Fatbike Forecast

MPLS Rainbow. Photo: Steve Burns

The misty rains of recently have given us a good weekend for riding.   The rain was steady enough to dampen the ground and help settle the dusty dirt on our area trails.  The weekend stays dry with temperatures nearing 70 by Sunday!  Next shot of rain may come early next week.


Saturday: Partly cloudy H: near 60°

Sunday: Increasing late afternoon clouds. Warmer. H: upper 60s

Monday: Mostly cloudy, a passing shower. H: mid 60s

Tuesday: Cloudy, warm south wind. H: upper 60s

Wednesday: Cloudy and windy. H: nearing 70°

For a time, our forecast models were showing a promising rain storm next week for Minnesota.  However, the storm is now forecast to pass to our west.  This might mean that we miss out on much of the rain…but not the cold!  Halloween week will be much colder with highs potentially in the 30s and 40s!  There could even be a few snowflakes but no accumulating snow expected at this time.

Map: weatherbell.com

Winter 2012-2013 Outlook

fatbikerides.com Photo: Bill Vitali

I’ve had my eye on a fatbike for a while now but I still have yet to take the plunge.  What am I waiting for?  Snow?

Well, this year’s snow prediction is a toss-up.  You might have a better shot at predicting the winning Powerball numbers than trying to predict how much snow we will get this winter.  An El Nino, which was expected by now, has failed to develop.  These neutral conditions in the eastern Pacific make for a very low-confidence winter forecast.  I’m not about to put a number on how many inches of snow we’ll see this season.  I think we’ve learned our lesson from last year.

Even with all the uncertainties, NOAA has gone ahead with a winter forecast.  They expected areas currently in a drought (like Minnesota) to continue to experience drier than normal conditions.  Translation: less snow for Minnesota.

My winter forecast?  Yes, it will snow.  Heck, we may even see a few big snows here and there but I don’t think this year’s snow pack will be record breaking.  Not even close to the snowy 2010-11 winter season when 86.6 inches fell.  If anything, the snowfall this season could be below normal.

Data: MN State Climatology Office

If Republican, Pray for Rain

Photo: By Charlie Riedel, AP

November 6, Election Day, is drawing near and our long range models are almost out to the date.  The latest 8-10 Day Precipitation Outlook shows a 40% chance of above normal precipitation leading up to Election Day.

As it turns out, weather may have a bigger role in voter turnout than we thought.  A comprehensive study was done in 2005 which detailed the decrease in voter turnout when there was rain or snow on Election Day.  The voter turnout decreased 1% when it rained one inch above normal and 0.5% when it snowed one inch above normal.  This subtle decrease in voters gave Republicans a slight advantage.  Why’s that you ask?  Well, the theory presented by the authors of the study say that those on the fence or just “casual” voters tend to lean Democratic when they do vote.

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