Major Snow for the Upper Midwest

The National Weather Service in the Twin Cities has issued a Winter Storm Watch across part of the state and region in advance of a major winter storm that will impact the region Wednesday through Friday. There is the potential of 6" to 12"+ snowfall totals and up to 50mph wind gusts.

Weather Outlook
Here's a look at our latest storm system as it slides through the Upper Midwest from Wednesday to Friday. Areas of heavy snow will be possible on the colder side of the storm. Some of the snow could tally up to 12" or more with very stong winds, which could lead to blizzard conditions in a few locations. 

Latest on the Winter Storm
"A powerful storm will bring a combination of rain, a wintry mix, and heavy snow to southern MN, central MN, and west central WI. #mnwx #wiwx"

Plowable Snow This Week?

Here's the ECMWF and GFS outlook from Monday, which shows a fairly consistent swath across the southern half of the state, which includes the Twin Cities metro. Some spots could see more than a foot starting late Wednesday through Friday. Keep in mind that winds will be quite strong so blizzard conditions can't be ruled out for some.


Top April Snows for MSP

Here's a look at the top April snows at MSP in recorded history. Note that the heaviest was 15.8" set last year during the April 2018 blizzard. 


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. 

See more from Journey North HERE:

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."

"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. 

"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!"

Listen to the full report from KAXE HERE:


Pollen Levels on the Rise!

AHH CHOO! Oh boy... Spring allergy sufferers are in rough shape right now as pollen levels are running high. High levles will continue on Tuesday, but thanks to a potential major winter storm, pollen levels will subside as we head into the 2nd half of the week.


Weather Outlook Tuesday

High temps on Tuesady will be quite a bit cooler than it was on Monday. Readings will range from the 30s across the far northern part of the state to the mid 50s across the far southern part of the state. With that said, we'll be nearly -5F to -15F below average on Tuesady.

Temperature Outlook Ahead
After a very mild Monday, we take a major temperature dip during the second half of the week. Hight temps will drop into the 30s as a major winter storm unfolds with areas of heavy snow across the region. The extended forecast suggests high temps warming into the 40s and 50s as we head into the 2nd half of the month. 

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, but interestingly, Lake Hiawatha in the Twin Cities went out on April 6ht, which actually the average ice out date for that lake.

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

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!

Seasonal Snowfall

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.

22nd Snowiest Season on Record
67.3" of snow has fallen this season at the MSP Airport, which is the 22nd snowiest season on record! Note that the snowiest season was during the 1983-1984 when 98.6" of snow fell!
Latest Snow Depth
Here's the latest snow depth from across the region. Lots of snow has melted across the region over the last several weeks, but folks across the northern half of the state still have some melting to do. With milder temps in the forecast, expect those leftover piles to continue dwindling in size.
Temperature Outlook
According to NOAA's CPC, the temperature outlook from April 16th - 22nd looks cooler than average across parts of the High Plains and Northern Rockies, while folks in the Southeast and Southwest look to be warmer than average.
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.

"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."

Why Minnesota Springs Are An Acquired Taste
By Paul Douglas
They say lightning never strikes the same place twice? They would be wrong. My blood pressure is just now receding after the 15.7 inches of snow that plastered the MSP metro April 13-15, 2018. "A fluke, an cosmic aberration - at least THAT won't happen again anytime soon!" I may or may not have been quoted as saying. "The odds are slim to nil!" Excuse me while I walk that one back.
A long duration snow event is brewing from Wednesday into Friday, mixed with ice at times, but the lowest 1-2 miles of the atmosphere should be cold enough for snow and sleet. By the time snow tapers on Friday 6-12" of heavy, wet, cement-like slush may be lurking in your yard. Thursday should be the worst travel day, with low visibility as snow mixes with ice. Have a Plan B.
Here's the thing: with a high April sun angle any snow that falls will melt rapidly. Believe it or not, most of it will be gone by early next week. Which means another surge of water into our streams & rivers.
We're not out of the woods yet in terms of flooding. Check the blog for updates.

Extended Forecast

TUESDAY: Not as warm. Clouds increase late. Winds: ENE 5-10. Wake-up: 40. High:53.

TUESDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and quiet. Winds: W 5-10. Low: 42.

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.

SUNDAY: Lingering AM T-showers. PM clearing. Winds: WSW 5-10. High: 64.

MONDAY: Mild sunshine. Few showers up north. Winds: WNW 5-10. High: 67.

This Day in Weather History
April 9th

1931: Severe dust storms are reported in St. Paul.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis
April 9th

Average High: 55F (Record: 81F set in 1930)
Average Low: 34F (Record: 15F set in 1997)

Record Rainfall: 0.75" set in 1919
Record Snowfall: 5.5" set in 1894

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
April 9th

Sunrise: 6:39am
Sunset: 7:50pm

Hours of Daylight: ~13 hours & 11 minutes

Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 3 minutes & 4 seconds
Daylight GAINED since winter solstice (December 21st): ~4 hours and 26 minutes

Moon Phase for April 9th at Midnight
Days Before First Quarter Moon

See more from Space HERE:


What's in the Night Sky?

According to 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."

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.
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 5th suggests that there have been a total of 189, which below the 2005-2015 short term average of 252.

Weather Outlook Tuesday
Here's a look at high temps across the naiton on Tuesday, which shows warmer than average temps across much of the central and southern part of the country.  

National Weather Outlook
The weather outlook through the middle part of the week shows another major storm developing across the Northwest and Midwest. This storm will be responsible for areas of heavy rain, severe storms and wet, heavy snow across the region. Keep in mind that winds will be quite strong, so blizzard-like conditions can't be ruled out for some. This storm could certainly dump up to a foot of snow or more across parts of the Upper Midwest through the end of the week. 

7 Day Precipitation Forecast
According to NOAA's WPC, the 7 day precipitation forecast suggests areas of heavy precipitation across the Upper Midwest and also across the Lower Mississippi Valley. Some spots could see several inches of liquid through the next 7 days. 

"What Would Happen If There Was No Moon"
"What would happen if there was no moon? It’s a complicated question with some surprising answers. If Earth had no moon because it just disappeared, things actually wouldn’t change a great deal right away. The tides would change, the night sky would be darker, and a whole lot of animals would be seriously confused. But if we had no moon, humanity would still survive quite nicely for a long, long time before feeling any significant impact. But what if there was no moon because of a moon explosion? What if Earth had no moon because Earth blew it up? Both hypothetical scenarios yield some fascinating results – one is just a whole lot messier than the other. Read on to learn what would really happen if there was no moon."

See more from Florida Time HERE:


"A 65.5-Foot Asteroid As Large As The Famous Chelyabinsk Meteor Darted Past Earth At Nearly 39,000"

"The space rock was discovered just two days ago and passed by our planet at less than two times the distance to the moon. On Saturday, two different asteroids wandered through our corner of the solar system, buzzing planet Earth from a close, but perfectly safe, distance. One of today’s celestial visitors was asteroid 2019 FV, which managed to approach within 3.5 million miles of Earth, or nearly 15 times the distance to the moon. Per a previous report from The Inquisitr, 2019 FV skimmed past the planet at 9:33 a.m. ET. Several hours before that, Earth was visited by another space rock – the very recently discovered asteroid 2019 GU1, which managed to creep in a lot closer to our home world."

See more from Inquisitr HERE:


"Air temperatures in the Arctic are driving system change"

"A new paper shows that air temperature is the "smoking gun" behind climate change in the Arctic, according to John Walsh, chief scientist for the UAF International Arctic Research Center. "The Arctic system is trending away from its 20th century state and into an unprecedented state, with implications not only within but beyond the Arctic," according to lead author Jason Box of the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland in Copenhagen."

See more from HERE:


"Climate Preparation Report Released by Panel Previously Disbanded by Trump"

"The panel, which provides guidance on climate change to communities, was reconstituted by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. A climate science advisory panel disbanded by the Trump administration released a report today outlining the steps communities can take to prepare for climate change. In 2017, the Trump administration dissolved the federal Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment. Its purpose was to translate climate science in the National Climate Assessment into usable guidance for local governments and private companies. The panel was reconstituted by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and includes members from academia, corporations and the government. Twelve of the original 15 members, along with eight additional experts, spent a year preparing the report, called "Evaluating Knowledge to Support Climate Action." It's designed to help local officials incorporate the latest climate science in their planning."
"After hurricanes, U.S. beach homes are rebuilt bigger"
"When it comes to houses in the U.S., bigger is often seen as better. A new study looking at the recovery of real estate after major hurricanes has found that this trend also applies to beach houses rebuilt in vulnerable locations after damaging storms. Using before and after satellite imagery of coastal communities hit by hurricanes between 2003 and 2012, a team led by Eli Lazarus of the University of Southampton in England demonstrated a trend of “building back bigger” in coastal zones known to be at risk from extreme winds and storm surges. “This practice intensifies risk by exposing increasingly high-value property to repeated damage,” he says. “This in turn puts a greater strain on the funding of subsidized insurance programs for properties in at-risk areas.” The study, published in Nature Sustainability, focused on beach communities located on developed barrier islands and beaches in five states on the U.S. East and Gulf coasts, including Mantoloking, N.J., Hatteras and Frisco, N.C., Santa Rosa Island, Fla., Dauphin Island, Ala., and Bolivar, Texas. “We tried to set up a spectrum of beach communities, in different states, with different socioeconomic settings, all subjected to different local planning rules, all damaged by different storms,” he says. “The fact that there’s this systematic pattern of building back bigger despite local variations tells us … how powerful this pattern really is.”

"Snowflakes are making the Arctic warm faster by acting like a blanket"
"Falling snowflakes in the Arctic are trapping extra heat, which could be enough to speed up the melting of sea ice. The effect could mean Arctic seas become ice-free up to 20 years earlier than expected. “It’s counter-intuitive because we think of snowflakes as being cold, but they’re slow-falling ice particles that act like blankets,” says Frank Li of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Sea ice in the Arctic tends to melt faster than forecast."


"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."

See more from Inverse HERE:


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