I was on a walk Wednesday and happened to stumble across a patch of green grass! It sure stood out in the sea of brown... I'm pretty sure my neighbor thought I strange as I stared at his lawn for a few minutes.
Dry in Minnesota
According to NOAA, the departure from average precipitation over the last 180 days (since September) suggests that much of the state is nearly 2" to 4"+ below average! Some across the central and northeastern part of the state may be nearly 6" to 8"+ below average!
More April Than March
By Paul Douglas
"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome" mused Anne Bradstreet. Yes, 60 degrees feels so much better in March than it does in October. Although not as brutal as last year, ANY Minnesota winter is, by definition, a rough winter. That's part of our brand, our identity. "Oh, you're from Minnesota? Sorry to hear about your winters."
By definition the greatest weather extremes unfold near the center of continents, well away from the moderating influence of lukewarm ocean water. That's why our climate is so extreme, with hiccups of newsworthy weather.
But not this week. A surge of Pacific air sweeps back into Minnesota Thursday, a stiff south breeze and ample sunshine tugging the mercury well into the 60s. Thursday's all-time record is 69, set in 1990. We will come close in the metro.
Highs reach the 60s every day thru Sunday before the mercury takes a minor tumble next week.
Yes, spring is ascendent - but don't get too attached to the hypnotic breeze swirling around outside. Not yet. Winter is sputtering, but odds favor a couple more cold, slushy slaps. Expect the unexpected.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and mild. Low: 39. Winds: SE 10.
THURSDAY: Sunny and mild! Nearing record 69 set in 1990. High: 68. Winds: S 10-15
THURSDAY NIGHT: Partly cloud, still mild. Low: 44. Winds: S 10.
FRIDAY: Plenty of sun, still very nice. High: 63
SATURDAY: Blue sky, less wind. Hello April! Wake-up: 38. High: 61.
SUNDAY: Fading sun, stiff breeze. Lukewarm. Wake-up: 37. High: 65.
MONDAY: Passing shower, gusty and cooler. Wake-up: 47. High: 50.
TUESDAY: Mix of clouds and sun. Wake-up: 33. High: 51.
WEDNESDAY: Lots of sun, comfortably cool. Wake-up: 29. High: 50.
This Day in Weather History
2009: The record low temperature for Minnesota for the month of March is set, with temperatures dropping to -35 at Embarrass and Babbit. St Cloud also sets a new daily record low of -15, which shattered the previous record of -12 that was set in 1956. The high temperature in St Cloud was only 11 degrees on this date, which set a new record for the lowest maximum temperature. This broke the previous record low maximum temperature of 12 degrees that was set in 1896.
1990: The temperature at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport hits a record-setting 69 degrees.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
Average High: 39F (Record 69F in 1990)
Average Low: 23F (Record: -8F in 1956)
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Moon Phase for March 12th at Midnight
0.5 Days Before Last Quarter
Minneapolis Temp Trend
If you've been enjoying the recent mild weather, you'll be happy to know that more mild weather is on the way! In fact, highs in the 50s and 60s will be fairly common through the next several days. We may take a bit of a hit early next week and level off to near normal temps, but the good news is that I don't see anything Arctic over the next couple of weeks.
Thursday Temperature Outlook
Thursday looks like another very mild day across the region with highs in the 60s and 70s across far southern MN. Keep in mind that the average high for Minneapolis on March 13th is 39F; the record for March 13th is 69F set in 1990.
Lack of Snow
Take a look at the high resolution satellite image from March 10th below. A mostly sunny day across the Upper Mississippi valley revealed a lack of snow across the area.
Snow Pack March 10th 2014
Look at the difference 1 year ago! The Twin Cities actually had 13" of snow on the ground on March 10th, 2014
Dwindling Snow Pack
Thanks to recent mild weather across the nation, our national snow pack has taken a big hit over the last several days. Take a look at the snow cover across the nation from March 1st to March 11th. According to NOAA's NOHRSC, we've gone from 63.4% national snow cover from March 1st to only 16.1% national snow cover on March 11th!
National Weather Outlook
Another blob of heavy rain will impact some of the same areas in the southeast that have already seen 2" to 4"+ liquid over the past 7 to 14 days. This round could bring as much as 1" to 3"+ liquid through the end of the week, which will bring about more flood concerns.
According to NOAA's HPC, the 3 day precipitation outlook (through AM Saturday) suggests another 1" to 3"+ rain possible from the Lower Mississippi/Tennessee/Ohio Valley. Rivers, streams and creeks are already running high in some of these areas, so any additional rainfall will keep flood concerns elevated.
Precipitation Past 14 days
According to NOAA, the radar estimated precipitation suggests nearly 2" to 4"+ (isolated 5"+) has fallen in a fairly large swath from eastern Texas to the Ohio Valley over the last 14 days. This has caused rivers, streams and creeks to rise to minor/moderate flood stages. Unfortunately, with the additional heavy rainfall potential on the way through the rest of the week, flood concerns will remain high!
River Flood Concerns Remain High
Thanks to the heavy precipitation over the last 14 days (mentioned above), rivers, streams and creeks are running high in many areas. Minor to moderate flooding has been reported along several rivers already!
River Flood Forecasts
According to the National Weather Service, 144 river gauges will see minor/moderate flood stage at some point through March 20th, mainly in the areas from eastern Texas to the Ohio Valley.
How Long Will The Warm Weather Last?
Enjoy the mild weather while you can... According to NOAA's CPC, the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook (March 18th-24th) suggests cooler than average weather returning to the eastern half of the country, especially in the Northeast. However, the western U.S. and Alaska looks to get back into above average territory.
Falling Ice in Boston
Take a look at this picture from Boston. If the winter hasn't already been hard enough, now they are watching for falling ice! Huge chunks have smashed through cars!
The near 1000 mile, annual trek through the Alaskan wilderness on a dogsled commenced earlier this week. Thanks to a lack of snow, the race course had to be rerouted this year from its original (Anchorage to Nome) route to a new route, which goes from Fairbanks to Nome (968 miles).
Wisconsin Musher (Monica Zappa) Runs Iditarod!!
Interestingly, a good friend and college classmate of mine, Monica Zappa is running again this year and only her 2nd time doing it! Monica is originally from Wisconsin and is a former St. Cloud State University Meteorology Major!! We wish her and all the other races good luck!! GOOOOO MONICA!!!