Sunday, March 8, 2015

Spring Fever Alert

Spring Fever Alert
By Paul Douglas

"Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush" wrote Doug Larson. What little slush we had is melting rapidly and forget whistling. If the models are on the right track you may belt out a medley of Motown hits later this week! What little snow is on the ground will vanish by midweek. Frozen ground and lakes will act as a minor brake on temperatures. The question now is how mild? NOAA's GFS shows 50s, but ECMWF guidance consistently shows a few 60s later this week with a 1 in 3 shot at 70F early next week. I too find that a little hard to believe, but with extremes trending more extreme why not?

At 27 inches snowfall this winter was half what we normally see. Meteorological Winter (December - February) was half a degree F. colder than average, making it the 31st mildest winter for Minnesota since 1895. Record warmth out west, while Chicago had the coldest February on record; freak snows shut down Dallas - Boston buried under a perpetual avalanche of wild Nor'easters. Relatively speaking we got off easy. Our biggest single-storm snowfall was a whopping 3.4 inches. We'll enjoy more burps of Canadian chill, but first a taste of April, possibly early May!


SUNDAY NIGHT: Clear and quiet. Nothing rough. Low: 29. Winds: Turning SW 5-10.
MONDAY: More sun and breezy. High: 55. Winds: SW 10-15
MONDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and quiet. Low: 32. Winds: SW 5-10.
TUESDAY: Blue sky, chirping birds. Nice. High: 58
WEDNESDAY: More clouds, stiff breeze. Wake-up: 36. High: 52
THURSDAY: Grilling weather. Touch of April. Wake-up: 38. High: 60
FRIDAY: more clouds than sun, slightly cooler. Wake-up: 42. High: 57
SATURDAY: Intervals of sun, still pleasant. Wake-up: 35. High: 54.
SUNDAY: What happened to March? Lukewarm. Wake-up: 38. High: 62.


This Day in Weather History
March 9th

1999: Light, fluffy snow piles up to 16 inches in the Twin Cities.
1918: Snowstorm hits Minnesota and dumps nearly 11 inches at the Twin Cities.


Average High/Low for Minneapolis
March 9th

Average High: 38F (Record: 61F set in 1879)
Average Low: -10F (Record: -10 set in 2003, 1951)


Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
March 9th

Sunrise: 7:36am
Sunset: 7:12pm


Moon Phase for March 9th at Midnight
3.5 Days Before Last Quarter


Minneapolis Temperature Trend
The mild beat continues through mid March. Temperatures in the 40s, 50s and possibly even 60s can't be ruled out for some as we undergo a fairly significant pattern change... Spring fever looks to be in full swing through the week ahead!


Monday Weather Outlook
Monday looks like an incredibly nice and mild day across the Upper Midwest with highs in the 40s and 50s! Note even a few 60s showing up across SD, NE and IA. A southwesterly breeze will make it feel a touch cooler (image on right), but the snow will continue to melt quite rapidly this week with temperatures like this.

Monday Weather Outlook
Monday's weather will be quiet. Mostly sunny with a southwesterly breeze... signs of spring!

Midwest Precipitation Outlook
Precipitation potential across the Upper Midwest looks pretty bleak through PM Tuesday. A larger storm system will move up from Texas/Lower Mississippi Valley and dump a decent amount of rain across parts of Kentucky/Tennessee through the early week time frame.

Spring Flood Outlook
Due to a lack of significant snow pack across the Upper Midwest this year, it appears the flooding threat is fairly low this spring. The image below from NOAA suggests the percent chance of moderate flooding through June 6th. Note that most locations are at 0% to 20% with only a few location farther south in the 40% to 80% range. However, a couple of locations in ND are over 80% chance.

National Weather Outlook
Weather conditions across the country look fairly quiet except for the water-logged storm system in the deep south. Heavier rain and thunderstorms will bring 2" to 4"+ rainfall through early this week.

5 Day Precipitation Outlook
According to NOAA's HPC, the 5 day precipitation outlook shows a fairly significant amount of precipitation across the Deep South. As much as 3" to 5"+ can't be rule out across parts of Texas to the Lower Mississippi Valley.

U.S. Drought Monitor
The U.S. Drought Monitor (released Thursday, March 5th) shows almost all of Minnesota under abnormally dry conditions. There are even a few spots in northwestern Minnesota under a MODERATE DROUGHT. Meanwhile, California/Western U.S. continues it's EXTREME/EXCEPTIONAL Drought.

"This U.S. Drought Monitor week saw an active pattern nationwide as a series of storms delivered much-needed rain and mountain snow to portions of the Southwest and a wintery mix of freezing rain and snow to the lower Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and the Southern Tier from Texas to Georgia. Significant snowfall accumulations were observed in the mountains of northern Arizona, southwestern Colorado, northern New Mexico, and southwestern Utah helping to improve snowpack conditions. In the South, heavy rains fell across portions of Louisiana and Mississippi, while freezing rain and snow dipped as far south as Alabama and Georgia. In the Northeast, snow showers and cold temperatures persisted. Average temperatures east of the Continental Divide were well below normal, dipping up to 20°F below normal in the South, Southern Plains, Midwest, and Northeast. Out West, temperatures were slightly below normal except for portions of the Pacific Northwest where temperatures hovered slightly above normal."

"Looking Ahead"
"The NWS WPC5-Day Quantitative Precipitation Forecast (QPF) calls for light- to-moderate liquid precipitation accumulations (generally less than 2 inches) in the southeastern quarter of the U.S. with greatest accumulations (1 to 2 inches) centered over Arkansas, Tennessee, and West Virginia. The West, Northern Plains, and Upper Midwest are forecasted to be generally dry. The 6–10 day outlooks call for a high probability of above-normal temperatures across the West, High Plains, Upper Midwest, and the Southeast while below-normal temperatures are forecasted for eastern New Mexico, Texas, and the Northeast. A high probability of above-normal precipitation is forecasted across the Pacific Northwest, northern California, and along the southern tier from New Mexico to the Southeast."

Temperature Outlook
We've undergone a fairly significant patter change. Upper level steering winds have become more zonal or west to east, which has allowed for milder Pacific air to move in. The colder, Arcitc air has pushed back north into Canada and looks to stay there through much of Mid March.

Highs Wednesday
Look how mild it looks across the nation by Wednesday! The coldest temperatures look to be across the extreme northern part of Minnesota and Maine. These tempratures, however, aren't nearly as cold as it was last week!

Highs From Average Wednesday
Temperatures on Wednesday across much of the mid-section of the nation will be nearly 10F to 25F above average.

Extended Temperature Outlook
According to NOAA's CPC, the 6 to 10 day temperature outlook shows much warmer than average temperatures across the parts of the nation... something that we haven't seen much of lately.

Thanks for checking in and have a great week ahead! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX

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