Indian Summer lingers: Changes ahead late-week

Cathy Wurzer asked me this morning if our mild November weather qualifies as “Indian Summer.” I am happy to report the answer is an unqualified and resounding yes!

From the AMS glossary:

Indian summerA period, in mid- or late autumn, of abnormally warm weather, generally clear skies, sunny but hazy days, and cool nights.

Temperatures topped out at 61 in the metro Sunday. That’s a full (and welcome!) 16 degrees above the average high of 45 in the metro for November 7th. International Falls topped out at 60 degrees on November 7th. Not bad for a place they call the nation’s icebox.

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This is November? Warm air suges north Sunday.

A slow moving upper air storm over the Rockies will continue to pull mild air northward through Wednesday. Temperatures should push into the 60s again today and Tuesday, so enjoy the last leaf raking and lazy strolling this week.

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Changes ahead:

It IS November…so you know the other shoe is in mid-air and ready to drop sometime soon. That time is coming later this week.

The western storm will push a cold front through Minnesota Wednesday. There will likely be a band of showers (< .25"?) with the front, but the main feature will be significantly colder air. Highs will not climb out of the lower 40s by Friday and into the weekend. Snowy close encounter Saturday?

It looks like the upper air pattern and surface systems may come “into phase” over Wisconsin Saturday. This should spin up a low pressure system that may drag in enough moisture and cold air to produce some snow for western Wisconsin and far SE Minnesota Saturday. Rochester. La Crosse and Eau Claire may see enough snow to shovel and plow if the system tracks as forecast models paint things now.

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GFS model paints possible snow Saturday in Wisconsin.

We’ll have to keep an eye on this system late in the week.

Our average first 1″ snowfall in the metro is on November 18th.

Earliest and Latest Snowfall and Snow Cover in Twin Cities

Average first one-inch snowfall (1891-2003) November 18

earliest (1891-2003) September 26, 1942

lastest (1891-2003) January 9, 1945

Average first one-inch snow depth(1903-2003) November 21

earliest (1903-2003) October 13, 1959

latest (1903-2003) January 1, 1913

Latest 1 inch snowfall (season) (From 1891-2005)


1.) Jan 21 2005 (04-05)

2.) Jan 9, 1945 (44-45)

3.) Jan 6, 1981 (80-81)

4.) Jan 1, 1914 (13-14)

5.) Dec 30, 1918 (18-19)

6.) Dec 26, 1904 (04-05)

7.) Dec 21, 1920 (20-21)

8.) Dec 20, 1998 (98-99)

9.) Dec 19, 1939 (39-40)

10.) Dec 16, 1908 (07-08)

Colder pattern persists next week.

The cold air plunge this weekend may last a while. The medium range forecast models feature a persistent northwest flow aloft, and that should send waves of reinforcing cold our way for the next two weeks.

There is a lack of snow cover so far in northwest Canada, and that may help temper what could be an icy outbreak of cold air.

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In the mean time, enjoy two more days of Indian Summer… Minnesota style!


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