The spring we’ve been looking for; snowfall all but gone

Sunshine was mixed with clouds Monday afternoon, pushing the mercury into the lower 70s in many locations. In southwest Minnesota, a more dominate layer of clouds held temperatures in the 60s.

Last week’s record snowfall that buried southeast Minnesota and western Wisconsin is simply a matter for historical storytelling. With the warmth of today’s sun, much of the snow is gone.

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The visible satellite image from this afternoon depicts cumulus clouds that formed from the afternoon heating of the skin layer of the landscape. Notice the ice remaining on Lake Mille Lacs and the cloud circle around the cold ice cover of the lake.

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NOAA GOES visible from 230 p.m. CDT this afternoon.

The long daylight and the intensity of the May sun can work to dry out the surface of the soil. Last week’s moisture missed much of northwest and central Minnesota. St. Cloud tallied less than a quarter-inch of liquid precipitation since April 23rd.

Another day of sunshine on Tuesday elevates the risk for grassland fires in central Minnesota until the green-up takes place.

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Starting Tuesday night, bouts of showers and thundershowers are in the forecast for the remainder of the week. Once again, it appears the heavier precipitation will stay southeast of the Red River Valley.

River levels have responded to the rapid snow melt. Here’s a look at the hydrograph depicting the rise of the South Branch of the Middle Fork of the Zumbro River to the west of Rochester.

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If you care to search other river levels, you can explore this site from the National Weather Service.

NOAA forecasters predict this rainfall potential from tonight through Thursday.

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Today is also the anniversary of the 1965 tornado outbreak in the Twin Cities that included the Fridley tornado. The National Weather Service Office in Chanhassen put together this detailed summary of the historical event.

A cool down is seen for the weekend with highs only in the 50s on Saturday.

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Craig Edwards

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