If you took a poll on Minnesota weather in the next few days, I have no doubt that the numbers for “right direction” would be overwhelming.
The mildest pool of Pacific air so far this spring season has crossed the eastern slope of the Rockies, and will spill into Minnesota in waves the next 1-2 weeks. Temps hit 70 degrees today in northeast Colorado, and western Kansas and Nebraska as mild “Chinook warming” pooled east of the Front Range.
Farther east, extensive snow cover holds temps in check as the milder air encounters deep snow over Minnesota.
Southwest flow at the surface is eating away at snow cover southwest of Minnesota.
The GOES 1km visible shot over Iowa Thursday clearly shows the southwest edge of the snow cover which has progressed to about Des Moines. Note the rivers clearly cutting through the snow covered landscape in Iowa.
Milder Friday, 40s likely by Monday
The warmer air will come in pulses. The first wave is less impressive than what we’ll feel Sunday into Monday. Temps in the 40s by Monday afternoon look increasingly likely. After a cooler speed bump Friday night into Sunday morning, the red arrows return with force Sunday afternoon.
Wintry mix Friday
As warm air pushes over snow cover, it may squeeze out some light freezing drizzle or sleet at times Friday. Be aware of that as you make the commute.
Long range: Warm spells and a shot at 50?
We’ll need to melt some snow first, but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s longer range Global Forecast System is starting to crank out some spring-like numbers in the 16 day outlook.
I am dubious we’ll hit 56 degrees in the metro after St. Patty’s Day yet in the metro with our snow cover. But, hey, a guy can dream right?
NOAA issues ‘El Nino Watch’
I’ve been waiting for NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center to pull the trigger on this one for a while now. The models for the tropical Pacific are finally leaning hard enough on sustained warming next fall and winter that NOAA has issued an El Nino Watch.
— NWS (@NWS) March 6, 2014
NOAA calls it a 50/50 shot at this point, but the odds are increasing. All models seem to favor continued warming, and several take temps well above the +.5C El Nino threshold.
If a full-blown El Nino develops, the odds theoretically favor a milder winter (about 70 percent to 80 percent) in the Upper Midwest next winter. After this winter, that would be music to the ears of many Minnesotans.