Friday, September 30, 2016

Cloudy, but dry Saturday. September-like Sunday. Major hurricane Matthew.

Northern Lights Potential
"SOLAR WIND STORM: Four days ago, Earth entered a fast-moving stream of solar wind. We're still inside. On Sept. 30th, the solar wind is clocking speeds in excess of 650 km/s (1.5 million mph) with little sign of slackening. This is putting pressure on Earth's magnetic field and sparking auroras around the poles. Ian Griffin photographed the colorful glow last night from Otago, New Zealand.  "A beautiful pastel aurora daubed the sky above Hoopers Inlet on the Otago Peninsula on Sept. 29th," says Griffin. "Despite clouds, the view was absolutely sublime." More auroras are possible tonight. NOAA forecasters estimate a 35% chance ofG1-class geomagnetic storms on Sept. 30th as the solar wind continues to blow."
 
Planetary K-Index
Here's a product that helps to describe how active the northern lights may be. Note that when the Planetary K-index reaches 5 or higher, we typically are able to see the northern lights from our latitude in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Note that this index has been at storm levels since Wednesday!
 
 
Weekend Northern Lights Forecast
The geomagnetic storm that occurred on the sun earlier this week will continue to buffet Earth through the weekend. At this point, there is still a fairly decent chance at seeing northern lights as long as skies clear. Take a look at the weekend northern lights forecast from the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
"Forecast: Auroral activity will be high(+). Weather permitting, highly active auroral displays will be visible overhead from Inuvik, Yellowknife, Rankin and Igaluit to Vancouver, Helena, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Bay City, Toronto, Montpelier, and Charlottetown, and visible low on the horizon from Salem, Boise, Cheyenne, Lincoln, Indianapolis and Annapolis."
Northern Lights
Here are a couple of other bookmark worthy northern lights website that will help you stay current with what's happening. The first is SpaceWeatherLive.com that shows the current aurora and the probability of seeing northern lights (weather permitting). The next is SoftServeNews.com 
 
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Hurricane Matthew
Hurricane Matthew became the 5th hurricane of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season on Thursday and strengthened rapidly into a MAJOR category 3 hurricane Friday morning. As of PM Friday, Matthew was a category 4 hurricane with sustained winds up to 150mph. Matthew is located in the Caribbean  and is expected to lift straight north this weekend toward Cuba and the Bahamas by early next week.
 
Tracking Matthew
Model guidance suggests that that Matthew will possibly strengthen into a category 5 and or stay at category 4 strength before diminishing over the next few days. This is a very strong storm!
Tracking Matthew
The official track from the National Hurricane Center suggests Matthew will continue at major hurricane strength through early next week as it makes a close encounter with Jamaica and slides over western Cuba. Note that the the northerly track takes it over the Bahamas by the middle part of next week as a hurricane. 
 
Tracking Matthew
Here are a few different model solutions for Matthew. Note that most are pretty consistent  as it tracks over eastern Cuba and the Bahamas early next week. The extended forecast for mid/late week gets a little hairy as some track the system into the Eastern U.S., while others take it out into the Atlantic Ocean. 
 

 
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Friday Morning Fog
After a sunnier Thursday, most of us woke up to fog on Friday. Note that there the eastern side of the metro and into western Wisconsin woke up to sunshine, but not so much across the rest of the metro.
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Signs of Fall Closer to Home
Signs of fall are starting to pop a little more each and every day. Things are a little more advanced across the central and northern part of the state, but we're getting there.
Charles A. Lindbergh State Park - Randy Keillor

Fall Color Update
The latest update from the MN DNR shows that we are well on our way in the fall color department with some peak colors (75% - 100%) color being reported across parts of Central and Northwestern Minnesota. Note that only 10% to 25% color can be found across the Twin Cities; the average peak there is generally late September to mid October.

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Cloudy, but dry Saturday. September-like Sunday
USA! USA! USA!
Thunderous roars from the gallery at Hazeltine can be heard for miles. I am happy to report that weather conditions through the rest of the weekend will remain dry with high temperatures flirting with 70 degrees both Saturday and Sunday.
Note that the same stubborn storm system that brought us gusty winds and scattered showers earlier this week will once again plague us with more clouds today. The slow moving storm will finally drift east enough for gradually clearing skies on Sunday.
An approaching storm system will increase winds and temperatures early next week with highs in the mid 70s. Scattered showers and a few storms arrive midweek with temperatures plummeting late next week as the storm scoots east. I wouldn't be surprised to see more frost and freeze concerns up north late next week.
Meanwhile, hurricane Matthew strengthened into a major, category 3 storm on Friday with winds approaching 120mph in the Caribbean. Forecast to track over Cuba, through the Bahamas and close to the East Coast next week.
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Extended Weather Outlook
FRIDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Winds: ENE 5. Low: 53
SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy, but a dry start to October. Winds: ENE 5-10. High: 67
SATURDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Winds: E 5. Low: 51.
SUNDAY: Clouds thin through the day. A touch warmer. Winds: ESE 5-10. High: 70
MONDAY: Mostly sunny and mild. More PM wind. Winds: SE 10-15. Wake-up: 52. High: 72
TUESDAY: Breezy. More PM clouds, storms overnight. Winds: SSE 15-25. Wake-up: 56. High: 72
WEDNESDAY: Breezy again. Scattered storms. Winds: S 15-25. Wake-up: 57. High: 67
THURSDAY: Chilly with a few wind-whipped showers. Winds: WSW 10-20. Wake-up: 50. High: 62. 
FRIDAY: Low gray clouds. Jacket worth. Winds: NW 5-15. Wake-up: 50. High: 60.
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This Day in Weather History
October 1st
1999: One of the earliest significant snowfalls in Minnesota history falls in a narrow track across southern Minnesota. Reported snowfall totals include 4.0 inches in Montgomery (Le Sueur County) and Northfield (Rice County), 3.8 inches in Springfield (Brown County), 3.0 inches in Vesta (Redwood county), and 2.8 inches in Mankato (Blue Earth County).
1989: High temperatures across central and southern Minnesota reach the 80's. Later in the day, a cold front would come through and drop the mercury to the 40's.
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Average High/Low for Minneapolis
October 1st
Average High: 65F (Record: 87F set in 1897)
Average Low: 45F (Record: 24F set in 1974)
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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
October 1st
Sunrise: 7:11am
Sunset: 6:52pm
*Daylight Lost Since Yesterday: ~3mins & 6sec
*Daylight Lost Since Summer Solstice: ~3hours and 52mins
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Moon Phase for October 1st at Midnight
1.3 Days After New Moon
 
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Black Moon Rises
"Humans have long had a fascination with lunar events—and with the rise of the Internet, all kinds of moon moments have become media sensations. Consider super moons, harvest moons, and the rare super blood moon total eclipse. On September 30, sky-watchers in the Western Hemisphere may be tempted to add another lunar moniker to the list: a “black moon,” popularly defined as the second new moon in a month. However, it’s not exactly going to make for good sky-watching. New moons occur when the moon’s orbit takes it between Earth and the sun, leaving the lunar orb’s unilluminated side facing Earth. At night, this phase of the moon is impossible to see: Since new moons are in the same part of the sky as the sun, they rise and set with the sun and are overwhelmed by its glare. New moons can be readily seen only when they pass directly in front of the sun, causing solar eclipses. Otherwise, sky-watchers must look to the days before or after a new moon, when just a sliver of the moon’s sunlit side is visible from Earth.".
See more from NatGeo HERE:
 
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Weather Outlook Saturday
High temperatures on Saturday will be a little cooler across parts of the state due to a few more clouds drifting into the region for the same storm system that bothered us earlier this week. Some spots across western MN would still sneak up to 70F with a little more sunshine.
Weather Outlook Saturday
Winds will not be a problem on Saturday either as they blow from an easterly direction at 5-10mph.
Weather Outlook Saturday
The same stubborn storm system that brought us scattered showers and storms earlier this week settled into the Ohio Valley. It will begin lifting back north toward the Great Lakes this weekend, which means that additional clouds will push back into our neck of the woods both Saturday and Sunday. Note that rain chances will remain east of us, mainly across Wisconsin.

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Simulated Radar

The simulated radar from Friday to Sunday shows mostly dry weather continuing across the region with only a few spotty showers possible closer to the Great Lakes. 

Rainfall Potential
Rainfall potential through PM Monday suggests a few light showers possible across the extreme southeastern Minnesota and central Wisconsin. Other than that, most locations will stay mostly dry through the weekend. 
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Extended Weather Outlook
The extended temperature outlook over the next 10 days suggests temperatures warming slowly over the next few days to near 70F over the weekend and early next week. There appears to be a quick jump into the mid 70s on Tuesday before a fairly significant cold front sweeps through by the end of next week. High temperatures by the second of October looks to be potentially very chilly. 
6 to 10 Day Temp Outlook
According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, warmer than average temperatures look to continue across the Great Lakes Region, but note the cooler than average temperatures lurking just to the west. This could potentially make for a chilly second weekend of October.
6 to 10 Day Temp Outlook
Here's the national temperature outlook from October 6th - 10th, which shows warmer than average conditions across the eastern half of the nation with cooler than average temperatures returning to places in the Intermountain-West
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National Weather Outlook
A stalled and slow moving area of low pressure over the Ohio Valley/Great Lakes Region will slowly move north/northeast over the weekend. Heavy rains will still be possible across parts of the northeastern U.S., while mostly dry weather looks to continue in the Central U.S.. Heavier, steadier rain looks to move in along the West Coast as a large storm system moves in. This will bring mountain snow back into the Western U.S. over the next 5 days.

Precipitation Outlook
The heaviest rainfall over the next few days will be found in the Great Lakes Region and parts of the Northeast with some isolated flood concerns possible. There will also be some heavier rainfall tallies possible across the Intermountain West and along the West Coast. 
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Western Storm System
The next storm system is forecast to move into the Western U.S. with some gusto by this weekend and early next week. Gusty winds, colder temps and high elevation snow will be possible. Interestingly, this storm will bring chances of widespread rain/thunder to the Upper Midwest by the middle part of next week.
Snowfall Potential
As the storm system works inland, moisture will turn to snow across the higher elevations from the Sierra Nevada Range to the Colorado Rockies. There may even be a little snow in the lower elevations along the Front Range.
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Colder Temps Late Next Week/Weekend
The same storm system that is expected bring snow to the Intermountain West will bring colder temperatures to the Upper Midwest by the end of the week and next weekend.

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"Oslo Plans ‘Climate Budget’ to Cut Emissions in Half"
""We'll count carbon dioxide the same way as we count money" The city government in Oslo announced plans to prioritize greenhouse gas emissions with the creation of a “climate budget” that officials hope will help the city cut greenhouse gas emissions in half in just four years. “We’ll count carbon dioxide the same way as we count money,” said Vice Mayor Robert Steen, according to a Reuters report. Cities around the globe have introduced plans in recent years to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, but Oslo’s plan leaves most others in the dust. The city will increase tolls for drivers who want to bring their cars into the city, remove parking spaces, reduce fossil fuel sources of heat in homes and switch the bus fleet to renewable fuel sources, among other things."
See more from Time.com HERE:

Thanks for checking in and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Dry Weekend Ahead. Good News for the Ryder Cup

Hurricane Matthew
Hurricane Matthew became the 5th hurricane of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, which was located in the Caribbean on Thursday. Matthew will be an interesting storm as it intensifies and takes a hard right, lifting straight north this weekend. 
 

Watching the Tropics
Model guidance suggests that that Matthew will possibly strengthen into a category 2, maybe even category 3 over the next few days. Regardless of what happens, latest trends suggest hurricane strength over the next few days.

Tracking the Tropics
The official track from the National Hurricane Center suggests Matthew staying at hurricane status as is drifts north over Cuba and the Bahamas this weekend and early next week. Heavy rain and hurricane force wind gusts will be possible as this system tracks through the Caribbean. 
 
Watching the Tropics
Here are a few different model solutions for Matthew. Note that most are pretty consistent  as it tracks over western Cuba and the Bahamas this weekend and early next week. The extended forecast for mid/late week gets a little hairy as some track the system into the Eastern U.S., while others take it out into the Atlantic Ocean. 
 
 
___________________________________Sunnier Skies Thursday
After several days of cool, windy and somewhat soggy weather, skies finally cleared Thursday. Here was the visible satellite loop from late Thursday as just a few clouds hung tight across the northern part of the state. Much of the Upper Midwest got back into sunshine, which looks to continue into some fashion Friday.
 
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Signs of Fall Closer to Home
Signs of fall are starting to pop a little more each and every day. Things are a little more advanced across the central and northern part of the state, but we're getting there.
Charles A. Lindbergh State Park - Randy Keillor

Fall Color Update
The latest update from the MN DNR shows that we are well on our way in the fall color department with some peak colors (75% - 100%) color being reported across parts of Central and Northwestern Minnesota. Note that only 10% to 25% color can be found across the Twin Cities; the average peak there is generally late September to mid October.

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Dry Ryder Cup FORE!-cast
The buzz around the Ryder cup is palpable. Folks have been flocking to Chaska by the thousands to see what some the world's greatest golfers will bring this weekend.
Minnesotans are making a big presence as our state boasts more golfers than any other state in the country. How about that.
Weather trends look good for the next 3 days. Whether you're golfing, leaf peeping or picking apples, dry weather looks to persist through early next week. The stubborn storm system that brought scattered showers and gusty winds early this week has stalled over the Ohio Valley for now. The pesky low begins wobbling north again this weekend, which will bring a few more clouds to neighborhoods near you Saturday and Sunday, though we'll continue to stay through Monday.
Most of next week looks warmer than average, but extended model runs are advertising a fairly potent storm system arriving late next week with scattered storms midweek. In the wake of the storm, a cold wind develops, which could bring another round of frost for folks up north.
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Extended Weather Outlook
THURSDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and cool. Some patchy fog possible. Winds: NNE 5. Low: 47
FRIDAY: Sunnier start, a few more PM clouds. Winds: E 5-10. High: 70
FRIDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Winds: ENE 5. Low: 52
SATURDAY: Partly sunny. Dry start to October. Winds: ESE 5-10. 52. High: 68
SUNDAY: Sun and cloud mix. Mild temps. Winds: SE 5-10. Wake-up: 52. High: 69
MONDAY: Partly cloudy, increasing winds. Winds: SE 10-15. Wake-up: 53. High: 70
TUESDAY: Breezy. Spotty storms possible late. Winds: SSE 15-25. Wake-up: 54. High: 72
WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy with scattered storms. Winds: SSW 10-15. Wake-up: 56. High: 68
THURSDAY: Chilly winds return. Showers taper late. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 51. High: 62.
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This Day in Weather History
September 30th
1995: Lightning starts a house on fire in Washington County.
1985: 4 inches of snow falls in Ely, with just a trace in the Twin Cities.
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Average High/Low for Minneapolis
September 30th
Average High: 65F (Record: 87F set in 1897)
Average Low: 46F (Record: 26F set in 1939)
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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
September 30th
Sunrise: 7:10am
Sunset: 6:54pm
*Daylight Lost Since Yesterday: ~3mins & 6sec
*Daylight Lost Since Summer Solstice: ~3hours and 49mins
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Moon Phase for September 30th at Midnight
0.3 Days After New Moon
 
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Black Moon Rises
"Humans have long had a fascination with lunar events—and with the rise of the Internet, all kinds of moon moments have become media sensations. Consider super moons, harvest moons, and the rare super blood moon total eclipse. On September 30, sky-watchers in the Western Hemisphere may be tempted to add another lunar moniker to the list: a “black moon,” popularly defined as the second new moon in a month. However, it’s not exactly going to make for good sky-watching. New moons occur when the moon’s orbit takes it between Earth and the sun, leaving the lunar orb’s unilluminated side facing Earth. At night, this phase of the moon is impossible to see: Since new moons are in the same part of the sky as the sun, they rise and set with the sun and are overwhelmed by its glare. New moons can be readily seen only when they pass directly in front of the sun, causing solar eclipses. Otherwise, sky-watchers must look to the days before or after a new moon, when just a sliver of the moon’s sunlit side is visible from Earth.".
See more from NatGeo HERE:
 
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Weather Outlook Friday
High temperatures on Friday will approach 70F across much of the central and southern half the state. However, dry dewpoints and a light breeze will make it feel more like the mid/upper 60s for much of the day. 
Weather Outlook Friday
Winds certainly won't be an issue on Friday as they remain light out of the east. The storm system that produced wind conditions for us earlier this week will keep breezy conditions going across the Great Lakes Region Friday.
Weather Outlook Friday
The storm system that brought gusty winds and scattered rain showers to our neck of the woods early this week will be found across the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley on Friday. The storm system looks to wobble north toward the Great Lakes Region by the weekend, which may help to increase our cloud cover on Saturday and Sunday.

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Simulated Radar

The simulated radar from Thursday to Sunday shows mostly dry weather continuing across the region with only a few spotty showers possible closer to the Great Lakes. 

Rainfall Potential
Rainfall potential through PM Saturday suggests a few light showers possible across the extreme southeastern Minnesota and central Wisconsin. Other than that, most locations will stay mostly dry through the weekend. 
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Extended Weather Outlook
The extended temperature outlook over the next 10 days suggests temperatures warming slowly over the next few days to near 70F over the weekend and early next week. There appears to be a quick jump into the mid 70s on Tuesday before a fairly significant cold front sweeps through by the end of next week. High temperatures by the second of October looks to be potentially very chilly. 
6 to 10 Day Temp Outlook
According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, warmer than average temperatures look to continue across the Great Lakes Region, but note the cooler than average temperatures lurking just to the west. This could potentially make for a chilly second weekend of October if it indeed does move through. 
6 to 10 Day Temp Outlook
Here's the national temperature outlook from October 5th - 9th, which shows warmer than average conditions across the eastern two-thirds of the nation with cooler than average temperatures returning to places in the Intermountain-West
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National Weather Outlook
A stalled and slow moving area of low pressure over the Ohio Valley/Great Lakes Region will slowly move north/northeast over the weekend. Heavy rains will still be possible across parts of the northeastern U.S., while mostly dry weather looks to continue in the Central U.S.. Heavier, steadier rain looks to move in along the West Coast as a large storm system moves in. This will bring mountain snow back into the Western U.S. over the next 5 days.

Precipitation Outlook
The heaviest rainfall over the next few days will be found in the Great Lakes Region and parts of the Northeast with some isolated flood concerns possible. There will also be some heavier rainfall tallies possible across the Intermountain West and along the West Coast. 
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"Climate change jigsaw puzzle: Antarctic pieces missing"

"A shift in westerly winds, which has led to climate impacts in Australia and the Southern Ocean, is human-induced, new research suggests. To date, limited data on Antarctic climate has meant that it’s been difficult to disentangle changes caused by human activity from natural fluctuations."



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"Appeals Court Mulls Challenge to Clean Power Plan"

"Six hours and 42 minutes. That’s how long the legal challenge to the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan was argued before a federal appeals court on Tuesday — more than double the time the court allotted for the hearing. The Environmental Protection Agency’s most important greenhouse gas emissions regulation is being challenged by a group of 24 states led by West Virginia with support from the fossil fuel industry. The challenge was heard before 10 of the 11 judges for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland recused himself."

 

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