+9 degrees – March temps vs. average so far at MSP Airport
10th straight warmer than average month in Minnesota
73 degrees record high Wednesday at MSP
Earliest 70 degree temps in 12 years in the metro
4th earliest 70 degree temp ever on record for the metro
53 degrees soil temp at 6″ depth near Albert Lea… on March 15th
70s return Friday through Sunday
80 possible in the metro and southern Minnesota by Sunday?
Rain may soak in next week
Folks enjoy 70s and fading ice at Lake Harriet Wednesday.
“March used to be a great month for keeping your favorite beverage on the porch or outside on the deck. This year it’s taking up space in the fridge.”
Paul Huttner to Cathy Wurzer on Morning Edition this morning at 7:48 am
“Freakishly Warm” March continues:
Any way you slice it this is just plain weird.
Something happened last summer, some switch was thrown, and the atmosphere hasn’t been the same since.
We’re on a weather “hot streak” so to speak, and it shows no signs of letting up.
Warmest fall on record? Yep.
Winter in Minnesota? Nope.
Certainly the other show will drop in March? Not gonna happen.
Why is this happening?
I wish I knew for sure. The only discernable thing that changed is La Nina faded away last summer. That may have been what launched us from a cool wet start to 2011 headlong into a warm “droughty” fall and winter.
It’s almost as if La Nina was holding back some overarching force that wanted to heat up Minnesota and the USA. Now that La Nina is gone…there’s no stopping the warm up.
We’ve talked about the Arctic Oscillation staying strongly in the “positive phase” this winter. That’s kept us warm…but why? And what’s driving what? These so called “atmospheric teleconnections” are hard to pin down. What comes first and what drives what? It’s a little bit chicken and egg.
This March, lakes in Minnesota are screaming like the Wicked Witch of the West.
Is it climate change gone wild? Maybe.
It’s not just a little warmer than average either. We’re not running 1 or 2 degrees above average…we’re running 7.3 degrees above average for the least 6 months!
Temps at MSP Airport vs. average:
October +6.4 degrees (11th warmest)
November +5.5 degrees (9th warmest)
December +8.1 degrees (13th warmest)
January +7.7 degrees (8th warmest)
February +6.9 degrees (12th warmest)
March (so far) +9.0 degrees
(and on pace for warmest March on record?)
It’s as if we’ve moved to Kansas City folks, where the average annual temp is about 8 degrees warmer than the Twin Cities. This truly was a “Kansas City Winter.”
I’ve never seen a stretch of weather this far out of whack in Minnesota. I wish I had a nice neat answer as to why this is happening. I don’t.
Record March soil temps?
We shouldn’t even be talking about “soil temps” on the “Ides of March.” We should be talking about frost depth and snow cover.
But this March 15th the frost is already out of the ground in southern Minnesota and going fast in the metro. Check out these remarkable (and record?) soil temps at 6″ depth.
Hutchinson 41 degrees
Mankato 45 degrees
Lamberton 48 degrees
Albert Lea 53 degrees
Our chances for March rain will increase next Monday & Tuesday. At least it will soak in.
So what next?
As Minnesotans we’re conditioned for the “other shoe to drop” when we get unseasonably mild weather. “We’re going to pay for this” right? “Things will always even out?”
Temps look to run 20 to 30 degrees above average for most of the rest of March. There are signs of a cool down to near average around March 28th, but that’s it.
We may even hit 80 this weekend (best chance on Sunday) in the metro. If we do it will be the earliest 80 degree temp on record in the metro. (The Twin Cities hit 83 on March 23, 1910.)
Our weather keeps getting weirder. Hang on; it’s going to be a wild ride.