First Frost of the Season For MSP Airport
 
The official low temperature at the MSP Airport on Friday morning was 31F, which makes it the first frost/freeze of the season and the first time we've been below freezing since April 20th (175 days).
 
 
Average First Frost?
 
Note that the average first frost date (32F) at the MSP Airport typically happens ~October 10th. Much of the rest of the state typically sees it between September 21st-30th. Interestingly, our first frost of the season came nearly right on average.
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Heavy Snow Earlier This Week
 
It was VERY snowy earlier this week for several folks across the Dakotas and northern Minnesota. Take a look at the image below from @MHDSpudFootball where football practice was underway in Moorehead, MN! 
 
 
Heavy Snow Earlier This Week
 
If you haven't heard, there was a very impressive 19.2" snow report at the Grand Forks Air Force Base earlier this week. The snow from October 10th to the 11th brought several locations at least a foot or more from eastern North Dakota into the far northwestern corner of Minnesota. There was even a report of 11" in Karlstad, MN - Good grief!
 
 
More Snow This Weekend?
 
Another bundle of energy will scoot through the Upper Midwest over the weekend with temperatures cold enough to support more snow across far northern Minnesota. However, snowfall amounts should be fairly light with only an inch or 2 possible across the far northern reaches of the state and parts of northeastern North Dakota.
 

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Saturday Weather Oultook

High temperatures on Saturday will still be quite chilly across the region readings ranging from the upper 30s to the mid 50s. Keep in mind that these high temps will be nearly -5F to -20F below average, but with a fairly stout wind expected both days, temps will feel even colder! Bundle up this weekend!!
 
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Weather Outlook

Here's the weather loop from AM Saturday to AM Monday, which shows a storm system moving through the Upper Midwest over the weekend. While precipitation amounts look to be fairly low, winds look to be a bigger issue on Sunday post front with gusts approaching +20mph

Precipitation Potential

Here's NOAA WPC rainfall potential through much of next week, which suggests fairly dry weather across the southern two-thirds of the state. The only areas that look to get any moisture will be across the international border and it doesn't look all that impressive with some 0.25" to 0.50" tallies possible.

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Another Temperature Dip

The extended forecast as we head through the third and fourth weeks of October suggests very chilly temps continuing with highs consistently in the 40s and 50s. Keep in mind that the average high in the Twin Cities at the end of October is in the lower 50s.

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Fall Color Peeping

Thanks to the park staff at Bear Head Lake State Park for the pictures below who submitted this on the MN DNR fall color page earlier this month. Great pictures!!
 
 
 
MN DNR Fall Color Update
 
The MN DNR continues to update their fall color report for the 2018 fall season and fall colors are changing fast, especially up north. According to the MN DNR, much of northern MN is now at peak color over even a little past peak. Meanwhile, the Twin Cities is now reporting 50%-75% color! Try to get out and enjoy the colors while you can - strong winds on Sunday could threaten those beautiful fall colors.
 
 
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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.


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What causes fall colors?
 
Have you ever wondered why leaves change color and what causes the leaves to turn the color they do? The MN DNR has a great explanation.
 
Four main groups of biochemicals are responsible for the various yellows, oranges, reds and browns that we see in the fall:

Chlorophyll
Carotenoids
Anthocyanins
Tannins

Each has its own color and chemistry. As the amount of these chemicals vary, they will cause subtle variations in color from one leaf to the next, or even from tree to tree.

See more from the MN DNR HERE:

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"THIS YEAR'S FALL COLORS WILL BE STUNNING. HERE'S WHEN & WHERE THEY'LL PEAK NEAR YOU"

"Although it may feel like this hot and steamy summer may never end, fall -- with its mercifully cooler weather, pumpkin drinks, and changing leaves -- is nearly upon us. So, it'd behoove you to start looking at the trees. The changing of the seasons brings with it ample reason to break out a flannel shirt and walk through the stunning fall foliage all across the country, and thanks to the above-average moisture and temperatures this summer, you'll have plenty of time to ensure that you can venture into the woods and take it all in. You may have missed your chance to fit in another summer trip this year, but on the bright side, you have more than enough time to plot an adventure through American's stunning forests to catch the changing leaves, or dare we say go "leaf peeping." To make matters even easier, SmokyMountains.com has released its annual interactive fall foliage forecast map, predicting when and where the leaves will be at their most vibrant hues of red, yellow, orange, and brown. And while there's no forecast that's 100% accurate, the map can serve as your primary resource if you're inclined to wander into the woods this fall."

See more from Thrillist HERE:


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Peeks of Weekend Sun and More Brisk Wind
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas.

Happy "Octember" !! Wait, what month is it?

I was hoping to keep my stuffy warmer clothes in the closet for a little while longer, but I guess Mother Nature had other plans.

Not sure about you, but I've had it with the cloudy nonsense. October typically averages 14 cloudy days, but we've seen nearly 10 through the first 12 days of the month. YUCK! Not to mention that temperatures are also running nearly 6 degrees below average.

This November preview was also host to heavy snow up north earlier this week. 11 inches was reported in Karlstad, MN and 19.2 inches fell at the Grand Forks Air Force Base - Good grief! Despite a few flakes here in the metro, we thankfully escaped widespread shoveling panic... I'm not ready just yet.

I'm happy to report that the weekend looks mainly dry other than a few light rain/snow showers up north. Unfortunately, another brisk wind develops later today, which will drop high temps into the 30s and 40s across the state on Sunday. We wake up to more frost Monday, but 60s are possible Thursday - Yay?
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Extended Forecast

SATURDAY: Partly sunny. Windy PM. Winds: WNW 15-25. High: 53.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and cold. More frost by morning. Winds: WNW 10. Low: 32.

SUNDAY: Brisk wind. Snow showers up north. Winds: NW 5-15. High: 43.

MONDAY: Frosty start. Sunshine! Finally. Winds: WSW 5-15. Wake-up: 29. High: 42.

TUESDAY: More clouds. More wind. Leaves falling. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 33. High: 50.

WEDNESDAY: Dry with a mix of clouds and sun. Winds: WSW 5-10. Wake-up: 34. High: 53.

THURSDAY: Brighter skies. Feels a little warmer. Winds: SW 5-10. Wake-up: 43. High: 63.

FRIDAY: Still dry Light mix up north? Winds: NW 5-15. Wake-up: 43. High: 58.
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This Day in Weather History
October 13th

1917: Record low temperatures occur across central Minnesota with temperatures ranging from the low to mid teens to the upper teens and lower 20s. St. Cloud records the coldest temperature of 10 degrees, while Mora records a low of 13.

1880: An early blizzard strikes parts of southwest and west central Minnesota. Huge drifts exceeding 20 ft in the Canby area would last until the following spring.

1820: A snowstorm at Ft. Snelling dumps 11 inches.
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Average High/Low for Minneapolis
October 13th

Average High: 60F (Record: 84F set in 1956)
Average Low: 41F (Record: 22F set in 1917)

Record Rainfall: 1.52" set in 1890
Record Snowfall: 0.4" set in 1969
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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
October 13th

Sunrise: 7:26am
Sunset: 6:31pm

Hours of Daylight: ~11 hours & 05 minutes

Daylight LOST since yesterday: ~3 minutes & 2 seconds
Daylight LOST since summer solstice (June 21st): 4 hours and 32 Minutes
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Moon Phase for October 13th at Midnight
2.5 Days Before First Quarter Moon

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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, look for Arcturus, one of three stars noticeable for flashing in colors at this time of year. You should be able to see it in the west at dusk or nightfall. Once it gets good and dark, and you live at mid-to-far latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, you can verify that this star is Arcturus by using the Big Dipper asterism. The arc of the Big Dipper handle extended outward always points to Arcturus. Notice that Arcturus is an orange-colored star. Every year at this time, we get questions about three different stars that are flashing different colors. One is Arcturus in the constellation Bootes the Herdsman, shining in the west to northwest after sunset. Another is Capella in the constellation Auriga the Charioteer, which is now in the northeast in mid-evening. And the third is Sirius in the constellation Canis Major the Greater Dog, which is now in the south before dawn. All three appear to be flashing colors for the same reason … all three of these stars are bright and, at this time of year, noticeably low in the sky. When you see an object low in the sky, you’re seeing it through a greater thickness of atmosphere than when it’s overhead. The atmosphere refracts or splits the stars’ light to cause these stars to flash in the colors of the rainbow. At mid-northern latitudes, scintillating Arcturus adorns the western evening sky all through October.

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Atlantic Update

Here's a look at the Atlantic basin, which shows fairly active conditions with the remnants of MICHAEL moving east of the US and 2 other named storms in the eastern Atlantic. The good news is that there are no tropical waves in the Atlantic that are threatening the US.

Tropical Climatology

This is neat map from NOAA's NHC, which shows where we typically see tropical cyclones develop during the middle part of October. Keep in mind that September 10th is the average peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, so even though we are passed the typical peak, things can still be VERY active.
 

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11" Of Snow Fell Across Parts Of Northern Minnesota - Staying Chilly Friday

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Chilly Sunday. Dry Weather Continues