I'm just the messenger, but I get emotional about weather, just like everyone else. I want it to warm up, I want it to rain (hard) and ease our long-term drought. I just don't want it to happen in the next few weeks. The reason? River flooding.
NOAA data shows 4-7" of liquid water (snow water equivalent) locked in the snow pack over west central and northwestern Minnesota. Details below.
Trying to predict flooding is a science within a science; as much art as science, to be honest. Hydrologists factor the depth of ground frost, water content in the snow, the rate of expected warming and any rain (which accelerates snow melt) into their models.
The risk still appears greatest for the Red River, but residents living along the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers shouldn't let their guard down just yet.
None of us will take spring for granted this year. It is spring, right? Temperatures top 50F today; it may be warm & unstable enough for thunder Saturday. Skies dry on Sunday - more significant heavy rain events shaping up for Tuesday, again Thursday of next week; maybe 1" of liquid water (mixed with wet snow up north).
Old Man Winter is like the annoying uncle who just doesn't know when to go home.
In the end, tempertatures across the region for March of 2013 were 5 to 10 degrees below normal, snowfall was 6-12+ inches above normal (outside of southwest Minnesota), while melted precipitation was nearly 1" above normal (outside southwest Minnesota). Again, the southwest part of the state managed to watch the heaviest precipitation stay north or east of them, and as a result, southwest Minnesota ended up being the only part of the region to see below normal snowfall and precipitation."
Photo credit above: Leonardo Zavattaro, Telam/Associated Press. "Cars and garbage containers lay piled up after flash flooding caused damage overnight in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, April 2, 2013. According to city officials, at least five people were killed during the heavy rains."
» A weakened jet is more likely to form atmospheric blocks, which tend to create “stuck” weather patterns.
» The meandering allows Arctic air to plunge southward or warm air to surge northward.
» Combined, these two factors stack the odds in favor of prolonged hot or cold spells and contribute to stalled storm systems..."
Urbanization of an area changes the species that dwell in it. Previous studies have analyzed these effects in terms of loss of resources or changes to habitat, but this is the first research to focus on the effects of "heat islands" created in cities. Meineke explains that, "Urban warming can lead to higher insect pest abundance, a result of pest acclimation or adaptation to higher temperatures."
The study concludes that since current urban warming is similar in magnitude to the higher temperatures predicted by global warming in the next fifty years, their results may indicate potential changes in pest abundance as natural forests also grow warmer..."