Winter Outlook: El Nino

Tuesday’s heat was incredible.  The mercury peaked at 95°…not quite to the record of 96° but might as well have been a record.  Tuesday was only the 8th time in 139 years of record keeping that the Twin Cities saw 95° on or after September 11.  The last time this happened was in 1939.

The hot summer of 2012 has been extending into September.  The metro has had 31 days at or above 90 degrees.  The normal number of 90 degree days within a year is 13.  The most?  The record number of 90 degree days was 44 set back in the summer of 1988.  Thanks to the Minnesota State Climatology Office for all the good heat stats!

Temperatures have now dropped 20 degrees across the Midwest.  The Twin Cities saw a 10 degree drop in 1 hour with the cold front today.  Summer-like heat may be gone for good and I would be surprised if we saw any more 90 degree days this year.  I love the heat of the summer but I can’t forget that there can be some awesome weather during the fall season.  We’ll get to experience some of that wonderful fall weather this weekend.  After a slim chance of a thunderstorm Thursday, the weather looks dry through Sunday.


Thursday: An isolated thunderstorm. H: upper 60s

Friday: Sunny. Dewpoints in the 30s…great riding weather. H: low 70s

Saturday: Sunny, warming up. H: upper 70s

Sunday: Partly sunny. H:; upper 70s

Monday: Cloudy, showers and thunderstorms. Much, much cooler. H: low 60s

Developing El Nino

El Nino conditions are expected to develop within the month.  Ocean water temperatures in the eastern, equatorial region of the Pacific Ocean have been averaging 0.5° warmer than average.

Atmospheric and oceanic currents may favor El Nino conditions lasting into the North America winter season.

Typically (and I stress typically), when El Nino conditions are present during the winter months, Minnesota tends to experience a mild winter.  Temperatures trend a little warmer, conditions tend to be drier and snowfall is meager.

Below are the temperature and precipitation outlooks for the winter season, December through February.  The seasonal outlooks combine the effects of long-term trends, soil moisture and, when appropriate, El Nino/La Nina conditions.  The current outlook depicts December through February with above normal temperatures but neutral precipitation for Minnesota.  Other regions of the Midwest, like Illinois, may have a drier winter than normal.




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