Most of us probably toss our old jack-o-lanterns in the trash after a night full of tricks and treats, but an article from Casey’s Outdoor Solutions suggests some ideas on how to re-purpose those wilting pumpkins.

“Now that Halloween is officially over you are probably thinking about tossing your pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns into the garbage. Before you do so, here are some suggestions on re-purposing your pumpkins. IMPORTANT: These suggestions for reusing pumpkins are for pumpkins that are free of wax, paint, preserving sealants, glitter, & artificial decorations.:

See more HERE:


2018 Minnesota Deer Hunting Opener – Saturday, November 3rd

The MN Deer Hunting Opener is quickly approaching and folks heading to the woods next weekend will be keeping a close on the weather. Early forecasts suggest chilly temps with a slight chance of light rain/snow Friday into Saturday. Interestingly last year, folks in northern MN tallied upwards of 6″ of snow on the Opener!! Also, according to the MN DNR, 35% of hunters successfully harvested a deer in 2017!

“Minnesota’s Firearm Deer Hunting Opener Weather – “Minnesota’s 2018 Firearm Deer Hunting Opener is Saturday, November 3. The normal high temperature for November 3 ranges from the upper 30s across northern Minnesota to the upper 40s near the Iowa border. The average low temperature is in the 20s to low 30’s. The historical probability of receiving measurable precipitation on November 3 is approximately 25%. Early November precipitation often falls as snow in the north, while rain is more likely in the south. An enduring, winter-long snow cover is typically not established until later in November, even in northern Minnesota. There has been significant snowfall on the Firearm Deer Hunting Opener in recent memory. 6.0 inches of snow fell at International Falls on the Deer Hunting Opener in 2017. .3 inches was reported at St. Cloud, but there was a snow cover of 4 inches. The 2017 Firearm Deer Hunting Opener was cold and wintry with 30’s to low 40’s statewide.”

See more from the MN DNR HERE:


“25 Photos That Perfectly Capture the Halloween Blizzard of 1991”

November 1st, 1991 was a VERY snow day across the state as the unforgettable 1991 Halloween Blizzard continued. In fact, the Twin Cities picked up another 18.5″ of snow on November 1st, adding to the 8.2″ that fell on Halloween. The Twin Cities picked up a total of 28.4″ of snow from October 31st to November 3rd Here are some great pictures taken during the storm, while Duluth, MN tallied a whopping 36.9″ of snow!

See more pictures HERE:

(Image credit: Brian Peterson via StarTribune)

(Image credit: Rick Sennot via StarTribune)

Recounts from the Memorable Blizzard

Here’s a wonderful mix tape from KFAI’s MinneCulture, which includes interviews from staff members that worked during the blizzard as well as other stories from the massive storm.

“How can you forget the one Halloween in your life that came with two feet of snow? KFAI’s Britt Aamodt was studying biology at Gustavus Adolphus College when a record snowstorm blasted its way into her life. She wasn’t alone in experiencing the legendary Halloween Blizzard of 1991, a storm that closed schools, shuttered stores and workplaces and left an indelible memory on those that experienced it. (Photo byPeter Boulay)”


My Memories of the 1991 Halloween Blizzard – As A Cow…

I was 9 that year and dressed up as a cow. It was an incredible storm and vividly remember snow piling up on my snout as I trudged from house to house in search for goodies.


25th Anniversary of the 1991 Halloween Blizzard

Mark Seely has a good write up in a “Weather Talk” about the 1991 Halloween Blizzard.

For many Minnesota citizens the Halloween Blizzard of 1991 (Oct 31 to Nov 3) remains one of the most dramatic weather events of their lifetime. One of the largest, most intense, and longest lasting blizzards to ever hit the state, this storm paralyzed many sections of eastern Minnesota where roads and highways were closed, and also left over 100,000 customers without power due to power lines brought down by ice, which was up to 2 inches thick in some parts of southeastern Minnesota.

-Over 200 new daily snowfall records were set across the state during this storm, including four communities that reported over 20 inches in a 24-hr period.

-The 4-day blizzard left many areas of the state with record levels of snow depth for November, ranging from 25 to 35 inches.

-At the height of the blizzard snow accumulation was occurring at the rate of 3 inches/hour, with maximum wind gusts to 50 mph.

-At least 16 communities reported a storm total snowfall of 25 inches or greater, topped by 36.9 inches at Duluth.

-In the aftermath of the storm over 100 communities reported sub zero F low temperatures over the first few days of November.

-With such a snowy start to November, many places reported record snowfall for the month, including 46.9″ at MSP, 50.1″ at Duluth, 51.5″ at Two Harbors, and 58.6″ at Bruno



Record Snowfall For the 1991 Halloween Blizzard

Here’s another great writeup from The Minnesota State Climate Office about the storm, here’s an excerpt:

“The Halloween Blizzard of 1991 still stands as a benchmark blizzard in Minnesota that other storms are compared to 25 years later.”

“October Blizzards in Minnesota are rare, but they have happened in the past. The most severe early blizzard on record for Minnesota was the devastating October 16, 1880 storm. This storm left behind drifts of snow to 20 feet high in the Canby area and brought train traffic to a standstill over western Minnesota until the spring thaw. This winter is vividly portrayed in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Book: The Long Winter.”

“The Halloween Blizzard in 1991 is one of those weather events that people can recall what they were doing as it unfolded. Folks were still celebrating the Minnesota Twins second World Series win in just four years when a cold front ushered in unseasonably cold air. The high temperature in the Twin Cities was 65 degrees on the 29th, over ten degrees above normal. On October 30th, the high temperature in the Twin Cities only reached 32 degrees. By this time a low pressure area was developing around Galveston Texas. From the seasoned veterans at the National Weather Service to students studying meteorology at St. Cloud State, there was no secret that a large storm was coming. Most forecasts for October 31st for central Minnesota called for a cold rain by the afternoon. Possibly heavy. The primary question at the time was: “How much rain would fall?””

“As Halloween dawned back in 1991, some wintry weather was anticipated but no one was expecting a blizzard. The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Watch at 4:00 am on the 31st with a potential of a foot of snow. The first inkling that the forecast under projected snowfall totals came when precipitation started falling as snow at about 11:30am in the Twin Cities, much earlier than anticipated. With the realization that the precipitation would be snow, not rain, a Winter Storm Warning was issued during the day by the National Weather Service in the Twin Cities and forecasters realized there was a potential for a lot of snow. As the afternoon faded into evening a surreal scene unfolded with kids attempting to trick or treat wearing coats and boots and pumpkins becoming covered with a snowy blanket. 8.2 inches of snow fell by midnight on the 31st at the Twin Cities International Airport, the most for the entire month of October on record for the Twin Cities.”

See More From the MN State Climatology Office HERE:


Halloween Climatology

What is a typical Halloween like in the Twin Cities? Here are a few stats in case you’re interested.

“Halloween is typically a time of crunchy leaves on the ground, and a bit of chill in the air. High temperatures in the Twin Cities are generally in the 40’s and 50’s. It is more common for the daily high on Halloween to be in the 60’s than in the 30’s. 70’s tend to be a bit rare, with only eight Halloween high temperatures being 70 degrees or above. The warmest Halloween on record was 83 degrees in 1950, with the second coldest maximum temperature on record arriving one year later with a high of 30 in 1951. The coldest Halloween maximum temperature was a chilly 26 degrees back in 1873. The last fifteen years have had some balmy Halloween afternoons with a 71 degrees in 2000, and some quite cool ones as well with a 34 in 2002. There hasn’t been a Halloween washout since 1997. Measurable precipitation has occurred on Halloween only 26% of the time in the Twin Cities, or 38 times out of 144 years. The most rain recorded was in 1979 with .78 inches. In 1991 .85 inches of precipitation fell, which was snow. In spite of the 1991 Halloween Blizzard, measurable snow on Halloween is about as rare as getting a full sized candy bar in your trick or treat bag. Since 1872 there’s been enough snow to measure only six times: .6 in 1884, .2 in 1885, 1.4 in 1932, .4 in 1954, .5 in 1995 and of course 8.2 inches with the Halloween Blizzard of 1991. Thus there has been measurable snow on only 4% of the days.”

See more from the State Climatology Office HERE:


“Why you should mulch leaves, not rake them”

“It’s the annual fall dilemma. The leaves that have fallen on the lawn need to be removed, but there are more on the trees. Should you rake them up now or wait until the limbs are bare? Neither! Bag the rake, not the leaves. Instead of raking leaves, stuffing them into lawn bags and hauling the bags to the curb, mow them with a mulching mower — a lawnmower with a specially designed high deck and a mulching blade that chops leaves into fragments as tiny as confetti. As the shredded leaves decompose, they will act as a natural fertilizer and weed control agent. For those who insist on a spotless lawn year-round and might be concerned about what the neighbors will think of the brown leaf bits the mower leaves behind, don’t worry. The shredded leaves will filter through the grass and disappear from sight. In northern lawns that go dormant or in grasses such as Bermuda or zoysia that turn a dormant brown color in winter, the shredded leaves may even blend right in. Better yet, if you continue this practice each fall, in a few years mulching can help you have a luscious spring and summer lawn free of dandelions and crabgrass that will be the envy of people up and down the street.”

See more from Mother Nature Network HERE:


What’s in the Night Sky?

According to EarthSky.org this is what will be visible in the night sky over the next several nights:

Tonight … a constellation you might or might not see, depending on your latitude. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Big Dipper is probably the sky’s best known asterism. In other words, it’s a recognizable pattern of stars – not an official constellation. The Big Dipper is part of the constellation Ursa Major, otherwise known as the Great Bear. Every year, the Big Dipper (Great Bear) descends to its lowest point in the sky on November evenings. In fact, people in the southern part of the United States can’t see the Big Dipper in the evening right now, because it swings beneath their northern horizon. And, of course, it can’t be seen in the evening from Southern Hemisphere latitudes now either.

3-7 Day Hazard Forecast

1.) Heavy rain across portions of the Pacific Northwest and the Northern Great Basin, Sat-Sun, Nov 3-4.
Heavy rain spreading northward and eastward across areas from the Lower Mississippi Valley through the eastern Great Lakes, Mon-Tue, Nov 5-6.
2.) High winds across portions of the Midwest, the Ohio Valley, and the Great Lakes, Tue, Nov 6.
Heavy snow in the vicinity of the Tetons, Fri-Mon, Nov 2-5.
3.) Flooding possible, occurring, or imminent across portions of the Middle Mississippi Valley and the Southern Plains.
4.) High winds across portions of the Northern and Central Rockies and Northern and Central High Plains, Fri-Sat, Nov 2-3.
5.) High winds across portions of the Alaska Panhandle, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska Peninsula, and the Aleutians, Fri-Sat, Nov 2-3 and Mon-Tue, Nov 5-6.
6.) High significant wave heights for coastal portions of Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutians, Mon, Nov 5.
Moderate risk of heavy precipitation for portions of the Mid-Atlantic through New England, Wed, Nov 7.
Slight risk of heavy precipitation for areas from the Central Gulf Coast through the Northeast, Wed-Thu, Nov 7-8.
7.) Severe Drought across the Rockies, the Northeast, the Central Great Basin, the Northern Plains, the Southern Plains, the Northern Great Basin, California, the Alaska Panhandle, the Pacific Northwest, and the Southwest.


Hurricane Oscar in the Atlantic

Oscar became the 16th named storm and the 8th hurricane Atlantic Hurricane season last weekend. The good news is that this storm will remain a “Fish Storm” and stay over the open waters of the central and north-central Atlantic over the coming days. However, Oscar will continue to add to the Accumulated Cyclone Energy this season, which is already running at the most active on record for the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific combined.


Tracking Oscar

Here’s a look at the official NHC track for Oscar, which shows the storm now starting to drift northeast into the northcentral Atlantic as we head through the rest of the week.


Temperature Outlook Thursday
High temps on Thursday will be quite chilly across the Central and Southern US, where temps will only warm into the 50s and 60s, nearly -5F to -10F below average. Meanwhile, temps in the Eastern and Western US will be running above average. Interestingly, the tight temperature gradient from the Lower Mississippi Valley to the Ohio Valley will help to produce areas of heavy rain and even kick out some severe weather across the Gulf Coast States.


Temperature Trend

Here’s the temperature outlook as we head through the next few days. Note that we will initially start off on a warmer note across the Eastern US, but a large blob of much cooler than average temps will settle in across the Central and Eastern US and we head through the weekend. Meanwhile, warmer than average temps look to settle in across the Western US later this week!

8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA’s CPC, November 7th – 13th will be warmer than average across the East Coast and the West Coast, while folks in the Central US will be cooler than average during the first full week of November.


Weather Outlook Ahead

Weather conditions across the country will be fairly active as we head through the rest of the week thanks to a fairly potent storm system moving from the Southern US to the Northeast. Areas of heavy rain from the Arklatex to the Ohio Valley and into the Northeast could cause flood concerns in a few locations, especially in the Ohio Valley where some 2″ to 5″+ tallies maybe possible. Thursday and Friday could feature severe storms from the Gulf Coast States to the Mid-Atlantic as the storm continues to moves east. Areas of heavy snow will be possible along the spine of the Rockies as well as another surge of Pacific moisture slides through the region.

7 Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA’s WPC, the 7-day precipitation outlook suggests heavy rains continuing across the Southern US and into the Northeast through the weekend and into the first half of next week. Some locations could see several inches there, while areas of heavy precipitation will continue in the Pacific Northwest, especially in the Olympics and northern Cascades, some of which could be in the form of snow.

Snow Potential
Snowfall potential over the next 5 days will be fairly impressive for high elevations across the Rockies, where some 6″ to 12″+ tallies can’t be ruled out through next weekend. There also appears to be some minor snow potential across the International border as well.


US Drought Outlook

Thanks to areas of rain across parts of the southern and southwestern US during the month of September and October, there have been some much needed improvements in drought there. However, there is still a big chunk of extreme and exceptional drought that is lingering across the Four Corners Region, so hopefully we’ll get in on some good moisture there over the coming weeks and months!

“Weatherwatch: forecasts may suffer if satellites share bandwidth”
“We might mock weather forecasts, but in reality they have never been better. Be it an approaching storm, the chances of a sunny day, or the likelihood of flooding, most of us have access to reliable forecasts. And much of this improvement is thanks to satellite data. But weather forecasts could be set to go downhill, if US weather satellites give in to commercial pressure to share their bandwidth. Last year during Hurricane Irma, river gauge readings collected by satellites enabled the Florida Department of Transportation to decide which highways were suitable evacuation routes. These readings came from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s new fleet of geostationary satellites, the first of which was launched in 2016. These satellites spot lightning, monitor storms (providing measurements every 30 seconds if needed) and image the entire northern hemisphere every 15 minutes. Right now commercial users are petitioning to share a portion of the bandwidth reserved for federal use. The financial benefit of sharing is tempting, but meteorologist Jordan Gerth explains in the journal Earth and Space Science News why he thinks shared bandwidth will jam the airwaysand ultimately decrease the accuracy and precision of weather forecasts and warnings, potentially putting lives at risk.”


“Climate change is redrawing maps”
“Climate change is reshaping aspects of our environment that many of us thought were static — from where deserts begin and end, to what we can grow in backyard or community gardens. Why it matters: These changes portend bigger shifts to come that may reshape the global food system and lead to insecurity, with major agricultural countries facing more challenges from pests, heat waves, droughts, floods and other threats that could affect crop productivity.  The shift was highlighted a fascinating article, “Redrawing the Map: How the World’s Climate Zones Are Shifting,” by Nicola Jones in Yale Environment 360, published at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies: Climate change is literally redrawing lines on the map, like “the line of where wheat will grow, or where tornadoes tend to form, where deserts end, where the frozen ground thaws, and even where the boundaries of the tropics lie.” The big picture: “Everything about global warming is changing how people grow their food, access their drinking water, and live in places that are increasingly being flooded, dried out, or blasted with heat waves. Seeing these changes literally drawn on a map helps to hammer these impacts home.”


“China plans to launch the world’s first ‘artificial moon’”
A private aerospace institute in China has announced its ambitious plan to launch an “artificial moon” into stationary orbit above the city of Chengdu. Referred to as an “illumination satellite,” the new moon would serve as a sunlight reflector to provide a nighttime and backup light source for residents in the Sichuan province city. XThe venture — still obscure due to a lack of information — was first reported by Chinese newspaper People’s Daily in mid October. Since then, there have been many conflicting reports and figures on how the new moon would operate — or if it even could. Wu Chunfeng, chairman of Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute Co., Ltd. and head of Tianfu New District System Science Research Institute, said the artificial moon has been under development and testing for a few years and “is now nearly ready to launch.”residents in the Sichuan province city.

“You’re Misusing the Term ‘100-Year Flood'”

“What the admittedly confusing categorization actually means. We read the phrase “100-year flood” a lot in the news. It’s our attempt to describe the magnitude of a flood by putting it in context: “This crazy event is such a statistical anomaly, it only happens once every century!” Truth is, that’s an abuse of statistics. The term doesn’t actually mean that a severe flood will occur only once every 100 years, and using it this way fails to reflect flood risk faced by certain areas. First, some background. Scientists have spent decades painstakingly studying every waterway in the United States to determine how vulnerable the surrounding land is to flooding when heavy rain falls. Some areas are extremely susceptible to flooding, such as Cairo, Illinois, which sits at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. Many other areas, however, would only see flooding in a catastrophic rainfall event, and maybe not even then. Much of the way we think about flooding these days is shaped by flood insurance policies. As many homeowners know, flooding is not covered by standard homeowners insurance. Insurance companies decided in the 1950s and 1960s that it was simply too costly to cover flood damages as part of their regular policies. Congress passed the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 1968 as an affordable way for homeowners to purchase separate flood insurance policies if they happened to deem them necessary.”

See more from Outside Online HERE:


“The 4 Best Dog Jackets For Winter”

“In your search for the best dog jackets for winter, the first thing you’ll need to keep in mind is the size of your dog. This may sound intuitive, but there’s nothing worse than ordering an accessory for your pup only to find out it doesn’t fit properly. Most jackets come with size requirements based on the back length and chest measurements of your dog, in addition to their weight. Depending on the climate, you’ll also want to consider what materials your pup needs. While dog jackets are constructed in many different designs, the warmest ones for cold weather will be made with a durable outer material like polyester to protect against the elements and stuffed with polyfill or lined with fleece for added warmth. In my search, I repeatedly came across one jacket highly-praised by dog professionals and owners: the Weatherbeeta Parka 1200D. Thanks to its waterproof exterior, warm interior fleece materials, and adjustable straps, this dog jacket is a steal at under $50. However, for those looking for a velcro-free, budget-friendly, or an especially luxe dog jacket, you may want to consider the other options on the list as well. Read on for a detailed look at some of the best dog jackets for winter you can buy to keep your pup warm and cozy all season long.”

See more from Bustle HERE:


“Here’s Why a 50-Degree Day Feels Colder in Fall Than in Spring”

“That first cold spell of the season always feels especially harsh. If you’ve ever wondered, from beneath several layers of clothing, whether you were overreacting to those frigid early fall days, take solace. It may not just be in your head: The human body takes time to acclimate to the cold. “We kind of get a global response over time over the winter so that a 50-degree day in, say, February, feels glorious, whereas at this time of year it feels chilly,” said John Castellani, a physiologist who specializes in cold weather research at the United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Massachusetts. Some experts argue that the shift in perception is mostly psychological, but others, including Dr. Castellani, say there’s more to it: The evidence suggests that the body grows to tolerate the cold over time. Here’s a brief look at what we do and don’t know about how the body responds to the cold in, say, autumn, compared to the spring.”

See more from NYTimes HERE:


Thanks for checking in and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX