45 F. average high on March 23.
26 F. high on March 23, 2014.
2" snow on the ground at MSP International Airport.
March 24, 1851: Heat wave across Minnesota with 60's and 70's common.
One Step Back
Considering most of Minnesota is in a moderate drought I'm happy to see any water, in any state - liquid or frozen - falling from the sky. If you've lived here more than 10 minutes you know that spring is more theory than reality; often two steps forward, one step back.
This week is a poignant, downright blunt reminder that March is Minnesota's third snowiest month of the year, just behind January and December. Considering the sun is as high in the sky as it was in mid-September snow can't stay on the ground for long.
Keep telling yourself that Wednesday morning, when we could wake up to a light slushy coating (of sweet frozen custard!) In spite of a pleading sun temperatures may not climb out of the 30s Thursday and Friday. No worries. Hints of spring return this weekend; ECMWF guidance shows a few days in the 60s next week - maybe a heavier rain event the middle of next week. Bring it on.
Tuesday night's clipper may spark a light coating, but winter snowfall to date (30.8 inches) is 20 inches below average here in the Twin Cities. Perspective: New York City has picked up 23 more inches than the metro area. Boston is up to 110.3 inches and counting.
Make it stop!
* I snapped the photo above at Maynards in Excelsior Monday afternoon. Yes, that's open water in Excelsior Bay. Note to self, and to anyone else intent on testing Darwin's Law: stay off the ice.
Why Spring Gets About 30 Seconds Shorter Every Year. Minnesota springs are already short enough, some might add. Here's an excerpt from Live Science: "...The Earth's seasons are caused by the tilt of the Earth on its axis (not by how close the planet is to the sun). This tilt of 23.5-degrees from the straight-up-and-down position means that for six months of the year, the Earth's Northern Hemisphere is leaning slightly toward the sun, whereas during the other six months, the Southern Hemisphere leans toward the sun. The main reason spring is getting shorter is that the Earth's axis itself moves, much like a wobbling top, in a type of motion called precession..." (Image credit above: NASA).
TODAY: Clouds increase. PM showers develop. Winds: SE 15. High: 39
TUESDAY NIGHT: Rain ends as a little wet snow. A light coating of slush is possible. Low: 32
WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy, drying out. High: 42
THURSDAY: Peeks of sun, cold breeze. Wake-up: 28. High: 37
FRIDAY: Cold start with a bright blue sky, light winds. Nippy. Wake-up: 19. High: 35
SATURDAY: Intervals of sun, milder breeze. Wake-up: 23. High: 49
SUNDAY: Mild start, then cooling off. Dry. Wake-up: 41. High: 53
MONDAY: Plenty of sun. Springy again! Wake-up: 31. High: 57
Image credit above: " Edgar Su/Reuters.