Twin Cities April Summary So Far

Here's the Twin Cities weather summary through the first half of April. Note that temps are still running nearly +5.5F above average. We're also running nearly +0.36" above average in the precipitation department and more than -1" below average in the snowfall department.

Improving Drought Conditions Around the State

Take a look at the drought comparison around the state of Minnesota from April 11th vs March 23rd. Note that just a few weeks ago, the entire state was either abnormally dry or dealing with moderate drought. Since then, we've had quite a few days of rain and even snow, which has helped recharge the soil moisture across much of the state, for now. There are still a few areas in the northwestern and southwestern part of the state that are still dealing with drought.

Spring Precipitation Since March 1st

Take a look at how much precipitation we've seen since across the region since the beginning of Meteorological Spring (March 1st). The top spot on the map is St. Cloud with 5.18"; the Sioux Falls, The Twin Cities and Duluth have seen nearly 4.50" since March 1st. Meanwhile, folks in

Precipitation Since April 1st

Here's how much precipitation we've seen so far this April. Note that some of the heaviest has been across the central and northern part of Minnesota with widespread 1" to 2" + tallies, including the Twin Cities. International Falls has had more than 3" of precipitation so far this month with more on the way PM Sunday into Monday.

Sunday Weather Outlook For Minneapolis

Here's a closer look at our weather conditions for Minneapolis on Sunday, which shows high temps warming into the low 60s during the afternoon hours. Winds will turn a bit breezy through the day as a cold front approaches from the northwest.

Sunday Meteograms

Here are the meteorgrams for Minneapolis on Sunday, which show temps warming quickly into the 50s by mid/late morning and into the lower 60s through the afternoon. Keep in mind that a cold front will be approaching from the northwest, so clouds and wind gusts will be on the increase and the front gets closer later in the day. Wind gusts could exceed 20mph during the 2nd half of the day.

Dry Start With Rain/Snow Possible PM Sunday

The weather outlook for Sunday shows fairly mild temps across the southern half of the state with readings warming into the low/mid 60s. However, folks in the northern part of the state will be dealing with areas of rain/snow as a front quickly approaches from the NW. This front will also be responsible for cooler temps, which will drop high temps into the 40s, nearly -10F to -15F below average for places like Grand Forks and Roseau.

Simulated Radar AM Sunday - AM Monday

Take a look at the simulated radar from AM Sunday to AM Monday. A cold front is expected to push south through the day and is set to impact the Twin Cities around or after 7PM with areas of rain. Rain could mix with snow overnight in a few spots, but no major snow accumulations are expected.

Total Precipitation

Here's the precipitation potential through AM Tuesday, which shows light accumulations as the cold front pushes through. Some of the heaviest is expected along the international border with some 0.25" + tallies possible, but less than 0.10" can be expected in the Twin Cities through AM Monday.

Minor Snowfall Potential

Again, little to no snowfall accumulation is expected in the Twin Cities, but there could be a slushy inch or so in the extreme northeastern part of the state.

MUCH Colder Monday Ahead

Post cold front on Monday, temperatures will be nearly -20F colder than average with highs only warming into the 30s and 40s. Keep in mind that gusty NW winds will keep feels like temps in the low/mid 30s through much of the day.

Extended Temperature Outlook

Here's the extended temperature and weather outlook over the next 5 to 7 days in the Twin Cities. Note that highs on Sunday will warm into the lower 60s, which will only be a few degrees warmer than average for this time of the year. However, post cold front on Monday and Tuesday, temps will only warm into the low/mid 40s, which will be nearly -15F to -20F below average. We'll see temps gradually warm through the week with temps approaching 60F again by the weekend.

Ice Out on Long Lake in Longville, MN

Thanks to Shawn Bechtold for the picture below, who is reporting ice out on Long Lake in Longville, MN. The ice has been out for almost 2 weeks now, which is about 2 to 3 weeks earlier than normal. Many folks will be putting in docks over the coming weeks, which means boating season has finally arrived in Minnesota! Enjoy it, it goes fast!

2021 Ice Out Dates So Far

According to the MN DNR, most MN Lakes are going ice out nearly 2 weeks earlier than normal this season. Thanks to warmer than normal temps and wetter than normal conditions, quite a few lakes have been going ice out. Leech Lake went ice out on April 9, while the average ice out is on April 28th. Lake Winnibigoshish went ice out on April 8th, while the average ice out is on April 26th. Lake Ver Milion went ice out on April 15th, while the average ice out is on April 20th. Mille Lacs Lake was deemed ice out as of April 7th, while the average ice out date is on April 25th. Upper & Lower Red Lake were ice out as of early April, while the average ice out is late April.

See more from the MN DNR HERE:

Average Ice Out Dates Across the State

Here's a look at the average ice out dates across the state. The orange markers across the southern part of the state indicate average ice out dates typically around the last week of March. We typically see average ice out across parts of central Minnesota and around the Twin Cities during the first couple of weeks of April. Folks across the northern third of the state typically see ice out closer to the start of May.

See more from the MN DNR HERE:

Spring Leaf Index

If you look close, so of your backyard trees and bushes have actually started to show signs of spring leaves emerging. According to the NPN, this is happening nearly 2 to 3 weeks earlier than normal across Minnesota and Wisconsin.

"How do you know when spring has begun? Is it the appearance of the first tiny leaves on the trees, or the first crocus plants peeping through the snow? The First Leaf and First Bloom Indices are synthetic measures of these early season events in plants, based on recent temperature conditions. These models allow us to track the progression of spring onset across the country. April 13, 2021 - Spring leaf out continues to spread north across the country. After arriving early in southern parts of Southwest and Southeast states, cold temperatures halted the progress of spring leaf out for several days across the northern part of the Southeast, Southern Great Plains, and mid-Atlantic. Spring leaf out is now arriving days to weeks early across the northern Great Plains, Midwest, and Northeast. Spring bloom has arrived in Southwest and Southeast states. Spring bloom is patchy, with much of Texas days to weeks late, while parts of Kansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana are days to weeks early."

See more from NPN HERE

GDD Tracker - Crabgrass Preventer

Thanks to Michigan State University, the GDD Tracker tracks optimal times to put out Crabgrass Preventer for specific zip codes based on soil temps around the region. According to their model, areas in green below show that right now is when you should get Crabgrass Preventer out before it starts emerging this spring. Seems a little early, but we had a VERY warm start to April, which has warmed soil temps significantly. Keep in mind that crabgrass germinates when soil temperatures hit about 55°F for 24-48 hours.

See more from Michigan State University GDD Tracker HERE:

Extended Temperature Outlook

Here's the ECMWF & GFS extended temperature outlook for Minneapolis over the next couple of weeks. Temps will be running a little cooler through the week ahead, but according to the GFS, the end of April & first part of May looks to be quite a bit warmer with highs possibly reaching the 70s & 80s ?? Stay tuned!

8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook shows cooler than average temps for late April along and east of the Mississippi River Valley, including the Upper Midwest. However, the Western US looks to stay warmer than average during that time frame

Extended Forecast

SUNDAY: Clouds increase, nighttime showers. Winds: W 8-13. High: 56.

SUNDAY NIGHT: Chance of rain/snow overnight. Winds: NNW 10-15. Low: 38.

MONDAY: A little morning snow? Clouds linger. Winds: W 8-13. High: 56.

TUESDAY: Brisk, more clouds than sun. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 28. High: 42.

WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny and chilly. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 29. High: 45.

THURSDAY: Mix of clouds and sunshine. Winds: SW 8-13. Wake-up: 31. High: 52.

FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy and cool. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 36. High: 55.

SATURDAY: Few sprinkles/flakes late? Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 38. High: 56.

This Day in Weather History

April 18th

2004: A strong cold front whips up winds of up to 55 miles an hour over southern Minnesota. The wind causes black clouds of soil to lift into the air, creating soil erosion and reduced visibility. Some old-timers remarked that it reminded them of the dust storms from the 1930's Dust Bowl era.

2002: Baseball-sized hail falls in Eagan, creating small craters in the soft ground and broken windows in apartments.

1977: A tornado touches down at the mouth of the Minnesota River.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis

April 12th

Average High: 59F (Record: 89F set in 1985)

Average Low: 38F (Record: 21F set in 1953)

Record Rainfall: 1.04" set in 2004

Record Snowfall: 6.4" set in 2013

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis

April 12th

Sunrise: 6:22am

Sunset: 8:02pm

Hours of Daylight: ~13 hours & 40 minutes

Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 2 minutes & 58 seconds

Daylight GAINED since Winter Solstice (December 21st): ~ 5 hours & 16 minutes

Moon Phase for April 18th at Midnight

1.0 Day Before First Quarter Moon

What's in the Night Sky?

"On April 18 and, 19, 2021, you'll find the moon displaying a wide waxing crescent phase and in the vicinity of Castor and Pollux, the two brightest stars in the constellation Gemini the Twins. And there are two other objects to watch for, near the moon, these next few nights. One is Procyon, the brightest star in the constellation Canis Minor the Lesser Dog. The other is the planet Mars, which isn't as bright as the brightest stars now, but perhaps still noticeable for its reddish color. Both Procyon and Mars might hard to pick out without the help of tonight's moon, or a good constellation chart. On the other hand, Castor and Pollux are extremely noticeable in the night sky, moon or no moon. No other two such bright stars appear so close together. Regardless of the seeming connection between these two stars, Castor and Pollux aren't close together in space. They just happen to reside along the same line of sight from Earth. Both Castor and Pollux are bright stars, and they've been known as Twins for centuries at least. But they don't really look alike. Pollux is golden in color, and Castor is pure white. If you have binoculars, they'll help you to more easily distinguish the color contrast between Castor and Pollux. Also, Castor and Pollux are different kinds of stars. Castor is a hot, white-colored star that is well known for being a multiple star system. It consists of three pairs of binary stars, that is, six stars bound together in an intricate gravitational dance. Pollux is a cool and bloated orange-colored star, said to be the closest giant star to Earth. A star with the mass of our sun swells up into a giant in its old age. But astronomers assure us that our sun won't become a giant for another 5 billion years or so."

See more from Earth Sky HERE:

National High Temps Sunday

Here's the weather outlook on Sunday, which shows temps running below average by nearly -5F to -15F in the Central US. Meanwhile, folks along the West Coast will be quite a bit above average and possibly even into record warmth territory in California.

Record Highs Possible Sunday

Here's a look at the record high potential on Sunday, which will be possible through the Central Valley and across the southwestern part of the state.

National Forecast Map For Sunday

The weather map on Sunday shows a fairly potent cold front moving into the northern tier of the nation with areas of rain and snow.

National Weather Outlook

Here's the weather outlook through Monday, which shows the fairly potent cold front pushing south of the international border and into the Central US by midweek. Areas of rain and snow will be possible, but there could also be some decent accumulations along the Front Range and across parts of the mid-section of the nation.

Extended Precipitation Outlook

The extended precipitation outlook over the next 7 days shows areas of heavy rains across parts of the Gulf Coast States, where areas of Flash Flooding maybe possible into early next week. Meanwhile, much of the Western US will remain dry.

Extended Snowfall Outlook

Here's the extended snowfall outlook through the week ahead. Areas of heavy snow will be possible through the Rockies, Front Range and through parts of the Central US, Ohio Valley and Great Lakes Region.

Climate Stories

"Tracking La Soufrière's Plume"

"Of the 45 currently erupting volcanoes on Earth, La Soufrière is among those that worry volcanologists the most. Unlike the slow-moving lava that many onlookers have admired flowing from Fagradalsfjall in Iceland, La Soufrière has an explosive and erratic eruption style. What began as a dome of goopy lava slowly pushing from the summit crater in December 2020 has turned into something much more dangerous: several explosive blasts rocked La Soufrière and the Caribbean island of St. Vincent starting on April 9, 2021. Volcanic plumes that reach and linger in the stratosphere can start to exert a cooling influence on global temperatures. "The current thinking is that a volcano needs to inject at least 5 teragrams of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere to have measurable climate impacts," explained Michigan Tech volcanologist Simon Carn. After about a week of explosive eruptions, satellite measurements show La Soufriere has delivered about 0.4 - 0.6 teragrams of sulfur dioxide to the upper atmosphere. That is already more than any other Caribbean volcano has produced during the satellite era. Those numbers could increase if the eruption continues. "Moderate eruptions are also far more numerous than the really huge ones, so the cumulative effects of such eruptions can be significant over time," added NASA climatologist Ralph Kahn."

See more from NASA's Earth Observatory HERE:

"Climate Emergency Stymies Forecasts of Local Disaster Risks"

"After a record-setting year for hurricanes and wildfires, the insurance industry is grappling with the role of our climate emergency in estimating local disaster damages. The 2020 wildfire and hurricane seasons broke records, with wildfires burning more than 10 million acres in the U.S. and 30 named storms roaring through the Atlantic Ocean. From the standpoint of the insurance industry, however, they could have been worse. Most of the year's storms struck sparsely populated areas, and the overall cost of the insured losses from natural catastrophes in the country rang up a relatively modest $81 billion. That divergence in viewpoints was a wake-up call for Swiss Re, a firm that insures insurance companies, thereby reducing the risk that entities such as State Farm face from an influx of claims after a major disaster. This coverage, called reinsurance, is a cost to insurance companies that can ultimately trickle down to the individual consumers and businesses that buy policies. According to insurance broker Risk Placement Services, reinsurance rates increased last year. And insurance companies need the backup: after the winter storm that struck Texas and Oklahoma in February, Allstate reportedly had to tap into its reinsurance coverage to pay for losses."

See more from Scientific American HERE:

"Climate Migration Has Come to the United States"

"After living through a spate of record-breaking wildfires, some Californians are opting to leave the state. In September of 2020, California was in the midst of a record-setting heat wave. The hot and dry conditions fueled fires all over the state, and smoke from wildfires hundreds of miles away hung over the Bay Area for weeks. Andrew Kornblatt woke up one morning at his home in Berkeley to find that the air had grown cool and still, and the sky was an eerie orange. "It hit at the lizard brain part of your noggin, trying to tell you to just run," Kornblatt said. "And you're thinking to yourself, well where are you going to go with this flight response?" By November, Kornblatt and his wife, who both grew up in the Bay Area, had left California for Oregon. They're hardly alone. At least 57 percent of Americans believe that weather- or climate-related events will influence their future moving decisions, according to a recent study published in Climatic Change. "We've never asked this kind of question before in the context of the United States. Because climate-induced migration has always been discussed in the context of the global south," said Byungdoo Kim, a doctoral candidate in environmental communication at Cornell University and lead author of the study. "But recently, we've been through a lot here in the United States." It's not just California. The entire Southwest is getting hotter and more arid. The Northwest is seeing wetter winters, but drier, more fire-prone summers. Sea level rise is leading to more flooding along the East Coast. And the Midwest is facing more intense heat waves, heavy rainstorms, and the spread of disease-carrying insects like mosquitoes and ticks."

See more from HERE:

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