Talk about perfect timing.
Minnesota's weather winning streak hit 3 today, as sunshine and comfortable temperatures rule for the 3rd consecutive day.
The best weekend weather in recent memory was welcome to those I spoke with this weekend. Total sunshine and highs near 70 Saturday and pushing 80 on Sunday in southern Minnesota was just the tonic for storm weary Minnesotans.
High pressure is in charge, and it will linger into part of Tuesday before the weather pattern begins to change. Look for more clouds Tuesday to mix in with some sun, and temperatures will run a few degrees cooler with mostly 60s statewide.
Next soaker Wednesday:
The next significant low pressure wave will ride into the forecast Wednesday. Look for rain to spread form west to east during the day. Some of the forecast models are wringing out .50"+ for southern Minnesota.
The one day system gives way to sunshine again Thursday, before a strong cold front drops through Friday.
Weekend cool snap:
The coolest air so far this September appears headed this way for the upcoming weekend. Cool Canadian high pressure will nose into Minnesota, bringing likely frost to northern Minnesota and crisp nights in the 40s in the south. We should see plenty of sun next weekend, but highs may stall in the 50s north and lower 60s south.
Atlantic hurricane season in high gear:
Of all the hurricane names I's like to avoid, Igor tops the list. Hurricane Igor just sounds threatening and dangerous, and it is. With maximum sustained winds ripping at 150mph, Igor is a STRONG Category 4 hurricane Monday morning, and could reach rare Category 5 status today.
HURRICANE IGOR ADVISORY NUMBER 21
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL112010
500 AM AST MON SEP 13 2010
...CATEGORY FOUR IGOR CONTINUES WESTWARD...
SUMMARY OF 500 AM AST...0900 UTC...INFORMATION
ABOUT 940 MI...1515 KM E OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...150 MPH...240 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 270 DEGREES AT 13 MPH...20 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...935 MB...27.61 INCHES
With Igor, Tropical Storm Julia off the Cape Verde Islands, and a gathering storm near Jamaica there are now three tropical systems sprawling out in the Atlantic.
The good news is it appears that none are a threat to the USA, at least for now.
I came across this little guy today on the Huttner Weather Lab driveway.
Does the season's first woolly bear caterpillar have a message about the upcoming winter?
According to weather folklore, woolly bears can predict the severity the coming winter. The only fly in the woolly bears ointment is that science does not support the notion of the woolly bear as a predictor of winter weather.
The theory in folklore goes like this: The wider the brown band on woolly bears, the milder the winter. A narrow brown band with more black means a more severe winter.
Scientists have studied woolly bears to try and correlate the thickness of the bands with winter weather. The results show that woolly bears have bands of different lengths in the same year, in the same area. So it appears there is no way to use the woolly bear as a predictor of winter forecast.
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center outlook for winter favors chances for a colder than average winter in much of the Dakotas and northern Minnesota. Water temperatures in tropical Pacific Ocean have cooled this summer, and La Nina conditions have taken over. CPC's La Nina advisory forecasts a moderate strength La Nina this winter.
La Nina winters tend to statistically favor average to colder than average conditions in Minnesota, along with higher than average snowfall in the north.
I moved our resident woolly bear onto the weather lab deck for a closer look and a few photos. He was cooperative, but seemed ready to move along after a short time, so I put him back where I found him after the mug shots.
Depending on how this guy stretched out it looked to my eye like he had a medium width brown band, with plenty of black. The non scientific folklore forecast would seem to my eye to indicate an average winter ahead. What do you think?
The Twin Cities recorded a below average 40.7" of snowfall last winter, and recorded the first snowless March in modern records. Average annual snowfall for the metro is a respectable 55.9" for the 30 year period from 1971-2000.
Just seeing the woolly bears move around this time of year as they seek out their winter homes is a sure sign that fall is here, and that winter is (gulp!) around the corner.