A bubble of heat will make the second weekend of October feel more like summer in parts of the northern Rockies and upper Midwest this weekend. Some areas may even reach the 90s as far north as Iowa as we head into Sunday. However, the warm up will be brief, limited to only this weekend.
Record Heat Possible
As a ridge moves east over the next few days, warmth will surge north, bringing 70s and 80s to parts of the northern United States – areas that are accustomed to temperatures in the 60s this time of year. This set up will allow potential records to be broken this weekend. On Saturday, those potential record highs will be limited to parts of the Rockies and High Plains, from Wyoming into Montana and South Dakota. In the image to the left, the first number is the forecast high for the day and the number in parenthesis is the record. Even Missoula, MT – whose record is only in the 70s on Saturday – could a high in the mid to upper 70s.
On Sunday, the warm continues eastward, encompassing parts of Minnesota, North and South Dakota, and down into Nebraska and Iowa. In some areas of Nebraska and Iowa, highs could reach the 90s, something that doesn’t happen quite often in October. Again, in the image to the left, the first number is the forecast high for the day and the number in parenthesis is the record.
To help talk about the rarity of this type of warmth in October, let’s take a look at a couple examples. First, Sioux City, IA averages zero days per October that reaches into the 90s. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, of course – there is about a 1% chance over the entire record (going back to 1889) of at least one day 90+ occurring in October. But the odds of one happening are certainly higher toward the beginning of the month, as only 11% of the October 11ths on record have it 90 or higher. Odds of one occurring toward the first few days of the month are up in the 15-20% range. The year that had the most 90s in October in Sioux City was 2005, and even then that value was reached only three times.
Meanwhile, 80s are rare in October even for Minneapolis, MN. They average only one 80 or higher in October per year, but haven’t seen one in the month of October since 2011. That year there were eight October days that hit at least 80 in the Twin Cities, the most ever during the month.
Follows A Very Warm September
This quick heat blast follows what was a fairly warm September across parts of the upper Midwest. According to numbers released this morning from the Midwest Regional Climate Center, three states in their region saw their warmest September on record: Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. These states were a good 5.5-6 degrees above average for the month! Average temperatures so far this month in these regions have been closer to average, but temperatures over the next couple days will certainly help boost this months averages higher.
The Heat Won’t Last, However
If you are in any of these areas mentioned above, you better get out and enjoy the record heat, as it won’t last long. A cold front will sweep through the region late this weekend into early next week, bringing temperatures back to where they were to end this week. Also, we’ll be watching strong northwest winds on Monday in parts of the upper Midwest, with 30-40 mph gusts possible.
(CHECK OUT YOUR FORECAST: wx.aerisweather.com)
– Meteorologist D.J. Kayser