Sailors take warning - the big weather story across the country is the looming landfall of the first hurricane to threaten the United States in three years - Irene.
Current predictions are for the storm to pass near North Carolina's Cape Hattaras this morning as a category 3 hurricane with winds approaching 115 mph. Irene could then skirt the coast and come ashore again east of New York City Sunday morning.
Closer to home conditions are more tranquil. A chance of rain showers exists this weekend but there should be enough blue in the sky to knit a kitten a pair of britches. Highs in the north woods are expected to reach into the mid 70s with low temperatures bottoming out in the mid 50s - or just about average for this time of year.
The average for Bemidji includes a record August high temperature of 101 degrees in 1976 (also tied for our warmest temperature ever) and a record low of 30 set in 1934. So far this month temperatures are falling in line with an average high of 80 and low of 58. Precipitation has totaled 3.25 inches. The majority of this total came in the form of a couple of frog stranglers which provided 1.25 inches of rain each.
As we move into September daylight hours continue to lessen. By the end of the month it will be darker than the inside of a cow on your morning drive to work. Sept. 26 marks the first day of fall in which we experience fewer daylight hours than hours of darkness. Typically you'll need to start scraping frost off your windshield by the third week of September. Snow has fallen in Bemidji as early as mid-September, but on average we can wait until later in October before we have to shovel.
Tom Siemers is the Pioneer's circulation manager. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org