Weather Smorgasbord; Thunder, rain, hail & S….s….snow?

Weather Smorgasbord

Anyone old enough to remember “The Jolly Troll” on Highway 12 in Golden Valley back in the 70s?

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The kitschy scandinavian buffet was filled with a variety of foods from salads to swedish meatballs. Pretty good stuff if you’re an 8 year old.

But I digress.

Our weather pattern the rest of this week has smorgasbord written all over it.

Ping pong ball size hail in Silver Bay at 7:30 am? That’s a cold front.

Rain and some thunder rumbles across northern Minnesota today, with a chance in the south as a strong cold front sweeps across the state.

The first accumulating May snowfall in 22 years by tomorrow night & Thursday?


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Thundery Start Up North:

Strong, even severe thunderstorms greeted Minnesotans along the North Shore this morning.

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DLH: Silver BAY [Lake Co, MN] trained spotter reports HAIL of ping pong ball size (M1.50 INCH) at 07:35 AM CDT

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The wave causing the morning thunder moves east today. Drier air in southern Minnesota will limit T-storms…but a small chance remains this afternoon.

NOAA’s SPC has laid out a narrow band of “slight risk” later today for Iowas and Wisconsin.

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Cold front today:

As the potent cold front sweeps through today, temps will fall and winds will kick up from west to east across Minnesota.

The front blows through the metro around lunchtime…but the coolest air lags a bit so you may not really notice the chill until this evening.

Temps crack the 70s one more day in the metro today before the front kicks in.Then the bottom falls out tonight.

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Rain…to snow:

The system looks cold enough to produce snow in eastern Minnesota and the metro by Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

Forecast models are all over the place as usual… the GFS says maybe 1″ to 3″ of slush on your lawn. The NAM and Euro are going gonzo…with several inches of sloppy snow by Thursday evening.

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Warm ground and a higher May sun angle should limit snowfall potential…but temps may fall just below freezing for a few hours early Thursday AM. At this point I just can’t rule out significant snowfall accumulation for the metro and eastern MN/western Wisconsin Thursday morning.

Stay tuned as we tweak that forecast later today and Wednesday.


Snow at Cross Lutheran Church, (Present Day Maplewood)

May 12, 1946

Courtesy the Maplewood Area Historical Society

May Snowfall: More than you wanted to know

Even in Minnesota, snowfall in may is relatively rare.

Here’s the scoop from the MN Climate Working Group.

Historic May Snow Events in Twin Cities

Snow that falls in May is typically a novelty.

The ground is usually too warm by May to allow much of an accumulation. Looking at past records for the Twin Cities, a trace of snow falls during the month of May fairly frequently, with the last windswept flurries reported on May 1-2, 2005. If the snow manages to accumulate it is generally under an inch and mostly on grassy surfaces. The most recent measureable Twin Cities snow event was 0.3 inches on May 5, 1991.

About once every 30 years or so, there is a snow event that is enough to cover newly greened lawns and coat budding leaves. The last time there was a snow event in May greater than an inch in the Twin Cities was on May 2, 1976 with 1.2 inches. The most that it has snowed in May in a single event for the Twin Cities is three inches. This has happened on three occasions: May 20, 1892, May 1, 1935 and May 11-12, 1946.

Warmer again next week:

The “cut-off” upper low gradually spins out of here this weekend.

All systems appear to be a go for a return to warmer weather next week.

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  • Dawn Butler

    I TOTALLY remember the Jolly Troll! My parents took me there when I was a kid.