Weather: Hotter than Phoenix? How odd
The joke was on you if you shuttered up the lake cabin last weekend and headed south for the winter. High temperatures in Bemidji this week reached into the 80s while low temperatures remained in the 50s - nearly 20 degrees above the averages for this time of year. High temperatures in the north woods equaled or exceeded temperatures in Palm Springs, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Dallas, New Orleans and Jacksonville.
Another Omega Block was responsible for this week's weather pattern. As you may recall an Omega Block is essentially a high pressure weather pattern that results in a bulge in the jet stream that when viewed on weather maps resembles the Greek letter Omega.
Warm, placid conditions tend to prevail under an Omega Block while conditions to the west and east are cooler and cloudier. The pattern should change today as a cold front pushes the Omega Block to the east. Look for high temperatures to return to average during the upcoming week with periodic chances for showers.
On Wednesday the High Sierra of California experienced its earliest winter storm since 1969. Up to 18 inches of snow fell in the Lake Tahoe area. To our east, ski resorts in West Virginia measured nearly a foot of snow earlier in the week.
The warm, dry weather created potentially extreme fire weather conditions across much of the Midwest. The National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning for most of Minnesota and the eastern halves of the Dakotas. Though much less so than 100 years ago, forest fires remain a significant threat. On Oct. 9, 1938 fires claimed the lives of 21 people in the International Falls area. Wednesday will mark the 83rd anniversary of the fire that devastated Cloquet and Moose Lake. Officially 453 lives were lost in the fire but some estimates place that number near 1,000.
Siemers is the Pioneer's circulation director.
Email him at tsiemers@