Ring the Church Bells!
Like a long-lost loved one suddenly showing up at your doorstep, spring will pay us a visit today. For the first time since November 22 the mercury should push past 60F. Neighbors will emerge from hibernation. Birds will chirp. The boss may actually smile.
Our tormented spring - cold, wet & snowy - has proven difficult for the construction industry & outdoor sports. Many programs are starting 30 days late, in search of suitable playing fields.
As predicted, Minnesota's drought is fading fast. 3 months ago 83 percent of the state was in severe drought or worse. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows that number has dropped to 16 percent. Yes, the snow was a hassle, but over 7" of precipitation since March 1 has replenished topsoil moisture, coming at a good time for spring planting.
What's next? One of the latest ice-outs in recent history (70s this weekend - as you gaze out an icy Lake Calhoun, White Bear and Minnetonka).
T-storms are possible late Sunday and Tuesday; steadier rain Wednesday as cooler air arrives.
I don't see any more accumulating snow - but a stalled "cut-off" low will keep us damp, chilly & rainy late next week. Savor this overdue warm front!
* photo above: Jenna Dorsey.
Drought Is Easing. The percentage of Minnesota in severe drought (or worse) has dropped from 83% to 16% in the last 90 days, according to NOAA and USDA. Much of the Twin Cities metro is now out of the drought, but still running drier than average. The trends are encouraging. For the latest U.S. Drought Monitor click here.
Photo credit above: The Forum, David Samson, Associated Press. "In this April 17, 2013 photo, sandbags made a sandbag central are slacked for deployment in Fargo, N.D., where the Red River has caused major flooding in 3 of the the past 4 years. With the region thawing out and the river rising again, local leaders are using this year's race to stave off flooding..."
Photo credit: "Commander Col. Christopher Hall (left) of the Army Corps of Engineers visits levee districts along the Illinois River as the St. Louis District flood fight teams support local efforts to brace for rising river levels on April 21, 2013." Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Image credit above: "This photo from NASA's Suomi NPP satellite shows the Eastern Hemisphere of Earth in "Blue Marble" view. The photo, released Feb. 2, 2012, is a companion to a NASA image showing the Western Hemisphere in the same stunning details. This photo was taken on Jan. 23." Credit: NASA/NOAA.
Image credit: Ralph Wilson, AP.
Photo credit above: "Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan." (Chet Susslin).
Photo credit above: Kleopatra / Foter.com / CC BY-SA. "Allergy season is longer and plants are producing more pollen due to climate change."