Paul Douglas On Weather
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Spring Is Trending Warmer

  • "Climate Central analyzed 243 cities across the U.S., 120 cities (49%) have recorded an increase in average spring temperatures of 2℉ or more over the past fifty years. Further, 96% of cities (234) reported an increase in the number of above-normal spring days since 1970, with 81% of cities (196) reporting an increase of 5 days or more."
  • "Warming spring temperatures follow a pattern of warmer seasonsencroachingon the cold of winter—resulting in an earlier advent of spring and throwing timing of natural events intomisalignment. For instance,earlier snowmeltcan result in changes inwater availabilityand challenges to thebreeding of native fish. Earlier spring temperatures can also lengthen the growing season, supporting longerpollen allergy seasonsthat start earlier and stick around for longer."

See more from Climate Central HERE:

Spring Temperatures in Minneapolis

According to Climate Central, the average spring temperature in Minneapolis has warmed nearly +2F over the last 20 years.

More Warm Spring Days in Minneapolis

According to Climate Central, there are nearly 11 more days that we spend above average than we did 50 years ago in 1970.

Countdown to Spring (Vernal Equinox)
Saturday, March 20th @ 4:37AM

the worst of winter's wrath is generally behind us during the month of March, but it still can be snowy at times. In fact, MSP typically sees around 9" of snow during this month, but more impressively, we gain more than 3 minutes of daylight each day during the month and if you do the math, we gain about an extra 1.5 hour of daylight through the month! The sunset on March 1st is around 6PM, but by the end of the month (and thanks to the time change on March 14th) our sunset on March 31st is at 7:40PM! The official start to spring (Vernal Equinox) is on Saturday, March 20th at 4:37AM this year.

Status of Spring - Spring Leaf Index Anomaly

"How do you know when spring has begun? Is it the appearance of the first tiny leaves on the trees, or the first crocus plants peeping through the snow? The First Leaf and First Bloom Indices are synthetic measures of these early season events in plants, based on recent temperature conditions. These models allowus to track the progression of spring onset across the country.Spring leaf out has arrived in southern states. Spring arrived on time to one week late in Florida and southern Texas, was one-two weeks early in the middle and northern part of Southeast states, and has since slowed and is a few days late in Georgia and the Carolinas. Spring is days to weeks early in parts of the Southwest and West coast."

See more from USA NPN HERE:

Snowpack Will Melt Fast Next Several Days

Here's a look at the snowpack as of AM Tuesday, March 2nd. With several very mild and sunny days in the forecast, the snowpack will likely melt quite quickly across the region over the coming days & weeks. That also means that ice conditions on area lakes could start deteriorating over the coming weeks as well!

Wednesday Weather Outlook

Wednesday will be a very pleasant day across the region with lots of sunshine, mild temps and much lighter winds. Enjoy!

Wednesday Meteograms for Minneapolis

The meteograms for Minneapolis on Wednesday shows temps starting around the freezing mark and warming into the low/mid 40s by the afternoon. There will be lots of sunshine and the good news is that winds will be much lighter than there were on Tuesday.

Wednesday Weather Outlook

Here's the weather outlook across the region for Wednesday, which shows mostly sunny and very warm conditions across the region. Highs will warm into the 30s and 40s across much of Minnesota and Wisconsin, which will be nearly +10F to +20F above average for early March. Highs may even warm into the low 60s across the Dakotas, which will be nearly +20F to +25F above average!

Extended Temperature Outlook

Here's the 850mb temp anomaly from midday Wednesday to midday Tuesday of next week. The warmer oranges and reds will be in place across much of the Upper Midwest, which will help to boost surface temps to above average levels during that time frame. The warmest days appear to be with us next weekend and into early next week with highs possibly warming into the 50s and 60s for some!

Extended Temperature Outlook

Here's the extended weather outlook over the next 5 to 7 days. Temps will warm back into the 40s through the rest of the week, which will be nearly +10F above average. We're still getting indications of highs approaching 50F by next weekend. If we hit 50F, it'll be the first time since December 9th, 2020 when we hit 52F. Highs early next week could even near 60F, which would be the first time in the 60s since November 9th when we hit 66F.

Extended Temperature Outlook

Here's the ECMWF & GFS extended temperature outlook for Minneapolis through mid March. Note the consistently mild temps in the 40s and 50s over the next several days. This will likely be the warmest stretch of weather we've seen since November, nearly 4 months ago. Interestingly, the models are even suggesting highs in the 50s heading into the 2nd week of March and possibly even near 60F!

8-14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook suggests warmer than average temperatures across the Eastern half of the nation, including the Upper Midwest. Cooler than average temps will lingering across the western US and into Alaska.

Outlook: Touch of April in Early March
By Paul Douglas

"Paul, what do you KNOW about the future, beyond a shadow of a doubt?" Um. Sunrise: 6:46am. Sunset: 6:04pm. Everything else is speculative.

It's helpful to tune out the noise of day to day weather, step back and look at the trends. A Minnesota spring is a messy affair, but average spring temperatures at MSP have warmed over 2F since 1970, while cooling slightly over the Dakotas. NASA can measure spring "green-up" from space, showing spring arriving a couple of weeks earlier for most of the USA than it did 50 years ago. Trends aside, it would be naïve to believe we won't see a few more snow events by late April. Then again, spring snows tend to be wet and slushy, usually gone within a few days.

No gyrating slush-storms are in sight, just a touch of April. Relatively mild, Pacific air is swirling inland, and that should be good for a few 50s Sunday into the middle of next week. The next storm should fall as rain Tuesday into Thursday of next week. You remember rain right? The extended outlook? Potholes.

Extended Forecast

WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny, pleasant. Winds: NE 3-8. High: 45.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and quiet. Winds: ESE 5. Low: 28.

THURSDAY: Plenty of sunshine. Winds: SE 7-12. High: 46.

FRIDAY: Mix of clouds and sunshine. Winds: E 5-10. Wake-up: 27. High: 46.

SATURDAY:Partly sunny and breezy. Winds: SE 10-20. Wake-up: 27. High: 47.

SUNDAY:Hello April! Sunny and breezy. Winds: S 15-25. Wake-up: 38. High: 57.

MONDAY: Sunny and cooler. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 32. High: 46.

TUESDAY: Sunny start, then PM showers. Winds: SE 10-15. Wake-up: 29. High: 50.

This Day in Weather History

March 3rd

1977: A snowstorm results in over 400 school closings in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis

March 3rd

Average High: 35F(Record: 65F set in 1905)

Average Low: 19F (Record: -13Fset in 1873)

Record Rainfall: 1.19" set in 1970

Record Snowfall: 12.6" set in 1985

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis

March 3rd

Sunrise: 6:46am

Sunset: 6:04pm

Hours of Daylight: ~11hours & 17minutes

Daylight GAINEDsinceyesterday: ~ 3 minutes & 6seconds

Daylight GAINEDsince WinterSolstice (December 21st): ~ 2 hours & 31 minutes

Moon Phase for March 3rd at Midnight

1.8 Day Before Last Quarter

What's in the Night Sky?

"This year – on March 3, 2021 – the red planet Mars and thePleiades star cluster– also known as the Seven Sisters – stage their closest conjunction on the sky's dome until February 4, 2038. Mars swings2.6 degreessouth of the Pleiades. That's the closest Mars-Pleiades conjunction since January 20, 1991, when Mars passed 1.7 degrees south of the Pleiades. Looking ahead – after March 3, 2021 – a closer conjunction of Mars and the Pleiades won't happen again until February 4, 2038, when Mars will swing 2.0 degrees south of the Pleiades. No matter where you live worldwide, look for Mars and the Pleiades at nightfall and early evening, for that's when the dynamic twosome is highest up for the night. Mars and the Pleiades sink westward as evening deepens into late night, so it might be best to spot the close encounter at early evening. The celestial couple stays out until around midnight at mid-northern latitudes, or mid-evening at temperate latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere. If you're familiar with the constellation of Orion the Hunter, use this bright and beautiful constellation to star-hop to Mars and the Pleiades. Find the three moderately-bright stars of Orion's Belt, and extend Orion's Belt westward to the constellation Taurus the Bull. Taurus' two most notable signposts consist of the red star Aldebaran and the Pleiades star cluster, and – in March 2021 – the red planet Mars."

See more from Earth Sky HERE:

National High Temps Wednesday

Here's the weather outlook on Wednesday, which shows temps across much of the nation warming to above average levels. This is a BIG difference from where we were nearly 2 to 3 weeks ago when much of the nation was dealing with very cold and Arctic weather.

National Forecast Map For Wednesday

The weather map on Wednesday looks fairly quiet across much of the nation with the exception for a few areas of precipitation in the eastern US. There will also be areas of much needed precipitation moving into the Southwest.

National Weather Outlook

Here's the weather outlook through the Thursday, which shows unsettled weather out of the Southeastern US with another system sliding into the Southwest on Wednesday and Thursday. However, much of the rest of the nation will remain mostly dry and quiet.

7 Day Precipitation Outlook

The precipitation potential over the next 7 days shows heavier precipitation across the Southeastern US. There will also be another system that moves from the Southwestern US into the Southern US during the 2nd half of the week. The West Coast will remain active with several inches of precipitation possible along the Coast.

7 Day Snowfall Potential

The extended GFS snowfall forecast over the 5 to 7 days shows fairly quiet conditions across the central and eastern US. There will be some snowfall across the high elevations in the Western US as well as some in the New England States, but there doesn't appear to be any big snowmakers in the eastern two-thirds over the coming days.

Climate Stories

"Texas freeze killed winter produce, with some food prices expected to spike"

"Damage to fruits and vegetables from last week's Texas storms could cause shortfalls at food banks and lead to grocery stores sourcing from further away. Severe storms this monthdevastated the Texasproduce industry, which in the winter is one of the country's few domestic sources for fresh fruits and vegetables. Across Texas — the leafy greens in the Rio Grande Valley, onions and cabbage in the Winter Garden area near Laredo, fruit trees in Hill Country in Central Texas, greenhouse operations in Dallas — the weather spared almost nobody who works in the fresh produce industry, said Dante Galeazzi, chief executive of the Texas International Produce Association. Galeazzi said leafy greens will probably experience the greatest losses, some crops lost entirely. Onions and cabbage seemed to suffer the least, although he said even those farmers are reporting a 20 percent loss overall. Texas citrus losses have gotten top billing thus far in media reports because it took the largest financial hit. According to Dale Murden, a citrus grower and president of the Texas Citrus Mutual, 55 percent of the state's grapefruit crop was still on the trees and is a total loss; the late Valencia orange crop was a 98 percent loss, he said."

See more from Washington Post HERE:

"You're Not Imagining It. Climate Change Is Making Allergy Seasons Start Earlier"

"Pollen grains from flowering plants were meant to fly, sometimes travelling hundreds of kilometres on the wind. Now it appears the climate crisis has accelerated that travel, making allergy season in some areas of the world start earlier, last longer, and get more severe each year. In the past three decades, warmer temperatures fromclimate changehave caused pollen season in North America to growby as much as 20 days per year.At the same time, higher CO2 levels mean more pollen is produced overall in springtime. Similar trends have alsobeen noticedin Europe. This increase in pollen is exacerbating all sorts of respiratory problems for those who are allergic, but there's another phenomenon at play that's often overlooked. New research in the southeast of Germany has found the way pollen is transported in a warming world is also changing with weather patterns and atmospheric circulation, potentially spreading pollen to new areas and exposing people to different allergens their immune systems are unprepared for. The study focuses on the state of Bavaria in Germany, and uses six pollen monitoring stations in the region to track seven types of flowering plants. From 1987 to 2017, the authors found certain species, like hazel shrubs and alder trees, have extended their flowering season by up to 2 days per year, adding up to 60 days to the pollen season in Bavaria in that time. Over the same time period, other plant species, like birch and ash trees, have begun to flower and release their pollen 0.5 days earlier each year."

See more from Science Alert HERE:

"Misconceptions about Wildfires Are Fueling the Problem"

"The 2020 wildfire seasonwas the worstin California's recorded history, withmore than four million acresburned and almost 10,500 structures destroyed across the state. The fires were heavily covered by the news media, andsome reportssuggestedCalifornia had suffered apocalyptic devastation and permanent loss. But the more complicated reality of fire's long-term impact on forests is often poorly reported and misunderstood. In this video, we talk to experts who say many accounts of California's blazes sensationalize the extent of forest devastation while paying less attention to fire's crucial role in nature. Chad Hansonis a fire ecologist and director of the John Muir Project, an environmental group that advocates for drastic changes in state and national fire policy. He says fire is a natural and unstoppable reality in California. Hanson believes that in some cases, the state's forests would be healthier and more resilient if certain fires were allowed to burn.Another expert also notes that to understand 2020 in context, we need to take a very long view of fires in the forest:Valerie Trouet, a researcher who studies tree rings at the University of Arizona, has observed evidence of wildfires in giant sequoias in California dating back almost 3,000 years. She says that although today's fires sometimes burn more intensely, they used to burn longer and over much larger areas."

See more from Scientific American HERE:

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