Showery Pattern Ahead: Up to 4″ of rain next 2 weeks?

Soaking rains band of showers slides through into Wednesday AM

.25″ to .75″+ likely with some 1″ totals possible

Latest Twin Cities radar loop

“April Showers” cooler & showery the rest of this week – more like April

Wet pattern next 2 weeks? GFS model cranks out 4″ rainfall next 16 days

Ignored warnings “vast majority” of Joplin, MO residents ignored 1st (and even multiple) warning signals in deadly tornado last May

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April-like showers:

Yes it’s still March, but after our May and June weather the atmosphere seems to think it’s April now.

Another batch of rain is sliding north from Iowa. Scattered bands of rain will slide through into Wednesday morning.

The rain may be steady and soaking overnight in much of southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

Generally rainfall totals look to be between .25″ and .75″ with a few spots soaking in up to 1″ by lunchtime Wednesday.

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Cool & showery week:

Our overall weather pattern has changed to a cooler (but still above average) wetter pattern this week.

The only exception is northwest Minnesota, where more sunshine will be the rule.

Look for another batch of showers Thursday into Friday. And again, it could be a soaker.

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Wet pattern holds into April?

Looking ahead, it appears our wet pattern may persist into early April.

The GFS model keeps an active jet stream over Minnesota, and frequent storms riding the jet.

The systems could dump heavy rain at times, and may begin to take a bite out of the severe drought in much of Minnesota.

Take a look at the GFS 16-day forecast below. It cranks out 4.34″ of rainfall in the next 16 days.

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If we get 4″+ of rain in the next 16 days, it would begin to help ease the drought.

We need the rain to recharge parched soils from last fall, and fill up lakes and rivers.

Check out the photo from Deephaven Beach on Lake Minnetonka. The water level is close to 3 feet below where it was last year.

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Photo Credit: Paul Huttner

We can use every drop!

Joplin Revisited: “Vast majority” ignored 1st warning signals

It’s easy to remember the devastating images from the deadly Joplin last May 22nd.

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Joplin tonado devestation.

Image credit: NOAA

The Joplin tornado (which occurred the same day as the North Minneapolis tornado) killed 159 people and injured over 1,000.

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Source: NOAA

What’s amazing is how many people simply ignored the first warning signs of an approaching tornado. In fact, and NWS study after the tornado found that some failed to take protective action after hearing as many as 6 to 9 different “risk signals.”

From the NWS report:

“Many of the key findings within this report involved societal aspects of warning response and risk perception. Responding to warnings is not a simple act of stimulus-response; rather it is a non-linear, multi-step, complex process. Relationships between false alarms, public complacency, and warning credibility are highly complex as well.

The vast majority of Joplin residents did not immediately take protective action upon receiving a first indication of risk (usually via the local siren system), regardless of the source of the warning. Most chose to further assess their risk by waiting for, actively seeking, and filtering additional information.

The reasons for doing so were quite varied, but largely depended on an individual’s ―worldview‖ formed mostly by previous experience with severe weather. Most importantly, the perceived frequency of siren activation in Joplin led the majority of survey participants to become desensitized or complacent to this method of warning. This suggests that initial siren activations in Joplin (and severe weather warnings in general) have lost a degree of credibility for most residents – one of the most valued characteristics for successful risk communication.”

The number of signals between first indication of severe weather and protective action markedly increased as information became conflicted or unclear. In the most extreme example, one resident’s interview indicated nine risk signals identified before taking protective action:

1. Aware that thunderstorms were probably going to happen

2. Noticed the weather changing outside

3. Heard the 1st siren while driving to restaurant (approximately 30-minute lead time)

4. Restaurant shut doors and disallowed entry

5. Drove to a 2nd restaurant where business was carrying on as usual

6. Noticed the weather changing

7. Reports came from TV and radio

8. Patron indicated tornado in Joplin

9. Management instructed protective action

In this example, signals 4 and 5 are significant in that they heightened and diminished this resident’s perception of risk, respectively. Once the restaurant shut its doors and refused entry, this resident perceived the threat of severe weather as real and commented during the interview that he did not want to be in his car. Upon arriving at another restaurant close by, however, his perception of threat was diminished because business at this second establishment was carrying on as normal: he was escorted to a table and ordered a meal.


Finding #2b: The majority of surveyed Joplin residents did not immediately go to shelter upon hearing the initial warning, whether from local warning sirens, television, NWR, or other sources. Instead, most chose to further clarify and assess their risk by waiting for, actively seeking, and filtering additional information.”

“Siren fatigue” and so called “optimism bias” (the feeling that it just won’t happen to me) were two of the reasons sighted for delayed actions in the Joplin tornado.

The take away from Joplin is this. When you get the first indication of severe weather at your location take action now…then seek and filter additional data. Your life may depend in action in the first few seconds.

Stay dry!


  • nt

    So, can I take the plastic off my greenhouse?

    For the last week, running the sprinkler in there for 15 minutes in the mid afternoon to drop the temp has been the standard routine.

    Are the odds of a frost low to minimal given the thawed soil and water everywhere?

  • Steve H

    Hello, if you could let me know, from where did you get the GFS model guidance output table that you showed toward the middle of the article. Is it something that I would be able to find online myself? If so I would greatly appreciate the link. Being a meteorologist myself, that would be nifty to refer too. Thanks!