MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Sweater season didn’t have much of a chance this year — Minnesotans had to bring out the jackets much earlier than usual.
Last autumn wasn’t all that much better if you like the sun and high 50s.
So, that left us wondering: What happened to fall? Good Question.
“This year, we took a break from fall,” Minnesota assistant state climatologist Pete Boulay said.
October 2019 was 2.8 degrees cooler than average. October 2018 was down 3.1 degrees. But, the temperatures for fall 2017 were above normal. In fact, there were two days above 60 in the second half of November.
“In the same month, you could have 60 or 20 degrees,” Boulay said. “It’s not that uncommon, it’s a transitional month.”
So, what’s bringing on these January-like temperatures in November? According to WCCO Chief Meteorologist Chris Shaffer, it’s the current weather patterns we’re stuck in.
“Don’t blame the meteorologist,” Shaffer said. “Blame the ridge and trough.”
The ridge to the west of Minnesota is pushing the jet stream into Canada, while the trough to the east is staying put. That means Minnesota is caught in the northwest flow, where the air blowing in is coming from Canada.
“And that’s going to continue to pump in that cold air for the next couple of days,” Shaffer said.
But, what does this all mean for the rest of the winter?
Boulay crunched some numbers for a better idea. He looked at the 10 coldest Octobers and Novembers over the last 70 years. He found that seven of the 10 had below normal temperatures, and three were above. Precipitation was a coin toss.
At the same time, he pointed out that data doesn’t mean much.
“Expect anything to happen is what that means,” Boulay said.