Potent western storm moving this way

A large and powerful western storm is winding up in the Rockies today. It’s snowing heavily from Denver to Rapid City. Winter storm warnings are posted from the Rockies all the way into the Dakotas.

On the cold side of the storm, more than a foot of snow will fall from Denver all the way into the Black Hills. As much as 4 feet may pile up in the mountains west of Denver.

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CDOT traffic cam shows heavy snow in Denver Wednesday morning.

Minnesota will be mostly on the warm side of this storm. Look for the bulk of the rain to increase Thursday. Forecast models are cranking out another three quarters of an inch of rainfall. We may also see a few thunderstorms with this system Thursday.

If we get another .86″ of rainfall in the Twin Cities we will set the record for the wettest October on record. There is a chance we will get there by Friday.

Minneapolis Wettest Octobers

Rank Value Date

1. 5.68 1971

2. 5.62 1968

3. 5.52 1941

4. 5.48 1984

5. 5.45 2005

6. 4.97 1970

7. 4.82 2009

8. 4.65 1994

9. 4.18 2002

10. 3.68 1995

Look for a cooler Halloween. It should be dry by trick-or-treat time Saturday evening. It does not look as scary windy and cold as it did yesterday. Highs may approach 50 Saturday, and temps will likely be in the 40s by early evening.

The longer range outlook hints that temperatures may be mostly above average as we move into early November.

El Nino producing quiet Atlantic hurricane season

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NOAA CPC “El Nino Index” shows Pacific SST’s approaching 1 degree above normal.

El Nino is here and it’s not all bad news.

We can thank El Nino for the quietest Atlantic hurricane season in over a decade. So far this season there have been only 2 hurricanes and a total of 8 named storms in the Atlantic. If no more storms from this season, it would be the lowest number since 1997. You have to go all the way back to 1982 to find the last time there were only 2 hurricanes in the Atlantic

During El Nino years, the westerly winds are unusually strong all the way south into the tropics. These stronger west winds aloft tear the tops off of developing tropical cyclones before they have a chance to get going. Hurricanes like quiet easterly winds aloft between 5 and 15 mph to nurture and steer storms toward the west.

The quiet season has been a blessing for hurricane weary coastal residents and insurance companies this year.

PH

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