The Great melt of 2018 is underway. Snow cover is rapidly disappearing from the Minnesota landscape.
— NWS Twin Cities (@NWSTwinCities) April 20, 2018
There was 11″ of snow on the ground at MSP Airport Monday. Friday afternoon’s climate update now shows just 3″ at MSP. We’ve melted (and evaporated) 8″ of snow this week.
Here’s a nice loop of the southern edge of the snow pack retreating northward through Iowa yesterday.
All together now: goodbye winter! The snow is melting rapidly. This is a visible image of the snow melting in eastern Iowa, northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin. It's melting just as fast here, but we can't see the ground yet. #mnwx #wiwx #ilwx #iawx pic.twitter.com/6A5pw8aBfZ
— NWS Twin Cities (@NWSTwinCities) April 19, 2018
Minnesota’s inland lakes are still frozen. But the Minnesota DNR reports Lake Pepin on the Mississippi is now ice-free.
1st Lake ice-out in MN: Word today from @FreshwaterSoc that @mndnr has declared Lake Pepin on the Mississippi ice-out. Still a foot+ on Lake Minnetonka. Gray's Bay Dam now open to assist with break-up. #mnwx pic.twitter.com/JSfpsDZme6
— MPR Weather (@MPRweather) April 20, 2018
Here’s the best way to track ice-out on your favorite lakes via the Minnesota DNR.
Warmer days ahead
Our long overdue warm-up is thanks to a seismic shift in the upper air pattern. The longer range outlook into early May shows the potential for the warmest air of the season.
The season’s first 60 degree temperature should arrive in the Twin Cities Sunday afternoon. Monday looks even warmer.
The milder weather is here to stay. NOAA’s Climate Prediction center keeps things (relatively) toasty into the first week of May.
NOAA’s 16-day GFS is often risky for individual daily temperatures, but usually does well with trends. Our first 70s and 80 in parts of Minnesota in the next 2 weeks? It could happen.
We’ve earned this.