Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Field of Extremes - 60s and Spotty Showers

Thanks to my good friend Donna Maxie for this great picture of a Redpoll. It is of the finch family and has a distinct red marking on its head. Interestingly, this bird lives in the Arctic during the summer and migrates south into Canada and the Lower 48 during the winter. Donna says the Redpolls have moved on and are on their way back north! Thanks Donna, nice picture!

Somewhat Soggy Tuesday
It was a mostly cloudy and somewhat soggy Tuesday as light rain showers drifted through the region. The rain wasn't all that heavy, but it made for a fairly lazy day. The loops show the radar and visible satellite from earlier Tuesday.

Rainfall From 7am April, 18th to 7am April, 19th
Here's a look at rainfall tallies across the region from AM Monday to AM Tuesday. Note that the heaviest amounts of more than 1" were found mainly in South Dakota. Rainfall tallies dwindled significantly as the moisture lifted northeast through the region.

Rainfall Month To Date (Thru 7am April, 19th)
Here's another interesting product that shows how much rain we've seen so far this month. Note that the perimeter of Minnesota has seen nearly 1" of rain, whereas the central part of the state hasn't seen as much. In fact, some spots are less than 0.5".

April Precipitation Departure From Average
The departure from average for the first 18 days of the month suggests that the southern half of the state is about 1" or more behind normal. However, there are a few locations along the northern/northwestern part of the state that are running a little bit better than average.

Year to Date Precipitation Departure From Average (Since January 1st)
The year to date precipitation departure from average shows that much of the state is dealing with deficit with the exception of areas in the northeastern part of the state. Interestingly, areas from Duluth to International Falls are nearly 1" to 2" above average precip for the year!

Drought Monitor
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor nearly 12% of the state is considered to be abnormally dry with nearly 2% of the state in a moderate drought.

Field of Extremes - 60s and Spotty Showers
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas.

From the historic rains in Houston, TX (2nd wettest day on record for that city) to the hottest temperature Seattle, WA has ever seen during the month of April (89 degrees), Monday was an extreme day.

The United States is a unique place to live. It really is the Super Bowl of weather, host to a multitude of different weather events including devastating tornadoes and hurricanes. Speaking of which, researches at North Carolina State University say that this year's hurricane season will be an active one. Above average with 15 to 18 named storms, 8 to 11 of those growing into hurricanes. The Atlantic season begins June 1st.

The stubborn upper level storm responsible for our cooler, cloudier weather will continue to spit out a few rain showers through early Thursday. The best chance of any soaking rains will stay in southern Minnesota.

Don't put away the jackets just yet, extended forecasts suggest highs in the 40s and 50s with lows in the 30s next week.

In the meantime, enjoy a few more shades of green!

Extended Forecast
TUESDAY NIGHT: Cloudy. A few passing showers. Winds: ESE 5-10. Low: 50
WEDNESDAY: Cloudy with scattered showers, heavier in southern MN. Winds: ENE 5-10. High: 65
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy, a few passing showers. Winds: NE 5. Low: 51
THURSDAY: AM sprinkle, slow PM clearing and breezy. Winds: NNW 10-15. High: 67.
FRIDAY: More sun, near average temps. Winds: ESE 5-10. Wake-up: 42. High: 64
SATURDAY: Partly sunny, passing PM shower. Winds: NE 10-15. Wake-up: 48. High: 64.
SUNDAY: Dry start. Spotty late day shower. Winds: E 10-15. Wake-up: 45. High: 59.
MONDAY: Breezy with scattered showers. Winds: E 10-15. Wake-up: 42. High: 54.
TUESDAY: Cool breeze. Bright sun returns. Winds: NE 10-15. Wake-up: 40. High: 55.
This Day in Weather History
April 20th
1970: Snow falls across much of Minnesota.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
April 20th
Average High: 60F (Record: 83F set in 1980)
Average Low: 39F (Record: 21F set in 2013)

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
April 20th
Sunrise: 6:19am
Sunset: 8:05pm

*Daylight gained since yesterday: ~2mins & 56secs
*Daylight gained since winter solstice: ~5hours


Moon Phase for April 20th at Midnight
0.9 Days Before Full (Pink) Moon


Wednesday Weather Outlook
High temperatures on Wednesday will be in the 60s across much of the state and while this is cooler than what we had over the weekend, this will still be above average for mid/late April.

Wednesday Weather Outlook
It's nice to see that lighter winds will be with us again on Wednesday, however note that they are turning a little more easterly. The winds will actually turn more northerly later this week and drawn down cooler air by the weekend.

Wednesday Weather Outlook
As the area of low pressure slowly slides east, scattered rain showers will move east with it. It will take some time, but rain will finally move out of the area by Thursday. With that said, Wednesday looks to still feature scattered rain showers across the southern part of the state, some of which could be a little heavier near La Crosse, WI.

Simulated Radar
The simulated radar from midday Tuesday to Thursday night shows spotty showers continuing through much of that time frame, but most of the rain will be light. However, another surge of slightly heavier moisture will be found in southeastern Minnesota PM Wednesday into Thursday.

Precipitation Outlook
Additional rainfall with this storm system looks to be dwindling significantly with the exception of those in far southern Minnesota. Areas there could still see an additional 0.50" through midday Friday. 


Extended Temperature Outlook
Here's the extended forecast for Minneapolis over the next several days and note the cooler temperatures expected for the rest of the week with highs in the 60s. Also note the potentially even bigger cool down next week with highs in the 40s and 50s! Might not be a bad idea to keep an extra layer or jacket close, just in case.

6 to 10 Day Temperature Outlook
However, according to NOAA's CPC, the 6 to 10 day temperate outlook suggests a good chance of warmer than average temperatures continuing across the Central U.S. from April 24th to the 28. Also note that cooler than average temperatures look to settle into the Great Lakes during that time frame too...


2nd Wettest Day in Houston, TX History
The numbers are in and Houston, TX officially had their 2nd wettest day in recorded history with 9.92" of rain on Monday, April 17th. Unbelievably, most of this came during the first half of the day!

Here are the top 10 wettest days for Houston, TX since 1888. Note that they weren't too far away from the wettest day set on June 26th, 1989.

Houston 2 Day Rainfall
The 2 day rainfall across the Houston and surround areas suggests widespread 10" to 15" of rain! An historic rainfall event for the location, no question.

Warmest April Day in Seattle, WA History
Another extreme that occurred on Monday was the all-time record high temperature for the month of April in Seattle, WA at 89F. This beat the previous warmest April high temperature of 85F set most recently in 1976.

National Weather Outlook
The national weather outlook shows the same stubborn low pressure system making hastier shift east by the second half of the week. That will help to push the heaviest rain east along with it. In its wake, drier weather in the middle U.S.. 

5 Day Precipitation Outlook
According to NOAA's WPC, the 5 day rainfall forecast suggests heavier pockets of rain the southern U.S.. Unfortunately with as much rain as we've seen over the past few days, this additional heavy rain could lead to more flooding.


Watch Spring Bloom Before Your Eyes

I came across this and thought I'd share. Here are some wonderful images taken by a very Jim Brandenburg. You can watch spring bloom before your eyes! "Photographer Jim Brandenburg takes a photograph a day as spring arrives in his home state of Minnesota. The project began on the 2014 vernal equinox and ended on the day before summer solstice."


"10 Unexpected Changes of Climate Change"

Here's an interesting story from Cool Green Science that shares some of the unexpected changes of climate change, which include the potential of more ticks and worse allergies. "Droughts. More severe and unpredictable storms. A decline in polar bears. You no doubt have heard about these and other effects of climate change. But a rapidly warming world means many other impacts, both large and small. A changing climate will likely change your health, your sports and even what you drink. For Earth Week, we look at some of the unexpected potential effects of climate change, for both people and wildlife."

(Photo © Jenn Forman Orth / Flickr through a Creative Commons license)

Thanks for checking in and have a great rest of your week!
Follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX

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