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Monday October 27th 2014 12:11pm

Feels a bit weird kicking off the first Upper Midwest post of the season while wearing short sleeves in late October, but that's been the autumn we've had so far in the Upper Midwest. But with Halloween just around the corner and dreams of snowflakes and powder days starting to creep in, it seemed like a good time to post the first update for the season.

Let's first tackle the questions everyone asks: What is this winter going to be like?

I hate this question. And almost every meteorologist does. Weather models are really good at giving us a solid forecast for about a week out, and climate models are getting pretty good at the year-plus timescale. But when it comes to the 3-6 month forecasts, it's a lot harder than you think. People remember weather piece-by-piece ("remember that epic snow storm we had in January"), rather than averages ("overall we had a cold, but mostly dry January").

That being said, you still need an answer. And this year looks to be headed in the direction of an El Niño year for the Upper Midwest. What does that mean? Well we should have around normal precipitation and slightly warmer than average temperatures. Does that mean no -30º or blizzards in January? Absolutely not. But I feel pretty confident in saying it will, on average, be less frigid than last winter. If you want to read more of OpenSnow's seasonal outlook, we have a few news articles you can read:

Now looking more in the short term, this week should bring the first feel of actual October weather. A cold front is slowly pushing across Minnesota today and will get into Wisconsin evening. While there are currently rain showers west of the Twin Cities area, this moisture will dissipate at it moves east bringing cooler temperatures more than rainfall.

This pattern of slightly above normal temperature followed by a day or two of slightly below normal temps should stick around at least for the next 10 days as this progressive pattern stays in place. However, with more disagreement between the models nearing day 14, we could be in for a change by the first week of November, just not sure of what the change will be yet.

Until then, enjoy the beautiful autumn weather!

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Friday April 11th 2014 10:20am

Baring a late-April or May snowstorm, this will be the last post of the season.

Rather than leave you with sunny skies and spring in full swing, it looks like this weekend is full of rain showers as we head towards colder temperatures next week.

Most of the area should see moderate rain showers overnight tonight and during the day tomorrow. These showers should stay 100%, except for a few flakes in up towards the Canadian border.

After a rainy Saturday, colder temperatures return to the region at least until mid-week with mostly clear skies and highs staying in the 40s with lows staying below freezing. This should at least keep the snow on the slopes for some Easter Weekend skiing, but nothing more.

Once again, it looks like these are final closing dates for the last resorts open:

Nubs Nob - April 13
Granite Peak - April 13
Ski Brule - April 13
Boyne Mountain Resort - April 20
Lutsen Resort - April 20
Mount Bohemia - April 21

Have a good summer, and we will return when the snowflakes start flying in the autumn!

Cheers,
Andrew

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Wednesday April 9th 2014 11:26am

Weather-wise, not much to talk about today. Right now most of central and southern Minnesota is seeing it’s warmest temperatures in almost half a year, with highs nearing the 70-degree mark. However, for the North Shore, Wisconsin, and the UP, temperatures are staying 60 and below, allowing for the snowpack to stick around a bit longer, especially where it has built up deep.

Right now the forecast looks to bring a round of rain and snow showers through the area tonight and into tomorrow morning with the cold front passage. Don’t see any accumulation with this, but it will peg down the temperatures 10-15 degrees or so.

The larger low pressure system currently forecast for Friday night and into Saturday is the big new, with the chance for the Upper Midwest to see significant rainfall. Yes I know rain, not the best for skiing, but it will usher in temperatures for next week that will allow a few brave ski areas to re-open for Easter weekend.

Speaking of ski areas, here is a quick rundown of what’s left open:

Nubs Nob - April 13
Granite Peak - April 13
Ski Brule - April 13
Boyne Mountain Resort - April 20
Lutsen Resort - April 20
Mount Bohemia - April 21

Of course these are all subject to change, but that’s what they are telling us!

Until then, either enjoy the start of spring. And pull out the rain jacket for some turns this weekend and hopefully some sunscreen for closing weekend!

Cheers,
Andrew

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Monday April 7th 2014 10:08am

Since this coming weekend is closing day for all Upper Midwest ski areas, this will be the last week of Upper Midwest Daily Snow posts for the season.

Summary

A very spring like week ahead with scattered rain showers and highs nearing the 70-degree mark on Wednesday.

Details

Going to keep this brief since there is no winter related (or really any weather at all to talk about for this week). There are a few rain showers moving through the area today associated with a small low pressure system moving through the Upper Midwest.

After this system, it looks high and dry through Wednesday night, with Wednesday’s forecasted highs possibly hitting the 70-degree mark across the Upper Midwest. However, because of overnight lows staying near the freezing mark, it does not look like flooding will be an issue this year (for now).


High temperatures on Wednesday. Credit: WeatherBell

Long Term

After the warmest temperatues in 6 months on Wednesday, another low pressure system moves through that night bringing another chance for rain showers across the area. Then it’s another warm-up headed into the weekend before the same thing on Saturday.

Spring is officially here!

Cheers,
Andrew

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Friday April 4th 2014 10:19am

Summary

With the snow tapering off, we are in for a very pleasant weekend with moderate temperatures and sunny skies.

Details

Short post today after the storm with a quiet weekend. As for the snow last night and today, the heaviest snow band set up right on a line between the northwest suburbs of the Twin Cities and the South Shore. Areas in those parts neared the one foot mark, while most other areas stayed in the 7-10” range.

Here are the totals as of 11am this morning (note some lesser reports are from last night):



Credit: NOAA

As for this weekend, this system should pull out of the region by this afternoon with skies slowly clearing behind it. Don’t expect to see any higher amounts except for along the UP during the day today, where they could see another 1-3” before things wrap up.

As for this weekend, nothing too exciting to write home about with a shortwave ridge setting up over the Upper Midwest for the short term. That should mean mostly clear skies and warming temperatures through Sunday, just like last weekend. However, with the added snow on the ground, should struggle to see anything get above the mid-50s.

Long Term

No large systems moving through the area in the long term either. Monday looks like the best chance for us to see precipitation, however with the warmer spring temps, it should be light and fall as rain.

Also, by midweek, we could see the ridging and southwesterly flow to help bring temperatures into the mid to upper 60s by Wednesday.

This looks like the last weekend for some good skiing this season, so go!

Enjoy the weekend!

Cheers,
Andrew

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