The great snowmelt continues; 60s return on Sunday

I took a relaxing drive from St. Paul to Excelsior yesterday afternoon. The route along Minnehaha Parkway and around Lake Harriet and Bde Maka Ska is always fun.

Westward from there, traffic was minimal on Minnesota Highway 7 all the way to Excelsior. Along the route, I noticed that our strong April sun was melting quite a bit of snow, but the job will take more time.

There was some open water right near the docks in Excelsior, but snow-covered ice blanketed Lake Minnetonka:

Ron Trenda | MPR News

It looks like it’ll be awhile before baseball or softball season can begin at Excelsior Commons Ballpark:

Ron Trenda | MPR News

Geese were patrolling left field:

Ron Trenda | MPR News

A lot of this snow cover will melt this weekend.

We’re looking forward to seeing green grass again!

Snow depth

The latest snow depth map released by the Minnesota State Climatology Office shows that southern Minnesota has generous snow cover, while parts of northwestern and west-central Minnesota have little or no snow on the ground:

Minnesota State Climatology Office/DNR

With warmer temps in the forecast, this snow depth map will change drastically next week!

Warming trend 

Our average high temp this time of year is 60 degrees in the Twin Cities metro area.

We won’t see 60 in the Twin Cities today, but 50s are pretty good, considering the fact that we still have quite a bit of snow on the ground.

Highs in the 50s are expected over most of Minnesota this Friday afternoon, but spots in the far south that have deepest snow cover will top out in the 40s.

50s will be common on Saturday:

A few spots in the far south might peak in the upper 40s.

Highs in the 60s will be common over most of Minnesota on Sunday, with some upper 50s in the far south:

Sunday is likely to be our first high in the 60s this year in the Twin Cities.

The latest date of our first 60 degree reading in the Twin Cities was April 29, 1874.

Monday is the warmest day of the next five days, with mid- to upper-60s in the Twin Cities metro area.

Highs dip back into the 50s on Tuesday and Wednesday, then return to the 60s next Thursday.

Rain opportunity

Our best chance of rain in the next five days will be on Tuesday and Tuesday night. Showers could linger over parts of eastern Minnesota into early Wednesday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System model shows the potential rain pattern Tuesday through Wednesday:

NOAA GFS precipitation rate (mm/hour) Tuesday through Wednesday, 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.

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.