Sun & warming trend return; 25 foot waves hammer Chicago!

Get ready for another ride on Minnesota’s temperature roller coaster.

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Thursday through Saturday: Sun returns- warming trend! Highs warming into the 50s to near 60 by Saturday!

Sunday & Monday: Still mild, shower chance? Highs near 60

Tuesday – Friday of next week: Cold snap. Codest air of the season so far. High int he 30s. Lows in the 20s.

Halloween weekend: Indian Summer? Highs near 60.

Halloween: Milder than average? Highs in the 50s?

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GFS long range: Near 60 for Halloween?

Huge waves pound Chicago Lakefront:

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Waves crash on the shore behind the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Wednesday afternoon, October 19, 2011. ((Heather Charles/ Chicago Tribune) / October 19, 2011)

The story from the Chicago Tribune.

“The lakefront bike and jogging path was closed this morning in the wake of warnings of high winds, high waves and lakeshore flooding.

A high wind warning is in effect for the Chicago area from 3 p.m. this afternoon to 10 a.m. tomorrow morning.

Wind gusts at the Harrison Water crib, about 3 miles east of the lakefront near Armitage Avenue, were clocked at 59 mph at 4 p.m., with sustained winds of about 50 mph, according to the National Weather Service. A Chicago Park District weather station at 63rd Street beach clocked sustained winds of 40 mph at 4 p.m., and at 3 p.m., Gary Airport reported 24 mph winds and gusts of 47 mph., according to the weather service.

By about 4 p.m., wind gusts near Navy Pier were so strong that walking was difficult.

One man could be seen walking north of Ohio Street Beach along the lakewall east of Lake Shore Drive as a man and woman took cell phone photos of the waves crashing against the shore.

Even inside the breakwall south of Oak Street beach, waves were hitting the concrete and splashing 15 feet in the air. The winds were high enough to make standing difficult.

By about 3:45 p.m., waves crashing onto the lakewall east of Lake Shore Drive near Fullerton Avenue were reaching 15 feet high or higher.

In addition, a forecast of heavy rain and 14 to 25 foot waves has prompted a lakeshore flood warning from 3 p.m. today to 4 p.m. Thursday. Bikers and joggers were threatened with the same treacherous wave activity encountered on lakefront paths late last month, National Weather Service meteorologist Ben Deubelbeiss said.

The lakefront path was shut down from Fullerton to Grand avenues.

The National Weather Service said north to northeast winds of 40 to 45 mph with gusts up to 60 mph are likely. The strongest winds will be in areas adjacent to Lake Michigan.

Downed tree limbs and power lines are expected, and high-rise dwellers were advised to take in their balcony furniture to keep it from blowing away.”

Siberian snow cover running at or below average in October:

One of the newest trends in long range forecasting is to watch snow cover anomalies in Siberia during September and October. There is some evidence to suggest that above average snowfall trends can shift circulation patterns in the northern hemisphere, which can in turn favor cold air outbreaks in the USA.

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So far this October snow cover has been running near average over eastern Siberia, and below average in western Siberia.

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We may not have enough data yet to suggest a bullet proof link, but so far in 2011 there is nothing that suggests enhanced Siberian snow cover would favor a colder than average winter in the northern USA.

I’m still evaluating the long range outlook for the winter of 2011-’12 in Minnesota. Next week I’ll take a crack at some temperature and snowfall predictions for Minnesota this winter.

Stay tuned!


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