First 50 Since December?

Ready for a blast of warmth? The snow will continue to melt as we head into Saturday, as highs in the Twin Cities are expected to climb to around 50. If we do make it to 50, it would be the first time since the beginning of December that we have done so. It would also be within a few days of our average first 50 degree day (when you look at the whole record for the Twin Cities).

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Highs (Through 4 PM) Friday

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Vague Hints of Spring Today - Updated Flood Risk
By Paul Douglas

Life is random - and so is the weather. We can model weather out a couple weeks with accuracy better than 50/50. But it's the unknown unknowns that keep us paranoid - extreme weather events too far out to predict weeks or months in advance.

According to NOAA the risk of minor spring flooding is near or slightly above normal. The biggest (unknown) factor is the presence or absence of heavy rains in March and April. Springs are trending wetter in Minnesota, so that's not much of a stretch.

Right on cue the next storm arrives late Sunday with an atmosphere warm enough for rain. Colder air wrapping into the storm circulation means a changeover to wet snow Monday, but timing and amounts are very much up in the air. I wouldn't be shocked to see a slushy inch or two late Monday into Tuesday.

In the meantime today should feel more like late March with an outside shot at 50F. Who will spot the first mosquito? Any day now. Highs cool into the 30s next week and with average snowcover and 2-3 feet of ground frost, spring may arrive a few weeks later than it did last year.

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Extended Twin Cities Forecast

SATURDAY: Partly sunny, milder. High 49. Low 35. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind SE 10-20 mph.
SUNDAY: Clouds increase, rain arrives late. High 47. Low 37. Chance of precipitation 70%. Wind SE 10-20 mph.
MONDAY: Rain changes to wet snow. High 40. Low 28. Chance of precipitation 90%. Wind S 10-15 mph.
TUESDAY: Light snow, slushy coating on lawns? High 33. Low 19. Chance of precipitation 70%. Wind N 10-15 mph.
WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy, definitely not spring. High 31. Low 17. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind NW 10-15 mph.
THURSDAY: More sunshine, still brisk. High 33. Low 21. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind NW 7-12 mph.
FRIDAY: Dim sun, feels better out there. High 40. Low 26. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind S 5-10 mph.

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This Day in Weather History
March 3rd

1977: A snowstorm results in over 400 school closings in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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Average Temperatures & Precipitation for Minneapolis
March 3rd

Average High: 35F (Record: 65F set in 1905)
Average Low: 19F (Record: -13F set in 1873)
Average Precipitation: 0.05" (Record: 1.19" set in 1970)
Average Snow: 0.4" (Record: 12.6" set in 1985)

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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
March 3rd

Sunrise: 6:47 AM
Sunset: 6:03 PM

*Length Of Day: 11 hours, 16 minutes and 4 seconds
*Daylight Gained Since Yesterday: ~3 minutes and 7 seconds

*Sunrises After 7 AM Begin Again March 11th (7:32 AM) Due To Daylight Saving Time
*Sunsets After 7 PM Begin March 11th (7:13 PM) Due To Daylight Saving Time

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Minnesota Weather Outlook

Enjoy the first 50 since early December Saturday here in the Twin Cities, as highs climb to that level. Across most of the state, highs will make it into the 40s, with 30s over northern Minnesota. We will have to watch the chance of some rain or mixed precipitation across central and northern Minnesota Saturday Night, otherwise a mix of clouds and sun can be expected.

Enjoy the warmth, as highs on Saturday will be a good 5-15 degrees above average across the state.

We'll remain in the 40s on Sunday and early Monday before we see some cooler temperatures by the middle of the week. Even though we will be cooler, highs should still make it into the 30s.

The heaviest precipitation through midday Monday will fall across parts of central and northern Minnesota, where over a half an inch of liquid (either rain or melted snow) is possible. What does fall in the form of rain will eat away at the snow pack across the region.

Here's a look at the snow forecast through midday Monday. As we head into Sunday night, snow will start to spread into parts of northern and central Minnesota, with the potential of 3-5" in some areas by midday Monday. More snow will be possible through the rest of the day and into Tuesday, however it is too early to start throwing numbers out for the metro on how much snow could fall here mainly Monday Night into Tuesday.

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National Weather Forecast

The Nor'easter that has been impacting the Northeast will continue to slowly push east Saturday, with conditions gradually improving throughout the day. Rain and snow can be expected across the western United States, including much needed precipitation across California. A few showers may develop across parts of southern Texas throughout the day.

The western United States will continue to be cold on Saturday, with highs that are 5-25 degrees below average for this time of year. The warmer than average weather will mainly be confined to parts of the central U.S., with highs a good 10-25 degrees above average on the Front Range and into the Central Plains.

A few areas of heavy precipitation is expected as we head through Wednesday morning, with pockets of the West, Northern Plains, Texas/Louisiana and the New England coast expected to receive at least 2" of precipitation. 

While some snow will still continue to fall in the Northeast from the departing Nor’easter Saturday, the snow story will be out west where feet of snow will fall in parts of the mountains, including the Sierra. Snow will start spreading into parts of the upper Midwest by the end of the weekend and early next week.

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Friday Nor'easter

Above is photo out of the Duxbury, MA coastal flooding during the midday hours Friday from the Nor'easter impacting the region.

Boston Harbor saw their third highest tide level midday Friday, with two more high tides in a row expected at at least that height though midday Saturday.

Very gusty winds brought down powerlines across the region, including in Watertown, MA.

Further inland, snow was the story, with parts of New York state receiving over two feet of snow through Friday afternoon.

Drought Repeat Of 2012?

The ongoing drought across the United States is sparking fears of a repeat of 2012. More from NPR: "Western Illinois might be close to the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, but it's the driest part of the state this year. "We really haven't really had any measurable rain since the middle of October," says Ken Schafer, who farms winter wheat, corn and soybeans in Jerseyville. "I dug some post-holes this winter, and it's just dust." His farm is in an area that the U.S. Drought Monitor considers "severe." Some of the nation's worst areas of drought are in southwest Kansas, much of Oklahoma and a slice of Missouri. But several states are in some sort of drought, from Illinois to California, the Dakotas to Texas."

Oil Now Says Climate Change Will Hurt Business

Oil companies are now having to consider how climate change will affect their business. More from TIME: "Oil has occupied a central place in the American economy for the past century — powering houses, automobiles, factories and everything in between. As a result, the oil companies that drilled, shipped and sold black gold reaped billion in profit year after year and continue to do so. But for the first time oil and gas companies are openly grappling with a less-than-certain future where climate change and related advances in other energy sources make them less dominant. In its annual energy outlook released last week, BP said that it expected oil demand to peak in the next two decades as renewable energy grows and consumers purchase hundreds of millions of electric vehicles. In an outlook released in February, Exxon Mobil projected a peak in demand for gasoline in the coming decades and acknowledged that some of its assets “may not be attractive investments” as a result of the shifting energy market.

Hydropower Impacted By Climate Change (Not In A Good Way)

Climate change is having an effect on a renewable energy: hydropower. More from DW.com: "Civilizations have used water as a source of energy for millennia, and it has been used to generate electricity for nearly 150 years. Water powers around 70 percent of the world's renewable electricity, and more than 15 percent of the world's total power supply. It's cheap, and unlike solar and wind, can produce electricity on demand. But building hydroelectric dams also reshapes ecological systems, inundates landscapes, and has forced millions of people to abandon their homes. And now, water power faces an added complication: Climate change means some countries are experiencing severe droughts and reservoirs are drying up."

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Thanks for checking in and have a great Saturday! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter (@dkayserwx) and like me on Facebook (Meteorologist D.J. Kayser)!

 - D.J. Kayser

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