Warm Saturday Ahead!
On April 5th, MSP warmed to 85F, which is the warmest day of the year so far. With that being said, we could potentially see our warmest day of the year on Saturday with highs reaching the mid/upper 80s across the southern half of the state, which will be nearly +15F to +25F above average for early May. With warm, dry and somewhat breezy weather conditions in place across the region, fire weather concerns will be at elevated levels across parts of the state.
Twin Cities April Summary
The Twin Cities weather summary for April, showed temps finishing only slightly above average. Total precipitation was also pretty close to average with snowfall amounts running below average by nearly -2.0".
Saturday Weather Outlook For Minneapolis
Here's a closer look at our Saturday weather for Minneapolis, which shows temps warming into the 80s by the afternoon, which will be very warm for the first day of May. We'll have a mix of sun and clouds with a decent breeze.
Here are the meteorgrams for Minneapolis on Saturday. Note that temps will warm quickly into the 70s by midday with reading topping out in the 80s by the afternoon. West to southwestern winds will be gusty up to 15mph to 20mph at times.
Somewhat Soggy Sunday Ahead
Saturday will be a very warm day across the region with weather conditions turning a little unsettled Saturday night into Sunday. Scattered showers and storms will be possible late weekend with a few pockets of heavy rain, mainly south and east of the Twin Cities.
Precipitation Potential Through Monday
Here's the precipitation potential through Monday, which shows some of the heaviest south and east of the Twin Cities metro. Some spots in Iowa and Wisconsin could see close to 1" of rain through early next week.
Sunday Weather Outlook
Sunday will still be a fairly mild day across the region, but it won't be quite as warm as it will be on Saturday. There will also be scattered showers and a few thunderstorms across the state with pockets of locally heavy rains.
Extended Temperature Outlook
Here's the extended temperature and weather outlook over the next 5 to 7 days in the Twin Cities. Highs this weekend will be warmer than average and especially on Saturday, where readings will only be a few degrees away from records. Next week, temps will be back down below average with highs only warming into the lower 60s.
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.
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.
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 27, 2021 - Spring leaf out has arrived in all but the most northern and highest elevation parts of 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 arrived days to weeks early across much of the northern Great Plains, Midwest, and Northeast. Spring bloom has arrived in the southern half of the country. 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."
Extended Temperature Outlook
Here's the ECMWF & GFS extended temperature outlook for Minneapolis over the next couple of weeks. Temps will be quite warm this weekend, but note that we might spend several days in the 50s and lower 60s, which will be below average for the early part of May. Temps looks to rebound a bit once we get closer to mid month. 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 across the northern tier of the nation, while warmer than average temps will be found across the southern tier of the nation.
More June 1 Than May 1 Today
By Paul Douglas
"Keep your face always toward the sunshine and the shadows will fall behind you" wrote Walt Whitman. April 2021 did not produce a surplus of shadows across Minnesota. According to The Minnesota State Climatology Office, the MSP metro saw the 8th cloudiest April since 1963.
Over the span of my 45 year career I've gotten more consumer complaints about a lack of sun vs. a lack of warmth. Many (most?) Minnesotans prefer sunny and cool to lukewarm and gray. We all need our vitamin D.
Mother Nature injects a sunny spring in our step today with highs near 80F under a partly sunny sky. Time to hit the lakes, links, parks and trails. Remember, we're living in a big resort.
Showers bubble up Sunday ahead of the next inevitable cool front with a run of 50s and 60s next week; cooler than average once again. NOAA models show more70s and even 80s returning by mid-May. That would be nice.
For the record temperatures and rainfall were close to average in April, with only a half inch of snow. I call that progress.
SATURDAY: Warm sunshine. Winds: W 8-13. High: 87.
SATURDAY NIGHT: Slight chance of a T-Shower overnight. Winds: NE 10. Low: 60.
SUNDAY: Cooler with showers, possible storms. Winds: NE 7-12. High: 68.
MONDAY: Cloudy, breezy and cool. Winds: N 10-20. Wake-up: 47. High: 57.
TUESDAY: Partly sunny and pleasant. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 42. High: 62.
WEDNESDAY: Clouds increase. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 41. High: 57.
THURSDAY: Windy with a few showers. Winds: NW 15-25. Wake-up: 39. High: 53.
FRIDAY: More clouds than sun, still cool. Winds: N 8-13. Wake-up: 38. High: 50.
This Day in Weather History
1966: Winter makes a last stab at Minnesota with a low of 5 at Cook. A widespread freeze hits the rest of the state.
1935: An unusually late snow and ice storm hits east central Minnesota. The heaviest ice accumulations are between St. Paul and Forest Lake and westward to Buffalo in Wright County, with accumulations of 1 to 1.5 inches on wires. The downtown Minneapolis weather bureau records 3 inches of snow.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
Average High: 65F (Record: 91F set in 1959)
Average Low: 44F (Record: 25F set in 1907)
Record Rainfall: 1.26" set in 1983
Record Snowfall: 3.0" set in 1935
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Hours of Daylight: ~14 hours & 17 minutes
Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 2 minutes & 43 seconds
Daylight GAINED since Winter Solstice (December 21st): ~ 5 hours & 53minutes
Moon Phase for May 1st at Midnight
1.5 Days Before Last Quarter Moon
What's in the Night Sky?
"Live in the Northern Hemisphere? If so, May 2021 presents your best month this year for spotting the planet Mercury – the solar system's innermost planet, sometimes called the most elusive planet – in the evening sky. You can also catch Mercury from the Southern Hemisphere, though the view won't be as favorable as at more northerly latitudes. From the Southern Hemisphere, the year's best evening apparition of Mercury will be coming in September 2021. No matter where you live worldwide, however, you'll want to find an unobstructed horizon in the direction of sunset to maximize your chances of catching Mercury. Mercury, the innermost planet of the solar system, isn't difficult to spot because it's dim. Rather, Mercury often eludes detection, because sits low in the west at sunset and then follows the sun beneath the horizon before true darkness falls. In other words, you have to catch Mercury near the sunset point on the horizon as evening dusk is giving way to nightfall. Mercury shines at its brightest for the month in early May, and then slowly dims each day thereafter. Throughout the first week of May, Mercury actually shines at a negative magnitude, or brighter than a 1st-magnitude star. (Like in golf, where negative means a better score, a negative magnitude in astronomy indicates a brighter object.) But even as Mercury dims, it climbs farther away from the sun each day, to reach its greatest elongation from the sun on May 17, 2021. At that time, Mercury's brilliance will match that of 1st-magnitude star."
National High Temps Saturday
The weather outlook on Saturday shows warmer than average temps from the the Desert Southwest through the Central Rockies and into the Upper Midwest. This mild weather will be ahead a storm system that will bring more unsettled weather to the Central US late weekend and into early next week.
National Weather Outlook
The weather outlook through 7PM Sunday scattered showers and storms moving into the Central US as we head into late weekend / early next week. Some of the storms could be strong to severe with locally heavy rainfall.
Extended Precipitation Outlook
The extended precipitation outlook over the next 7 days shows widespread heavy rainfall across the Southern US, where localized flooding can't be ruled out. Meanwhile, much of the Southwest will remain dry.
Extended Snowfall Outlook
Here's the extended snowfall outlook into next week, areas of snowfall continuing across the spine of the Rockies.
"The Wind and Solar Boom Is Here"
Just one word, Benjamin: Solar. Well, actually, one more: Wind. The sun, the air and the chemistry to bottle their limitless power — it's looking more and more as if these constitute the world's next great technological advance, a leap as life-changing for many of us as was aviation, the internet or, of course, plastics. Faster than many thought possible, and despite long doubt about renewable energy's practicality, a momentous transformation is now well underway. We are moving from a global economy fueled primarily by climate-warming fossil fuels to one in which we will cleanly pluck most of our energy out of water, wind and the fire in the sky. People who study energy markets say that economics alone ensures our eventual transition to clean fuels, but that policy choices by the governments can speed it up. Last October, the International Energy Agency declared solar power to be the cheapest new form of electricity in many places around the world, and in particularly favorable locations, solar is now "the cheapest source of electricity in history."
"NASA EXPERIMENT REVEALS A POWERFUL NATURAL FORCE CLEANS THE ATMOSPHERE"
"OVER TWO SUMMER DAYS IN JUNE 2012, a NASA aircraft called DC-8 daringly flew at a speed of 200 meters per second through deep clouds and threw itself into the eye of a tumultuous thunderstorm. DC-8 undertook this harrowing journey for one primary purpose: to understand lightning's ability to clean Earth's atmosphere. The specific kinds of measurements performed here "are the first-ever in thunderstorms," William H. Brune tells Inverse. Brune is one of the authors of a new study detailing DC-8's findings and a professor of meteorology at Pennsylvania State University. What the craft found on this intrepid journey could change the course of atmospheric science as we know it. But more immediately, these measurements hold some pretty strange implications for how we can best face the climate crisis."
"What it takes to chase the world's most violent storms"
"Few hobbies are more extreme than storm chasing. It's a seemingly crazy endeavor that pays off with a chance to bask in the raw power of the most powerful and violent storms on Earth. Successful storm chasing demands hardcore data analysis and the wisdom to know what risks to take. Doing it well can yield a chance to experience something magnificent, whether a tornado flanked by a rainbow, or a towering supercell storm that resembles a flying saucer. Slipping up can mean missing the storm or, more seriously, putting yourself in danger. A tornado and a rainbow appeared simultaneously near one Texas town on Friday At its root, storm chasing is as much an art as it is a science, requiring a skill set that gets honed only after years of experience. It blends forecasting and interpretation of the sky with the need for expert navigation. It's a test of endurance and temptation. You want to get close — but not too close. Behind every successful (or unsuccessful) storm chase comes days of planning built on years of past instances of trial and error. For many, seeing a tornado is the ultimate prize, but sculpted clouds, vivid lightning and curtains of rain can also provide quite a show. Here's a timeline of what a "typical" chase looks like and entails — though in the world of storm chasing, there's no such thing as typical."