Sunny and milder here; Boston gets smacked

Keep the sunglasses handy this week.

Monday was one of those rare days with nearly 100% of possible sunshine across Minnesota.

NOAA 1 km visible satellite loop via College of Dupage.

Note the lack of snow cover across most of Iowa now. Went to see bare ground? Just drive about 3 hours south on I-35.

NOAA 1 km visible satellite loop via College of Dupage.

Spring flood outlook: Near normal

How much water is in that snow? That’s what your local NWS office does to assist with spring flood forecasting.

Here’s the current spring flood outlook form the North Central River Forecast Center in Chanhassen.

Overall, the flood risk for this drainage area is near normal.

February temperatures continued the overall below normal trend, but we have seen some moderation in the past week. This is especially true for Iowa and Missouri, into Illinois and Indiana, where we saw temperatures surging into the 50s and 60s. Precipitation has also trended a bit higher in recent weeks, after a relatively dry winter overall.

Recent storm systems have finally enhanced the snow cover across Minnesota, but the warmer weather this week is already eroding it. Snow water content range from less than an inch in western Minnesota, to around 2 to 3 inches over parts of southern Minnesota into northern Wisconsin. Little or no snow currently exists south of a line from northern Iowa to Milwaukee.

Frost depth continues to be quite deep over Minnesota and the northern two thirds of Wisconsin. Depth of 2 to 4 feet is common. Farther south, frost depth is less than 3 to 6 inches from Iowa and Illinois into Missouri.

In general, the flood potential for this area this spring is near normal. However, there are caveats. Portions of Illinois and Missouri have seen high water and flooding from recent events. If additional heavy precipitation occurs in these areas, flooding will become more likely. In addition, farther north where some snow still remains, the expected storm systems this week and into the weekend could bring rainfall on top of snow cover. Depending on where and how much falls, flooding is a concern for northern Iowa, the southern half of Minnesota and Wisconsin, and also northern Illinois. If this precipitation falls as rain, we could see enhanced snowmelt. That melt, combined with rainfall, and running off over deeply frozen ground, could be a recipe for flooding.

Milder days

Our warming trend kicks into higher gear by Wednesday. Much of the Twin Cities and southern Minnesota makes a run at 50 degrees late this week.

NOAA via Weather Bell.

Boston: 1 to 2 feet of snow

The biggest national weather story early this week is yet another potent Nor’easter. This powerful storm hits fast and hard overnight. The latest indications are for 1 to 2 feet of snow around Boston Tuesday.

“Kids” climate suit goes forward

This is an amazing story. I’ve interviewed one of the plaintiffs.