Oh to be normal again
By Todd Nelson
Put a weather geek in front of a computer screen and you'll get anything but normal. I'm surprised that my wife still puts up with my nerdy antics, even she's getting a little sick of me talking about how cold and snowy it has been this March.
Welcome to the Super bowl of weather. Other than hurricanes, we get it all in the Midwest. From cold snaps and blizzards to heat waves and tornadoes. Over the course of a year, it can get pretty wild around here; last year, we went from a tornado in the Twin Cities on November 10th to snow the next day!
The last winter storm that sailed south of us brought record snow to St. Louis, MO on Sunday (2nd greatest 24-hour snowfall on record with 12.4"); Springfield also had its snowiest day in recorded history with 19" on Sunday.
The heavy snow along the Hwy I-70 over the last few days was a response to the jet stream being well to our south, helping to keep that cold air in place over us. Slowly, that colder air will retreat back north allowing slightly warmer air to bubble north along with it. Temps may actually get back to normal by the weekend! 50s may be possible for some in S. MN! Oh, to be normal again.
Todd's StarTribune Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota
MONDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Low: 21. Winds: NNW 5-10
TUESDAY: Partly sunny, nagging chill. High: 34. Winds: NW 5.
TUESDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy, nothing rough. Low: 18.
WEDNESDAY: Plenty of sun. More drips. Midday sunburn in 45mins. High: 37
THURSDAY: Blue sky, still quiet. Wake-up: 21. High: near 40
FRIDAY: Fading sun, happy to see 40s. Wake-up: 26. High: 46
SATURDAY: Clouds increase, feels like March again. Brief rain shower possible. Wake-up: 32. High: 46
SUNDAY: Easter sprinkle or flurry early. Wake-up: 31. High: 45.
MONDAY: No Arctic plunges. Wake-up. 30. High: 45.
Can you believe that we're wrapping up the month of March and we're still seeing more winter like weather? Good grief, when will it be over? Thanks to Ruby for the pictures below out of Pittsylvania county, VA where daffodils are in bloom and the bluebirds seems to be a bit confused just as much as Mother Nature does.
The image below shows the snowfall analysis over the last few days. Note the heavy snow swath along the Hwy I-70 corridor from Denver, CO to Washington D.C. -- The heaviest snow blobs appear to be over parts of Colorado and Central Illinois.
Happy Skiers and Snowboarders!
I think there are still several people that are happy about the recent cold and snowy weather and that includes skiers and snowboarders! I've heard of several locations across the nation that aren't as busy right snow! Check out your local ski resort to see if they're still open, good chance they are and they aren't that busy at all! Thanks to Breckenridge Ski Resort Facebook Page for the picture below.
Snow From Space
The National Weather Service out of Pueblo, CO posted the image below on their Facebook Page. It's a satellite view of the snow across eastern Colorado... Keep in mind that this view is from nearly 23,000miles high!
Colorado Snowfall Tallies
Here are some of the heaviest snowfall tallies that I could find from Colorado earlier this weekend.
Heavy Snow on Sunday...
Look at the wild totals on Sunday from Missouri to Illinois. How about that 12.4" remark from St. Louis, MO!
According to my good friend out of Kansas City, MO, they had more thundersnow over the weekend, which was the 3rd time this winter season! Crazy to think that 2 Friday's ago, they were in the 80s and over the weekend, they had some shoveling to do. Thanks to @persimmonsmith for the picture below out of Lee's Summit, MO, which is just southeast of Kansas City.
Thanks to@pitstickFarms for the interesting picture below out of South Central Illinois. It appears the snow was pretty sticky as it caked on the front of this vehicle!
Record Snow in St. Louis, MO
Not only was the 12.4" of snow on Sunday a record for March 24th, but it was also the 2nd largest single day snow from them (Record: 12.8" on 2/26/1906)
Record Snow in Springfield, MO
How about this stat; Springfield, MO had it's greatest 24-hour snowfall in recorded history! The previous record was 15" set 2/28/1900. Interestingly, other than 2 of the 10 top tallies all have occurred in either February or March!
Heavy Illinois Snow
Here are some of the top 5 Illinois snow tallies that I could find from the event.
Monday Morning Snow Burst
The same storm that plowed through the central part of the country over the weekend also brought snow to parts of the Northeast earlier Monday. Thanks to @dcairports for the picture below from the Dulles International Airport.
Snow Hole in D.C.?
Prior to Monday's snow, Washington D.C. had only seen 1.7" of snow this season and was nearly -13.5" below normal. Talk about a snow drought!
Cherry Blossom Festival
Keep in mind that the Cherry Blossom Festival is still in progress. According to the National Mall and Memorial Parks Facebook Page, the cold weather slows the blooms, but the snow does not.
The festival runs through April 14th and the peak is expected around April 3rd-6th. See more from the NationalCherryBlossomFestival.org HERE:
National Snow Cover
This looks like a scene more out of December or January, not mid to late March doesn't it?! According to NOAA's NOHRSC, nearly 50% of the nation was covered with snow on March 25th!
2012 Snow Cover
The snow cover one year ago looks quite a bit different. Thanks to a record setting March 2012, there was very little snow left across the nation last year.
Minnesota Snow Depth
There is still a lot of snow on the ground across parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin and the U.P. of Michigan. The concern is still that all this snow will melt rapidly over the coming weeks and major flooding will be found along area rivers/stream/creeks. The National Weather Service is still suggesting that Fargo, N.D can expect a "Top 5" flood this Spring. There is also a greater than 95% chance that Major flooding will occur along the Red River Valley as it flows north toward Canada.
Seasonal Snow From Normal
The image below shows how much above or below normal snowfall we are from normal. After a very lackluster start to the winter season, many spots have caught up to near normal are are above normal snowfall for the season.
Sunday Severe Storms
Nasty storms rolled through parts of Florida on Sunday as well. There were a number of damage reports across the state including some around Bay Hill, FL where the Arnold Palmer Invitation Gold Tournament was taking place. The 4th round of the tournament was suspended until Monday...
Here's another damage picture thanks to @OrlandoInformer of damage at Universal Studios!
Low 2013 Tornado Count So Far...
2013, so far, has been fairly quiet in terms of tornadoes. According to the Storm Prediction Center, the 2013 tornado count was 146 tornadoes, while the running average at this time of the year is around 216.
Chilly March Temps
It's no surprise that temperatures have been cool this March. There are several locations in the eastern part of the country that are running below average. As of March 24th, the Twin Cities was running -6.5F below average. Temperatures on Tuesday are still expected to be cooler than average for those in the eastern half of the country.
Near Normal Temps?
It appears that temperatures by the weekend/Easter will be back close to normal for most locations across the country. How about that! Oh to be normal again...
It's always interesting to look at the Arctic Oscillation, which suggests whether or not the Lower 48 is colder/warmer than normal. Typically, when the AO is below the horizontal black line, we generally see colder/snowier than normal conditions. Look at how big the dip was in the negative phase just after March 16th, which would help to explain why we've been so cold lately. Note how the forecasts (red lines) show near neutral conditions by the star of April with perhaps a slight dip into the first few days... this would indicate that we'd see some slight warming, back to near normal temps, then a slight cool-down into the first few days of the month. We'll see what happens.
Thanks for checking in, have a great rest of your week!
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