What a month.
March came in like a lamb this year. To the delight of winter weary Minnesotans, it turns out the March lion is AWOL in 2010.
Temperatures in the Twin Cities are running 8.9 degrees avove average through the first 23 days this month. The mercury has touched 60 degrees 4 days this month, and 22 of the 23 days have featured above average temps.
The rapid snowmelt has been remarkable this month. We've gone form over 2 feet of snow on the ground in southwest and western Minnesota to bare ground in under two weeks.
Check out this GOES visible satellite loop from March 1st to March 19th. The pictures are taken daily at 2pm. Note the clouds and rain from the 7th to the 16th. The rain and warm temps decimated the deep snow cover, and sent it all running into area rivers causing flooding. The Twin Cities NWS has a nice feature story on just how quickly the snow melted this month.
GOES visible loop shows rapid snowmelt this March in the Upper Midwest.
After our brief cool down the next few days, it appears temperatures are set to soar again in early April. We should se the season's first 70s next week.
It appears our extended string of dry weather is having a benefit. River leves are dropping like a rock.
Hydrologists at Twin Cities NWS lowered the forecast crest for the Mississippi River at St. Paul today. The previous crest forecast had the river topping out at 19.5 feet later this week. The current forecast has the river staying pretty much where it sits today; at 18.47 feet. That's about a foot lower than previous forecasts.
The trend of lower river level forecasts also extends to the Minnesota and St. Criox Rivers.
The lower crest forecasts are good news for those who have been fighting back rising rivers. It could potentially mean an earlier reopening of the St. Croix Lift Bridge in Stillwater which remains closed and affects so many commuters between Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Wit no major rain or snow in the forecast, it appear we are on the verge of turning the corner on the 2010 flood season. The forecast maps continue the trend of manly dry and warm weather in the coming weeks. If that trend continues, we'll be talking more about grass fires in the coming week than floods.