Some good weather news in the forecast today for rain weary Minnesotans. A drier and slightly warmer weather pattern is taking hold.
HPC 5-Day Rainfall indicates less than .10″ forecast for most of Minnesota.
This should give farmers a chance to catch up on spring planting as fields dry out. It will also give us a welcome respite from soaking rains. We may still see a few bouts of lighter showers, but no big soakers loom on the horizon.
It looks a bit warmer too. Today is the day our average high hits 70 in the metro. We’ll be closer to 70 than 60 for daily highs the next week. Watch for your local bank thermometer to flash 70 by weeks end.
On a previous post MPR listener Dan asked about the duration of this cold spell. It seems like it’s been going on since October, but really it’s only been since mid-January. Still that’s a 4 month duration!
May (-2.5 so far) is our 4th consecutive month with below average temps in the metro. The last time we had 4 consecutive months below average in the Twin Cities was 4 years ago in 2004 when May through August fell below the average.
5 months in a row below average does not happen very often at all, so the likelihood of us getting another month below average is slim. The last time that happened was 12 years ago in 1996 when March through August was all below average. The good news is that statistically, we’re likely to warm to above average soon.
To further break down the cold spell, think of it this way. Since February 1st we’ve had 64 below average days and only 37 average or above average days. That’s roughly 6 of every 10 days below average.
The flip side is true if you look back from October through January. We had 47 days below average compared to 76 days at or above average. That’s roughly 6 of 10 days above average. So even though it felt “colder” as we approached winter, we remained largely above average into January.
So our recent cold spell is remarkable and unusual both in magnitude and duration.
The good news is, at least statistically, it isn’t likely to last. The big bad James Bay Polar Vortex is showing signs of breaking down gradually over the next two weeks.