Rain/sleet/ice tonight into midday Thursday, changing over to wet snow.
1-2" slushy snow possible Thursday, maybe 2-4"+ (plowable) over the far northern/western suburbs Thursday into early Friday.
Winter Storm Watch in effect - includes the Twin Cities.
Flood Watch southeastern Minnesota and most of Wisconsin.
70 F. within 2 weeks? Details below.
...HEAVY RAIN EXPECTED WITH FLOODING POSSIBLE WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON AND WEDNESDAY NIGHT... .A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL PUSH OUT OF THE CENTRAL PLAINS TONIGHT AND INTO WEDNESDAY SPREADING GULF MOISTURE INTO THE CENTRAL AND NORTHERN MISSISSIPPI RIVER VALLEY. WHILE THE MAIN CENTER OF THE LOW WILL REMAIN WELL TO THE SOUTH...THE ASSOCIATED FRONT WILL EXTEND NORTHWARD INTO THE AREA. RAIN WITH SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS WILL DEVELOP ALONG AND AHEAD OF THIS FRONT WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON AND INTO WEDNESDAY NIGHT. AN INCH TO 1.5 INCHES OF RAIN IS EXPECTED WITH LOCALIZED AMOUNTS OF UP TO 2 INCHES. GIVEN THE RECENT RAINS AND SNOW...THE TOP LAYERS OF THE SOIL ARE NEARLY SATURATED. IN ADDITION...MARSHES ARE STARTING TO FILL UP EVEN FOR THOSE THAT STILL HAVE ICE LAYERS. FINALLY FOR AREAS THAT STILL HAVE SNOW...THE RAIN WILL HELP TO MELT THIS SNOW. HENCE THIS FLOODING OF STREAMS AND RIVER FLOODING IS POSSIBLE. RIVERS THAT ARE OF INCREASED CONCERN INCLUDE STRAIGHT...CANNON... ZUMBRO RIVER SYSTEMS IN MINNESOTA...THE EAU CLAIRE...RUSH...EAU GALLE...YELLOW AND CHIPPEWA RIVER SYSTEMS IN WISCONSIN.
~ There has been at least 1" of snow on the ground since December 9th, 2012
~ The morning low temperature of 8 degrees on April 14th 2013 tied the old daily low record
set in 1926
~ The last time Duluth recorded a temperature of at least 60 degrees was October 16th, 2012
~ The latest occurance of at least 60 F degrees was on May 11th, 1950.
~ The latest observered Snow Depth of at least 20" was on April 15th, 1950 and 1975
~ The latest observered Snow Depth of at least 12" was on April 18th, 1975
~ The Normal Snowfall for the Month of April is 6.9 inches.
~ The last time International Falls recorded a temperature of at least 60 degrees was
October 16th, 2012
~ The latest occurance of at least 60 F degrees was on May 10th, 1950.
~ The Normal Snowfall for the Month of April is 6.4 inches.
* Moderate Risk of Severe Storms/Large Tornadoes Wednesday over the Southern Plains, extending into southwest Missouri by late evening. I expect a handful of large, violent, long-track, long-duration tornadoes Wednesday afternoon and evening from Oklahoma City and Tulsa into Kansas and Missouri.
* River Flooding expected to increase over the Midwest and Ohio Valley. Some models print out as much as 3-5" rain from this week's storm. Chicago may be impacted by urban/river flooding the latter half of this week.
* Heavy Snow pushes across the Rockies into the Central and Northern Plains, some 1-2 foot amounts (again). The Twin Cities may pick up a couple inches of slush Thursday night into early Friday - not as much as last week.
Summary: Significant tornado threat for Oklahoma tomorrow; the threat extending into Missouri during the overnight hours. River and urban flooding may be a serious concern from St. Louis to Chicago from Wednesday thru the weekend, with as much as 4-5" of rain predicted (more than a month's worth falling in roughly 48 hours). And heavy snow will impact facilities and travel from northern Colorado and Wyoming to the Twin Cities, Duluth and even Des Moines by Thursday night and early Friday. February doesn't want to let go.
Graphic credit above: "The outer gray “shell” is the tornado’s debris cloud. Red is the area of fastest winds. Yellow is an area of winds slowing to nearly calm at the center. Black arrow is the tornado’s direction of movement. The curved arrows represent typical winds in three dimensions. The line the tornado is crossing is the north-south road traveled by the TIV." (Center for Severe Weather Research)
47 F. high in the Twin Cities Tuesday.
58 F. average high for April 16.
48 F. high on April 16, 2012.
1" snow on the ground at KMSP.
** photo above: Mike Hall.
Photo credit: "A diminished water source near the village Shanqian in Yunnan-province, China." Credit: Bert van Dijk
Photo credit above: "Is it sunset in renewable energy investments already?" AP Photo/Stephan Savoia.
Photo credit: "Enjoy the view. It might not be there much longer." AP Photo/Ronen Zilberman
* The Guardian has a photo essay on the island nation of Kiribati, slowly sinking below the waves of the Pacific Ocean.
Taxpayers subsidize the federal crop insurance program that was created during the 1930s Dust Bowl to protect farmers against crop losses. Today, we’re experiencing another devastating drought, and federal crop insurance losses have tripled in the past three years to $16 billion in payouts for 2012..."
The warming has occurred in progressive phases since about AD 1460, but intensification of melt is nonlinear, and has largely occurred since the mid-twentieth century. Summer melting is now at a level that is unprecedented over the past 1,000 years. We conclude that ice on the Antarctic Peninsula is now particularly susceptible to rapid increases in melting and loss in response to relatively small increases in mean temperature..."
Photo credit above: British Antarctic Survey
Photo credit above: Heidi Roop. "This photo from December 2010 shows a one-meter long section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide core, with a dark layer of volcanic ash visible."