Instant June: Record highs today; Tracking ice out

49 degrees record “high minimum” at MSP Airport this morning

40 degrees – average high in the metro for today, March 14th

64 degrees – (soon to be previous) record high for today March 14th

75 degrees forecast high today in the metro

June 3rd date when average high is 75 in the metro

Ice out on Lakes Mendota & Monona in Madison, WI

Ice out already on some southern Minnesota lakes?

Ice out this weekend on some metro lakes like Calhoun & Harriet?

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March crocus blooming in Minneapolis Tuesday.

(Photo by MPR colleague Bill Endersen)

Instant June: Record highs in the 70s today!

Get ready for instant June.

Bright sun and warm breezes should boost temps into the 60s and even 70s in southern Minnesota including the metro today and later this week.

The mild air mass is nearly 3 months ahead of schedule. Highs in the 70s are average for early June, not mid March.

We’ve already set record “high minimum” temps this morning, and the record high of 64 at MSP Airport should be history by early PM.

A weak cool front will shift winds into the northwest today, and may temper the soaring temps a little later this afternoon.

More records this week?

We average 1 day of 70 degree warmth in March, and the record is 5 days set in 1910. Our mini cool front will be a brief speed bump in temp rises, and temps should return to the 70s by Friday.

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Ice out: Lakes out 2-3 weeks early this year

Surface reports and satellite shots show ice out is moving north fast this year. Mendota and Monona, the big lakes bracketing Madison, Wisconsin went out in the past 3 days on March 11th & 12th.

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Satellite shots indicate some southern Minnesota lakes are now ice free. Lakes are quickly losing ice as close as far north as Lakeville.

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I took a good look at the ice on Carson’s Bay on Lake Minnetonka near the weather lab…and the ice is turning “black.” This is a sigh that “candles” are forming…and it won’t be long until the combination of sunlight, melt water and wind this weekend have a good go at metro lakes.

I expect at this point that smaller metro lakes like Calhoun and Harriet, Nokomis may go out by this weekend.

With more 70s on the way and winds kicking up this weekend It would not shock me to see Waconia and Tonka go out this weekend, or at least be open in many areas.

The last time the ice went out on ‘Tonka in March was 12 years ago…March 18th, 2000.

Here are some great resources to track ice out on Minnesota lakes this year.

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-MN Climate Working Group ice page

-Historical MN ice out dates

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And by the way, I’ll be hosting the 2nd annual “Ice-Out/Loon-In” event for the Freshwater Society again this year. The event is Thursday April 12th at the Lafayette Club on Lake Minnetonka.

Please come and support an organization that does plenty to keep our Minnesota lakes and rivers clean and healthy.

Hope to see you there!

PH

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