A bright St. Patrick’s Day; flakes on Tuesday?

It’ll be a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day in Minnesota, with plenty of sunshine and highs a few degrees above normal.

Far southwestern Minnesota might see their clouds linger into the afternoon hours.

St. Patrick’s Day extremes

March can be a fickle month, with green lawns some years and mounds of snow other years.

It’s no surprise that there have been impressive swings in our St. Patrick’s Day weather.

  • Our average high is 42 degrees in the Twin Cities on St. Patrick’s Day.
  • In 2012, we hit 80 degrees in the Twin Cities on St. Patrick’s Day, setting a new Twin Cities record for the earliest in the year that we’ve ever hit 80.
  • In 1941, our St. Patrick’s Day high in the Twin Cities was only 8 above zero, and the low that day was 8 below zero.
  • There was a snowstorm on St. Patrick’s Day in 1965, with 11.2 inches of snow in the Twin Cities!

Temperature trends

Minnesota highs will be mostly in the 40s this St. Patrick’s Day, with a few spots in far northwestern and far southwestern Minnesota topping out in the upper 30s.

Twin Cities metro area highs are expected to reach the upper 40s, but a few spots in the metro could touch 50.

Parts of northeastern Minnesota will also reach 50 degrees:

National Weather Service Duluth

Most of Minnesota will have highs in the 40s on Sunday:

Some 30s are expected in the far northwest and parts of northeastern Minnesota.

Twin Cities highs reach the lower 40s Monday, then upper 30s on Tuesday, around 40 Wednesday and mid 40s Thursday and Friday.

Snow potential

Many Minnesotan’s aren’t amused by talk of snow after the middle of March, but here goes.

Some forecast models show snow moving into western Minnesota Monday afternoon, spreading eastward across the rest of Minnesota Monday night and continuing into Tuesday. The snow could mix with rain on Tuesday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System model shows the potential precipitation pattern Monday afternoon through Tuesday evening:

NOAA GFS precipitation rate (mm/hour) Monday afternoon through Tuesday evening, via tropicaltidbits

The color chart to the right of the loop refers to the precipitation rate (mm per hour), not to the total amount of rain or snow.

This isn’t expected to be a big storm. It could deliver one to two inches of snow in western Minnesota by midday Tuesday, an inch or less in eastern Minnesota and the Twin Cities.

Check forecast updates.

Programming note

You can hear my live weather updates on Minnesota Public Radio at 7:49 a.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and at 7:35 a.m., 9:35 a.m. and 4:35 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday.Far