Monday storm delivers; “Spring” begins Wednesday; Milder days ahead?

Old Fashioned March

Welcome to an “old fashioned” Minnesota March.

This is how I remember March as a school kid.

Some of us still enjoy the late season snow.

But I can relate to many “snow weary” Minnesotans who must feel like Dana Carvey’s “Grumpy Old Man” on SNL after a March like this.

(Warning: Humor in link above may be inappropriate for some.)

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Image: NBC SNL

Our latest wintery blast of snow, wind and cold has many of us searching for our sense of humor in these chilly March days.

Forgive my brief digression, but here’s my best take on our March 2013 version of “Minnesota’s Grumpy Old Man.”

‘It was never 80 degrees on St. Paaatty’s Day when I was a kid.”

“The snow drifts were so big we had to walk through snow up to our chest on the walk home. The wind was bitter, and our face was frozen, and our socks were wet.

And we liked it!”

Well at least we didn’t know any better.

But one thing was for sure. One day soon, the air would thaw and the strong spring sunshine would melt away the drifts…and we would splash in puddles once again as winter finally metlted away.

In thus Updraft we wrap up our latest March snow blitz, Look forward to “spring” and try and find some “silver linings” in the forecast.

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Respectable Storm:

This storm had all the elements of a “respectable” Minnesota winter storm.

The northerly storm track panned out. So did the forecast snowfall totals, winds and blizzard conditions. For once the storm behaved pretty much as expected, and the forecast models came together on a much needed consensus within 24-48 hours before the storm arrived.

Here’s a look at some (preliminary) snowfall totals around Minnesota, which included a general 2″ to 4″ around the metro and some 5″ to 10″ totals up north.

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-Twin Cities snowfall reports

-Northeast Minnesota snowfall reports

-Red River Valley & northwest MN reports

Cold Next:

Yes “astronomical” spring begins Wednesday at 6:02am CDT.

If only the weather maps could read the calendar.

An unseasonably cold northwest flow in the wake of our Monday storm will funnel unseasonably cold air in for most of this week.

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Deep Snow:

There is certainly plenty of snow for winter lovers in Minnesota these days, especially up north.

Gordon Hommes is the trusty NWS coop weather observer just northwest of Two Harbors. I’ve had the pleasure of a cup of coffee, and to talk a little weather with Gordon in Two Harbors. I tweeted his report from Monday…with over 2 feet of snow on the ground now.


Let me just take a moment to say how much we as meteorologists appreciate the dedicated NWS coop observers like Gordon in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. These volunteers provide extremely valuable weather data every day…rain or shine. These critical observations fill in some big data gaps, and provide important “ground truth” to what we’re seeing on radar and satellite during storm events like this week. Thanks to Gordon and all the NWS observers out there!

Here are some more impressive (NWS) snow depth reports for March 18th.

International Falls 28″

Duluth 23″

Fargo 20″

St. Cloud 17″

Eau Claire 14″

MSP Airport 8″

Looking at the latest snow depth analysis from NOHRSC, it looks like most of the northern half of Minnesota has well over 1 foot of snow on the ground…with 2-3 feet in some spots.

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Searching for Spring:

Some good news?

The air mass should begin to modify a bit after Wednesday, and by this weekend there are signs we could see temps push toward the 30s. We’ll see.

The longer range trends do seem to support temp moderation…a warm… up as we head toward April. Here’s the latest CPC 8-14 day outlook, which suggests a better chance for more “Normal” temps by around April 1st which is 2 weeks away.

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Average high by April 1st in the metro? 50F.

No foolin’.

Hang in there!


  • Jeffrey

    If the current temperatures continue through the end of the month, will this be one of the top five coldest Marchs in the record books?