Cooler front Tuesday; 80 returns by Sunday? Spectacular fall color photos

77F Balmy high temp at MSP Monday

68F average high at MSP Monday

82F in Morris & Appleton Monday

+1.8F temps vs. average so far at MSP in September

16th straight month of above average temps in the metro!

May 2011 – last cooler than average month at MSP Airport (-0.9F)

Cool front Tuesday – temps 10 degrees cooler the rest of this week

80F returns to the metro as early as Sunday and into next week?

Spectacular fall color shots along the Mississippi – more images below

Sep 24 MS fall color 1.jpg

Mississippi River color burst

Image Credit: Bill Stein

(click to enlarge)

ClimateCast: Snapshot comparing Arctic Sea ice from September 1979 to September 2012 (see images below)

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Source: Twin Cities NWS

Cooler front pushes south:

It’s safe to say we “enjoyed” a stunning Monday with 77 in the metro and numerous 80+ degree temps in western Minnesota. You have to admit, these are the days that make many of us endure tough winters and hot muggy & buggy summers.

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Source: University of Utah MesoWest data

“Ideal human comfort” is the term that comes to mind with sunshine, temps in the upper 70s and desert dry dew points in the 30s. This is why people flock to Arizona in November…and why San Diego is packed with millions of people living on top of each other. (Okay…maybe the unbelievable beaches are a draw too.)

Simply put, Monday was tough to beat…and maybe the best single weather day of 2012?

Tuesday’s cool front will be noticeable, dropping temps about 10 degrees for the rest of the week.

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Source: NOAA

It’s interesting to note that Tuesday’s “cold front” is what I would call another “average front” in Minnesota…dropping temps to only near average.

What is “average” in the metro this week? 67/48.

Warmth returns this weekend:

As has been the case so often in Minnesota since May 2011, the cooler weather won’t last.

This month is the 16th consecutive warmer than average month in Minnesota. We’re running about +6 degrees in the metro during the past 16 months. Yes… it’s truly like we’ve been living in an Omaha or Lincoln, Nebraska climate the past year. Maybe it’s rubbing off…is that why the Gopher football team improving so much?

A ridge of high pressure will amplify this weekend over the upper Midwest. That will allow milder southerly breezes to blow again, and temps will respond into the 70s once again.

The GFS is hinting now for a couple of runs that the ridge may build even more early next week. This could boost temps back into the 80s for southern Minnesota once again.

Stay tuned…summer-like weather may have another run here early next week.

ClimatCast: Arctic Sea Ice…then and now

I’ve talked about the recent Arctic Sea ice record low a few different ways, but here’s one great way to visualize the dramatic differences in the volume of ASI over the past 30+ years.

Check out the snapshots below from September 1979 and September 2012.

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Source: NOAA/Cryosphere Today

Remarkable.

You can see it’s a completely different picture at the top of the world these days than in 1979, and why so many scientists are so concerned about the changes.

What we don’t know may be the biggest issue. How does less Arctic ice and warmer oceans change the course of the Polar Jet Stream and the way it delivers weather to the northern hemisphere? How should the computer forecast models deal with this newly changed landscape and air mass “source region?”

We’re literally in uncharted waters here.

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Colors exploding now

Source: MN DNR

Fall color explosion: Mississippi putting on a spectacular show!

Minnesotans like to travel far and wide to see the best fall color shows. Here’s one that’s literally right in the metro backyard.

Take a look at these photos captured by St. Paul resident Bill Stein Monday along the Mississippi River. The weekend chill has made the colors explode.

These pictures are worth way more than any thousand words I could type, so I’ll just stop typing.

Sep 24 MS fall color 3.jpg

Image Credit: Bill Stein

Sep 24 MS fall color 2.jpg

Image Credit: Bill Stein

PH

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