The weekend storm fizzled as Paul suggested in his Friday afternoon blog. The system never came together as a good snowmaker. There was sufficient moisture in northern Minnesota, but only about three inches accumulated at Duluth and less than two inches in International Falls. About a half inch of liquid precipation was observed in northeast Minnesota.
Brisk winds and chilly temperatures are following in the wake of the surface low that tracked through Iowa and was over central Michigan at daybreak. The maximum temperatures on Sunday ranged from a very springlike 72 at Austin to 38 degrees at Duluth and International Falls. At the Twin Cities International Airport, the warmest reading of 2011 was recorded at 56 degrees.
The mild temperatures in southern and central Minnesota over the weekend triggered the release of snow and ice melt. The Red River of the North is on the rise.
Looking at the data on the website of the National Office of Hydrology Remote Sensing Center in Chanhassen, it appears that perhaps a half inch of snow and ice melt runoff took place in portions of the Red River Valley and the Minnesota River Valley. Thus we begin to monitor the potential for a second crest along the Minnesota and the Mississippi River.
Your link directly to the Chanhassen NWS river forecasts.
Track the Red River of the North here.
A recovery to temperatures closer to normal begins on Tuesday afternoon.
Posted at 3:57 PM on April 4, 2011
by Craig Edwards
Filed under: Flooding
This morning's model run out of the North Central River Forecast Center has the Red River tracking close to 39 feet. Here's the hydrograph that is site specific for the gauge at Fargo. Forecasters typically augment this graph with a narrative statement allowng for a range in the crest prediction. Their forecast range as of this afternoon was 38 to 40 feet.
At least partial sunshine, accompanied by brisk, dry northwest winds have probably induced some sublimation of reamining snow cover in the Red River Valley. That would keep the runoff to a minimum for today.
However milder temperatures, closer to normal readings are in the offing for Wednesday and Thursday. In adition precipitation may come into play later in the week.
NOAA National Center for Environmental's Prediction forecast of liquid equivalent of precipitation for Thursday and Friday. Models are challenged this transition season to accurately place accumulating rainfall/snowfall, as we learned this past weekend.
Gusty northwest winds will diminish this evening. Wind gusts reached 45 mph at Windom and Mankato today. Forty mph gusts were measured at Rochester and 35 mph about the Twin Cities.
Moderating temperatures this week will make it feel more like April. Normal high temperatures are in the middle 40s north to the middle 50s far south.
Pete Boulay from the Minnesota State Climate Office informed me this afternoon that the frost has gone out of the ground at the observation location in St. Paul. Watch for emerging perennials on the south facing slopes.