Posted at 8:22 AM on March 23, 2010
by Paul Huttner
Get ready for an outbreak of spring fever.
The weather maps are looking good next week for a major warm up in the Upper Midwest. The snow is gone, and it looks like persistent warm southerly winds will set up by the middle of next week. This could help boost temperatures into the 70s by next Wednesday or Thursday for much of Minnesota. The last time we hit 70 in the metro was on September 27th when the mercury hit 73 degrees at Twin Cities Airport.
NOAA GFS model surface map for next Wednesday features a warm southerly flow pumping mild (warm?) air into the Upper Midwest.
If the warm up pans out next week, it will continue a pattern that will make it an early spring this year in Minnesota. So far March temperatures are running 8.7 degrees above average in the Twin Cities, 21 of 22 days this month have featured above average temperatures. And it appears we may do something in March we have never done before in 125 years of record keeping in the Twin Cities; experience a snowless March.
April begins a week from Thursday. Though we can see snow and cold in April, it's pretty tough to turn back the clock to winter for long after April 1st.
It will be interesting to see how warm we get next week. If everything goes just right and the models stay where they are today, I would not be stunned to see the first 80 degree temperatures of the year somewhere in southern Minnesota next week. The average date for ice out in Lake Minnetonka is April 13th. Something tells me its going to be early this year.
Things are looking up in flood ravaged Minnesota these days.
Even with high water now and some crests still to come, many area rivers have passed crest levels and are beginning to fall at a good clip. No doubt the continued 12 day (mostly) dry weather pattern is helping accelerate falling river levels.
Here's a look at some good signs where rivers have crested and are dropping fast.
As the bubble of high water continues to roll down the Minnesota and Mississippi through the Twin Cities, the main areas of impact this week are along the St. Criox at Stillwater and along the Mississippi and Minnesota in the Twin Cities.
Fortunately the weather will cooperate and if current flood protection and forecasts hold, we may dodge what could have been a much bigger flood bullet in 2010.