Mild Thursday ahead; Alaska’s balmy fall

Thursday is the October weather day Minnesotans have been waiting for. Milder breezes blow in temperatures in the 60s. Thermometers will reach 70-degrees in western Minnesota. Temperatures may even tickle 60-degrees along the North Shore all the way to Grand Marais.

Late-season runners, walkers, and golfers will scatter across the landscape. A few hearty fishing boats will hover in the quieter bays.

High temperatures touch 60 again Friday in the Twin Cities and southern Minnesota. But a cold front blows in colder air for Saturday. Next week looks seasonal, with many highs in the 40s north and 50s south.

NOAA via Weather Bell.

Baked Alaska

The is has been a record warm fall so far for parts of Alaska. Here’s more from NOAA.

The North Pacific Ocean is warm—really warm—at least compared to normal. September temperatures in Alaska tired for fourth warmest in the past 94 years according to NCEI analysis, helped along by above normal ocean surface temperature around most of the state as well as a wide expense of the Pacific outside of the tropics. The only exception was to the north of the central and eastern North Slope coast, where some ice persisted through most of the summer and kept southern Beaufort Sea waters cooler than normal.

Renewables boom continues

Minnesota is one of 10 states that now get more than 20-percent of electricity from renewables. Here’s more from Yale360.

Solar and wind energy now generate more than 20 percent of electricity in 10 states, according to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Iowa is at the top of the list, with 37 percent of its electricity coming from wind and solar in 2017, followed by Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota, all above 30 percent, PV Magazine reported.

The top five states for renewable electricity generation, which also includes North Dakota, get nearly all their renewable energy from wind. During some months in 2017, wind accounted for more than 50 percent of in-state electricity generation in Iowa and Kansas. Vermont, number six of the list with 24 percent, is evenly split between wind and solar. California, number seven with 22 percent, gets most of its renewable energy from solar.

Maine, Colorado, and Minnesota also get more than 20 percent of their electricity from renewables, predominately from wind. For comparison, wind and solar accounted for just 8 percent of total electricity generation in the United States in 2017, according to the EIA.