According to the USA National Phenology Network, the spring leaf index shows spring creeping north. The red colors indicate that spring leaves have been emerging earlier than normal, while the blue indicates that spring leaves have emerged later than normal. It was a later than normal start to the season across the Gulf Coast States, but across the Mid-Atlantic and Ohio Valley, things are off to an earlier start. Keep in mind that the average bloom date for lilacs in the Twin Cities is around May 10th, so we still have a ways to go, but we're not that far away!
Snow Melt Ahead
The extended forecast through the end of March suggests high temperatures bouncing around the 30s and 40s. The GEFS seems to be a little more aggressive with mid to upper 40s during the last full week of March, while the ECMWF remains cooler with highs in the 30s to 40s this week and next week. The good news is that average highs and lows are going up and the avearge high by the end of the month in the Twin Cities is 49F!
Great Lakes Ice Coverage
2018 Tornadoes So Far...
According to NOAA's SPC, there have been 71 preliminary tornaoes so far this year (March 16th), which is more than what we had at this time in the last couple of years. Interestingly, there were 482 tornadoes at this time in 2008; that year ended with 2,194 tornadoes, which is nearly 800 more than the short-term 2005-2015 average.
Major River Flooding
According to NOAA, there were 69 river gauges in flood stage as of Saturday, 6 of which where at Major flood stage! Interestingly, 2 of those are in North Dakota near Devils Lake.
"Minnesota Sees Deadliest Winter In Years"