The biggest weather news continues to be the devastation in the southeast United States and Puerto Rico.
In Minnesota, the skies have been calm and the temperatures warm. But that's about to change.
MPR Chief Meteorologist Paul Huttner shares a detailed forecast — and more.
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PAUL HUTTNER: Hey, Cathy. Good to talk with you. And yes, you're so right. The other shoe is sailing through Canada right now, and I think it'll get here sometime tomorrow.
CATHY WURZER: Great. I'm a little surprised about October being so warm as it has been. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised given climate change, I guess, right?
PAUL HUTTNER: Yeah. September this year. We hit 78 yesterday in the Twin Cities. That's 13 degrees warmer than average. So for the month, we're already 70 today. So the first five days, we've hit 70 plus every day. And we're running nine degrees warmer than average. I mean, that's way off the charts. Now that will correct a little this week.
But just keep in mind, our average high for today-- 64 degrees. So that's where we should be. And we've got the cold front this week. But NOAA's still saying we could warm up again next week, back to around 70 or into 70s. And even the long range outlooks, Cathy's saying, the last two weeks of October strongly favor a mild bias or warmer than average temperatures. So we're off to a warm start in October. And it looks like we'll correct that a little bit later this week.
CATHY WURZER: I'm looking for frost chances. I don't want to say frost, but I'm just saying as a gardener, I'm assuming it's right around the corner somewhere.
PAUL HUTTNER: It is. It usually is this time of year. And we do have frost chances. In fact, we'll get a freeze again. You'll notice the blustery winds by tomorrow. Northwest winds gusting 15 to 30. Temperatures dropping 40s, north 50s in Southern Minnesota. So a good 20 degrees colder tomorrow. And then Friday morning, Saturday morning, that frost and freeze you're looking for, it'll be in the 20s across most of Central and Northern Minnesota.
Twin Cities, I think, will bottom out between about 33 and 36. Maybe 32 in the inner Twin Cities Friday or Saturday morning. But interesting to note, Cathy, that the average first 32 degree temperature at Twin Cities Airport is October 11th. That's the 30-year average. And we just got the new 30-year averages, you remember, in the last year. So here it was, October 8th. So it's actually shifted three days later. That's a sign of our climate change. Fall is the second fastest warming season. So we're starting to see these longer growing seasons on average in Minnesota.
CATHY WURZER: Boy, it's been so dry. Wow. How deep is the drought around the Twin Cities?
PAUL HUTTNER: It's getting deeper. We are now eight inches below average precipitation so far this year. And really most of that since June 1st. We had a fairly average to wet start to the year. And then it's just like somebody switched the faucet off in June and we dried out. Severe drought now. Twin Cities into Southwest Minnesota. I won't be surprised if we start to see some areas of extreme drought crop up here in the next one or two drought monitor updates if we don't get any rain.
I was out on Lake Minnetonka on Monday. It's two feet below the dock tops. At least the shoreline is exposed. Minnehaha Creek of course we know is dry. The falls have been dry. And the outlook really, Cathy, little or no precipitation in the next 10 days. I'm looking for a big storm to wind up, but I'm not seeing it. So yeah, again, we need rain badly in Central and Southern Minnesota. Northern Minnesota has done better through the summer and early fall.
CATHY WURZER: We always talk about fall color at this time of the year. If people want to know where the best fall color is, and we always talk about how the weather plays into that. Where are the colors popping? And they do seem a little late to me. How about to you?
PAUL HUTTNER: Yeah, they are late. And that's a product of our warm September and warm start to October. I've seen some great photos up around Lutsen. Bryan Hansel, who's a photographer on Grand Marais. I know you're familiar with him. 75% to 100% color Northwestern and North Central Minnesota. Only about 10% to 50% around the Twin Cities in the south. I'm starting to see the change. There's some beautiful maples popping up around my area. So give it a few days or a week, Cathy, and I think we're all going to get a nice fall color show.
CATHY WURZER: And, see, of course, before you go, so many Minnesotans have ties to Florida and the Sanibel Island area. Fort Myers, that area. How high do you think damage is going to go from Hurricane Ian down there?
PAUL HUTTNER: Yeah, I've been watching some of the insurance estimates. And they're saying for insured losses, anywhere maybe $40 billion up to $60 billion plus. And uninsured could be over $100 billion. So this is going to end up as one of the top costliest hurricane disasters for the US. It's just tragic. So many people looking for homes down there. And the insurance market, Cathy, is just going to be in turmoil now in Florida after this.
CATHY WURZER: Oh, wow. All right. Paul Huttner, thank you so much.
PAUL HUTTNER: Thank you. Enjoy this beautiful day.
CATHY WURZER: I hope you do, too. Thanks. Paul Huttner with us, our chief meteorologist here at MPR News. By the way, you can listen to Paul and Tom Crann. ATC, All Things Considered, later this afternoon. Starts at 3:00, goes until 6:00 right here on MPR News. And check out the Updraft blog at mprnews.org. And I got to mention Climate Cast, because Paul wants me to do that. Climate Cast, of course, is his podcast where he talks about climate science. You can get it wherever you get your pods.
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