Northern Lights Possible Friday Night, Warming Begins Saturday

By: METEOROLOGIST MARK HENDERSON
By: METEOROLOGIST MARK HENDERSON

Friday's sunshine will in all likelihood pave the way to a rather clear night, though a few clouds to our NW may filter in for a temporary stay overnight. Astronomers and space weather observers remain on alert for the possibility to see the Aurora Borealis later on Friday night into early Saturday morning, and experts speculate that a glimpse or two will be possible here in the Stateline! In fact, marginal viewing just above the horizon will be possible as far south as Louisville, KY and Kansas City, MO. Much more favorable viewing conditions are likely North of the Wisconsin Dells, Grand Rapids, MI, and Minneapolis, with the ideal viewing prospects still in typically favored locations in Northern Minnesota and North Dakota stretching into Canada. One potential fly in the ointment is the fact that our moon is very close to being full, which will dramatically illuminate the sky, which may cause viewing of the Northern Lights to be significantly impaired! Nonetheless, take a look outside to the North overnight, rather low to the horizon and away from city lights for your best chance to see the show!

Saturday marks the end of Standard time here in the United States! 2:00am Sunday marks the official arrival of Daylight Saving Time! The clocks will spring forward by one hour at that time in every U.S. State and Territory except Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa! Monday will mark the first time in which the sun is to set past 7:00 since all the way back on September 18 of last year! It's good practice to make sure you change the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to coincide with this semi-annual event! Daylight Saving Time will continue until November 3!

It's sure been a long time since we've seen the sun set past 7:00pm, and it's been almost as long since our last 70° temperature! The last time the mercury reached that benchmark was back on October 25th, a drought that has spanned 137 days to date! By the time we record a 70­° temperature on Tuesday, that tally will have reached 141 days! Back-to-back 70s, as are forecast here next week, haven't occurred since early to mid-October! All signs point to an extended run of 70s lasting well into St. Patrick's Day Weekend, and likely beyond!

As is often the case in these parts, there is still one fly in the ointment, at least as it pertains to our forecast for early in the weekend! Relative humidities here have reached desert levels as of Friday afternoon, and could quite possibly drop further into Saturday. The combination of the extremely dry air, an increasingly gusty wind that could reach as high as 40mph in the afternoon, along with relatively dry vegetation have created an environment conducive for fire development! Folks are asked to avoid any outdoor burning Saturday, and keep your cigarette butts in your car to avoid any potential fire problems!


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