A Jaw-Dropping April
Well this is one way to end a drought. Not my first choice, but as we predicted months ago the pattern is radically different from 2012. I'm still forecasting a cooler, wetter, stormier late spring and summer for Minnesota. But there should be water in our lakes, streams and topsoil.
Old Man Winter should be medicated: 86" snow two winters ago at MSP, a paltry 22" last year, and now 63.3" this winter, to date.
April snow: 14" at MSP, the 4th snowiest April on record - but 41.7" in APRIL at Duluth - the snowiest ever! 120" for the winter at Duluth; 76.2" St. Cloud - for both cities the 4th snowiest winters on record. Remarkable.
If it gets colder than 26F this morning we'll break a record low set in 1888; the first record low for MSP since August 21, 2004. I'm ready to wave a white flag of surrender.
A high sun angle melts a fair amount of snow today; rain showers accelerating snow melt Sunday, a cold rain returns late Monday. We should see 50s by late week before a cooler front arrives - 60s pushed into early May.
I could wallow in self pity or troll Expedia for a southern escape. Instead I'm heading to the cabin to fire up my snowmobile.
Make Lemonade out of lemons!
* photo above: Brian Peterson, Star Tribune.
Paul - when was the latest significant snowfall (>3") in the Twin Cities? With the way this winter is going, I feel the need to prepare for the possibility of plowable snow in May. Has that actually happened before?
Fiona - I found the information at the Minnesota State Climate Office. Fun weather factoids to annoy friends and loved ones:
Latest 60F In The Twin Cities? Minnesota State Climatologist Greg Spoden provides some details on how unusual our stunted spring really is. Bottom line: there have been only 7 years since the 1870s with a "first 60F" after April 19. Lovely. "The average date of the first 60 degree temperature in the Twin Cities is March 29. I suggest you avoid the word "typically" because the range of dates is so large (February 15, 1921 to April 29, 1874). Here are the only years where the Twin Cities had yet to reach 60 degrees as of today's date (April 19)."
1874 April 29 (latest 60F high on record in the Twin Cities)
1904 April 26
1947 April 26
1951 April 25
1975 April 25
1965 April 21 (year of the EF-4 tornadoes that hit on May 6 in the Twin Cities)
1876 April 20
Snowiest April On Record For Duluth. And it was the snowiest February - April period on record for Duluth as well, the 5th snowiest winter season overall. Details from the Duluth office of the National Weather Service.
* latest U.S. Drought Monitor for Minnesota is here - data from NOAA and USDA.
* Thursday 24-hour rainfall map from NOAA here.
Graphic credit above: Wunderground. "The rains that fell in a 24-hour period ending at 7 am EDT Thursday, April 18, 2013 over Northern Illinois were the type of rains one would expect see fall only once every 40 years (yellow colors), according to METSTAT, Inc. (http://www.metstat.com.) METSTAT computed the recurrence interval statistics based on gauge-adjusted radar precipitation and frequency estimates from NOAA Atlas 14 Volume 2, published in 2004 (http://dipper.nws.noaa.gov/hdsc/pfds/.) METSTAT does not supply their precipitation recurrence interval forecasts or premium analysis products for free, but anyone can monitor the real-time analysis (observed) at: http://metstat.com/solutions/extreme-precipitation-index-analysis/"
I really enjoy your blog... I just looked up the record data for this weekend and it looks like there is a good chance we set a daily record low temperature on Saturday. When was the last we had a daily record low temperature in the Twin Cities?
We tied a record low on September 15, 2011 of 36 degrees that was also set 2007 and 1964. The last time the Twin Cities broke a record low was August 21, 2004 with 44 degrees. The last time we broke a record low maximum temperature was June 23, 2011 with 63 degrees.
Pete Boulay, Minnesota State Climate Office
Graphic credit above: "Image courtesy of Keith Koper, University of Utah Seismograph Stations."
Image credit above: "Lockheed Martin and Reignwood Group plan to develop a 10 MW prototype OTEC pilot plant off the coast of southern China."
* interactive Guardian map above is here.