Showers by morning; Rare climate-induced ‘river piracy’

Old Fashioned Spring

Life the extreme weather zone we lovingly call Minnesota can be abrupt. We expect weather whiplash in the middle of a continent at 45-degrees north latitude. No mountain ranges here to slow down free-sweeping air masses from the Arctic Circle or the Gulf of Mexico. Nothing but a barbed-wire fence between Minnesota and the North Pole.

That’s why I am struck by the gradual, slow-motion nature of this spring in the Upper Midwest. This is almost how you draw it up on paper. A gradual warming trend. No big early season heat spikes or mega-floods like years past. Timely soaking rains feeding the green-up. This spring is running warmer than average, but the warming is moderate in pace.

Slow. Steady. Gentle.

Tuesday morning showers

The next batch of rain sweeps across Minnesota Tuesday.  Chilly rain greets northern Minnesota most of the day. A mix of ice and snow brushes the far north. Winter exits reluctantly along the Canadian border.

The Twin Cities rides the tailing front with Tuesday’s low pressure system. Look for bands of showers morning through midday. We may see sun again later Tuesday afternoon.  We come up for air briefly before system #2 brings more rain to southern Minnesota late Wednesday through Thursday.

NOAA GFS via tropical tidbits.

The two rainy shots bring another .50″ to 1″ of moisture to much of Minnesota this week.

Spectacular weekend ahead

This could be the best weekend of the early spring season across Minnesota. Temps in the 50s through mid-week  give way to highs in the 60s this weekend. Look for plenty of sun and light winds. Farmers will appreciate the dry days as planting season nears.


NOAA via tropical tidbits

20 in a row?

April is running +7.4 degrees vs. average so far at MSP Airport at the halfway point. The next two weeks look fairly close to average for Minnesota.


That should be good enough to produce the 20th straight warmer than average month at MSP Airport. Our unprecedented record warm streak looks likely to tack on another month.

NOAA data via MN DNR Climate Working Group.

How climate change made a river disappear

A sudden shift in the outflow from a Canadian glacier has scientists talking. The shrinking glacier suddenly changed the course of a river in 4 days. Talk about a ‘tipping point.’

Here’s more perspective from the Guardian.

Guardian banner

An immense river that flowed from one of Canada’s largest glaciers vanished over the course of four days last year, scientists have reported, in an unsettling illustration of how global warming dramatically changes the world’s geography.

The abrupt and unexpected disappearance of the Slims river, which spanned up to 150 metres at its widest points, is the first observed case of “river piracy”, in which the flow of one river is suddenly diverted into another.

Subtropical storm watch in April? 

It’s just way too early in the year for this.

Stone Age energy shift?

Solar and wind energy projects, and more carbon friendly natural gas are booming. That’s why many observers are asking why the U.S. would even consider looking backwards to dirty, higher cost energy like coal?

Science March Saturday

Scientist in the streets? It happens Saturday.