73 F. high in the Twin Cities Thursday.
68 F. average high for May 10 at KMSP.
88 F. high temperature on May 10, 2011.
5 days above 70 F. as of May 10 of last year.
Minnesota Drought Eases. The map on the right shows drought conditions as of May 1 (severe drought over southern Minnesota, the Twin Cities in moderate drought. The map on the left shows the latest Drought Monitor: only a small portion of south central Minnesota in moderate drought, the majority of the state still "abnormally dry". A June's worth of rain fell last weekend - resulting in a (very) significant improvement. More from the Minnesota Climatology Working Group: "As of May 8, the U.S. Drought Monitor depicts most Minnesota counties as Abnormally Dry. For much of Minnesota, especially southern counties, the Abnormally Dry designation was used by the U.S. Drought Monitoring authors to indicate that the landscape is "coming out of drought", with perhaps some minor lingering drought impacts. This week's map shows substantial improvement in the drought situation over last week when 60 percent of Minnesota was said to be in the Moderate Drought or Severe Drought categories (maps at right). The most recent map shows only 10 percent of Minnesota's landscape to fall in those categories.
Ample precipitation this spring, especially early-May rainfall totals of three to six inches in southern Minnesota, is responsible for the improving conditions (maps below). Because transpiration (plant water use) is not yet underway on our agricultural landscapes, spring precipitation has been nearly completely a net gain; improving soil moisture supplies, stream flows, and lake and wetland levels. The only sustaining drought impact in southern Minnesota are somewhat low water levels on our larger lakes, especially land-locked basins that are strongly tied to ground water."
Making Up For Lost Time. Over 8" of rain has soaked the southern suburbs of the Twin Cities since April 1. Check out the amazing transformation with full screen graphics here.
1. Get UV-A and UV-B protection
Always opt for a sunscreen that provides both UV-A and UV-B protection. This way, you’ll protect your skin from ultraviolet-B (UV-B) rays, which cause sunburns and skin damage, as well as ultraviolet-A (UV-A) rays that increase your risk for skin cancer.
Also make sure the sunscreen you choose contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These ingredients help to block both UV-A and UV-B rays.
2. Choose SPF 30 or higher
Always use a sunscreen with SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 30 or higher. The SPF in your sunscreen absorbs and reflects the sun’s rays so they don’t burn or damage your skin.
Keep in mind, though, that higher isn’t that much better when it comes to SPF numbers. “Many people think they can safely stay in the sun longer if they choose a higher SPF,” Chon says. “But that isn’t the case.”
"Accept Cold Front Conditions"
"As the weather changes, so should you! Don't continue using the same strategies that worked the day before. If you've made your first pass on yesterday's fish and didn't get a hit, don't change color, don't change bait, don't change presentations. Those tactics won't work. No matter what you do, you can't catch fish that aren't there! Accept the fact that this is a cold front and that the fish have moved. New locations and major presentation changes are in order. Cold fronts trigger a defensive reaction in walleyes. Walleyes, whose entire focus had been to seek food yesterday, will be seeking security today. Regardless of the time of the year, think of cold front fishing as if it were fall fishing. The methods and locations are the same."
- Phoenix, Arizona: 105°F on April 22 (previous 105° April temperatures occurred on 4/20/1989 and 4/29/1992)
- Las Vegas, Nevada: 99°F on April 22 (tying old record set 4/30/1981)
- Reno, Nevada: 90° on April 23 (old record 89° 4/30/1981)
- Elko, Nevada: 87° on April 22 (old record 86° 4/30/1981). This also beat the previous so-warm-so-early-in-the-season record by 4°.
- Ely, Nevada: 86° on April 22 (old record 82° 4/28/1992)
- Winnemucca, Nevada: 90° on April 22 and 23 (tying old record set 4/30/1981)
- Death Valley, California: 113° on April 22 and 23 (tying old record set on April 24, 1946). This temperature may also tie the U.S. national record for the month of April if one disavows a suspicious reading of 118° from Volcano Springs, California in April of 1898.
- Grand Junction, Colorado: 89° on April 23 and 24 (tying all-time April record also set on 4/29 and 4/30, 1992)
- Amarillo, Texas: 99° on April 25 (old April record 98° on 4/22/1989 and 4/22/1965)
- Lubbock, Texas: 104° on April 25 (old April record 100° on 4/16/1925 and /22/1989)
- Midland, Texas: 104° on April 25 (old April record 101° on 4/21/1989)
- Abilene, Texas: 104° on April 25 (old April record 102° on 4/16/1925)
- Childress, Texas: 106° (old April record 102° on three occasions, most recently on 4/3/2011)
- The month was the hottest April on record for much of northern Texas (again):
- Grain crops in Spain are suffering after an unusually dry autumn and winter. The amount of rainfall has been just half of normal in key grain producing regions.
- In late April, increasing rainfall has started to improve the situation, particularly in the northern half of the country. If rain continues to fall regularly throughout May, there’s a chance that barley and wheat yields could rebound.
- Spain is not the only European country grappling with a weak wheat crop. Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, and other countries will likely see reduced yields as well due to dry weather. A cold spell at the end of February in Poland and Germany has also harmed crops.
Photo credit above: "The National Weather Service Duluth office radar dish as seen inside the large radar dome. The radar is being upgraded to give forecasters more live data on severe thunderstorms, rain and winter storms. The dish pointed straight up to allow crews to install the upgraded equipment. (Clint Austin / firstname.lastname@example.org)."
Map credit above: "The track and strength of Hurricane Irene. Click on the image for a larger version. Credit: National Hurricane Center."
“ There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before. ” - Willa Cather
"Cool Frontal Walleye"
"The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope" wrote John Buchan.
I've had rotten luck with walleye over the years; you could mount my "trophy fish" on an index card. Sad.
Minnesotans take their fishing seriously, and I can (almost) p-p-promise a better Opener than last year, when it was cold with rain and drizzle.
Today's cool frontal passage whips up clouds and a few showers; the atmosphere too dry and stable for anything severe. Skies clear tonight: lots of Saturday sun, a light northwest breeze, sunrise temperatures in the mid 40s. Take jacket (and sunscreen).
Fishing behind a cool front? According to Walleye Central "Cold front fish are "cold fish." They'll be in deeper water and tightly schooled on the most vertical structure...Patience is the key. Fish slowly and quietly with the confidence of knowing that they will eventually bite." More tips on my blog.
Mother's Day (don't forget!) will be the day you were day dreaming about back in February: blue sky, mid 70s. Perfect.
We warm up next week, a good shot at 80 Thursday & Friday.<p>No red blobs on Doppler. No flurries.
Photo credit above: "Cindy Best, of Menomonie, Wis., visited the Como Zoo and Conservatory with her grandchildren."
Photo credit above: "A billboard featuring the "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski, which appeared in the Chicago area last week, has caused several companies and organizations to withdraw support for the Heartland Institute. (May 9, 2012)"