Back the the 60s on Tuesday!

High temps on Tuesday will be the warmest we've seen since April 8th, when the mercury topped out at 70F at the MSP Airport. This warmth will be ahead of another fairly potent spring storm that will be with us Wednesday through Friday with areas of heavy rain and possible even a few stronger thunderstorms across the southeastern part of the state.

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Soggy Weather Ahead

Here's the latest weather story from the NWS in the Twin Cities, which shows areas of heavy rain moving through the region Wednesday through Thursday. At this point, the heaviest rain will fall across parts of southeastern MN and into Wisconsin, where some 2" to 3" tallies can't be ruled out.

"Widespread rain is anticipated from Wednesday through Thursday. Thunderstorms will be possible across southern MN."

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Weather Outlook Wednesday - Thursday

Here's the weather outlook from midday Wednesday to 1AM Friday, which shows fairly widespread rain, some of which could be heavy at times. Some of this heavy rain could be accompanied by thunderstorms, some of which could be a little on the more vigorous side across far southern MN and into Iowa and Wisconsin.


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Severe Storms Possible Wednesday?

According to NOAA's SPC, there is a Marginal Risk of severe storms across far southern MN and into Iowa and Wisconsin. Stay tuned.


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Areas of Heavy Rain Possible Wednesday - Friday

Here's the latest precipitation outlook from NOAA's WPC, which suggests from fairly widespread 1" to 2"+ liquid tallies across the eastern part of Minnesota into much of Wisconsin.


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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!

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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!

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Snowfall Season To Date
 
WOW - What a snow season it has been! Despite a fairly lackluster start to the winter season, we sure made up for it in a hurry during the 2nd half of winter and so far this spring. With that said, MSP has now seen 77.1" of snow, which makes it the 11th snowiest season on record!
 
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Temperature Outlook Ahead
 
Here's the temperature outlook through the last weekend of April, which suggests warming temps over the next few days with highs in the 60s once again by Tuesday. We may take a bit of a hit during the 2nd half of next week, but we may settle in to a consistent string of near 60F highs as we approach the end of the month.
 
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Signs of Spring!!

Here's a neat map from Journey North, which shows the return our MN State Bird, the Common Loon! Now that lakes are starting to become ice free, the loons are starting to show up! Welcome home friends!! It'll be fun to see you on lakes and ponds this summer.

See more from Journey North HERE:

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More Signs of Spring from the MNDNR
 
This time of the year can be a little dank and dreary at times, but we're not too far away from several signs of life returning to a backyard near you! There's a phenology reporting locating in Maplewood, just north of St. Paul and they record things like the first red-winged blackbird to the first dandelion and even when the lilacs bloom. This phenology location recorded the first "conk-la-ree" from a red-winged blackbird on March 20th this year, which was a few days later than average. By the way, the average bloom date of lilacs in the Twin Cities is typically around May 10th. Last year, lilacs didn't bloom until mid May.
 
"The songs of the first red-winged blackbirds of the season were heard in north Maplewood on Wednesday, March 20, six days later than the median date of March 14, and on the first day of Spring! Phenology which is derived from the Greek word phaino meaning to show or appear, is the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events that are influenced by environmental changes, especially seasonal variations in temperature and precipitation driven by weather and climate. The USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN)  collects phenological data from across the United States. Also track the progress of The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds  as they migrate north. Here is some recent spring phenology for a site in Maplewood just north of St. Paul."
 
 

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"Phenology Report: April 2, 2019"
 
Here's the latest Phenology from John Latimer who hails out of Grand Rapids, MN. He shares his latest findings on what is springing up across parts of central/northern MN. 

"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. This week, John kept track of some special spring events: the drumming of roughed grouse, killdeer, woodcock, garter snakes, the call of the saw whet out, and the developments on the speckled alder.   Also in this segment is a conversation with special guest and longtime contributor to KAXE-KBXE, retired DNR Biologist Bill Berg."

Listen to the full report from KAXE HERE:

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"Megapixels: North Carolina's 'Pollenpocalypse' is nothing to sneeze at—but you will anyway"

"Nuclear fallout? Acid rain? A tacky Instagram filter? Nope—plant sex. Lots and lots of plant sex. On Monday, residents of Durham, North Carolina encountered what some are calling “pollmageddon,” during which an onslaught of greenish-yellow pollen blanketed the area. It covered cars and patios, and even visibly floated through the air. Photographer Jeremy Gilchrist saw the allergy apocalypse from his car and sent up his drone to document it. He posted the eye-watering photos on Facebook, writing, “No tricks here. Yes you are looking at a green haze made up of tree pollen from the pines of central NC!”

See more from Popular Science HERE:

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Pollen Levels on the Rise!

AHH CHOO! Oh boy... Spring allergy sufferers are in rough shape right now as pollen levels pick up over the next few days. The worst looks to return by the end of the week Friday.
 
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Ice Out Dates

We're just beginning ice out season here in MN and according to the MN DNR, there are only 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!!


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Ice Safey Reminder

As we head into the next several weeks, ice stability is going to deteriorate rapidly! Warmer temps will weaken ice on area lakes/ponds, so please be careful! The MN DNR has ice safety reminders that you can review and remember that ice is never 100% safe!
 
 

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 Temperature Outlook
 
According to NOAA's CPC, the temperature outlook from April 23rd - 29th looks warmer than average across much of the nation. Note that Alaska will finally be seeing below average temps after such an extended period of well above average temps.
 
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Spring Leaf Anomaly
 
Here's an interesting map for folks that are looking forward to spring. It's the NPN Spring Leaf Anomaly map, which shows that spring has indeed sprung across the southern tier of the nation. The red colors indicate that spring leaves are actually emerging earlier than average in those areas, while blue colors indicate that we're a little behind average in other spots.

"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 4 days late in Boston, MA and Detroit, MI and 2 days early in Madison, WI. Spring bloom has arrived on time to 2 weeks early in much of the South. Nashville, TN is 4 days early. Parts of Arizona, California, Nevada, and the Southern Great Plains are 1-2 weeks late."

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Shocking News: More Like Spring This Week
By Paul Douglas

 
Ice is coming off Minnesota's lakes, lawns (and neighbors) are emerging from snowy hibernation, spirits are thawing & attitudes improving as we limp into a reluctant spring.
 
60s are likely today, with puddles of blue sky drifting overhead. Remarkably, most of the nearly 10 inches of snow that fell last week should be gone by this evening.
 
The forecast calls for green lawns by the weekend as a storm tracking from Denver to Eau Claire dumps out close to an inch of rain on Wednesday. I'm delighted to report that a risk of slush on Thursday has diminished. Light a candle.
 
Skies clear Friday and if everything goes just right on Saturday (sunshine and a stiff southerly breeze) 70 degrees is a possibility. Forgive me while I faint in front of the Doppler.
 
I predict withing 45 days we'll go from grumping about the snow to whining about dew point, Kamikaze mosquitoes and storms mucking up our weekend weather. Because complaining about Minnesota's often obnoxious weather is a right. 
 
In the meantime 60s will feel like a warm hug from mom later today.
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Extended Forecast

TUESDAY: Some sunshine and mild. Winds: NE 5-10. High:64.

TUESDAY NIGHTMostly cloudy, few showers late. Winds: E 5-10. Low: 47.

WEDNESDAY: Rain, heavy at times. T-storm risk. Winds: E 10-20. High: 55.

THURSDAY: Windy and raw. Few rain showers. Winds: NW 15-25. Wake-up: 40. High: 45.

FRIDAY: Clearing. Pleasant by afternoon. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 38. High: 62.

SATURDAY: Spring fling. Nicer day of weekend. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 50. High: 70.

SUNDAY: Showers develop. Risk of T-stormsl. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 54. High: 61.

MONDAY: Mix of clouds and sun. Cooler. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 44. High: 56.
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This Day in Weather History
April 16th

1939: A rain, snow, sleet and ice storm begins across southern Minnesota. Despite many phone and power outages, farmers are jubilant that the storm brings needed moisture.
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Average High/Low for Minneapolis
April 16th

Average High: 58F (Record: 88F set in 1964)
Average Low: 38F (Record: 10F set in 1875)

Record Rainfall: 1.04" set in 2003
Record Snowfall: 5.0" set in 1961
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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
April 16th

Sunrise: 6:27am
Sunset: 7:59pm

Hours of Daylight: ~13 hours & 33 minutes

Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 2 minutes & 59 seconds
Daylight GAINED since winter solstice (December 21st): ~4 hours and 48 minutes
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Moon Phase for April 16th at Midnight
2.2 Day Until 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." 

See more from Space HERE:

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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: 

"These new several nights – April 16, 17 and 18, 2019 – find the brilliant waxing gibbous moon on a course to move between two bright and beautiful stars, Arcturus and Spica. Sparkling above the eastern horizon at early evening, these stars travel westward (along with the moon) throughout the night. Arcturus and Spica shine high in the southern sky around midnight, and as dawn starts to color the sky, these gems light up the western sky."

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Average Tornadoes By State in April 
 
According to NOAA, the number of tornadoes in April really starts to go up across the southern US. Note that several states typically see nearly a dozen tornadoes, while Texas takes the cake with nearly 30. Meanwhile, Minnesota only typically sees 1 tornado during the month of April and the most active month is typically June, when Minnesota typically sees 15.
 
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2019 Preliminary Tornado Count
 
Here's a look at how many tornadoes there have been across the country so far this year. The preliminary count through April 14th suggests that there have been a total of 227, which is still below the 2005-2015 short term average of 332.
 
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Weather Outlook Wednesday
 
According to NOAA's SPC, there is an ENHANCED risk of severe weather in orange, which means that there is a pretty good chance of severe storms. Damaging winds and a few tornadoes will be the primarty threat in this region, but there is a chance of strong to severe storms from southern Minnesota and Wisconsin to Texas.
 
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More Severe Storms Next Week:Thursday & Friday
 
According to NOAA's SPC, there is already a highlighted risk for severe storms in the shaded yellow areas below. The SPC typically only issues extended severe weather risks this far in advance is severe weather is really a big threat. With that said, keep an eye on latest forecasts as we head into the week ahead.

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Weather Outlook Sunday
 
Here's a look at high temps across the naiton on Sunday, which looks fairly warm in the eastern part of the country, where temps will be nearly +5 to +10F above average. Meanwhile, temps in the central part of the country will still be running below average average after our last major storm system moved through during the 2nd half of last week. 
 
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National Weather Outlook

Here's the weather outlook as we head through the week, which shows another potent spring storm moving into the Central US with more heavy rain and strong to severe storms.
 

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7 Day Precipitation Forecast
 
According to NOAA's WPC, the 7 day precipitation forecast suggests areas of heavy precipitation along and east of the Mississippi River Valley. Some of the most widespread and heavy rainfall could be found in the Lower Mississippi Valley, which could lead to more flooding potential.
 

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"Quivering strips provide wind power where turbines cannot"
 
"Back in 2014, US Army engineers Charles Marsh and Carl Feickert envisioned a wind-power system inspired by Venetian blinds fluttering in an open window. They have since teamed up with eight colleagues, creating a system that generates power in breezes that are too light to turn the blades of a traditional wind turbine. The prototype device features eight flexible "elastic tension gradient" strips that are a mounted vertically in a row, and that are attached to PVC tubes at the top and bottom. Those tubes can be twisted to adjust the tension of the strips. Angled so that they're parallel to the direction of wind flow, the strips wiggle snake-like in breezes blowing as slow as less than 9 mph (14 km/h). As they do so, a copper induction coil at the bottom of each strip moves back and forth along a smooth magnet-filled pipe that passes through it horizontally. The motion of the coil against the magnets creates an electrical current, which is carried by wiring within the pipe to a power converter. From there, it can be used to power devices, or to charge batteries."
 
 

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"The Best 20 Websites Where You Can Learn Science For Free"
 
"If you love science or are interested in learning more, you should check out our ‘top 20’ list of the very best websites where you can learn science for free. We have had a really good look at each website and have only included what we consider to be the very best. Where we think a website is particularly excellent we have highlighted this in the description. We are not affiliated with any of these websites we just wanted to provide a useful resource for teachers, students or people just keen to learn more about the subject. Hopefully you will find our list useful and it will save you time having to search Google. So bookmark this page, share it with your friends and above all use it to learn more about the wonderful world of science. (1) NASA.com -This is another Space related site with lots of great information on planets, the International Space Station, photos, videos, the journey to Mars, interviews, technology, aeronautics and lots more."
 
 

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"Debunking A Dangerous Myth About Tornado Sirens - They Shouldn't Warn You Inside"
 
"Over the past 36 hours or so, I have watched tornadic storms ravaged parts of the southern United States. The Storm Prediction Center of the National Weather Service has been warning for days that a potent storm system would produce this type of activity. Even as I write this essay, parts of Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas should keep a weather eye out this Palm Sunday. As I write this, my area of Georgia is under a tornado watch until 2 pm. Unfortunately, Palm Sunday has seen its share of tornado outbreaks over the years, and some churches even decided to cancel services today. I had no intentions of writing anything today until I saw the following Tweet: No tornado siren could be heard in highland lakes! Large oak and pine trees on houses. Could have been very bad with children’s bedrooms mostly upstairs. Thanks for the heads up @spann Any idea why they didn’t go off? The person tweeting this had nothing but the best intentions so there is no intent to ridicule him. In fact, the Tweet is useful because it provides an opportunity to remind the public facing tornado danger why you cannot rely on tornado sirens indoors."
 
 
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Thanks for checking in and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX

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