazards Ahead...

1.) High winds for coastal sections of Washington and Oregon, Wed-Thu, Oct 18-19.
2.) Heavy rain for the coastal Pacific Northwest and northern California, Tue-Fri, Oct 17-20.
3.) Heavy snow for the higher elevations of the Cascades, Wed-Fri, Oct 18-20.
4.) Heavy snow for parts of the Northern Rockies, Bitterroots, and Columbia Plateau Thu-Fri, Oct 19-20.
5.) Heavy rain for parts of western Washington and western Oregon, Sat-Sun, Oct 21-22.
6.) Heavy snow for parts of the Cascades, Bitterroots, Columbia Plateau, and Northern Rockies, Sat-Sun, Oct 21-22.
7.) Flooding occurring along the St. Johns and Withlacoochee Rivers across central Florida.
Flooding possible for part of southern Texas.
8.) Severe drought across parts of the northern Rockies, northern and central Great Plains, Midwest, and Hawaii.


October Moisture in Montana

Thanks to a number of storm system, parts of Montana continue to pick up much needed moisture. Here's a look at the estimated precipitation since the beginning of October, which suggests some 1" to near 2" tallies for some! While it's not drought busting rain, it is drought denting... keep it coming!

Latest Drought Monitor

Here's the latest drought update from the US Drought Monitor, which shows EXCEPTIONAL drought conditions continuing across parts of Montana. Note that nearly 90% of the state is considered to be abnormally dry, but the EXCEPTIONAL drought covers nearly 5% of the state, which is down from nearly 10% from last week. We're also seeing some improvement in the EXTREME drought, which is nearly 18% this week, down from near 23% last week.

Rain Needed to End Drought
Thanks to recent cool and wetter weather, drought conditions have been improving, but we still need nearly 4" to 10"+ to end the drought in these locations.

High Temps Tuesday

Here's a look at high temperatures across the nation on Monday, which suggests that temperatures from the Northeast to Southern US will still be a little cooler than average with temps running 5F to 10F below average. However, temps from the Western US to the Great Lakes will be warmer than average, especially in the Midwest where temps could be 15F to almost 20F above average!

 National Weather Outlook

Here's the weather outlook through the middle part of the week, which shows a cold front stalled across Florida with scattered showers and a few storms. Much of the nation remains quiet and dry with the exception of the Pacific Northwest where Pacfic moisture will begin to move into the region. 

5 Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's WPC, areas of heavy rain will continue across parts of Florida, where a few inches of rain could fall through the end of the week. The heaviest precipitation over the next 5 day looks to be found in the Pacific Northwest, where several inches of liquid could fall across the high elevations there. The good news is that there appears to be some much needed precipitation across northern California, where wildfires continue.

Arapahoe Basin - OPEN For Early Season Skiing
Take a look at the lines at Arapahoe Basin in Colorado, where some early season runs are open. They actually just opened on Friday!! Yee-haw!
Snow Depth
Over the last several weeks, there have been several bouts of snow in the Northwestern part of the country and it's still on the ground. Here's the latest snow depth map, which shows some of the greatest amounts in the higher elevations.
Snowfall Potential
Here's the simulated radar from Tuesday to Thursday. Note that a fairly constant stream of Pacific moisture will funnel into Canada and the Pacific Northwest. Several inches of moisture will fall over the coming days along with several inches of snow in the high elevations. The other thing to note is that moisture will finally start moving into California, where moisture would be very beneficial in helping fight the wildfires there.
 Snowfall Potential
Here's the snowfall potential over the next 5 days, which shows the heaviest snow falling across parts of Canada, but there will be some snow across the high elevations of the Cascades.
Until Further Notice There Is No Weather
By Paul Douglas
Minnesota meteorologists will be at a rare & welcome loss for words this week. Expect a troubling mix of cookie recipes, spontaneous yodeling and knock-knock jokes, as there will be precious little to point to on our weather maps. By the way, I'm OK with that.
There are a few precious weeks every fall, a pause, an intermission, when we commiserate with our colleagues in San Diego and Phoenix. Too late, dry & stable for severe thunderstorms. Not yet cold enough for snowy treats gumming up rush hour. Late September thru mid October is about as quiet and benign as Minnesota weather ever gets.
Under a postcard sky we should enjoy 3 or 4 days above 70F between now and Saturday, when a stiff southerly wind may fuel a few showers and T-showers. A couple of Canadian fronts cool us off next week - nothing controversial or awe-inspiring is brewing just yet.
Ireland and much of the British Isles are cleaning up from "Ophelia". Winds gusted as high as 119 mph in Ireland, from the farthest eastward tracking Cat 3 hurricane on record, the result of unusually warm/deep Atlantic ocean water.
Extended Forecast
TUESDAY: Sunny and fine. Winds: SW 7-12. High: 71.
TUESDAY NIGHT: Clear and not as cool. Winds: S 5. Low: 50.

WEDNESDAY: Breezy with lukewarm sunshine. Winds: W 10-15. High: 70

THURSDAY: Blue sky. Hard to stay indoors. Winds: SW 7-12. Wake-up: 44. High: 68.

FRIDAY: Partly sunny. Feels like September. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 53. High: 73.
SATURDAY: Fading sun. Risk of thundershower. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 58. High: 69.
SUNDAY: Gradual  clearing, drying out. Winds: W 7-12. Wake-up: 48. High: 62.
MONDAY: Clouds increase. Fine fall day. Winds: W 10-15. Wake-up: 46. High: 64.

This Day in Weather History
October 17th

1971: Heavy rain falls in NW Minnesota. 4.02 inches is recorded at Georgetown (20 miles N of Moorhead).

1952: Record lows between 10 to 15 degrees are reported across central Minnesota, including a low of 10 at St. Cloud, 12 at Glenwood, and 14 at Alexandria, Litchfield, and Mora.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis
October 17th

Average High: 58F (Record: 84F set in 1910)
Average Low: 39F (Record: 22F set in 1952)

Record Rainfall: 1.24" set in 1879
Record Snowfall: Trace set in 2004

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
October 17th

Sunrise: 7:31am
Sunset: 6:24pm

Hours of Daylight: ~10 hours 52 mins

Daylight LOST since yesterday: ~3 minutes and 00 seconds
Daylight LOST since summer solstice (June 20th): 4 hours & 45 minutes

Moon Phase for October 17th at Midnight
1.5 Days Before New Moon


Weather Outlook For Tuesday

Highs on Tuesday will be VERY mild for mid October as highs warm into the 60s and 70s across the state. Note that 10F to almost 20F above average.

Simulated Radar Ahead...
Here's the simulated radar across the Upper Midwest from Tuesday to Thursday, which suggests mostly quiet weather across much of the region as a bubble of high pressure settles in.
Minneapolis Temperature Outlook

Here's the temperature outlook through October 31st, which shows very mild temps moving in through the 3rd full week of October. Temps could warm into the 60s and 70s, which 10F to almost 15F above average! Enjoy it because the extended forecast suggests MUCH cooler temperatures potential moving in by the end of the month. Stay tuned.

October Rainfall So Far...
It's been a fairly wet month so far with many areas seeing 2" to nearly 4" of rain, but a few locations have seen 4" to 7" in southern Minnesota!

Minnesota Drought

According to the US Drought Monitor, much of the state is drought free, but nearly 11% of the state is considered to be abnormally dry with 1.3% in a Moderate drought, which is down from nearly 2.5% last week.


6 to 10 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA CPC, there is a very good chance of well above average temperatures from October 21st to October 25th across much of the Midwest

6 to 10 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's CPC - much of the nation will remain above average with the exception of the Intermountain West, where cooler than average temps will be found

"Hurricane Irma's runoff draws brown line of pollution on Florida's Atlantic Coast"
"JUPITER ISLAND, Fla. — Rainfall runoff and Lake Okeechobee discharges since Hurricane Irma hit Florida last month have turned miles of Atlantic beaches and Indian River Lagoon waters the color of coffee. Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin counties in Florida — given the moniker Treasure Coast because of tons of treasure left on the ocean floor when Spanish ships sunk during hurricanes — always has felt the brunt of strong storms and lots of rain in early fall, said Grant Gilmore, a marine biologist who has studied life in the lagoon for more than 40 years. "What's worse than the color of the water is what's in the water," said Gilmore, lead scientist for Estuarine, Coastal & Ocean Science in Vero Beach, Fla. "The chemicals (from crops and lawns) kill the plankton in the (St. Lucie) river and lagoon that all the fish depend on for food." The fish can flee and some see an influx of brown water each fall as a signal to head to the ocean to spawn, he said. Oysters and sea grass can't leave, and they're dying because the influx of fresh water lowers the salinity they need to survive."

"Trump to nominate climate change doubter as top environmental adviser"

"President Donald Trump will nominate a climate change skeptic with ties to the fossil fuel industry to serve as a top environmental adviser. The White House on Thursday announced the selection of Kathleen Hartnett White of Texas to serve as chair of the Council on Environmental Quality. White served under former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, now Trump's energy secretary, for six years on a commission overseeing the state environmental agency. White was fiercely critical of what she called the Obama administration's "imperial EPA" and pushed back against stricter limits on air and water pollution. She is a senior fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank that has received funding from fossil-fuel companies that include Koch Industries, ExxonMobil and Chevron. In a 2014 policy paper titled "Fossil Fuels: The Moral Case," White praised the burning of coal and petroleum for "vastly improved living conditions across the world" and credited fossil fuels with ending slavery. She also likened the work of mainstream climate scientists to "the dogmatic claims of ideologues and clerics." White is a member of the CO2 Coalition, a group that seeks to educate "thought leaders, policy makers, and the public about the important contribution made by carbon dioxide to our lives and the economy."

(Brendan Smialowski / AFP/Getty Images VIA Chicago Tribune)

"The end of the monsoon as we know it? Climate change may slash our rainfall"

"Continued climate change will likely slash the Southwest’s summer monsoon rains, a new study says. The strong possibility that annual monsoon rainfall totals will drop 30 to 40 percent in this region by the end of the century if major steps aren’t taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is the take-home message of the study, written by researchers from Princeton and a federal weather agency among others. “If you think about our children, the next generation, the monsoon in general and where our water comes from will be fundamentally different for our children than it was for us,” said one of the study’s eight co-authors, Sarah Kapnick, a federal researcher who says that Western water issues are “what keeps me up at night. ”Southern Arizona monsoons are critical for the region’s water supply, producing more than half the Tucson area’s normal annual rainfall of about 11.5 inches. This past summer’s monsoon totaled 8.57 inches, well above the normal monsoon of about 6 inches. If the monsoon were to be slashed 40 percent, that would cut our total annual rainfall by about 20 percent. “It would have significant impact” on the Sonoran Desert, said Thomas Meixner, a University of Arizona hydrologist who was not involved in the study. “There would be less plant production, less food for animals, less water for them to drink.”"

See more from HERE:

(Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star VIA



"High above Earth, more than 20 miles above sea level, a diaphanous layer of ozone surrounds our planet, absorbing energetic ultraviolet rays from the sun. It is, essentially, sunscreen for planet Earth. Without the ozone layer, we would be bathed in dangerous radiation on a daily basis. For more than 30 years, the Montreal Protocol has regulated ozone-destroying chemicals, allowing Earth's ozone holes to heal and shrink. But there's trouble on the horizon. An international team of researchers led by David Oram of the University of East Anglia has found an unexpected, growing danger to the ozone layer from substances not regulated by the treaty. The danger comes from a class of chemicals known as "chlorocarbons." Dichloromethane is an example. It is used in paint stripping, agricultural fumigation, and the production of pharmaceuticals. Over the past decade dichloromethane became approximately 60% more abundant. "This was a major surprise to the scientific community and we were keen to discover the cause of this sudden increase," says Oram. Developing economies in East Asia appear to be the source. "Our estimates suggest that China may be responsible for around 50-60% of current global emissions [of dichloromethane], with other Asian countries, including India, likely to be significant emitters as well," says Oram."

See more from SpaceWeather HERE:


"La Niña is expected this winter. What will that mean for our weather?"

"La Niña, the cooler sibling of El Niño, is likely to form over the next few months, federal government forecasters said Thursday. Specifically, there's a 55 to 65% chance that a La Niña will develop during the fall and winter of 2017-18, the Climate Prediction Center said. The La Niña climate pattern — a natural cycle marked by cooler-than-average ocean water in the central Pacific Ocean — is one of the main drivers of weather in the U.S. and around the world, especially during the late fall, winter and early spring. A typical La Niña winter in the U.S. brings cold and snow to the Northwest and unusually dry conditions to most of the southern tier of the U.S., according to the prediction center. The Southeast and Mid-Atlantic also tend to see warmer-than-average temperatures during a La Niña winter. However, the Upper Midwest into New York and New England tend to see colder-than-average temperatures, the Weather Channel said. Globally, La Niña often brings heavy rainfall to Indonesia, the Philippines, northern Australia and southern Africa."

See more from USAToday HERE:


"The extreme 2017 hurricane season adds another remarkable record to its long list"

"Hurricane season still has 48 days left but it’s already one of the most terrible on record, which will be remembered for generations. Like other famous seasons — 1995, 2004 and 2005 to name a few — 2017 has had many storms and many significant landfalls. Impressive records keeping falling this year, the latest occurring this week when Ophelia became a hurricane in the eastern Atlantic. From Franklin to Ophelia, ten hurricanes have developed in the last 10 weeks, consecutively, tying a record for most hurricanes in a row. The last time this happened was way back in 1893. In an average season, we would typically have seen only five hurricanes by Oct. 13, along with five additional named storms of lesser intensity. This year — far from average — there have been 15 named storms from Arlene in April to Ophelia in early October."

See more from WashingtonPost HERE:

"Climate conditions behind deadly October 2017 wildfires in California"
"Under the driving force of fierce winds, deadly wildfires exploded across northern California in the second week of October 2017. According to the Los Angeles Times, at least 17 people had been killed as of October 11, and thousands of homes and other infrastructure—including cell phone towers used by the state’s emergency services—had been destroyed. The extremely dangerous fire conditions actually began last winter, with near-record precipitation between December 2016-February 2017. The drought-busting amounts of precipitation re-stocked the state’s snowpack, which had been heavily depleted by 6 years of drought. The wet winter fostered “megablooms” of desert wildflowers and ushered in a lush growing season. Unfortunately, the climate swung to a different extreme. The state’s second-wettest winter on record was followed by its hottest summer. Baked to tinder in the extreme heat, the abundant vegetation of spring became the kindling for these autumn fires."

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