Coldest MN Twins Home Opener on Record??

Thanks to Brace Hemmelgarn (Twitter: @bracehemmelgarn) for the picture below. Brace is the official Twins team photographer and snapped this picture on Tuesday as heavy snow was falling at Target Field. Interestingly, snow had a hard time accumulating on the field due to the heating system that is in place underneat the turf. Thanks for the great picture Brace and GO TWINS!!


Minnesota Twins Home Opener Tursday, April 5th - Coldest On Record?

A sure sign of spring is when the boys of summer return to a ballpark near you. I am happy to report that your Minnesota Twins will be back in action at Target Field Thursday, April 5th, but the sold out crowd could be in for a rude awakening with Feels like temps in the 20s! Brr!! This has the potential to become the coldest Home Opener in recorded history. Note that the coldest was on April 14th, 1962 when the mercury only reached 34F at the old Met Stadium. The coldest home opener at Target Field was in 2013 when the high was only 36F. By the way, it snowed only 1 time for an opener back in 1972. If it snows this year, it'll be the first time for a Home Opener at Target Field.

See more from MN DNR Climate Office HERE:

Snowfall Reports: Monday & Tuesday
Here were some of the heaviest snowfall reports as of AM Wednesday, which showed several heavy snowfall reports of at least 8". Note that there were a few near 10" reports around the Twin Cities. The Twin Cities NWS picked up 9.7" - MSP Airport tallied 9.0" - STC Airport saw 7.7" !!
2-Day Snowfall Tally
The prolonged snow event that unfolded earlier this week left a swath of 4" to near 11" tallies across the central and southern part of Minnesota into much of Central Wisconsin. Although it's not uncommon to see bouts of heavier snow in April, it is a bit unusual to see such heavy amounts this late in the season!
GOES 16 Visible Satellite
The visible satellite view from nearly 22,500 miles above the earth shows a very wintry scene across the Upper Midwest. Sure, some of the white you're seeing in the picture below is cloud cover, but much of it is snow on the ground.
7th Largest 1-Day April Snow Event in MSP History
Tuesday was a very snowy day across the southern half of the state and the official tally was 7.5" at the MSP Airport. Interestingly, not only did it became a daily snowfall record for April 3rd, but it also became the 7th largest 1-day snowfall event for the month of April at the MSP Aiport!
Top 10 Largest 2-Day April Snow Event in MSP History
With the 7.5" of snow on Tuesday, April 3rd and the 1.5" of snow on Monday, April 4th, the official 2-day snow tally at the MSP Airport was 9.0", making it one of the top 10 largest 2-day April snowfall events on record for that location! Note that the largest 1-day snowfall event of 13.6" took place back in 1983.
13th Largest April Monthly Snow on Record... So Far
WOW - through the first 3 days of April, we've already accumulated 9.0" of snow at the MSP Airport. Interestingly, if the month ended with no additional snowfall, we would already be sitting at the 13th largest April monthly snow on record! Looking at the long range forecast, we may not be done with snow just yet. We may see a little more on Thursday and another, potentially larger event Sunday into Monday.

Cold Night Ahead

After a VERY chilly start to the day Wednesday, it looks like we will be down in the single digits once again early Thursday morning. In fact, we could actually see record levels of cold early Thursday morning in the Twin Cities, Eau Claire, St. Cloud, Mankato and Redwood Falls. Some may even dip into the sub-zero range with wind chills certainly sub-zero for most! BRR!!


Periods of Record Cold & More Snow

"Well below normal temperatures, some 20 to 30 degrees below average, will continue through the weekend. Some record temperatures will likely be broken. While a weak low pressure system passing through the region on Thursday will bring light snow amounts to mainly around and north of the I-94 corridor, another well-organized storm system will impact the region Sunday-Monday, bringing the potential for accumulating snow to much of the area."


Weather Outlook

Here's the weather outlook from midday Wednesday to midday Friday, a slight chance of snow scooting through northern Minnesota on Thursday, while another, larger band of snow may develop across the central part of the country late week.

Thursday Snowfall Potential
A weak clipper will move through the Upper Midwest on Thrusday with a light rain/snow mix during the 2nd half of the day. There could be a light coating of snow across parts of central and northern Minnesota late in the day. 
Late Weekend Rain/Snow Mix?
It appears that we may not be done with our active weather just yet. Take a look at what GFS model is suggesting late weekend. There appears to be another system moving through the Upper Midwest, which could bring a rain/snow mix to the region. There is even a potential for more accumulating snow across the southern half of Minnesota and into Wisconsin. Stay tuned as this storm system develops.

2017 Ice Out Dates

Take a look at ice out dates across the state from last year. Note the darker red markers, which indicated that ice out occurred on many lakes in central and southern MN before March 18th! As of March 31st, we have no ice outs anywhere across the state this year. 

See more from MN DNR HERE:


Ice Safety!!

Before you go testing the ice on area lakes and ponds, remember that "ICE IS NEVER 100% SAFE!" So when is ice safe? Here is an excerpt from the MN DNR regarding ice safety: 

"There really is no sure answer. You can't judge the strength of ice just by its appearance, age, thickness, temperature, or whether or not the ice is covered with snow. Strength is based on all these factors -- plus the depth of water under the ice, size of the water body, water chemistry and currents, the distribution of the load on the ice, and local climatic conditions."

 Here are some general ice thickness guidelines from the MN DNR:

For new, clear ice ONLY:

Under 4" - STAY OFF
4" - Ice fishing or other activities on foot
5" - 7" - Snowmobile or ATV
8" - 12" - Car or small pickup
12" - 15" - Medium truck

Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.
White ice or "snow ice" is only about half as strong as new clear ice. Double the above thickness guidelines when traveling on white ice.

See more from MN DNR HERE:


Snow Depth

Here's the latest modeled snow depth across the state from April 4thrd, which shows quite a bit of snow still on the ground across much of the state after our latest round of snow earlier this week. Note that the ENTIRE state is now covered in snow, which is quite impressive for the month of April. In fact, you'd have to go back to April 2014 to see snow coverage similar to what we have on the ground across the state now. Last year at this time, the only spot that had snow on the ground was across far northeastern Minnesota!

Snow Depth April 4th,  2017
Just for comparison, this is a look at the snow depth across the state from this time last year! Note that the only spot that had snow was across the far northeastern reaches of the state! The rest of state was pretty much snow free and ice was coming off of many lakes across the state as well! Wow, what a difference. 

Extended Temperature Forecast

The extended forecast through April 18th & 19th suggests very chilly temps continuing as we head through the first half of the month. Highs will continue to only warm into the 20s and 30s, which is more typical of February. Keep in mind that the average high for the early part of April is in the low to mid 50s, so we are running WELL below average. The images below suggest the GFS (American model) and ECMWF (European model) temperature outlook. It is nice to see that both show gradual warming as we approach the middle part of the month, but the ECMWF is trending a little warmer with highs more consistently in the 50s... Let's hope that model is a little more accurate.


Cold Start to April

The first few days of April has featured some VERY chilly air across much of the Central US and as you can see in the image below many locations are running a good -10F to -15F (or colder) below average. Meanwhile, temps in the Southwestern US are running nearly +5F to +10F above average. 


Great Lakes Ice Coverage

According to NOAA's GLERL, the Great Lakes were 11.2% covered in ice as of April 3rd. Interestingly only 3.0% of the Great Lakes were covered at this time last year.

Lake Superior Ice Coverage

Here's a look at the ice coverage across Lake Superior and as of April 4th, NOAA's GLERL, said that 17.9% of Lake Superior was covered. Interestingly, at last time last year only 1.5% of the lake was covered in ice! Quite a difference from this year to last.


Snow Depth 2018

The snow depth map across the country for April 4th suggests that 27.1% of the country is covered in snow, mainly across the northern tier of the nation and across the Intermountain West. At this time last year, 10.1% of the nation was covered in snow. As of April 3rd, the Twin Cities officially had 3" of snow on the ground at the MSP Airport, and at this time last year, there was no snow on the ground. Note also that last year at this time, the Sierra Nevada Range in California had a significantly greater snow pack than what is there now.

Snow Depth 2017

At this time last year, 12.1% of the nation was covered in snow. 

Severe Storm Reports - Tuesday, April 3rd
Tuesday was a VERY busy day for severe weather across the Ohio Valley south into the Lower Mississippi Valley. According to NOAA's SPC, there were more than 300 PRELIMINARY severe weather reports, 8 of which were tornadoes. Tuesday was the busiest severe weather day of 2018 thus far. Prior to Tuesday, March 19th was with a total of 145 severe weather reports including 27 tornadoes.

2018 Tornadoes So Far...

According to NOAA's SPC, there have been 132 preliminary tornadoes so far this year (April 3rd), which is more than what we had at this time in the last couple of years. Interestingly, there were 523 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. 

Average Tornadoes in March By State

Here's the average number of tornadoes during the month of April by state. Texas sees the most with 29, but interestingly, Minnesota averages 1 tornado in April.


3-7 Day Hazard Forecast

1.) Heavy rain across portions of the Lower Mississippi Valley, the Southern Plains, western Alabama, North Carolina, the Pacific Northwest, northern and central California, Fri-Sat, Apr 6-Apr 7.
2.) Severe weather across portions of northeastern Texas, Fri, Apr 6.
3.) High winds over north-central portions of both the West Coast and Intermountain region, Sat, Apr 7.
4.) Flooding possible across portions of the Ohio Valley.
5.) Flooding likely across portions of the Ohio Valley.
6.) Flooding occurring or imminent across portions of the Lower Mississippi Valley, the Southern Plains, the Upper Mississippi Valley, the Northern Plains, and the Ohio Valley.
7.) Much below normal temperatures for portions of Montana, and from most of the eastern (Lower) Plains eastward across most of the Mississippi Valley, the Great Lakes region, the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys, and most of the Appalachians, perhaps as far east as Chesapeake Bay, Fri-Sun, Apr 6-Apr 8.
8.) Slight risk of much below normal temperatures for much of the northwestern quarter of the CONUS, Fri-Sat, Apr 13-Apr 14.
9.) Slight risk of much below normal temperatures from much of the northern Plains and extreme eastern parts of the central Plains generally eastward to the Atlantic Coast from Maine to South Carolina, Wed-Thu, Apr 11-Apr 12.
10.) Moderate risk of much below normal temperatures for portions of the Upper and Middle Mississippi Valley, the western Great Lakes, and adjacent parts of Indiana and Kentucky, Wed, Apr 11.
11.) Slight risk of heavy precipitation for far northwestern portions of California, and the Pacific Northwest, Wed-Fri, Apr 11-Apr 13.
12.) Severe Drought across southern California, most of the Southwest, the Southern Rockies, portions of the Plains, and the Southeast.


Major River Flooding

According to NOAA, there were 168 river gauges in flood stage as of Wednesday, 5 of which where at Major flood stage! Interestingly, 2 of those are in North Dakota near Devils Lake.

MAJOR Flooding Along Big Blue River at Shelbyville, IN

Take a look at the river gauge along the Big Blue River at Shelbyville, IN. Thanks to all the recent heavy rain Tuesday, the river went into MAJOR flood stage Wednesday and may not go back below that stage until Thursday.


Temperature Anomaly on Wednesday

The temperature anomaly across North America from Wednesday, showed WELL below average temperatures across a large chunk of Canada into the Central US. This colder air will likely stick around for much of the middle part of April, while warmer than averate temperatures will continue in the Southwestern US.

Temperature Trend

The 850mb temperature anomaly from Thursday to AM Sunday shows well below average temperatures continuing to funnel south of the Canadian border into the Lower 48. Unfortunately, it appears this cold air won't break anytime soon with well below average temperatures possible even into the middle part of the month. 


Weather Outlook Ahead

Weather conditions will remain quite active as we head through the end of the week. The large storm system responsible for heavy snow and severe weather earlier this week will continue to move northeast and loosen its grip on the nation. Meanwhile, there will be another surge of heavier moisture that moves into the Central US from the Pacific Northwest. This storm will bring another round of heavy snow to parts of the Central US, while strong to severe storms may be possible across the far south.

Severe Threats Ahead

The storm system moving into the Pacific Northwest will be responsible for another of potential severe weather across the Southern US later this week. NOAA's SPC as already highlighted a SLIGHT risk across the Southern US by Friday. 

Severe Threat Friday

7 Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's WPC, the 7-day precipitation outlook suggests areas of heavy precipitation continuing across the Southern US. Meanwhile, heavy precipitation will also be possible across parts of the Eastern US. The heaviest precipitation looks like it will fall across the Western US and especially in the high elevations across the Sierra Nevada Range and Cascades. 

Snowfall Potential Ahead

The GFS snowfall potential into the early part of next week still suggests areas of heavy snow across the high elevations in the Western US, while bouts of heavy snow may still be possible across the Cental and Eastern US. Winter still seems to be hanging on, doesn't it?


Coldest Twins Home Opener? More Snow Sunday
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas

Take me out to the ball game, take me out to the crowd. Buy me a parka and some base layers... Yikes!

Welcome to the land of 10,000 weather oddities and even if you've lived here your whole life, sometimes Mother Nature will throw you a curve ball that'll make you weak in the knees.

9 inches of snow fell at the twin Cities airport earlier this week. 7.5 inches of that feel on Tuesday, not only good enough for a daily snowfall record, but it was also the 7th largest 1-day snowfall event for the month of April! We're also sitting at the 13th snowiest April in Twin Cities' history and the month is still very young.

Today will rival one of the coldest Twins Home Openers in the team’s history. 34 degrees was the coldest at Met Stadium in 1962. The coldest opener in Target field history was in 2013 when we warmed to a balmy 36 degrees. Dress in layers today and don't be surprised if a little light snows falls late in the game.

It still looks like another sloppy storm could whiten things up late this weekend.


Extended Forecast

THURSDAY: Cold Twins Opener. PM snow showers. Winds: SW 5. High: 34.

THURSDAY NIGHT: Chance of light snow early, then mostly cloudy. Winds: NW 10. Low: 14

FRIDAY: Brisk wind. Few flurries? NW 15-25. High: 23.

SATURDAY: Still feels like February. Winds: WNW 5-10. Wake-up: 5. High: 25.

SUNDAY: Snow Develops. Another round of slush. Winds: ESE 15-25. Wake-up: 8. High: 31.

MONDAY: Lingering light snow. Winds: NNW 10-15. Wake-up: 25. High: 35.

TUESDAY: Sun returns. Still quite chilly. Winds: WSW 5-10. Wake-up: 19. High: 35.

WEDNESDAY: Another spring storm. Rain/snow mix. Winds: ESE 10-20. Wake-up: 18. High: 40.

This Day in Weather History
April 5th

1999: Heavy snow falls over the Arrowhead, with 11 inches at Two Harbors.

1929: A tornado cuts a path from Lake Minnetonka through North Minneapolis and leaves six dead.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis
April 5th

Average High: 52F (Record: 80F set in 1991)
Average Low: 32F (Record: 12F set in 1979)

Record Rainfall: 0.91" set in 1999
Record Snowfall: 1.5" set in 1964

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
April 5th

Sunrise: 6:46am
Sunset: 7:46pm

Hours of Daylight: ~13 hours & 00 minutes

Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 3 minutes & 5 seconds
Daylight GAINED since winter solstice (December 21st): 4 Hour 15 Minutes

Moon Phase for April 5th at Midnight
2.0 Days Before Last Quarter Moon


 Temp Outlook For Thursday

Temps on Thursday will still be a VERY chilly as high temps only warm into the 20s and 30s. Keep in mind that the average high in the Twin Cities is 52F for the 5th day of the month, so we will be nearly -20F to -25F below that mark. Feels like temps will only be in the low to mid 20s, so bundle up if you're heading to the MN Twins Home Opener! BRRRR!!!

8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's CPC, April 11th - 17th will still be very chilly across much of the northern tier of the nation. Meanwhile, warmer than average temperatures will still be found in the Southwestern US, but will start to build in along the Southern US. 


"Why Your Flights Have Been Seeming More Turbulent Lately"

"Seven people threw up on a Delta flight from Minneapolis to San Jose last week due to severe turbulence. Last month, “pretty much everyone on the plane,” threw up during a particularly turbulent descent to Washington Dulles Airport. Even the pilots reported being on the verge of vomit. Unusual weather patterns and strong winds have generated multiple reports of nauseous passengers over the past few weeks. And it could be getting worse. A study from the University of Reading last year predicted that climate change could lead to a 149-percent increase in severe turbulence. And another study published in Geophysical Research Letters predicted that clear air turbulence (impossible to see and difficult to predict with radar) could increase threefold in 30 years, due to climate change."

See more from Travel and Leisure HERE:


"A Huge 10% of Antarctica's Coastal Glaciers Are Retreating, And Scientists Are Alarmed"

"Antarctica's ocean-front glaciers are retreating, according to a new satellite survey that raises additional concerns about the massive continent's potential contribution to rising sea levels. Antarctica, which contains enough ice to raise the oceans by about 200 feet (60 meters), is a continent of ice that flows outward to the ocean at numerous large glaciers. These mostly submerged glaciers rest deep on the seafloor at a point called the "grounding line", where ocean, ice and bedrock meet. But at 10.7 percent of these glaciers, the ice masses are moving at a significant speed back toward the center of the continent as they melt from below, often because of the incursion of warm ocean water, which causes the grounding line to retreat. Only about 1.9 percent of glaciers were growing at a significant speed, suggesting a net retreat."

See more from Science Alert HERE:


"Rare landspouts caught on camera over Hawaii volcano during eruption"

"A rare phenomenon known as a landspout occurred above Hawaii’s Kīlauea volcano on Thursday, and a photographer caught the entire event on camera as streams of lava poured from the mountain. Mick Kalber was flying over the volcano with the helicopter tour company Paradise Helicopters, which he’s done for the past four years, and after finding a large amount of lava flows they went down the Pali — a very steep cliff on the volcano before heading out to the ocean. “We wanted to go to the Pali to see what was happening,” Kalber said, “and that’s when we spotted the vortices or the landspouts and it was amazing.”

See more from Global News HERE:


"La Nina is Doomed"

"It has become increasingly clear that our current La Nina is doomed and that next winter we will probably be in a Neutral or "La Nada" situation.  Maybe even a weak El Nino. As you will remember, La Ninas are associated with cooler than normal sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific.  Here are the temperatures for the Nina 3.4 area that meteorologists love to use as a key marker of La Nina/El Nino activity. Blue indicates colder than normal.   Still in a La Nina. La Nina's are generally associated with high pressure out in the eastern Pacific and cool/wet conditions over the Northwest, particularly after the new year. And we have had that situation in spades the last month. Here are the anomalies (differences from normal) for the heights (like pressure) at 500 hPa (around 18,000 ft) for the past month.  A trough over us (blue colors) and a ridge (red colors) south of the Aleutians.  This pattern is why we have had so much snow the last month or so, since the cool, wet trough is favorable for mountain snows in our area."

See more from Cliff Masters Weather Blog HERE:


"12 apps that will turn you into a nature expert"

"Do you wonder which species of bird it is that you keep seeing on your backyard fence? Are you curious about what butterflies are visiting your garden? Would you like to know more about the mammals that call your local park home? Thankfully there are plenty of smartphone apps that help you quickly and easily identify flora and fauna, record your findings and learn more about them. Not only that, but a few will even turn you into a citizen scientist! Here are our favorite apps for making your dreams of being a wildlife expert a reality."

See more from Mother Nature Network HERE:


"Antarctica's Ice Is Becoming Unhinged"

"The two most important words you need to know to understand the fate of our coastlines are “grounding line.” Those words describe where Antarctica’s voluminous ice shelves begin to float, holding back a wall of ice on land. A study published on Monday in Nature Geoscience is among the first to create a detailed snapshot of how warming ocean waters are eating away at grounding lines around the continent. Over just five years, the continent lost 564 square miles of grounded ice, an area equivalent to roughly 25 Manhattans, 12 San Franciscos or four Philadelphias. This is not good news for any of those or other coastal cities."

See more from Earther HERE:


"Six NASA Astronauts Describe the Moment in Space When "Everything Changed"

"There’s no squinting in space. Things appear small, sure. From your vantage point, 254 miles above Earth, even the colossal Kapok trees of the Amazon are reduced to a verdant swirl in a cat-eye marble. But in space, as six NASAastronauts tell Inverse, what you see isn’t necessarily what you envision. Up there, where perspective is immeasurably wide, it’s impossible to miss the forest for the trees. The astronauts — Chris Hadfield, Jerry Linenger, Nicole Stott, Mae Jemison, Leland Melvin, and Mike Massimino — have all had the rare opportunity to view our home planet from space. In doing so, all of them went through a change, not only in how they saw the planet but in their relationship to it. Some refer to that change as the “Overview Effect,” a term coined in 1987 by celebrated space writer Frank White to describe the mental shift astronauts experience when they consider the Earth as part of a larger whole. The new National Geographic series One Strange Rock, executive produced by Darren Aronofsky and Jane Root of Nutopia, aims to recreate the Overview Effect for everybody else by showing, as best it can, the views that prompted those shifts."

See more from Inverse HERE:

"Greenland is melting faster than at any time in the past 450 years (at least)"
"Scientists who crossed western Greenland with a fleet of snowmobiles, pulling up long cylinders of ice at camps a little more than a mile above sea level, have found evidence that the vast sheet of ice is melting faster than at any time in the past 450 years at least - and possibly much longer than that. That’s worrisome, because the snow that has fallen on the island over millennia - now compacted into ice - could raise sea levels by 20 feet if it completely melted. In recent years, as Arctic air and ocean temperatures have risen, Greenland has been losing more ice through melting on its surface and through iceberg breaks at its periphery. It’s currently contributing almost a millimeter annually to the rising of the oceans, more even than Antarctica. The new research, by scientists at Dartmouth College and three other U.S. universities, captures how unusual these levels of Greenland melt are in the context of recent Earth history. The researchers showed as much using long cores of ice, whose layers provide an archive of falling snow atop Greenland going back, in some cases, hundreds of years."

"If You See Green Storm Clouds, Prepare for the Worst"

"You see those green, billowing storm clouds over there? Those are bad. Not because you’ll get whisked away to some annoying musical world—no, because those clouds mean that storm is particularly nasty and dangerous. It might even mean a tornado is approaching. Green clouds have long been considered a signal of a coming tornado or hail storm by the people living in Tornado Alley, a large are of the U.S. that spans northern Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and beyond. Traditional folk wisdom says that the ominous color of the clouds comes from all the frogs and grasshoppers the tornadoes sucked up into the sky. How ribbiting! (Crickets chirp.) But don’t worry, frog and grasshopper lovers, that’s obviously not what’s going on with these scary water vapor behemoths."

See more from Life Hacker HERE:

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

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