The month of March is always a month of change. The atmosphere responds to the increase in sun intensity by not only warming the atmosphere, but whipping up stronger storm systems responsible for heavy snow and severe weather.
Would it surprise you to know that the sun is about as strong now as it was in late September? The sun's most direct rays will cross the Equator this Thursday (Vernal Equinox), meaning it will officially be Spring in the Northern Hemisphere!
We've gained nearly 3 hours of daylight since the shortest days of the year in late December. It sure is nice having that extra hour of daylight when you get home from work or school, but I think I'm still adjusting to the time change. It's never easy losing that hour, especially with kids.
Even though the calendar says Spring, it's interesting to note that March is typically our 3rd snowiest month, averaging a little less than 11" over the past 30 years. So far this March, we've only seen 0.3", so that makes me think we're due for something.
Weather maps look more interesting as we head into early next week. It appears that there is some accumulating snow potential close to home, stay tuned!
Paul Douglas is a nationally respected meteorologist with 35 years of television and radio experience. A serial entrepreneur, Douglas is Senior Meteorologist and Founder of Media Logic Group. Douglas and a team of meteorologists, engineers and developers provide weather services for various media at Broadcast Weather, high-tech alerting and briefing services for companies via Alerts Broadcaster and weather data, apps and API’s from Aeris Weather. His speaking engagements take him around the Midwest with a message of continuous experimentation and reinvention, no matter what business you’re in. He is the public face of “SAVE”, Suicide Awareness, Voices of Education, based in Bloomington. Send Paul a question.
Oh brother. The entire weather blog should be a series of apologetic disclaimers today. We still don't know what we don't know, but models continue to suggest accumulating slush late in the weekend, especially Sunday night when we lose the sun's infrared radiation. No problems today; the sun may even peek through. Saturday looks tolerable, but Sunday will be a good Netflix-day with a cold rain mixing with or even changing to wet snow late. Monday, the 1st day of May, could bring plowable amounts of snow to portions of Minnesota. Where those heavy snow bands will set up is anyone's guess right now. Stay tuned.
Well, at least you won't be distracted by blue sky and chirping birds anytime soon - easier to focus on work, school and errands. Flurries may provide a mild jolt today; models still hinting at accumulating slush by Monday (but it's wildly premature to speculate about amounts). Spring fever returns in roughly one week. That's the thing about spring - across most of the USA it's taken as a foregone conclusion. Here in Minnesota, not so much. Minnesotans earn their springs.
We're paying a steep price for last weekend. I grant you it was very nice, especially Saturday, but I would have taken 10 degrees off the afternoon high temperature just to avoid saying the s-word again. Then again, July is the only month where snow hasn't been reported somewhere in Minnesota. Share that with a friend if you're hoping for shocked silence.
Monday turned out a little nicer than expected: low 70s with glimmers of sun. I think it sprinkled for 3 minutes or so. Not bad at all. We got all that "nice weather" out of the way, now it's time for a little payback, served runny and cold. Just rain today into much of Wednesday, but enough cold air may mix down for a slushy mix Wednesday PM, even an inch of snow close to the MSP metro by Thursday morning. Spring in Minnesota is a cool, cruel mistress. You'll see.
OK, so it will be tough topping this past weekend for beauty and splendor. Highs near 70s with generous sunshine, at least from the Twin Cities on south. North of MSP it got gray and chilly in a hurry. A few showers pop today with more 60s, and then a relapse arrives with jacket-worthy 40s, maybe even a few inches of slushy snow by Wednesday across parts of central and northern Minnesota. Isn't April fun?