Weather: Near 40 with chance of pie
It's about time. The north woods have had a wintry feel this week after temperatures in the 50s as recently as Nov. 12.
The high temperature Tuesday and Wednesday only reached 19 in Bemidji. Lows bottomed out at 9 on Wednesday morning. Other locations in the area were even colder. Park Rapids reported a low of 6, Mahnomen reached 4 and in Fosston, a traditional cold spot in the area, the low temperature fell to 0.
Light snow fell across much of the area Wednesday and again Friday. A 20 percent chance of snow Friday turned into a steady light snow across the north woods. Accumulation in Bemidji was approaching 2 inches by nightfall.
A storm approaching Minnesota from the southwest will likely drop a band of 4 to 6 inches of snow from Alexandria through Brainerd and Duluth this weekend. A sharp drop-off in snow totals is likely to the north with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks predicting little to no snow north of Highway 200. These early winter storms have a habit of veering off their predicted paths and a veer to the north would mean more snow for the north woods.
Periodically over the past couple of days weather radar has shown what appeared to be snow falling in the Bemidji area. A quick glance at the sky revealed low hanging clouds with precipitation falling in shafts. However, no snowfall was recorded. These phenomena are examples of virga. Virga is essentially moisture falling from clouds that evaporates before reaching the ground. Dew points were in the low single digits and the result was air that was too dry to support moisture.
Looking forward to Thanksgiving? Forecasts call for turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries and pumpkin pie with temperatures near 40. There is little chance of any precipitation over the next week.
Siemers is the Pioneer's circulation director.
Email him at tsiemers@