Here’s a forecast with a little something for everyone.
Much needed rainfall? Check. Overnight storms and potential lightning show? Oh yeah. Sunshine and milder temps ahead? You betcha.
Minnesota rides the eastern side of the strongest storm to hit the Upper Midwest in months. We can be thankful for that. The western side features an historic Black Hills blizzard that will dump up to 3 feet of wind whipped snow. The southern side features a severe weather risk and tornado threat in Iowa that may graze the far southern counties of Minnesota. It could be worse. Our cool and wet weekend looks nice by comparison.
This is a big storm system. These early season fall storms can wind up quickly, as strong north-south temperature contrast fuel developing low pressure systems. Here’s an excellent wind map that shows the vast area this storm coves and how winds in these systems swirl into the center of low pressure over Nebraska late Friday.
Friday night severe risk
The storm lingers all weekend over the Upper Midwest, but reaches it’s highest severe potential Friday night. The storm slowed down Friday, which means the highest severe risk has shifted south into far southern Minnesota and Iowa. The Twin Cities now rides the far northern edge of any severe risk.
Here’s the updated risk area from NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center.
I’m still concerned about a potential tornado outbreak in Iowa Friday evening. There’s a lot of low-level wind shear — twisting winds that can spin up tornadoes quickly in storms. You can check incoming storm reports here. Here’s the tornado outlook from SPC.
Bumpy Friday night into Saturday morning
As the warn front surges north overnight, I still think we’ll see an impressive line of thunderstorms ride north into southern Minnesota and the Twin Cities from the Iowa action. The storms will ease in severity as they move into cooler, less favorable air, but strong storms with heavy downpours, lightning, gusty winds and some hail are still a good bet overnight.
Here’s the early timing on overnight storms from the National Weather Service office in the Twin Cities. Expect the potential for a good light show with some downpours approaching the metro between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m.
Rest of the weekend: Cool exhaust
Saturday and Sunday will offer unseasonably cool weather, with more occasional showers. The Twin Cities Marathon looks chilly and a bit damp with temps hovering in the 40s. Temperatures will generally hover in the 50s this weekend, with 40s in northern Minnesota.
Kinder and gentler next week?
Things are looking up on the weather maps for next week. High pressure will bring a more typical October weather pattern. Sunshine returns Monday and Tuesday, and temps should bounce back into the upper 60s, and possibly into the 70s by late next week. Here’s an early peek at next week’s ‘improving’ weather picture.
Fall colors blooming
Colors are really popping now across Minnesota. Next week’s sunny dry weather should make for some spectacular leaf peeping. Here’s the update from the Minnesota DNR.
Dialing back drought
Recent rains are easing drought in Minnesota. This updated U.S. Drought Monitor came in before our recent rains fell, so expect even more improvement on next week’s update.