This is going to sound like blatant kissing-up, but it's the truth: I have never lived in a place where the locals know so much about the weather. Yes, some days it's a matter of pure survival. It would be hard to find a Minnesotan who doesn't know a thing or two about Doppler, wall clouds or dew point.
Meteorologists look for cues: Pacific water temperatures and blocking patterns aloft, when trying to peer out beyond a few days. My prediction of a cool first half of March is based on a negative phase of the NAO, the North Atlantic Oscillation. More dips & bulges in the jet stream create a non-stop runway for Canadian air to reach the USA; a steady diet of cold fronts, which in turn, can spin up more storms.
March 2012 saw a freakishly positive phase of the NAO; screaming west winds from the Pacific keeping cold air bottled up to our north. The result: the warmest March on record. This looks like a more typical March: slush, slop & mud.
A Monday clipper may drop light snow on MSP; long-range guidance hints at 40+ by late next week. Grilling weather.
An average March (ha!) brings 10.3 inches of slushy snow. Get out and play in our 6" snow; rain is possible late next week.
Photo credit above: "Wes Anderson clears the driveway in front of his grandparent's house, Feb. 26 in Sedalia, Mo. The second major snowstorm in a week battered the nation's midsection Tuesday, dropping a half-foot or more of snow across Missouri and Kansas with drifts more than 2 feet high." Sydney Brink / Sedalia Democrat / AP
** photo above courtesy of Marlo Lundy and WeatherNation TV.
How is that you came to be speaking at the Walker Art Center?
Graphic credit above: "Drought and heat have caused thinning of forest canopy in the eastern United States from 2000 to 2010, according to a NASA study released in this month. Green areas show increasing tree canopy whereas brown shades show a thinning. Four forest areas negatively affected are circled in red: Great Lakes, Southern Appalachian, Mid-Atlantic, and southeastern Coastal Plain." (Photo: NASA)