"Good waterfowl opener expected this weekend"
"Duck hunting is expected to be good when Minnesota’s regular waterfowl season opens a half-hour before sunrise on Saturday, Sept. 21. “We’re continuing to see favorable counts of breeding ducks in Minnesota and North America so we hope hunters enjoy what’s shaping up to be a great season,” said Steve Cordts, Department of Natural Resources waterfowl specialist. This past spring, biologists estimated the total breeding duck population in Minnesota at 14 percent above the long-term average and nearly identical to last year’s estimate of 693,000 ducks. The estimated number of wetlands was 19 percent higher than last year and 23 percent above the long-term average, reflecting the wet year. Wetland numbers can vary greatly based on annual precipitation. The spring estimate for Canada geese was 110,000 birds, down 32 percent from last year’s estimate; however, reproduction during the spring and summer affects how many birds hunters see in the fall. Reproduction was good this year, so there are still plenty of geese around for hunters."

Fall Colors Starting to Pop
Here's a great picture from the park staff at Itasca State Park located in the northern half of the state. This Maple Tree has 'popped' along with a few other trees in the area. The latest report from the area suggests that fall foliage is at 50% to 75% color now. 

MN DNR Fall Color Update
The latest update from the MN DNR suggests fall colors well on their way across the state. Much of the northern half of the state is in the 25% to 50% range with a few pockets of 50% to 75% color. It seems like colors are coming a little sooner this year, doesn't it? At any rate, fall colors will continue to pop as we head through the next several weeks. Enjoy!
Typical Peak Color Across the State

According to the MN DNR, peak color typically arrives across the far northern part of the state in mid/late September, while folks in the Twin Cities have to wait until late September/mid October. It's hard to believe, but fall colors will be here before you know it!


Minneapolis Weekend Forecast
A storm system will slide through the region with weekend with a chance of showers and storms on Saturday. The good news is that it doesn't look like a complete washout, but there will be wet periods across the state at times during the day. As the front slides east of the region on Sunday, cooler and breezy weather will settle in for Sunday. There could still be a few lingering showers across the northern half of the state on Sunday as the storm swirls through the region. Monday looks like a great start to Fall with temps near average and plentiful sunshine across the region.
Statewide Temperature Outlook For Saturday
The weather outlook for Saturday still looks pretty mild across the state with highs warming into the mid/upper 70s. These readings will be nearly +5F to +10F above average for the middle part of September. Saturday will also be a little unsettled with a chance for showers and storms across the region.
Saturday Weather Outlook: Sticky & Breezy
The images below are the forecast average dewpoints and peak wind gusts across the region for Saturday. Note that dewpoints will still be fairly sticky across the state with readings in the 60s to near 70. Note that when dewoints are sub-60 it feels pretty good, but when they reach 70 and above, it feels quite tropical. Winds will also be quite breezy with south winds gusting up to near 30mph at times!
Storm System Blow Through Saturday; Better Sunday & Monday
Here's the weather outlook from AM Saturday to AM Monday, which shows our next storm system moving through the region. While showers and storms are in the forecast for Saturday, it certainly doesn't look like a washout. The most widespread thunderstorm activity looks to develop late Saturday southeast of the region. Sunday will be a cooler and breezy day behind the front with a few spotty showers up north, but most should remain dry. Monday is looking like a nice mild day with bright sunshine. Great news for the first day of Fall 2019. 
Rainfall Potential Through AM Monday
According to NOAA's NDFD data, areas of showers and storms will be likely across the region through Saturday with some of the heaviest stuff found across the northwestern part of the state. The rest of the state could see some 0.25" to 0.50" tallies depending on where thunderstorms develop, but it doesn't appear to be very widespread.
Severe Threat Saturday
According to NOAA's SPC, there is a Marginal Risk of severe storms across much of the state on Saturday. However, there is a Slight Risk of severe weather in the northern part of the state, where there is a much better chance of strong to severe storms developing later in the day. Large hail, damaging winds and even an isolated tornado can't be ruled out. Stay tuned!


Average 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...

It certainly has been a wet start to September. In fact, many locations around the state and around the region are running several inches above average. Green Bay, WI has had more than 5" of rain so far this month, which is by far the wettest start to any September on record! If Green Bay didn't see anymore rain this month, it would be the 3rd wettest September on record. Rochester, MN is off to its 3rd wettest start to any September on record.
2nd Wettest Start to Any Year on Record at the MSP Airport
It certainly has been a wet go of things across the Upper Midwest this year. In fact, the Twin Cities has had 34.36" of precipitation this year, which is the 2nd wettest start to any year on record (through September 13th). The top spot through that date belongs to 1892, when 35.08" of precipitation fell through that date. By the way, if we didn't see anymore precipitation through the rest of the year, this would be the 23rd wettest year on record at the MSP Airport.

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."

See more from HeathLine.com HERE:


"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."

See more from Gizmodo HERE:


"Phenology: September 10th, 2019"

If you've got a spare moment, have a listen to this wonderful podcast from John Latimer, a resident phenologist in northern Minnesota on KAXE. John is very knowledeable in the outdoor world and how certain events in nature are related to changes in the weather and climate. Here's the latest phenology report from last week: "Phenology is the biological nature of events as they relate to climate.  Every week John Latimer takes a close look at the blooms and changes happening while considering how the timing measures up to past years in his Phenology Report.  He's full of clues and changing hues indicating that fall is happening in this week's report.  Take a listen!"

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!

Atlantic Outlook
Things are very active in the Atlantic basin with several waves of interest ongiong, including Hurricane Jerry, which as of Friday evening, was a category 1 storm with 80mph Winds. The next 5 to 10 days will certainly be something to watch as those other waves of interest drift west through the Caribbean and Central Atlantic.

Hurricane Jerry
According to NOAA's NHC, Jerry looks to track farther north toward Bermuda over the coming days. By the middle part of next week, Jerry could be very near the Island, so it'll be something to watch.
Points of Tropical Origin: September 21st - 30th
The first few of weeks of September are typically some of the most active times for tropical activity, which ocean waters are 'warmer' and upper level winds are typically a little less intense. The image below shows all of the tropical cyclone points of origin from 1851 to 2015. Note how many different systems have developed with their corresponding tracks.
Average Peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season
Believe it or not, there is an actual date when things are typically the most active in the Atlantic Basin. According to NOAA's NHC, the peak is September 10th. That number is based off of the "Number of Tropical Cyclones per 100 Years" - "The official hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin (the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico) is from 1 June to 30 November. As seen in the graph above, the peak of the season is from mid-August to late October. However, deadly hurricanes can occur anytime in the hurricane season."
Still Active in the Eastern Pacific
According to NOAA's NHC, there are 3 named storms ongoing with Kiko, Mario and Lorena. Lorena is the most concering storm as it skirts the west coast of Mexico with gusty winds and heavy rain. 

Watching Lorena
According to NOAA's NHC, Lorena will continue tracking northwest over the Baha California Peninsula and will likely lose some strength. However, heavy rains and gusty winds will be a concerns over the next several days.

National Precipitation Since January 1st
Take a look at the precipitaiton across the nation since January 1st and note how many locations are above average so far this year. Some of the wettest locations have been in the Central US, where St. Louis is nearly 14" above average and off to its 3rd wettest start to any year on record. It's also nice to see folks in California are still dealing with a precipitation surplus thanks to a very wet start to 2019. However, the last several weeks have been very dry there.
US Drought Monitor
According to the US Drought Monitor, there a few locations across the country that are a bit dry, but there doesn't appear to be anything widespread or significant. However, areas in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest seem to a little bit more dry than others. We've also seen an uptick in the drought across the Southern Plains where severe and even extreme drought conditions have been popping up. 
8 to 14 Day Precipitation Outlook
According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, the extended outlook through the end of September and into early October suggests above average precipitation across parts of the northern tier of the nation, especially from the Pacific Northwest to the Upper Midwest. Meanwhile, folks in the southeastern US and into the northeast will likely be drier than average.
Risk of Heavy Precipitation Across the Upper Midwest
According to NOAA's CPC, there is a moderate risk of heavy precipitation across parts of the Upper Midwest from Saturday, September 28th to Tuesday, October 1st. I know it's a long way out, but stay tuned!

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 Front Range of the Rockies. 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. With that said, temps in the eastern half of the country will be warmer than average. 


Extended Temperature Outlook for the Twin Cities

Here's the temperature outlook for the MSP Airport through the end of September and into the early part of October, which shows a pretty warm temp over the next few days. However, the extended outlook towards early October looks much cooler and more fall-like at that point with highs dipping into the 60s, 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. 


Last Weekend of Summer. Somewhat Stormy Saturday
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas.

Note sure about you, but I feel like the summer went by way too fast. It seemed like we went from uncomfortably sweaty to pumpkin spice everything in just a matter of days, what gives?

Our last weekend of summer will feature sticky and somewhat unsettled weather today, followed by cooler and less humid weather tomorrow. If your plans take you fall color peeping, Sunday looks like the driest most comfortable day to do so.

Waterfowl hunters make a return to their favorite watering hole this weekend and according to the MN DNR, Minnesota duck numbers are up 14 percent from the long-term average. Thanks to a wet year, the wetland habitat increased 19 percent since last year, which has been favorable nesting. It's shaping up to be a great season!

In other news, Imelda became the 7th wettest tropical cyclone on record in the U.S., dumping more than 40 inches of rain across parts of Texas. 5 of the 10 wettest tropical cyclones have occurred since 2000. Good grief! Thankfully, rain chances diminish for flooded out Texans this weekend.

Extended Forecast

SATURDAY: Breezy & humid with a chance of storms. Winds: SSW 10-20. High: 79.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Chance of t-storms early, then partly cloudy. Winds: SSW 5-10. Low: 58.

SUNDAY: Cooler breeze. Passing shower up north. Winds: WNW 7-12. High: 70.

MONDAY: Fall arrives at 2:50am. Bright sun. Winds: SSW 7-12. Wake-up: 53 High: 73.

TUESDAY: Dry start. Isolated afternoon t-shower? Winds:WSW 5-10. Wake-up: 57. High: 78.

WEDNESDAY: Windy. Lingering shower or storm. Winds: WNW 10-20. Wake-up: 59. High: 73.

THURSDAY: Mostly sunny. Feels like October. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 50. High: 66.

FRIDAY: Breezy. Chance of showers and storms. Winds: SE 10-15. Wake-up: 52. High: 65.

This Day in Weather History
September 21st

2005: An unusually intense late season severe weather event affects parts of central Minnesota and west central Wisconsin during the late afternoon and evening hours. Baseball-sized hail, damaging thunderstorm winds, and tornadoes result from several supercell thunderstorms. The most widespread damage occurs across the northern and eastern portions of the Twin Cities. Three tornadoes rake across parts of Anoka and northern Hennepin counties, including an F2, but the tornado damage is overshadowed by the widespread extreme wind damage associated with the rear flank downdraft of the supercell. In addition to the severe weather, many locations received substantial amounts of rain. Many streets and underpasses in the northern Twin Cities metro area were flooded Wednesday night, where radar precipitation estimates were in excess of 3 inches.

1994: 1/2 inch hail in Blue Earth County results in $6 million in crop damages.

1924: Very strong winds occur in Duluth, with a peak gust of 64 mph.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis
September 21st

Average High: 70F (Record: 94F set in 1937)
Average Low: 50F (Record: 32F set in 1974)

Record Rainfall: 2.07" set in 1986
Record Snowfall: Trace set in 1995

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
September 21st

Sunrise: 6:58am
Sunset: 7:13pm

Hours of Daylight: ~12 hours & 14 minutes

Daylight LOST since yesterday: ~ 3 minutes & 6 seconds
Daylight LOST since summer solstice (June 21st): ~ 3 hours & 44 minutes

Moon Phase for September 21st at Midnight
0.2 Days After Last Quarter Moon

See more from Space.com HERE:


What's in the Night Sky?

"Tonight – at sunset – here’s a natural phenomenon you might never have imagined. That is, the sun actually sets faster around the time of an equinox. The fastest sunsets (and sunrises) occur at or near the equinoxes. And the slowest sunsets (and sunrises) occur at or near the solstices. This is true whether you live in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere. And, by the way, when we say sunset here, we’re talking about the actual number of minutes it takes for the body of the sun to sink below the western horizon."

See more from Earth Sky HERE:

Average Tornadoes By State in September
According to NOAA, the number of tornadoes in September is quite a bit  across much of the nation, especially across the southern US. However, folks across the Plains and Upper Midwest still see (on average) a fair amount of tornadoes. Note that Minnesota typically sees 2 tornadoes, which is much lower than our average peak of in June (15). 
2019 Preliminary Tornado Count
Here's the 2019 preliminary tornado count across the nation, which shows 1,461 tornadoes since the beginning of the year. May was a very active month and produced several hundred tornadoes across the Central uS and across parts of the Ohio Valley.

2019 Preliminary Tornado Count

Here's a look at how many tornadoes there have been across the country so far this year. The preliminary count through September 13th suggests that there have been a total of 1,502 which is above the 2005-2015 short term average of 1218. Interestingly, this has been the busiest tornado season since 2011, when nearly 1,784 tornadoes were reported.
Saturday Weather Outlook
High Temps on Saturday will be fairly mild across the eastern half of the country with readings nearly +5F to +10F above average. However, temps in the Intermountain West will be running nearly -5F to -15F below average.
National Weather Outlook
Here's the weather outlook as we head through the weekend, which shows a fairly large storm sliding through the Central US. Areas of heavy rain and strong to severe thunderstorms can't be ruled out as it moves through the region. Meanwhile, another Pacific front will slide into the Northwest with more beneficial rains. 

Heavy Ranifall Potential
Here's the 7-day precipitation forecast from NOAA's WPC, which suggests pockets of heavy rain over the Central US over the coming days. Interestingly, some of this moisture will be associated with tropical systems in both the Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Pacific.
"Tropical Depression Imelda Has Dumped More Than 40 Inches of Rain on the Texas Gulf Coast"
"Tropical Depression Imelda might not have the same ring as Hurricane Imelda, but the impacts of the storm are for real. The National Weather Service has issued a civil emergency warning as a flooding crisis unfolds in the region rocked by Harvey’s historic floods just two years ago. Upwards of 40 inches of rain have fallen along the Texas Gulf Coast over the past 72 hours with the highest total of 41.81 inches reported so far. That makes Imelda the fifth wettest tropical cyclone to hit the Lower 48 on record, and it could rise in the record books in the coming hours. Embedded within the heavy rainstorm totals are shocking bouts of downpours. That includes nearly 30 inches of rain falling over a 12-hour period in Mayhaw Bayou, a weather station located about 60 miles east of Houston. Multiple locations have also reported one-hour rainfall in excess of five inches, which is, meteorologically speaking, a crap-ton of rain."

"Study of ancient climate suggests future warming could accelerate"
"The rate at which the planet warms in response to the ongoing buildup of heat-trapping carbon dioxide gas could increase in the future, according to new simulations of a comparable warm period more than 50 million years ago. Researchers at the University of Michigan and the University of Arizona used a state-of-the-art climate model to successfully simulate—for the first time—the extreme warming of the Early Eocene Period, which is considered an analog for Earth's future climate. They found that the rate of warming increased dramatically as carbon dioxide levels rose, a finding with far-reaching implications for Earth's future climate, the researchers report in a paper scheduled for publication Sept. 18 in the journal Science Advances. Another way of stating this result is that the climate of the Early Eocene became increasingly sensitive to additional carbon dioxide as the planet warmed."

"Current Hurricane Activity Raises Questions About The AMO - What Is It And Why Is it Relevant?"
"Have you taken a look at satellite view of the tropics right now? Hurricane Humberto, a major hurricane, threatens Bermuda. The remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda are drenching Southeast Texas, and several potential systems lurk in tropical regions that we look to at this time of the year. National Hurricane Center tropical meteorologist Eric Blake captures it best in this Tweet: Anyone want a tropical storm? They are forming like roaches out there! 6 at once in both basins combined is thought to tie a modern NHC record , with two other disturbances adding the cherries on top of a crazy busy day!  The hurricane basins of the Eastern Pacific and Atlantic are very active as seen in the picture below that I took at The Weather Channel early Wednesday morning. While likely not at the forefront of your thought processes this week, this active week prompted me to wonder about the status of something called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). What is it and why am I bringing it up during hurricane season?"

"Devastated by Dorian: Photos From the Bahamas"
"Two weeks have passed since Hurricane Dorian finally moved away from the Bahamas, after pummeling the island nation for days with sustained winds reaching 185 mph (295 kph). The official death toll has reached 50, but hundreds remain listed as missing, and search-and-rescue teams continue to comb through widespread wreckage. Thousands of residents evacuated in the days following the storm, but many remain on the hard-hit islands of the Abacos and Grand Bahama. Bahamian agencies are working with NGOs, foreign governments, and cruise and travel corporations to provide food, water, and supplies to those still in need. Gathered below, images from the past 10 days across the Bahamas, still reeling from disaster."

"The Power of Fear in the Thawing Arctic"
"How long did I walk in the footsteps of the bear? It was a warm day, 20 years ago and 80 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the sky translucent blue behind low mountains. The tundra, just starting to turn autumn crimson and saffron, held all my attention. Eventually, I looked down at the trail. And there: the ovoid front paw prints, claws puncturing a constellation into the mud inches above each toe, trailed by back feet as long as two hand spans. Grizzly. Next to them, indentations from my boots. Both filling slowly with water. The clock of the morning’s rain put the bear at five, maybe 10 minutes ahead, invisible where the trail turned among willow brambles. For half a moment, I wondered at the tracks—this grizzly must weigh 700 pounds, maybe 800. Then another calculation: How many feet between myself and the bear? Thirty? Twenty. A hot wire uncoiled below my ribs, a jolt of fear so pure it tasted like metal. I had been in the Arctic for two days when that bear chose not to turn on the trail and end me with a swat of his paw. Because of his decision—it was a male, I am guessing, from the size—I was alive to spend the next two years living in his territory. I was never again stupid enough to go walking alone and unarmed in autumn. But the moment with the grizzly, unseen yet so present, was not the last spark of that particular and striking kind of fear, the fear of an animal or circumstance bursting through my impression of being an isolated, sovereign human self. I thought, too, that fear was purely negative, a sensation without value. The bush had other plans: Those grizzly prints were the first lesson on a syllabus that would reshape how I imagined the human relationship with the world at large."

"The Fall Foliage Season Will Be Delayed, According to Experts"
"Labor Day has come and gone, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are readily available in Starbucks nationwide, and all the kids are back in school. There’s just one more thing we need to make it feel like fall: Fall foliage. But hold your horses leaf peepers, because it looks like the changing fall colors are going to be a bit delayed this year. According to The Weather Channel, this year’s fall foliage schedule will likely be delayed by several weeks across the nation. That’s because temperatures across the nation will likely remain above average for several weeks to come. The weather service noted, parts of the Northeast, Southeast, Rockies, and West have at least a 50 percent chance of warmer-than-average temperatures through the middle and end of September. Though warm days are a good thing for foliage they must also be paired with cool nights. However, the temperatures will remain too high then too. So, just how late are we talking? According to The Weather Channel, the foliage will be pushed back by about a week. And when they do actually change it will be quite a show thanks to the warm, wet summer that helped fill all the trees with leaves. Here’s the good news: Even with this year’s late start, it’s still going to turn a little earlier than last year."

"In the wake of Hurricane Dorian, which the National Weather Service called one of the most powerful to make landfall in modern history, two experts discuss how to prepare for—and recover from—a storm. The hurricane’s 185 mph winds and rampant flooding devastated the Bahamas, left scores dead, and more than 70,000 without food or shelter. We’ll likely see more tropical storms and hurricanes this fall, and future storms may rival Dorian’s strength, researchers say. And while it may not be possible to link any single hurricane directly to climate change, research does indicate that warmer ocean and air temperatures are making storms more intense and destructive. Unfortunately, public concern does not always correspond with these new realities, researchers say. “More than half of all Americans do not prepare for disasters,” says Robyn Gershon, a clinical professor of epidemiology at the New York University College of Global Public Health."

"New models show that the earth is warming faster than first thought"
"The next-generation models represent climate trends more accurately. Scientists have made no secret of the extreme challenges posed by climate change, with the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) repeatedly stressing the importance of keeping global warming below two degrees. But now it seems the situation is much more serious than previously understood, with new climate models predicting average temperatures could rise by as much as seven degrees by 2100. The findings come from a new generation of climate models, known collectively as CMIP6. These models use increased supercomputing power and sharper representations of weather systems, natural and man-made particles, and cloud changes in a warming world. Olivier Boucher, head of the Institute Pierre Simon Laplace Climate Modelling Centre in Paris, explains that, "We have better models now. They have better resolution and they represent current climate trends more accurately."

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

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A Wet 2019 Continues. More Weekend Storms

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Much Less Humid Sunday. Fall Arrives Early Monday