First Flakes Next Week?
Why does 50 degrees feel so much better in March than it does in October? Perspective. After a run of 70s in September, extending into the first 11 days of October, next week will feel like a cold slap across the face. Something I can relate to.
Long-range ECMWF (European) guidance shows a good chance of flurries early next week, with a slight risk of a coating by Tuesday morning. Lovely.
According to Minnesota State Climatologist Greg Spoden the first coating (tenth of an inch) usually comes by November 4 in the Twin Cities. We usually enjoy our first flakes by mid-October.
The coldest temperature so far this fall at MSP International: 39F. The first frost of the season is possible Saturday morning, likely Sunday morning; a hard killing freeze likely by the middle of next week. Right on schedule. Our first 28F low, cold enough to kill off most plant-life, usually comes October 20, based on 1948-2005 records.
Rain showers arrive tonight ahead of the next chilly surge, more showers late Sunday. Colder air behind that front will probably spark snow flurries/showers next Monday night & Tuesday.
My forecast: snowmobilers are about to develop an itch that a scratch won't reach.
More November Than October. ECMWF data shows 40s over the weekend, possibly a few days in the upper 30s next week. A frost is possible Sunday morning, a hard freeze possible by the end of next week with a couple nights in the mid to upper 20s in the metro. Have you taken out the dock and boat yet? Might be a good idea to move things along in the coming days. Graph: WeatherSpark.
No Cause For Panic - Yet. I'm not buying a few of the GFS runs predicting a couple inches of snow next week, although I can't rule out a dusting or coating on lawns and fields next Monday night. It's too early for specificity, but the atmosphere will be cold enough for flurries and snow showers next week. Here we go. Graph: Iowa State.
A Parade Of Cold Fronts. The 84-hour NAM forecast shows colder air pushing south into the Plains and Upper Midwest into the weekend. The red-outlined regions show temperatures colder than 32 F. By next week it may look and feel more like mid-November than mid-October. Map: NOAA and Ham Weather.
A Chilly Halloween Shaping Up. Payback time for a balmy September and lukewarm start to October? GFS data shows highs in the 30s on October 21, nights dipping into the low and mid 20s. The forecast calls for a few extra layers under that fancy costume.
First Coating Of Snow For Select Cities? Yes, this is my way of cheering you up on a Thursday. Thanks to State Climatologist Greg Spoden for providing me with this information. Bottom line, the mean (average) date of the first coating (tenth of an inch or more) in the Twin Cities is November 4. More details at this site:
Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport - Date of First Snowfall => 0.1"
(period of record: 1938 - 2012)
mean: November 4
earliest: September 24, 1985
latest: December 2, 1963
Duluth International Airport - Date of First Snowfall => 0.1"
(period of record: 1948 - 2012)
mean: October 23
earliest: September 18, 1991 (* note: very early snowfall last year - September 21, 2012 *)
latest: November 26, 2004
International Falls Airport - Date of First Snowfall => 0.1"
(period of record: 1948 - 2012)
mean: October 19
earliest: September 14, 1964
latest: December 8, 1999
Fargo International Airport - Date of First Snowfall => 0.1"
(period of record: 1942 - 2012)
mean: November 2
earliest: September 25, 1942
latest: December 14, 1999
Rochester International Airport - Date of First Snowfall => 0.1"
(period of record: 1933 - 2012)
mean: November 5
earliest: September 26, 1942
latest: December 19, 1939
Growing Wildfire Risk. The trends are clear: as the West continues to dry out and warm up wildfires are becoming bigger, and more intense over time. CoreLogic just released an update on the most vulnerable states and metropolitan areas. Texas and Colorado top the list, but in terms of insured property at risk California is also very much at risk. Details in today's edition of Climate Matters.
Ask Paul. Weather-related Q&A:
"I have put off some exterior painting. Will there be a day soon when I can safely paint outside? I think the paint folk say a minimum of 50 degrees is required."
Virginia - there's little doubt we're heading into a cold part of the cycle, temperatures trending (well) below average the next 2 weeks, probably through the end of October. The GFS solution (below) shows a slight upward blip in temperatures around October 27-28, followed by a colder front in time for Halloween; not sure you'll see a series of days above 50F, but some temporary reprieve from the chill is possible into the first half of November.
Photo credit above: "Cyclone Phailin hit the Indian state of Orisha on Saturday night." EPA/STR.
Photo credit above: "An aerial view shows an area flooded by heavy rains in the aftermath of Cyclone Phailin in Balasore district, Orissa state, India, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. A mass government evacuation of nearly 1 million people spared India the widespread deaths many had feared from the powerful weekend cyclone Phailin, which destroyed hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of crops and tens of thousands of homes." (AP Photo)
Image credit above: "In this 3-D map of potential temperature, relatively cool air wraps around Sandy's core near the surface (purple and blue colors), while air parcels gain heat from moisture condensing into clouds and precipitation as they ascend through the storm’s core." For more details on this simulation, see the YouTube videos below. (©UCAR. Image courtesy Mel Shapiro, NCAR).
Graphic credit above: Courtesy of CoreLogic. "This map shows a section of the wildland-urban interface outside Colorado Springs, where the Black Forest fire last June became the worst in Colorado history as measured by property loss. Areas with a wildfire risk score above 60 are considered at high risk of wildfire, and areas above 80 are at very high risk. In 10 days the blaze destroyed more than 500 homes and damaged many more."
Photo credit above: "" AP Photo/Junji Kurokawa.
More Americans Die From Car Pollution Than Car Accidents. This headline made me do a double-take; here's a clip from Quartz: "Some day our descendants will marvel that we ever lived in cities filled with emissions direct from the tailpipes of cars. A new study from MIT suggests that in the US, 53,000 people a year die prematurely because of automobile pollution, compared to 34,000 people a year who die in traffic accidents. These results more than double the number of people who die in the US every year as a result of automobiles, to nearly 100,000. One in five Americans is in danger from air pollution, and it appears that the hazard is primarily their proximity to roadways.."
* Photo above courtesy of Timothy Butz.