Blue Sky Returns!!
From snow drifts to mudslides and back to the 70s in just a matter of days. There's no shortage of interesting weather here in Minnesota and especially in April. Today will be a pretty nice day with bright blue sky and temperatures in 50s and 60s, which will be pretyt close to average. Enjoy!
Weather Outlook Friday
Here's a look at Friday, which will be distractingly nice across much of the state. Blue sky returns with highs in the 50s and 60s, will likely entice many to flee the office early. I suspect the smell of BBQ grills will filter through most neighborhoods by dinnertime tonight.
Even Warmer Saturday
High temps on Saturday will be even warmer across much of the state with readings warming into the 50s and 70s, which will be nearly +10F to +15F above average. It appears that a few showers may impact the northern part of the state, but most will stay dry!
Weather Outlook Ahead
Here's the weather outlook through the end of the month and into the first few days of May. Temps ahead look to be fairly mild, especially this Saturday with readings topping out near 70F at MSP. Keep in mind that our average high is around 60F now, but will be 65F by the end of the month. There doesn't appear to be any major cool downs over the next couple of weeks.
Mild Weekend Ahead
The temperature anomaly as we head into the weekend looks favorable for some pretty mild temps. In fact, Saturday could be one of the warmest days of the year so far! The warmest temp at MSP so far this year is 70F set on April 8th.
"As oceans rapidly warm because of climate change, an urgent need to improve hurricane forecasts"
"Better hurricane forecasts require near-real-time, deep-ocean monitoring. In the past two hurricane seasons, record-breaking floods have engulfed our coastal zones in the Carolinas and Texas as storms have drawn more water and grown larger from rapidly warming oceans. As the climate system continues to warm, we will need better prediction systems so we can prepare vulnerable coastal areas for bigger, wetter and faster-strengthening hurricanes. Hurricane season is just six weeks away. Recent studies confirm that warming of the world’s oceans is taking place faster than previously estimated — as much as 40 percent faster than the United Nations estimated in 2015. Research confirms that roughly 93 percent of the warming from man-made greenhouse gases is going into the world’s oceans. About two-thirds is absorbed in the ocean’s top 700 meters, noted Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist at Berkeley Earth. This is the layer from which hurricanes draw much of their energy."
"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."
"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!!
Easter Sunday Showers?
The weather outlook for Sunday is suggesting a slight chance for a few light showers across the southern half of the state on Sunday. It certainly won't be a washout, but it's not going to be as bright or as warm as it will be on Saturday.
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!
Here's the latest snow depth across the region, which really doesn't show much left after our big snow storm from late last week. There is still 14" on the ground in Marquette, MI but there is officially no snow on the ground in the Twin Cities after last weeks 9.8".
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!
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.
"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."
"Thunderstorms kicked a wall of pollen into the air. A drone captured these images of the yellow haze."
"Congratulations! You now own a yellow car! If Mother Nature has been making your life a nose-running misery for the past few weeks, you’re not alone. Forget the amber waves of grain. We’re talking amber waves of pollen. That’s exactly what Jeremy Gilchrist captured Monday on drone footage above Durham, N.C. “I noticed the green haze just after lunch so I decided to put the drone up,” Gilchrist told the Capital Weather Gang. “I also used it to chase the storms when they arrived later.” The images shot shortly after noon, including the one above, look like they were taken through a yellow filter — but they weren’t. Instead, a golden haze has descended on the city. From above, it looks like a yellow smoke from distant fires smoldering at ground level. This pollen cloud is real, and it’s spectacular — unless, of course, you’re someone who likes to breathe."
Pollen Levels on the Rise!
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
"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."
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas.
From snow drifts to mudslides, we've had it all this month and it's not surprising for April. In fact, we typically average about 2.5 inches of snow and 3 thunderstorm days at the MSP Airport. Well, we've managed to pick up 9.8 inches of snow, making it the 10th snowiest April on record and we've already had thunder reported 2 days in the metro this month. Our April showers have brought snow plowers and sand bags. Go figure.
Spring fever sets in today and becomes a full blown illness as temps warm into lower 70s across the southern half of the state tomorrow. In fact, Saturday could be our warmest day of the year so far and only the second time we've hit 70 or better in a single month since last October!
One of the downsides to all of this spectacular weather? Spring allergies... AHH CHOO! According to Pollen.com, pollen levels will be running at high levels through the weekend.
Outdoor Easter egg hunts could be a little damp on Sunday afternoon across the southern part of the state, but at least it’s not snow. Happy Spring!
FRIDAY: Warm sun returns. Winds: WSW 5-10. High: 62.
FRIDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and quiet. Winds: NNW 5. Low: 42.
SATURDAY: Warmest day of 2019 so far? Winds: SW 7-12. High: 71.
SUNDAY: A few Easter showers, mainly in southern MN. Winds: NNE 8-13. Wake-up: 49. High: 63.
MONDAY: Periods of mild sun. Not bad. Winds: ENE 5-10. Wake-up: 43. High: 62.
TUESDAY: Clouds thicken. PM showers develop. Winds: ESE 7-12. Wake-up: 40. High:58.
WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy. Another steady rain. Winds: NNE 10-15. Wake-up: 40. High: 60.
THURSDAY: Drier skies, warmer temps. Winds: WSW 5-10. Wake-up: 42. High: 66.
This Day in Weather History
1928: Chilly air moves across the region with a record low of 19 at the Twin Cities.
1893: A heavy snowstorm at Bird Island would last until the 21st. 17 inches of snow would fall, with drifts 3 to 4 feet high.
1820: The first tornado ever reported in Minnesota hits the camp that would soon become Ft. Snelling. It damages the roof of a barracks, with no one injured.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
Average High: 60F (Record: 87F set in 1985)
Average Low: 39F (Record: 19F set in 1928)
Record Rainfall: 1.28" set in 1871
Record Snowfall: 1.2" set in 1982
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Hours of Daylight: ~13 hours & 41 minutes
Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 2 minutes & 57 seconds
Daylight GAINED since winter solstice (December 21st): ~4 hours and 56 minutes
Moon Phase for April 19th at Midnight
0.8 Day After Full "Pink" Moon
"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."
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:
"On April 19, 2019, the moon turns full in front of the constellation Virgo the Maiden at 11:12 UTC. That is 7:12 a.m. EDT, 6:12 a.m. CDT, etc, and thus tonight’s moon might look more full for you than tomorrow night’s if you live in Earth’s Western Hemisphere. More about that shortly. In the meantime, for all of us around the world, as darkness falls on April 18, you’ll find an almost-full waxing gibbous moon close to Spica, the constellation Virgo’s one and only 1st-magnitude star. Now back to that full moon time. From some places worldwide, the moon turns full before dawn on April 19. If you live in Alaska, the western portions of Canada or the United States, Mexico or Central America, this full moon instant actually happens before (or at) dawn April 19. At North American and U.S. time zones, the moon turns full during the morning hours on April 19, at 8:12 a.m. ADT, 7:12 a.m. EDT, 6:12 a.m. CDT, 5:12 a.m. MDT, 4:12 a.m. PDT, 3:12 a.m. Alaskan Time and 1:12 a.m. Hawaiian Time. By definition, the moon is full at the instant that it’s exactly 180 degrees away from the sun in ecliptic longitude. Or another way of putting it, the sun-moon elongation equals 180 degrees at full moon. Click here to find the sun-moon elongation at this moment, keeping in mind that a positive number refers to a waxing moon and a negative number to a waning moon. Technicalities aside, however, the moon appears full to the eye for a few days. That’s because at the vicinity of full moon, the moon remains more or less opposite the sun for a day or two. From around the world, expect to see a full-looking moon lighting up the nighttime from dusk until dawn tonight (April 18) and tomorrow night (April 19)."
National Weather Outlook