Posted at 8:13 AM on August 12, 2009
by Paul Huttner
They say timing is everything.
If that's true, then our first extended statewide blast of summer is coming at the best time.
The PGA is in town. Summer vacations are peaking. The lakes are warming up for one last swim or canoe trip. The corn and other crops need a shot of heat to finish development. It's all coming together to showcase Minnesota's finest weather just in time for the State Fair.
The overall weather pattern has changed this week over North America. The chilly vortex that has been dealing Minnesota regular cool fronts has retreated into the Arctic. It's cooler in Alaska than in Minnesota, as it should be in summer. All seems well with the weather world as what appears to be a persistent ridge of high pressure builds in over the Upper Midwest. The pattern looks as if it may last for the next few weeks, bringing us a much deserved summery end to our summer season that could last into fall.
Why is the pattern changing? It could be that the El Nino that is taking hold in the Pacific is starting to affect global circulation patterns. It's certainly shut down any Atlantic hurricane development this summer so far. We're well into August and still looking for T.D. Two to become the season's first named storm this week.
All indications are that the current El Nino event could be of moderate or strong magnitude this winter. If that happens the odds are very good for a milder than average winter in the Upper Midwest. Many have enjoyed our cool but pleasant summer so far. I for one would be happy if we closed August on a warm note, and if above average temperatures lingered right into December.