Fall forecast: Above normal temps ahead?Published 9:40am Friday, September 21, 2012
By Bill McAuliffe
A warmer-than-normal autumn is likely for Minnesota, and may be followed by another mild winter, a meteorologist from the National Climate Prediction Center said Thursday.
The agency released its latest three-month outlook, and seasonal forecaster Huug van den Dool said the warm regime that’s been so pronounced across the hemisphere this year is likely to continue through October, November and December in Minnesota and across the United States.
January through August of this year was the warmest such period on record for both the Twin Cities and Minnesota.
As for winter, “I wouldn’t go as far as saying it will be as extreme as last year, but chances are it will be above normal,” he said in a telephone conference with reporters. “That’s the long-term trend.”
The Climate Prediction Center report was noncommittal on precipitation over the next three months, but its drought outlook through the end of the year, also updated Thursday, indicated drought conditions appear likely to increase across north-central and southeastern Minnesota, including the metro area.
With that backdrop, fire danger across the state continues to be high. Some rain across northern Minnesota this week, along with cooling temperatures and higher humidity, has dialed back some of the danger ratings from last week, said Olin Phillips, director of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ wildfire program.
Even so, continuing dry weather and the simple progress toward fall, with the drying of vegetation, are keeping the fire risk high.
“Unless we get some rain, it’s going to get worse,” Phillips said.
Distributed by MCT Information Services