Weather or Not: Last month of summer

WCCO Chief Meteorologist Chris Shaffer

The countdown is on! It will be Halloween in 27 days. 55 days from now, we will be carving a turkey and sharing the things in life we are thankful for each day. And Christmas is just 82 days away. Have you started shopping yet? The retailers are clearly ready for us. But then again, I think they put up their Christmas stuff the day after Labor Day.

October is off to a cold and damp start. It is nice to dry out today. We will still be on the cool side of our average high of 64 degrees, but at least it is not raining (or snowing … too soon to talk about that I know). I wouldn’t hold your breath for another day in the 80s like we had on Monday. It will be rough for us to warm to the 70s. The long-range models keep us cool with average precipitation. I don’t think people will mind as long as it falls in the form of rain.

I know you are thinking about all of the leaves you have to bag, and how you need to mow the yard a few more times. But try to work some fun into your fall as well. Lowell Park will be bustling this weekend with the Rivertown Fall Art Festival. You will need to dodge raindrops tomorrow, but Sunday looks great. Music and art sound like great ingredients for a fun weekend.

The next few weekends offer some really cool events in the area. I will be doing an On The Spot forecast on WCCO for the big Stairs of Stillwater fundraiser to support Youth Advantage. I have walked those stairs a thousand times, and I’m thrilled many kids will be doing it for such a great cause. Yeah kids! Also that weekend is Harvest Fest & Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off. There is truly something for everyone at this event. And every year we feature the enormous pumpkins on WCCO. And of course, we show footage of the big pumpkin drop as well as people floating in hollowed-out giant pumpkins.

I cheated a bit this year and put up all of our indoor Halloween decorations last weekend (at least it distracted me from that brutal Vikings game…we will beat the Giants this weekend). I will be putting up my outdoor Halloween decorations on Sunday. I will have to do it early though with the sun setting around 6:45 p.m. Just think, by the end of the month sunset is at 6:02 p.m. No wonder the kids start their trick-or-treating around 5 p.m. As always, I will be handing out full size candy bars. And there is always one parent who recognizes me in my costume and brings up the Halloween Blizzard of 1991. If you are new to the area, ask your neighbor about that. You may want to open a bottle of wine. It is quite the tale.

Stillwater native Chris Shaffer is WCCO’s chief meteorologist.

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