Easter Sunday

WOW - what a spectacular Saturday it was with high temps reaching the 70s and low 80s across the southern half of the state. In fact, high temps in the Twin Cities were the warmest of 2019 so far and the warmest since October 3rd when the mercury reach 79F. Easter Sunday weather looks a litte less impressive with more clouds and a few T-showers. While it won't be a washout, early morning egg hunts may have to move indoors this year...


Weather Outlook For Easter Sunday

Here's a look at Easter Sunday, which shows warm temps continuing across the southeastern part of the state. Rochester, MN could see readings in the upper 70s to near 80F, which will be nearly +15F to +20F above average, while folks in the northern half of the state will see highs in the 40s and 50s.


Rain & Rumbles Sunday into Monday

Here's the weather outlook from Sunday into Monday, which shows another storm system drifting through the Upper Midwest with areas of showers and storms. While a few spotty T-showers maybe possible across MN on Sunday, it appears the soggiest day will be Monday and mainly across the southern half of the state. 


Another Soggy Spring Day

According to NOAA's NDFD data, folks across the southern half of the state and into Wisconsin could see another 0.50" to nearly 0.75" tallies as our next system rolls through the region. Again, it appears the wettest day will be on Monday when steady rain and a few rumbles of thunder can't be ruled out. 


Weather Outlook Ahead

Here's the weather outlook through the end of April and into the first few days of May and I think it's safe to safe that spring has FINALLY sprung! High temps on Saturday were the warmest we've seen since October 3rd, 2018 and it sure was nice! The extended outlook looks a little cooler on Monday thanks to some scattered showers/storms, but we should warm fairly quick to slightly above average levels on Wednesday.


Warmer 2nd Half of Next Week

The temperature anomaly as we head into the 2nd half of next week suggests warmer than average temperatures returning to much of the Upper Midwest.


"Tips to prevent ticks as the weather gets warmer"

"Going outside is great as the weather gets warmer but there are some creatures you need to watch out for while spending time outdoors. May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month and the dangerous disease is spread by ticks. There are ways to keep yourself safe and healthy though. Nancy Troyano, Ph.D. is a Board Certified Entomologist with Ehrlich Pest Control and she provided some information that can help keep you, your family and your pets safe from ticks. Just because your yard isn’t near a wooded area doesn’t mean it will be tick free. So what can you do to protect yourself? The most effective protective actions you can take against ticks are to wear an EPA-approved insect repellent when you spend time outdoors – even in your own yard. Also, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks when you are working in your yard, hiking, or in wooded areas. After being outside, do a head-to-toe check for ticks. Adults should also do this check on children. Manage Vegetation: Barrier treatments of yards, especially those in areas susceptible to tick activity. Barrier treatments include the application of a low-impact product to vegetation around the perimeter of your yard to repel ticks. These treatments need to be repeated multiple times throughout the tick season to remain effective."

See more from WTKR News HERE:


"Lyrid meteor shower: All you need to know"

A few folks have been reporting shooting stars or meteors over the last few nights and that's because the annual Lyrid Meteor Shower is only a few days away from peaking on Apirl 23rd!!

"The annual Lyrid meteor shower is active each year from about April 16 to 25. In 2019, the peak of this shower – which tends to come in a burst and usually lasts for less than a day – is expected to fall on the morning of April 23, under the light of a bright waning gibbous moon. Should you skip the shower? Well, maybe. But we’re already hearing from skywatchers who don’t plan to skip it, especially after the months-long meteor drought that always comes between early January and the Lyrid shower each year. There are no major meteor shower during those months, as you can see by looking at EarthSky’s meteor shower guide. So, many meteor-watchers are itching to get going, and it’s unlikely moonlight will dampen their enthusiasm. No matter where you are on Earth, the greatest number of meteors tend to fall during the few hours before dawn. Keep reading to find some tips for watching the 2019 Lyrids in moonlight."

See more from Earth Sky HERE:


"EarthSky’s 2019 meteor shower guide"

You might be interested to know that there are several metero showers during the year, but there are certainly a few more notible ones like the Perseids in mid August. Take a look at the list of meteor showers that EarthSky has compiled as they have everything you need to know about each one for the rest of 2019!!

See more from EarthSky HERE:


April Precipitation

It's been a pretty wet start to the month of April thus far, in fact, most locations in the southern half of the state are at least 1" above average. MSP has accumulated 3.32" of liquid, which is near 2" above average! Also note that MSP has seen 9.8" of snow this month, which is tied for the 10th snowiest April on record!


Snow Depth

Unreal! Hard to believe that it was only 10 days ago when blizzard warnings were in place across the region. The MSP picked up a total of 9.8" during that storm, while some folks in far western MN and into eastern SD saw nearly 20" to 30", which is largely gone! The only spots that still have some snow on the ground is in the Arrowhead and also across Wisconsin and the U.P. of Michigan.


10th Snowiest April on Record at MSP So Far...

Our April 10-12 snow event accumulated 9.8" of snow at the MSP Airport, which not only made it the 5th largest April snow event on record, but it also pushed us into the 10th snowiest April on record spot! Note that MSP only averages 2.4" of snow in April, so we are wewll above average!


April 2019 Snowfall So Far...

Thanks to our latest April snow storm, areas of heavy snow fell across the region. Note that some of the heaviest fell across parts of South Dakota, Central MN (including the Twin Cities) and into northern Wisconsin. Quite a few locations have seen double digits tallies, which is well above average!

Snowfall Season To Date
WOW - What a snow season it has been! Despite a fairly lackluster start to the winter season, we sure made up for it in a hurry during the 2nd half of winter and so far this spring. With that said, MSP has now seen 77.1" of snow, which makes it the 11th snowiest season on record!
Signs of Spring!!

Here's a neat map from Journey North, which shows the migration of one of our most beloved summer feathered friends, the hummingbird! It's amazing to think that they migrate across the Gulf of Mexico to make it all the way home. According to the map below, they are getting close!! you can see fairly widespread reports across the southern half of the US, but they're still a bit spotty closer to the Great Lakes and the Upper Midwest.

See more from Journey North HERE:

More Signs of Spring from the MNDNR
This time of the year can be a little dank and dreary at times, but we're not too far away from several signs of life returning to a backyard near you! There's a phenology reporting locating in Maplewood, just north of St. Paul and they record things like the first red-winged blackbird to the first dandelion and even when the lilacs bloom. This phenology location recorded the first "conk-la-ree" from a red-winged blackbird on March 20th this year, which was a few days later than average. By the way, the average bloom date of lilacs in the Twin Cities is typically around May 10th. Last year, lilacs didn't bloom until mid May.
"The songs of the first red-winged blackbirds of the season were heard in north Maplewood on Wednesday, March 20, six days later than the median date of March 14, and on the first day of Spring! Phenology which is derived from the Greek word phaino meaning to show or appear, is the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events that are influenced by environmental changes, especially seasonal variations in temperature and precipitation driven by weather and climate. The USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN)  collects phenological data from across the United States. Also track the progress of The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds  as they migrate north. Here is some recent spring phenology for a site in Maplewood just north of St. Paul."

"Phenology Report: April 16, 2019"
Here's the latest Phenology from John Latimer who hails out of Grand Rapids, MN. He shares his latest findings on what is springing up across parts of central/northern MN. 

"Phenology is the biological nature of events as they relate to climate.  Every Tuesday morning, our resident Phenologist John Latimer gathers his phenological data and reports his findings in the weekly Phenology Report. In this week's report, John compares what he's seeing this year to past year's data collection. Among the wildlife activity he's documented so far this year, John has witnessed buffleheads, hooded mergansers, and flickers."

Listen to the full report from KAXE HERE:


"Pollen count warning: ‘Deadly pollen bomb’ could prove fatal if you have this condition"

"HIGH pollen counts have been forecast across the UK, spelling trouble for people with allergies like hay fever. But these aren’t the only people who will suffer - high pollen counts could also put some people at risk of a potentially life-threatening condition. High pollen counts have been forecast all week by the Met Office and are predicted to last until Sunday, with Britons set for the hottest day of the year this weekend according to the Met Office UK weather forecast. Hay fever sufferers will be doing everything they can to prevent symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes and a runny nose. But a charity has also warned the “pollen bomb” could be “deadly” for some. Sonia Munde, head of services at Asthma UK, warned at the beginning of the week: “A deadly pollen bomb is due to his this week, putting people with asthma at risk of a potentially life-threatening asthma attack. “Around 3.3 million people with asthma are affected pollen, which can cause symptoms such as wheezing, a tight chest or coughing."

See more from Express.co.uk HERE:


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. Thanks to a little rain, pollen levels could be a little lower on Sunday and Monday, but will return to high levels during the 2nd half of next week.

Ice Out Dates

Ice out season continues in MN and according to the MN DNR, there are a few lakes that are officially ice out across the southern half of the state including a few in the Twin Cities. In fact, Lake Calhoun went out on April 10th, which is only one day later than the average ice out on April 9th. We are still waiting for Lake Minnetonka to be ice free, which typically goes ice free on April 13th.

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!!


Ice Safey Reminder

As we head into the next several weeks, ice stability is going to deteriorate rapidly! Warmer temps will weaken ice on area lakes/ponds, so please be careful! The MN DNR has ice safety reminders that you can review and remember that ice is never 100% safe!

 Temperature Outlook
According to NOAA's CPC, the temperature outlook from April 27th - May 3rd looks warmer than average across much of the nation with the exception of the far northern tier of the nation, which includes much of Minnesota. Keep in mind that the average high at MSP on May 1st is 65F, so despite dealing with potentially below average temps, it shouldn't be too bad.
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.

"April 15, 2019 - Spring leaf out continues to spread north. 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 leaf out is one week late in Chicago, IL and Cleveland, OH. Spring bloom has arrived on time to 2 weeks early in much of the South. Parts of Arizona, California, Nevada, and the Southern Great Plains are 1-2 weeks late. Spring bloom is on time in Washington, D.C., and one week late in the Portland, OR and Seattle, WA areas."

A Few Easter Showers - Maps Look Like Spring
By Paul Douglas

"So Paul, is it safe to retire my winter coat and boots?" a friendly stranger inquired. How 'bout those Twins! I'd rather talk about your 401K. "Sure seems like we got punished in April because we didn't suffer enough in March" he added, before giving up on an answer. I don't want to jinx spring.

Although yesterday almost made up for the slushy pain inflicted earlier this month. Picture Postcard Perfect. Consider it an atmospheric apology for snowy transgressions.

A frontal boundary approaches today, increasing the odds of bumping into a shower or T-storm. Steadier rain arrives tonight & Monday, up to an inch of rain may fall before skies clear Tuesday. Expect a run of 60s next week; a shower risk early Thursday - then heavier showers and T-storms next weekend. I wouldn't be shocked to see a severe storm outbreak one week from today for parts of Minnesota.

This might be a good time to review safety tips and make sure you have a plan when warnings are issued.

Minnesota experiences an average of  40 tornadoes every year. It's good to be prepared.

Extended Forecast

EASTER SUNDAY: Passing shower/T-storm. Winds: NE 8-13. High: 71.

SUNDAY NIGHT: Chance of rain/rumbles Winds: NNE 10. Low: 48.

MONDAY: Widespread, steadier rain. Winds: NE 10-20. High: 51.

TUESDAY: Blue sky returns. Very pleasant. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 40. High:64.

WEDNESDAY: Mild sun, T-storm risk at night. Winds: SW 10-15. Wake-up: 45. High: 67.

THURSDAY: Wet start, then clearing skies. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 51. High: 64.

FRIDAY: Partly sunny, probably dry. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up: 45 High: 60.

SATURDAY: Scattered showers and T-storms. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 49. High: 64.

This Day in Weather History
April 21st

1910: A snowstorm hits northeastern Minnesota. Duluth picks up 6.5 inches.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis
April 21st

Average High: 61F (Record: 95F set in 1980)
Average Low: 40F (Record: 22F set in 1966)

Record Rainfall: 0.74" set in 1912
Record Snowfall: 6.6" set in 2012

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
April 21st

Sunrise: 6:18am
Sunset: 8:05pm

Hours of Daylight: ~13 hours & 47 minutes

Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 2 minutes & 57 seconds
Daylight GAINED since winter solstice (December 21st): ~5 hours and 2 minutes

Moon Phase for April 21st at Midnight
2.8 Day After Full "Pink" 

"6:12 a.m. CDT - The grass pink or wild ground phlox is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names were the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon and — among coastal tribes — the Full Fish Moon, when the shad come upstream to spawn. In 2019, this is also the Paschal Full Moon; the first full moon of the spring season. The first Sunday following the Paschal Moon is Easter Sunday, which indeed will be observed two days after the full moon on Sunday (April 21). This is an unusually late Easter, four days shy of the latest date that Easter can fall." 

See more from Space HERE:


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: 

"Tonight – April 21, 2019 – the moon is just a few days past full. Meanwhile, the Lyrid meteor shower is expected to put forth its greatest number of meteors during the predawn hours on April 22 and, especially, April 23. If you’re a veteran meteor-watcher, you’re already shaking your fist at the moon. Its glare will drown out all but the brightest Lyrids. However, the moon offers its own delights, sweeping past Jupiter – the largest planet in our solar system and second-brightest planet in our skies – in the coming mornings. Also, you can look for the bright star Vega, which nearly marks the radiant point of the Lyrid meteor shower. Both Jupiter and Vega should have no trouble overcoming the moon-drenched skies. Find them, enjoy them … and maybe you’ll spot a meteor, too! The greatest number of Lyrid meteors usually fall in the few hours before dawn. That’s when the radiant point – near the star Vega in the constellation Lyra – is highest in the sky. For that reason, that’s when you’re likely to see the most meteors. Note for Southern Hemisphere observers: Because this shower’s radiant point is so far north on the sky’s dome, you’ll see fewer Lyrid meteors. But you might see some! Try watching between midnight and dawn on April 22 and/or 23. On a dark night, this shower typically offers about 10 to 15 meteors per hour at its peak. Unfortunately, in 2019, the moon is sure to bleach out a good number of Lyrid meteors. Hopefully, a few of the brighter ones will prevail over the moolight."

"Severe weather wreaks havoc on holiday weekend travel"
"Powerful storms producing heavy rain and damaging winds are taking aim at the eastern half of the country, from Texas to Pennsylvania. More than 1,700 flights were canceled Friday nationwide and many of those passengers are now scrambling to find alternatives. At Newark airport in New Jersey, more than 200 flights were canceled or delayed during the start of the holiday weekend, CBS News' Kenneth Craig reported. The good news is that cancellations and delays have since died down significantly, but flash flood watches and flood warnings are in effect for much of the Northeast so the region isn't in the clear yet. Thousands were without power Saturday morning as several towns tried to recover from days of devastating weather. In south-central Pennsylvania, a building partially collapsed Friday night in Franklin County after severe winds and a possible tornado struck. There was no immediate word on injuries. In the South, severe weather is bringing misery for the second weekend in a row. Tornadoes, high winds and pounding rains are destroying homes and leaving some communities without power."

Storm Reports on Friday, April 19th
Friday was one of the busiest severe weather days of 2019 so far with as many as 325 reports of either large hail, damaging winds and even tornadoes. In fact, there were at least 18 PRELIMINARY tornado reports from Florida to just west of Washington DC. 

Average Tornadoes By State in April 
According to NOAA, the number of tornadoes in April really starts to go up across the southern US. Note that several states typically see nearly a dozen tornadoes, while Texas takes the cake with nearly 30. Meanwhile, Minnesota only typically sees 1 tornado during the month of April and the most active month is typically June, when Minnesota typically sees 15.
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 April 19th suggests that there have been a total of 330, which is still below the 2005-2015 short term average of 384.
Weather Outlook Sunday
Here's a look at high temps across the naiton on Sunday, which shows temps across the Central US running above average. In fact, folks in Chicago and St. Louis could be nearly +10F to +15F above average with highs in the upper 70s and lower 80s.

National Weather Outlook

The storm system responsible for all the severe weather across the southern and eastern US since Wednesday will finally move east on Sunday and Monday, but lingering showers & storms can't be ruled out on Easter. Meanwhile, another batch of Pacific moisture will work into the Central US as we head into Sunday and Monday with areas of heavy rain and thunder. 

7 Day Precipitation Forecast
According to NOAA's WPC, the 7 day precipitation forecast suggests areas of heavy rain across parts of the Northeast and once again in the Southern US. Some spots in Oklahoma and Texas could see another 2" to 4" of rain during the 2nd half of next week.
"It’s A Match: Satellite and Ground Measurements Agree on Warming"
"The consensus gives confidence to satellite estimates of temperature rise in remote areas with few weather stations. Scientists are keeping tabs on the warming planet with more than one thermometer, so to speak. Ground-based sensors, ocean buoys and different types of satellite measurements have all helped show how fast the Earth is heating up. The bad news: Global warming is still steadily proceeding. But the good news is that all of these methods broadly agree with one another, despite being collected in very different ways. That means there’s high confidence that the estimates are accurate. Now, new research has just confirmed that yet another method matches the others."

"NYC Just Passed a World-First Law to Tackle Its Biggest Source of Climate Pollution"
“Decarbonize the buildings” may be among the least sexy phrases ever written. But it’s a wildly important thing to do if cities are to have any hope of addressing climate change. On Thursday, New York City took a big step toward that goal with the passage of what it’s hailing as the first-ever building carbon targets bill in the world. That means the city’s biggest source of emissions must be slashed 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050 as part of what’s been called the city’s Green New Deal. And it provides a blueprint for what other cities could do, potentially helping spur innovation. New York has more than a million buildings. Between heating, cooling, electricity, cooking gas, hot water, and other sources, buildings account for roughly two-thirds of the city’s emissions. So while things like congestion pricing and improving public transit matter for cutting emissions, they’re still a drop in the carbon-filled bucket of city living. The new legislation, introduced by New York Councilman Costa Constantinides, sets an ambitious agenda for cutting building emissions. The legislation passed the city council 45-2 on Thursday, after being strenuously opposed by real estate interests that chafed at the idea of having to shoulder the cost of the upgrades. Mayor Bill de Blasio has signaled he will sign it into law."

"Want weather forecasts more than 15 days away? Not possible, say researchers"
"If you have ever planned a wedding or a huge birthday party, chances are you've been tempted to look for a long-range forecast to see if you need to consider a wet-weather option. While many sites and apps will happily give you forecasts extending months into the future, it's rare they will mention how accurate they are. Spoiler: they're not accurate at all. In fact, new research suggests that it may be impossible to accurately forecast beyond 15 days. And with today's technology, we're not even close to that. What's possible now? Most people live in bands between about 23 and 66 degrees on either side of the equator called the mid-latitudes, and forecasts for those regions can be reasonably reliable out to as much as 10 days."

"I love the smell of rain after a heatwave. And now I love the word for it, too"
"Since I discovered it, I’d feel lost without the word ‘petrichor’. There are times when we discover a word that maybe we didn’t even realise we needed, but after we are inducted we’d feel lost without. For me, this word – or one of them – is petrichor. The Oxford English Dictionary defines petrichor as: “A pleasant, distinctive smell frequently accompanying the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather in certain regions.” I was incredibly pleased to alight on this word because it meant I could stop asking people whether they also thought “rain smelled good”. This isn’t among the weirdest things I have been known to ask, but it’s also not particularly hinged as far as queries go. The joy of petrichor is separate but connected to the other benefits of a heatwave ending: the regained ability to sleep without all four limbs sticking over the edge of the mattress; being able to read one’s phone screen outside again. I love hot weather – I guiltily enjoyed last summer’s heatwave (guiltily, because of what it augurs for the planet). But, like a new friend who starts off fun and energetic but ends up relentless, there comes the moment when the charm wilts (and in this case, the garden) and relief cannot come soon enough."

"Researchers have found a link between air pollution and crime"
"Air pollution is a major driver of crime in London says new research by LSE. According to the discussion paper, published by the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), higher levels of air pollution increases the rate of most types of crime in the capital and, in particular, less severe kinds such as shoplifting and pickpocketing. However, air pollution was not found to have a significant impact on the most serious crimes such as murder, assault causing severe bodily harm or rape. The researchers found that a 10 point rise of the air pollution measure, the Air Quality Index (AQI), increases the crime rate by 0.9 percent. This means that the crime rate in London is 8.4 percent higher on the most polluted day (AQI 103.6) compared to the days with the lowest level of pollution (AQI =9.3)."

"Texas leads country in disasters"
"Texas leads the nation in disasters. The state has had 352 federally declared disasters since 1953, the furthest back online FEMA records are available. That's 51 more than California, a state famed for earthquakes, fires and landslides. Texas's most recent federally declared disasters include:"

Sept. 10 to Nov. 2, 2018: Severe storms and flooding in South Central Texas
June 19 to July 13, 2018: The Great June Flood in the Rio Grande Valley
Aug. 23 to Sept. 15, 2017: Hurricane Harvey
May 22 to June 24, 2016: Severe storms and flooding in the Houston and Abilene regions
April 17 to 30, 2016: Tax Day Flood
March 7 to March 29, 2016: Severe storms, tornadoes and flooding in North and East Texas
Dec. 26, 2015 to Jan. 21, 2016: Severe winter storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding in North Texas and the Panhandle
Oct. 22 to Oct. 31, 2015: Severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding in the Houston, Austin and Dallas-Fort Worth areas and the Rio Grande Valley
May 4 to June 22, 2015: Memorial Day Flood
Oct. 30 to Oct. 31, 2013: Severe storms and flooding in the Austin area
Apr. 17 to Apr. 20, 2013: West Fertilizer Company explosion north of Waco

See more from Chron HERE:

Thanks for checking in and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX

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