El Niño kicking in: Sunnier, milder days ahead

Rumors of sunshine and milder temperatures for Minnesota fill the weather maps. I’m inclined to agree with the weather models that favor a fresher, drier, sunnier breezes Friday through the weekend. Just in time. And we may have a blossoming El Niño to thank.

El Niño appears to be gaining strength in the tropical Pacific. Pacific sea surface temperatures (SST) are trending warmer. A solid band of warmer than average ocean water is now consolidating in the tropical Pacific.


NOAA now puts the odds of an El Niño at 90-percent this winter.

Fog again late

The setup is right for another foggy start early Friday morning. The sun will out Friday afternoon. In theory.

Most models agree Friday’s breeze will scour out any morning fog and lead to bright sunshine by lunchtime.

NOAA GFS total cloud fraction forecast midday Friday via tropical tidbits.

Sunny and warmer

Two words many Minnesotans love to hear. Sunny and warmer. My unscientific poll of Minnesotans shows about a 50-50 split between those who want plenty of cold and snow in winter, and those who would rather not deal with icy commutes and sub-zero wind chills. You can’t please everyone.

A fresh breeze blows Friday across Minnesota. That should be enough to scour out any morning fog we wake up to Friday. Sunshine and temperatures in the 40s were so close Thursday. Canby hit 42-degrees Thursday afternoon.

Highs will push the 40-degree mark from Friday through the weekend across most of southern and western Minnesota. The milder Pacific air hangs around well into next week. The average high and low temperatures for the Twin Cities next week are 26 and 11.

NOAA forecast temperature for Minneapolis via Weather Bell.

Colorado River facing the climate change music 

I spent 9 years in Tucson forecasting weather and reporting on climate trends. Water in the Colorado River is critical to life in the southwest as we know it.  Grist’s Eric Holthaus has a good update on a scenario we’ve all wanted to avoid for decades.

  • Dave

    I’ll believe 40 when I see it. The CPC’s models have fared poorly as of late, due in part to unforeseen cloud cover.