Forecast: Fog, sun, rain, and a shot at 50.

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Fog shrouds downtown Minneapolis in MNDOT traffic cam shot at Penn Ave. & I-394 Monday morning.

It’s beginning to feel a lot like April lately.

A touch of morning fog giving way to mild afternoon sun. Light winds and temperatures in the 50s in northern Minnesota in March? The weather is almost a month ahead of the calendar right now. Here are some highlights.

*47 degrees in the metro Sunday marks the warmest day this year, and the warmest since December 1st when we also hit 47 degrees.

*Today will be the 6th day this month with highs in the 40s, and the 9th consecutive day with above average temperatures.

*Sunday’s readings of 54 in Grand Rapids and Hibbing mark the warmest temperature readings in Minnesota so far this year.

*February temperatures are running 5.7 degrees above average so far in the Twin Cities.

Snow cover takes a hit:

A week ago we had 12″ of snow on the ground at MSP. Today, we’re down to 5″. That’s a full 7″ of snow melt in a week.

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NOHRSC Upper Midwest snow water equivalent Monday morning. Note the 6″ plus of water stored in snow pack in western Minnesota, and the snow free areas now emerging in Nebraska.(Click for a bigger image)

The warm temperatures and Saturday night’s rain combined to decimate the snow pack. Check out the two week animation of snow cover in the USA here.

Rivers responding:

All that snowmelt has to go somewhere. Of course most of it ends up in our rivers and lakes. We’re starting to see some response with rising river levels this week. Check out the hydrograph of the Minnesota River at Morton and you can see a small rise Monday morning.

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Expect to see river levels responding to increased snow melt this week.

Rainfall may spike rivers late week:

A slow moving low pressure system will bring rain to the region from Tuesday into Thursday of this week. Computers are hinting at .50″ for southern Minnesota.

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If we get that much rain, expect an even bigger surge in river levels later this week.


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