Posted at 5:16 PM on March 16, 2012
by Paul Huttner
79 degree record high in the Twin Cities Friday
June 11th date when average high reaches 79 degrees at MSP
5th record high at MSP in the past week
82-85 forecast high for the metro Saturday & Sunday
76 & 71 record highs for Saturday & Sunday at MSP Airport
March 23rd, 1910 earliest 80 degree temp in the metro (until this weekend?)
Humid too dew points reach the sticky 60s this weekend
Thunder threat? Slight chance of isolated T-Storms late Saturday
Ice out shifting north toward metro lakes this weekend
Another day, another record:
Talk about "Spring Forward."
Friday was the 5th record high at MSP in the past week. It looks like we'll make it 7 by the time Monday rolls around.
Our exceptionally warm air mass is typical for June not March! We're literally leaping ahead 3 months on the weather.
This looks like an unprecedented string of record March warmth. We'll easily tie the record of five 70 degree days for March set in 1910 by Monday.
We'll cool off slightly next week, but with more warm air masses later this month, my gut tells me this will be the warmest March on record.
Earliest 80 degree temps on record at MSP:
We should hit 80 this weekend at MSP Airport. When we do, it will set a new record for the earliest 80 degree temp on rerecord. The earliest we've hit 80 at MSP was on March 23, 1910 when the mercury touched 83 degrees.
One of the best ways to forecast temps at the surface in spring & summer is to use the 850mb temp "mix down" technique. If you take the air at around 5,000 feet and bring it down to ground level with a "dry adiabatic" method as meteorologist call it...you can get a great estimation of the potential maximum surface temps.
Looking at this weekend, and an 850 mb forecast temp of +17C yields 88 degrees at the surface in summer. Subtract a little for the lower March sun angle and you get about 82 degrees in the Twin Cities this weekend.
I wouldn't be shocked to see a few hyper bank thermometers flashing 85 in southern Minnesota, and maybe the metro this weekend!
Did I just say that in March?
"Warm & Humid?"
I had to dig deep into the weather lab grab bag to find the "H" word in March.
Dew points will hover in the 60s this weekend in southern & eastern Minnesota. Drier air with dew points in the 30s lingers over the Dakotas and western Minnesota.
The interface between the 2 air masses is called a "dry-line." Dry lines can act as pseudo cold fronts, and may serve as the focus for triggering isolated T-Storms.
Though the atmosphere is likely "capped" this weekend above 10,000 feet, I can't rule out a stray thunderstorm...especially Saturday late PM & evening.
A warm front may set up Saturday night, and that could trigger a few "nocturnal thunderstorms" along the front. Unheard of for March in Minnesota.
Chances for boomers will increase as you move east into Wisconsin.
Ice out continues:
Reports of ice free lakes continue to roll in this weekend.
You can check the latest ice-out reports here.
Enjoy our June-like weekend!
So wonderful to have this warm weather - I broke out my shorts today (apologies to the people who were blinded by the supernova effect).
I had a question for you Paul on average temperature and sun angle. The average high on the fall equinox is quite warm, I'm about 64. The average high for the spring equinox is about 45, much cooler. The sun angle though is about the same, meaning there is just as much heat coming in. I presume this is because we are going from cold to warm and the sun typically has to melt snow. So, to make a long story short, with the snow now gone and these warmer days upon us, is there a chance that cool downs will be shorter lived, and do substantial cool downs look less likely into April (e.g., run of 30s)? I'm hopeful any cooler weather will be more seasonable cool/tepid, and not the nasty stuff like the 30s for highs; that would be pretty brutal after this. Here's hoping we don't see any more snow, but just April showers of the liquid kind.
The REAL reason for this unprecedented warmth is all the hot air emanating from the Republican primaries!
Paul, Do you think this weather poses any danger to spring blossoms and flowers?? Will they come out too soon, only to be nipped by a normally-occurring frost? ( I am thinking of the apple crop, and my tulips.)
The ice went out on St. Paul's Lake Como today!