60 degrees never felt so good. Sunday was the warmest day since mid-October! In true Minnesota fashion, however, the weather turns sour again this week. While the northern half of the state gets a blizzard, the southern portion sees thunderstorms.
A second storm this week comes on Thursday with the possibility of more snow. Stay tuned!
Monday: Morning thunderstorms. Break in rain mid-PM. H: 60 Wind: SE 10
Monday Night: Rain changing to snow. Just a dusting. L: 21
Tuesday: Much colder, windy. Turning partly cloudy. H: 35 L: 23 Wind: NW 20-25
Wednesday: Mostly sunny. H: 41 L: 30 Wind: NE 2-4
Thursday: Mostly cloudy, heavy rain changing to snow late. H: 46 L: 30 Wind: E 10
Friday: Snow, likely accumulation. H: 35 L: 26 Wind: NE 15-20
Saturday: Partly cloudy. H: 40 L: 29 Wind: NW 10
Sunday: Sunny, warmer. H: 50 L: 46 Wind: SW 2-4
Snow melt with an additional 0.5" to 1 inch of liquid precipitation means very soggy soils. Trails will continue to remain closed for a while. Even pavement riding will stay rather wet. Fenders will be your best friend!
Here's an eyebrow-raiser...the last time we had a/ with highs (both days) in the 40s or warmer was ...
That seems like ages ago! We enjoy a nice lukewarm weekend but it's short-lived. Heavy rain and snow look to set up across the area Monday and then again on Wednesday as a pair of storms impact the region.
Saturday: Scattered clouds. H: 40° Wind: SE 2
Saturday Night: Partly cloudy. L: 35°
Sunday: Warmest day since mid-October! H: 54° L: 37° Wind: SW 10-15
Monday: Heavy rain changes over to heavy snow by Monday evening. H: 46° L: 29° Wind: NW 15-20
Tuesday: Cloudy, windy. H: 35° L: 24° Wind: NW 15-20
Wednesday: More rain and snow, likely. Location of precipitation type will vary greatly depending on storm track. Stay tuned! H: 39° L: 30° Wind: NE 7
Rain changing to snow by Thursday night. Expect a sloppy 1 inch in the metro. Up to 4" of snow will be found from St. Cloud to Duluth.
Thursday: Rain changing to snow. H: 40 L: 20 Wind: N 10-15
Friday: Snow. Totals: near 1 inch. H: 32 L: 23 Wind: E 5-10
Saturday: Partly cloudy. H: 37 L: 29 Wind: SE 5-10
Sunday: Mild! H: 54 L: 37 Wind: NE 5-10
Time to hit the pavement! Most, if not all, of the metro trails are closed until the thaw is over.
Spring is in the air this weekend as temperatures approach 50 degrees. This warm-up is brief, however, as colder air sneaks back in early next week.
No warm front in sight. Just clippers and cold fronts. The calendar may say Spring but Mother Nature has other plans. After a chilly Saturday, the temperatures will struggle to get close to average (47°) through next week.
Too warm to ride the trails, yet staying colder than average through at least the end of the month. We are stuck in weather limbo, for sure!
Saturday: Partly to mostly cloudy. H: 20 Wind: NW 10
Saturday Night: Clear and cold. L: 0 Wind: NW 4
Sunday: Sunny. H: 22 L: 9 Wind: NW 5-10
Monday: Light snow showers late. H: 30 L: 11 Wind: W 5-10
Tuesday: Partly cloudy. H: 26 L: 15 Wind: NW 5-10
Wednesday: Turning breezy. H: 37 L: 29 Wind: SE 10-15
While a few warm days here and there are certainly likely, the long-term outlook for April may favor colder than average conditions for Minnesota. The record ice cover over the Great Lakes is one reason for the lingering chill into Spring.
Heads up: the next shot at 50 degrees might be around the 2-3 of April.
Vote for Cottage Grove
One of our bike parks, Cottage Grove Bike Park, has a chance to win world class design and construction of world class bike jumps and course! The Bell Built Grant, given out by Bell Bike Helmets and International Mountain Bicycling Association, can make this happen.
Voting for CGBP starts April 21st at http://www.bellhelmets.com/bellbuilt.
Bad Weather and Facebook
Turns out it is possible that a rainy day in England can affect your mood here in the States.
Researchers have long known that emotions can be spread through people via face-to-face interaction, but the new frontier is to examine whether the effect translates to social media interactions.
They found that negative Facebook posts increased by 1.16% and positive posts decreased by 1.19% in response to gloomy weather.
"These results imply that emotions themselves might ripple through social networks to generate large-scale synchrony that gives rise to clusters of happy and unhappy individuals," the report states.
In a nutshell, your unhappiness about the weather could spread well beyond your backyard to other cities that may not even be experiencing bad weather!
The sleet and snow we had Monday morning was just the warm front coming through. The real fun begins Tuesday with a powerful Pacific storm that brings 6"-12" of snow to central Minnesota.
Tuesday: Mix of snow and ice pellets. Total snow metro 3"-6", more just to our north. H: 36 L: 29 Wind: N 10
Wednesday: Morning snow ending by afternoon. H: 38 L: 29 Wind: NW 10
Thursday: Partly sunny. H: 43 L: 28 Wind: SW 7
Friday: Rain/snow mix. H: 37 L: 20 Wind: NE 10
Saturday: Partly cloudy, breezy. H: 25 L: 8 Wind: NW 10-15
Sunday: Sunny. H: 25 L: 10 Wind: NE 5
The snowpack in Minneapolis/St. Paul has officially dipped below 12 inches for the first time in two months. Late season snow doesn't stand a chance against that strong March sun. With the higher sun angle, snow melts quickly when the temp goes above 32 degrees.
State of the Climate
The National Climate Data Center just released the U.S. climate highlights for this past winter season. The winter of 2-13-2014 was dominated by snow and cold. Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Missouri all had a top 10 cold winter. Detroit had their snowiest winter on record! Minnesota had its 6th coldest winter on record...Wisconsin had us beat at 5th coldest. Who wants to move to California?
History's Largest Empire Thrived in Warm Weather
How did the largest empire in human history, the Mongol Empire, rise to power? The weather, of course. Turns out an unusual stretch of warm, wet weather contributed to their rapid rise and expansion. Researchers studied tree rings to get clues as to how the Mongolian people "united to conquer much of the world within a span of decades, 800 years ago."
The rise of the great leader Genghis Khan and the start of the largest contiguous empire in human history was propelled by a temporary run of nice weather.
Put A Dome On It
The amount of smog shrouding Beijing has been nothing short of record-breaking in recent years. Smog is something that Beijing residents deal with on a daily basis. The latest proposal to curb the smog caught my attention. A massive dome.
While the Chinese government has implemented various pollution-battling policies like car bans and the planting of green roofs, others like London-based design firm Orproject have gone down the road of more extreme design measures -- suggesting the building of bubble-like biomes, sealed from outside pollution, that would allow residents to actually breathe clean air.
Hmm, a biome. Makes sense. We may laugh at the concept now but I can only wonder if this is our future.
Our winter riding days are numbered. The last time the temperature hit 50 degrees was back before Thanksgiving. Monday we'll make a run at 50 degrees.
Historically, Minnesota sees 2...maybe 3...winter storms in March. Light rain/snow develops on Tuesday as one storm passes to our south. Long range models show a storm aiming for Minnesota around March 18. Bear some watching.
Monday: Increasing clouds. H: 47 Wind: SW 10
Monday Night: Snow developing. L: 28 Wind: NW 7
Tuesday: Snow showers changing to afternoon rain. H: 35 L: 15 Wind: N 5-10
Wednesday: Partly sunny. H: 36 L: 25 Wind: NW 5-10
Thursday: Sunny. H: 43 L: 31 Wind: SW 10
Friday: Mild! H: 42 L: 30 Wind: SW 10
Saturday: Mostly sunny. H: 38 L: 22 Wind: NW 5
Sunday: Sunny. H: 32 L: 16 Wind: NW 10
Old man winter is hanging on for dear life. The temperature forecast becomes extremely important this late into the snow riding season. March is a month when the coldest of the cold air begins to slowly retreat back north and the warmer air begins to invade from the south in this everlasting battle for atmospheric equilibrium. Also, the sun this time of year is just about as strong as it is in late September.
Per the graphic below from WeatherSpark, we spend more time time above freezing than we do below freezing in March. With that being said, looks like we will spend much of next week above freezing.
Bikers have been making a beeline for the Lake Superior shoreline. The Great Lakes ice cover stands at 92%, nearing the record 94% back in 1979. As tough as this winter was (9th coldest on record), the extended cold has been great for fatbiking. The 93.8% ice cover on Lake Superior has added another place to ride this season with the extra bonus of being able to see the rare ice caves.
With the extent of the ice as great as it is, this may mean a cooler Spring. When the ice melts this Spring, that cooler ice water is likely to keep the air surrounding the Great Lakes cooler, thus delaying any significant warm-up. That might not be such a bad thing says a physical scientist with the federal Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan, George Leshkevich.
“If there’s a prolonged spring because the ice melt is slow, and the water temperatures are cold, that will likely slow evaporation further, and that may help the water levels.”
Recently the Great Lakes has reported record low water levels.
Great Lakes water levels over the past century closely correspond to changes in annual precipitation. However, the abrupt and sustained water level drop in the late 1990s is more closely related to increased lake surface water temperature and greater evaporation, both of which coincided with one of the strongest El Niño events on record. Strong El Nino events typically lead to abnormally mild winters and warmer surface waters in the Great Lakes.
Coincidentally, an El Niño Watch has been issued for the possibility of one to develop during the upcoming summer or fall. Per the National Weather Service:
El Niño, which is marked by warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean near the equator, is known for influencing weather across the U.S. and other parts of the globe. Currently, the Climate Prediction Center is monitoring a very warm pool of water in the Western Pacific, and is seeing this pool move eastward, which will likely warm the Eastern Pacific in the coming months.
While climate conditions have varied greatly during an El Niño year in the Midwest, there might be a slight bias towards wetter than average conditions during summer. Wet conditions mean wet trails and possible more temporary trail closures this upcoming warm season.
Soil conditions are already primed for a wet Spring. Much of eastern Minnesota received above normal precipitation during the winter season (December-February). In fact, a snow depth of 47 inches at Two Harbors is the most they have seen since 51 inches was measured in March of 1965.
Also with a warming world, there is more water vapor suspended in the atmosphere. This is leading to a trend towards more intense and frequent heavy rain events. For this reason, efficient trail building techniques that reduce water erosion are more important than ever.
NWS Twin Cities Weather Story