Crisp fall weekend, Euro favors milder rain (not snow) for Halloween

The last weekend in October in Minnesota.

Time to get the boat out. Time to collect this week’s leafy accumulation on the lawn and get the hoses put away before the big freeze. Time to put the snow stakes in next to the driveway?

Uh oh.

Late October sky. Image: Paul Huttner/MPR News

This is the time of year when meteorologists get a little antsy about inbound low pressure systems. The forecast models are notorious for (large) errors in late fall as jet stream and temperature patterns can swing wildly. So it is with a grain — no, shaker — of salt that we make predictions on precipitation type (rain vs. snow) a week in advance this time of year.

That said it appears our most trusted models point to potentially wet weather around Halloween — but the solutions seem to favor rain for now.

Weather fingers and toes crossed.

Image: Twin Cities NWS

Decent late October weekend

Let’s face it, we’re living on borrowed weather time by late October in Minnesota. Anything can, and has happened this time of year.

So while temperatures will runs a good 5  to 8 degrees below average (53/36 for metro) this weekend, it could be worse. Saturday features a blustery northwest wind and temps in the 40s.

Gusty northwest winds Saturday. Image: NOAA

Sunday looks like the nicer, sunnier calmer day for the weekend as temps push 50 degrees by afternoon in the metro and southern Minnesota, with 40s up north.  A great day to get the boat out if you haven’t already done it.

Image: NOAA

 Halloween Forecast: All over the map?

This is why it’s so dangerous to make any kind of long range predictions, or even show model output beyond 7 days in late fall. Yes, I was the one who pointed out last week that the Global Forecast System was pumping very cold air into Minnesota on Halloween. Surprise! The latest trends suggest just the opposite.

Image: Paul Huttner/MPR News

The latest Euro runs suggest a storm moving through northwest Minnesota that could bring some showers, and a much milder southerly wind flow to much of Minnesota this Halloween. Here’s the forecast surface wind field for the Upper Midwest from the European model (ECMWF) for around trick-or-treat time on Halloween night.

Image: Norwegian Met Institute

The latest Euro runs are suggesting that Minnesota may be in the “dry slot” of the incoming system Halloween night, with showers before and after. That’s really threading the needle this far out — and we’ll have to watch the system in the coming days. If it verifies, we could see some warmer air move in just in time for trick-or-treaters Halloween night. Temps approaching 60 with trick or treat temps in the 50s? It could happen that way of the Euro is right.

Image: ECMWF data via Weatherspark

Thank you Minnesota!

A huge thank you to all of you who came out to the MPR Weather Road Shows this month in Duluth, Moorhead, St, Cloud and Rochester.

We wrapped up with the biggest crowd yet on hand last night at the beautiful Rochester Art Center.

Image: Liz Baier/MPR News

It was so great to talk personally with so many MPR listeners and hear your passion for MPR and strong interest in Minnesota’s weather and changing climate. I would love to hear some of your comments about the presentation if you attended this month. Please feel free to drop a comment on this post.

Thank you!