"Wettest 12 Months in U.S. History"
 
"The 12 months ending in April 2019 were the wettest year-long period in U.S. records going back to 1895, according to the monthly U.S. climate summary issued Wednesday by the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Averaged across the contiguous U.S., the total of 36.20” made the period from May 2018 to April 2019 the first year-long span ever to top 36”. The old record for any 12-month period was 35.78”, from April 2015 to March 2016. Given the fierce drought-related impacts of the 2010s—including multiple deadly wildfire disasters from Tennessee to California—it may seem a bit counterintuitive that the nation has actually been getting wetter overall. Across the contiguous U.S., average yearly precipitation has risen by about 2” over the past century, from around 29” to just over 31” (see Figure 1). For the entire nation, including Alaska and Hawaii, precipitation increased by about 4% in the period from 1901 to 2015, according to the U.S. National Assessment."

See more from Wunderground HERE:

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14th Wettest Start at MSP on Record - Through May 13th

If you're keeping track, MSP has seend 10.65" of liquid precipitation since January 1st, which is the 11th wettest start to any year on record. The only other years (since 2000) that started off wetter were ni 2012, 2014 and 2001. The wettest start was back in 1965 when we had 12.75" of liquid. 
 
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2019 Precipitation So Far...

It certainly has been an active start to the year so far, especially across the southern half of the state, where precipitation values are nearly 2" to 3" above average. In fact, Eau Claire, WI and Sioux Falls, SD are nearly 3.50" and 5" above average respectively. Here's the latest precipitation ranks so far this year (January 1st - May 11th)

3rd Wettest in Sioux Falls, SD
9th Wettest in Rochester, MN
11th Wettest in the Twin Cities
12th Wettest Eau Claire, WI

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7-Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's WPC, the 7-day precipitation forecast suggests some 1" to 2" rainfall tallies possible through next weekend. Keep in mind that most of this precipitation looks like it will fall Friday, Satudray and Sunday. Stay tuned...

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Tuesday Weather Outlook

High temps on Tuesday will be fairly mild across the region with readings warming into the 60s and 70s. This will feel quite nice considering how cool it has been as of late. In fact, some locations will warm to above average levels!
 
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T-Shower Chance PM Tuesday
 
Here's the weather outlook from Tuesday to midday Wednesday, which shows a quick moving storm system sliding through the area during the PM Tuesday hours. It won't be a washout, but there could be a few PM Tuesday outdoor activities that will be impacted. 
 
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Rainfall Potential Through Wednesday
 
Here's the rainfall potential through early midday Wednesday, which doesn't show much substance. However, there could be a few pockets of a couple of tenths of an inch if any thunderstorms develop. The heaviest rainfall potential looks to arrive with a much more potent system later this week and into the weekend ahead.
 
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Extended Temperature Outlook
 
Here's the extended temperature outlook through May 27th/28th, which shows warmer temps moving in through much of the week. In fact, several days could reach 70F with a potential 80F reading by Thursday. 
 
 
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Warmer Temps This Week

Here's the 850mb temp anomaly, which shows a warmer bias through much of the week. Some of the warmest weather looks to be with us during the 2nd half of the week when actual air temps could approach 80F in the Twins Cities. 

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Tree Pollen Running High in the Twin Cities

Have you been sneezing a little more than usual? It could be because pollen levels have been running fairly high. In fact, high to medium-high levels will be with us for much of the week. 
 
 
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Ice Out Dates

Ice out season continues in MN and according to the MN DNR quite a few more lakes have gone ice out over the past 5 to 7 days. Lake Minnetonka saw ice out on April 20th, which was nearly a week behind the average of April 13th. Lake Mille Lacs also went out on April 28th, which is 3 days behind the average of April 25th. Leech Lake saw ice out on May 2nd, which was 5 days behind the average of April 28th. Also, Lake Vermillion and Lake Kabetogema went out of April 30th, which is pretty close to average. Lake of the Woods' average ice out it on May 3rd, so we'll see when they go out. 

Average Ice Out Dates

Here's a look at average ice out dates across Minnesota. Note that most lakes around the metro go out in April, so within the next week or 2, you should see open water. However, folks closer to the international border may not see open water until the end of April or early part of May. Spring is on the way!!


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Temperature Outlook
 
According to NOAA's CPC, the temperature outlook from May 21st - 27th still looks to be running below average across much of the Western US. The only locations that will be above average look to be across the Southeastern part of the nation and into Alaska.
 
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Spring Leaf Anomaly
 
Here's an interesting map for folks that are looking forward to spring. It's the NPN Spring Leaf Anomaly map, which shows that spring has indeed sprung across the southern tier of the nation. The red colors indicate that spring leaves are actually emerging earlier than average in those areas, while blue colors indicate that we're a little behind average in other spots.

"May 6th, 2019 - Spring leaf out is nearly complete across the Continental U.S. and has just arrived in parts of Alaska. In the west, spring leaf out is 1-2 weeks early in parts of California and Nevada, and 2-3 weeks late in much of Oregon and Washington. In the east, spring leaf out is 1-2 weeks early in the upper Southeast, and 1-2 weeks late across the Great Plains, southern Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. Spring bloom has arrived on time to 2 weeks early in much of the South, Appalachian Mountains, and mid-Atlantic. Parts of Arizona, California, Nevada, and the Southern Great Plains are 1-2 weeks late. Spring bloom is one day early in Salt Lake City, UT and Des Moines, IA."

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80F Later This Week - A Very Soggy Pattern
By Paul Douglas
 
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Or if the forecast calls for showers, and it rains 5 miles down the road but not in your yard, was the forecast accurate?<p>In May we transition from "stratiform rain" (affecting nearly everyone) to hit-or-miss "convective showers"; often a few miles wide, affecting a small percentage of the state at any given moment - the Doppler freckled with yellows and reds of spotty showers and T-storms. It's impossible to say precisely when rain will arrive; all we can do is estimate when the atmosphere looks ripe for showers.
 
I don't want to bury the lead: the next 1-2 weeks looks very wet. ECMWF prints out 2-3 inches of rain by the middle of next week. Spotty showers bubble up this week in response to 80-degree air approaching. That's not a typo. Models suggest steadier, heavier rain Sunday through Tuesday of next week.
 
No sign of an emerging drought this year. Springs here are trending wetter, and this year won't buck the trend. No need to water anytime soon!
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Extended Forecast

TUESDAY: Some sun. Stay T-shower. Winds: S 7-12. High: 70.

TUESDAY NIGHT: Chance of T-showers. Winds: SSW 5. Low: 53.

WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny and pleasant. Winds: E 5-10. High: 73.

THURSDAY: Early T-storms, then sticky sun. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up: 60. High: 80.

FRIDAY: Hazy sun. Isolated T-storms. Winds: SE 10-15. Wake-up: 54. High: 81.

SATURDAY: Muggy and warm. Few T-storms. Winds: S 15-25. Wake-up: 62. High: 83.

SUNDAY: More numerous showers and storms. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 66. High: 75.

MONDAY: Another PM wave of T-storms. Winds: SE 8-13. Wake-up: 62 High: 79.
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This Day in Weather History
May 14th

2013: Minneapolis sets a record high temperature of 98 degrees, breaking the previous record of 95 set in 1932.
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Average High/Low for Minneapolis
May 14th

Average High: 69F (Record: 98F set in 2013)
Average Low: 48F (Record: 32F set in 1907)

Record Rainfall: 1.28" set in 1916
Record Snowfall: Trace set in 1927
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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
May 13th

Sunrise: 5:47am
Sunset: 8:32pm

Hours of Daylight: ~14 hours & 46 minutes

Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 2 minutes & 22 seconds
Daylight GAINED since winter solstice (December 21st): ~6 hours and 1 minute
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Moon Phase for May 14th at Midnight
3.2 Days Since First Quarter 
Moon

See more from Space HERE:

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What's in the Night Sky?

According to EarthSky.org this is what will be visible in the night sky over the next several nights:  

"Vega is a lovely star to come to know. When I was first learning the night sky, more than 40 years ago, I spent hours, days, weeks, months poring over charts and books. So I sometimes came to know the names and whereabouts of certain stars before seeing them in the night sky. One soft May evening, I happened to glance toward the northeast. I was thrilled at the sight of Vega – gleaming, sapphire-blue – and surprisingly bright for being so low in the sky. Look for this star tonight. It’s the 5th brightest star in our sky. If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, you’ll find beautiful, bluish Vega easily, simply by looking northeastward at mid-evening in May. Vega is so bright that you can see it on a moonlit night. From far south in the Southern Hemisphere, you can’t see Vega until late at night in May. That’s because Vega is located so far north on the sky’s dome. Vega will reach its high point for the night around 3 to 4 hours after midnight, at which time people in the Southern Hemisphere can see this star in their northern sky. As seen from mid-northern latitudes, the star shines high overhead at this early morning hour. Because it’s the brightest star in the constellation Lyra the Harp, Vega is sometimes called the Harp Star. Like all stars, Vega rises some four minutes earlier each day as Earth moves around the sun. So Vega will ornament our evening sky throughout the summer and fall."

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Average Tornadoes By State in May
 
According to NOAA, the number of tornadoes in May is at its peak across the country with most happening in the Tornado Valley. Note that Minnesota sees an average of 6 tornadoes during the month.
 
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2019 Preliminary Tornado Count
 
Here's the 2019 preliminary tornado count across the nation, which shows a fairly high concentration across the Lower Mississippi Valley and Gulf Coast States. Note that we have not seen any tornadoes this year in Minnesota. Last year, our first tornado didn't happen until the end of May. However, in 2017, our first tornadoes happened in early March!
 
 
 2019 Preliminary Tornado Count
 
Here's a look at how many tornadoes there have been across the country so far this year. The preliminary count through May 8th suggests that there have been a total of 578, which is above the 2005-2015 short term average of 597. Interestingly, this has been the busiest tornado season since 2012, when nearly 684 tornadoes were reported. Interestingly, more than 1,000 tornades were reported at this time in 2011.
 
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Weather Outlook Tuesday
 
High temps across the country on Tuesday, which still looks quite chilly in the Northeast with readings still nearly -10F to -20F below average. Cold rain showers will also continue across parts of the Northeast that could mix with snow at times through AM Tuesday. Meanwhile, temps will start warming along the Front Range and though the Intermountain West. Readings will warm into the 80s from Denver to Salt Lake City to Billings, which will be nearly +10F to +15F above average.
 
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National Weather Outlook

Here's the weather outlook through midweek, which shows lingering cold rain showers across the Northeast on Tuesday, while another much larger storm system looks to take shape in the Western US. This storm will be responsible for widespread showers and storms across the Central US later this week. Severe weather potential and flooding rains will be possible as this next system develops.
 

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Severe Threat Friday & Saturday
 
According to NOAA's SPC, there is a highlighted risk of strong to severe storms across parts of the Central US on Friday and Saturday. While it is yet too early to tell what types of impacts maybe felt here, it is important to note that this late week system does look a little more potent and certainly could bring more widespread strong to severe storms to the region as we approach next weekend. 
 
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7 Day Precipitation Forecast
 
Here's NOAA's WPC 7 day precipitation forecast, which suggests areas of heavy rain across the Central US with several locations possibly getting several inches of rain through the weekend and early next week. There will also be areas of heavy precipitation across the West Coast.
 

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"In a changing climate, how can tech help us survive?"
 

"Climate change is here. On “Marketplace Tech,” we’re launching ongoing coverage looking at how tech can help us adapt to that change. It’s a series we’re calling “How We Survive.” So far, much of the investment and energy around climate change has been about mitigation — that is, slowing carbon emissions, reducing temperature rise, perhaps even geo-engineering carbon out of the air or sequestering it in the ground in order to stop warming. But increasingly, climate scientists, investors and entrepreneurs are talking much more seriously about adaptation — that is, how do we harden our cities and water supplies and infrastructures against climate change? How do we engineer crops that can grow in places and temperatures they were never designed to grow? How do we make cities and states and countries and homes less dependent on centralized resources when the power goes out and give people the tools to save themselves if they need to?"

See more from MarketPlace HERE:


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"Earth is losing its free-flowing rivers"
 
"Earth's rivers are increasingly dammed, disrupted by development and fragmented — all of which are threatening food and clean water sources that hundreds of millions of people depend on, a new study finds. What's new: A first-of-its-kind study published Wednesday in Nature provides a global census of the world's rivers, and seeks to answer the question of how many are still free-flowing. By the numbers:
2.8 million: The estimated number of dams constructed worldwide.
More than 3,700: Hydropower dams currently planned or under construction worldwide, particularly in Asia.
15 gigawatts: The amount of hydropower capacity added in Asia during 2016 alone. The study highlights the Balkans, Amazon, China, and the Himalayas as hotspots of hydropower construction.
37%: Share of rivers longer than 1,000 km (about 620 miles) in length that remain free-flowing.
41%: Share of global river volume that still flows freely into the ocean.
77%: Share of rivers greater than 1,000 km in length that have seen the connection from their source region to the sea severed.
 
 

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"Hate to sound like a broken record, but we just set a scary new CO2 record"
 
"Just the news you’ve been waiting for: The amount of carbon dioxide in our planet’s atmosphere has reached a new high. April’s average was 413.52 parts per million, a new record, according to a spokesperson at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The last time there was this much CO2 in our atmosphere, there were trees growing at the South Pole. Humans weren’t yet a thing. In other words, we’re living in uncharted territory. The planet’s carbon dioxide levels rise and fall over the course of each year, and usually peak in May when Earth’s vast northern forests spring back to life. (The most widely used measurements are made at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s remote observatory at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, to avoid picking up CO2 from nearby cars and plants.)"
 
 

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"Gravitational Waves Keep Rolling Past Earth"
 

"The stars orbited each other like a pair of dancers, their sequined costumes glowing against a dark stage. Round and round they went, until the distance between them began to shrink. The closer they got, the faster they spun. And then, smack! The stars collided. About 500 million years later, Mansi Kasliwal’s phone rang in the middle of the night in April. “Dear human,” a robotic voice said when she picked up. “You have received a new gravitational-wave alert.” The signal from the cosmic dance had reached her at last. Kasliwal, an astronomy professor at Caltech, jumped out of bed. Gravitational waves are ripples in the very fabric of the universe. It sounds bizarre, but space is elastic, and can be bent, warped, and squished. These gymnastics require some extremely powerful motions, such as the furious spinning of massive astrophysical objects. Their rotation is so intense that it sends waves coursing through the universe at the speed of light. The ripples move through everything they pass—galaxies, stars, even planets. And when they reach us, ultrasensitive instruments are now waiting to detect them."

See more from The Atlantic HERE:


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"Airborne NASA scientists just filmed something troubling in Greenland"
 
"Scientists aboard a NASA airplane swooped over some of Greenland's largest glaciers on Monday, spotting melted ice and raging rivers. It's significant, because though it's not nearly summer, large blue ponds have already formed on the icy ground. NASA’s Operation IceBridge researchers observed this as part of their mission to watch for changes in Earth’s giant masses of polar ice. Greenland, in particular, has been melting at an accelerated rate for some two decades. "Although the story of the summer of 2019 in Greenland hasn’t yet been written, it's starting on a worrying note," said Joe MacGregor, the project scientist for Operation IceBridge. MacGregor is on land in the U.S., but his IceBridge colleague, glaciologist Brooke Medley, captured footage of the early melt creating big pools of water, seen below. "
 
 

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"Britain Just Went a Week Without Coal For the First Time in 137 Years"
 
"Coal may have helped birth the Industrial Revolution in Britain, but the nation is working hard to leave it behind. And it just hit a big milestone: This marks the first time since 1882 that Britain has run a week without coal. National Grid, the electric company that provides power for Britain, announced the milestone on Tuesday in a tweet. The milestone is largely symbolic, but reflects how the world can increasingly operate without the dirtiest fossil fuel. The last belch of coal-fueled power in Britain came on May 1 around 1 p.m. local time. Since then, wind, solar, and natural gas have kept business going as usual. According to the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the country has gone without coal for 1,000 hours this year, or a little more than 41 calendar days."
 
 

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"This Is the Most Important Place to Apply Sunscreen (and You Probably Aren’t Doing It)"
 
"By now we’re pros at wearing SPF every day. We even get those sneaky spots, like the tops of our ears and hairline. So we admit we got a little worried when we found out we were still missing the most important spot of all: our eyelids. According to the British Journal of Ophthalmology, five to ten percent of skin cancers occur on the eyelid. (Eek!) And thanks to a new study published by PLOS One, we now know that that delicate patch of skin is also the same place where we’re most likely to skip sun protection. To find out, a team of University of Liverpool researchers had a group of 84 people apply SPF moisturizer how they normally would, then took pictures of their faces with UV-sensitive cameras. They found that people missed their eyelids across the board (which, at less than one millimeter thick, are the thinnest spots of skin on your body). *cue internal panic*
 
 
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Thanks for checking in and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX

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Warmer week ahead, with first 80F since September

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First 80F Brewing for Thursday - Another 2 to 4" Rain Next 7 Days?