Twins rain out; Drizzle & mist overnight, Flakes Wednesday?

At least the heavy rain is over.

The core of the steady rain delivering part of our weather system is fading, but the cold, wind, and lighter mist & drizzle will linger overnight into early Wednesday.

Part 2 of our slow motion weather system will bring a return of rain and even some possible snow showers by late Wednesday in the “wrap around” precip shield on the system’s back side.

Record rainfall:

It looks like several locations will set daily rainfall records for April 26th.

So far Twin Cities Airport has bucketed 1.44″ of rain as of late afternoon. That smashes the previous daily rainfall record of 1.26″ set in 1893.

Here are some additional rainfall totals from today:

Deephaven 1.77″

St. Paul Holman Field 1.51″

Target Field – Visitor’s dugout 1.45″

Eden Prairie 1.44″

Rainfall “Bull’s Eye:”

Today’s swirling rainfall vortex centered from the metro down to Rochester, with a huge area of 1″+ rainfall totals.

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NEXRAD storm total rainfall estimates show the rainfall jackpot ran from the St. Paul suburbs down to Zumbrota & Rochester. Storm total rainfall estimates exceed 2″ in these areas.

Snow next?

The system’s heavy precip “conveyor belt” is breaking down and the heavier steadier rainfall is fading. Now the colder air is wrapping into the system from the northeast. Look for a changeover to snow in many areas tonight into Wednesday. Precip may “phase” back and forth from drizzle to snow Wednesday during the daylight hours with temperatures hovering either side of the critical 32 degree mark in the lowest 5,000 feet of the atmosphere.

It does look like there will be some slushy accumulations from the North Shore and Duluth into northwest Wisconsin.

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It may be cold enough for some wet snowflakes in the metro overnight and then again Wednesday evening. Oh the joy!

Twins tie 2010 rain out tally, in April!:

The score is tied at 2, and it’s only the top of the 2nd inning.

Today’s 2nd rainout of the 2011 season at Target Field ties the entire total for 2010, and it’s still only April. There is a chance we’ll see rainout or “snowout?” # 3 Wednesday evening at Target Field.

A double header is scheduled for Thursday with the Rays.

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Thankfully the Minnesota Twins (and fans) lead charmed weather lives last year. You knew the law of weather averages, and outdoor baseball would catch up in 2011.

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A nice may night in 2010 at Target Field.

How do they decide?

A variety of weather sources and factors go into deciding when a Twins game will be postponed by weather.

MPR colleague and Twin Meteorologist Craig Edwards is in frequent contact with Twins management and grounds crew Chief Larry DiVito. Craig and Larry assess weather and field conditions on game day. Larry knows his field, and how much it water is can take.

The infield is covered and playable under most conditions up to game time. The outfield drains extremely well at TF, but any ground that soaks up 1.5″ of rain on game day is going to be wet. It’s tough to keep baseballs dry and highly paid athletes from sliding (and risking potential injury) on wet turf.

A little “inside baseball” here. Larry is a bit of a weather geek himself, and I mean that in a good way. He’s pretty savvy at using weather toys on his phone and computers in the TF “Weather Lab” to keep track of things. When you combine Larry’s field & turf expertese and weather sense with Craig’s meteorological professionalism and decades of Twin Cities weather experience, you’ve got a winning weather team making decisions for the Twins.

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Craig Edwards mans the Target Field Weather Lab.

Other factors that may go into a decision to postpone are not unique to Minnesota, and are common in MLB. Fan comfort, possible future open dates and return road trips for teams all factor in. Nobody with the Twins has ever told me this, but I have to believe concession sales are much higher on a warm day in August than a on a wet cold 42 degree day in April. If you can get a make up game then, it’s bigger bank.

I don’t have any inside information on how “baseball decisions” factor in with the Twins, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they are a factor. If a team is injured, or using a 5th starter and the ace is up tomorrow, why not postpone and make up the date later when you’re healthy?

After my post yesterday on the Cardinals moves before Friday’s severe weather outbreak, nothing would surprise me. Hey, all’s fair in love, war and baseball right?

To me the bottom line is that we wanted outdoor baseball, and we got it. Fans will have to adjust to rainouts and rain delays, cold days at the ballpark etc. I think the Twins made a good move postponing early today and giving fans a heads up so they could avoid the trip to Target Field well in advance.

There will be plenty of nice warm sunny days at TF this season to enjoy.

Hang in there!


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