Oct-ember chill, solar storm may trigger auroras

One look at the weather maps today and you can tell there's way too much blue for September.

911 MaxT1_uppermissvly
NOAA

Yes folks, 57 degrees in the metro is the average high for Oct. 19.

Northern Minnesota posted some of the first sub-freezing temps of the season this morning. Yes, that's 29 frosty degrees in Embarrass and 28 in Orr.

911 enb
Duluth NWS

Get used to it. Our October chill level lasts into the first part of the weekend. Temps bottom out Saturday morning with frost likely everywhere outside the inner metro core.

911 msp

The core of the coldest air and frost coverage passes over northern Minnesota, as usual.

911 dlh
Duluth NWS

The good weather news? Temps begin to moderate by the weekend. It looks like 70s will return next week.

Here's the version of events over the next week from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts model.

911 kky
Weatherspark

Aurora watch: Solar storm may trigger northern lights

911 2158
Sunspot AR2158. NASA

Two massive solar flares from sunspot AR2158 have sent earthward directed coronal mass ejections (CME) this way.

911 soho
Sunspot AR2158 erupted on Sept. 10th at 17:46 UT, producing an X1.6-class solar flare. A flash of ultraviolet radiation from the explosion ionized the upper layers of Earth's atmosphere, disturbing HF radio communications for more than an hour. More importantly, the explosion hurled a CME directly toward Earth. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory photographed the expanding cloud: NASA/spaceweather.com

The solar blasts increase the chances of communication interruptions and northern lights this week.

Here's more from one of my favorite astronomy sites, spaceweather.com.

STORM WARNING: A pair of CMEs is heading for Earth. The two solar storm clouds were launched on Sept. 9th and 10th by strong explosions in the magnetic canopy of sunspot AR2158. NOAA forecasters estimate a nearly 80% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Sept. 12th when the first of the two CMEs arrives. Auroras are in the offing, possibly visible at mid-latitudes before the weekend.

Keep an eye out for northern lights this week!

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.