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 provide weather services for various media and corporate interests at Praedictix. Developers and engineers create unique streams of weather data, imagery and API’s via Aeris Weather. He is co-host of a radio program, weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. on WCCO Radio. 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.
Meteorologists may actually have something to track on their weather maps, after months of synchronized boredom and a parade of lackluster Alberta Clippers. The pattern has shifted, southern moisture will fuel a storm tracking just south of Minnesota early next week, and the result may be a significant pile of snow very close to home.
I know, I know. You've heard the hype before. It starts out with "looks like significant snow!" Within 3-4 days it's "looks like flurries!" I don't blame you for being skeptical. So am I. But the pattern has shifted, we are getting moisture from the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico with a storm track south/east of Minnesota, possibly favorable for heavy snow for parts of Minnesota. It could be a pile, very plowable for portions of central Minnesota, maybe the metro - although I still think something will come along to gum up the snowfall potential for MSP. We'll see, but at least there's a chance Sunday night into Monday.
We are transitioning to a somewhat milder, significantly stormier pattern in the days and weeks to come. Instead of being lashed by a parade of clippers whipping up powder and cringe-worthy wind chills, a more southerly flow could mean heavier (wetter) snow, possibly mixed with rain and ice at times. But at least we stand a somewhat better chance of accumulating snow - without subzero temperatures to complain about.
If you enjoyed Monday you will positively relish today's weather: blue sky, less wind...single digit highs! Sounds like fun. Imagine how good 20s will feel tomorrow; 30s Thursday into Saturday before cooling off a bit next week (back down to average - not arctic). The arrival of this cooler front may set off a period of snow Sunday - still early for specifics.
Cold air is filtering back in for the beginning of the week. Highs will barely make it to zero in the Twin Cities Monday, and they will stay below zero across western Minnesota. I do have 30s in the forecast, though! Click into the blog to find out when. - D.J. Kayser