By Paul Douglas
Ahh-ctober. Let me see. I know my Speedo is in here, probably hidden under all my heavy jackets. Sorry for the mental image, but October can be a conflicted month for Minnesota wardrobes. Shorts or sweatshirts - sun glasses or gloves?
Historically October brings the first frost/freeze and the first flurries. Yet Jekyll & Hyde clippers can yank 70s into Minnesota, before cold exhaust kicks in on the backside of these fickle, fast-moving low pressure swirls.
Exhibit A: this week. We should hit 70 today, 80 possible tomorrow - followed by a cool, brisk smack across the face. Drought is now flavoring all weather; Thursday's cold front whips up heavy rain for St. Louis & Indianapolis, but I still don't see any puddles here thru next week. Saturday will feel like early November: 40s with sprinkles, even a flurry in the metro. A few inches of flurries may pile up over far northern Minnesota, from Roseau to the BWCA - maybe enough to shovel and excite snowmobile enthusiasts.
The best chance of a frost/freeze for the suburbs: Sunday morning. By then your poor hostas may be in grave peril.
We warm up early next week; 70 possible by Wednesday.
I'm going to need a bigger closet.
Todd's Star Tribune Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
TUESDAY: Mild sun, very pleasant. Winds: S 5-10mph. High: 72
TUESDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and quiet. Low: 51
WEDNESDAY: Fading sun, last lukewarm day. High: 78
THURSDAY: Gusty with showers (mixing with wet snow over northern Minnesota, where a slushy accumulation is possible). Turning colder. Low: 50. High: 54
FRIDAY: Chilly with more clouds than sun - light jackets return. Few flakes up north? Low: 36. High: 50
SATURDAY: Metro frost possible. More chilly PM sunshine Low: 32. High: 49
SUNDAY: More sun, less wind. Brisk. Low: 34. High: 52
MONDAY: Another front blows through. Chance of chilly rain showers, mixing with wet snow up north. Low: 40. High: 56
Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012
Thanks to Mount Washington Observatory for sharing this picture on their Facebook page. Earlier Monday, observers reported 1" of sleet and snow.
"We measured just under an inch of snow/sleet in our precipitation can this morning, and it's still coming down...for now. It'll probably all be gone by later today, so why not have some fun with it while it's here? This little guy may not look impressive, but then again, not many snowmen can say they've sat on top of the Mount Washington summit sign at 6,288 feet on October 1! :-)"
First Alaskan Snowfall
This was the scene from Upper Omalley, Alaska over the weekend. Thanks to @mil19 for the picture!
Average Annual Snowfall
Speaking of snowfall... NOAA's National Climate Date Center has a look at the average annual snowfall across the nation.
Interestingly, one particular model (GFS) suggests snow across parts of the Lower 48 over the coming days. Some of it will fall across the higher elevations of the Rocky Mountains, but some may fall across parts of the High Plains/Upper Mississippi Valley near the international border. It is important to note that the forecast image below will likely change over the coming days, so don't take it too literally. Regardless of how this image chances, it is looking more likely that light snow chances are possible in these areas as a late week storm/cold front sags south out of Canada... Stay tuned for more!
This amazing shot comes from Greg Kretovic at MichiganNaturePhotos.com
"Sunrise on an autumn colored hillside. Goose Lake, Central Marquette County - Michigan's Upper Peninsula. 9/29/12"
Fall Colors From Space
Thanks Scott Bachmeier (@CIMSS_Satellite) for this satellite image of autumn tree color over MN, WI, and the UP of MI! Gnarly! #WNTV ...
MN Fall Color Update
Thanks to the MNDNR for the frequent updates on the fall colors statewide! As of Sunday, most of central and northern MN were peaking! Get out there and see them now (if you can)! A mid to late week storm will stir up the winds and strip most of the leaves off the peaking trees by late week. There will be a significant dent in the foliage on trees across the state by PM Thursday/Friday as cold air settles in to the region!
Possible Mississippi Tornado
Thanks to Derek Ladner (@vince_webb) for this picture out of Saucier, MS. This is a POSSIBLE tornado on a tornado warned cell. Derek says there was definite rotation with this particular part of the storm. It's hard to actually see if there is a tornado in this picture since the tree line is in the way, but it looks very ominous!
The storm report map from Sunday shows 2 PRELIMINARY tornado reports in southern Mississippi, one of those reports came from near Saucier, MS
Heavy Weekend Rainfall
Thanks to @emiliacakes for this picture out of Abilene, TX. Heavy rainfall over the weekend led to several areas of flooding.
7 Day Radar Estimates of Rainfall
The 7 day radar estimates of rainfall across the southern tier of the nation suggests some 4" to 8" amounts from Texas to the Lower Mississippi Valley.
The same storm system that slowly moved through Texas and the Lower Ohio Valley over the weekend, will being lifting northeast through the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys over the next couple of days. Additional rainfall amounts in these areas could exceed 1" to 2" through midweek.
Tuesday Severe Weather Threat
The Storm Prediction Center has issued a SLIGHT RISK of severe weather for parts of the Ohio Valley. Hail, high winds and heavy rain would be the primary threat, but an isolated tornado can't be ruled out!
Other than a little lingering shower/storm potential across Florida and the New England states, there won't be much additional precipitation across the country except for the Upper Mississippi Valley. A powerful late week cold front will not only bring some much needed precipitation to those areas, but temperatures will drop significantly and snow could fly across the far north!
October Cold Blast
Look at the images below. They represent the temperature analysis a few thousand feet off the ground. The analysis for earlier Monday showed 'warmer' colors across much of the nation, especially from the Upper Mississippi Valley to the West Coast.
In a few short days... reality will set in when a significant cold front drops into the Upper Mississippi Valley/Great Lakes Region. This air mass will be cold enough to drop daytime high temperatures a good 30° to 40° from where they were last weekend and where they will be near midweek this week.
November-like High Temps
Post front, high temperatures will likely be more like that of a typical early November day across the areas mentioned above. In fact, we will struggle to get into the 50s for a number of locations! The image below shows the high temperature forecast for this Saturday. With that said, overnight lows will be cold enough to prompt widespread frost/freeze conditions for a number of locations through the weekend/early next week.
Thanks for checking in on this Monday, have a great rest of your week!
Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWNTV