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Freaky Friday, werewolf warning posted

Please don’t adjust your PC. The photo below was not from a nearby town, I’m happy to report. No reruns of ’91, when Minnesota was in the grip of a once-in-a-lifetime storm, the dreaded “Halloween Superstorm”. 28″ of snow fell in a little over 2 days as a massive storm stalled over the Great Lakes, prolonging the snow bands wrapping into Minnesota, leaving behind some 3-5 FOOT drifts and a state full of stunned residents. Just when thought we had seen everything. It was a storm for the ages, and no, statistically speaking, we probably won’t have to endure anything that crazy ever again in our lifetimes. Statisticians explained that it was a 1 in 500 year event, but I’m not so sure. The way our weather patterns seem to be trending (more extremes, less “normal weather”) my confidence level isn’t as high as I’d like to see it.

Denver SuperStorm. This photo, courtesy of CBS4 in Denver, was taken in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, just outside of Denver, where 16-25″ of snow was reported.

Denver residents had their own personal, Superstorm yesterday, a cool 16″ at the airport, but I saw some 22-25″ amounts in the west suburbs. The town of Pinecliffe picked up 44″ of snow, nearly 4 FEET piled up! Not drifts – actual accumulating snow! Enough warm streamed north ahead of the storm to keep our precipitation falling as rain, nearly .50″ fell, but over 1″ of rain was observed in Rochester, closer to 1.3″ down in Austin, near the Iowa border. Although the heaviest, steadiest rains are over – pushing east across Wisconsin into Michigan – a few windblown showers and sprinkles will greet you as you head out and about today, temperatures falling through the 50s into the 40s as winds swing around to the west. The good news (for those of us not quite ready to be plastered in white) is that by the time it’s cold enough aloft for snow, the vast majority of the moisture will be pinwheeling to our east toward the Great Lakes. Over a foot of snow piled up in the Black Hills of South Dakota, it’s a winter wonderland a few hundred miles west of town, but just puddles (and wet leaves) in your path today. Computer models (NAM) print out another .10 to .20″ of rain today, mostly light and showery – not as heavy as it was Thursday, but count on soggy, raw conditions for Friday evening football games as temperatures dip into the 30s, a stiff wind making it feel more like 20-25.

Doppler Radar Rainfall Estimates. This is a derived product from the MPX (Twin Cities) Doppler located in Chanhassen Minnesota. Note the heaviest amounts (yellow/orange) near Austin and Albert Lea, where well over 1″ of rain was reported on Thursday.

Twin Cities Almanac: October temperatures running 6.6 F. cooler than average for the month.

Halloween Update. The good news: it won’t rain (or snow!) Expect Trick or Treat temperatures in the upper 30s to around 40, a stubborn wind from the northwest creating a stinging wind chill of 25-30. We’ve seen worse, yes. The stars may be poking through tomorrow evening, a partly cloudy sky likely over central and southern counties. Of course the Witch Watch and Werewolf Warning remains posted for the entire area – I expect some unspeakably horrifying objects to show up on Doppler Radar tomorrow evening. You’ll be fine (as long as you don’t hand out toothpaste or apples to Trick or Treaters).

Saturday looks chilly, temperatures running 5-10 degrees below average (keep in mind compared to Denver residents we’re getting off easy). Sunday looks better, milder as winds pick up from the south – afternoon highs poking well up into the 50s. A weak clipper-like system may spread a few light showers (rain/snow – looks like a mix) over the northern third of Minnesota Sunday, but odds favor dry weather for central and southern counties of our fair state. Nothing too controversial shaping up for next week, daytime highs ranging from the upper 40s to the mid 50s – most of the moisture sliding off to our south.

We just survived/endured/tolerated one of the coolest, wettest Octobers in Minnesota history. This, coming after one of the driest, warmest Septembers we’ve ever seen. Kind of makes you wonder what magic tricks Mother Nature has up her sleeve for November. What can possible go wrong, eh?

NAM Outlook for 1 pm Saturday. Looks like a dry Halloween statewide this year with a cool northwest wind, a few breaks in the clouds, temperatures falling through the low 40s into the upper 30s during Trick or Treat time. I guess, all things considered, we should be counting our atmospheric blessings.

Paul’s Outlook for the Twin Cities

Today: Mostly cloudy, turning windy and cooler with a few showers and sprinkles likely. Winds: NW 15-25. High: 46, falling into the 30s by late afternoon.

Tonight: Leftover clouds, sprinkles, even a few stray flurries. Low: 36

Halloween: Becoming partly sunny, breezy – still cooler than average. High: 45 (Trick or Treat temperatures dipping into the upper 30s, but dry weather is expected).

Sunday: Increasing clouds, milder. Chance of a few showers of rain/snow up north (should stay dry most of the day close to home). High: 55

Monday: Mostly cloudy, cooler than normal. High: 49

Tuesday: More sun, a few degrees milder. High: 51

Wednesday: Intervals of sun, quiet and dry. High: 52

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