Already five weeks past its average due date, the first freeze of 2016 likely won’t hit until next weekend.
Meteorologist Paul Douglas said next Saturday morning will be cool, but he’s expecting the first freeze on Sunday, Nov. 20. “We’ve had three Septembers in a row. Most people are OK with that,” Douglas said. “But it’s going to feel like November in a week.”
According to current forecasts, Twin Citians could wake up to 27-degree temperatures next Sunday, Douglas said.
The first 32-degree temperature occurs, on average, on Oct. 8. The previous record for the latest freeze was Nov. 7, 1900. That would have been Monday, the day before the presidential election.
The later freeze means a longer growing season, something Douglas hears from farmers all the time.
For Twin Citians, they can expect 60 degrees again Sunday, low 60s early next week then a slow decline until the bottom falls out Sunday. The warmer weather has meant an 8-month boating season, Douglas noted. “When did that happen? I don’t remember that,” he said.
Then there’s that scene in the movie “Grumpy Old Men” where they take a break on Turkey Day to drop lines from an icehouse.
“When’s the last time the ice was thick enough to go ice fishing on Thanksgiving?” Douglas asked.
This isn’t your grandfather’s Minnesota, but you still can’t extrapolate a warm winter from a late freeze.
“I never read too much into this,” Douglas said. “The patterns switch on a dime. The weather can switch on a dime.”
The sun will be out part of next week, and there’s a strong chance of rain Friday.
Douglas has been predicting a relatively moderate winter that won’t set records for snowfall or on either end of the thermometer.