MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - It has been a quiet, mild, and fairly dull few weeks in the weather world. But dull isn’t a bad thing as we have seen a wonderfully pleasant September and the first half of October. But as you can imagine, it has to end at some point. Well, that end may be closer than a lot of us would like. As with anything weather related though, things can change quickly. Let me show you. Here is a snapshot of the atmosphere over North America and parts of the Pacific as we head upstream from Minnesota.
Our next storm is moving into the area right now and will be giving us some much needed moisture Friday. The next potential system after that won’t arrive till sometime next week as it heads for the shores of the Northwest and then into the northern Plains. If we look even further upstream, there are several more storms “waiting in the wings”.
Potential storms 1 or 2 or even 3 weeks down the road are lining up near Alaska and off the coast of Russia, VERY common placement for storms a few weeks ahead of time. There is still no way to know for sure where these will go or how strong they will be, but they are upstream of the U.S. so it’s just something to watch. But here’s the fly in the ointment… or flys as it appears. The blue arrows represent an area of moisture surging eastward in the Pacific out ahead of a very large typhoon off the coast of Japan. This scenario is a bit unusual and could be the start of an overall pattern shift toward our highly anticipated strong El Nino pattern as the potential “fire hose” of moisture eventually pushes into California. But there is even more we have to take into account. If you look southwest of the US, the eastern Pacific is still VERY active…
TWO different hurricanes are currently projected to curve back into the westerlies over the next few days. Hurricane Patricia will likely impact much of Mexico and even Texas as we head into the weekend sending plenty of heat and moisture into the southern US. The second and potentially the more significant question mark is Hurricane Olaf which will be curving past Hawaii and into the central Pacific in the coming week. So how does a hurricane so far out to sea affect Minnesota. Well, for now, it won’t directly. But will be adding heat and moisture to an already building ridge in the Pacific which could shift the overall pattern of upcoming storms into the US and throw a wrench into an already fluid system. It would be like throwing a basketball into a busy street… cars would have to swerve around it or slam on their brakes to avoid hitting it. The atmosphere can function very similarly. Now clearly, when we talk about the next few weeks of weather, it is all conjecture as there is just no way to know anything for sure. But signs are there of a changing pattern.