Isolated thundershowers possible, especially morning hours.
Coating of slush possible late tonight, early Monday.
40 mph wind gusts possible Monday as colder air drains south on the backside of today's storm.
Heavy rain possible Thursday PM hours, over half an inch of rain may fall close to home.
Twins Home Opener: probably dry, cloudy and damp with highs in the low 50s Friday afternoon.
Major storm (combination of rain/snow) possible next Sunday/Monday, April 10-11.
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
* Potential for a major storm next Sunday - Monday (April 10-11), a combination of rain and snow with high winds.
Twins Opener. If you're holding tickets for Friday's game, don't panic (yet). Heavy rain is possible Thursday night, but skies may brighten (and dry out a bit) on Friday. Under a mostly cloudy sky afternoon highs should reach the low 50s, jacket weather - but no sustained, heavy rain is expected right now. Outdoor baseball in April - in Minnesota. What can possibly go wrong?
* The Super Outbreak occurred at the end of a very strong, nearly record-setting La Niña event. The 1973–74 La Niña was just as strong as the 1998–99 La Niña. Another tornado outbreak, which may be linked to La Niña, was the March 12, 2006 tornado outbreak. Despite the apparent connection between La Niña and two of the largest tornado outbreaks in US history, no definitive linkage exists between La Niña and this outbreak or tornado activity in general."
** More on how the National Weather Service prepared for this historic outbreak from AlabamaWX.com.
** We are coming out of a very strong La Nina (cooling phase of the Pacific) - and there is some concern that a similar outbreak may occur this spring, possibly as early as Monday - Tuesday of this week, from the Ohio and Tennessee Valley to the Gulf coast.
Storm Chasers Revealed. The Daily Sundial has an expose on storm chasers, the amateurs (and professionals) who make a living trying to intercept tornadic storms, taking photos and video, for commercial sale as well as research purposes. This is different from storm spotters, like SKYWARN volunteers, who are dispatched to predesignated areas to monitor the skies, and call in breaking weather events (via ham radio) to local civil defense and the National Weather Service - critical, time-sensitive information which is used to facilitate warnings. Doppler radar helps to identify the spinning "supercell" storms capable of tornadoes. But we still rely on (volunteer) storm spotters to confirm that rotation on Doppler is actually spawning hail, wall clouds, funnels and tornadoes reaching the ground. It's a critical part of the warning process. Storm chasers do it for the thrill, and potential commercial gain (a good chaser who gets the "money shot" of a tornado in action can easily earn a few thousand dollars in an evening, licensing that video to local TV stations and the Weather Channel). The movie "Twister" is at least partially responsible for the current storm chasing craze - there are thousands of weather enthusiasts who track and chase severe storms; last year it seems most of them were right here in Minnesota (documenting our 113 tornadoes). "We’ve seen them on Discovery and in Hollywood movies like Twister but what are these people attempting to do? Storm chasers, as they have come to be known as, are men and women with a fierce passion and adoration for Mother Nature’s fury. Variations of chasers range from the absolute amateur of everyday people chasing in their own vehicles to government funded research teams comprising of the nation’s top meteorologists. No matter what level they are at, all of them share one common bond: weather. Depending on which level of storm chasing a person is at influences why they are out in the field. Some amateurs chase for a thrill ride and to see how close they can push themselves into the path of a tornado or hurricane. The rest simply watch from a somewhat safe distance and admire that which is not fully understood. Then there are some chasers who use these storms as wonderful photo opportunities for either personal use or selling to businesses. In order to be successful at capturing images such as lightning, you need a basic understanding of thunderstorms. Without it, you could point the camera toward some fractocumulus (scud), created by condensation below a cloud base, expecting to see a tornado form."
Stormier Pattern. The sun is rising higher into the southern sky, and the storm track (which has been focused on the southern and central USA) will be shifting northward in the coming weeks. Rainfall amounts will be relatively light today and tonight, but heavier rain is predicted for the PM hours on Thursday. Right now it looks like a lull in the stormy pattern for Friday, possibly Saturday, before another, even stronger storm approaches next Sunday and Monday, April 10-11.
Temperature Trends. Temperatures are forecast to track fairly close to normal for the first 2 weeks of April, in spite of a cold spell by Sunday (which could translate into significant snow for parts of Minnesota a week from today). By Wednesday, April 13, daytime highs may be close to 60 F. (the dashed red line is the average high, the dashed blue line shows average lows over the next 2 weeks). Data courtesy of Ham Weather.
HInts of May? I know - I'll believe it when I see it. The GFS has been highly erratic as of late - so I wouldn't put too much stock into this extended outlook. But unusually mild temperatures may surge into Minnesota by mid April. If this forecast verifies there won't be much snow left (anywhere in the state) within 2 weeks.
Plowable Snow Up North? Although the profile of the atmosphere over central and southern Minnesota will be warm enough for mostly-rain, heavy snow is possible north of Bemidji and Grand Rapids, as much as 4-8" of heavy, wet snow.
Latest Watches & Warnings. Duluth is under a Winter Storm Watch, but warnings are posted (meaning snow is imminent) across far northern Minnesota, from Hallock and Roseau to International Falls, Grand Rapids, Hibbing and Grand Marais. The latest NOAA warnings are here.
A Week's Worth of Records. It's been a wild week of weather, record (daily) snowfall reports, high winds, large hail in the south and a few tornadoes in Florida (including the Florida Keys). To see an interactive map with details click here, data courtesy of NOAA and Ham Weather, a division of Broadcast Weather. Yes, WeatherNation is now Broadcast Weather. Same staff, same content - different name. This will all make sense at some point (soon).
Note To Self: stay off the ice!
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