Models: Major warm up ahead?

My MPR News colleague Cathy Wurzer may have summed up the hopes of winter weary Minnesotans in two words this morning.

When I cautioned that I hate to even “stick my toe in the water” on a long range forecast that may include a major warm up she immediately replied….”Go ahead!”

Let’s start with the extended and work backwards today.

Pattern Change: Major warm up in sight?

I hate to even go out on this weather limb, but the overnight GFS run (yes, the same unreliable model of “wanna be” snowstorms in the past few weeks) is boldly hinting that spring is truly right around the corner.

The type of major upper air pattern change that would send spring time (or even early summertime!) temperatures gushing into Minnesota may be about to unfold starting on Mother’s Day weekend & beyond.

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GFS surface chart pumps warm air on strong southerly flow by May 9th.

There are a couple of reasons I am giving the model output more credibility this time.

1) The upper air pattern change portrayed by the models is sweeping and large scale.

2) The pattern fits the season, it’s something we would expect for early May.

3) We’re overdue for a flip in the overall upper air pattern in across North America.

So what’s it all mean?

Right now it appears the pattern could begin to change on Mother’s Day weekend, with the real warmth gushing into Minnesota starting on Monday May 9th. If the upper air shift verifies, temperatures may surge well into the 70s (and possibly 80?) in southern Minnesota & Wisconsin the week of May 9th.

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As the warmer air (& humidity) surge north, we may see an increase in severe storms at times.

It figures for Minnesota. From snow to summer (and mosquitoes?) in a few days? They say everything in life’s a trade off…pick your poison I guess.

Right now I’d put the probability of much warmer weather at about 60% for the week of May 9th. But that’s a lot higher that I would have given yesterday.

Let’s see how the upper air pattern evolves over the next 10 days.

In the meantime…

There are a lot of disgruntled Minnesotans these days. We’ve long since lost our sense of humor for cold, gray snowy days, especially in late April. I’m not hearing the “bring it on” bravado anymore. And I’m really starting to see that some are seriously affected by SAD, well into April.

All I can say is hang in there…things (the weather) really will change for the better!

Snowy start up north:

Take a look at the map below. Yep, that’s snow up north.

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It has been snowing in Duluth, Ely and the Iron Range cities this morning.

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It’s really piling up in northwest Wisconsin.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DULUTH MN

730 AM CDT WED APR 27 2011

…PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT…

THE TOTALS BELOW ARE PRELIMINARY SNOW REPORTS FROM CO-OP OBSERVERS

AND TRAINED WEATHER SPOTTERS AROUND THE NORTHLAND. THESE ARE NOT

NECESSARILY THE FINAL AMOUNT FOR EACH LOCATION.

SNOW REPORTS LISTED BY AMOUNT

INCHES LOCATION ST COUNTY TIME

———————– — ——— ——-

9.00 2NW MELLEN WI ASHLAND 0730 AM

6.50 MAPLE WI DOUGLAS 0700 AM

5.50 CORNUCOPIA WI BAYFIELD 0600 AM

4.30 HAWTHORNE WI DOUGLAS 0600 AM

4.00 POPLAR WI DOUGLAS 0522 AM

3.80 5 S HERBSTER WI BAYFIELD 0600 AM

3.00 CHISHOLM MN ST. LOUIS 0720 AM

3.00 GLIDDEN WI ASHLAND 0700 AM

3.00 EMBARRASS MN ST. LOUIS 0600 AM

2.50 SAGINAW MN ST. LOUIS 0730 AM

2.50 10 S SUPERIOR WI DOUGLAS 0700 AM

1.60 4 W WASHBURN WI BAYFIELD 0700 AM

1.50 TOFTE MN COOK 0725 AM

1.50 BUTTERNUT WI ASHLAND 0700 AM

1.50 3 NW CLOQUET MN CARLTON 0600 AM

1.30 GILE WI IRON 0700 AM

1.00 2 SE ESKO MN CARLTON 0630 AM

0.80 SILVER BAY MN LAKE 0700 AM

Pretty “sick” for late April, even up north. ‘Nuff said.

Play ball tonight?

I would not want to be on the Twins management team today.

This will be one of those days when no matter what decision you make, somebody’s going to be unhappy.

All the major models (GFS, NAM, RUC etc.) indicate a narrow “wrap around” precip band will slide south into the eastern half of Minnesota by 7pm this evening. They also paint a temperature profile right near freezing aloft that should bring borderline rain/snow showers into the metro.

We may be only talking about a few hundredths of an inch of precip (compared to Tuesday’s 1.5″ deluge), but it may be enough to keep the field wet and make for some interesting visuals at TF if snowflakes are coming down as temps fall back into the upper 30s tonight.

Will conditions be “playable?” Maybe. Will it be cold, wet and miserable? Absolutely.

Interesting call. They do have those heaters in the dugout and around Target Field. Where can I buy some “hot chocolate futures” at TF?

Anyone remember those ancient Vikings games with snow coming down on the “frozen tundra?”

Severe nightmare continues:

Another day, another 55 torndoes. That’s the tally yesterday from SPC.

That puts April’s preliminary tornado tally at a stunning 656 twisters.

Severe weather stretched along a cold front from Texas all the way to New York last night.

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Storms continue to rumble today across the southeast with more “high risk” areas today. It just won’t end. Look for more tornadoes (another 30 to 50?) again today.

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Here’s hoping I can write some better weather news tomorrow…let’s see if the notion of a big pattern change to spring is still in the cards.

Hang in there!

PH

  • Craig

    My Twins schedule shows the Rays returning to Target Field on July 4th.

  • Artie

    Rays are back this year in July.

  • Eric

    We’re at the beginning of a warming trend touching 90. Hopefully it will track east and dry some areas out.

    Boy those F5′s in Alabama were enormous, huh?