37 degrees possible at MSP Airport Thursday morning
Frost possible - even likely in the north & east metro early Thursday
Frost likely north & east of a Fargo-Alex-St. Cloud-NE Metro-La Crosse line
"Hard freeze" likely (28 degrees or colder) for Walker-Duluth-Iron Range & International Falls
Thursday rain moves in from west to east
Severe risk for parts of Iowa and the central plains
Near 80 degrees this weekend??
Snow flakes possible by next Tuesday?
Wet windy & colder early next week
7-Day Hurricane tracks from NHC in 2013?
Latest from 2012 Hurricane Conference this week in Orlando
Frost recipe: Frosty start Thursday!
Normally we wouldn't even bother writing about the potential for frost in late March...it's a given.
But our last freezing temps at MSP Airport were on March 9th, when the mercury hit 15 degrees.
Temps probably won't dip to 32 at MSP tonight, but with a low near 37, frost is possible in the metro...and even likely in the northeast metro and further north & east in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
A hard freeze is likely in northern Minnesota.
The old school definition of a "hard freeze" was at least 3 hours of temps at 28 degrees or colder. With temps at those levels for extended time, sensitive plants are more likely to suffer damage. The good news? I'm told most of our hardy shrubs and trees that are leafing out will be fine even with a freeze. Any prematurely blooming flowers could be a different story.
The next wave of low pressure spins in Thursday. Look for clouds and showers to increase form the west during the PM hours, and peak rainfall should arrive Thursday evening.
Most models favor anywhere from .20" to .50" of rain by Friday morning.
Severe risk south:
While a clap of thunder is possible Thursday evening, SPC does not favor any severe weather for Minnesota.
There is a slight risk for severe storms in parts of Iowa and the Midwest Thursday.
80 this weekend?
Southerly winds will pump in warmer air this weekend. The latest indications are that we could approach 80 both Saturday and Sunday in much of southern Minnesota!
Early spring signs all over the Midwest:
The Midwestern Regional Climate Center (MWCC) has some timely details on just how unusual our early spring is...and what the impacts are.
"Besides early planting, the warm temperatures are causing a variety of other impacts across the Midwest. The unseasonably warm and dry conditions in parts of the Midwest have increased the risk for wildfires in Minnesota and Wisconsin. However, rain over the past few days should ease the risk for wildfires in parts of this region.
Ice break-up on lakes in Minnesota has occurred in the southern half of the state two to four weeks early, according to the Minnesota State Climatology office. Early ice breakup is also occurring in other parts of the Midwest. This winter season, lakes near Madison, Wisconsin experienced the fifth shortest duration of ice cover on the lakes sincerecords began in 1852.
Apple and peach trees are blooming in Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois. The last year fruit trees bloomed this early in the Midwest was in 2007, which resulted in a late freeze on Easter weekend (http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/special-reports/2007-apr-coldeventhtml), an event that is now leaving orchard owners nervous that a similar freeze could happen again this year. The warm nighttime temperatures are also inhibiting the production of syrup from maple trees in Wisconsin."
Windy, wet & colder Monday & Tuesday?
The GFS (which has not been terribly reliable lately) is insisting on a fairly strong low pressure storm system swirling in the Upper Midwest Monday & Tuesday.
In that scenario, we could see showers and storms evolve by late Sunday night into Monday...and even enough cold air swirling south behind the system to spawn some wet snow flakes by Tuesday.
The system is still evolving...so stay tuned. What seems certain at this pint is that we'll go from shorts to jackets in about 36hours between Sunday PM and Tuesday morning!
Hurricane Conference: 7-Day NHC track forecasts in 2013?
Here's some breaking news from this week's hurricane conference in Orlando.
NHC may start issuing 7-Day track forecasts for hurricanes in 2013.
The current forecasts goe to 5 days....but widely available "spaghetti models" track storms much further out with varying degrees of accuracy.
Hurricane track forecast errors have been cut in half since 1990, and are much better than intensity forecasts.
CSU forecasts this season cite cooler Atlantic Ocean temps as a reason for a below average forecast in 2012. As I've posted here before, I'm not a big fan of seasonal hurricane forecast. They have been horrible may of the past few years...and give a false sense of alarm or security.
Even in a slow season, it only takes one or two big hurricanes making landfall to do great damage. Even in an active season, most or al of the storms may not make a USA landfall...which is exactly what happened in 2010.
The real value is in short term, updated hurricane forecasts as they happen from NHC. Those guys/gals are good...and they save lives!
June 1st marks the start of hurricane season!