The maps are in and they all agree on one thing. It’s going to get warmer in Minnesota over the next week.
The only questions appear to be…how warm? And how soon?
Modles: 40s and 50s ahead? (click to enlarge)
Jet stream changes: “Zonal flow”
For meteorologists and weather geeks, the term “zonal flow” means milder air for Minnesota in winter and spring. Our persistent northwest flow that dealt cold air form Canada all winter is finally giving way to a more westerly flow. That means Pacific air masses can ride over the Rockies, warm and dry as they move east into Minnesota.
In a perfect weather world, every day with sun and southerly breezes would be at least in the 40s this time of year, with some days shooting into the 50s. There are two big factors that limit warm ups in spring are snow cover on the ground (air mass modification) and low clouds and fog that tend to form as we start melting snow.
We’ll have to keep an eye out for these main “forecast busters” in the next two weeks until (hopefully) all the snow is gone. And of course, we’re still not out of the woods yet when it come to the possibility of additional snow. After all…it is still March for 3 more weeks and it can snow in April! (Gulp!)
Northern Plains Convective Workshop March 22-23
If you’re involved in weather planning at any level or just a true weather geek, you’ll want to check out the 15th Annual Northern Plains Convective Workshop at the 3M Auditorium on the University of St. Thomas Minneapolis campus March 22-23, 2011.
I was sad to have to pass on the invitation to speak at this years event… there are a host of great speakers and topics at the workshop.
You can find the agenda and registration info here. My partner in weather crime, Minnesota Twins and MPR meteorologist Craig Edwards will present a talk on how weather support is done at Target Field for the Twins baseball games.
Come check out the action at UST march 22-23rd.