Signs of Spring!!
Here's a neat map from Journey North, which shows the return of one of my favorite birds, the Red-Winged Blackbird! The first time I hear "conk-la-ree", I know spring has finally arrived. The map below shows where the latest red-winged blackbirds have been sighted across the state.
"SPRING HAS SPRUNG and we've got the phenological evidence to prove it! 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 discusses average blooms and animal sightings according to his 30+ years of collecting data. He also talks about things he's already seen this year... eagles, trumpeter swans, and wood ducks are just a bit of this weeks report. Click the link to hear it all!"
Pollen Levels on the Rise!
Weather Outlook Sunday
High temps on Sunday will be fairly mild across the state with readings warming into the 60s across the southern half of the state and into the 40s and 50s across the northern half of the state. These temps will be nearly 10F to nearly 15F above average, which will feel a little more like May! Enjoy!
Snow Potential Next Week?
Here's a view of our potential snow event for the 2nd half of next week. While it's still way too early to talk specifics, latest weather models are still suggesting a fairly strong low pushing through the Upper Midwest. At this point, rain and snow will be possible with some locations possibly seeing some wet accumulations. Stay tuned!
St. Criox River at Stillwater
The National Weather Service continues flood warnings across much of the southern half of the state as river levels remain at flood levels. The Red River Valley is now dealing with flooding and in some cases, minor to even major flooding is ongoing.
Mississippi River at St. Paul - Top 8 Crest on Record This Year?
Take a look at some of the highest crests ever recorded along the Mississippi River at St. Paul. Note that the highest crest was back in 1965, when the river gauge recorded a height of 26.01 ft. The most recent high crest was back in 2014 when the river gauge recorded 20.13 ft. The latest river forecasts for this gauge suggests that we could top 20ft. (major flooding) by the early part of this week. This is already the 8th highest crest we've ever seen.
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 southern MN. Be patient, the rest are coming...
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 2 to 3 weeks 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!!
Ice Safey Reminder
Well, thanks to a very active February and early half of March, our seasonal snowfall tallies are sitting at some pretty impressive tallies. Keep in mind that prior to February 5th, the Twin Cities was nearly 18" below average snowfall this season. The weather pattern quickly turned and within a 34 day period, the Twin Cities saw nearly 50" of snow! 39" of record snow fell at the MSP Airport in February, and we've already had 10.4" of snow through the first half of March. Here's an interesting stat, from February 5th to March 10th, the Twin Cities had 49.3" of snow, which is the 20th snowiest 34 day stretch in MSP history! At any rate, most reporting station around the region are in double digits reading above average snowfall for the season so far! The Twin Cities is nearly 20" above average, while Eau Claire, WI is nearly 46" above average - unreal! Note that the Twin Cities has seen 67.3" of snow so far this season, which the 22nd snowiest season on record.
"April 1, 2019 - 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 western 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 southern Great Plains. Spring leaf out is 1 week late in Pittsburg, PA, Omaha, NE, and Salt Lake City, UT. 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, and Nevada are 1-2 weeks late."
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas.
Tweet, chirp, tweet, chirp. I feel like I'm at a boisterous bird concert during my early morning walks.
The dawn chorus is in full swing right now as loud and lively songs fill the predawn air. Males are marking territory and trying to woo their counterparts. It's an invigorating sound. It's a sound of spring!
Another audible reminder of Aprils return is the distant rumble of thunder. In fact, MSP averages nearly 3 thunderstorm days during the month and one of those days could be today.
Scattered showers and a few faint growls will be possible thanks to a cloud near you. The sun finally makes an appearance later today with temps warming into the 60s. Monday will be another beauty, but it appears that Old Man Winter may try to stomp on our springy parade late next week. It's too early to get specific, but latest model guidance suggests areas of wet heavy snow somewhere in the Upper Midwest. I hope I'm wrong, but don't put away the shovels just yet.
MSP averages 2.4 inches of snow in April. Last April we had a record 26.1 - WOW!
SUNDAY: Lingering AM T-showers. PM clearing. Winds: WSW 5-10. High: 64.
SUNDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and quiet. Winds: W 5-10. Low: 42.
MONDAY: Mild sunshine. Few showers up north. Winds: WNW 5-10. High: 67.
TUESDAY: Not as warm. Clouds increase late. Winds: ENE 5-10. Wake-up: 40. High:53.
WEDNESDAY: Windy. Chance of rain and snow. Winds: E 10-25. Wake-up: 34. High: 40.
THURSDAY: Could be messy. Chance of rain and snow. Winds: ENE 15-30. Wake-up: 33. High: 41.
FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy, lingering snow showers. Winds: NNW 10-20. Wake-up: 28. High: 39.
SATURDAY: Quieter. Sun returns. Winds: WSW 5-10. Wake-up: 27. High: 44.
This Day in Weather History
1857: A cold snap hits the United States, with snow reported in every state.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
Average High: 53F (Record: 83F set in 1991)
Average Low: 33F (Record: 6F set in 1936)
Record Rainfall: 1.72" set in 1919
Record Snowfall: 18.9" set in 1923
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Hours of Daylight: ~13 hours & 5 minutes
Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 3 minutes & 5 seconds
Daylight GAINED since winter solstice (December 21st): ~4 hours and 20 minutes
Moon Phase for April 7th at Midnight
2.9 Days Since New Moon
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:
"Many skywatchers enjoy seeing the young moon return each month to the west after sunset. If you’re one of them, now is the time to look for that fleet little moon that appears in the west at evening twilight, then sets before nightfall. Generally, any moon that’s less than one day old (or 24 hours past new moon) is hard to spot with the eye alone, or, sometimes, even with binoculars. For the most of the world on April 6, 2019, however, the moon will be over one day old after sunset. In other words, if you have a clear and unobstructed horizon in the direction of sunset, you have a good chance of catching the whisker-thin young moon after sunset on April 6. Then, as the evenings pass – as Earth spins on its axis day by day, and the moon moves in orbit around Earth, thereby inching farther from the sun on our sky’s dome – you’ll find the moon more easily each evening. As our chart shows, it’ll appear a little higher in the west after sunset in each of the coming evenings."
"The Ocean's Tipping Point Has Been Reached"
"The ocean is the backbone of our planet, and just because much of it is unseen to us land-living humans, it does not mean that it’s not important every day. The problem is the ocean is so vast, and it has done an amazing job at being a sponge for human-created emissions. But it needs to be reiterated that the ocean is in danger. The impacts of climate change and illegal, unregulated, and unreported fisheries are the main challenges that the ocean faces. Ghost fishing gear — items that have been lost, abandoned, or disposed of — continue to catch marine organisms."
"The US Hasn't Been This Wet in Years"
"The U.S. drought map hasn’t looked this boring in a while. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the Lower 48 appears to be experiencing less severe drought than any time in the past 19 years of record keeping. A wet wrap to 2018 and continued rain and snow to start 2019 mean that just 5.73 percent of the U.S. is currently in drought. That’s great news for drought plagued California and the West as a whole, though unfortunately it also means the Midwest is underwater. The distinct lack of drought was first picked up on by the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang. The Drought Monitor uses a scale from 0-4 where zero indicates “abnormally dry” conditions and 1-4 are various levels of drought going from moderate to exceptional. In addition to the percentage of the contiguous U.S. in drought, another roughly 15 percent is abnormally dry. That means nearly 80 percent of the country is drought-free, which as Capital Weather Gang puts it, is “quite a reversal from summer 2012, when less than 20 percent of the Lower 48 was drought-free.”
Thanks for checking in and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX