Thursday, May 9, 2013

Drought Update, Much Needed Rain and Cooler Weekend Ahead

Back to the 50s

By Todd Nelson

A quote by Hal Borlund stated: "No winter lasts forever, no spring skips it's turn." I was a bit skeptical there for a while; I thought winter was indeed going to last forever and spring would never come!

It sure is nice to see area trees, plants and flowers come back to life after what seemed to be an absurdly long winter's nap. Record latest ice out dates have been and will be set this year for many Minnesota lakes; a problem for some anglers this weekend as they gear up for the Minnesota fishing opener. Some may actually take their ice augers with them across the far north rather than lugging the boat along. May sure to lug the extra layers along. A brisk wind post cold front will whip up to 30+mph on Saturday. Temps fall into the 40s and 50s statewide with perhaps even a few snow flakes across the northeastern tip of the state. It'll be a chilly start for Mom on Sunday, but lighter winds and ample sun in the afternoon will beckon her to peek out at the perinnal garden.

Weather maps look interesting next Tuesday as high temps could soar into the 80s; 90s may not be out of the question in southwestern MN. Time to dig out the shorts and lawn mowers

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

FRIDAY: Partly cloudy, a drier day. High: 65. Winds: NNE 5-10

FRIDAY NIGHT: A brief shower possible. Turning breezy and cooler. Low: 42

SATURDAY: Brief AM shower with intervals of sun, a cool wind. NW 15-30mph. High: 53.

MOTHER'S DAY: Bright sun for mom. Less wind. Wake-up: 34 High: near 60. Wind: NW 10

MONDAY: Turning warmer, passing T-shower into NW Wisconsin? Breezy South wind. Wake-up: 41. High: 72

TUESDAY: Summer-like building. 90s in southern MN? Isolated thunder across far northern MN. Wake-up: 59. High: 86

WEDNESDAY:  Still warm, afternoon thundershower possible. Wake-up: 60. High: 77

THURSDAY:  Sunny with a chance of Spring Fever! Wake-up: 54. High: 74.

Hail in a Jar...
A mason jar full of hail anyone? The stubborn and slow moving upper level low that we've been talking about since last week is still churning away in the Northeast. By the weekend, most of the remnants will have exited the Lower 48... thank goodness! Thanks to @ReadingEagle for the picture below!

Here's a picture for more hail from earlier this week out of University Park, PA thanks to @StephenShiflett

Soggy Northeast Weather
Thanks to our very own Addison Green who is in NYC for the weekend. He's been dodging rain drops so far... In fact, NYC had record setting rain on Wednesday. The Empire State building seems to be touching the clouds!

Record Setting NYC Rain
If you were in NYC on Wednesday, you knew how soggy it was. There were reports of flooding in several areas as over 2" to 3" fell in a very short amount of time early in the day. Central Park broke a very longstanding record on Wednesday after they picked up 3.02"!

Here are some of the other rainfall records that were broken on Wednesday

Much Needed Rain
Take a look at the rainfall from normal since January 1st, note how several locations are still several inches behind normal precipitation since January 1st even after the heavy rains this week.

Northeast Drought Update
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, in a weeks time we've seen abnormally dry conditions go from 31% on the 30th of April to 54% on the 7th of May. It'll be interesting to see how this changes next week with more rain in the forecast over the next few days.

More Northeast Rainfall
NOAA's HPC 3 day rainfall is still suggesting decent rainfall potential through AM Sunday. Some spots could see 1" to 2"+ with convective showers and thunderstorms.

Soggy Weather Continued...
Take a look at the radar estimated rainfall over the last 7 days across the nation. Note the heavy blob over the Southeast where estimates of 2" to 5"+ has fallen since last week.

Precipitation From Normal
Precipitation so far this year in the Mississippi River Valley and into parts of the Southeast have been quite impressive. The numbers below represent how much above or below normal precipitation we are since the beginning of the year. We're quite a bit above normal in the central part of the country, but well below normal out west! Look at San Francisco!

Precipitation From Normal By Region
Here are some close up views of precipitation from normal since January 1st. Interesting to see areas where precipitation is well above normal and well below normal!

Extremely Dry Out West
WOW! How about those precipitation deficits out west. From Los Angeles to Portland, there are 6" to 12"+ precipitation departures! No surprise that drought conditions have been on the rise this Spring. From April 30th to May 7th, we've seen severe drought conditions rise by 5%, which unfortunately may continue to rise with very little precipitation in the forecast over the next several days.

U.S. Drought Monitor Update
Here's the latest from the U.S. Drought Monitor:

"Weather Summary: Due to blocking high pressure over the northwestern Atlantic Ocean, a weather system in the Nation’s mid-section stalled and temporarily retrograded westward, dropping widespread moderate to heavy rains on the Mississippi and Tennessee Valleys, Southeast, and Florida. With the addition of a deep southward push of sub-freezing air into the central U.S., accumulating record-late May snows fell as far south as northwestern Arkansas and northeastern Oklahoma. Unfortunately, the moisture bypassed much of the West and southern Plains, and was blocked by the strong high pressure from entering the Northeast. As the period ended, however, enough moisture from an upper-air low off the southern California coast raised humidity levels, lowered winds, and generated widely-scattered showers in the West which aided firefighters battling the huge wild fire in the southern California coastal mountains. Farther east, the slow-moving storm was creeping northeastward into the mid-Atlantic. Most of the lower 48 States and Alaska recorded subnormal weekly temperatures, especially the Plains, with unseasonable warmth confined to the West, Southwest, eastern Great Lakes region, Ohio Valley, and New England."

Precipitation Forecast
According to NOAAs HPC 3 day forecast, the Southern Plains and Mississippi River Valley will get a good quick soak from showers and thunderstorm through the early weekend. Some of the storms may be severe, so keep an eye to the sky there and also into the Ohio Valley.

Mother's Day Preview
Hey! Don't forget about Mom this weekend. Mother's Day is this Sunday and temperatures will take a bit of a tumble post cold front in the eastern part of the country. However, folks out west will be quite warm!

Mother's Day Weather Outlook
Temps will remain above average out west, while temps in the eastern part of the country will be below average with sunshine.

 Minnesota Fishing Opener
Folks in Minnesota will be gearing up for the Minnesota Fishing Opener this weekend. Interestingly, there are several northern Minnesota Lakes that haven't officially gone ice out! I wouldn't doubt it if some decide to catch that lunker walleye through the ice rather than finding an open lake to launch the boat. The image below shows how many lakes are officially ice out. Note the lack of colored pins across the north, which means there is still ice on those lakes! Several lakes have and will be setting their latest ice out date in recorded history!

Lake Mille Lacs, MN
One of the more popular and larger walleye fishing lakes in Minnesota in Lake Mille Lacs in central Minnesota. The image below shows how much ice is still out there!

This was a satellite picture of Lake Mille Lacs from earlier this week. The white color indicates that it is still ice covered!

Summer-like Next Week!
Dig those shorts out of the back of the closet if you haven't done so already. Take a look at the weather maps from Next Tuesday! The 850mb temps (temps in the lower atmosphere) look very warm across parts of the middle part of the country. In fact, there could be a few places on Tuesday that warm into the 90s!

Thanks for checking in, have a great weekend ahead!
Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWNTV

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