Taste of spring; pine tree effect kicks in

Our weather numbers move higher today. A few wispy high cirrus clouds drift by a strengthening March sun. The sun is now as high in the sky as late September.

The mercury responds into the 40s across much of Minnesota today. Outdoor patio lunches creep as close as Des Moines, Iowa.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Pine tree effect

So why could it be warmer today in the forests of northern Minnesota than in the snow covered prairies of southwest Minnesota? You can thank the pine tree effect.

Dark forests absorb and re-radiate the sun’s rays more efficiently. That helps warm the air mass over the forest faster than the snow covered prairie which reflects about 90% of the sun’s inbound rays back into space.


Milder weekend

Temperatures in Minnesota hit a minor speed bump Thursday and Friday. The weekend looks mild again. Freeze. Thaw. Repeat.

NOAA, via Weather Bell

Snow cover thinning

Today’s warmth takes another bite out of thinning snow cover in southern Minnesota. Bare spots are showing up between Hutchinson and Redwood Falls and in other places. The edge of the snow line rides northern Iowa. It creeps north today.


Boston got a foot

Actually 14.8 inches to be more precise. That’s the storm total at Boston’s Logan Airport. It was more than 20 inches in many areas nearby. A very well forecast storm.

Where are those people who say meteorologists are wrong half the time? Good job forecast models and Boston National Weather Service office.