Finally. Some Drier Weather!
 
Weather conditions across Central MN were a little bit nicer than they were earlier this week. We finally managed to squeeze out a little bit of sun and it certainly wasn't as windy. The good news is that the next few days should be drier and a little warmer, especially on Saturday. 
 
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11th Wettest October on Record at MSP (So Far Through October 22nd)
 
The MSP Airport picked up an additional 1.25" of rain on Monday and Tuesday, which helped to bump us up into the 11th wettest October on record. Note that we still have more than a week left of October 2019 and we could perhaps crack the top 10, but I think it's safe to say we won't make it to the top spot, which was 5.68" set in 1971.
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A Fairly Wet October So Far (Through October 22nd)
 
October 2019 has been fairly wet across much of the Upper Midwest with several locations several inches above average through October 21st. Interestingly, Rochester is already reached its wettest YEAR on record, but is also sitting at its 4th wettest October on record with 5.71" of rain, nearly 4" above average!
 
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4th Wettest Year on Record at MSP (So Far Through October 22nd)
 
Thanks to recent heavy rainfall at MSP, we have now bumped up into the 4th wettest YEAR on record at MSP through October 23rd! Interestingly, we are less than 1.26" away from the top spot of 40.32" set in 2016 and we still have nearly 70 days left of 2019!! At this point, I'd be shocked if we didn't break or even shatter that record over the next couple of months. Stay tuned...
 
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It's Been a Wet 2019 So Far Through October 22nd
 
The numbers below are quite impressive to say the least. Note that every climate reporting station listed below is above average for 2019. Incredibly, MSP is nearly a foot above average precipitation so far through October 22nd, while Rochester is almost 2 feet above average precipitation so far this year. Unreal! By the way, Rochester is already more than 7" above its wettest year ever recorded 43.94" set in 1990 and there is still nearly 70 days left of 2019! 
 
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Weather Outlook Thursday
 
Thursday will be another chilly day across the region with high temps only warming into the 30s and 40s across the state, whch will be nearly -10F to -15F below average for the end of October. These temps will be more reminiscent of November, but at least it won't be as windy as it was earlier this week. Thursday should be mainly dry across the region as well.
 
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Weather Outlook Midday Thursday to Midday Saturday

Here's a look at weather conditions through the end of the week and into Saturday. Note that we will stay mainly dry across much of the Upper Midwest, which is just what the doctor order. Enjoy it because weather conditions could be a little more active as we head into next week.


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Twin Cities 7 Day

Here's a look at the 7 day forecast for the Twin Cities, which remains chilly on Thursday, but Friday and Saturday afternoon should be better with highs rebounding back into the 50s. It looks like we could get a little more active as we head into the early part of next week with the potential of a wintry mix. Stay tuned! 
 
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Less Than 2 Week Until We "Fall Back" - Time Change...
 
Believe it or not, we are less than 2 weeks away until the time change. This year it will occur on Sunday, November 3rd. The good news is that we will have more daylight in the morning, but less light when you get home from work and school. The sunset in the Twin Cities on Saturday, November 2nd is at 6PM, but on Sunday, November 3rd, it will be around 5PM. By the way, the earliest sunset in the metro is 4:31PM during the first couple of weeks of December.
 
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Fall Colors Peaking!
 
Fall colors conitnue across the state, but there are quite a few places past peak as we approach the last weekend of October. Take a look a the picture from Wild River State Park! 
 
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MN Fall Color Update
 
According to the MN DNR, the latest fall color report suggests that much of the state is now past peak. Strong winds earlier this week helped to strip quite a few trees of their leaves as well, so things are starting to look a little more bare out there.
 
 
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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 see peak color around mid October. It's hard to believe, but the fall color is almost gone.

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How Does Weather Effect the Leaves?

Did you know that weather has a big impact on the fall color? Weather conditions that are either too wet or too dry can lead to premature displays or even dull, muted color displays. The best weather would be a warm, wet summer that gives way to sunny, cool fall days. Read more below:

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Minnesota Crop Progress & Condition - October 21st

"Eighty-nine percent of the corn crop was mature, 18 days behind last year and 10 days behind normal. Corn harvested for grain reached 11 percent, 17 days behind last year and 13 days behind the average. Corn harvested for silage reached 90 percent this week, 12 days behind average. Corn condition was rated 53 percent good to excellent, a slight improvement from the previous week. Nearly all soybeans have dropped their leaves, 6 days behind normal. Forty-two percent of the soybean crop has been harvested, 2 weeks behind average. Soybean condition was rated 53 percent good to excellent, remaining steady when compared to the previous week."
 
 
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Average First Frost at MSP is October 12th

Looking back at the last 30 years of data at the MSP Airport, the average first frost (32F or colder) is October 12th.  The Twin Cities got close on the 12th, but only dropped to 33F. The earliest frost was on September 20th back in 1991, but the latest was November 18th in 2016. Last year, our first frost was on October 11th.

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Frosty Thursday & Friday Morning?? 

Again, MSP has not officially dropped to or gone below 32F yet this season, but it appears we could see our first official frost(s) of the season Thursday and or Friday morning. The "urban heat island" may help to keep some locations in the metro just above freezing Thursday morning, but it looks like we will have a pretty good chance at seeing 20s for low across much of the state on Friday morning.
 
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"Phenology: October 22nd, 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:  ""This week, John considers leaf color of a variety of trees and reminds us to watch for juncos, fox sparrows and snow buntings among other things! "
 
 
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Points of Tropical Origin: October 21st - 31st

Tropical activity through the end of October is still somewhat active, 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.
 
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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." Note how the hurricane activity drops off as we head into the end of October and into November. The Atlantic Hurricane Season officially ends of November 30th.
 
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8 to 14 Day Precipitation Outlook
 
According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, the extended outlook as we head into early November looks fairly dry across parts of the Central and Western US, while folks along the East Coast and Alaska could be on the wetter side
 
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8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's CPC, the temperature outlook by the end of the month and into the first week of November looks pretty chilly across much of the Central US, including the Upper Midwest. Halloween could be a bit chilly this year! Stay tuned.


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Extended Temperature Outlook for the Twin Cities

Here's the temperature outlook for the MSP Airport through the end of October and into early November, which looks pretty chilly through the end of the week. However, we warm up a bit on Saturday before another, even bigger cool down that will settle in next week, just in time for Halloween! However, the GFS is suggesting another mild spell by the 2nd weekend of November. Stay tuned...

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Winter: Not a Threat - An Opportunity
By Paul Douglas

Some in our midst liken a Minnesota winter to a cold, snowy, near-death experience. I see it as an opportunity to try on more clothes. Some dread slushy commutes. I look forward to a break from bugs, weeding and wheezing allergies.

I gently remind next of kin that we don't experience earthquakes, massive wildfires or Texas-size storms with names. Cold fronts? Yeah, but at least our homes are stillstanding. Then again, I may be rationalizing.

After a fairly pleasant Saturday a wintry swipe arrives next week, preceded by what may be some accumulating snow Tuesday into Wednesday. It's still much too early to toss around amounts, but depending on the final storm track, a few inches of slush can't be ruled out, especially south and east of MSP.

For the record, I'm putting in my driveway stakes, and we've already put up our Christmas tree. When in Rome...

Halloween temperatures hold in the 30s with a scary windchill, but NOAA's GFS model brings a few 60s back into town in 2 weeks. Be still my heart.
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Extended Forecast

THURSDAY: Peeks of sun. A dry sky. Winds: NW 8-13. High: 44.

THURSDAY NIGHT: Clear and chilly. Frost/Freeze like by morning. Winds: Calm. Low: 30.

FRIDAY: More sun. Feels like October again. Winds: SW 8-13. High: 51.

SATURDAY: Mix of clouds and sun. Not bad. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 40. High: 56.

SUNDAY: Cloudy with a cooler breeze. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 39. High: 45.

MONDAY: Intervals of cool sunshine. Winds: W 7-12. Low: 29. High: 41.

TUESDAY: Mix turns to wet snow. Winds: NE 10-15. Low: 31. High: 36.

WEDNESDAY: Early slush. Flurries taper by PM? Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 27. High: 33.
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This Day in Weather History
October 24th

1922: A powerful low pressure system over Minnesota brings 55 mph winds to Collegeville.
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Average High/Low for Minneapolis
October 24th

Average High: 54F (Record: 80F set in 1989)
Average Low: 37F (Record: 15F set in 1887)

Record Rainfall: 1.00" set in 1899
Record Snowfall: 0.9" set in 1981
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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
October 24th

Sunrise: 7:40am
Sunset: 6:13pm

Hours of Daylight: ~10 hours & 33 minutes

Daylight LOST since yesterday: ~ 2 minutes & 56 seconds
Daylight LOST since summer solstice (June 21st): ~ 5 hours & 04 minutes
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Moon Phase for October 24th at Midnight
2.9 Days Before New Moon

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What's in the Night Sky?

"This evening, check out one of the flashiest stars in the sky. It’s so bright that every year in northern autumn, we get questions from people in the Northern Hemisphere who see a bright star twinkling with red and green flashes. It’s found low in the northeastern sky at nightfall as seen from Northern Hemisphere locations. That star is likely Capella, which is actually a golden star. In fact, if you could travel to it in space, you’d find that Capella is really two golden stars, both with roughly the same surface temperature as our local star, the sun … but both larger and brighter than our sun. Capella is in the constellation Auriga the Charioteer, but since antiquity it has carried the name Goat Star. You might pick it out just by gazing northeastward from a Northern Hemisphere latitude during the evening hours in October. Capella climbs upward through the night, and, this month, soars high overhead in the wee hours before dawn."

See more from Earth Sky HERE:

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Average Tornadoes By State in October
 
According to NOAA, the number of tornadoes in October is quite a bit less across much of the nation, especially across the southern US. Note that Minnesota typically sees only 1 tornado, which is much lower than our average peak of in June (15). By the way, the last October tornado in Minnesota was on October 11th, 2013 in Traverse county located in western MN. That tornado produced EF1 damage near Charlesville, MN.
 
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2019 Preliminary Tornado Count
 
Here's the 2019 preliminary tornado count across the nation, which shows 1,557 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.
 
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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 October 22nd suggests that there have been a total of 1,557 which is above the 2005-2015 short term average of 1277. Interestingly, this has been the busiest tornado season since 2011, when nearly 1,819 tornadoes were reported.
 
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Thursday Weather Outlook
 
A storm system rolling across the Rockies will be responsible for continued snow across parts of the region with much cooler than average temps settling into the region. Denver, CO will be nearly -20F to -25F below average, while folks in California will be nearly +15F to +20F above average with record highs possible, especially on Friday.
 
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Record Southwest Heat on Friday
 
High temps on Friday will be very warm across much of California and several record maybe possible across the southern part of the state. All the circled numbers are potential records for Friday, October 25th.
 

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Extreme Fire Threat in California on Thursday
 
According to NOAA, there is an EXTREME Fire Danger threat (in pink) across parts of southern California, located north and east of Los Angeles. It appears that hot, dry and windy weather will keep the region under an extremely potent fire risk during the day Thursday. Winds will be quite breezy, which could help to fuel any wildfires that are currently ongoing now and any new ones that develop.
 

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National Weather Outlook
 
Heavy snow will slide southeast across the Colorado Rockies, which could be heavy at times through Thursday. That same storm will be responsible for areas of heavy rain across parts of the Southern US with a few strong to severe storms possible as well. Locally heavy rainfall could lead to localized flooding through the end of the week.
 

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Heavy Ranifall Potential
 
The 7-day precipitation forecast from NOAA's WPC, suggests fairly widspread heavy rain potential across parts of the Southern US through the end of the week and weekend ahead. Some locations could see 2" to 4"+ tallies, which could lead to localized areas of flooding. Meanwhile, folks in the Southwest look to remain mostly dry through next week.
 
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Heavy Colorado Snow
 
A storm system will slide southeast through Colorado and will continue to produce areas of heavy snow across the area through Thursday. The National Weather Service has issued a number of winter weather headlines as 8" to 12"+ imaybe possible for some in the higher elevations.
 

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"3 Reasons Tornado Threats Warrant Immediate TV Coverage"
 
"Earlier this year a former student of mine was threatened and trolled because she interrupted a live broadcast of the Masters golf tournament for severe weather coverage in Atlanta. Other meteorologist like James Spann have opined on the foolishness that they receive for interrupting programming for live storm coverage. NBC 5 News in the Dallas-Forth Worth TV market issued a rare statement (read it here) apologizing for their coverage of a devastating EF3 tornado that moved through densely populated North Dallas on Sunday. Here are 3 reasons why this tornado and future ones like it warrant immediate TV coverage. Television is still a trusted source for many people. I am not writing this piece to bash any particular station. It is an opportunity to elevate the conversation. To be fair, the NBC station in Dallas cut-in 6 times during the tornado warning and there were also multiple hours of live streaming coverage. It is my understanding that their Telemundo station was also on the air within a minute of the tornado warning. However, their own statement of apology acknowledged, During Sunday night's Dallas Cowboys game, we made a mistake by not immediately interrupting the football game with a Tornado Warning. Although our meteorologists were tracking thunderstorms across the area when the National Weather Service issued a Tornado Warning for Dallas County, we delayed breaking into programming for six minutes."
 

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"‘WAVES’ FROM THE TROPICS SLOWED ARCTIC SEA ICE MELT"
 
"The long-term decline in arctic sea ice stabilized in the last few years due to fluctuations in the tropics, researchers report. Sea ice coverage in the Arctic Ocean expands and contracts over the course of the year, shrinking to its smallest amount in late summer. This September minimum has itself been steadily decreasing as a result of human-induced climate change. Curiously however, sea ice coverage has remained relatively stable over the past seven years, despite the continuing warming trend. This follows six years of drastic retreat from 2007 to 2012, and together, these opposing circumstances present a quandary to climate scientists. Now, climatologists believe they have resolved part of the puzzle. The research appears in the Journal of Climate."
 

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"Climate explained: how volcanoes influence climate and how their emissions compare to what we produce"
 
"Everyone is going on about reducing our carbon footprint, zero emissions, planting sustainable crops for biodiesel etc. Is it true what the internet posts say that a volcano eruption for a few weeks will make all our efforts null and void? The pretext to this question is understandable. The forces of nature are so powerful and operate at such a magnitude that human efforts to influence our planet may seem pointless. If one volcanic eruption could alter our climate to such a degree that our world rapidly becomes an “icehouse” or a “hothouse”, then perhaps our efforts to mitigate anthropogenic climate change are a waste of time? To answer this question we need to examine how our atmosphere formed and what geological evidence there is for volcanically induced climate change. We also need to look at recent data comparing volcanic and human greenhouse gas emissions. There is evidence for catastrophic climate change from very large, protracted volcanic eruptions in the geological record. But in more recent times we have learned that volcanic emissions can lead to shorter-term cooling and longer-term warming. And the killer-punch evidence is that human-induced greenhouse gas emissions far exceed those of volcanic activity, particularly since 1950."
 
 

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"Standing in the Rubble of Paradise: Life After the Camp Fire, One Year Later"
 
"For the 36,000 people living in and around Paradise, California, the Camp Fire is a definitive moment that cleaved life into a before period and an after one. In just a few short days in November 2018, the most destructive fire in California’s history turned green forests into barren landscapes of charred toothpicks and leveled large portions of Paradise and the surrounding communities. The flames caused $16.5 billion in damage, killed 85 people, and destroyed 18,804 structures according to state records. Nearly a year later, recovery is still ongoing for the thousands of people who lost their loved ones, homes, and in some cases, everything. Some are still sifting through the rubble of their houses, trying to find keepsakes. Others have had the rubble cleared from their land and are trying to decide whether to rebuild or move somewhere safer. Still others sometimes wake up from dreams of flames. More than 90 percent of Paradise’s 26,800 residents have yet to return, meaning true recovery—a return to what once was—may never happen."
 
 

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"What Ballooning Carbon Emissions Will Do to Trees"
 
"Many forecasts for climate change assume that tropical forests will continue to soak up carbon dioxide as the world warms. What if they don’t? Apart from the experts, few people realize that climate change could be worse. Every year, trees, shrubs, and every other kind of plant absorb 9 billion tons of CO2—one quarter of what we let loose from our tailpipes and smokestacks—and help slow the gas’s accumulation in the atmosphere. If not for the world’s photosynthesizers, the concentration of CO2 in the air, along with Earth’s temperature, would be rising much faster than it already is. Our terrestrial plants do us “a fantastic favor” sponging up all that CO2, says Scott Denning, an atmospheric scientist at Colorado State University. That’s especially true in the tropics: By some estimates, the band of jungle that hugs the equator sucks up about half of the carbon absorbed on land. But in the coming years, tropical regions are projected to see steeply rising temperatures and, in some areas, increased drought. That will create less and less hospitable conditions for these crucial equatorial jungles. Nonetheless, published forecasts of the future of climate change, including the marquee results of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, take it for granted that the world’s forests will continue acting as a terrestrial carbon sink—an assumption that may be disastrously overoptimistic."
 
 

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"The Science Of Why Car Tires Deflate When It Is Cold"
 
"Here is a quiz for you. How many times a year have you gotten to your car on a cold morning only to notice that your car tires look deflated? Even better, many modern cars have fancy digital displays that tell you exactly how much pressure has been lost. The temperature in parts of Georgia dropped into the forties overnight this week. It is not surprising that when I headed out to drop my son off at basketball tryouts that my tire pressure lights were illuminated. While a mild annoyance, this is a very common thing, and something that I suspect that you have experienced as well. Many people are curious about why this happens. Here’s an explanation that tries to make complex physics and meteorology accessible to the layperson. In order to really address this question, I have to introduce a few scientific concepts so stay with me. The Ideal Gas Law or the Equation of State is written as PV = nRT. The terms P, V, and T represent pressure, volume and temperature respectively. The term n is a representation of how many molecules of gas are present in the volume (for example, the tire). This law, according to Lumen Learning’s website, was “originally deduced from experimental measurements of Charles’ law (that volume occupied by a gas is proportional to temperature at a fixed pressure) and from Boyle’s law (that for a fixed temperature, the product PV is a constant).”
 
 

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