Melting 6″ to 12″ in metro, 50s by Sunday to near 70 next Wednesday?

It’s over.

The season formerly known as spring makes a big comeback in Minnesota in the next week. We dig out — I mean melt out — from a solid 6 to 12 inches of snow in the metro Friday. The storm threw us a few head fakes on the way in but in the end pretty much behaved as advertised.

Digging out from 6 to 12 inches in the metro.  Matt Hoy / Minnesota Twins

Storm delivers

In the end, our late season winter storm delivered as advertised. Here’s a look at the maps and snowfall totals from the Twin Cities National Weather Service.

Twin Cities National Weather Service

The overall metro snowfall range was 6 to 12 inches. Check out the full list here.  Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is on the lower end of metro totals as usual with 6.5 inches. Numerous metro locations measured 8 to 10 inches of heavy wet sloppy snow.

The coveted Golden Snow Shovel in the metro? Coon Rapids in the north metro with a cool foot.

Twin Cities NWS

Winter or spring storm?

Yes, I hear many of you comment that it is now spring. Why does the National Weather Service still issue winter storm warnings?

My view is we’re talking about semantics vs. effective communication here. I’m with NWS on calling these winter storm warnings, even in April — or November for that matter.

The reality of what best descries the weather conditions in these systems is winter. Minnesotans know how to react to a winter storm warning. But how do I prepare for a spring storm warning?

Describing weather conditions is what we do, and effective communication is key. Here’s why winter storm is the best description IMO.

  • Winter storm far more accurately describes the weather we got with this system. It’s not tulips and daffodils and April showers (spring), it’s heavy wet snow and windy slippery roads and dangerous driving conditions, and temperatures below freezing (winter).
  • Everyone in Minnesota knows how to prepare for a winter storm, but how do we prepare for a spring storm?
  • The NWS rightly issues winter storm warnings, not spring or fall storm warnings if the snow arrives in April or November. The last thing we need is more confusion about weather terminology in this business.

Snow done, spring next

Get ready for a kinder and gentler spring like weekend.

Dripping downspouts will be music to winter weary Minnesotans’ ears this weekend. Temperatures  make a run at 50 degrees in the metro Saturday afternoon, and should soar well into the 50s Sunday afternoon.

I like the look of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System output for temps overall this weekend, but feel that Sunday’s number may be too conservative. Upper 50s in the metro Sunday afternoon?


Play ball!

The MLB scheduling gods did the Twins a big favor this year by penning Opening Day for the second week of the season.

Monday’s Opening Day at Target Field looks fairly decent after this long winter. I expect a mix of clouds and some sunny peeks. A few sprinkles or a passing (rain) shower is possible, but it should be very playable at Target Field Monday afternoon.


Temps in the 50s may not feel like summer, but my guess is the crowd will give a big cheer for Opening Day weather after this long winter.

Twin Head Groundskeeper Larry DiVito looks over the turf at Target Field. Paul Huttner / MPR News

For more on why the turf looks like mid-summer on Opening Day, check out my recent piece on how Twins Groundskeeper Larry DiVito stays ahead of Minnesota’s “spring” weather.

Of course having the best “weather arm” in baseball, my MPR News colleague Craig Edwards, in the home dugout helps too.

A shot at season’s first 70 in the metro next week?

The weather maps look much kinder to Minnesota next week.

A string of days in the 50s looks likely, with overnight lows even staying above freezing on some nights. By Wednesday, a strong low tracks north along the Canadian border and turns breezes southwest. That sucks in milder air from the Plains and temps will soar into the 60s and possibly hit 70 in the Twin Cities for the first time in 2014 Wednesday afternoon.


Hang in there Minnesota!