The thick snow cover in the Red River Valley was keeping temperatures in the middle to upper 30s this afteroon. Meanwhile, the mercury has broken 50 F in southwest Minnesota.
Temperatures at 4 p.m. CDT.
The NOAA GOES displays the snow cover in eastern North Dakota through Minnesota and into Wisconsin. The forested area of northeast Minnesota and northern Wisconsin masks the foot and a half of snow depth.
A few light showers were falling from the clouds between Yankton, S.D. and Sioux City, Iowa.
Temperatures are expected to fall to seasonal lows by daybreak, as the nearly calm air radiates heat back into the atmosphere.
The thermometer got quite a workout at Crane Lake in the past twenty-fours. The high temperature yesterday was 46 F The mercury bottomed-out at 3 F this morning.
Our source of air is coming from a west northwest direction at mid levels. Winds have already turned to south in western Minnesota at the surface, allowing temperatures to climb to 54 degrees at Pipestone at 4 p.m. CDT
Jet stream this afternoon from the NAM indicating the overhead winds at about 25 thousand feet.
A weak short wave in the jet stream passes through the eastern Dakotas and into Wisconsin on Friday and Saturday. Showers are likely to form with this weather-maker. Some of the moisture could fall as freezing rain from Duluth north on Friday night.
The NAM has added some momentum to this system and could help accelerate much of the precipitation out of eastern Minnesota early Saturday afternoon.
NAM precipitation in liquid for the six-hour period ending at 1 p.m. CDT on Thursday.
If we get breaks in the clouds on Saturday afternoon the temperature has a good chance of reaching 50 in southern Minnesota.
On Sunday the jet stream steers much cooler air into the upper Midwest. Note the two separate cores of 100 knot winds, suggesting a re-enforcing shot of cold air on Monday.
High temperatures on Easter Sunday will likely occur around noon and will be some 10 to 15 degrees below normal. Expect northwest winds to gust over 25 mph during the afternoon.
When Paul returns hopefully he can promise a moderation that will last as we move through April,
Craig Edwards(0 Comments)
Making the transition from winter to spring is about as smooth as a drive down a road pitted with potholes.
A surge of precipitation was tracking through southern Minnesota at daybreak and will be mainly rain in southeast Minnesota, but will transition to snow and freezing rain in northwest Minnesota and the eastern Dakotas. Northeast Minnesota is the most likely to receive accumulating snow.Track the wintry forecast from Duluth at this storm update website.
NOAA's forecast for the probability of snow accumulating six inches or more by 7 a.m. CDT Sunday.
NWS Warnings and Advisories for today into this evening are shown below. Pink shaded area is a warning for freezing rain changing to accumulating snow. The blue shaded area is a winter weather advisory for ice accumulation this morning. The forecast remains a work in progress.
The discussion from National Weather Service meteorologists this morning from the Chanhassen Office included this comment about the confidence of ice accumulation in the area of central Minnesota under a winter storm warning:
THE WINTER STORM WARNING IS QUESTIONABLE AT THE MOMENT. THERE IS FREEZING RAIN OCCURRING IN THE NORTHWEST PERIPHERY...WITH ONE TO TWO TENTHS OF AN INCH OF ICE POSSIBLE. THEN SNOW COMES IN THE AFTERNOON/EVENING. WILL LEAVE THIS WARNING RIDE FOR NOW. WILL LIKELY DO SOME ADJUSTMENT TO COVERAGE/TYPE LATER THIS MORNING.
Today's forecasted maximum temperatures from the National Weather Service show the mercury climbing well into the 30s in southeast Minnesota and into central Wisconsin.
Ice accumulations may make roadways slick for a time this morning in the metro area, but wet roads are likely later this morning and this afternoon.
Travel with caution as road conditions may vary considerably.
Generous precipitation from the system will put yet another dent in the drought status, although a frozen landscape is likely to result in runoff into ponds, creeks, rivers and lakes. Some minor flooding is possible on roadways due to clogged drains.
This forecast from the NAM sugests the heaviest precipitation will occur through central into northeast Minnesota this afternoon and evening.
The Twin Cities metro area, at this time, does not appear to be in a region of heavy rain today. But the forecast remains a challenge.
Radar image shortly before 7 a.m. CST displays a break in the precipitation this morning in central Minnesota.
Over a third of an inch of precipitation fell in St. Cloud and at the Twin Cities International Airport overnight. I measured 0.38 inches of precipitation in Eden Prairie as of 7 a.m. CST
The rain gauge at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport accumulated nearly a half-inch (0.49) of precipitation on Sunday. This is a record for Jan. 27, beating the old record of 0.42 inch set in 1916. The observer measured 3 inches of snow on Sunday at the airport.
Check out some snowfall reports by clicking here.
A dense, icy fog blanketed a large part of Minnesota with temperatures below the thawing point of 32 degrees this morning. Visibility was as low as a quarter-mile from Duluth through the Twin Cities to Albert Lea. Travel with caution. Visibility is expected to improve later this morning.
A sharp contrast in temperatures is seen on the map above, with highs as mild as the 60s in Illinois. Last night, around 10 p.m., a thunderstorm was reported to the west of Chicago at the Dupage County Airport.
A mixture of freezing rain/sleet and snow is expected to form in western Minnesota later today. This wintry mix should change to all snow tonight.
Travel will be very hazardous through the night in northern portions of Minnesota, where a Winter Storm Watch is in effect for the potential for 4 to 8 inches of snow.
In the Twin Cities lighter amounts of snow are on tap for later tonight and Tuesday.
The upper Midwest is in the path of a blast of Arctic air on Wednesday.
Source:NOAA/College of Dupage
NAM forecast at approximately 5 thousand feet on Thursday at noon displaying the impressive onslaught of perhaps the coldest air mass of the season. Temperatures and wind field paint the icy cold quite nicely. In this case, bright red is extreme cold.
Below normal temperatures are expected through Saturday.
The mercury soared to a record high of 48 degrees at International Falls, Minn., this afternoon. As Minnesotans know International Falls lays claims to being the "Ice Box of the Nation." It is quite ironic that the 47 F today beats the record of 41 F set just last year.
On this date, one year ago, the Minneapolis-St, Paul International Airport set a record of 52 F.
Anticipated moisture has gathered in the clouds and is falling through a cool layer of air this afternoon in southern Minnesota. Temperatures have remained above the thawing point of 32 F but as darkness sets in and the moisture cools the lowest layer near the surface, freezing rain becomes a concern for travelers.
A freezing rain advisory blankets central and northern Minnesota north of a line from Montevideo to the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities and east into Rice Lake, Wis. for the overnight hours. Ice accumulations are most likely from St. Cloud to Hibbing and Duluth. Travel with caution tonight.
This experimental forecast product from NOAA's NCEP indicates the area most likely to experience ice accumulation tonight and Friday morning.
The main snow producer is still in the formation stage and will spin-up in southwest Nebraska on Friday. As the low center travels northeast and strengthens on Friday afternoon, snow is expected to fall heavily north of the track of the low.
The model forecasts have not wavered much and favor northwest Minnesota and eastern North Dakota with several inches of snow. A winter storm watch remains in effect for Friday night into Saturday morning for that area.
NOAA's GFS model places the center of lowest pressure in central Minnesota at midnight on Friday with a swath of snow falling as shown by the colored area. The darker green shaded area is an accumulation of liquid moisture of a quarter-inch between 6 p.m. CST and midnight on Friday. Moderate- to- heavy snow should continue through the night at Roseau and Thief River Falls.
Increasing northwest winds on the backside of the system will create blowing and drifting snow. Travel around Grand Forks, Fargo and Detroit Lakes is likely to be very difficult late Friday and Saturday morning.
Fog is expected to expand in coverage over southern Minnesota overnight. Light drizzle and dense fog may hamper travel Friday morning.
Temperatures crash in Minnesota on Saturday. Morning temperatures are not likely to rise much. A cold day is on tap for Sunday.
Seasonal temperatures may be around for awhile. We are in the coldest days of winter.
Craig Edwards(3 Comments)
After a quiet weather morning Minnesotans will be served up a sample of winterlike conditions with light freezing rain developing later today, particularly north of the Twin Cities.
Area outlined in purple is under a Freezing Rain Advisory, which extends north to cover the remainder of northern Minnesota for this evening. The tan shading highlights the big change in temperatures arriving on Friday night.Source:NWS Chanhassen, MN
Light rain is expected to develop later today and as the darkness sets in the precipitation will freeze on the surface. The critical factor is the low dew points this morning, which are not expected to climb much. As moisture falls evaporational cooling will occur. The ambient temperature will slip to 32 F or lower. Watch for slick spots this evening.
Strong thunderstorms, producing heavy rain and the threat for severe weather, continue to pound the lower Mississippi Valley this morning. Heavy rainfall will extend up to southern Illinois today.
Temperatures should top out in the middle to upper 30s in southern Minnesota today as clouds thicken.
Winter's main course arrives on Friday with a potential for several inches of snow in northwest Minnesota and eastern North Dakota. A Winter Storm Watch is posted for that area. Snow should fall heavily later on Friday and taper off on Saturday. Five to ten inches of snow could accumulate from Grand Forks to Roseau.
The center of the storm system is forecast to travel on a path that puts southeast Minnesota in the mild sector on Friday, with also limited precipitation amounts. Highs could top 40 in Rochester Friday afternoon.
Arctic air will sweep into the Great Lakes on Friday night and Saturday as icing on the wintry landscape. Blustery winds will add a sting to the air that we haven't experienced for some time. Bundle up on the weekend. Hoods or caps are recommended to cover the head and ears. Mittens are preferred over gloves to keep your fingers warm.
Seasonal temperatures remain in our weather picture through next week.
A strengthening low pressure system in southwest North Dakato is ushering in milder temperatures through Nebraska into South Dakota. The leading surge of warmer air, depicted as a warm front, ignited showers and thundershowers in southwest Minnesota. Thundershowers are expected early this evening in eastern Minnesota.
Snapshot of radar at 330PM.
The regional short term model from the Chanhassen NWS Office presents this simulation of radar reflectivity at 7PM.
Winds have been gusting as high as 45 mph in western Minnesota (Worthington) this afternoon. A Wind Advisory remains in effect overnight and into Tuesday for southern and central Minnesota. Winds are not expected to ease off until late Tuesday.
Overnight, the rain advancing north will meet up with colder and drier air at the surface. This will result in freezing rain in far northern and northeast Minnesota. A Freezing Rain Advisory has been posted for a small corner of the Arrowhead.
Milder air will be positioned over southern Minnesota on Tuesday ahead of the advancing low pressure system. Temperatures are likely to soar well above normal once again.
The Twin Cities should top out near 70 degrees Tuesday afternoon. But the strong winds will detract from enjoying an outdoor lunch,
If you enjoy tracking the records from the unseasonably warm spell the last couple of weeks, the Chanhassen NWS Office has updated the details of the record warmth and dew points.
Our friends at the State Climate Office shared this nugget of information with regard to the outlook for frost in the months of April and May based on their study of historically warm temperatures in March. Using the past as our window to the future, it is apparent that a warm March offers us no obvious indication about when the final spring frost will occur. 139 years of Twin Cities temperature data were reviewed. The final spring frost can occur as late as mid May.
The GFS model that extends out two weeks paints a picture of more changes in the wind in the first week or so of April. Perhaps a reversal of the warm weather that we've enjoyed? We'll have to wait and see.
Yesterday's maximum temperature topped out at only 35 degrees at International Falls, which was four degrees below the average high of 39. The high on Saturday at the Falls was 58 degrees. In the Twin Cities the afternoon temperature failed to reach 60 for the first time since we settled for 52 degrees on March 12th. It was a good run well above normal temperatures.
Clouds are expected to prevail today. The maximum temperature in the Twin Cities may struggle to reach 50 degrees with periods of showers and thundershowers. Showers and thunder spread from central to northern Minnesota this evening. Many places are still short of precipitation for the month of March.
Here's a look at the potential precipitation totals for the next couple of days.
Due to the low dew points expected to hold over northeast Minnesota today and tonight, some of the precipitation is likely to occur as freezing rain. A Freezing Rain Advisory has been posted for a sliver of the Arrowhead Region for tonight. Freezing rain will coat tree limbs and pwer lines during the cover of darkness.
Details can be found by clicking on this statement from the National Weather Service in Duluth.
Strong winds are on tap as a low pressure system winds up over the upper Midwest later today. The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for portions of western Minnesota, where gusts could top 35 mph. Brisk winds are expected across much of the state on Tuesday as well.
The NAM depicts a strong surge of warm air as the low tracks towards International Falls at midday on Tuesday. This pressure pattern illustrates the potential for wind gusts to 40 mph in southern Minnesota.
It appears the trend continues to be our friend as we head into April. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center posted their April temperature outlook earlier this month. They sometimes refresh this outlook on the last day of the month.
Precipitation outlook from NOAA for April.
The normal maximum/minimum for the Twin Cities on April 1st are 50/31 degrees.
Update: 1:45pm Sunday:
Temperatures have warmed above freezing as expected in the metro, but remain just below freezing north and west.
The freezing rain advisory has been extended this afternoon northwest of the Twin Cities.
Use extreme caution walking and driving today, and we may get some refreeze tonight into Monday morning as temps fall below freezing again.
This event shows just how vulnerable UNTREATED roadways and walkways are to ice events.
Even though this was a relatively minor icing accumulation (generally around .10" in most areas) the IMPACT was large because roadways were largely untreated. There was a good forecast of light snow and/or freezing rain going into Saturday night. Had the roads been simply pretreated they would have been wet instead of icy, and we would likely not have had nearly the number of accidents we saw in the past 24 hours.
Update 12:30am Sunday:
MNDOT and others reporting literally HUNDREDS of spinouts and accidents overnight into Sunday morning. Roads are just plain impassable in many areas. Untreated roads, driveways and sidewalks are glare ice!
Here are some storm reports form NWS spotters.
- 1 Se Maple Grove [Hennepin Co, MN] storm chaser reports FREEZING RAIN of E0.10 INCH at 11:10 PM CST -- 0.10 inch ice accumulation over past two hours. roads are ice covered and nearly impassable. multiple accidents and roll overs on 694 west bound in the maple grove area. 694/94 east bound is closed due to a multi car accident involving a semi truck.
-Victoria [Carver Co, MN] nws employee reports FREEZING RAIN of U0.00 INCH at 10:46 PM CST -- significant glazing of roads. numerous cars either in ditch or unable to gain traction.
-Blaine [Anoka Co, MN] trained spotter reports FREEZING RAIN of U0.00 INCH at 10:00 PM CST -- minor ice accumulation.
-Brooklyn Center [Hennepin Co, MN] storm chaser reports FREEZING RAIN of U0.00 INCH at 11:25 PM CST -- glazing of roads.
- Victoria [Carver Co, MN] nws employee reports FREEZING RAIN of U0.00 INCH at 11:25 PM CST -- significant glazing of roads. numerous cars either in ditch or unable to gain traction.
-Annandale [Wright Co, MN] law enforcement reports FREEZING RAIN of U0.00 INCH at 11:51 PM CST -- many vehicles leaving the roadway.
Conditions will improve by midday Sunday as temperures warm above freezing.
Roads in much of central Minnesota including the metro are like a skating rink late Saturday night and into Sunday morning.
Freezing rain advisories are in effect through Sunday morning.
A band of freezing rain has coated everything, including sidewalks and power lines. The good news is accumulations will be on the lighter side, generally under .10" or so. That should not cause widespread power outages due to down trees or lines.
The bad news is it only takes .10" to form glaze ice on roadways and walkways. Be careful walking! Many ER visits during icing events are from people who fell while walking! Once roads are treated they will be better, but I personally observed several cars skidding and slipping uphill in the west metro Saturday evening. Roads are glaze ice in many areas.
MNDOT reports numerous accidents overnight.
Warmer temps Sunday:
The icing should last into Sunday morning, but warmer air will push temps above freezing by late Sunday morning, and that should help conditions improve as the ice begins to melt.
I'm still tracking a potentially major travel headache for Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. Snow, wind and cold temps may create a travel nightmare Wednesday and Wednesday night into early Thanksgiving Day.
Right now Tuesday looks like the best travel day before Thanksgiving. Fortunately travel may improve (no big storms) Friday thorugh Sunday of next weekend. Plan accordingly.