Cooler breezes today; Mild weekend; Iffy Thanskgiving forecast; Auroras dazzle

Cool front working south through Minnesota today

40s today and Friday in southern Minnesota, 30s north

41 average high for the metro today

+1.3F so far in November for temps the metro

0.2″ snowfall so far in November at MSP Airport

-4.16″ rainfall deficit at MSP since September 1st as drought continues

Auroras dazzle Northern lights from Dakotas to Norway this week

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Image Credit: Ole C. Salomonsen sends this amazing picture from Tromsø, Norway:

Iffy Thanksgiving weekend forecast – models all over the map on temps rain and… yes…snow

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Cooler Front:

A weak cool front (read average front) is sliding south today. As winds shift to the northwest, cooler breezes will blow as slightly more wintery air oozes south from snow covered Canada.

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Source: Twin Cities NWS

Temps will hover near average later today and Friday, with 30s in northern Minnesota and 40s in the south.

Just in case you’ve lost track of averages this time of year, the average high at MSP Airport is now 41 and the average low is 27 degrees.

50s return this weekend:

Winds will turn southerly again this weekend. Sunshine, bare ground and southerly breezes from snow free territory in Iowa will help boost temps into the 50s again in southern Minnesota.

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This will be a great weekend to get the last of the fall yard chores done.

One thing the models agree on, a surge of even milder air will push north through next Tuesday, with highs pushing well into the 50s…and 60 degrees possible next Tuesday or Wednesday.

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Source: Iowa State University

It appears at this point that travel conditions will be excellent leading up to Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving Weekend forecast: Weather crystal ball still a little murky

Just when you thought it was safe.

The weather models are doing they typical “late November tango” when it comes to next weekend.

The ECMWF (Euro) & GFS agree on a warm push early next week, and then begin to diverge on solutions for Thanksgiving weekend.

The latest versions appear to support slightly cooler (but still above average) temps on Thanksgiving Day in the upper 40s to near 50 degrees with mainly dry conditions.

Black Friday is where things could begin to get dicey.

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Source: NOAA GFS Model via College of DuPage

The GFS is back to the notion of low pressure spinning up and pushing first rain…then possibly snow into Minnesota by late on Black Friday into Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend…with a shot of cold air by Sunday.

This will probably take a few more days to iron out….

Stay tuned.

Aurora show this week:

It’s been a good week for northern lights.

Auroras dazzled both Tuesday night in parts of the Upper Midwest. The show was visible from the Dakotas to Vermont, and as far south as Kansas according to spaceweather.com.

Douglas Kiesling shot this impressive display near Wheaton, MN.

The best displays came from Norway.

The sun has been active this year as we approach the peak of “Solar Cycle 24.”

There have been 0 “spotless days” in 2012. Compare that to 260 days (71%) without earthward facing sunspots in 2009 during the deepest solar minimum in a century.

Right now half a dozen sunspots are facing earth, and some are crackling with flares. NOAA predicts a 40% chance of more flares that could trigger northern lights in the coming days.

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Keep an eye on the late evening sky!

PH

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