The incredible death and damage toll continues to mount from the Friday/Saturday tornado outbreak.
In this aerial photo, debris is strewn about, Saturday, March 3, 2012, in Marysville, Indiana, after a tornado swept through the area Friday. A string of violent storms demolished small towns in Indiana and cut off rural communities in Kentucky as an early season tornado outbreak killed more than 30 people, and the death toll rose as daylight broke on Saturday's search for survivors.(AP Photo/Al Behrman)
As of this update, at least 37 people have died, and over 100 tornadoes have been reported Friday (97 tornadoes) & Saturday.
The outbreak is focused on Florida Saturday and will finally ease by Sunday.
Track the latest watches & tornado reports here from SPC.
**Original post at 5:29pm Friday**
Major severe weather outbreak strikes Ohio Valley & south
Dozens of tornadoes reported
Damage and injuries mount
Wintery weekend feel for Minnesota
Strong warming trend Monday & Tuesday
Major warm up staring next weekend?
Signs of an early spring for Minnesota?
Major Severe Outbreak:
Here we go again.
Another major early spring severe weather outbreak is pummeling the southeast and Ohio Valley. Early video via CNN.
Dozens of tornadoes have skipped eastward from the Ohio Valley as damage and the human toll climbs. The numbers will climb as the weekend unfolds.
You can follow the outbreak and check the latest numbers here at SPC.
The fast moving front will sail off the east coast Saturday, mercifully bringing an end to the path of destruction.
This weekend will feel more like winter than spring in Minnesota.
A cool exhaust from an eastward passing storm will keep Minnesota in mostly sub-freezing air this weekend. Daytime highs may approach the low 30s in the south, but overnight lows will be in the teens and colder.
Warming trend starts Monday:
Winds will blow from the south starting on Monday. The milder air will funnel in, and temps should respond Monday, and especially Tuesday.
There are signs we could be as warm as 50+ degrees on Tuesday, but there are a few kinks that could thwart the rise.
1) Monday fog potential: Whenever we get southerly flow over snow pack melting can create fog. That can stop a warm up in its tracks.
We'll have to keep an eye out for potential fog Monday and Monday night that could linger and slow down daytime temp rises.
2) Snow pack: All things being equal, snow covered areas will not warm as much as bare ground. Temps may soar into the 60s southern Minnesota Tuesday on bare ground in sunshine. Temps will be cooler over snow covered areas.
How much snow the Twin Cities is able to melt Monday (we won't melt much at all this weekend) will determine how warm we get Tuesday.
One factor in favor of 50s in the metro Tuesday? The ground is mostly snow free just south of the metro, and a good strong southerly wind Tuesday may just overcome existing snow cover by mixing down warmer air from above.
Signs of an early spring this year?
After a cool down later next week, there are signs that pint to a major warming trend by next weekend, and a potential early spring in Minnesota this year.
1) The upper air pattern supports massive warming starting the weekend of March 10th-11th. With most of the snow gone by then in the metro and higher sun angle, temps could soar to into the 60s if the GFS patterns verify.
Medium range models are mush better with large scale temperature trends than with predicting individual storms. That lends more credibility to the notion of a sustained warming trend starting next weekend.
2) The overall pattern looks much warmer later in March. If the GFS is right, temps could approach 70 in southwest Minnesota the weekend of March 17th! CPC's outlooks also favor warmth for March.
March Daffodils? Early ice out?
If that happens, expect early blooms and some of the earliest "ice out" dates on Minnesota lakes in recent years.
The average long term date for ice out on Lake Minnetonka is April 13th.
At this point, I'd put my money on about Saturday March 17th, 3:45pm.
But that's just a guess.
Have a great weekend!