Get ready Minnesota. The mildest air mass in three weeks is on the way.
Temperatures push the 40 degree mark Wednesday in the Twin Cities and southern Minnesota. A temperature speed bump arrives Friday, then temperatures rise back into the 30s this weekend.
Edge of spring
It’s amazing how big the temperature contrast across the Midwest can be this time of year. Wednesday features highs in the 60s as close as Kansas City, Mo.
Winter gives ground
It’s still February. But this week’s warming trend likely symbolizes the beginning of the end for this winter. Yes, it will snow more, and we often dip below zero once more into the first week of March.
But the upper-air pattern favors more frequent milder Pacific air intrusions into the Upper Midwest as we head for February’s exit.
We’re nearing peak ice on the Great Lakes. Ice cover on Lake Superior is now at 77 percent with the peak ahead in early March. The Upper Midwest view from space is breathtaking.
Another spectacular winter scene from @NASA Terra #MODIS today! @NOAA_GLERL reports total #GreatLakes ice cover at 69% with #LakeErie leading the pack at 92%, followed by #LakeHuron (81%) #LakeSuperior (77%) #LakeMichigan (49%) & #LakeOntario (14%). pic.twitter.com/DYEFOvYKFv
— UW-Madison CIMSS (@UWCIMSS) February 12, 2018
Trump budget cuts National Weather Service staff
The return on investment on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration spending is probably the best for any budget item. National Weather Service forecasts for last year’s hurricane season were outstanding.
Let’s see what happens in the budget process. Capital Weather Gang’s Jason Samenow elaborates on the proposed budget cuts.
NEW: Trump Administration proposes 8 percent budget cut at National Weather Service, reduction in staff: https://t.co/CwyuMCjTf2
— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) February 12, 2018
Snowpack running low out west
It may evolve into another challenging year for western snowpack.
After last year's wet winter in #California, snowfall in the Sierra Nevada is tracking below normal again. Side-by-side imagery from #SuomiNPP satellite shows #snow cover today vs. late January 2017. More info: https://t.co/u4Ptkr6cdU pic.twitter.com/UyOHzjSwxd
— NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) February 8, 2018