Winterlike weekend, followed by a taste of spring

We are closing out the books on one of the warmest meteorological winters on record. For the months of December, January and February the Ice Box of the Nation, International Falls was nine degrees warmer than the new normal.

International Falls tallied three days of 20 below zero or colder for overnight minimums. Their coldest morning was 25 below zero on January 19th. That’s also the coldest morning experienced in the Twin Cities when the mercury dropped to minus 11 at the International Airport.

On only two days during the winter did the temperature fail to climb above zero in International Falls. *there are two days in February when temperatures were not recorded. The high of 46 degrees on January 5th in the Falls broke the old record of 36 degrees set in 1984.

In the Twin Cities there were no recorded days of below zero in December or February at the big Airport.

Here’s a statement from the NWS Grand Forks Office….. Based on the early information the meteorological winter months of December 2011 through February 2012 was the warmest for the Fargo Area, and in the top ten for the Grand Forks Area.

Snowfall has been sparse in the northern end of the Red River Valley. That’s good news for the spring flood threat.

From the Midwest Regional Climate Center, the snow depth as of Thursday morning.

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This morning Grand Forks reported a snow depth of 5 inches with 7 inches on the ground at Fargo. Another inch or two of snow is possible in the Red River Valley in the next couple of days.

An area of snow was beginning to show up on radar in southwest Minnesota late this afternoon.

Here’s a snapshot from 415pm. Some of the snow may not have been reaching the ground.

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Checking out the High Resolution Rapid Refresh model, the snow is likely to continue to expand and move northeast this evening. A fresh coating of around an inch of snow is possible in the metro.

HRRR simulated radar for 9pm.

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After seasonal temperatures this weekend, the models are continuing to trend towards a significant moderation. Looking out to the eight to fourteen day forecast there is high confidence in above normal temperatures as posted by NOAA Climate Prediction Center;

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I’ve been reading the stories about the nighttime tornadoes that struck Missiouri and Illinois earlier this week. The EF4 tornado that devasted Harrisburg, Illinois touched down shortly before 5am, under the cover of darkness.

One of the comments listed that an emergency official heard the outdoor siren was able to move quickly to shelter. People need to have an indoor weather alert radio. Do me a favor and get one for your home this season.

Another threat of dangerous storms is in the weather picture for the Ohio Valley on Friday. Here’s a look at the Storm Prediction Center’s severe weather potential as they see it this afternoon for Friday afternoon.

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Enjoy the snow this weekend. The melt begins Monday. Highs well into the 40s next week. Some readings approaching 60 degrees are possible in southwest Minnesota.

CE