Ups & downs. Strikes & gutters. Two steps forward, one step back.

That’s weather life in springtime in Minnesota.

We take a few more steps forward and ride the upslope on the temperature roller coaster the next few days. Our warm front comes with gusty south winds Saturday and even stronger northwest winds behind another front Sunday. Temperatures rise as milder air masses sweep in, but the winds cut a few degrees off how it feels. By Monday a lighter southwest wind combines with sunshine to boost temperatures toward the 60 degree mark. Bank thermometers around the metro and southern Minnesota crack the 60 degree mark two or three days next week. A shot at 70 degrees is possible again next Wednesday.

Progress.

Here’s a more detailed look at temperature trends for the next week. Milder days and thoughts of spring return by Monday. Temperatures rise into the 40s Saturday afternoon, and probably won’t fall below the freezing mark in the metro most of next week.

Weatherspark

Windy weekend

Jet stream winds blow at 75 mph about 18,00 feet over our heads this weekend. That means fast moving weather systems that translate momentum downward and create gusty winds at the surface. Packed isobars on the weather maps mean a windy weekend. Low pressure zipping through Sunday morning brings a brief mixed shot of precipitation.

NOAA

Wind gusts exceed 30 mph from the metro west by Sunday afternoon.

NOAA

Lakes going out

The warmer than average March and lack of snow cover have combined to push ice out on most lakes in southern Minnesota, and smaller lakes in the metro. NASA’s 1,000 meter MODIS Terra visible shot Friday afternoon clearly shows open water as black specks in remnant snow cover across southern Minnesota. Check out the ice floes in eastern Lake Superior.

NASA MODIS Terra shot via UW Madison

I found plenty of open water on Lake Zumbra in the southwest metro Friday afternoon.

You can follow incoming ice out reports here on the Minnesota DNR ice out page.

Minnesota DNR

Milder temperatures and high winds this weekend should start shredding ice on some of the bigger metro lakes. Calhoun, Harriet and Medicine Lake may go out this weekend. White Bear and Minnetonka could go out next week.

Enjoy the warming trend the next few days!