Octember chill continues, Aurora watch this week?

Air Canada

Our fast forward fall pattern continues this week.

What you see is what you get on the weather maps these days. Expect the November chill levels to continue as a strong northwest flow aloft pumps in waves of chilly air from Canada. Jet stream winds are howling southward from Canada at around 120 mph in the Upper Midwest this week. Here’s a look at the upper level flow around 18,000 feet aloft from Intellicast.

Image: Intellicast

Frosted flakes

Another clipper will bring an overnight snowy dusting from Sioux Falls into southwest Minnesota and northern Iowa. As much as an inch of fluff may fall around Pipestone and Worthington. We’ll see a little more sun Tuesday — but temperatures will hover in the lower 40s.

Image: Twin Cities NWS

 Finally freezing?

Most of Minnesota has seen a frost already, but we’re two weeks past the average date (October 7th) of the season’s first 32 degree temp at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. After lows of 33 and 34 the past two mornings at MSP, it looks like we’ll finally crack the frost code there for 2013 on Tuesday morning. Here’s a look at where we start the day Tuesday, with sub-freezing temperatures in virtually all of Minnesota.

Image: NOAA

Frosty week

What you see is what you get this week. Daytime temperatures will hover in the low 40s and several nights will dip into the 20s. Here’s the graphical forecast with sun/moon data for this week from Weatherspark.

Image: Euro model data via Weatherspark

Aurora Watch?

Two significantly large sunspot groups are rotating around the sun, and moving into position for possible earthward directed blasts of solar energy this week. If they fire, the solar particles could interact with earth’s magnetosphere to produce some northern lights.

Image: NASA via spaceweather.com


Here’s the latest from one of my favorite astronomy sites,  spaceweather.com

Two large sunspot groups, AR1875 and AR1877,have emerged over the sun’s eastern limb and they are turning toward Earth. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this three-day movie of their approach:

Image: NASA via spaceweather.com

AR1877 is large, and AR1875 is rapidly growing to match it. Both sunspot groups have ‘beta-gamma’ magnetic fields that harbor energy for M-class solar flares. So far, however, neither one is actively flaring. Perhaps this is the calm before the storm. NOAA forecasters estimate a 25% chance of M-flares in the next 24 hours.

Hurricane Raymond batters Mexican Coast

Raymond is a Category 3 hurricane spinning just off the coast 160 miles west of Acapulco.

Image: NOAA/ National Hurricane Center

The storm may not actually make landfall as it drifts slowly westward, but torrential rain bands and winds are battering the coast. Here’s a look at the impressively symmetrical spiral structure from NOAA satellites.

Image: NOAA