Gusty & Dusty: MN drought expands; Spectacular weekend!

Winds of Autumn:

Now that was a cold front!

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Low pressure over Lake Superior and high pressure in Montana squeezed the air over Minnesota Thursday generating gusty winds!

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KARE 11 webcam shows boats tipped over at bouys on Lake Calhoun Thursday.

Gusty winds blasted Minnesota Thursday. Here are some of the higher gusts.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN

205 PM CDT THU SEP 29 2011

…HIGHEST WINDS OBSERVED THROUGH 2 PM…

…YELLOW MEDICINE COUNTY…

HANLEY FALLS (1068 FT)(MNDOT) 1220 PM SEP 29 56 MPH

4 SSW GRANITE FALLS (1046 FT)(OTHER-MTR) 1132 AM SEP 29 47 MPH

1 NNE CANBY (1191 FT)(OTHER-MTR) 1154 AM SEP 29 45 MPH

…WRIGHT COUNTY…

1 SE CLEARWATER (995 FT)(MNDOT) 142 PM SEP 29 45 MPH

…WATONWAN COUNTY…

3 E SAINT JAMES (1066 FT)(OTHER-MTR) 115 PM SEP 29 48 MPH

…WASHINGTON COUNTY…

LAKE SAINT CROIX BEACH (710 FT)(APRSWXNET) 1200 PM SEP 29 44 MPH

…STEELE COUNTY…

5 NNE ELLENDALE (1192 FT)(MNDOT) 1213 PM SEP 29 52 MPH

3 NW OWATONNA (1148 FT)(OTHER-MTR) 115 PM SEP 29 47 MPH

…STEARNS COUNTY…

3 ESE BELGRADE (1249 FT)(MNDOT) 131 PM SEP 29 52 MPH

…REDWOOD COUNTY…

REDWOOD FALLS ASOS (1023 FT)(ASOS) 1253 PM SEP 29 43 MPH

…RAMSEY COUNTY…

SAINT PAUL ASOS (685 FT)(ASOS) 1253 PM SEP 29 44 MPH

…HENNEPIN COUNTY…

CRYSTAL ASOS (869 FT)(ASOS) 1153 AM SEP 29 52 MPH

MINNEAPOLIS ASOS (836 FT)(ASOS) 1253 PM SEP 29 44 MPH

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Whitecaps on Mille Lacs Thursday.

Drought expands!

Drought is growing again in Minnesota. This week’s U.S. Drought Monitor lists 51% of Minnesota is now “abnormally dry” or in moderate to severe drought!

This is up from just 5% of Minnesota 3 months ago!

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Best weekend of fall ahead?

Come closer. Let me whisper in your ear. This is your friendly neighborhood weatherman with a quiet little piece of advice. GET OUTSIDE THIS WEEKEND AND EARLY NEXT WEEK…IT COULD BE THE BEST STRETCH OF WEATHER FOR THE REST OF THE FALL!

Now back to your regular programming.

I really mean it. When you combine lots of sunshine, milder temps and vibrant fall colors in many areas of Minnesota, this may be the best overall weekend of Fall 2011.

Hookey alert Monday?

It looks like a stable, mild weather pattern will persist through most of next week. A lazy late summer like ridge of high pressure will linger over Minnesota next week. Look for plenty of sunshine and a string of days in the 70s…with a shot at 80 on Sunday & Monday for much of southwest Minnesota and maybe the metro!

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I’m tempted to call this fine stretch of weather Indian Summer, but it’s still a bit early in the season to say that. remember the AMS definition and most other definitions for Indian Summer specify mid to late Autumn…

-Indian summer–A period, in mid- or late autumn, of abnormally warm weather, generally clear skies, sunny but hazy days, and cool nights.

I may be splicing hairs a bit here…but 70s in early October is really not that unusual. On average we hit 70 or better roughly 6 times in October…and with average highs in the metro still around 67 degrees this weekend, 70s are not that far above average… yet.

The average high by the end of October in the metro plummets to (gulp) 50 degrees!

So when can we officially say it’s Indian Summer?

It’s subjective, but for my money I’d tweak the AMS definition for Minnesota to say…” A period, of abnormally warm weather on or after October 15th featuring generally clear skies, sunny but hazy days, and cool nights.”

No matter what you call it, the weather pattern starting this weekend will be bonus weather.

Enjoy!

PH

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