March Ends Like A Lion With Rain And Snowstorm

Forecast loop from 7 PM Thursday Night to 7 AM Saturday.

Thursday Night:

  • In the metro and southward: Rain will mostly fall across these areas with a few occasional thunderstorms. A few storms could be strong out in southwestern Minnesota with hail the main threat.
  • Icing Corridor Across Western/Central Minnesota: A band of mixed precipitation and freezing rain will set up that could bring up to a quarter inch of ice for some. This is generally expected through Friday morning.
  • Northern Minnesota Snow. Head north of that icing band and precipitation will generally be in the form of snow for northern Minnesota.

Friday: While there may be a little lull in precipitation Friday morning, precipitation will quickly get going again heading toward the midday hours.

  • Again, precipitation could be mostly rain during the daytime hours in the metro (including a thunder potential), with more of a changeover to a mix and then quickly snow as we head toward sunset and the overnight hours. I don't think we can rule out some thundersnow overnight either, as snow into the overnight hours will be heavy with 1"+ per hour rates possible.
  • I'm a little concerned that we could still see some mixed precipitation or icing across central Minnesota during the daytime hours before enough cold air rushes in to change it to all snow later in the afternoon.
  • A few strong storms will be possible in southeastern Minnesota.

A general band of 1-5" of snow is expected across northern Minnesota through early Friday morning with the first round of precipitation - with the heaviest falling along portions of the North Shore, including Duluth. With the second round of snow Friday into Friday Night. a band of at least 2-6" is expected to set up across central and southern Minnesota. Isolated 8" amounts are possible, especially in far western Minnesota as well as from the metro eastward into western Wisconsin. This will be a heavy, wet snow.

At least 0.1" to 0.2" of icing could fall across portions of western and central Minnesota through Thursday Night. These totals above are for the entire storm; while I can't rule out some additional icing tomorrow, most of this will fall through Friday morning as colder air should start to take over for the second round tomorrow. This amount of icing will certainly cause slick surfaces.

Not only are we tracking that heavy snow later Friday into Friday night, but winds will also be increasing across the region. Wind gusts up to 50 mph in spots will be possible at times, causing reduced visibility (including whiteout/blizzard conditions) due to blowing snow. Drifting snow will also be a possibility. Some of the strongest winds are expected during the evening and overnight hours.

As of Thursday evening, we continue to watch Winter Weather Advisories through Friday morning for the potential of icing (central Minnesota) and snow (northern Minnesota). Winter Storm Watches are in place from Friday afternoon to Saturday morning for the second round of snow and, in some locations, blizzard conditions. Blizzard Warnings, though, have already been issued for parts of the Dakotas and western Minnesota.

As mentioned, a few strong storms will be possible in southeastern Minnesota Friday, which is where we have a Slight Risk of severe weather. Hail, strong winds, and maybe an isolated tornado will be possible - but there will be a greater threat to the south for severe weather.

Here's a look at your Friday across the state. It'll be precipitation-free up in Roseau! But highs there will barely make it to the low 30s. Meanwhile, it'll be in the 50s (dare I say it, maybe even a spare 60F) in southeastern Minnesota where that strong storm threat is.


First 50F Of 2023 Possible This Weekend

Blustery weather continues into the weekend, but we do still see the potential first 50F of the year as we head toward Sunday!

Saturday: Some patchy blowing snow will still be around in the morning hours, otherwise, we will see conditions gradually become sunny with highs in the mid-30s. Winds will be strongest in the morning hours with gusts to 30 mph, decreasing in the afternoon.

Sunday: A morning shower or flurry may be around, otherwise, cloudy skies are expected with that potential first 50F of 2023. Winds will be breezy out with gusts to 30 mph.


More Precipitation Next Week?

Six-hour expected precipitation between 7 AM Tuesday and 7 AM next Thursday.

The active weather doesn't necessarily look to end soon, as already on our radar is another system for the middle of next week. This one looks to be another messy Spring Storm, with temperatures playing a big role whether locations see rain, snow, or some sort of a mix/icy weather. Way too early for details, especially with the system impacting us through the end of the week taking priority, but it'll be another one to keep an eye on.


Record Lows From Wednesday Morning

Meanwhile, we did see some record lows Wednesday morning up in northern Minnesota, as parts of the state dipped into the teens below zero.


No April Fool's Joke: Plowable Tonight?
By Paul Douglas

Hello, I'm Paul. Friends call me Doug, but that's a long story and we don't have much time. Here, have a seat. Relax. Tell me about the bouts of weather-rage you're experiencing? How are you coping with the persistent glacier in your yard? Any plans to vacation in Iowa? I feel your pain. This is why I often loiter at the isobar after work. Inside joke - sorry.

What a mess. Rain today, maybe a rumble of thunder spilling into Friday, as a powerful storm tracks south of Minnesota. A tornado outbreak is likely as close as eastern Iowa and Illinois later today. We are on the cold, northern side of the storm with rain ending as accumulating snow tonight. After dark we lose the sun's UV radiation and snow will stick, with 3-6" of heavy, wet, sloppy snow. A few southern/eastern suburbs may pick up 8" or more, with a foot for southeastern Minnesota.

After flirting with 50F Sunday the next (stronger) storm arrives Tuesday with an icy mix. A few inches for the metro - but over a foot for central MN? Yikes.


Paul's Extended Twin Cities Forecast

FRIDAY: Rain. 3-6+" slush tonight. Wake up 35. High 40. Chance of precipitation 90%. Wind NE 15-25 mph.

SATURDAY: Flurries taper, skies clear. Wake up 23. High 37. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind NW 10-20 mph.

SUNDAY: Breezy and milder with drizzle. Wake up 25. High 49. Chance of precipitation 60%. Wind SW 10-20 mph.

MONDAY: Mostly cloudy and dry. Wake up 32. High 45. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind NW 7-12 mph.

TUESDAY: High winds. Rain/ice/snow mix. Wake up 34. High 38. Chance of precipitation 90%. Wind E 20-40 mph.

WEDNESDAY: Very windy with blowing snow. Wake up 25. High 37. Chance of precipitation 70%. Wind NW 20-40 mph.

THURSDAY: Sunny, brisk Twins Opener. Less wind. Wake up 20. High 39. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind NW 10-20 mph.


Minneapolis Weather Almanac And Sun Data
March 31st

*Length Of Day: 12 hours, 43 minutes, and 28 seconds
*Daylight GAINED Since Yesterday: 3 minutes and 7 seconds

*When do we see 13 Hours of Daylight?: April 6th (13 hours, 2 minutes, 7 seconds)
*When Is The Sunrise At/Before 6:30 AM? April 14th (6:30 AM)
*When Is The Sunset At/After 8 PM? April 17th (8:00 PM)


This Day in Weather History
March 31st

1896: A strong snowstorm dumps 13.5 inches of snow at Maple Plain. Vivid lightning is also in the storm with 10-12 flashes per minute. Visibility was down to less than one block. The high temperature was 57 at Maple Plain the day before.

1843: The low temperature at Ft. Snelling plummets to -11.


National Weather Forecast

The big story on Friday will be an area of low pressure in the center of the nation, producing severe weather across the Mississippi River Valley and blizzard conditions in the Upper Midwest. Mixed precipitation will also be possible in New England. Meanwhile, a system for the Pacific Northwest brings rain and snow.

A foot or more of snow could fall through Saturday in some of the western mountains - and will even be possible in parts of the Upper Midwest. 1-3" of rain will be possible in the Pacific Northwest and across parts of the central/eastern United States.

Here's a closer look at expected snow in the Upper Midwest. A band of 6-12" (with isolated higher amounts) is expected through the first part of the weekend from central South Dakota across Minnesota and northern Wisconsin to the U.P. of Michigan.

This system will also bring a sizeable severe weather threat and potential outbreak to the central part of the nation Friday, with two Moderate Risk (threat level 4 of 5) areas. Strong and long-tracked tornadoes, destructive winds, and very large hail will be possible.


Who Suffers From Climate Anxiety? Not Exactly Who You Might Think.

More from Heatmap: "We are living in the Age of the Big Yikes. Climate change is widely accepted as both real and happening now. Many Americans hear news about global warming at least once a week and though projections aren't as dire as they once were, they're still extremely not great. Half of Americans have been "personally affected" by climate change, and of those, 54% say they have experienced a "reduced quality of life due to weather extremes," a recent survey of 1,000 U.S. adults by Heatmap and Benenson Strategy Group found. Overall, two-thirds of Americans (65%) worry about what climate change will mean for them personally — a common anxiety that the Los Angeles Times has deemed "a normal response to an abnormal situation." A smaller but still substantial subset of Americans — around 15% — further self-identifies as having mental health problems stemming from the effects of climate change, including "anxiety and stress" about current and future events, PTSD, depression, substance abuse, and loneliness and isolation, the Heatmap Climate Poll shows. The distress, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, isn't strongly determined by education level, income, or even ideology: A full quarter of those who say they have mental health problems due to climate change are Republicans (25%, compared to 31% of Democrats and 34% of independents)."

The power used to make green hydrogen must be tracked down to the hour

More from Canary Media: "Ben Gerber, CEO of the Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System, has no doubt that the U.S. government could structure its multibillion-dollar hydrogen tax-credit regime in a way that reduces carbon emissions rather than increases them. That's because his nonprofit, which manages renewable energy certificates that companies use to verify that they're buying clean energy, has already been doing the work that could help make it happen. Since 2019, the Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System has been providing a way to track and validate renewable energy certificates not just on an annual basis — the system that's been used for more than a decade — but down to the hour that the clean energy is produced. Those hourly time stamps are critical pieces of data for companies such as Google, Microsoft and others that are aiming to use 24/7 carbon-free energy, which means matching the clean energy they buy to the energy they consume every hour of every day."

Manchin: Biden admin might 'try to screw me' on EVs

More from E&E News: "Sen. Joe Manchin predicted Wednesday that the Biden administration will interpret new restrictions on electric vehicle tax credits in ways that are too permissive and don't align with the climate change law he wrote last year. The West Virginia Democrat, chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said at a Washington event hosted by energy security advocacy group Securing America's Future Energy and the Electrification Coalition that he would fight for his interpretation of the law, even suing the administration if he has to. "I think they're going to try to screw me on this," Manchin said of the Treasury Department's forthcoming guidance on the tax credit's changes in the Inflation Reduction Act, the law he wrote last year with the goal of boosting U.S. energy security."


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- D.J. Kayser