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!
Looking back at the last 30 years of data at the MSP Airport, the average first frost (32F or colder) is October 12th, which is less than 1 month from now! The earliest was on September 20th back in 1991, but the latest was November 18th in 2016. Last year, our first frost was on October 11th.
Soggy September So Far...
Fall Ragweed Allergies
AACHOO!! Fall allergy sufferers have been having some issues lately, but the good news is that pollen levels have been a little lower as of late. According to Pollen.com, our pollen levels will be holding in the low-medium range over the next several days.
"What Is a Ragweed Allergy?"
"Ragweed pollen is one of the most common causes of seasonal allergies in the United States. Many people have an adverse immune response when they breathe in the pollen. Normally, the immune system defends the body against harmful invaders, such as viruses and bacteria, to ward off illnesses. In people with ragweed allergies, the immune system mistakes ragweed pollen as a dangerous substance. This causes the immune system to produce chemicals that fight against the pollen, even though it’s harmless. The reaction leads to a variety of irritating symptoms, such as sneezing, running nose, and itchy eyes. Approximately 26 percent of Americans have a ragweed allergy. The allergy is unlikely to go away once it has developed. However, symptoms can be treated with medications and allergy shots. Making certain lifestyle changes may also help relieve the symptoms associated with ragweed allergies."
"Climate Change Is Going to Make Ragweed Allergies Even Worse, Study Finds"
"There’s no shortage of horrible things that will become more common in the near future due to climate change, like coastal flooding, extreme weather, and disease-causing ticks, to name a few. But new research published Thursday in PLOS-One adds another annoyance to the list: Allergy-causing ragweed. The common ragweed, or Ambrosia artemisiifolia as it’s formally called, is a voracious plant known for quickly overtaking whatever environment it’s suited to inhabit. The plant grows annually through the warmer parts of the year in the U.S. Importantly for us, it’s also an abundant source of pollen, making it one of the leading triggers of hay fever and asthma. Though native to parts of North America, ragweed has invaded much of Europe, Asia, and other areas with relatively temperate weather, including some of the Southern United States. Given ragweed’s love of warmer temperatures, scientists have feared that climate change has and will continue to help it spread further. There’s already research suggesting that this is happening in Europe, but the authors of this latest study say theirs is the first to consider the future of ragweed in North America."
"Phenology: September 10th, 2019"
US Drought Monitor
According to the latest US Drought Monitor (updated on September 17th), 0.00% of the state of Minnesota was either in a drought or abnormally dry! The last time 0.00% of the state was drought free was earlier this year in mid May. This has been an extremely wet year, no question!
2019 Yearly Precipitation So Far...
2019 has been a pretty wet year across much of the Upper Midwest. In fact, many locations are several inches above average precipitation, some even in the double digits above average, including the Twin Cities, which is more than 10" above average so far this year and at its 3rd wettest start on record. Unbelieveably, Rochester is already at its wettest year on record and it's only mid September!
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.
Here's the temperature outlook for the MSP Airport through the end of September and into the early part of October. Note that temps will be quite a bit cooler as we head through the weeks ahead, but we should have some 'warmer' days yet and certainly warmer than average weather considering our average high now is in the 60s.
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.
Much Less Humid Sunday. Fall Arrives Early Monday
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas.
Ahh... Now that's more like it! Don't get me wrong, I like some humidity, but the tropical steam bath that we had over the last few days was a little much for September. Dewpoints have dropped nearly 20 degrees, which means there is half as much water in the atmosphere than there was nearly 24 to 48 hours ago.
Saturday's somewhat stormy weather will give way to much cooler and drier conditions Sunday. However, lingering showers will still be possible across northern and far southeastern MN as the storm system swirls out of the region.
The sun's most direct rays will shine over the equator at 2:50am Monday, which means the beginning of fall for the northern hemisphere. The Autumnal Equinox also marks equal day and equal night for everyone across the Globe. Note that we've lost nearly 3.5 hours of daylight since the Summer Solstice back in June and we'll still lose another 3.5 hours by the Winter Solstice in December.
Monday and Tuesday look like blue ribbon days, but more heavy rain potential is on the horizon late next week. Go figure.
SUNDAY: Cooler breeze. Isolated PM shower? Winds: WNW 7-12. High: 69.
SUNDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear, quiet and cooler. Winds: Calm. Low: 53.
MONDAY: Fall arrives at 2:50am. Bright sun. Winds: WSW 7-12. High: 75.
TUESDAY: Dry start. Late day thunder threat. Winds:SSW 8-13. Wake-up: 58. High: 75.
WEDNESDAY: Windy. Spotty rain and rumbles up north. Winds: WNW 10-20. Wake-up: 57. High: 68.
THURSDAY: AM sun, PM clouds. Storms develop overnight. Winds: SE 10-15. Wake-up: 50. High: 68.
FRIDAY: Scattered showers and storms. Winds: N 10-20. Wake-up: 54. High: 69.
SATURDAY: More clouds than sun. Winds: ESE 10-15. Wake-up: 54. High: 70.
This Day in Weather History
1996: A brief cold air funnel touchdown results in roof damage in Washington County.
1936: Summer-like heat continues with 101 at Ada, Beardsley and Moorhead.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
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
Hours of Daylight: ~12 hours & 11 minutes
Daylight LOST since yesterday: ~ 3 minutes & 6 seconds
Daylight LOST since summer solstice (June 21st): ~ 3 hours & 26 minutes
Moon Phase for September 22nd at Midnight
1.2 Days After Last Quarter Moon
What's in the Night Sky?
"The illustration at top by Tau’olunga via Wikimedia Commons shows the day arc of the sun, every hour – during the equinoxes – as seen on the celestial dome – from the equator. Also showing twilight suns down to -18° altitude. Note the sun at the zenith at noon and that the tree’s shadow is cast straight down. That is – as seen from the equator on the day of an equinox – a tree stands in the center of its own shadow. The 2019 autumnal equinox for the Northern Hemisphere (spring equinox for the Southern Hemisphere) happens on Monday, September 23, at 7:50 UTC. At this special moment – the instant of the September equinox – the sun is at zenith, or straight overhead, as seen from Earth’s equator. That’s the meaning of an equinox. The September equinox sun crosses the sky’s equator, going from north to south."
2019 Preliminary Tornado Count