April showers are pushing the season in Minnesota this year.

A storm system taking shape in the Desert Southwest pools near Denver overnight and moves into the Plains Thursday. The slow moving low sends waves of rain into Minnesota Thursday and Friday.

NOAA GFS model via tropical tidbits.

Model convergence?

Forecast models have converged toward a more agreeable solution on the location of the heaviest rain bands Friday. NOAA’s GFS has moved a little north. The European model has shifted a bit south. Both models now are in reasonable agreement that the metro should get a decent soaking, but the heaviest rain zone Friday will set up south of MSP toward Rochester.

Heavy rain potential for southern Minnesota

Model consensus puts the Twin Cities into the northern end of the soaking rain zone. Most models now crank out between .50″ and 1″ for the Twin Cities. The heaviest rains and thunder likely set up south of MSP, with the potential for 1″ to 3″ rainfall totals toward Rochester and La Crosse.

NOAA GFS rainfall output via pivotal weather.

Severe outbreak south?

It’s been an active start to severe weather season so far. The same system that brings Minnesota’s cool rain and spotty thunder delivers a severe weather threat to the central and southern Plains. Severe thunderstorms with damaging winds, large hail and a few tornadoes are likely.

Here’s Friday’s severe risk from NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center.


Active tornado season

We know it’s been a record early start to tornado season here in Minnesota. 3 tornadoes skipped across our state on March 6th. That’s the earliest start to tornado season on record, blowing away the previous record by a full 12 days.

This is the 2nd fastest start on record to the US tornado season. Only 2008 produced more tornadoes at this point in the year. That year ended up producing more than 2,100 tornadoes.


Severe weather is not a threat to Minnesota this week. But with cold air still north and a very warm air mass building to the south this spring, I expect an active severe weather season as this spring unfolds.

Climate Cast: Climate implications of a possible President Trump-Russia connection?

You might not expect a link between ongoing investigations into so called “Russiagate” and climate. But one prominent climate scientist sees smoke between Russian Oil, Exxon, Trump Administration policy, and climate change.

I ask Dr. Michael Mann how he connects the dots on Climate Cast at 3:20 and 6:20 pm on MPR News Stations.

If you live in Minnesota you probably support the idea of renewable energy research. You are also likely to believe that global warming is real, according to The Yale Project on Climate Communication. Beliefs and attitudes toward #globalwarming vary by region. Explore them in detail using our #climate opinion maps: https://t.co/0ZrX9iOqHH pic.twitter.com/57ZFuGTxIh — Yale Climate Read more