Warmest in 5 months! Flood threat eases? Weekend storms?

Congratulations!

You just enjoyed the first 60 degree temp in nearly 5 months in the metro and southern Minnesota.

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60s return. (Click to enlarge)

The last time the mercury hit 60 was on November 10th 2010 with a room temperature 68 degrees at MSP Airport.

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The (really) cold season appears to be behind us now, and the overall weather pattern shifts into a spring like mode for the foreseeable future. There will still be some chilly days & nights, but hopefully any real snow threat is gone until fall. Hopefully.

Rain north & south:

High pressure is steering rain showers south of Minnesota into Iowa and Missouri. A few showers are sliding throughnorthern Minnesota where temps are cooler in the 50s.

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Rivers easing a bit?

Sunshine, low humidity, and no rain or snow. That’s just what the weather doctor ordered for swollen rivers in southern Minnesota.

The latest AHPS forecasts have tweaked some crest forecasts a little lower for this upcoming weekend.

The crest forecast for Mississippi @ St. Paul has been adjusted slightly downward…from 19.2′ to 18.8′ next Monday.

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That would put the “2nd crest” below the 19.01′ level of the first crest on 2/29/2011, which may now stand as the 8th highest flood of record on the Mississippi @ St. Paul.

The Red River @ Fargo is still forecast to reach 39.5′ feet on Sunday, which would be the 3rd highest flood of record.

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A success story?

Some perspective here.

There have been 2 flood related deaths from brave souls that gave their lives fighting the rising waters.

River levels this year are very high including top 5 “floods of record” in some areas. But flood protection is built to withstand these levels in most areas.

A good example is the Red, which crested higher in 2009 without major incident.

Barring a major dike failure or someother unknown event, most communties may be able to handle these flood levels without major incident. Knock on wood… but the “Floods of 2011″ seem to be passing without major widespread problems.

If it stays that way… you have to give a lot of credit to a whole range of NWS, State and local employees and offifcals who have laid out and excecuted great flood plans.

People moan about “government” sometimes…you’re watching good government at work this flood season saving dollars, property and probably lives.

Weekend forecast trends warmer…storms delayed?

It looks like the western storm that will affect our weekend weather is slowing down. While the overall solution for the weekend remains a bit unclear, there are some emerging weekend weather trends.

-Friday night & Saturday may be dry and warm. It’s possible we could see our first 70s on Saturday.

-Any T-Storm threat may hold off until overnight Saturday night into Sunday morning. Midday Sunday may end up dry…with another chance of storms Sunday night?

-Overall model precip is tredning lighter…from the usually bloated early GFS runs of 1″+ down to (a more reasonable?) .30″ to .60″ range.

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Again…the weather crystal ball is still murky for the weekend. Let’s see if Friday’s model runs provide any more clarity.

There is still a chance of a severe storm…but I’m growingly optimistic that the biggest threat may be south of Minnesota, where a major severe outbreak is possible Sunday in the central plains.

Overall it looks like a very nice, mild spring-like weekend with May temperature levels and a few showers or a T-Storm thrown in!

Stay tuned…

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