Paul Douglas On Weather
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Spring Flood Updates

While the Spring flood threat will continue to depend on how fast we melt the above-average snowpack across the region, there continues to be a lot of water packed in that snow, with at least 2-6" of liquid locked in (thanks to not only the snow but rain that has fallen and become frozen in the snow).

With all this liquid in the snow on the ground and recent increasing snow amounts in parts of northern Minnesota, the Spring flood risk remains high across the region. Portions of the Mississippi River could reach Major flood stage, along with the Red River. You can get the latest outlooks issued today from the following weather service offices: Twin Cities (covering central/southern MN), Duluth (northwest MN), Grand Forks (northeast MN/Red River Valley), and La Crosse (southeast MN).

For the Mississippi River at St. Paul, there is just under a 50% chance that we will reach major flood stage and around a 70% chance of at least moderate flood stage.

Looking at the Red River at Fargo, there is at least a 50% probability of exceeding major flood stage during the middle to end of April.


Snow Totals From The Middle Of The Week

Here's a look at snow totals from the middle of the week, covering both the storm that impacted the state Tuesday into Tuesday Night, and the second that slid just south of Minnesota. With the first storm, the highest report was from Grand Marais where 10.1" of snow well. We also saw 8.2" near Hovland and 8" near Wolverton. With the second system, I did see a trace in Wykoff. That system brought 3.2" to De Soto, WI and 2" to Decorah, IA.


Pleasant, Sunny Friday!

While we will start out with some fog in the metro Friday morning, that fog should quickly fade and we'll see mainly sunny skies as we head through the day. Clouds will start to increase during the evening hours. Morning temperatures will start off in the upper teens with highs in the mid-40s.

While many areas will likely start off with at least patchy fog across the state Friday, most will see mainly sunny skies on Friday. The cloudiest conditions throughout the day will be in northwestern Minnesota; meanwhile, clouds will start to increase in southern Minnesota late in the day. Highs will range from the low 30s in northwestern Minnesota to the mid-40s in southeastern parts of the state and western Wisconsin.


40s Continue Into The Weekend

As we look toward the weekend:

Saturday: We will see more clouds than sun here in the metro as we watch a system pass to our south and east. This could clip far southeastern Minnesota with some snow showers. Clearing skies will occur late in the day. Highs will be in the mid-40s.

Sunday: The first part of the day will see mainly sunny skies before clouds move back in during the midday and afternoon hours. Highs will climb into the low/mid-40s.


Temperature Trend

We will see a slight cooling trend into early next week. The coolest will be Tuesday, with highs only in the upper 30s. After that, temperatures start to trend northward again and maybe could approach 50F during the first weekend of April. We will watch the potential of a system late next week here in the Upper Midwest - it's way too soon for any details, but we'll keep an eye on it.


A Sluggish, Slow-Motion Meltdown Continues
By Paul Douglas

Funny, when I said I wanted to get back to the 50s I didn't mean like "Be cool daddy-o, the 50s were 'groovin and hip. Dig?" According to the Twin Cities National Weather Service, if we don't see 50 degrees next week it will be first time since 2001 the metro didn't make it up to 50F in March. It may have something to do with the 1-3 feet of snow on the ground. The sun's energy is going into melting snow, not heating up the air. With a potential for major spring flooding on local rivers let's hope the inevitable thaw is slow and steady.

I see low to mid 40s into the weekend with some sunshine each day. A southern storm dumps 6-12" of snow on Wisconsin Saturday; very plowable for Madison and The Dells. A few rain-snow showers arrive Monday night, with a potential for significant rain next Thursday and Friday.

Encouraging long-range NOAA outlooks show a cooler, drier bias into mid April. With any luck we may thread the needle: end the drought while avoiding serious river flooding. Feeling lucky? Me neither.


Paul's Extended Twin Cities Forecast

FRIDAY: Partly sunny, milder. Wake up 20. High 45. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind SE 5-10 mph.

SATURDAY: More clouds than sun, dry. Wake up 28. High 46. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind N 8-13 mph.

SUNDAY: Sunny and pleasant. Wake up 23. High 43. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind NW 5-10 mph.

MONDAY: Clouds increase, showers late. Wake up 23. High 44. Chance of precipitation 50%. Wind NE 3-8 mph.

TUESDAY: Mostly cloudy, cooler breeze. Wake up 26. High 39. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind NW 10-20 mph.

WEDNESDAY: Clouds linger, few flurries/sprinkles. Wake up 18. High 38. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind E 8-13 mph.

THURSDAY: Steadier rain arrives. Wake up 25. High 45. Chance of precipitation 70%. Wind SE 10-20 mph.


Minneapolis Weather Almanac And Sun Data
March 24th

*Length Of Day: 12 hours, 21 minutes, and 28 seconds
*Daylight GAINED Since Yesterday: 3 minutes and 9 seconds

*When do we see 13 Hours of Daylight?: April 6th (13 hours, 2 minutes, 7 seconds)
*When Is The Sunrise At/Before 7 AM? March 29th (6:59 AM)
*When Is The Sunset At/After 8 PM? April 17th (8:00 PM)


This Day in Weather History
March 24th

1851: Minnesota experiences an early spring 'heat wave' with 60s and 70s common.


National Weather Forecast

On Friday, we'll be watching a system and frontal boundary from the Ohio Valley to the Southern Plains that will bring very heavy rain and the potential of severe weather to the region. Some mixed precipitation and icing will also be possible in the Great Lakes into portions of the Northeast. Meanwhile, a system in the western United States will continue to produce some rain and snow chances.

The heaviest snow will be in the Cascades through the first half of the weekend with 1-2 feet accumulating. Meanwhile, 3-5" of rain is expected from western Oklahoma to the Ohio Valley - especially on Friday - and this will cause flood concerns.

Numerous Flood Watches are in place across the central United States due to the expected rounds of heavy rain.

Meanwhile, a MODERATE Risk of severe weather (threat level 4 of 5) is in place across portions of Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi Friday into Friday Night. All severe weather hazards - including strong tornadoes - will be possible from severe storms throughout the day into the overnight hours.


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- D.J. Kayser