Saturday soaker’s heaviest rains trending east? 2012 still warmest on record in USA

1.5″ snowfall at Lake Kabetogema this morning

0730 AM SNOW KABETOGAMA 48.44N 93.03W


1″ at Culver (west of Duluth)

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Sunrise at the Lake Superior Marine Museum on Duluth Harbor

.68″ GFS rainfall output for MSP Airport Saturday

.77″ NAM rainfall output (both models down slightly from 1″+)

2″ to 4″+ possible in central Wisconsin?

Modles shifting east slightly with overall storm track

Slight risk for severe storms as far north as the Metro Saturday?

2012 warmest on record in USA through September

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Source: Twin Ciities NWS

Tracking Saturday’s System:

Well at least we finally have some action in the Weather Lab.

The jury is still out on exactly what kind of weather we’ll see in the Twin Cities Saturday but one thing appears fairly certain. It will rain for the first time in a long while.

The last time more than even .25″ of rain fall in the metro was nearly 2 months ago on August 15th when .73″ temporarily greened up lawns and fields.

The maps look promising for a potent low pressure system to spin out of the southern Rockies and race for southeast Minnesota Saturday. The big question? Where will the exact track end up?

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Source: NOAA/ARL

The latest model trends early Thursday suggest an eastward shift in forecast track. That could shove the heaviest rains east into Wisconsin. Some of the models are cranking out impressive multi-inch totals fom Madison to Green Bay Saturday…while the Twin Cities settles for rainfall generally under an inch. The best guess right now is between .50″ and .75″ for the metro. But if the model trends pushing the system east continue, those numbers may drop further.

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Source: NOAA via ISU

But then again that could easily change as the models grab onto the system as it crosses from the Pacific into California today and into the more “data rich” surface network over the USA.

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Source: NOAA/HPC

The good news? The potential for multi inch rainfall totals in drought plagued states from Okalahoma to Missouri, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Severe outbreak likely: But how far north?

This system has plenty of “dynamics” to work with to spawn severe weather Saturday.

A potent upper level jet stream, low level moisture and strong wind shear will combine to fuel severe storms, but the big question is how far north?

The latest SPC convective outlook puts the Twin Cities right on the northern edge of the severe risk Saturday.

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Source: NOAA/SPC

It remains to be seen if things will fall into place as far north as the metro, but southeast Minnesota…Rochester, Albert Lea to La Crosse will stand a pretty good chance of watches, warnings and damaging T-Storms Saturday.

2012 still #1 warmest in USA through September:

The September numbers are in, and 2012 is still running away with the “hottest year on record” title for the lower 48 USA.

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You can see that the past 12 months are the 3rd warmest on record in the USA, and the top 2 also occurred during 2012.

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Globally, 2012 is the 9th warmest year on record after a slow start…and now challenges the top 5 warmest years.

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Climate Change Educational Opportunities Ahead:

If you are looking for a great way to learn more about the latest climate change news, here are two great opportunities.

The Annual Kuehnast Lecture Series at the University of Minnesota will present a “Mini-Climate School” at The University of Minnesota St. Paul Student Center Theater.

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The event takes place Thursday, November 8, 2012 – 1:00 to 4:00 PM

I will be in attendance with MPR and UM’s Dr. Mark Seeley and a host of other local climate experts.

This is a public forum … all are welcome!

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I will also give a talk at the Belwin Conservancy this Saturday at 2pm in Afton.

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My talk will focus on the recent dramatic shifts in Minnesota climate, and what we can expect in the coming years.

You can contact Belwin for more information.


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