April warmth on Sunday

Our average high temps take an impressive jump during March.

In the Twin Cities metro area, our average high goes from 34 degrees on March 1 to 49 degrees on March 31.

Our Saturday will feel like March, with highs in the 40s over southern and central Minnesota, and 30s over the north.

On Sunday, highs in the 50s are expected over much of Minnesota:

Southwestern Minnesota will see highs in the 60s on Sunday, while parts of northeastern Minnesota top out in the upper 40s.

The Twin Cities metro area will likely see a high in the upper 50s Sunday, which is our average high in the middle of April.

Metro area highs dip back into the lower 50s on Monday, and will be in the 40s Tuesday through Thursday.

Rain and snow chances

Northeastern Minnesota could see some scattered showers Sunday evening, then Minnesota will see dry weather on Monday and Tuesday.

A low pressure system moving out of the Rockies will spread rain and snow over Minnesota on Thursday and Friday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast system model shows the potential precipitation pattern:

NOAA GFS model precipitation from Thursday through Friday, via tropicaltidbits

The color chart to the right of the loop refers to the hourly precipitation rate, not inches of rain or snow!

Southern Minnesota and the Twin Cities metro area could see mostly rain on Thursday and Friday, but a more southerly track of the low pressure system would increase our snow chances.

We’ll keep you updated as we get closer to Thursday.

More daylight

One of my favorite things about March through May is the steady increase in our minutes of daylight.

Sunset today in the Twin Cities is at 7:24 p.m. CDT.

On April 18, sunset is at 8:03 p.m. CDT.

On May 18, sunset is at 8:39 p.m. CDT.

Our latest sunsets in the Twin Cities, at 9:04 p.m. CDT, occur from June 23 through June 28.

If you are interested in other dates, you can check out the U.S. Naval Observatory sunrise/sunset table.

Cold temps hit cherry blossoms

Low temperatures dipped into the 20s this past week in the Washington D.C. area, which killed many of the blossoms on the cherry trees:

According to the New York Times:

The iconic cherry blossoms in Washington, which were forecast to bloom early this year because of unusually warm weather in February, instead endured a cold snap this week that killed half of them.

The National Park Service, which maintains the trees, said Friday that the outcome could have been worse and that about half of the blossoms on the Yoshino variety of trees survived. The blossoms are expected to emerge over the next week around the Tidal Basin, in East Potomac Park and on the grounds of the Washington Monument.

The Yoshinos are the most abundant variety of cherry trees maintained by the Park Service and make up about 70 percent of the total inventory.

Lows in the mid to upper 30s are expected in the Washington D.C. area Sunday morning and Monday morning.

Programming note

You can hear my live weather updates on Minnesota Public Radio at 7:49 a.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and at 7:35 a.m. and 4:35 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday.