2nd driest September on record; Duluth’s “Endless Summer” of 2012

.30″ rainfall total at MSP in September

2nd driest on record

1882 only September drier than 2012

Dry fall trend? 3 of 6 driest Septembers have occurred since 2009

2011 was driest fall on record for MSP

107 days at or above 70F this year in Duluth!

NOAA Satellite crash – “GOES 13” goes down

MSP quick look forecast:

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Source: Twin Cities NWS

Dry and drier:

Hopefully this is a trend won’t last.

We’ve eeked out just .30″ of rainfall at MSP so far in September. Without a drop of rain in the forecast through Sunday, it looks like September 2012 will go down as the 2nd driest on record in the metro.

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Source: MN Climate Working Group

3 of the driest 6 Septembers have now occurred since 2009, meaning 3 of the past 4 Septembers (75%)have been bone dry.

Metro “heat Island” fends off frost so far?

Take a look at the map below from the MN Climate Working Group. The map shows the lowest observed temps so far in September. You can see the inner metro core is the only location that seems to have escaped frost or freeze this month.

118 min so far.PNG

Duluth’s “endless summer” of 2012?

It’s been a mild year on the “Scandinavian Riviera.”

Duluth has set a new record with 107 days at or above 70 degrees this year. The details from the Duluth NWS.

Most # of 70 Degree Temperatures in a Calendar Year at Duluth

With a high temperature of 70 degrees already reported today, Duluth has broke a record for the most days at or above 70 degrees in a calendar year. Currently, there have been 107 days this year with a 70 degree temperature. The old record was 106 days set in 1955.

Tough year for Minnesota apples

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Image Credit: Alex Kolyer for MPR

It’s been a tough year to be an apple tree in Minnesota. MPR’s Liz Baier explains why extreme weather in 2012 has hampered the harvest.

ELGIN, Minn. — Apple lovers may have a hard time finding Minnesota-grown Honeycrisp apples this year.

Unusually warm weather in March, followed by a hard frost in April, killed off a lot of apple blossoms. A few months later, thousands of apples that were left on trees were damaged from summertime hail storms and drought, a big blow to the $12.6 million apple industry.

“Normally, even this time of year, we’d be just fine,” said Fred Wescott, whose Elgin orchid typically produces 600 bushels an acre. “We’d have all kinds; these trees would be just loaded with fruit… The significant damage this year, no matter how you cut it, is the fact that there is no fruit.”

Weather “Eye in the sky” goes dark:

This one is a big deal. When one of your major weather satellites goes dark after just 6 years on the job, you better have a plan B.

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Source: NOAA via College of DuPage Weather Lab

GOES 13 or “GOES East” was shut down by NOAA Sunday after days of static. GOES means “Geostationary Orbital Environmental Satellite” and was in orbit 22,000 miles above the eastern USA.

The bird sent images every 15 minutes of the eastern USA and the Atlantic. It was the primary hurricane observation system in the Atlantic Ocean.

Thankfully NOAA has GOES 14 ready to go.

Details from EarthSky.org.

UPDATED SEPTEMBER 25, 2012 6 A.M. CDT (11 UTC). The GOES-13 satellite, which provides regular images every 15 minutes for the eastern U.S. and Atlantic Ocean began to return images with an excessive amount of noise on September 12, 2012. The noise gradually increased so that NOAA – on the U.S. evening of Sunday, September 23 – took the GOES-13 satellite offline, placing it on temporary standby. NOAA is trying to analyze the problems with GOES-13, and it is uncertain as to when the satellite will be up and running again. Having the GOES 13 satellite malfunctioning is not a good thing, because, without it, forecasters will have a more difficult time monitoring possible tropical systems that could form in the Atlantic. Fortunately, we are in a lull for activity in the Atlantic, minus Tropical Storm Nadine. Other satellites are now being used as replacements for GOES-13.

Bottom line:

The GOES-13 satellite is currently offline – on standby – as NASA tries to fix the “noise” the satellite has been experiencing since September 12, 2012. The standby began on the evening of September 23, according to U.S. clocks. As of now, it is unknown as to how long GOES-13 will be out. GOES-15 temporarily provided backup imagery, but GOES-14 has since served as a replacement. Fortunately, the tropics have been relatively quiet across the Atlantic, but activity could increase towards October. GOES-13 satellite not only takes weather images, but it also collects atmospheric data that is used in weather forecasting models. With the GOES-13 down, that important missing data might degrade weather models’ accuracy in weather prediction at the present time.


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