Fab Friday; Drought eases; Record wet start to 2013 in southern MN

Weather Whiplash

What a difference 6 months makes.

Last fall deep drought strengthened its grip on Minnesota. This spring a prolonged sustained wet weather pattern is turning drought to flood in parts of Minnesota.

Talk about weather whiplash. Last June North Shore rivers raged to record levels taking out roads and bridges. By fall, streams trickled after a summer of drought.

Fast forward to spring 2013, and kayakers are flocking to raging North Shore rivers to take the plunge.

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This week’s Drought Monitor shows big chunks of Minnesota are now drought free.

There are a few big weather weekends in Minnesota. Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day…and Fishing Opener/Mother’s Day.

Just like Minnesota weather, there’s a little something for everyone in the forecast for the next week.

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It takes a flood

well maybe not a food, but the last 3 months have gone a long way toward ending drought in southeast Minnesota. The drought is over…at least from the southern metro suburbs all the way to the Iowa border.

Here’s the latest from this week’s U.S. Drought Monitor.

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Seeley: Record wet start to 2013 in southern Minnesota

UM Climate guru and my MPR weather colleague Dr. Mark Seeley has more on how the wet start to 2013 is setting some records in southeast Minnesota.

Mark has much more with in the week’s Weather Talk, but here’s a quick preview.

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Topic: Record wet start to 2013

The south-central and southeastern climate divisions of Minnesota are off to a record start in 2013 in terms of precipitation. For south-central Minnesota observers the average total precipitation received through the first 4 months of the year is 11.17 inches, surpassing the previous record wet first four months from 2001 (10.27 inches). For southeastern Minnesota observers the first four months of 2013 show an average precipitation amount of 13.80 inches, surpassing the previous record wet starting four months from 2001 (10.50 inches). These amounts have restored the flow of many watersheds, raised lake levels, and replenished soil moisture. In fact tile lines are reported to be running in some area soils.

The weekly drought update continues to show improvement for the Minnesota landscape. Early in the spring up to 84 percent of the landscape was classified to be in severe or extreme drought. As of May 7th that area has shrunk to just 15 percent, as some areas of the state have seen precipitation values for the year exceed normal by 3 to 5 inches.

Forecast: Sunnier Friday

Our latest rainmaker is pulling out slowly, and should give way to a sunnier nicer Friday in Minnesota.

Thursday afternoons Weather Tap 1km satellite loop shows sunny skies in northwest Minnesota where temps warmed into the low 60s…as clouds slowly break up in the east.

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Saturday’s cold front brings gusty winds that could take the ice out on some of the big lakes in central Minnesota. Sunday morning’s frost could be the last for the metro. Right now I’d put the chance at 70% that any metro frost Sunday morning will be the last of the season.

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Monday’s warm front will send temps soaring…with 80s again by Tuesday afternoon…and even a shot at the season’s 1st 90F in southern Minnesota.

Enjoy the ride!

Paul Huttner

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