Monday Update: Mostly Rain (3 day event, Wednesday slush?)
April 25, 2011 — 11:08am
Stormy Week. The latest numbers are in, and all I can say is enjoy this afternoon's 60-degree sunshine. A long-fuse storm is brewing for Tuesday - Thursday, mostly rain (some 1-2" amounts possible), possibly mixing with a little slushy snow by Wednesday morning, especially north/east of the MSP metro area. I want to stress that MOST of the precipitation will fall as a cold rain, and even if it does snow Wednesday roads should stay wet. We don't dry out until late Thursday and Friday before the next storm arrives with more showery rains Friday night into Saturday. A stormy week, yes, but at least we're on the cold, stable, northern side of the storm track (translation: no tornadoes to worry about). Yes, it could be worse: another major tornado outbreak is predicted from Mississippi River Valley to the east coast this week. Annoying? You bet, but slush won't take your roof off.
Trending Wetter. Every run seems to increase the amount of rain predicted for MSP, the latest 12z morning run of the NAM model prints out 1.81" liquid, and MOST of that will fall as a cold rain from Tuesday into Thursday. By Wednesday morning the "thickness" over MSP, the average temperatures of the lowest few thousand feet of atmosphere, may be marginally cold enough for some wet snow, especially north/east of the metro area.
Slow-MotionSoaker. Check out some of these predicted rainfall amounts, over 1.5" for the metro with some 2" rainfall amounts possible over the south metro, as much as 2.5 to 3" possible closer to Albert Lea and Worthington, closer to the Iowa border. The heaviest rains arrive tomorrow, but showery rains may spill over into Thursday morning, based on the latest guidance. No, you won't have to worry about watering your lawn (or irrigating your field) anytime soon.
Bleep-Worthy Map. I was hoping not to have to show you another predicted snowfall map until sometime in October, but the atmosphere just isn't cooperating. The metro area may be on the edge of any accumulating slush Wednesday morning, the best chance of a few inches closer to Ea Claire and Hayward, Wisconsin. If you're driving east on I-94 Wednesday morning you may run into some slow travel due to this (freak) late April snow. Good grief.
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Well, at least you won't be distracted by blue sky and chirping birds anytime soon - easier to focus on work, school and errands. Flurries may provide a mild jolt today; models still hinting at accumulating slush by Monday (but it's wildly premature to speculate about amounts). Spring fever returns in roughly one week. That's the thing about spring - across most of the USA it's taken as a foregone conclusion. Here in Minnesota, not so much. Minnesotans earn their springs.
We're paying a steep price for last weekend. I grant you it was very nice, especially Saturday, but I would have taken 10 degrees off the afternoon high temperature just to avoid saying the s-word again. Then again, July is the only month where snow hasn't been reported somewhere in Minnesota. Share that with a friend if you're hoping for shocked silence.
Monday turned out a little nicer than expected: low 70s with glimmers of sun. I think it sprinkled for 3 minutes or so. Not bad at all. We got all that "nice weather" out of the way, now it's time for a little payback, served runny and cold. Just rain today into much of Wednesday, but enough cold air may mix down for a slushy mix Wednesday PM, even an inch of snow close to the MSP metro by Thursday morning. Spring in Minnesota is a cool, cruel mistress. You'll see.
OK, so it will be tough topping this past weekend for beauty and splendor. Highs near 70s with generous sunshine, at least from the Twin Cities on south. North of MSP it got gray and chilly in a hurry. A few showers pop today with more 60s, and then a relapse arrives with jacket-worthy 40s, maybe even a few inches of slushy snow by Wednesday across parts of central and northern Minnesota. Isn't April fun?
What can you say about Saturday? As fine a day as I can ever remember (anytime, anywhere). Extraordinary doesn't quite sum it up adequately. I expect more clouds today, even a shower north of MSP this morning, but we should see more 60s today and Monday before a reality check on Tuesday. Probably just a cold rain in the metro but a slushy surprise may await parts of central and northern Minnesota by Tuesday night. I can hardly wait!