+2.9 F. The first 21 days of September are running nearly 3 F. warmer than average.
"...According to a poll conducted by researchers at Yale University’s Project on Climate Change Communication, four out of five Americans reported personally experiencing one or more types of extreme weather or a natural disaster in 2011, while more than a third were personally harmed either a great deal or a moderate amount by one or more of these events." - from an article at Health News Digest; story and links below.
"Medical mistakes kill enough people each week to fill four jumbo jets." - from a jaw-dropping story at the Wall Street Journal; links below.
...FREEZE WARNING TONIGHT INTO SUNDAY MORNING FOR ALL OF CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN... .A FREEZE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM TO 8 AM SUNDAY MORNING FOR ALL OF CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN. LOWS SUNDAY MORNING WILL DROP INTO THE 25 TO 30 DEGREE RANGE OVER MUCH OF THE AREA...RESULTING IN A HARD FREEZE FOR MANY LOCATIONS. TEMPERATURES IN THE TWIN CITIES ARE EXPECTED TO BE A LITTLE WARMER WITH LOWS NEAR 32 DEGREES. REMEMBER...FROST MAY BE POSSIBLE EVEN IF TEMPERATURES REMAIN A FEW DEGREES ABOVE FREEZING. THE COLD NIGHT AHEAD IS THE RESULT OF CANADIAN HIGH PRESSURE MOVING IN. THIS WILL RESULT IN CLEAR SKIES AND NEARLY CALM WINDS SUNDAY MORNING.
Video credit above: Here's an excerpt from a YouTube clip of significant flooding in Alaska: "View Aerials of a few flood damaged areas as the Assistant Borough Manager talks about what he saw while surveying the flood damaged areas from helicopter."
I believe the DNR image of fall colors that you are seeing is a victim of too little data points. I'm not 100% certain, but I believe the map only uses the foliage reports out of the state parks. If you look at the state parks that are used across the metro areas, you can see that Ft. Snelling is the only park showing 50-75% color (and the only park within the metro area). Minnesota Valley State Park is showing 25-50%, Afton is showing 10-25%, and Lake Maria is also showing 10-25% color. The result is a bulls-eye of 'color' over the Twin Cities. Similar to what happens when an erroneous temperature observation is indicated on a contoured map.
Given so few data points and the likelihood of data smoothing issues, I'd be hesitant to make assumptions on the metrowide color being higher than most. I certainly haven't seen 50% color.
"Q: "Why do you believe the earth is flat?"
A: It looks that way up close. In our local reference frame, it appears to take a flat shape, ignoring obvious hills and valleys. In addition, Samuel Rowbotham et al. performed a variety of experiments over a period of several years that show it must be flat. They are all explained in his book, which is linked at the top of this article."
Indian Summer Alert
Sadly, many Minnesota plants froze their buds off last night. Frost came early to many towns and suburbs - the average date of the first 32F at MSP is October 4. We're waking up to the chilliest morning since April 11 (27F).
But look at the bright side: a frost/freeze killed off much of the ragweed. Allergy sufferers will be breathing easier in the weeks to come. And now that we've had a frost - we can (officially) call tomorrow's mid-70s Indian Summer.
Because we want to be official.
It's been a weather-whiplash kind of year. Drought and low lake water levels in April gave way to torrential rains in June with historic floods in Duluth. And then we went over another rainfall cliff. Maybe it's always been this way, but our fast-forward weather pattern has meteorologists shaking their troubled little heads.
Welcome to one of the 5 driest Minnesota Septembers since the late 1800s, and I don't see any significant rain looking out 2 weeks. We are stuck in a dry, dusty rut.
Jackets for church this morning, then shorts Monday as 70s return.
Great weather lingers; long-range guidance hinting at 80F about 8 days from now. Then again 5" rain would qualify as great weather.
Photo credit above: "A badly under-watered Kansas cornfield awaits rain this past August. An end-of-summer wet spell helped nurture soybeans, but came too late for the corn crop -- a development that could raise food prices around the world." (Reuters)
Photo credit above: "The University of Montreal's Alexandre Guertin-Pasquier at his study site in Nunavut in June 2010." (HANDOUT)