Fire to Ice

Karlstad Wildfire. Photo-U.S. NWS

Only in Minnesota can you get a raging wildfires one day to a foot of snow the next.

On Tuesday, over 700 residence in the northwestern town of Karlstad were evacuated because of a fast growing wildfire that burned 12 square miles and destroyed at least 6 homes.  Luckily, the fire was contained on Tuesday and residence were allowed back home.

Karlstad, as well as other locations in northwestern MN, will go from fighting fires to digging out of nearly a foot of snow.

Yup, a good ol’ Canadian slap of cold air comes rushing in behind a cold front on Thursday.  The winds will abruptly shift from the south to the northwest and deliver some of the coldest air of the season.  While Minneapolis/St. Paul will stay warm enough for just a passing rain shower, northern Minnesota will see a transition from rain to snow throughout Thursday.

RPM Model is showing 12" in NW Minnesota. Good moisture for the 8 active wildfires and extreme drought conditions in northwestern MN.

International Falls will see measurable snow but they probably won’t get hammered.  The heaviest band of snow keeps getting nudged northwest with each model run.  The average first measurable snow at International Falls is October 19.  Last year, 1.4 inches was recorded on November 9th.

Minneapolis/St. Paul typically averages 0.6 inches of snow in October with snowfall average amounts octupling in November to 8.8 inches.

The Art of Naming A Blizzard

The Weather Channel announced this week that they will start naming winter storms for the upcoming season.  In the same way tropical cyclones are given names during hurricane season, winter storms will be given names like Zeus, Plato and Luna when a potentially crippling snowstorm in expected.  This isn’t the first time winter storms have been named.  Winter weather expert and meteorologist Paul Kocin has been naming snowstorms for years and apparently Grand Forks has been doing the same.


I’m glad I got a ride in early Wednesday…I don’t think my body is ready to embrace the cold just yet.  Temperatures will stay below normal through the weekend.  After Thursday’s poor excuse for a rain shower, a lack of storms next week will keep our weather rather dry.  Looking ahead, the GFS Model’s 16-Day Outlook predicts 70s by the middle of October.  Indian summer, anyone?

Grab the heavy jacket and head out to the West Trailhead Grand Opening at Lebanon this Saturday from Noon-4pm!  Should be a great time despite the blustery, cloudy and very cool afternoon.

Thursday: Cloudy, windy and raw. A few cold sprinkles. H: near 50°

Friday: Mostly cloudy, even colder. H: upper 40s

Saturday: October gloom sticks around. Cloudy and very cool. H: upper 40s

Sunday: Partly sunny. Slightly warmer. Best weekend day for riding. H: low 50s

Monday: Mostly cloudy. Temperatures return to normal. H: low 60s

Temperature trend through the end of next week. -Iowa State University



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