11th Wettest Start at MSP on Record - Through May 11th
If you're keeping track, MSP has seend 10.65" of liquid precipitation since January 1st, which is the 11th wettest start to any year on record. The only other years (since 2000) that started off wetter were ni 2012, 2014 and 2001. The wettest start was back in 1965 when we had 12.75" of liquid. 

2019 Precipitation So Far...

It certainly has been an active start to the year so far, especially across the southern half of the state, where precipitation values are nearly 2" to 3" above average. In fact, Eau Claire, WI and Sioux Falls, SD are nearly 3.50" and 5" above average respectively. Here's the latest precipitation ranks so far this year (January 1st - May 11th)

3rd Wettest in Sioux Falls, SD
9th Wettest in Rochester, MN
11th Wettest in the Twin Cities
12th Wettest Eau Claire, WI


7-Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's WPC, the 7-day precipitation forecast suggests some 1" to 2" rainfall tallies possible through next weekend. Keep in mind that most of this precipitation looks like it will fall Friday, Satudray and Sunday. Stay tuned...


Monday Weather Outlook

High temps on Monday will actually be fairly decent considering it has been so chilly as of late. In fact, the average temp at MSP is running nearly -6F below average so far this month. The week ahead calls for temps in the 70s and perhaps even low 80s, which should be the warmest weather we've had since September, nearly 8 months ago.
T-Shower Chance This Weekend
Here's the weather outlook through early AM Wednesday, which suggests slightly unsettled weather moving in later Tuesday & Tuesday night. A weak impulse of energy could ignite a late day shower or rumble of thunder, but it doesn't look too impressive.
Weekend Rainfall Potential
Here's the rainfall potential through early AM Wednesday, which doesn't show much substance. However, there could be a few pockets of a couple of tenths of an inch if any thunderstorms develop. The heaviest rainfall potential looks to arrive with a much more potent system later this week and into the weekend ahead.
Extended Temperature Outlook
Here's the extended temperature outlook through May 26th/27th, which shows warmer temps moving in through much of the week. In fact, several days could reach 70F with a potential 80F reading by Thursday. 
Below Average Temps Continue

Here's the 850mb temp anomaly, which shows a warmer bias through much of the week. Some of the warmest weather looks to be with us during the 2nd half of the week when actual air temps could approach 80F in the Twins Cities. 


Tree Pollen Running High in the Twin Cities

Have you been sneezing a little more than usual? It could be because pollen levels have been running fairly high. In fact, high to medium-high levels will be with us for much of the week. 

Ice Out Dates

Ice out season continues in MN and according to the MN DNR quite a few more lakes have gone ice out over the past 5 to 7 days. Lake Minnetonka saw ice out on April 20th, which was nearly a week behind the average of April 13th. Lake Mille Lacs also went out on April 28th, which is 3 days behind the average of April 25th. Leech Lake saw ice out on May 2nd, which was 5 days behind the average of April 28th. Also, Lake Vermillion and Lake Kabetogema went out of April 30th, which is pretty close to average. Lake of the Woods' average ice out it on May 3rd, so we'll see when they go out. 

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!!


Temperature Outlook
According to NOAA's CPC, the temperature outlook from May 20th - 26th still looks to be running below average across much of the Western US. The only locations that will be above average look to be across the Southeastern part of the nation and into Alaska.
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.

"May 6th, 2019 - Spring leaf out is nearly complete across the Continental U.S. and has just arrived in parts of Alaska. 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 bloom has arrived on time to 2 weeks early in much of the South, Appalachian Mountains, and mid-Atlantic. Parts of Arizona, California, Nevada, and the Southern Great Plains are 1-2 weeks late. Spring bloom is one day early in Salt Lake City, UT and Des Moines, IA."

Warmer Week Ahead. First 80F Since September 2018
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas

The older I get, the more I realize that parenting young children is similar to being a Minnesotan. The taste I get in my mouth after dealing with hissy fits, temper tantrums, and spilled milk is similar to dealing with unruly spats from Mother Nature. Patience is definitely a virtue.

I am happy to report that weather maps are finally starting to look a little more like a continuous spring. No snowy setbacks and nothing that would prompt any foul language from your grandmother. In fact, temps in the metro this week could reach 80 degrees for the first time since last September, nearly 8 months ago. Extended models are even hinting at dew points near 60 by the end of the week. Ornery co-workers may complain that it's too humid by Friday. No kidding.

On another note, MSP has seen 10.65 inches of liquid precipitation since January 1st, which is the 11th wettest start to any year on record. Fields are wet, the grass is finally starting to grow and backyard lilacs are ready to pop! In a few short weeks, we'll be swatting skeeters. Oh boy!

Extended Forecast

MONDAY: Mostly sunny and milder. Winds: SSW 5-10. High: 68.

MONDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy and quiet. Winds: S 5. Low: 52.

TUESDAY: Spotty PM T-shower. Winds: S 5-10. High: 71.

WEDNESDAY: Distractingly nice. Sunny and warm. Winds: ESE 5-10. Wake-up: 51. High: 75.

THURSDAY: AM rumble, then PM clearing. Winds: NNW 10-15. Wake-up: 56. High: 80.

FRIDAY: More humid. Late day storms. Winds: E 15-25. Wake-up: 59. High: 81.

SATURDAY: Unsettled. More widespread storms. Winds: E 15-25. Wake-up: 61. High: 80.

SUNDAY: Lingering T-showers. Winds: ENE 10-20. Wake-up: 60. High: 72.

This Day in Weather History
May 13th

1872: A hailstorm hits Sibley County. Hail up to the size of pigeon eggs is reported. Lightning burns down a barn near Sibley, killing a horse tied up inside.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis
May 13th

Average High: 69F (Record: 92F set in 2007)
Average Low: 48F (Record: 29F set in 1953)

Record Rainfall: 0.98" set in 1962
Record Snowfall: Trace set in 1935

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
May 13th

Sunrise: 5:47am
Sunset: 8:32pm

Hours of Daylight: ~14 hours & 46 minutes

Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 2 minutes & 22 seconds
Daylight GAINED since winter solstice (December 21st): ~6 hours and 1 minute

Moon Phase for May 13th at Midnight
2.2 Days Since First Quarter 

See more from Space HERE:


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:  

"The green flash image at the top of this post was taken by Jim Grant, an EarthSky friend on Facebook. He captured it off the coast of Ocean Beach, California, and identified it a mock mirage green flash. It’s not hard to see a green flash with the eye alone, when sky conditions are right, and when you’re looking toward a very clear and very distant horizon. That’s why those who live near an ocean tend to report green flashes most often. A sea horizon is the best place to see them. The video below, posted to EarthSky by Vladek in 2016, is an excellent example of the experience of seeing a green flash:"

Average Tornadoes By State in May
According to NOAA, the number of tornadoes in May is at its peak across the country with most happening in the Tornado Valley. Note that Minnesota sees an average of 6 tornadoes during the month.
2019 Preliminary Tornado Count
Here's the 2019 preliminary tornado count across the nation, which shows a fairly high concentration across the Lower Mississippi Valley and Gulf Coast States. Note that we have not seen any tornadoes this year in Minnesota. Last year, our first tornado didn't happen until the end of May. However, in 2017, our first tornadoes happened in early March!
 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 May 8th suggests that there have been a total of 578, which is above the 2005-2015 short term average of 566. Interestingly, this has been the busiest tornado season since 2012, when nearly 659 tornadoes were reported. Interestingly, more than 1,000 tornades were reported at this time in 2011.
Weather Outlook Monday
High temps across the country on Monday look to still be cooler than average across the eastern half of the country and especially in the Northeast where temps will be nearly -10F to -20F below average! Folks in the Northwest will still be above average, but it won't be quite as warm as it was late last week when several locations were in record territory.


National Weather Outlook

Here's the weather outlook as we head into the early part of the week. Note that weather conditions in the Northeast will still be fairly unsettled with widespread showers and perhaps a few thunderstorms. The good news is that the widespread strong to severe thunderstorm potential will subside a bit as we head through the first half of the week. Other than a higher severe thunderstorm chance in Texas on Monday, things should be a little quieter until the 2nd half of the week. In fact, the Storm Prediction Center has issued a highlighted risk of severe weather potential across parts of the Central US on Friday. Stay tuned...

Severe Threat Friday
According to NOAA's SPC, there is a highlighted risk of strong to severe storms across parts of the Central US on Friday. While it is yet too early to tell what types of impacts maybe felt here, it is important to note that this late week system does look a little more potent and certainly could bring more widespread strong to severe storms to the region as we approach next weekend. 
7 Day Precipitation Forecast
Here's NOAA's WPC 7 day precipitation forecast, which suggests areas of heavy rain across parts of Texas once again where heavy rain and flooding impacted the region last week. It does appear that heavier precipitation could fall across the northern tier of the nation and also along the West Coast as we head through mid month.
"Airborne NASA scientists just filmed something troubling in Greenland"
"Scientists aboard a NASA airplane swooped over some of Greenland's largest glaciers on Monday, spotting melted ice and raging rivers. It's significant, because though it's not nearly summer, large blue ponds have already formed on the icy ground. NASA’s Operation IceBridge researchers observed this as part of their mission to watch for changes in Earth’s giant masses of polar ice. Greenland, in particular, has been melting at an accelerated rate for some two decades. "Although the story of the summer of 2019 in Greenland hasn’t yet been written, it's starting on a worrying note," said Joe MacGregor, the project scientist for Operation IceBridge. MacGregor is on land in the U.S., but his IceBridge colleague, glaciologist Brooke Medley, captured footage of the early melt creating big pools of water, seen below. "

"Britain Just Went a Week Without Coal For the First Time in 137 Years"
"Coal may have helped birth the Industrial Revolution in Britain, but the nation is working hard to leave it behind. And it just hit a big milestone: This marks the first time since 1882 that Britain has run a week without coal. National Grid, the electric company that provides power for Britain, announced the milestone on Tuesday in a tweet. The milestone is largely symbolic, but reflects how the world can increasingly operate without the dirtiest fossil fuel. The last belch of coal-fueled power in Britain came on May 1 around 1 p.m. local time. Since then, wind, solar, and natural gas have kept business going as usual. According to the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the country has gone without coal for 1,000 hours this year, or a little more than 41 calendar days."

"This Is the Most Important Place to Apply Sunscreen (and You Probably Aren’t Doing It)"
"By now we’re pros at wearing SPF every day. We even get those sneaky spots, like the tops of our ears and hairline. So we admit we got a little worried when we found out we were still missing the most important spot of all: our eyelids. According to the British Journal of Ophthalmology, five to ten percent of skin cancers occur on the eyelid. (Eek!) And thanks to a new study published by PLOS One, we now know that that delicate patch of skin is also the same place where we’re most likely to skip sun protection. To find out, a team of University of Liverpool researchers had a group of 84 people apply SPF moisturizer how they normally would, then took pictures of their faces with UV-sensitive cameras. They found that people missed their eyelids across the board (which, at less than one millimeter thick, are the thinnest spots of skin on your body). *cue internal panic*

Thanks for checking in and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX

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