Spring is finally underway full bore

Our much-delayed spring has been really getting underway except along the southern edge of Minnesota where low clouds have been holding afternoon temperatures down. Crabapple trees were blooming in my neighborhood over the weekend and lilacs are beginning to open. Lawns will need mowing very soon.

Today will be a warmer day for most of us. Once again, the coolest parts of the state will be under clouds in the south. Much of southern Minnesota will have highs in the low 70s this afternoon while the southwest corner around Worthington might not quite make 70 degrees. The Twin Cities should have a high around 77 under mostly cloudy skies while sunnier areas farther north could flirt with 80.

Fire weather conditions today

Warm, dry conditions, gusty winds and dry fuels are expected to create conditions favorable for the spread of wildfires in northwestern Minnesota  including Hallock, Rosseau, Moorhead and Lake of the Woods this afternoon:

Near critical fire weather conditions are likely Monday afternoon. Grand Forks National Weather Service

Much rain to our south

Areas to our south have been soaking in rounds of rain recently. Numerous showers and thunderstorms have been dropping heavy rain from Nebraska to Michigan Sunday night into this Monday morning.

Thunderstorms with heavy rain in Chicago have resulted in a ground stop being issued for O’Hare Airport, meaning that weather delays are preventing commercial flights from taking off for that airport.

Weather radar at about 6:30 a.m. Monday. Chicago National Weather Service

That rain is all part of a large weather system that will bring heavy rain and possibly severe weather to a long, curved band from Texas to northern Illinois to West Virginia today.

Forecast surface weather map for Monday. NOAA Weather Prediction Center

Showers for Minnesota today

Energy from that storm system to our south will ripple into Minnesota today. Couple those weak dynamics with dew points that have climbed into the 50s and we will see scattered showers and maybe isolated thunderstorms pop up in southern and central Minnesota today.

A few showers have already developed this morning near the Iowa border and around Alexandria, Morris and Elbow Lake in west central Minnesota:

Weather radar showing scattered light showers at 7:30 a.m. Monday. Twin Cities National Weather Service

Warm and dry Tuesday and Wednesday

The clouds should exit Minnesota tonight and give way to mostly sunny skies for Tuesday and Wednesday.

High temperatures on Tuesday should be 70s to near 80. Wednesday will be the warmest day with forecast highs from the upper 70s to mid 80s.

Unsettled Thursday through Saturday

Instability ahead of an advancing cold front is likely to kick off a scattering of showers and thunderstorms on Thursday, mainly across northern and western Minnesota. I expect thunderstorms to become much more numerous around the state on Friday and continue into Friday night.

Scattered showers and storms might linger into Saturday, particularly in southern Minnesota.

Expect cooler weather behind the cold front for the weekend. This time of the year “cooler” usually means high temperatures in the 60s instead of the 70s and 80s, so I don’t think we will suffer much.

Elsewhere, rainy forecast for the Southeast

A weather disturbance has developed over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico and has a chance of becoming a tropical disturbance.

National Hurricane Center

This disturbance will be part of an unsettled pattern likely to bring a great deal of rain to the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states over the next several days.

Forecast rain for the next 5 days ending at 7 a.m. on Saturday. NOAA Weather Prediction Center