1.5" snowfall at Lake Kabetogema this morning
0730 AM SNOW KABETOGAMA 48.44N 93.03W
10/06/2012 E1.5 INCH ST. LOUIS MN CO-OP OBSERVER
1" at Culver (west of Duluth)
.68" GFS rainfall output for MSP Airport Saturday
.77" NAM rainfall output (both models down slightly from 1"+)
2" to 4"+ possible in central Wisconsin?
Modles shifting east slightly with overall storm track
Slight risk for severe storms as far north as the Metro Saturday?
2012 warmest on record in USA through September
Tracking Saturday's System:
Well at least we finally have some action in the Weather Lab.
The jury is still out on exactly what kind of weather we'll see in the Twin Cities Saturday but one thing appears fairly certain. It will rain for the first time in a long while.
The last time more than even .25" of rain fall in the metro was nearly 2 months ago on August 15th when .73" temporarily greened up lawns and fields.
The maps look promising for a potent low pressure system to spin out of the southern Rockies and race for southeast Minnesota Saturday. The big question? Where will the exact track end up?
The latest model trends early Thursday suggest an eastward shift in forecast track. That could shove the heaviest rains east into Wisconsin. Some of the models are cranking out impressive multi-inch totals fom Madison to Green Bay Saturday...while the Twin Cities settles for rainfall generally under an inch. The best guess right now is between .50" and .75" for the metro. But if the model trends pushing the system east continue, those numbers may drop further.
But then again that could easily change as the models grab onto the system as it crosses from the Pacific into California today and into the more "data rich" surface network over the USA.
The good news? The potential for multi inch rainfall totals in drought plagued states from Okalahoma to Missouri, Iowa and Wisconsin.
Severe outbreak likely: But how far north?
This system has plenty of "dynamics" to work with to spawn severe weather Saturday.
A potent upper level jet stream, low level moisture and strong wind shear will combine to fuel severe storms, but the big question is how far north?
The latest SPC convective outlook puts the Twin Cities right on the northern edge of the severe risk Saturday.
It remains to be seen if things will fall into place as far north as the metro, but southeast Minnesota...Rochester, Albert Lea to La Crosse will stand a pretty good chance of watches, warnings and damaging T-Storms Saturday.
2012 still #1 warmest in USA through September:
The September numbers are in, and 2012 is still running away with the "hottest year on record" title for the lower 48 USA.
You can see that the past 12 months are the 3rd warmest on record in the USA, and the top 2 also occurred during 2012.
Globally, 2012 is the 9th warmest year on record after a slow start...and now challenges the top 5 warmest years.
Climate Change Educational Opportunities Ahead:
If you are looking for a great way to learn more about the latest climate change news, here are two great opportunities.
The Annual Kuehnast Lecture Series at the University of Minnesota will present a "Mini-Climate School" at The University of Minnesota St. Paul Student Center Theater.
The event takes place Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 1:00 to 4:00 PM
I will be in attendance with MPR and UM's Dr. Mark Seeley and a host of other local climate experts.
This is a public forum ... all are welcome!
I will also give a talk at the Belwin Conservancy this Saturday at 2pm in Afton.
My talk will focus on the recent dramatic shifts in Minnesota climate, and what we can expect in the coming years.
You can contact Belwin for more information.
Trending East: GFS & NAM models continue to push Saturday's storm further east
Decreasing rainfall forecasts for the Twin Cities metro area
Sharp rainfall gradient latest models suggest Twin Cities on the western edge of any significant rainfall Saturday
Wisconsin soaker Good soaking rains from Iowa into Wisconsin may totals 2"+ in some areas
Lake temps plummet - Minnesota lake temps fall dramatically from warm summer levels
"When in a drought.....
....don't predict rain." - Wise anonymous weather forecaster
That old saying looks like it may come back to bite the Twin Cities and much of Minnesota this weekend.
Thursday's forecast model runs continued the trend of shoving Saturday's Midwest weather maker farther to the east.
"The trend is your friend." - Craig Edwards
Or maybe our enemy at this point in drought plagued Minnesota.
If the new trends hold, much of central and western Minnesota may get skunked when it somes to desperately needed rainfall this weekend. The Twin Cities now hangs on the precarious western edge of the rain shield according to the NAM and GFS runs. The chances of a good soaking rain are dropping by the hour for the Twin Cities.
To the southeast, Iowa and Wisconsin look to reap the benefit of a still strong weather system that appears to me mercilessly steering east of Minnesota. Widespread soaking rains look probable east & south...and may still clip the southeastern corner of Minnesota Saturday.
For the metro? The latest trends suggest a minor soaking in Red Wing, and a dusty breeze in Rogers.
Let's hope the models and the system does a left turn Friday. I was hoping to water my thirsty trees and lawn the natural way this weekend.
As the system shifts east, SPC will also likely bump the severe weather threat south & east Friday.
What may have been the longest "swimmable" lake season in Minnesota has come to a crashing halt. A jump into your favorite lake these days will likely trigger gasp reflex and purple lips, not to mention other effects.
After some lakes in southern Minnesota reached nearly 90 degrees this summer and remained swimmable well into September, water temps have plummeted in the past month.
Here is a preview of Mark Seeley's Weather Talk this week.
Topic: Downward trend in temperature
Many observers have reported below normal temperatures so far this month. In northern locations 9 of the first 11 days have been cooler than normal, with many chilly mornings in the 20s F. Embarrass, Hibbing, and Wild River State Park have reported a minimum temperature of just 18 degrees F this month, while Brimson (St Louis County) has fallen to 15 degrees F. If this pattern persists we may see a significantly cooler than normal month in Minnesota for the first time since May of 2011. In addition shallow soil temperatures (4 inch depth) have fallen by 15-20 degrees F or more since the first of the month.
Lake Superior surface water temperatures reached a maximum of 70 to 75 degrees F this summer, but have plummeted several degrees this month. Currently many areas of the lake are reporting surface temperatures in the upper 30s to low 40s F. Other smaller lakes around Minnesota have also seen a decline of surface water temperature. Lake Minnetonka has fallen from the low 60s F at the start of the month to just 50 degrees F late this week. Similarly Mille Lacs has dropped from 59 degrees F to start the month to just 45 degrees F by October 11th. At Lake of the Woods water temperature has fallen from the low 50s F to start October to 39 degrees F on October 11th.