Chill of an Early Fall

That’s the title of a song and album by George Strait. It’s also what we’re experiencing here in Minnesota. The summer was beautiful, with below average temperatures. We didn’t have any really hot days. Now we seem to be experiencing an unusually early fall, with temperatures dropping as low as 45 degrees overnight. By day, it’s already sweatshirt weather.

Maybe the current cold snap will give way to an extended Indian summer–I’ve never seen an explanation of where that phrase comes from, although everyone knows what it means–but this year has also seen sunspot activity drop to an extraordinarily low level. Sunspots are a proxy for the amount of energy the Sun is putting out–more sunspots mean more energy. Some scientists are concerned that we may be in for an extraordinarily cold period over the coming months and perhaps years.

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