“Sep-tober” Chill: Coldest in 5 months; 50% chance of 1st Metro frost Sunday AM

66 degrees – High at MSP Airport Thursday at 2:35pm

-4 degrees vs. average Thursday (average high = 70F)

Reenforcing cold front Friday night sets up chilly weekend

54F forecast high temps in the metro Saturday

October 24th Date when average high hits 54F at MSP Airport

April 28th – last day cooler than 54F in metro (High was 51F)

Frost likely in north & east metro suburbs by Sunday morning

50% chance of frost in the metro Sunday AM

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Source: Twin Cities NWS

October Preview: Cold Shot

The proverbial “other weather shoe” is hitting with a thud this weekend in Minnesota.

Friday brings yet another…and the strongest cold front of the week to Minnesota.

Temps will not climb out of the 50s by Saturday, and this looks like the coldest air mass to visit the Upper Midwest in almost 5 months.

The last time the metro saw a high below 54 degrees was April 28th when the mercury staggered to 51 at MSP Airport.

As the cold air rushes south Friday night, it drags enough moisture along to produce some scattered showers…some of which may fall as s…s…snow from Duluth to Rice Lake. We can’t rule out a few flurries sneaking into the metro in the wee early dark hours of Saturday morning.

Frosty Sunday:

As the center of high pressure settles in Sunday morning, clear skies and lighter winds should set the stage perfectly for frost.

The models seem to settle in around 37 at MSP Airport around 7am Sunday, which is cold enough to produce some patchy frost at ground level.

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Source: NOAA

At this point I would say the season’s 1st frost is likely in the north & east metro suburbs Sunday morning, and scattered frost is possible inside the 494/694 freeway ring in the core of the metro.

I don’t think we’ll reach 32F at MSP Airport. The average 1st 32 degree reading at MSP? October 7th.

Seeley: Coldest temps of the season so far this week in Minnesota

Yes it really was that cold this week!

Mark Seeley highlights some of the lows in this week’s “Weather Talk.” He also has some perspctive on the new long range outlooks from CPC issued Thursday.

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Source: NOAA/CPC

Here’s a preview.

Topic: Cold temperatures, dry air

Both Tuesday and Wednesday brought cold temperatures to many northern Minnesota communities. High pressure, clear skies, and a dry air mass were conducive to significant overnight drops in temperature. Some communities set new low temperature records, including

For Tuesday, September 18th:

32 degrees F at Grand Forks, ND

28 degrees F at Wright

27 degrees F at Floodwood

26 degrees F at Kabetogama

24 degrees F at Orr

22 degrees F at Hibbing

21 degrees F at Babbitt

20 degrees F at International Falls and Embarrass

19 degrees F at Warroad (this was the lowest reading in the nation on September 18th)

For Wednesday, September 19th:

27 degrees F at Silver Bay and Grand Marais

25 degrees F at Kabetogama

23 degrees F at Orr

21 degrees F at Warraod

20 degrees F at Embarrass (this was the lowest in the nation on September 19th)

The air was so dry that dewpoints were in the low 20s F, far more typical of late November than mid-September. After relative humidity in many places ranged from 20 to 30 percent. As a result of the very dry air and windy conditions during the day, the National Weather Service issued a number of Red Flag warnings this week around the state

Topic: New climate outlooks

On Thursday of this week the NOAA Climate Prediction Center issued new seasonal climate outlooks. The temperature outlook for Minnesota favors above normal values over the October-December period. Actually this trend is seen for about 75 percent of the USA based on dynamical models and past trends. Little emphasis is placed on El Nino at the moment because it remains in a neutral state. The precipitation outlooks shows equal chances for above or below normal values over the October-December period across most of the USA except the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states which are expected to see above normal values.


Listen for more with Mark during the 6am hour Friday with Cathy Wurzer on MPR News network stations.

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Stratocumulus “undulatus asperatus” in Missouri

Image credit: Wikipedia Commons

Can we get a new cloud please?

Here’s an organization I have to join.

The “Cloud Appreciation Society” is advocating for a new cloud called….wait for it….”undulatus asperatus.”

The clouds have been discovered since 1951 but are not “officially” classified. The name translates approximately as “agitated waves.” They are often observed in the Midwest and appear to be associated with gravity waves.

Try that one at your next cocktail party this weekend, you’ll be a big hit. Promise.


  • Randy in Champliln, MN


    I saw that type of cloud cloud formation on July 17, 2010 when we were driving home to the north metro area from the Duluth air show. Being a weather enthusiast, and a spotter for the National Weather Service I knew we had about a 3 and 1/2 hour window to get home once the air show let out, (as models showed a massive storm system dropping into the metro.) I figured about 30 minutes to get out of the traffic and onto the freeway, given the fact it takes about 2.5 hours to drive from Duluth to my house we would have about 30 minutes to spare. Sure enough when the garage door opened my weather radio was going off in the garage for a severe storm warning. But I digress, because this post is about the cloud formation.

    I started to pick this cloud formation very near the border of the DLH/MPX cwa along the I35 corridor, these wave clouds seemed to be about 40 miles long. But what fascinated me is what I saw on the leading SW side, it was a area of circular rotation, all though it was quite elevated and didn’t pose a threat of tornadoes it was fascinating to see. Sure enough 20 minutes later we drove under that rotation and saw blue sky’s, I kid you not.

    I would have loved to get pics, but our camera’s were tucked into the trunk, and I didn’t think we had the time to spare to stop and take pics. These clouds when I saw them reminded me of roiling pins( the kind you use to roll bread dough) stacked up next to each other with their widest point touching each other.

    So my question to you is this. Can you find a radar scan from July 17th 2010 say between 6 and 8PM that shows the storm approaching the twin cities from the NW as well a satellite pic showing the gravity waves along the I35 corridor? Trust me those gravity wave clouds were there.

    “undulatus asperatus.” These clouds are real.