Finally. I can walk down the street without small children cowering in fear. Their parents are waving again (with all their fingers). I've been here since 1983 - this is the latest I can remember spring green-up. I'll never take GREEN for granted again.
Speaking of weather whiplash: last year set a record for the earliest ice-out on record for many Minnesota lakes; this year will be one of the latest. Lakes are still ice-covered from Mille Lacs, Gull & Whitefish on north to the Canadian border. Ice-out may be 2-5 days later than 1996; most central Minnesota lakes opening up by Saturday, but northern lakes? Keep your boating expectations low.
I wish I could write you a prescription & send you home early today: blue sky, light winds, no humidity or bugs. As good as it gets.
A cold swirl in the atmosphere pushes showers & T-storms into town tomorrow; dew points and wind shear values not high enough for a widespread severe outbreak.
A vigorous cold front arrives with showers by Friday night. Saturday looks brisk with 50s and jackets, but no accumulating snow! Mother's Day looks better; more sun & less wind - highs close to 60F. We may top 80 early next week.
Minnesota's Deadliest Tornadoes. The Twin Cities National Weather Service has a comprehensive summary of the May 6, 1965 tornado outbreak with spun up F-4 tornadoes in the immediate metro. Fridley was hit the hardest (by two separate F-4 twisters; winds approaching 200 mph). Here's an excerpt: "The worst tornadoes in Twin Cities history occurred in 1965, with five tornadoes sweeping across the western and northern portions of the 7-county region, and a sixth tornado just outside the metropolitan area. Four tornadoes were rated F4, one was an F3, and the other produced F2 damage. Thirteen people were killed and 683 injured. Many more would have been killed had it not been for the warnings of the U.S. Weather Bureau, local officials, and the outstanding communications by local radio and television stations. Many credit the announcers of WCCO-AM with saving countless lives. It was also the first time in Twin Cities history that civil defense sirens were used for severe weather...."
Image credit upper left: "A photo taken by Minnetonka resident H. B. Milligan of a tornado crossing to the west of the junction of Hwy 7 and 101 on May 6, 1965. It is believed that this was the tornado that touched down in Chanhassen at 6:27 p.m. and dissipated in Deephaven at 6:43 pm. The photo was published in July 1965 by the Minneapolis Tribune as part of the "Photos of the Week" feature, and photographers received a $5 award."
Image credit upper right: "Radar footage from 1965 was recently discovered, and the 35mm film was converted to digital format, although there was no method available to us other than a somewhat crude technique. So we present them "as is," with little indication of how distant the storm was from the radar, or without any map backgrounds. It will take quite some time, but we hope some day to assign high resolution map backgrounds and possibly filter the radar echoes to highlight the most important storms. This will allow us to study the event in greater detail and learn important lessons from this historic tornado outbreak. The clock uses 24 hour timing, and is in Central Standard Time. For example, 1800 would be 6:00 p.m. CST, and 2100 would be 9:00 p.m. CST."
Photo credit above: "A crew of firefighters climb through a burned area looking for hot spots in Hidden Valley, California, on Saturday, May 4, 2013. Rising humidity and cooling temperatures have slowed the massive fire on its third day." (Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times/MCT
Image credit above: "Hurricane Flossie is approaching the Big Island of Hawaii in August 2007." (Photo Credit: NASA)