Wintry landscape; moderation for weekend; monitoring flood potential

Biting winds continue this morning. The wind chill reading was 23 below zero at Fergus Falls at 6 a.m. CDT and well below zero over Minnesota.

Shortly before daybreak winds were gusting to 45 mph at Grand Marais along the north shore of Lake Superior.

Despite March sunshine, it will feel bitterly cold if you are venturing out today. Bundle up. The temperatures are more typical of mid-January.

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The high in the Twin Cities metro today will be around 20 F. The normal high for this time of year in Minneapolis/St. Paul is 43 degrees.

Additional snow cover was added to the landscape in the past 48 hours. The snow depth as of Monday morning was as 26 inches at International Falls and 17 inches at St. Cloud.

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This is National Flood Awareness Week. Hydrologists are monitoring the water equivalent in the snow pack, the frost depth, the temperature trends and the potential for additional precipitation.

When I worked at the National Weather Service in Chanhassen our field observers would take a core sample of the snow pack and report that water value to our office on Tuesday mornings. This information was combined with the analysis made by the staff at NOAA’s Remote Sensing Center in Chanhassen.

Through the month of March and into early April, the North Central River Forecast Center hydrologists will track the flood potential.

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From the Minnesota State Climatologist Office earlier this month:

Most recent release from the North Central River Forecast Center for the flood risk of moderate flooding on the Red:

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Source:NOAA/NCRFC

The irony here is the risk of a moderate flood in parts of the Red River Valley, while the drought conditions could persist in south central Minnesota. The deep frost layer will prohibit moisture from permeating the soil.

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For more information on Flood Awareness Week, click here.

So the question of the past two weeks, “When are we going to warm up?” I’m maintaining my conservative approach to under promise and over deliver when it comes to experiencing warmer than normal temperatures. Check back with me in a week.

Winds will continue to be brisk today and into this evening with sub zero wind chill readings. Unseasonably cold temperature will continue through Friday.

From RUC model valid at 10 p.m. CDT tonight. Winds in knots and surface temperatures:

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.Source:NOAA/College of Dupage

We are still expected to come up short on the thermometer this weekend, but temperatures in the 30s will at least have us headed in a spring-like direction.

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Fill this under the heading for amusement value only. This is the GFS model forecast for surface temperatures and wind at 1 p.m. CDT on Easter Sunday:

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Source:NOAA/Twisterdata.com

Craig Edwards

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