According the MN DNR, much of the state is starting to see hints of fall color, however, much of northern Minnesota is peaking right now with pockets of past peak colors!
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
We're also seeing quite a bit of color show up across the northern half of Wisconsin with many locations now nearing 50%-100% color!
It certainly has been a fairly active first half of 2017 with 1392 preliminary tornado reports through October 6th. Note that this is the most tornadoes through that date since 2011, when there were 1,797 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 1392 (through October 6th). Note that is the most active year for tornadoes since 2011, when there were 1,797 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.) Heavy rain from the Southern Appalachians to the Northeast, Mon-Tue, Oct 9-Oct 10.
2.) Heavy snow across portions of Colorado, Mon, Oct 9.
3.) Flooding possible across portions of the Middle Mississippi Valley, the Upper Mississippi Valley, and the Northern Plains.
4.) Flooding occurring or imminent across portions of Florida and the Southern Plains.
5.) High winds across portions of the Central Great Basin and Northern California, Mon, Oct 9.
6.) High winds across portions of Southern California, Mon-Tue, Oct 9-Oct 10.
7.) High winds across southwest portions of mainland Alaska and the western Aleutians, Thu-Fri, Oct 12-Oct 13.
8.) High significant wave heights for coastal portions of the Aleutians, Thu-Fri, Oct 12-Oct 13.
9.) Slight risk of much below normal temperatures for portions of Northern California, the Central Great Basin, the Pacific Northwest, and the Northern Great Basin, Sat-Sun, Oct 14-Oct 15.
10.) Severe Drought across the Central Plains, the Northern Plains, Hawaii, the Northern Rockies, the Middle Mississippi Valley, and the Upper Mississippi Valley.
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 10% of the state, which is down from nearly 18% from last week. In North Dakota, less than 1% is in an EXCEPTIONAL drought, but nearly 3% of the state is still in an EXTREME drought, which is also the same as last week.
Rice Ridge Fire - 1.4 Miles NE of Seeley Lake, MT
The Rice Ridge Fire near Sleeley Lake, MT is another very large wildfire that started on Monday, July 24th due to lightning. The fire has grown to more than 160,000 acres and is 96% contained. There are 11 people working on the fire and they hope to have it fully contained by Sunday, October 15th.
"The Northern Rockies Wildland Fire Management Team is transitioning with the local Type 3 organization Tuesday Oct 3 at 6 p.m. Remaining operations will be managed by Phil Shilmerdine, Incident Commander. The Rice Ridge Fire was detected on July 24, 2017. It grew to the current size of over 160,000 acres. With a change of the weather and the onset of fall, fire activity has significantly slowed although firefighters and engines continue to patrol and cool hot spots that are near the fire's edge. The perimeter in the Scapegoat and Bob Marshall Wildernesses are continually monitored for heat and fire activity."
(Image Credit: Inciweb - taken on 10/3/2017)
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.
National Weather Outlook
Here's the weather outlook through early next week, which shows wet weather across the eastern half of the country as the remnants of NATE move quickly northeast through the region. Areas of gusty winds and heavy rain will be found there, while another quick moving storm system rolls down the Rockies with snow expected in the high elevations and along the front range of the Rockies.
According to NOAA's WPC, the next several days could produce very heavy rainfall across parts of the Eastern US and the Remnants of NATE move northeast through the region. Some locations could see 3" to 6"+ tallies, which could lead to localized areas of flooding.
By Paul Douglas
This Day in Weather History
1949: A record-setting 3.17 inches of rain falls at Eau Claire.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
Average High: 62F (Record: 87F set in 2010)
Average Low: 43F (Record: 23F set in 1876)
Record Rainfall: 1.43" set in 1970
Record Snowfall: 0.3" set in 1959
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Hours of Daylight: ~11 hours 20 mins
Daylight LOST since yesterday: ~3 minutes and 4 seconds
Daylight LOST since summer solstice (June 20th): 4 hours & 17 minutes
Moon Phase for October 7th at Midnight
3.2 Days Before First Quarter Moon
Temps on Sunday will be very mild across the southern and southeastern part of the state as highs flirt with 70F. However, folks in northern Minnesota will only warm into the upper 50s, which will be closer to average there.
Here's the temperature outlook through October 22nd, which shows temps bouncing around the 50s and 60s. There may be a couple of days through the middle part of the month when the mercury flirts with 70F once again.
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 2.5% in a Moderate drought and less than 1% in a severe drought. Not bad.
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