70s today for much of southern & western Minnesota
80 possible in Sioux Falls
"Omega Block" develops over Minnesota this week
High & Dry - High pressure overhead brings a dry and pleasant week
0" - rainfall forecast in Minnesota through next weekend
3" to 9" rainfall needed to end growing drought in Minnesota
ClimateCast: How the increase in extreme weather events may change how much you pay for insurance (details below)
Summer Flashback: Breezy 70s today
I'm forecasting a much above average number of "sick days" today.
Sunshine, balmy southwest breezes and temps in the 70s today will feel great after a frosty weekend for many Minnesotans.
Our brief summery flashback won't linger...a cool front will drop south and drop temps about 5 to 10 degrees with highs in the 60s starting on Tuesday.
"Omega Block" brings dry & stable weather this week:
Call it a weather winning streak...with a price.
This will be a beautiful week to enjoy in Minnesota. Bright blue skies, crisp mornings and pleasantly cool afternoons will make for one of the nicest weeks of the year. But it comes with a price of a deepening drought in Minnesota.
Look for plenty of sun...highs in the 60s and lows in the 30s north and 40s south this week.
With desert dry dew points in the 20s and 30s, none of the modes are forecasting a drop of rain in Minnesota through Sunday at this point.
The growing drought is becoming one of the bigger stories in Minnesota this early fall. We need 3" to 6" of rain in much of eastern Minnesota to end the current drought. It's more like 6" to 9" in the west and south.
The overall weather pattern favors continued dryness for the next few weeks.
It's tempting to say we're going to go into the winter "freeze up" in early December with deep drought in Minnesota...but I'm not ready to pull the trigger on that one just yet.
Remember last winter it looked like we were setting up for drought in the spring, and then the weather pattern turned into one of the wettest spring and early summer periods on record...leading to rising lake & river levels and an excellent crop most of in Minnesota.
"Persistence" is likely (and the "easy" forecast), but weather patterns have a way of changing in fall as the jet stream goes through undulations before winter. The "trend is your friend" as a forecaster...until it's not. It's entirely possible to get big wet storms winding up over Minnesota in October & November before the freeze up.
Let's hope so.
ClimateCast: Climate Change is changing "Risk Models" in the insurance industry
One thing I'm going to focus more on in this space is the way the climate changes we are witnessing are affecting the way we live.
You hear a lot about various aspects of climate change, but how do (or will) these changes really affect the way we do business? How we travel? How much we pay for energy?
Call it a forward looking forecast on longer term climate change effects...sort of a "Climatecast."
Here's an eye opening piece from Andrew Freedman at Climate Central that crossed last weekend about the way an increase in extreme weather events is changing "risk models" for the insurance industry.
The piece is based on a report from Cerus.
The record (and growing) number of "billion dollar weather disasters" in the USA is changing the way insurers look at risk. Many traditional "risk models" don't hold up in the new "extreme weather" scenario that's developing as climate changes. 100 year storms that were the "benchmark" for estimating loss are occurring with greater frequency.
If you don't think climate change is real, ask the insurers and reinsurers who are changing their very business models as costly climate change driven extreme weather events increase. This will affect what you pay for insurance in the near future.
Here's an excerpt from Andrew Freedman's eye opening piece from Climate Central.
Climate research has shown that manmade global warming boosts the likelihood of extreme weather events such as heat waves and heavy rainfalls. By making extreme events more common and severe, global warming is rendering obsolete the risk models that insurance companies use.
The companies have not yet taken this into account, the report states, and haven't done the research needed to shift toward more accurate risk models. Many small insurers may not even have the capacity to conduct such research.
Both federal flood insurance and private plans have long been based on so-called "100-year storms," or storms of a certain magnitude that it has a one percent chance of occurring in any given year. But climate change is making such events more frequent, so that a storm that used to occur about once every 100 years, on average, now occurs far more frequently. This changes the baseline of what companies should be insuring against.
77F Balmy high temp at MSP Monday
68F average high at MSP Monday
82F in Morris & Appleton Monday
+1.8F temps vs. average so far at MSP in September
16th straight month of above average temps in the metro!
May 2011 - last cooler than average month at MSP Airport (-0.9F)
Cool front Tuesday - temps 10 degrees cooler the rest of this week
80F returns to the metro as early as Sunday and into next week?
Spectacular fall color shots along the Mississippi - more images below
ClimateCast: Snapshot comparing Arctic Sea ice from September 1979 to September 2012 (see images below)
Cooler front pushes south:
It's safe to say we "enjoyed" a stunning Monday with 77 in the metro and numerous 80+ degree temps in western Minnesota. You have to admit, these are the days that make many of us endure tough winters and hot muggy & buggy summers.
"Ideal human comfort" is the term that comes to mind with sunshine, temps in the upper 70s and desert dry dew points in the 30s. This is why people flock to Arizona in November...and why San Diego is packed with millions of people living on top of each other. (Okay...maybe the unbelievable beaches are a draw too.)
Simply put, Monday was tough to beat...and maybe the best single weather day of 2012?
Tuesday's cool front will be noticeable, dropping temps about 10 degrees for the rest of the week.
It's interesting to note that Tuesday's "cold front" is what I would call another "average front" in Minnesota...dropping temps to only near average.
What is "average" in the metro this week? 67/48.
Warmth returns this weekend:
As has been the case so often in Minnesota since May 2011, the cooler weather won't last.
This month is the 16th consecutive warmer than average month in Minnesota. We're running about +6 degrees in the metro during the past 16 months. Yes... it's truly like we've been living in an Omaha or Lincoln, Nebraska climate the past year. Maybe it's rubbing off...is that why the Gopher football team improving so much?
A ridge of high pressure will amplify this weekend over the upper Midwest. That will allow milder southerly breezes to blow again, and temps will respond into the 70s once again.
The GFS is hinting now for a couple of runs that the ridge may build even more early next week. This could boost temps back into the 80s for southern Minnesota once again.
Stay tuned...summer-like weather may have another run here early next week.
ClimatCast: Arctic Sea Ice...then and now
I've talked about the recent Arctic Sea ice record low a few different ways, but here's one great way to visualize the dramatic differences in the volume of ASI over the past 30+ years.
Check out the snapshots below from September 1979 and September 2012.
You can see it's a completely different picture at the top of the world these days than in 1979, and why so many scientists are so concerned about the changes.
What we don't know may be the biggest issue. How does less Arctic ice and warmer oceans change the course of the Polar Jet Stream and the way it delivers weather to the northern hemisphere? How should the computer forecast models deal with this newly changed landscape and air mass "source region?"
We're literally in uncharted waters here.
Fall color explosion: Mississippi putting on a spectacular show!
Minnesotans like to travel far and wide to see the best fall color shows. Here's one that's literally right in the metro backyard.
Take a look at these photos captured by St. Paul resident Bill Stein Monday along the Mississippi River. The weekend chill has made the colors explode.
These pictures are worth way more than any thousand words I could type, so I'll just stop typing.