November reality check: Season’s coldest air ahead! 2011: Active sun

64 degrees – high at MSP Saturday! (1 degree shy of the record)

43 degrees – average high Saturday

+ 21 degrees vs. average Saturday!

49 degrees – high at MSP Sunday

+5.0 degrees – November temps vs. average so far at MSP Airport

6th straight month of above average temps in the Twin Cities and most of Minnesota

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Trace of snowfall so far at MSP Airport and in most of Minnesota

8.8″ average snowfall for November at MSP

Did we “pay it forward” last winter?

Looking at the maps and my snow free yard these days, I’m beginning to wonder if perhaps we “paid it forward” with last winters amazing 86.6″ snow blitz.

Weather has a way of evening out, of eventually trending toward average. There is a chance of snow next weekend over the Red River Valley and northern Minnesota, but I still don’t see any big scary snow storms on the horizon for southern Minnesota…at least not yet. We could still see a “Brown Thanksgiving” in much of southern Minnesota this year. Historically, chances for a white Thanksgiving in the metro are about 33%.

Last year on this day we had a fresh 8″ of snow on the ground in the Metro after a two day storm. It was the start of an early season snow attack on the Twin Cities and much of Minnesota. We were on our way to a 5 month winter in Minnesota. The snow cover pretty much stuck around until March 31st.

We’ll get a cold slap this week, but the longer we go with bare ground, the better our chances for milder than average weather overall in November.

November reality check: Season’s coldest air so far arrives this week

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Models show downward temperature trend this week!

Enjoy today’s run at 50 degrees. While not as warm as Saturday it will be the mildest day this week!

Sun is active these days!

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Image credit: Stephen W Ramsden

Nov. 12, 2011

Atlanta, GA


“This gigantic prominence graced the Southeastern rim today in its relentless march towards the Earth facing side of the Sun. Solar forums all over the world were buzzing with Sun-stronomers proclaiming that it was the biggest prominence that many of them had ever witnessed. This shot was taken at the Georgia Regional Astronomers Meeting at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta GA with a Lunt LS100 and an Imaging Source DMK21. The Earth was added for scale.”

The sun has been amazingly active this year. So far in 2011 there have been only 2 days without sunspots or “spotless” days on the sun. That’s less than 1% of the time.

Rewind to the last solar minimum in 2009 and there were260 spotless days. Thats about 71% of the time.

The reason? We are heading for the peak of so called Solar Cycle 24 in 2012 or 2013. Sunspot activity is on the way up, and should increase into 2012.

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