Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Midwest Mania: Snow To Seventy In Less Than A Week

As many of you know, I spent the first 25 years of my life in Minneapolis so the occasional Minnesota-centric post will sometimes sneak through the cracks.  Considering yesterday saw the Twin Cities region pick up between three and seven inches of snow, on April 23rd, it's warranted.

For those who think Minnesota is all snow, all the time...their average high today is 62 degrees, only four degrees behind us.   Given their location in the middle of the country, far removed from ocean influences, their temperatures are prone to a bit more extreme fluctuation than we are locally but snow odds by late April, outside of the fluke event every few years, are pretty much shot.

This April has been a huge exception for them.  Minneapolis has picked up nearly eighteen inches of snow this MONTH.  It's their third snowiest April on record, about three to four inches shy of the record set back in 1983.

Traffic camera of Minneapolis area freeway showing, yes, it snowed again.

Duluth area freeway...they've had more snow than Minneapolis.
The picture in Duluth, about 150 miles north and northeast of the Twin Cities, is snowier. Duluth has picked up over FIFTY inches of snow this month, with another eight plus inches falling yesterday.  They have two feet of snow on the ground.  Duluth's average high for today is a still-crisp 53...you can thank the influence of Lake Superior in keeping their temperatures down a bit through the year, but over four feet of snow across Northeast Minnesota in a shade over three weeks is quite a lot, even for the hardiest of snowbirds.  Those fifty plus inches are a record for a snowiest month, regardless of month, on record in Duluth.

The yin and yang of meteorology will manifest itself over the coming days -- temperatures will remain cool for the next several days before much of the Upper Midwest encounters a major warming trend this weekend.  70 is not out of the question for Minneapolis by Sunday and looks likely on Monday according to most reasonable modeling.  This in an area where they still have yet to hit 60...


It's a pretty safe bet that the snow that fell will be a distant memory there.

A slow moving, "blocky" pattern of sorts will set up across North America (it's that time of the year where systems tend to slow down their progression across the Northern Hemisphere) and the Atlantic, which for us will result in a bit of an onshore flow as high pressure locks in place  just off the New England coastline.  We'll likely have coolish conditions around and perhaps scatterings of showers from next Sunday on.  Warmth will dominate the middle of the nation for the first time this year...and while it will not only knock out the snow on the ground it will help ease some of the spring flood concerns across the Upper Midwest.