Sunday, April 30, 2017

Raw Monday. Rain mixed with snow, better by Friday

Wintry Weather Through Monday
The National Weather Service has issued Winter Weather Advisories from the Plains to the Arrowhead of Minnesota through Monday. Slushy snowfall accumulations could approach 3" to 6" in spots, which for some folks that this time of the year maybe a little hard to swallow. 
Snowfall Potential
Here's the snowfall potential through the early week, which suggests nearly 3" to 5" of slushy snow accumulations. There also appears to be a pocket of near 8" tallies in the northeastern part of South Dakota and west-central Minnesota. The good news is that snowfall at this time of the year, tends not to stick around very long. Overall warmer temperatures and a higher sun angle will make quick work of that snow, much of which will be gone by midweek.

Wild Weekend Weather
From flooding rains to tornadoes, this weekend was exceptionally busy. Here's an image from @CNN (via and @NBCDFW on Twitter that showed damage from a large tornado that ripped through Canton, TX. 

Widespread Severe Weather This Weekend
The last several days were very active across parts of the Central US with widespread severe weather and flooding rains. Unfortunately, the storms were responsible for several fatalities, mainly due to flooding. Here's a view of the storms around midday Sunday as the rumbled across the the Southern US with damaging winds and tornadoes.
Severe Warnings
Take a look at all the warnings that were issued by surrounding National Weather Service Offices across the country from Thursday to Sunday. The yellow boxes are severe thunderstorm warnings, the red are tornado warnings and green are flash flood warnings. Note how many flash flood warnings were issued from the Plains to the Ohio Valley. This is where several inches of rain fell over a fairly short amount of time, which lead to rapid rises in water across a widespread area. Unfortunately, some of the flooding lead to fatalities.
How Much Rain Fell?
Here's a look at how much rain fell across parts of Missouri from late last week into the weekend. Note that radar estimates suggest nearly 10" of rain across the southern parts of Missouri and Illinois! Rainfall records fell on Saturday, here are some of the records:
Springfield, MO: 4.31"
Joplin, MO: 4.52"
West Plains, MO: 6.94"
Rolla, MO: 3.36"
St. Louis, MO: 3.15"
Columbia, MO: 4.46"
Quincy, IL: 2.47"
Evansville, IN: 2.83"
Harrison, AR: 3.56"

Why So Much Rain?
Excessive rainfall came by way of tropical moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. Here's an animation of the conveyor belt of moisture being drawn north into the Central US. The rainfall was enhanced by thunderstorms, which helps to produce heavy rainfall in a short amount of time.
Spring Snow in the Plains
Take a look at these images from from Sunday. Heavy snow and blizzard conditions across the area caused quite a ruckus across the area. 

Blizzard Warnings
Blizzard warnings (in red) were in place across parts of the Plains on Sunday as heavy snow and strong gusty winds created near zero visibility. Note that wintry weather and blizzard warnings were even posted for parts of Oklahoma and Texas!
Raw Monday. Rain mixed with snow, better by Friday
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas.
Meteorologists are interesting creatures. We tend to be human punching bags and are the first ones to blame when the weather isn't ideal, but we'll also take credit when skies are blue and your outdoor event isn't postponed due to aggressive gray skies. Today is one of those days when we tend to stay out of the limelight. You mention snow in any forecast during the month of May and look out! Here come the tomatoes!
A fairly impressive spring storm will bring widespread rain and snow showers to the region through the day. Some across the western and northern part of the state will wake up to slushy snow accumulations, while those in the metro and southeastern Minnesota will continue to see cold rain showers.
We'll slowly see weather conditions improve this week. Lingering showers will be with us through midweek, but temperatures will warm to near average. Mostly sunny skies return by the end of the week and meteorologists will finally be off of everyone's radar.
The weekend looks great. Sunshine and highs near 70, what could go wrong?_______________________________________________________
Extended Forecast
MONDAY: Raw rain showers mixed with wet snow. Winds: NNW 10-15. High: 41.
MONDAY NIGHT: Light rain/snow mix possible. Winds: NW 10. Low: 37.
TUESDAY: Drier. Warmer temps, gradual clearing. Winds: NW 10. High: 55.
WEDNESDAY: Feeling better. Showers & a PM rumble? Winds: SSW 5. Wake-up: 41. High: 55.
THURSDAY: Now we're talking. Passing shower? Winds: N 5. Wake-up: 45. High: 66.
FRIDAY: Brilliant sunshine. TGIF! Winds: SW 5. Wake-up: 46. High: 68.
SATURDAY: Few clouds. Still dry, still nice. Winds: ENE 5. Wake-up: 47. High: 67.
SUNDAY: Sunshine continues. Winds: SE 10-15. Wake-up: 46. High: 67.
This Day in Weather History
May 1st
1966: Winter makes a last stab at Minnesota with a low of 5 at Cook. A widespread freeze hits the rest of the state.
1935: An unusually late snow and ice storm hits east central Minnesota. The heaviest ice accumulations are between St. Paul and Forest Lake and westward to Buffalo in Wright County, with accumulations of 1 to 1.5 inches on wires. The downtown Minneapolis weather bureau records 3 inches of snow.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
May 1st
Average High: 65F (Record: 91F set in 1959)
Average Low: 44F (Record: 24F set in 1909)
Record Snowfall: 3.0" set in 1905
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
May 1st
Sunrise: 6:02am
Sunset: 8:19pm
Daylight gained since yesterday: ~2mins & 43secs
Daylight gained since winter solstice (December 21st): ~5hours & 31mins
Moon Phase for April 30th at Midnight
1.8 Days Before First Quarter
Weather Outlook For Monday
High temperatures on Monday will be significantly colder than average with readings warming into the 30s and 40s across the state. Note that this will be nearly 20F below average across the state, while readings across the Upper Midwest could be as cold as 30F below average, especially across the Plains.
Weather Outlook for Monday
Winds on Monday will be a little gusty as a storm system moves across the region. Sustained winds could be as strong as 20mph with gusts approaching 30mph across the Southwestern part of the state. By all accounts, Monday will be a very raw day, especially considering it is the first day of May.

Weather Outlook for Monday
Here's the weather outlook for midday Monday, which suggests widespread rain showers mixed with wet snow. Monday will be a very soggy day with lots of puddles. Some will even wake up to slushy snow accumulations across the state! The good thing about snow at this time of the year is that it doesn't last long. Much of what accumulates, will melt by midweek.


Precipitation Outlook for Minnesota

Total precipitation amounts across the region look pretty impressive with several spots seeing nearly 1" or more from Sunday into Monday. Kudos if you got your yard work done and spread some fertilizer this weekend. This will be a good soaking, so your lawn should green up quickly!


Soggy Storm System

Here's the weather outlook through Tuesday, which shows a waterlogged storm system moving through the Upper Midwest through the early week time frame. This storm will be responsible for widespread rain/snow showers through Monday. Note that much of the precipitation will end by Monday night with only a few leftover showers early Tuesday. 


Temperature Outlook

Here's the temperature outlook through the middle part of May. The good news is that temperatures look to warm to near average levels (mid 60s) again by the end of the week with highs warming into the 70s by the first weekend of May! The upcoming weekend looks to make up for the rotten start to May. Let's hope that the forecast holds for the weekend, it could be a beauty!

8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's CPC, the extended temperature outlook suggests warmer than average temperatures moving back into the Upper Midwest through the first week/weekend of May. Highs will once again warm into the 70s as we approach the weekend!


Extended Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's CPC, the extended temperature outlook shows much cooler than average weather settling in across the Eastern and southern part of the country as we approach the first weekend of May. However, warmer than average temperatures will settle in across the Plains, Midwest and the Southwestern US.


Weather Outlook This Week

A large storm system will wrap up early this week across the eastern half of the US with lingering showers and storms across the Eastern Seaboard on Monday and chilly temperatures in its wake. Another storm system will quickly develop on its heels across the Southern US with another round of strong to severe storms and locally heavy rainfall. This next storm will fizzle out along the East Coast by the weekend. 
5 Day Precipitation Outlook
According to NOAA's WPC, the 5 day precipitation outlook continues to show significant rainfall potential across the Southern US with some decent tallies across the Eastern half of the country through the end of the week. 

"The Year That Broke Portland’s Rain Counter"
For years, I’ve had a Portland rainy day counter. Right on bottom of this page. But this rainy season of 2016-2017 the counter broke. Or more specifically, the rainy season broke me – since I have to manually update the rainy day counter! So much rain, so little time. Here it is, then, in one lump some payment: 149 rainy days as of Saturday evening April 29, 2017. This is the most rainy days Portland has had in a single rainy season, which runs from October 1 – May 31 each year. And we have a lot of time left to add to this total. And if you look at October to April this has been Portland’s 2nd wettest in history. We’re closing in on 46″ when we should be at 29″ since October 1. That’s about 160% of average.

"Alaska Guessing Game Provides Climate Change Record"
"Buy a ticket in the Nenana Ice Classic and you could win nearly $300,000. All you have to do is guess when the ice covering Tanana River at the city of Nenana, Alaska will break up. Brothers Josh and Judah Ridgeway live in Nenana, a community of 375 people, about an hour southwest of Fairbanks. The brothers were hired by the Ice Classic to make regular ice measurements. They use a gas powered drill to bore through 3 to 4 feet of ice — though it's sometimes more. They do this at several locations on the Tanana, a few times a week, in April."
(Judah (left) and Josh Ridgeway drill a hole in the Tanana River at Nenana, Alaska to measure the thickness of the ice on April 13th. Dan Bross/KUAC)
"EPA removes climate change information from website"
The EPA removed most climate change information from its website Friday, saying in a press release that language on the website is being updated to "reflect the approach of new leadership." EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has expressed doubt about the reasons for climate change, saying in a CNBC interview in March that he was skeptical of the role carbon dioxide plays. "I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do, and there's tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact," Pruitt said. "So, no, I would not agree that it's a primary contributor to the global warming that we see."
"100 Percent Renewable Energy by 2050: Senators Introduce 'Most Ambitious' Climate Plan Ever"
Bill from Sanders, Merkley, and Markey reflects growing public demand to shift away from fossil fuels and usher in era of climate justice. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) on Thursday introduced legislation to build a 100 percent renewable energy economy by 2050—a bill that environmental group previously termed "the most ambitious piece of climate legislation Congress has ever seen," although others caution that it is not enough to meet the real challenges of climate change. The "100 by 50" Act calls for 50 percent of U.S. electricity to be produced by renewable energy sources like wind or solar by 2030, and 100 percent by 2050. It would require zero carbon emission vehicle standards and prohibit federal approval of oil and gas pipelines, among other measures.
"Space-mining may be only a decade away"
Oil states are investing in companies and infrastructure that could one day mine minerals and water found on the moon and in asteroids. Is water the new oil of space? It may be to Middle Eastern oil states such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who are looking at space as a way to diversify out of the earthly benefits of fossil fuel. “Middle East oil states are investing in satellite technology and trying to transform their domestic economies into digital economies and knowledge-based economies,” said Tom James of Navitas Resources, an energy consultant based in London and Singapore. As space colonizers such as Elon Musk and Jeffrey P. Bezos (owner of The Washington Post) aspire to shrink the cost of space travel, interest has picked up among oil states and others in how to power space settlements using water and minerals mined from the heavens. Oil states are investing in companies and infrastructure that could one day mine minerals and water found on the moon and in asteroids.
"Virgin Galactic Aims to Fly Space Tourists in 2018, CEO Says"
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic is on track to begin commercial passenger spaceflights before the end of next year, the company's chief executive said.  For years, Branson has been optimistically forecasting the start of rides aboard SpaceShipTwo, an air-launched suborbital spaceplane that is designed to carry six passengers and two pilots to an altitude of about 62 miles (100 kilometers).  During the suborbital hop, passengers will be able to experience a few minutes of microgravity and see the limb of Earth set against the blackness of space.
Thanks for checking in and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX

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