Hints of Autumn
September 1st was the first day of Meteorological Fall, which marks the date where the warmest 3 months on average for the northern hemisphere are behind us. Shuffling around town over the last week or so, I've noticed a few subtle signs that fall is right around the corner. A few trees aren't quite the vibrant 50 shades of green that they once were and a few are already starting to shed a few leaves. 
MN DNR Fall Color Update
Hey - check this out! The MN DNR has now officially started updating their fall color report for the 2018 fall season. Interestingly, parts of northwestern Minnesota are already at 10% - 25%! Note that fall colors will start ripen over the next several weeks. 
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.

"The Best Fall Foliage Train Trips to Take This Year"

"Living in a world of pristine beaches and towering castles, it’s easy to forget that people from halfway around the world travel to our backyard to see the views we often take for granted. Some of the best foliage is right here in the U.S., and the autumnal scenery that photographers capture for postcards is something we can see on a leisurely drive just a few hours outside the city. Taking a weekend trip to see the fall leaves can yield some of the best sights you’ll see all year. If you’d like to actually enjoy the views, instead of squinting at Google Maps in the driver’s seat, taking a foliage train trip could be the perfect solution. Whether you’re on a solo leaf-peeping excursion or have your children in tow, the train does all the work for you. The train is your chauffeur, your tour guide, and your GPS. You don’t have to plan a route, keep your eyes on the road, or even remember to pack snacks. All you have to do is sip on your to-go cup of steaming hot cider or pumpkin spice coffee, sit back, and enjoy the ride."

See more from Travel and Leisure HERE:


2nd Warmest Lowest Temperature For Meteorological Summer

Here's an interesting tweet from the NWSTwinCities, which suggests that the lowest temperature recorded in the Twin Cities for Meteorological Summer (June-August) was 52F. That ties for the 2nd warmest lowest temperature on record for that period. Alsto note that all but 1 of the top 10 years with the warmest minimum temperature for that period have been since 2000!

Record Crowds at Minnesota State Fair - A Run At 2 Million !!
The Minnesota State Fair is unreal. I absolutely love going and is a yearly tradition for our family. Between the food and people watching, it's a great way to spend a late summer day. According to the MN State Fair, 2018 was a record breaker! Not only were three 5 daily attendence records, but there was an all-time daily attendance record of 270,426 on Saturday, September 4th and there was also an all-time total attendance record of 2,046,533 - WOW! It really is incredible that more than 2 million people made their way to the Fair over a 12-day period.

Seasonal Allergies Running High
Seasonal allergy sufferers are still battling waves of pollen that have been running at High to Medium/Medium-High over the last few weeks. The upcoming forecast suggests that we will still be running at Medium-High levels at times as we head into mid September, so keep the allergy meds flowing... Hopefully we'll all get through this together - AAACHOOOO!

US Drought Monitor - Minnesota

Another bout of heavy rain impacted much of the state earlier this week, which helped overcome abnormally dry conditions across parts of central and southeastern MN. According to the US Drought Monitor, 27% of the state is now abnormally dry, which is down from 38% last week. Moderate drought conditions have decreased from 9% last week to a little less than 7% this week.

High Temps Saturday
Saturday will be a very comfortable day with highs warming into the 70s across much of state. However, locations in the Arrowhead will only warm into the 60s and perhaps not even out of the 50s near Grand Marais. Temperatures overall will be running a little cooler than average with the exception of northwestern Minnesota where it'll be a little above average.
Weather Outlook
Weather conditions over the next few days looks fairly quiet across the Upper Midwest and especially closer to home. There maybe a few T-showers across the Dakotas and northern Minnesota, this weekend, but the rest of the state looks to stay mainly dry. The big story will be the heavy rain across the Ohio Valley, where remnants of Gordon will drench the area with some 5" to 8"+ rainfall tallies through the weekend.
Rainfall Potential Through Sunday
According to NOAA's NDFD, the weekend looks to stay mostly dry across most of the state. The only spot that might see a little rain would be the far northwestern corner, where moderate drought conditions persist.
Extended Temperature Outlook
The extended forecast as we head through the middle part of September shows temps  flirting with the low/mid 80s again for much of next week. Keep in mind that our average high in the Twin Cities now is is in the low/mid 70s. However, after a few days with temps in the 80s, it looks like a bigger cool down arrives by the 3rd week of the month with highs in the 60s!

Flawless Weather Pattern - More Hurricane Angst
By Paul Douglas

My wife of 34 years was always nervous about flying, specifically "clear air turbulence". I tried (in vain) to explain that you don't scream when you hit a pothole on the highway, right? Turbulence is similar, sparked by a sudden shifts in wind speed/direction. Planes are designed to handle the stress.

According to Ben Carson, flying has gotten 2100 times safe in the past 70 years. The odds of being a victim in a plane crash are just .000025 percent.

I'm more concerned about storms with names. The remains of "Gordon" will soak Indianapolis later today. Hurricane "Olivia" may brush the Hawaiian Islands next week. And most models bring a potentially major Hurricane "Florence" into the Carolinas next Thursday.

While Minnesota basks under a sunny ridge of high pressure with a streak of postcard-worthy days. Most of us won't see any rain into late next week - comfortable 70s this weekend giving way to 80s next week.

I see a few timid squirts of Canadian air, but no full-frontal assaults of chilly air the next 2 weeks. Plenty of time to count our many atmospheric blessings.

Extended Forecast

SATURDAY: Sunny and comfortable. Winds: E 7-12. High: 74.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear, cool and comfortable. Winds: ESE 5. Low: 53.

SUNDAY: Plenty of sun, still quiet. Winds: SE 10-15. High: 74.

SUNDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and quiet. Winds: S 5. Low: 54.

MONDAY: Patchy clouds, isolated T-shower? Winds: SW 8-13. High: 77.

TUESDAY: Sunny, breezy and warmer. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 62. High: 81.

WEDNESDAY: Sticky sun, few T-storms up north. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 65. High: 83.

THURSDAY: August-like humidity, warm breeze. Winds: SW 8-13. Wake-up: 66. High: 84.

FRIDAY: Growing risk of T-storms. Winds: SW 8-13. Wake-up: 67. High: 85.

This Day in Weather History
September 8th

1985: An F1 tornado touches down in Faribault County causing $25,000 worth of damage, and hail up to 1 3/4 inches falls in Freeborn and Waseca Counties.

1968: 1 3/4 inch hail falls in Goodhue County.

1931: A record high is set in St. Cloud with a temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis
September 8th

Average High: 75F (Record: 99F set in 1931)
Average Low: 56F (Record: 36F set in 1883)

Record Rainfall: 1.52" set in 1885
Record Snowfall: NONE

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
September 2nd

Sunrise: 6:43am
Sunset: 7:37pm

Hours of Daylight: ~12 hours & 53 minutes

Daylight LOST since yesterday: ~3 minutes & 3 seconds
Daylight LOST since summer solstice (June 21st): 2 hours and 44 Minutes

Moon Phase for September 8th at Midnight
0.5 Days Before New Moon


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: 

"Tonight – or any autumn evening – Cassiopeia the Queen can be found in the northeast after sunset. This constellation has the distinctive shape of a W, or M, depending on the time of night you see it. The shape of this constellation makes Cassiopeia’s stars very noticeable. Look for the Queen, starting at nightfall or early evening. Cassiopeia represents an ancient queen of Ethiopia. The entire constellation is sometimes also called Cassiopeia’s Chair, and some old star maps depict the queen sitting on the chair, marked by the five brightest stars of this constellation. These stars are Schedar, Caph, Gamma Cassiopeiae, Ruchbah, and Segin. If you have a dark sky, you can look below Cassiopeia in the northeast on these autumn evenings for a famous binocular object. This object is called the Double Cluster in Perseus. These are open star clusters, each of which consists of young stars still moving together from the primordial cloud of gas and dust that gave birth to the cluster’s stars. These clusters are familiarly known to stargazers as H and Chi Persei."


"Heavy Rain Threat Continues In The Central United States - Watching Florence And Olivia"

Praedictix Briefing: Friday, September 7th, 2018

  • Heavy rain continues to be the main story with Tropical Depression Gordon, with an additional 3-6” possible across parts of the midsection of the nation over the next several days from Arkansas to the Ohio Valley. This heavy rain will bring the potential of flash flooding to this region.
  • We’re also tracking Tropical Storm Florence currently out in the middle of the Atlantic. This system doesn’t pose a threat to land over the next five days, but there is uncertainty in the models as to the overall track of the system after that point. We are also watching a couple other areas of low pressure in the far eastern Atlantic that have the potential to become tropical systems over the next few days.
  • In the Eastern Pacific, Hurricane Olivia will continue to travel in a westerly direction through the weekend. It may have the potential to impact Hawaii next week as a weaker system.

Morning Radar And Satellite. Tropical Depression Gordon continues to drift across Arkansas this morning, producing some areas of heavy rain at times. As of 4 AM CT, Gordon had sustained winds of 10 mph with stronger gusts and was located 30 miles south of Little Rock, AR. The storm was moving north at 5 mph.

Rainfall Forecast. The main threat with what is left as Gordon will continue to be heavy rain over the next several days as the main system continues to drift to the north and moisture from the system gets wrapped up into a stalled frontal boundary from the central Plains into the Ohio Valley. Rainfall totals of 3-6”, with isolated higher amounts, are possible through 7 PM Sunday from Arkansas into the Ohio River Valley. This could lead to flash flooding across the region.

Flash Flood Watches. Due to the potential of heavy rain associated with what is left of Gordon, numerous Flash Flood Watches have been issued from Arkansas to Iowa and eastward into the Ohio Valley. Some of the watches across the Ohio Valley are in effect through Monday morning. The area of Flash Flood Watches that are directly west of Washington D.C. are not in effect due to Gordon; they are in effect from Noon to 11 PM today for the potential of slow-moving storms producing heavy rain.

Excessive Rain Outlooks. Moderate Risks of excessive rainfall that could lead to flash flooding remain in place today through Sunday across parts of the midsection of the country. These give us a good idea of where the heavier rain - with hourly rainfall rates of 2”+ possible and overall totals of 3-6”+ - will be over the next several days. Looking at the timeframes:

  • Today the highest threat is across northeastern Arkansas into Missouri and Illinois
  • Saturday the highest threat exists from Illinois into western Ohio
  • Sunday the highest threat area covers parts of Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania

Tracking Florence. Out in the Atlantic, we’re tracking Tropical Storm Florence, which has weakened over the past 24 hours due to strong upper-level winds. As of 5 AM AST, Florence had winds of 65 mph and was moving to the west at 7 mph. Florence is expected to move to the west over the next couple days before turning to the west-northwest by the end of the weekend. Not much change in intensity is expected today, but Florence should restrengthen into a hurricane this weekend, and potentially a major category 3 hurricane by Tuesday. Right now Florence does not pose a threat to land over the next five days.

Considerable Uncertainty Later Next Week. As we head into next week – especially the second half of the week - uncertainty increases with the eventual track of Florence. Ensemble models (where we are essentially running a model multiple times with slightly different parameters) continue to show a spread in the potential future path of Florence. The American models as of this morning are showing a greater potential that Florence could recurve back out into the Atlantic between the East Coast and Bermuda. The European models, however, are showing a higher potential that this system could make landfall along the East Coast. Especially with this amount of uncertainty, and the fact that this system would still be about a week or so out, it is too early to speculate what may happen with Florence and what impacts it may have on the East Coast. Florence is a system to keep a very close eye on as we head through the next several days. It may be wise to look over and make sure contingency plans are in place whether or not Florence approaches the East Coast as we are heading into the peak of hurricane season.

Other Potential Atlantic Activity. There are two other systems we’re keeping an eye on for the potential of formation over the next few days in the eastern Atlantic:

  • An area of low pressure about 650 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands is becoming better organized. This system could become a tropical depression later today or tonight. This area of low pressure has a 90% chance of formation in the next two days.
  • A second area of low pressure just west of the Africa coast is becoming better organized and could become a tropical depression or storm later today or tonight. This area of low pressure has a 90% chance of formation in the next two days.

Tracking Olivia. Out in the eastern Pacific, Olivia is starting to gradually weaken. As of 2 AM PT, Olivia had sustained winds of 125 mph and was moving to the west-northwest at 15 mph. This system will continue to the west-northwest through Saturday, turning more to the west by Sunday, and eventually to the southwest early next week. This track would have Olivia approaching Hawaii by the middle of next week.

Potential Threat To Hawaii. Numerous models have Olivia approaching – if not passing over – Hawaii as we head through the middle of next week. It is still too early to determine exact details, but Olivia should be a weaker system by this time. We will keep an eye on this system over the next several days.

D.J. Kayser, Meteorologist, Praedictix


 Tropical Climatology

This is neat map from NOAA's NHC, which shows where we typically see tropical cyclones develop during the first 10 days of September. Keep in mind that September 10th is the average peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, so this is typically the most active time for the Atlantic.
Average Peak of Atlantic Hurricane Season

According to NOAA, the average peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season is on September 10th. Note that activity (on average) in late June and early July remains pretty tame. Things really start to heat up in August and September though!


National Temperature Outlook

A majority of locations across the country will be a little cooler than average on Saturday, especially in the Ohio Valley where remnants of Gordon will trigger heavy rainfall and flood potential. After a hot week in the Northeast, things look relatively cool this week with highs in the 60s and 70s. Excessive Heat will be in place across parts of southern California and Southwestern Arizona as highs approach 110F to 120F.


Smoky Skies Have Improved

Wildfires continue to burn across the western part of the country. There are 2 fires near Redding, CA in the northern part of the state that have consumed nearly 70,000 acres - the Delta and Hirz fires. Those 2 fires seem to be contributing to the worst smoke issues in the Northwestern part of the country. However, some of that smoke is even drifting into the Midwest, but it is not as thick as it once was. 


2018 Lightning Fatalities - SEVENTEEN

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, 17 people have died from lightning; 14 have been males and only 3 have been females. Interestingly, from 2008-2017, 234 males have died, while only 64 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 800 (through September 6th). 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 1,199 tornadoes.


Average Tornadoes in August 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 for parts of the central and eastern U.S., Sun-Mon, Sep 9-10.
2.) Significant wave heights along parts of the East Coast, Sun-Thu, Sep 9-13.
3.) Flooding occurring, imminent, or possible across parts of the lower Missouri, middle to upper Mississippi, and Ohio Valleys.
4.) Slight risk of heavy precipitation for parts of the eastern U.S., Fri-Sat, Sep 14-15.
5.) Slight risk of heavy precipitation for parts of Texas and the western Gulf Coast, Fri-Thu, Sep 14-20.
6.) Slight risk of much below normal temperatures for parts eastern mainland Alaska, Fri-Tue, Sep 14-18.
7.) Slight risk of much below normal temperatures for parts of the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies, Sun-Thu, Sep 16-20.
8.) Severe drought for parts of New England, the middle Mississippi Valley, Great Plains, western U.S., and Hawaii.


 Temperature Anomaly on Friday

The temperature anomaly across North America on Friday showed temperatures above avearge across much of the western and eastern US. However, cooler than average weather was across much of central US and  Canada. Temperatures look to gradually warm across the Central US over the coming days.

Temperature Trend

Here's the temperature anomaly as we head closer to the middle part of the month. Note that there is initially cooler than average temps across much of the Central and Northeastern US, but warmer weather will gradually build in over the next several days.


8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's CPC, September 14th - 20th will be warmer than average across much of the nation, while, cooler than average temps will only be found along the West Coast.


Weather Outlook Ahead

The weather loop below shows active weather across the Central and Eastern US with the remnants of Gordon moving through the region. Heavy, flooding rains will make the weekend very wet and could linger into early next week across the Northeast.


7 Day Precipitation Outlook

YIKES - According to NOAA's WPC, the 7-day precipitation outlook suggests areas of heavy rain across parts of the Ohio Valley and the Mid-Atlantic States. Moisture there will be associated with remnants of tropical systems, but more heavy rain could impact the Mid-Atlantic States from "Florence". There is still a lot of uncertainty at this point regarding that storm, but keep a close on on forecasts over the coming days. There will also be heavy rains across southern Texas and Louisiana, where flooding maybe possible through the weekend.

US Drought Outlook

Here is the national drought map from September 4th, which shows extreme and exceptional drought conditions across much of the Four-Corners region and for a few areas in the Central and Southern Plains. The good news is that several locations in the Central and Southern US have had some fairly good rains over the recent days/week and there is more on the way so some improvement is being seen there.

"Where will lightning strike next? A new model could help pilots avoid dangerous storms"
"Weather models can forecast severe storms pretty well, but predictions of lightning have remained elusive. Now, researchers have created global simulations of lightning that more accurately capture when and where the strikes will occur—which could help people trying to avoid them, such as airline pilots. Lightning generally requires two ingredients. First, it needs warm, rising air, or convection, to create thunderclouds. It also needs the thunderclouds to contain icy pellets known as graupel. Colliding pellets transfer electric charge, creating an electric field. A lightning bolt forms when that field gets big enough. Weather and climate models, which divide the atmosphere into grid boxes of a certain size, have struggled to simulate lightning because their spatial resolution is too coarse, typically 100 kilometers or so. The processes that give rise to convective thunderclouds and graupel happen at too small a scale for computers to simulate them globally in any reasonable amount of time. To make daily forecasts, weather models have to instead rely on “parameterizations” for things like convection—ad hoc rules of thumb that can be performed quickly."

"Hurricane Irma: One Year Later"

Since Hurricane Irma made landfall, Direct Relief has delivered nearly $40 million in medical aid to 63 partner healthcare facilities located throughout the Caribbean and southeastern U.S. Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the Atlantic, ripped through the Caribbean with Category 5 strength. Sustained winds as high as 185 mph caused catastrophic damage to numerous island nations as the storm continued toward the U.S. mainland. "The winds lasted 37 hours, making Irma the longest-lived storm of such intensity anywhere around the globe for at least the past 50 years. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that over 90 percent of structures on hard-hit islands were damaged or destroyed. Hurricane Irma’s death toll reached 129 across the Caribbean and the southeastern U.S., according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, with 44 fatalities directly caused strong winds and heavy rains and 85 fatalities linked indirectly to the storm."

See more from Direct Relief HERE:


"Trillion-ton iceberg four times the size of London starts to ‘spin’ towards ocean"

"One of the largest icebergs ever recorded, a trillion-ton monster four times the size of London has begun moving and spinning as it breaks free of the ice. Last year, the iceberg A-68 broke off Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf after years of cracks spreading across the ice – but it’s remained ‘stuck’ near the ice shelf. But it’s now on the move, according to Professor Mark Brandon of the Open University – who says the iceberg ‘will not be stopped easily’. Brandon writes on his blog that in July, ‘the weather conditions and ocean currents conspire to swing the trillion tonnes of the giant iceberg A68 in an anticlockwise direction. ‘Sentinel-1 SAR satellite imagery from 29 August 2018 shows that to the north of the iceberg the wind is pushing the sea ice northwards faster than the iceberg is rotating."

See more from Metro HERE:


"Climate change increases strength of El Niño/La Niña, study"

"This summer was a season of scorching wildfires burning across the world - Greece and Sweden experienced unusually active wildfire seasons and both California and British Columbia experienced their worst wildfire seasons on record. Arson, fire management strategies, and lightning all contribute to wildfires, and many climate experts note that the average increase in temperatures over time has impacted the intensity of fires and area burned. A new study expands on climate change's impact on wildfires and reports that human-released greenhouse gases intensify El Niño and La Niña events that can drive regional temperature extremes and wildfire frequency. The study projected future climate conditions assuming that greenhouse gas emissions will continue on a business-as-usual pathway without any drastic political intervention. Regional climates to sea surface temperature anomalies that were affected by El Niño/La Niña were evaluated from a baseline period of 1920-1980 to current and future years to investigate how much current trends diverge from historic data. All of the climate simulations from the years 2040-2100 indicated that human-induced climate change produced increased El Niño/La Niña teleconnection (a linkage between weather changes occurring in widely separated regions) strength over many land regions and drove inter-annual variability in regional temperature extremes."

See more from The Weather Network HERE:


"Wisconsin’s catastrophic flooding is a glimpse of the Midwest’s drenched future"

"An entire summer’s worth of rain has fallen across a broad swath of the Midwest in recent days. The resulting record floods have wrecked homes and altered the paths of rivers, in one case destroying a waterfall in Minnesota. The worst-affected region, southwest Wisconsin, has received more than 20 inches of rain in 15 days– more than it usually gets in six months. Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin declared a statewide emergency last week, mobilizing the Wisconsin National Guard to assist flood victims if necessary. The Kickapoo River in southwest Wisconsin rose to record levels — as high as six feet above the previous high water mark — producing damage that local emergency management officials described as “breathtaking.” In the tiny Wisconsin town of Gays Mills, this is the third catastrophic flood in 10 years. After floods a decade ago, about a quarter of the residents left, and the town was partially rebuilt on higher ground. But this time around is even worse — with almost every home in the town damaged."

See more from Grist HERE:


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

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Postcard Perfect - Summer Rerun Next Week - Keeping a Nervous Eye on "Florence"

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Postcard Perfect - Florence Threatens East Coast