45 F. average high for March 24.
70 F. high a year ago, on March 24, 2012.
6" snow on the ground in the Twin Cities.
0" snow on the ground on March 24, 2012.
4" snow on the ground on March 24, 2011.
* Montevideo on the Minnesota River
* Granite Falls on the Minnesota River
* Redwood Falls on the Redwood River
* New Ulm on the Cottonwood River
* Long Prairie on the Long Prairie River
* St. Cloud on the Sauk River
* St. Cloud on the Mississippi River
While severe to extreme drought conditions still exist across the region, precipitation from December 2012 through the first part of March has been near normal to even above normal in some areas. Hence, some regions do have a decent snow pack with water equivalents of 3-5". The graphic (above) shows the amount of water in the snow pack on March 6, 2013.
In addition to the more common river flood threat, this winter parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin have concrete frost. Concrete Frost is when the top layer of soil becomes saturated and is solidly froszen. Until it thaws and allows moisture to travel through the soil, any rain/snow melt will run off similar to how it does on concrete. The image below shows the areas of concern for Concrete Frost and potential quick response flooding."
* The NWS will release their next flood outlook on March 29.
Latest from Alerts Broadcaster:
* As we predicted Saturday, the probability of significant snow in New York City remains low - the most reliable weather models show temperatures 1-2 F. too warm for a major snowfall in the city. It'll be a close call, but there's simply too much warm air for a big pile of slush.
* A cold rain spreads into New York City tomorrow, possibly ending as a little slush in the suburbs Monday evening - but air temperatures above 32 F. should keep most roads wet. The brunt of the storm's precipitation/winds should pass just south/east of NYC tomorrow and Monday night.
* Some models print out as much as 4-6" of slushy snow for south Jersey, but I suspect the heaviest snows will remain over western and central Pennsylvania, western Maryland, and the hills of western Virginia and West Virginia. Philadelphia may pick up 1" of slush, maybe a couple inches of snow for the western suburbs of Washington D.C.
Summary: Full disclosure. This is a tricky forecast, with New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia right on the rain-snow line. A degree or two makes a big difference in a scenario like this. Odds still favor mostly rain, and even if a changeover to wet snow takes place PM hours tomorrow ground temperatures above 32 F should ensure mostly wet roads. Some slushy accumulation is possible on lawns and fields, especially south Jersey, but this storm will not rival the major systems that came thru in February and early March. Significant rain for coastal areas, coupled with strong winds (20-35 mph), will result in slow commutes and possible delays at area airports tomorrow. Conditions improve rapidly Tuesday as this storm sails out to sea. No, spring can't come soon enough this year.
Graphic above (adjusted for inflation) courtesy of Karen Clark & Co.
* thanks to meteorologist Todd Nelson for doing a great job on the Star Tribune print and blog while I was away.
Graphic credit above: "Image of massive Arctic sea ice cracks showing temperature of the ice and the cracks between floes." Via Arctic Sea Ice blog.
Graphic credit above: "Warming projections to 2080 from Rowlands et al. in Nature Geoscience 5, 256-260 (2012)."
"...the marriage of capitalism and climate remediation...What if corporations shoulder more costs and lead the technological charge, all for a huge potential payoff?...Let's hope we are unleashing enlightened capitalist forces that just might drive the kind of technological innovation necessary to genuinely tackle climate change."
Photo credit above: "In zombie movies such as Dawn of the Dead, 'zombies are never destroyed and no new stable order emerges. And that, I fear, may be the truth of the climate change story'. Photograph: Ronald Grant Archive.