Melt Baby Melt
"I wish I could be right half the time and still get paid!" No need to get defensive, Paul. Just smile, shake his hand - tell him still you're right more often than politicians, stock brokers and economists. It's a pretty good gig - just not this year.
A year ago lawns were green, flowers were in bloom, boats were in the water, on our way to a 7 month boating season. In Minnesota? How do you top that?
Our Slow Motion Spring is aggravating; Mother Nature toying with our mental health. Yesterday I stood by the window, muttering "melt, baby melt.". That's just kind of sad, but I sense I'm not alone.
There's still 15-20 inches of snow on the ground up north. One benefit of our March-like April: slower snow melt, which may help to reduce the flood risk in the Red River Valley a bit. That, and it's too chilly for severe storms & tornadoes. Hey, that's something.
The sun makes a brief cameo appearance today before more rain tonight & Monday. It doesn't look quite as wet this week; a major Plains storm brushes us with a cold rain late Tuesday & Wednesday; maybe mixing with wet snow by Thursday.
Yes, the drought is easing, but summer warm fronts are nowhere in sight.
A Real Storm? The GFS pulls an intense storm northeastward across the Plains, spreading potentially significant rain into Minnesota Tuesday and Wednesday; a clearing trend by late week (with cooler than average temperatures). Again, a significant north-south temperature gradient across the USA is setting the stage for potentially significant rain in the weeks to come.
NOAA Needs Your Help. The local Twin Cities National Weather Service is interested in knowing whether the ground is still frozen in your neighborhood. Why does this matter? The extent and depth of lingering frost in the ground will help to determine rainfall run-off rates next week, when we may see a significant storm. This will impact not only the potential for minor flash flooding in the Twin Cities, but more significant river flooding, especially on the Red River in the weeks to come. Details: "As we head in to Spring, potential flooding is a primary concern across Minnesota and Wisconsin. We could use your help in determining if the ground is still frozen, or if there has been some partial thaw of the ground. As you can see on the map below, we have quite a large area with no data across southern MN and western WI. Visit our Facebook Page or send us a message via Twitter @NWSTwinCities and let us know what the ground condition is like at your location."
- Snow depths range from zero in the
southern one-third of Minnesota to over 20 inches west central
Minnesota, north central Minnesota, and in the Lake Superior highlands.
[see: NWS Snow Depth Estimation Map | Snow Depth Maps]
- The amount of water content in the snow pack
is estimated to be in excess of five inches in some west central and
north central Minnesota counties. The large amount of water on the
landscape, lying upon an impervious frozen surface, has led to a high risk for major flooding in the Red River basin.
[see: NWS Snow Water Equivalent Estimation Map]
- The U.S. Geological Survey and Minnesota DNR report that stream discharge values
vary widely across the state. After the initial flush of snow melt
runoff recedes, stream discharge values will quickly fall below
historical medians unless there is a very wet spring.
[see: USGS Stream Flow Conditions | MNDNR Weekly Stream Flow Maps and Tables]
- Water levels on most Minnesota lakes are low due to the dry summer and autumn of 2012. Lake Superior's water level is approximately one foot lower than its historical average for this time of year.
- Seek the cheapest price for energy with the implication that environmental consequences should not be tallied as part of the cost.
- Complete a transition to renewable energy as quickly as possible while drastically reducing the burning of fossil fuels.
- Replace all fossil fuel energy with nuclear power..."
Photo credit above: "Sea level rise is swamping coasts. Rodanthe in the Outer Banks of North Carolina is pictured."(Photo: Andrew Kemp, Yale University)
Photo credit above: "The flooded Red River surrounds houses near Fargo, N.D., in 2010. Scientists say climate change will produce more intense storms, increasing the risk of damaging floods." (M. Spencer Green / Assoicated Press / March 21, 2010)
* The Los Angeles Times has another perspective on the potential for more extreme rains here.