Friday, March 5, 2010

Fading Sun, Giving Way to Rain?

I am happy to report that after a number of sunny and very mild days, the ice jam at the bottom of my driveway has finally melted. I don't have to throw the vehicle into 4 wheel drive and strap my 8 month old boy into his car seat extra snug anymore trying to get over that mountain of snow and ice at the bottom of the driveway, which seemed to have lingered there for far too long this winter. The only fear I have about this recent warm snap is that fact that we've set the bar extremely high to start the month of March. We muddled through a winter season with stubborn deep snow pack that stuck around for a 'seemingly' unusually long period of time. Again I fear that precedence set in the first few days of the month is going to cause minor panicking when the weather sours. Let us remember that March averages nearly 10.5" of snow, which always seems to slop through during tourney time. Our first blast of mostly 'snowless' weather slides through later today and early tomorrow. The brunt of the system will be felt across southern MN, but a cocktail of wintry slush/freezing drizzle may be enough to cause some minor issues on the roadways early tomorrow morning has you head off to church. Err on the side of caution and slow 'er' down a bit in case it is a bit slippery, though, roads should mainly just be wet starting later tonight through Monday morning. The image below shows the biggest concern for freezing rain/drizzle across far western MN and through parts of ND and SD where ice accumulations of up to 0.10" through Saturday may be possible.

The image below shows the 6 hour accumulated precipitation from midnight Saturday to 6AM Sunday. Note that the highest rainfall/slush amounts will be across southern MN and northern IA where temperatures in the lowest mile of the atmosphere will be warm enough to produce mostly liquid form precipitation.

Next Storm Early Next Week
Our next storm system is already poised and ready to wobble through the Midwest. Take a look at the WRF's (A weather model) interpretation of the system at the 84 hour forecast period (this Monday night/Tuesday morning)

This is the precipitation type for that storm, which is already hinting at a rain/freezing rain mix across parts of MN:

Temperatures Remain Mild
The good news, for those that have enjoyed the 40's... it appears the upper 30's and low 40's will stick around over the next few days even with the next couple of storms spreading clouds and precipitation into a sky near you. The image below shows the same storm at the 84 hour mark, note the milder blues and greens through MN. I don't see any Arctic or even 'chilly' air at all next week.

Interesting Weather/Science Links
Check these links out - I think you'll enjoy them, especially the first one!

Hunting For Methane
This is amazing! Watch the fire shoot out of an ice covered lake in Alaska. Melting permafrost is causing an increase in methane... In terms of greenhouse gasses, methane is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. SEE HERE:

More Earthquakes
Strong aftershocks continue to rattle Chile. SEE HERE:

Another Strong Earthquake in Sumatra. SEE HERE:

Minnesota's Updated Flood Potential from the National Weather Service
The National Weather Service has updated their Spring Flood Outlook on March 5th. SEE HERE:

Fireball Over Duluth
This story comes from a good friend of mine, Bob King, aka Astro Bob. SEE HERE:

Touring Target Field
Even though, the new MN Twins Target Field doesn't open until early April, you can still get an early look from a Playstation 3 game, MLB 10 The Show, which is to hit stores next week. By the way, Minnesota's own, Joe Mauer, stars on the front cover. Apparently, when the Twins hit a home run in the new park, Minnie and St. Paul will shake hands in the outfield... They do it in the game too: SEE MORE HERE:

Todd's Conservation MN Outlook for the Twin Cities, and all of Minnesota

Saturday: Mostly cloudy, a little light rain developing late. High: 40

Saturday Night: Rain/Snow mix possible and perhaps a little light freezing rain or drizzle. Roads and sidewalks may be a little slick early Sunday morning. Low: 29

Sunday: Ice/slushy start, lingering clouds, drizzle? High: 41

Monday: Lingering clouds. High: near 42

Tuesday: Clouds thicken, light rain developing. High: 41

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy, light rain/snow mix possible. High: 42

Thursday: Looking mostly dry, still more clouds. High: 43

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