Scandinavian Desert: Driest air in USA over MN today; Rain Friday; Flakes Tue?

27 degrees at MSP Airport this morning

25 degrees at Crystal Airport in New Hope!

9 degree dew point at Windom & Worthington this morning

36 degree dew point in Phoenix and Albuquerque this morning

Driest air mass in the USA over Minnesota today

Rain chances increase Thursday night & Friday

A few wet snowflakes possible in parts of MN next Tuesday?

Droopy Lilacs:

The Weather Lab lilacs looked quite “droopy” this morning as temps dipped well below freezing again.

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Droopy lilacs this morning at the Weather Lab.

Photo by Paul Huttner-MPR News

Temps bottomed out at 27 at MSP Airport, and 25 at Crystal and Blaine this morning.

That’s a hard freeze in anybody’s book, and may have damaged some of the more sensitive flowering plants like apple trees. I’ll leave that report to the experts in the field.

Cold yes, and extremely dry too:

Welcome to the “Scandinavian Desert.”

It’s not unusual to get freezing temps this time of year, but this air mass is remarkably dry. A check of dew points this morning shows the air mass over Minnesota this morning is much drier than many cities in the desert southwest. In fact, the air mass over Minnesota is basically the driest in the nation (lower 48) today.

Location – Dew Point

Wothington, MN 9 degrees

Windom, MN 9 degrees

Hallock, MN 9 degrees

MSP Airport 17 degrees

Phoenix 36 degrees

Albuquerque 36 degrees

Las Vegas 31 degrees

Palm Springs 41 degrees (rain at LAX!)

Denver 46 degrees (fog!)

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Extreme dryness over the Upper Midwest today.

Source: U of Illinois

Rain by Friday?

It appears low pressure spinning in from the west will inject enough moisture into Minnesota Thursday night into Friday morning to give us a few much needed showers.

The NAM & GFS suggest a band of showers (and a rumble of thunder?) late Thursday night into Friday morning.

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GFS model paints rain by Friday morning.

Source: College of DuPage Weather Lab

Overall rainfall totals look light to moderate, with somewhere between .20″ and .40″ the most likely scenario at this point. There is some indication the system could slow down and linger over Minnesota Friday morning, which might help boost rainfall totals.

S-N-O-W flakes next week?

A second system may push toward Minnesota by Monday and Tuesday.

The GFS (which has not performed terribly well as of late) tries to bring a mix of rain and a few wet snowflakes to Minnesota (mostly north of the metro) Monday & Tuesday. The European model suggests the system could steer south of Minnesota.

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GFS model suggest snow flakes next Tuesday. Euro model steers system south.

Source: Iowa State University

Stay tuned!

PH

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