60 possible in southern Minnesota today!
50s likely today in metro!
69 = record high for the Twin Cities today (we won’t get there)
40s for Brainerd, Duluth, Fargo & International Falls
2″ snow depth this morning at MSP Airport
16″ snow depth at Duluth!
Get ready for a “windshield washer warning” today. There will be a growing number of puddles in Minnesota today. Some may be as big as houses by late afternoon.
Our major warm up is here, the only question is how warm will it get?
The answer lies mostly in how much snow is on the ground where you live.
Snow cover plays a huge role in temperatures this time of year. As several factors favor quick warm ups….snow cover is the one factor that can thwart big temp rises.
As warm air blows in from the south, the snow cover acts to cool the air it comes into contact with. We call this “air mass modification.”
You can feel that effect when you pull an ice tray out of the freezer, and hold your hand just over the top of it. Feel the cold? So does the atmosphere.
If not for snow, we could hit 60 today. A good strong south wind blowing over bare ground in Iowa should help boost temps into the lower 50s in southern Minnesota. The deepest snowpack of the season should keep temps in the 40s up north.
The snow that melts today should release additional moisture into the lower atmosphere. That could mean some thick fog as winds die down tonight.
Fire danger south!
One thing we can thank our new snow cover for is reduced fire danger in Minnesota….for now.
To the south, it’s still bone dry in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa. red Flag warnings are flying today for high fire danger.
The combination of dry bare ground, warm temps, low humidity and high winds will create explosive fire growth conditions today to our south.
Okay so maybe it’s too early to start talking about buds bursting in Minnesota just yet. But it wont be long before you se those crocus bloom and daffodil shoots on the sunny side of your house!
Here’s a great way to get involved in reporting some of your backyard “phenology.” It’s called “Project Budburst”
You can register and become part of a network of amateur phenologists who reports bloom times, leaf out, fall color changes etc. into a national database.
The data from “budburst” has already provided some interesting trends.
For example in the Chicago area, many spring plants are blooming days or weeks earlier than they did just decades ago.
Compared to the 1955-1994 period in Chicago, here are some bloom times in the last 5 years according to “Budburst” data:
Forsythia blooming 24 days earlier
Lilacs blooming 17 days earlier
You can hear more about shifting spring bloom times here from Chicago Public Radio.
You can check out Project Budburst here!
Enjoy the warm up!