“This is one of the most challenging outlooks we’ve produced in recent years because El Niño decided not to show up as expected,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. - from a NOAA update below.
21 of 28 counties served by the La Crosse, Wisconsin National Weather Service have been declared Natural Disaster Areas due to the growing drought. Details below.
Getting Better. If the sun comes out fairly quickly during the morning and midday hours we should see highs in the mid to upper 60s, possibly brushing 70 over the south metro with low to mid 70s south and west of the Twin Cities. Unseasonably mild weather spills over into midweek, followed by a Novemberlike smack by late week. Graph: Iowa State.
4 Mild Days, Then Reality Sets In. The ECMWF keeps us mild into midweek; Wednesday looks like the warmest day with the best chance of 70-degree highs nearby. The best chance of (light) rain comes Monday, again Wednesday - when there may be enough instability for a few T-showers. Enjoy the mild spell because highs may hold in the 30s to near 40 next weekend.
“This is one of the most challenging outlooks we’ve produced in recent years because El Niño decided not to show up as expected,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “In fact, it stalled out last month, leaving neutral conditions in place in the tropical Pacific.” When El Niño is present, warmer ocean water in the equatorial Pacific shifts the patterns of tropical rainfall that in turn influence the strength and position of the jetstream and storms over the Pacific Ocean and United States. This climate pattern gives seasonal forecasters confidence in how the U.S. winter will unfold. An El Niño watch remains in effect because there’s still a window for it to emerge..."
Infographic map details above: "The map below is based on data released each Thursday at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. The drought monitor combines numeric measures of drought and experts' best judgment into a weekly map. It is produced by the NDMC, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and incorporates review from 300 climatologists, extension agents and others across the nation. Each week the previous map is revised based on rain, snow and other events, observers' reports of how drought is affecting crops, wildlife and other indicators."
- River flows are well below normal. The flows were less than 20 percent of normal along the Bloody Run, Cedar, Little Cedar, Mississippi, Root, Turkey, Upper Iowa, Volga, and Zumbro South Fork.
- Record low ground levels have been established within the past month near
El Dorado, IA in Fayette County (17.33 feet below ground on September
23, 2012 - the previous record was 17.11 feet on February 6, 2009)
and Fort McCoy Military Reservation in Monroe County (9.15 feet below
ground on October 12, 2012 - the previous record was 8.62 feet on
October 7, 1987).
- Some young trees have died. Young and recently planted trees died in Winona County in southeast Minnesota and Monroe, Adams, and Juneau counties in Wisconsin.
- 21 of our 28 counties have been declared Natural Disaster Areas. This includes: Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Floyd, Howard, Mitchell, and Winneshiek counties in northeast Iowa; Fillmore, Houston, and Mower counties in southeast Minnesota; and Adams, Clark, Crawford, Grant, Jackson, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland, and Vernon counties in western Wisconsin."
Speaking of prayer:
A Chilly Hunting Opener? The extended GFS model shows highs in the 30s the first weekend of November, with a few tenths of an inch of precipitation. 850 mb temperatures range from -0 to -5 C, cold enough for wet snow, or possibly a rain-snow mix. Although I don't see a heavy snow accumulation for the metro (yet) I could still envision some slush on the ground for tracking up north. Stay tuned...
Image credit above: "In September 1997, powerful Hurricane Linda, shown in this NASA rendering created with data from the NOAA GOES-9 satellite, was briefly forecast to strike Southern California, most likely as a tropical storm, as shown in the inset forecast track from the Naval Research Laboratory’s Marine Meteorology Division. The storm eventually turned westward away from land, but still brought rainfall to parts of Southern California and high surf." Image credit: NASA/NOAA/NRL
Maybe so. Here's an excerpt from Free Press: "On Monday, Free Press released Left in the Dark, an analysis of political advertising and local news coverage in five cities — Charlotte, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Milwaukee and Tampa — where ad spending has skyrocketed this year. With fewer than 45 days left until Election Day, Americans across the country are facing an unprecedented increase in political advertising on local stations. Media analysts project that $3.3 billion — money that pads the bank accounts of station owners — will be spent on television ads by Nov. 6. Left in the Dark investigates whether stations airing political ads are balancing out their often deceptive messages with local coverage of the role this money is playing in the 2012 elections..."
* cartoon: Richmond Times Dispatch.
* photo above courtesy of WeatherNation TV meteorologist Todd Nelson.
The Weather Factor
"Governor Romney, might heavy rain or snow on Election Day give you an unfair edge at the polls?" That's one question Bob Schieffer won't be asking Monday. But weather may, in fact, be a factor on November 6.
A 2005 paper concludes "rain significantly reduces voter participation by a rate of just less than 1% per inch, while 1 inch of snowfall decreases turnout by almost .5%. The political science researchers wrote "poor weather is also shown to benefit the Republican Party's vote share." Translation: when the weather is lousy Democrats are more likely to stay home, unwilling or unable to fight the elements. Weather may have impacted two Electoral College outcomes, in 1960 & 2000.
Make the most of Indian Summer; the best shot at 70 today & Wednesday. A little rain falls Monday, again midweek, but not the drenching we need.
We cool down by late week; 7 days from today highs may be stuck in the 30s and low 40s. Halloween looks cool & dry (40s to near 50).
My two week outlook is riddled with doubt & uncertainty. Right now it looks like a rain/snow mix over far northern states on Election Day, showers for Florida, probably dry in most swing states.
Photo credit: "Sorry, planet. You never should have let Al Gore make that documentary." (Joel Boh — Reuters)
* the David Brooks Op-Ed at The New York Times is here. Subscription may be required.