Sudden Spring; 70F ahead; Warmest air in 6 months; Ice-Out records?

About Time

If patience is a virtue, Minnesotans must be the most virtuous people on the planet.

Spring is finally here, for real. A sting of successively midler days lies ahead, and the 1st 60s and 70s of the year appear to be a lock.

On Thursday’s the weather lab goes mobile and visits the MPR studios for the Climate cast. Suddenly I’m the most popular guy on the planet. Smiles and compliments from co-workers? From “weather villain” to “weather hero” in 48 hours. Welcome to the life of a weatherman.

In this Updraft we track the warm up, and look at how the thaw is progressing. We’ll also keep an eye on the chances for a stray thunderstorm late Sunday and what could be a stalled line of thunderstorms with heavy downpours next Tuesday.

In the meantime the doppler is on auto-pilot and the grill is ready.

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Up Escalator:

Sunglasses? Check. Shorts? Maybe I better get some sun on these legs first.

These are the kind of maps and charts Minnesotans have been waiting for.

Our warm up comes in an escalating series of steps the next few days. 60s, 70s…..possibly pushing 80F in southwest Minnesota?

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One interesting note about our warm up. In addition to warmer days in the 60s & 70s, it looks like our nighttime lows will hover mostly above freezing for the next week.

Looking back, that hasn’t happened since Sep 30th to October 4th…in well over 6 months.

Nice!

Rain chances by Tuesday?

There is a slight chance we may pop a few showers & T-Storms Sunday PM & evening n Minnesota. The better chance comes next Tuesday, as a strong frontal boundary may stall over eastern Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The good news? Most of the rain looks to fall east of the Red River Valley, and that could help ease flood concerns there.

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Frost Going Fast:

Check out the soil temperature profile at depth from the UM Waseca Research Station.

The frost is gone now…and soil temps are in the 50s a couple of inches down.

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Ice Out: “Top 5″ Latest on Tonka this year?

March 21st – “Ice Out” on lake Minnetonka last year

April 13th – Average ice out date for ‘Tonka

May 8th – Latest ice out on record (1856)

There is some open water around the edges of metro lakes now, but a farily thick layer of ice still floats the main lakes.

Here’s a look at Wayzata Bay on lake Minnetonka Thursday.

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Freshwater Society founder Dick Gray has compiled detailed records of ice out on Lake Minnetonka since the 1850s.

The latest date for ice out on Tonka is May 8 way back in 1856! Last year the ice was gone by March 21st. It looks like we may come within at least a week of challenging the latest ice out on Tonka this year.

If the ice make it to next Wednesday May 1st, it will tie 1965 for the 5th latest ice out on record.

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In southern Minnesota many lakes are ice free as of this week according to the Minnesota DNR.

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Up north, there is still snow…and as much as 30″ of ice on the lakes. This spring may come close to challenging some of the later ice out dates on record in Minnesota.

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Hey…is my boat still hiding under that tarp?

Paul Huttner

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