Spectacular fall weekend ahead; NOAA winter outlook suggests snowy winter?

Best weekend of fall in Minnesota?

Greetings from the shores of beautiful Lake Bemidji! I am happy to report Paul and Babe are well and soaking up our October sunshine.

This is the final stop of this week’s MPR Connects Weather Tour. It’s a pleasure to meet so many of you and hear about your weather and climate observations and questions. It’s yet another data point that proves Minnesotans are among the most weather savvy people in the world.

I am grateful for your kind words and for your support of the work we do at the MPR Weather Lab.

MPR Connects! 2019
MPR Connects! 2019

Spectacular weekend

Get out there Minnesota. This could be the best weekend of fall.

We enjoy plenty of sunshine Friday and Saturday. Clouds increase Sunday, and rain will move into southwest Minnesota during the day. Rain could reach the Twin Cities by Sunday evening.

Look for temperatures in the 60s this weekend. Next week starts wet and stays cool.

Temperature forecast for Minneapolis
Temperature forecast for Minneapolis
NOAA via Weather Bell

NOAA winter outlook: Snowy?

Seasonal forecast signals don’t look as clear to me this winter. With no El Niño in the tropical Pacific, climate forcing for this winter may come down to other factors. Or just random variability superimposed on the longer-term climate change trends of milder winters overall in Minnesota.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s winter outlook suggests equal chances for a warmer or colder than average winter and favors a snowier signal across the Upper Midwest.

While the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climate pattern often influences the winter, neutral conditions are in place this year and expected to persist into the spring. In the absence of El Nino or La Nina, long-term trends become a key predictor for the outlook, while other climate patterns, such as the Madden-Julian Oscillation and Arctic Oscillation (AO), will likely play a larger role in determining winter weather. For example, the AO influences the number of arctic air masses that intrude into the U.S., but its predictability is limited to a couple weeks.

“Without either El Nino or La Nina conditions, short-term climate patterns like the Arctic Oscillation will drive winter weather and could result in large swings in temperature and precipitation,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

Stay tuned.

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