Weathermap looks like early November

Weather Headlines

Today: mostly gray, but mostly dry – rain should hold off until tonight

Tomorrow: wettest day of the week, over .50″ of rain likely, maybe some 1″+ amounts over central and northern MN. Umbrellas required.

Snow? Computer models hinting at a brief changeover to wet snow at the tail-end of the storm late tomorrow (1-3″ slush for far northeastern MN, maybe a coating of slush over central MN, probably no accumulation in the immediate metro area, but it’ll be close).

Chilly late-week weather, but the sun should return (at least partially) by Saturday (nicer day for outdoor stuff).

Rain/snow shower mix possible by Sunday PM over the northern half of Minnesota. Maps look more like mid November.

Early word on Halloween? May look and feel more like Thanksgiving (forecast at the end of the 7-Day below)

I could get accustomed to days like Monday. It started off on a vaguely terrifying note: the flight from Baltimore to MSP I was on was diverted to Detroit for an onboard medical emergency. We went from 35,000 to the runway in about 7 minutes, the fastest I think I’ve ever descended in an airplane. The entire time the flight attendants were on the intercom, pleading for a doctor or nurse to help with an ailing passenger in the back of the plane. At first I thought, “I’m going to be late – damn.” (No, I’m not proud of that initial, visceral reaction). Then I thought about it, some poor guy in the back having a heart attack or stroke, fighting for his life, and here I am worrying about a missed appointment. Not cool. I realize these are scary times for many, with the H1N1 flu bug terror breaking out across the land. Now you just can’t casually ignore a sore throat or fever – it’s getting to the point I’m afraid to turn on the TV or radio, for fear of what new (mildly horrifying) headlines I might encounter. Sunday on 60 Minutes I heard Anderson Cooper reassure the audience that only 1 in 100 cases of H1N1 were truly serious, potentially life-threatening, but watching that poor football player on the hospital bed with tubes coming out of everywhere – the pictures told the story in a way that words couldn’t. Scary stuff. We’ll get through this – but sometimes I do wonder if we’re getting the full story. If the prognosis was really grim would they even tell us, or hold back, so as not to incite riots and mass unrest? Not sure – I want to believe we’re getting all the facts. And then the sun came out, illuminating the sugar maples, and it looked like a postcard outside my office window – I realized how happy I am to be alive now, at this time, in this country – how lucky I am to be here, on this crazy ride with everyone else. My day ended better than it started.

Well Paul sure is cheery today! Sorry to get off on a tangent. Between the drama on Northwest Flight 393 yesterday and a friend at WeatherNation telling me about his ill wife and baby (both running fevers) I think I’m just a little freaked out. Thankfully the weather won’t be adding to my sense of woe and impending doom – clouds thicken today ahead of the next storm, most of the rain (and a COLD rain at that) comes Wednesday. Computer models are hinting at .50 to .70″ of rain, and as winds swing around to the north on the backside of this storm late tomorrow enough cold air may surge south of the border for a changeover to wet snow at the tail-end of the storm. A coating of slush is possible in St. Cloud, maybe an inch or two farther north, from near Brainerd to the Iron Range, but I don’t expect much, if any, accumulation from the Twin Cities on south and east. It still seems odd to be talking accumulating snow in mid October. This is the kind of discussion we should be having in mid November.

NAM/WRF Model valid 7 am Wednesday morning. This graphic shows expected rainfall amounts from 1 am to 7 am Wednesday morning, hinting at some .50″+ amounts over central and northern Minnesota. Yes, it may be a slow, white-knuckle slog to work tomorrow morning, but at least roads will just be wet.

NAM/WRF Temperature Outlook for 7 pm Wednesday. Note the surge of cold air (blue shaded area shows temperatures in the 30s) pushing southward out of Canada. Computer models are hinting at enough cold air aloft for a changeover to wet snow at the tail-end of the storm Wednesday afternoon or evening. I think roads will be wet (during the daylight hours) but during the evening hours, with a low sun angle and temperatures falling through the 30s I could see an inch or two piling up north, maybe a coating of slush into St. Cloud and the far northern suburbs of the Twin Cities. Something to look forward to.

GFS 120 Hour Snow Accumulation Outlook. Yes, the models are hinting at a couple inches of slush for far northeastern Minnesota – a little slush into central Minnesota, but MOST of the precipitation that falls tomorrow should fall as rain.

Naive optimist that I am, I still think this unusual cold snap (temperatures the first 19 days of October ran nearly 10 degrees colder than average in the Twin Cities) we’ll make up for it with at least one, maybe two more spells of Indian Summer. I think there’s a much better than 50-50 chance we’ll see more 60s, I wouldn’t be shocked to see one more day above 70 close to home. Yes, before long the weather pendulum will swing in the other (milder) direction, and you’ll have one more chance to walk around the block in shirtsleeves. Ditch the shorts though – I think those blissful days are in our rear-view mirror.

Paul’s Outlook for the Twin Cities

Today: Partly to mostly cloudy – but it should stay dry during the day. Winds: East 10-20. High: 53

Tonight: Cloudy, rain arriving late. Low: 41

Wednesday: Windy and raw with periods of rain, moderate at times. Turning colder by afternoon with falling temperatures – a brief period of wet snow is possible by late afternoon and evening, maybe a coating of slush on lawns and fields north and west of the Twin Cities. High: 46 (falling through the 30s late).

Thursday: More clouds than sun, chilly! High: 48

Friday: Breezy and cold for October – persistent clouds, but probably dry. High: near 50

Saturday: Intervals of sun, better day of the weekend. High: 51

Sunday: Getting cloudier, PM showers of rain (mixed with wet snow up north). High: 47

Monday: Partly sunny, more like autumn. High: 53

Halloween Outlook: Mostly cloudy and chilly with a few sprinkles or flurries. High: near 40 (Trick or Treat temperatures may be 32-35 F). Plan on a few extra layers under your kid’s costumes – I have a feeling you’re going to need them this year.

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