Posted at 8:13 AM on September 24, 2009
by Paul Huttner
Minnesota DNR fall color map shows colors increasing rapidly around Minnesota.
It looks like a good weekend for leaf peepers, but you'll have to pick your spot.
The latest Minnesota DNR Fall Color Report shows color increasing to 50% to 75% near Willmar in central Minnesota. Most areas are still showing between 25% to 50% color. In the metro things are just getting going with splashes of 10% to 25% color as of mid-week. Cooler weather in the forecast should help accelerate color changes next week.
Weekend forecast: Timing is everything.
It looks like you'll have to be in the right place at the right time this weekend for outdoor activities. A meandering cut-off low has been spinning west of Minnesota this week. It looks like the upper winds will pick it up and send it our way again by Friday. Here's a breakdown of what to expect through this weekend.
Today: Scattered showers in southern Minnesota may reach as far north as the metro at times. Otherwise look for mixed clouds and sun south, with mostly sunny skies central and north. Highs in the 60s far north and along Lake Superior with 70s elsewhere.
Friday: Rain and thunderstorms south moving into central Minnesota. Rain should spread into the metro by lunchtime. Some areas could pick up rainfall of half an inch or more. Highs generally in the 60s.
Saturday: Spotty rain east, clearing west. Highs in the 60s.
Sunday: Breezy and mild ahead of the season's first strong cold front. Look for highs in the 70s south and east. Much cooler northwest with highs only in the 50s. It looks like the front may blow into the metro late Sunday afternoon or evening with gusty northwest winds and falling temperatures. By Sunday night, you'll feel the change and know this front means fall weather is on the way.
Brisk early next week with highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s in the metro.
Posted at 4:32 PM on September 24, 2009
by Paul Huttner
It's okay if you need a reminder where the thermostat in your house is these days.
Chances are you've not heard the roar of your furnace or the hum of your AC unit in quite some time. The weather the past 3 months has been absolutely perfect to maintain home comfort.
We are nearing the end of a stretch where daily temperatures have been ideal for keeping the temperatures inside our homes at peak comfort. In fact, the only day you likely used air conditioning since late June was about 6 weeks ago, on August 14th when temperatures hit 90 in the metro. The last time your furnace roared to life was likely during the record chilly stretch from June 6th to 8th when highs were in the 50s.
Many people believe 65 to 68 degrees is a perfect temperature for human comfort. Take a look at the average monthly temperatures the past few months.
September: 69.1 degrees
August: 69.4 degrees
July: 70.0 degrees
June: 67.7 degrees
These monthly averages wouldn't mean much if they were derived though extremes. You could have days around 90 days near 50 and still average around 69 degrees; but your furnace and AC unit would be working overtime.
The remarkable thing about this summer is that daily temperatures have been fairly consistent, with a comfortable overall temperature range. In September so far, daily high temperatures have been in a range between 70 and 84 degrees. Lows have ranged between 51 and 65. If you managed your windows right, you've enjoyed free air conditioning all month.
Heating and cooling data is calculated by degree days. Basically, any day with an average temperature above 65 degrees requires cooling, and anything below 65 degrees requires heat. So far in September the Twin Cities has racked up a whopping 5 heating degree days. That's the reason your furnace is feeling neglected.
Enjoy the comfortable temperatures through the weekend. It looks like you'll have to remember where your furnace is next week.