Messy Precipitation Sunday Night Into Monday

Ready for a messy Monday commute? Snow and freezing rain is expected to start Sunday Night across southern and central Minnesota, slowly changing over to rain for parts of the region (including the Twin Cities metro) during the afternoon hours Monday.

Due to the potential of up to 2" of wet snow and up to 0.25" of an inch of ice are possible tonight into Monday across southwestern Minnesota, Winter Weather Advisories have been issued. The Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Warnings across northwest Minnesota are in effect through Sunday evening.

Snow accumulations of 1-4" are expected north and west of the Twin Cities tonight into Monday. Where the snow hangs on the longest into the day Monday (potentailly not changing over to rain in some spots) is where the heaviest snowfall totals are expected.

Along with the snow, a period of freezing rain is possible tonight into Monday, again mainly west and north of the Twin Cities. The heavist ice accumulations are expected across parts of southwestern Minnesota, where up to a quarter inch of ice will be possible.

Frozen precipitation will change over to rain across parts of the state Monday afternoon. Overall liquid precipitation totals (which would be any rain/freezing rain and melted snow) of up to an half an inch or so is expected.

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Looking Back At The Early Weekend Snowstorm

While that heavy snow slid to the south and west of the Twin Cities Friday Night into Saturday, the snowfall totals were quite impressive where snow did fall. The top total out of the state of Minnesota was 14" in Emmons, along the Minnesota/Iowa border in Freeborn County. Other large snow totals in southern Minnesota included 13.5" in Lucan, 11" in St. James, 10.3" in Marshall and 10" in Franklin, Welcome and Albert Lea.

If you head south into Iowa, however, several cities ended up receiving at least 15" of snow, including a report just outside of Mason City of 17.5" of snow. At the Mason City airport, they officially picked up 14.2" of snow between the 23rd and 24th, making it the largest two-day March snowfall on record (which goes back to 1948). The 12.4" of snow they saw on Saturday is the snowiest day in Mason City history (previous: 12" on January 22nd, 1982).

These are two day snow totals (through Sunday morning) for this system. You can see the stripe of at least six inches of snow (in yellow) from Montana all the way into Virginia. The lighter orange indicates 8-12" of snow, with the darker orange (across parts of Minnesota, Iowa, West Virginia and Virginia) highlighting areas that saw 12-18" of snow.

Snow with this same system fell as far south as southwestern Virginia, where NASCAR was supposed to hold a race at Martinsville Speedway Sunday. Well, Mother Nature had a different plan, bringing 6"+ of snow to the track Saturday Night, making officials postpone the race to Monday. According to ESPN motorsports reporter Bob Pockrass on Twitter, the last time a NASCAR Cup Series race was postponed due to snow was in 1993 at Atlanta.

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Heavy Snow This Late In The Season

Can we still get heavy snow this late in the season in the Twin Cities? The answer is (of course) yes! Looking back in history (going from March 25th through the end of the snow season) we have actually had two days with snowfall of at least a foot or more in the Twin Cities. The most was on March 31st, 1985, when 14.7" of snow fell. Overall we have had 18 days where at least 6" of snow has fallen, 68 days where at least 3" of snow fell and 97 days where at least 2" of snow fell. Looking at 6"+ snows, most recently we had 6.4" fall on April 18th, 2013. Just because we're reaching the end of the season doesn't mean we can't still get heavy snow. The good news is that these types of snows typically melt away to nothing fairly quickly.

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Any Ice Outs Yet?

It's a pretty blank map so far, as ice out hasn't been reported on any lakes across the state to the Minnesota DNR just yet. You can keep an eye on this map by clicking here. As of March 25th, there were only 48 days until the fishing opener on May 12th!

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It's Official: Spring's In No Great Hurry in '18
By Paul Douglas

Winter is behaving like that one, eccentric uncle who cracks inappropriate jokes, and doesn't know when to go home. A La Nina cooling phase of the Pacific is weakening; a cool bias should fade in the months to come.

Alas, spring is in no great hurry, but yesterday - if you squinted, clicked your heels and used your imagination - you could almost pretend that spring was around the corner.

A little mixed (icy) precipitation early gives way to mostly rain showers later today with metro highs near 40F. An inch or two of slush may delight residents of St. Cloud; maybe 2-3" closer to Brainerd.

Temperatures nick 50F Wednesday before cooling off later in the week. Highs may hold in the 30s Easter weekend, with a little slushy snow possible Saturday into early Sunday. The first few days of April will run 10F colder than average, but some moderation is likely by the second week of the month.

Our slow-motion sleepwalk into spring has lowered the risk of severe storms and river flooding, if that's any consolation.

I've retired the parkas - but my driveway stakes will stay put for now.

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Extended Twin Cities Forecast

MONDAY: Early slush, then rain. High 40. Low 32. Chance of precipitation 80%. Wind SE 8-13 mph.
TUESDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, drying out. High 47. Low 32. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind NW 8-13 mph.
WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny, feels like spring. High 50. Low 30. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind SE 7-12 mph.
THURSDAY: Intervals of sun, still pleasant. High 45. Low 27. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind NW 7-12 mph.
FRIDAY: Cooler breeze, few flurries. High 40. Low 24. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind NW 7-12 mph.
SATURDAY: Potential for wet snow, slushy? High 36. Low 20. Chance of precipitation 70%. Wind E 10-15 mph.
SUNDAY: Flurries taper, slow clearing. High 38. Low 18. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind N 8-13 mph.

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This Day in Weather History
March 26th

2012: This is the record early ice-out date on Mille Lacs Lake.

2007: Temperature records are shattered across much of central and southern Minnesota and west central Wisconsin. The following records were set: 69 at Alexandria, 75 at Mankato, 77 at Little Falls, 79 at St. Cloud, 81 at Minneapolis-St. Paul and Eau Claire, 82 at Redwood Falls, and 83 at Springfield.

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Average Temperatures & Precipitation for Minneapolis
March 26th

Average High: 47F (Record: 81F set in 2007)
Average Low: 28F (Record: -10F set in 1996)
Average Precipitation: 0.07" (Record: 1.02" set in 1921)
Average Snow: 0.2" (Record: 8.5" set in 1936)

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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
March 26th

Sunrise: 7:04 AM
Sunset: 7:33 PM

*Length Of Day: 12 hours, 28 minutes and 26 seconds
*Daylight Gained Since Yesterday: ~3 minutes and 8 seconds

*Next Sunrise Before 7 AM: March 29th (6:59 AM)
*Next Sunset Of 8 PM Or Later: April 17th (8:01 PM)
*When Do We Hit 13 Hours Of Daylight? April 6th (Daylight Length: 13:02:46)

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Minnesota Weather Outlook

Monday looks to be a messy day across the state, with precipitation starting off as snow and freezing rain in the morning hours before changing over to rain in the afternoon. Highs will be in the 30s and 40s.

Temperatures will be below average by up to 15 degrees across most of the state Monday. The only areas where temperatures will be around average? Across far northern parts of Minnesota.

We’ll see highs in the 40s for most of the week in the Twin Cities, with even a chance to top 50 on Wednesday. As we head toward Easter weekend, however, cold air will start to sink south, keeping highs only in the 30s.

As we head toward Easter weekend, we will be watching precipitation chances across the region. One chance looks to move through Friday and then another one on its heels into the weekend. There is still differences in the models on how they deal with the weekend precipitation chance (strength, timing, etc). Right now both chances could bring rain and snow to the area. Above is liquid precipitation (rain and melted snow), which could total between a quarter and a half an inch Friday-Sunday.

The snow trend shows the potential of accumulating snow late in the week into the weekend. This is all subject to change over the next several days (and it likely will) but be aware that there may be some precipitation to contend with for any Good Friday/Easter weekend travels.

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National Weather Forecast

A slowly moving system through the central United States Monday will bring showers and storms from the central Plains into Texas and the Southeast. Another system will bring rain, freezing rain and snow to parts of the upper Midwest into the central Rockies. Rain and snow will be possible in the Pacific Northwest.

Heavy rain is expected this week with a slowly moving system across parts of the central and southern United States. Heavy rain will be possible from north-central Texas to central Illinois Monday, slowly sinking southeastward into the middle of the week, with heavy rain expected Wednesday/Thursday from southeast Texas to the Tennessee River Valley. In these areas, rainfall amounts could top 2-4" this week.

Snow of 1-2 feet will be possible through Tuesday evening across portions of the west. 2-5" of snow will be possible Sunday Night into Monday Night across parts of the upper Midwest.

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"Plight of Phoenix: how long can the world’s 'least sustainable' city survive?"

More from The Guardian: "Twenty years ago, Anthem sprung out of virgin desert, a community “masterplanned” from scratch with schools, shops, restaurants and spacious homes – many behind high walls and electronic gates – and its own country club and golf course. It now has a population of 30,000.  To look around Anthem would be to imagine there is no such thing as a water shortage. But the lush vegetation and ponds do not occur naturally. Phoenix gets less than eight inches of rainfall each year; most of the water supply for central and southern Arizona is pumped from Lake Mead, fed by the Colorado river over 300 miles away. Anthem’s private developer paid a local Native American tribe to lease some of its historic water rights, and pipes its water from the nearby Lake Pleasant reservoir – also filled by the Colorado." Phoenix image via the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

"Proposed Law Could Let Arizona Utilities Easily Skirt Renewable Energy Requirements"

An Arizona utility helped write the legislation that greatly slashes a fine these utilities could face. More from KJZZ-FM: "Arizona utilities could soon be able to more easily skirt renewable energy requirements.  On Wednesday, the Arizona Senate voted in favor of a bill aimed at thwarting a proposed constitutional amendment that would require half of the state’s energy come from renewables by 2030.  Under House Bill 2005, public utilities that violate the state’s renewable energy standard would be subject to a fine of $100 to $5,000 — such a small amount that critics says utilities will ignore the rules altogether."

"New startup selling climate change data to launch in South Florida"

More from The Real Deal: "After a brutal hurricane season last year that threw various government estimates and data regarding flood zones into question, Silicon Valley is responding, as always, with a new app.  Startup Jupiter is set to launch its new platform, ClimateScore, in South Florida, which offers users a Google Map-like interface that shows various scenarios of sea-level rise, according to the Miami Herald. The scenarios are informed from an amalgamation of data sources monitored and updated by Jupiter, from satellite data to published scientific papers."

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Thanks for checking in and have a great Monday! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter (@dkayserwx) and like me on Facebook (Meteorologist D.J. Kayser)!

 - D.J. Kayser

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