With memories clouded by Covid, climate change and Kirk Cousins controversies, we don't blame you if you don't remember that we are coming upon the one-year anniversary of the ultra-rare October storm that slammed the Twin Cities with 6-9 inches of snow.
It snowed like crazy Oct. 20, 2020, with Minneapolis-St. Paul airport recording 7.9 inches of snow. The only October snowstorm to dump more on the metro in one day was the Halloween blizzard of 1991, which slapped the cities with 8.2 inches on Halloween and then another 20.2 inches the first two days of November.
While there are no signs of whopping winter weather in the near term, there could be some flakes mixed with rain in northern parts of Minnesota as a couple of storm systems pass through the region this week.
The first chance comes Wednesday when parts of northern Minnesota might get cold enough to squeeze out some mixed precipitation while the southern side of the storm system produces all rain. That's what the Grand Forks office of the National Weather Service is saying.
"The dry air which is also associated with the colder air mass on the back side of the band/bands will also be prohibitive to precipitation where temperatures may be cold enough for a mix. Non measurable mixed precip would be the only concern, and impacts wouldn't be expected."
Hey, even flurries are exciting the first time they happen after a long, hot summer. But there could be accumulating snow in parts of the Northland Friday into Saturday. The NWS Duluth says there could be flurries in the Arrowhead of Minnesota Friday and lake-effect rain and snow along the South Shore of Lake Superior Friday and Saturday "as cool northwest winds blow across the relatively warm waters of Lake Superior."
"This is subject to change, but the CWA may see its first accumulating snow by the end of the week!" the NWS Duluth said. (CWA stands for County Warning Area, which are the counties under the watchful eyes of the NWS Duluth)
But last time we checked, the South Shore of Superior is in Wisconsin, so there really aren't any true chances for snow in Minnesota anywhere on the horizon – not even when temps struggle to break 50 Friday and Saturday in Minnesota (by the way, there could be a hard freeze across much of Minnesota later this week).
Temps forecast to remain above normal into November
The average daily high temp in the Twin Cities in October 2020 was a chilly 51 degrees, including 11 days with high temps in the 30s. That's why Mother Nature was able to squeeze out a powerful snowstorm so early last year.
But October 2021, so far, has produced an average high temp of 69.8 degrees. It ain't going to snow when the airmass is as warm as it is now. And the warmth is set to stick around.
Both the 6- to 10-day and 8- to 14-day outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center keep Minnesota in line for above normal temperatures.
The CPC does show above normal precipitation chances Oct. 23-31, though at this point it looks like all rain. Again, it's just too warm to snow, which isn't shocking since the metro averages 0.6 inches of snow in October.
Looking further into the future, the CPC's 3- to 4-week temperature outlook keeps the northern part of the U.S. in line for above normal temps.
The average daily highs in the Twin Cities the first two weeks of November range from 50 on Nov. 1 to 43 on Nov. 14. So it's possible that it stays too warm for any real snow through the first half of November.