I'm grateful when someone has a good question or thoughtful observation about the weather. Sunday, cheering on my wife in the Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon, I wasn't so lucky. "Paul, are all the local meteorologists in a cult? Do you swap stories and forecasts and just hang out?" a stranger grinned.
Um, no. I have a lot of respect for all the meteorologists in the Twin Cities. I try not to see what others are saying, because it might subtly sway my outlook. Ask 5 forecasters - you'll get 5 different opinions. Why? It all comes down to interpretation of raw data.
It's the same reason why you can interview 5 financial planners and get 5 starkly different suggested portfolios. Experience - which models to trust; predicting the future is as much art as science.
May kicks in this week; a distractingly nice Monday & Tuesday with highs near 70. Thundershowers pop up Wednesday; a cooler front sparking a few showers by early Saturday. Most of Fishing Opener Weekend looks dry - Mother's Day the nicer day, as southwest winds tug the mercury into the 60s. A potentially perfect day at Race For The Cure.
It's a fickle pattern; the ECMWF model has done a full-180, hinting at low 80s early next week.
* photo above from WeatherNation TV Executive Producer Lori Ryan, who was positively giddy about the magnolias blooming in her St. Louis Park yard. Finally.
Slow-Motion Weather Map. A very slow-moving cut-off low will weaken as it spreads heavy showers and T-storms across the Carolinas into the Virginias today, lukewarm sun the rule over the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest. A Pacific storm spreads clouds, higher humidity, and light rain into California, helping to (temporarily) ease the brushfire risk. The next chance of showers and T-showers for Minnesota comes Wednesday. NAM model data: NOAA.
Photo credit: Dave Kolpack/Associated Press. "In this April 30, 2013 photo, members of the U.S. Geological Survey prepare to launch a boat on the Red River in Fargo, N.D. so a USGA hydrologist can take stream flow measurements. Even with the treams of data, forecasting a flood is still an imprecise science."
- April precipitation totals were
well above historical averages in the eastern one-half of Minnesota,
near to below historical averages for the western one-half of the
state. For many southeast Minnesota counties, monthly precipitation
totals topped the long-term average by more than three inches, erasing
drought concerns in those areas. Many observers reported measurable
precipitation on more than 20 days during the month. Some observers
reported precipitation on 10 or 11 consecutive days.
[see: April 2013 Precipitation Map | April 2013 Climate Summary Table]
- Ten winter storm warnings and numerous winter weather advisories were issued for Minnesota counties by the National Weather Service during the course of the April. Frequent, and often heavy, storms piled up snowfall totals to record or near-record levels at many locations. Historical average monthly snowfall totals range from two inches in southern Minnesota to six inches in northern counties. In many Minnesota communities, April 2013 monthly snowfall totals exceeded 12 inches. Numerous locales reported monthly snowfall totals in excess of 24 inches. The focal point for the heaviest of the April snowstorms was northeast Minnesota, particularly Duluth, where April snowfall reached historic levels. The monthly snowfall total at Duluth's International Airport was an astounding 50.8 inches. Not only did this top the previous April record by nearly 20 inches, it was Duluth's snowiest month ever for any month of the year. The April snow and cold snarled roads, delayed agricultural field work, canceled outdoor events, and postponed natural signs of spring by many weeks.
Image credit above: "A burst of solar material leaps off the left side of the sun in what’s known as a prominence eruption. This image combines three images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured on May 3, 2013, at 1:45 pm EDT, just as an M-class solar flare from the same region was subsiding. The images include light from the 131-, 171- and 304-angstrom wavelengths." Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA
Photo credit above: "A Gasland gas station is out of business on a cold winter day on the east side of Buffalo, N.Y., Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013." (David Duprey/AP)
"That Tweet likely articulates Google’s biggest fear for Glass, its wearable computer. What if the cool crowd doesn’t accept it? What if, like the Segway, it becomes an emblem of the awkwardly nerdy? What if consumers reject the technology because, even though it’s amazing, there’s too much social stigma to being seen in public with it?..."
Photo credit above: "A worker checks water and temperature levels in a series of tanks at an Encana hydraulic fracturing operation at a gas drilling site in Colorado on March 29, 2013." Photograph by: Brennan Linsley , AP
Graphic credit above: "CO2 levels are far higher now than they have been for anything during the past 800,000 years." Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Photo credit: Office of Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon via Reuters. "Flooding is seen along the Mississippi River near LaGrange, Missouri, in this April 21, handout photo courtesy of the Missouri Governor's Office."