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Currently in the Twin Cities

Currently in the Twin Cities — October 7th, 2022

The weather, currently.

Chilly but lighter winds Friday

The latest drought monitor shows bad news. Much of the Twin Cities area is in extreme drought now, a category not seen in Minnesota this year. Drought overall expanded from 54% to now 77% of Minnesota in the past week.

Temperatures both Thursday & Friday nights will be in the low to mid 30s, very close to the 32°F mark. High temperatures Friday will only be near 50°F, but with ample sun and much lighter winds. We rebound after a cold start Saturday to near 60°F by afternoon. 70°F looks to visit us again by Tuesday, before another late week chill.

Sven Sundgaard

What you need to know, currently.

Forecasters are expecting La Niña to last through February of 2023, the only time the phenomenon has spanned three winters in the last century, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

“It is exceptional to have three consecutive years with a La Niña event. Its cooling influence is temporarily slowing the rise in global temperatures – but it will not halt or reverse the long-term warming trend,” WMO Secretary-General Professor Petteri Taalas said in a press release.

La Niña is the complement to El Niño, opposing weather patterns in the Pacific Ocean — formed through a slight shifting of trade winds and a confluence of air pressure and ocean temperature — with the power to affect climate patterns around the world.

In a La Niña year, the jet stream tends to shift to the north, bringing warm, dry winters to the southern United States and cool, wet (or wetter) weather to the Pacific Northwest. In an El Niño year, the jet stream shifts south, reversing the pattern.

A new study published in Geophysical Research Letters suggests that this protracted La Niña pattern has been caused by climate change. Researchers found that even as global temperatures have risen, the sea surface in the southern Pacific has cooled. Scientists aren’t entirely sure why that’s happening —  but when those cooler waters off the coast of South America meet shifting trade winds, they result in the La Niña conditions that have helped extend the prolonged drought in the Western United States.

"At some point, we expect anthropogenic, or human-caused, influences to reverse these trends and give El Niño the upper hand.” lead author, Robert Jnglin Wills, a research scientist in atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington said in a statement. “The climate models are still getting reasonable answers for the average warming, but there’s something about the regional variation, the spatial pattern of warming in the tropical oceans, that is off."

What you can do, currently.

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