Sunday, March 22, 2015

Rapid Melting - February Relapse Later This Week - Spring Returns by Weekend

35 F. high in the Twin Cities Sunday.
44 F. average high on March 22.
22 F. high on March 22, 2014.

March 23, 1966: Snowstorm brings a foot of snow to southern Minnesota.

March Madness

This is what I get for pulling out my driveway stakes in a surge of premature euphoria a couple Sundays ago as the mercury kissed 70F. Life is a cruel teacher.

And March is like your grandfather. Kind. Caring. Full of hope. Before he slams down a Red Bull, takes his shirt off and proceeds to weave in and out of traffic - in Uptown - in a loud, snarling convertible. Without his glasses. Nothing good can come of that.

In our heads and hearts we know that March can bring 80s and blizzards and everything in-between. Last night's ill-timed clipper was a reminder to never (ever) take the good times for granted. A slow, slushy start to rush hour gives way to rapid melting today with peeks of sunshine. The sun is as high in the sky as it was in mid-September; you just can't keep snow on the ground for long this time of year.

Believe it or not we dodged a bullet in the downtowns, with the heaviest snow bands setting up just south of MSP, as much as 7-8" near Carver, Prior Lake and Shakopee. Travel conditions improve rapidly today - the next mini-storm sparks a cold rain Tuesday, possibly ending as a little slush Tuesday night. Thursday & Friday will feel like mid-February but 50s return by Saturday. Long-range guidance hints at 60s, even a few 70s the first week of April.

Yes, spring is an awkward time here on the prairie.

On The Edge. As expected there was a very tight snowfall gradient, as much as 8" from near Shakopee and Prior Lake to New Prague; 7" at Lakeville and 5" piling up at Red Wing. Meanwhile the north metro picked up far less, about 2" at Maple Grove and .3" at Elk River. Latest NWS snow totals are here.

Winter Snowfall Totals, To Date. NOAA released an pdate on snowfall amounts; Boston now the 5th snowiest (larger/populated) city in the USA with 110.3". Syracuse has seen 118" of mostly lake-effect snow with 131.5" at Bangor Maine. New York (47") and Washington D.C. (37") have both picked up more snow than Minneapolis/St. Paul. Hey, the Twin Cities has seen more snow than Philadelphia! That's a start.

Touch of February Later This Week. Skies try to clear today as most of the slush in your yard melts quite rapidly. The next system arrives tomorrow as rain, possibly ending as a period of slushy snow Tuesday night. Then it cools off, highs may have a tough time climbing out of the 30s Thursday and Friday before recovering by the weekend; models hinting at 50s by early next week. Graphic: Weatherspark.

Wetter, Milder Pattern in Early April? 500 mb winds valid Sunday evening, April 5 suggest a broad southwest wind flow aloft, capable of pulling more significant moisture, probably falling as rain, into Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. 50s should be commonplace, even a few days in the 60s. Map: GrADS/COLA/IGES.

TODAY: Slushy start. Skies clear. Winds: SE 10-15. High: near 40
MONDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Low: 28
TUESDAY: Cold rain may end as slushy snow late. High: 45
WEDNESDAY: Flurries taper, partial clearing. Wake-up: 33. High: 42
THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy, cold wind. Wake-up: 26. High: 36
FRIDAY: Blue sky, light winds. Chilly. Wake-up: 17. High: 35
SATURDAY: Stiff winds, rapid warming trend. Wake-up: 22. High: 51
SUNDAY: Mild start, then cooling off. Wake-up: 42. High: 50 (falling)

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