“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.”
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Hey, it’s Halloween next Wednesday and thanks to @Climatologist49 on Twitter for the image below, which shows the historical probability of a white Halloween.
White Halloweens in Minneapolis
Here’s a look at snowfall data on Halloween for Minneapolis and since 1899 (119 years of data), there has only been snow reported on 20 days and only 6 days with measureable snow (0.1″ or more). Of course, who could forget the Halloween Blizzard of 1991. A record 8.2″ of snow fell on Halloween day itself, but the storm dumped a total of 28.4″ at the MSP Airport – UNREAL!
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:
“Every Halloween – and a few days before and after – the brilliant star Arcturus, brightest star in Bootes the Herdsman, sets at the same time and on the same spot on the west-northwest horizon as the summer sun. This star rises at the same time and at the same place on the east-northeast horizon as the summer sun. That’s why – every year at this time – you can consider Arcturus as a ghost of the summer sun. At mid-northern latitudes, Arcturus now sets about 2 hours after sunset and rises about 2 hours before sunrise. If you live as far north as Barrow, Alaska, the star Arcturus shines all night long now, mimicking the midnight sun of summer. If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, you can’t see Arcturus right now. South of the equator, Arcturus sets at the same time and on the same place on the horizon as the winter sun. In other words, Arcturus sets before the sun and rises after the sun at southerly latitudes at this time of year. If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, try watching this star in the October evening chill. You can envision the absent summer sun radiating its extra hours of sunlight. Not till after dark does this star set, an echo of long summer afternoons. Similarly, Arcturus rises in the east before dawn, a phantom reminder of early morning daybreaks.”
1.) Heavy rain across portions of the Mid-Atlantic, the Middle and Lower Mississippi Valley, the Central and Southern Appalachians, the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys, the Northeast, and the Great Lakes, Thu, Nov 1.
2.) Heavy rain across portions of the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast, Fri, Nov 2.
3.) Heavy rain across portions of the Pacific Northwest and the Northern Great Basin, Thu-Sun, Nov 1-4.
4.) Heavy snow across portions of the Tetons, Thu-Mon, Nov 1-5.
5.) Flooding occurring or imminent across portions of the Middle Mississippi Valley and the Southern Plains.
6.) High winds across coastal portions of the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast, Thu, Nov 1.
7.) High winds across portions of the Alaska Panhandle, Thu-Sun, Nov 1-4.
8.) High significant wave heights for coastal portions of the southern Alaska Panhandle, Sat, Nov 3.
9.) Slight risk of heavy precipitation for the Gulf Coast and up the East Coast, Tue-Thu, Nov 6-8.
10.) 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 over the 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.
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 week ahead.