Record Warmth Ahead!
I don't know about you, but I've got a serious case of Spring Fever! Temps are running WELL above average across much of the Central US with record warmth possible for some across the Upper Midwest over the next several days. Our warmest day arrives Tuesday with highs warming to record levels, even in the Twin Cities!
Extended Temperature Outlook
Here's the extended temperature and weather outlook over the next 5 to 7 days. Highs Sunday, Monday & Tuesday will likely reach the 60s, which will be the first time since November 9th, 2020 when we hit 66F. There will be records across much of the region on Tuesday with a forecast high of 66F in the metro. Keep in mind that the record for the metro on Tuesday, March 9th is is 61F, which was set in 1879. A cool front will pass through the region on Wednesday with temps falling a touch into the 40s later in the week, but that will still be above average for this time of the year.
Record Warmth Tuesday
Highs on Tuesday will be VERY warm. In fact, many locations will likely reach record levels from the Dakotas, to Minnesota and into Wisconsin. If the forecast holds, I wouldn't doubt to see a few 70s on the map across parts of SW Minnesota! Stay tuned.
Average First 50F & 60F at MSP
On Wednesday, March 3rd, the MSP Airport hit 50F for the first time this season. Interestingly, that's pretty close to the 30-year average, which typically happens on March 2nd. When you look at the full record, which dates back to the mid/late 1800s, the first 50F typically occurs around Marcy 9th. Our first 60F high over the last 30 years typically happens around the last week of March.
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."
Snowpack Melting Fast
Here's a look at the snowpack as of Friday, March 5th. Note that there was only a Trace measured at the MSP Airport. Note that we've melted nearly 8" of snow since February 23rd in the Twin Cities. Meanwhile, there's still a good foot plus across parts of NE Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and across the U.P. of Michigan!
Sunday Weather Outlook
Sunday will likely be the first 60F high temp of 2021, which is about 2 to 3 weeks ahead of schedule. This will also be the first 60F since November 9th, 2020, when we hit 66F. The only fly in the ointment for Sunday is that we will have strong winds that could gust up close to 30mph through the day.
Sunday Meteograms for Minneapolis
The meteograms for Minneapolis on Sunday show temps quickly warming from the 30s in the morning to the 50s by midday. We may see highs warm into the lower 60s by early/mid afternoon, which will be nearly 25F above average for early March! Part of the reason why it'll be so warm is the development of strong southerly winds, which at times, could gust close to 30mph through the day.
Sunday Weather Outlook
Here's the weather outlook across the region on Sunday, which shows VERY warm temps for early March. In fact, many locations will be nearly 20F to 30F above average, which will be near records for some across western MN and into the Dakotas. The record in the Twin Cities for Sunday, March 7th is 70F, which was set in 2000. Peak wind gusts will be near in the 20mph to 30mph range, which will help to boost temps will well above average.
Extended Temperature Outlook
Here's the ECMWF & GFS extended temperature outlook for Minneapolis through 3rd and 4th week of March. We have certainly turned a corner in the temperature department with temps consistently warming to above average levels over the next several days. Tuesday will likely be our warmest day with highs warming to record levels. Temps will then fall a bit to near normal levels by next weekened.
8-14 Day Temperature Outlook
According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook shows the well above average temperature readings moving into the Southeastern US. Meanwhile, cooler than average temps will be found across the western half of the nation.
Warm & Windy Sunday. Record Highs on Tuesday
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas.
I don't know about you, but I've got a serious case of spring fever! Hard to believe that 2 to 3 weeks ago, we were bundled up under layers of heavy winter artillery, dealing with wind chill values that even the hardiest of Minnesotans considered "cold".
Minneapolis hit 50 degrees for the first time this year on Wednesday, March 3rd, which is one day later than the typical 30-year average. If we hit 60 degrees today, it'll be more than 2 weeks earlier than average! Record warmth settles in on Tuesday with highs approaching the mid to upper 60s across the southern half of the state! A few optimistic bank thermometers in southwestern Minnesota may even flash 70!
Today's warmth comes at a price. Strong southerly winds will gust close to 30mph through the day, acting like a blow torch on the remaining snow pack. You'll have no problem locating doggie landmines and hockey pucks that may have been lost in the snow over the last several weeks!
Believe it or not, Wednesday could feature thundery showers and wet snow. Stay tuned!
SUNDAY:Warm & windy. Winds: SE 5-10. High: 61.
SUNDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and quiet. Winds: SSW 5-10. Low: 34.
MONDAY: Bright sun, less wind. Spring Fever! Winds: SE 5-10. High: 62.
TUESDAY: Record high temps! Breezy again. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 34. High: 62.
WEDNESDAY: Rain & thunder south. Snow north. Winds: NNW 10-20. Wake-up: 45. High: 53.
THURSDAY: Sun returns. Warmer than average. Winds: NNW 10-15. Wake-up: 35. High: 48.
FRIDAY: Another beauty. Sunny & mild. Winds: N 5. Wake-up: 28. High: 48.
SATURDAY:Sunny start. More PM clouds. Winds: SSW 10-15. Wake-up: 25. High: 45.
This Day in Weather History
1987: A heat wave across Minnesota brings the earliest 70 degree readings on record to the Twin Cities. The record high for the day was 73, breaking the old record by 13 degrees. Shorts were common and people were turning over dirt in their gardens for planting.
1950: A snow and ice storm hits Minnesota. The heaviest ice was in northwest and west central Minnesota, especially in Norman County near Twin Valley. 52 electrical poles were down in this area with ice up to 1 ½ inches on wires. All communication lines out of Fargo were out with wind gusts estimated up to 60 mph. In order to provide temporary long distance service to and from isolated communities, short wave radio equipment was used to bridge the gaps. In Pipestone, several plate glass windows were blown in. During the snowstorm that followed later in the day, a Northwest Airlines plane crashed into three homes in Minneapolis killing all 13 on the plane and two on the ground. The left wing of the plane struck a flagpole at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery as it circled to land.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
Average High: 37F(Record: 73F set in 2000)
Average Low: 21F (Record: -16Fset in 1960)
Record Rainfall: 1.02" set in 1874
Record Snowfall: 11.5" set in 1917
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Hours of Daylight: ~11hours & 29minutes
Daylight GAINEDsinceyesterday: ~ 3 minutes & 8seconds
Daylight GAINEDsince WinterSolstice (December 21st): ~ 2 hours & 43 minutes
Moon Phase for March 7th at Midnight
2.2 Days After Last Quarter
What's in the Night Sky?
"In the predawn/dawn sky on March 8, 9 and 10, 2021, let the old moon serve as your guide to the three morning planets: Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn. On March 8 and 9, the lit side of the waning crescent moon points right at this line-up of planets. Jupiter, the brightest planet, shines in between Mercury and Saturn, with Mercury at bottom and Saturn at top. Remember, binoculars come in handy if you can't see any one of these planets with the eye alone. Jupiter, the most brilliant morning planet, outshines Saturn by some 12 times and Mercury by 7 times. Although Mercury is a touch brighter than Saturn, Saturn will probably be the easier of these two worlds to see, as Saturn rises first, followed by Jupiter and then Mercury. Mercury is buried most deeply in the glare of morning twilight, but try aiming binoculars at Jupiter to glance at Mercury below Jupiter."
National High Temps Sunday
Here's the weather outlook on Sunday shows well above average temperatures settling in across the Central US and also the Intermountain West, including the Desert Southwest. Note that Phoenix, AZ could warm to near 90F, which would be nearly 4 weeks ahead of schedule. The average first day for the first 90F in the Phoenix area is April 3rd; the earliest was February 17th in 2016.
National Forecast Map For Sunday
The weather map on Sunday is actually pretty quiet across much of the nation. Other than a few areas of precipitation east of the Rockies, most locations will stay dry. It'll be more active in the Western US and along the coast, where areas of rain will transition to high elevation snow.
National Weather Outlook
Here's the weather outlook through the weekend, which shows fairly quiet conditions across much of the eastern US. An area of low pressure will move through the Upper Midwest on Sunday, but it will come through dry. However, strong winds will develop as the system slides east. Meanwhile, areas of rain and snow will be found in the Western and Northwestern US.
7 Day Precipitation Outlook
The precipitation potential over the next 7 days shows heavier precipitation across parts of the Central US. Several inches of rain could fall near the middle Mississippi Valley and into the Ohio Valley. We will also see precipitation potential across parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
7 Day Snowfall Potential
The extended GFS snowfall forecast over the 5 to 7 days shows narrow bands of snow across parts of the Central US, including Minnesota. It's a bit early to get specific, but there could be some accumulating snow as we approach the middle part of next week. Stay tuned.
"New Satellite Images Show Earth's Latest Gigantic Iceberg"
"Behold A-74, an enormous iceberg thatbroke awayfrom the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica late last month. Here's what we know about the new 'berg and what could happen next. Scientists with the British Antarctic Surveyreportedthe birth of the new iceberg on Feb.26, which they detected with GPS equipment. Christopher Readinger, an ice analyst with the U.S. National Ice Center,confirmedthe iceberg on the following day by analyzing satellite photos snapped by Sentinel-1A. The USNIC named the iceberg "A-74," using a naming convention in which icebergs are named according to the Antarctic quadrant in which they were originally spotted. A-74 broke off from the Brunt Ice Shelf northeast of the McDonald Ice Rumples,a region characterized by crevasses and rifts produced by an underwater formation that blocks the flow of ice,accordingto NASA's Earth Observatory. A prominent feature, known as the Halloween Crack, still cuts into the ice shelf, which it has done since 2016,perthe European Space Agency. At 490 square miles (1,270 square kilometers) in size, A-74 is pretty big. That's about 20 times the size of Manhattan. By comparison, the late, great iceberg A-68—now ashattered messoff the coast of South Georgia island—was nearly five times bigger when it calved from Antarctica's Larsen C Ice Shelf in 2017."
"Persistent dryness in the West is exacerbating region's 'megadrought'"
"Much of the western U.S. continues to endure a long-term drought,one that threatens the region's water supplies and agriculture and could worsen wildfires this year. In fact, some scientists are calling the dryness in the West a "megadrought,"defined as an intense drought that lasts for decades or longer. Overall, about 90% of the West is now either abnormally dry or in a drought, which is among the highest percentages in the past 20 years, according to this week'sU.S. Drought Monitor. "By intensity, it would be about as bad as the U.S. Drought Monitorhas shown in the last 20 years," climatologistBrian Fuchs of the National Drought Mitigation Center told USA TODAY. Although some areas that saw significant snow this winter will be in better shape this year, "those areas that did not see any help during the winter will see issues and impacts to water supplies, agriculture as well as increased fire danger," Fuchs said."We have time yet this winter to provide help, but the current situation is not providing much hope in widespread improvements by the end of spring."
"The Water Crisis in Mississippi America Can't Afford to Ignore"
"Right now, Calandra Davis' water pressure is too low to take a shower. When she turns on her sinks, the water comes out at a slow trickle. For weeks, she's had to bathe herself and her 6-year-old son with water from store-bought bottles. Like all residents of Jackson, Mississippi, she's also been on a boil-water notice for a week due tohigh turbidity. But in many ways, she feels lucky. "I feel like I'm privileged in that I have water at all right now and in that I didn't go super long without water," she said. Unlikemore than 50,000 peoplein her city, she also didn't lose power. Davis, a policy analyst at Hope Policy Institute and organizer with the social justice organization Black Youth Project 100, has been spending hours each day on mutual aid efforts, delivering food and water, and helping get those without utilities into hotel rooms. While working a local emergency relief hotline, she's heard from people who are struggling because they have medical conditions that require electronic devices or water access, and from dozens whose groceries all spoiled when their power went out. She says in Jackson, the lowest-income Black communities in the south and west are facing the worst effects."