Posted at 5:25 AM on March 1, 2010
by Paul Huttner
We made it!
Meteorological winter (Dec-Feb) is officially over. Today, March 1st. marks the beginning of meteorological spring (Mar-May). The coldest 3 months of the year are now behind us, rising temperatures and an ever increasing sun angle and intensity mean the snow cover is not long for this place.
My old WCCO colleague and news legend Dave Moore used to say "Make no big plans in March." Dave knew how cruel the month of March can be in Minnesota. I think all of us have had not so fleeting thoughts of loading up and moving south in March.
Thankfully March will come in unusually kind this year, at least for the first week.
Expect plenty of sun and daytime temps warming from the mid 30s into the upper 30s and lower 40s by late week. When we hit 40 in the metro, it wil be the first time since December 1st! We're going to melt some snow (and ice dams) this week. There's nearly a foot on the ground at MSP as of early Monday morning, but we will be melt a few inches and send it running down the street by week's end.
Here are some highlights for the February (and meteorological winter) that was:
-Temperatures near average (-0.4)
-Snowfall above average with 13.9" (+5.7")
-No sub zero nights! (Average for February is 7)
-So far 17 nights at or below zero this winter. Average is 30 for the entire winter season.
-Season snowfall so far is 40.7" (-1.6")
The bottom line for many of us in Minnesota is that we just experienced fairly "average" Minnesota winter. Both temperatures and snowfall were close to average in many locations.
March Outlook: In like a lamb, lion roars next week?
This week will feature bright sun, light winds, and mild afternoon temperatures. You'll actually be excused for having thoughts of spring. A slightly cool northerly flow will keep temperatures in check through Wednesday with mid 30s.
By Thursday, full on high pressure will gently slide warmer air in from the west. Bright sun should boost afternoon temperatures toward 40 as soon as Thursday. There's a good chance excitable bank thermometers may be flashing low 40s to close the week.
The next storm system will push enough warm air our way that we should see rain by Sunday night into early Monday. Then we could see a change over to wet sloppy March snow a week from today. Signs are a colder shot of air may follow that system next week.
Stay tuned...and enjoy the best week of weather in months!
Posted at 4:15 PM on March 1, 2010
by Paul Huttner
This is the week many Minnesotans have been waiting for. Longer sunnier days with temperatures well above freezing. Rooftop snow turning into therapeutic drips that make sweet music in the downspouts as Chickadees sing spring songs.
It's March alright, and here are a few highlights.
-Today is the 4th straight day with temperatures at or above freezing in the metro and most of eastern Minnesota. It looks like our first 40 degree day since December 1st is in the bag this week. We could see a string of 40s as we move into the weekend.
KMSP GFSX MOS GUIDANCE 3/01/2010 1200 UTC
FHR 24 36| 48 60| 72 84| 96 108|120 132|144 156|168 180|192
TUE 02| WED 03| THU 04| FRI 05| SAT 06| SUN 07| MON 08|TUE CLIMO
N/X 20 33| 21 34| 19 36| 21 42| 25 42| 27 42| 27 45| 25 19 37
-Temperatures have already broken the 40 degree mark today in Brainerd, Park Rapids, Big Fork and Hinckley.
BRAINERD MOSUNNY 41 16 36 N5 30.27S
BIG FORK MOSUNNY 41 16 36 CALM 30.26F
PARK RAPIDS MOSUNNY 40 10 29 CALM 30.26F
HINCKLEY FAIR 41 22 47 N5 30.27F
March Gone Wild: March features wild temperature and snowfall swings
Average is definitely a relative term in March weather. Perhaps more than any other month, March can feature wild swings in temperature and snowfall from week to week or year to year.
-The average high today is 34 in the metro. By March 31st, it warms to 49 degrees.
During the past 5 years, it has been as warm as 81 degrees (2007) in March in the Twin Cities. It has been as cold as -6 (2008), a stunning 87 degree difference in extremes in one month.
-The average March snowfall for the Twin Cities is 10.4".
During the past 5 years in March we have seen as little as 1.5" of monthly snowfall (2009) and as much as 20.4" (2006).
March is truly the roulette wheel of weather in Minnesota. Or maybe the Forest Gump analogy works best. March is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get.