O.K. I'm going to get some serious push-back on that headline. Yes, the tropics are still wondrous - nothing wrong with the Virgin Islands or Cabo San Lucas or even La Jolla, California, for that matter. But factoring in traffic, the expense of getting to that magical destination - I'm going to pull the lever for Minnesota. Not sure it's ever happened before, but think about this for a moment:
Warm sunshine every day...
Humidity levels not nearly as high and nasty as back in July....
No severe weather to worry about....
Light winds, just a faint puff of a breeze....
Unlike the tropics, no need to keep checking the Weather Channel on cable to see if a 150 mph hurricane is on the way.
Even the forecast for this upcoming week has mellowed with age, like a fine wine (something a cork). A week ago some of the long-range (GFS) guidance was hinting at frost up north, even a few flurries near the Canadian border. Well each computer run gets warmer and warmer, and now we're looking at a downright anemic cool front limping across the state Monday with a few hours of showers. Not much of a cool push behind this frontal boundary, it may be a few degrees cooler by Tuesday and Wednesday. Highs reach the 70s every day this week, we may hit 80 again later in the week (again!) In fact, temperatures remain balmy through the first few days of October!!
At this rate we're probably looking at one of the 3 warmest Septembers on record, temperatures for the month may average 6-8 degrees above average, which (statistically) is very significant. Making up for a cool summer? Perhaps. It is amazing how the atmosphere has a tendency to "even things out" over the long haul.
St. Cloud: 84
Twin Cities: 83 (11th time this month above 80)
International Falls: 83 (20 degrees above average!)
Paul's Outlook for the Twin Cities
Today: More hazy sun, our extended summer hangs on one more day! It should be windier than Saturday was. Winds: SE 10-20. High: 81
Tonight: Partly cloudy, unseasonably mild. Low: 59
Monday: Clouds stream in, a few showers, slight chance of thunder. High: 74
Tuesday: More clouds than sun, best chance of showers south of town. High: 76
Wednesday: Partly cloudy, probably dry. High: 77
Thursday: Hazy sun, unseasonably mild. High: 78
Friday: Warm sun, no sign of a serious cold front - yet. High: near 80
Saturday: Intervals of sun, hazy, drought getting worse. High: 78
Records across the USA last week. The red dots symbolize towns where record highs were set. Blue symbols are record lows, the green dots signify record rainfall events. You can definitely see a pattern unfolding, a stalled storm over the south responsible for copious rains, while stalled high pressure and an unusually mild south/southwest wind pattern sparked a rash of record highs from Wisconsin westward to California. This graphic is just one of THOUSANDS you can find, free of charge, at Ham Weather, a division of WeatherNation. We are thrilled to be working with the smart and creative weather enthusiasts who built this site - see for yourself right here.
1 pm Temperatures on Saturday. This would be a typical weather map for the first or second week of August. These readings are a good 10-20 degrees above average for the third week of September. If you want to check out real-time conditions for yourself, check out what the University of Utah is doing with their MesoWest web site - some terrific capabilities here!
WRF-NAMM Model Valid 7 pm Monday. The "NAM" shows the best chance of heavier Monday showers (possible thunder) over far western Minnesota, with only light showers in the Twin Cities between 1 pm and 7 pm on Monday, perhaps the wettest day of a week that is NOT going to be very wet. (yes, we DO need the rain. We are in a drought - haven't forgotten. As I rant and rave about the weather I would be remiss not to remind all of us that the Drought of '09 is going to get considerable worse before it gets better).
A Tale of Two Months. The top map shows total estimated rainfall for August. The bottom map (same scale) shows September rainfall, to date. From 5-7" last month to a whopping .01" so far in September, as if Mother Nature just turned off the spigot. September does tend to be drier than the summer months (as winds turn more to the west and northwest) but this is ridiculous!