April shower chances; Red River on the rise at Fargo

Most of the snow has melted in the Twin Cities metro area, leaving us with brownish lawns and some gritty residue from the plowed snow.

It would be nice to see a green-up. That requires warm temps and some showers, both of which are in the forecast over the next few days.

Temperature trends

Most of Minnesota will see highs in the 40s Thursday afternoon, with some 30s up along the North Shore of Lake Superior.  A few spots in central Minnesota could touch 50 degrees, while the metro area probably peaks in the upper 40s. Our average high this time of year is 52 degrees in the Twin Cities metro area.

Friday highs reach the 60s in southern and central Minnesota, with cooler temps to the north:

The southern half of Minnesota should see highs in the 60s on Saturday, too:

Highs Sunday will also be in the 60s in about the southern half of Minnesota:

Twin Cities metro area highs are projected to reach the lower 60s Monday, followed by upper 50s Tuesday and around 50 on Wednesday.

Rain chances

Southern Minnesota has the best chance of showers this Thursday, but the metro area could see some scattered showers by mid to late afternoon. Evening showers are likely at times in the metro area, south-central and southeastern Minnesota and parts of western Wisconsin.

As always, updated weather information can be heard on the Minnesota Public Radio Network, and you’ll also see updated weather info on the MPR News live weather blog.

Friday looks mostly dry, but showers move in Friday night, followed by a chance of showers and an isolated thunderstorm Saturday and Saturday night for many areas. Periods of rain are a good bet on Sunday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System model shows the potential precipitation pattern late Friday night through Sunday evening:

NOAA GFS precipitation rate (mm/hour) late Friday night through Sunday evening, via tropicaltidbits

I wouldn’t be surprised if parts of central and southern Minnesota see an inch or two of rain this weekend. Stay tuned.

Red River levels rising 

The Mississippi River at St. Paul and the St. Croix River at Stillwater continue to fall. River levels along the Minnesota River continue to fall as well.

The Red River along the Minnesota-North Dakota border is rising.

You can click on any location on the NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service  (AHPS) site to get hydrographs of recent and forecast river levels. Some locations list levels in feet above sea level, others list levels in feet above a local reference point.

Here’s the Thursday morning hydrograph for the Red River at Fargo, N.D.:

NOAA/NWS/U.S. Geological Survey

You can see that it’s expected to reach major flood stage early Friday and continue to rise into early next week.

The Red River at East Grand Forks, Minn., is expected to approach major flood stage in about six days, here’s the hydrograph:

NOAA/NWS/USGS

There are numerous flood warnings in effect. You can get flood warning updates by clicking on any location on the National Weather Service Twin Cities website.  Areas with flood warnings are shaded green on the NWS main page; here’s how the map looked Thursday morning:

NWS Twin Cities

The latest flood warnings for northwestern Minnesota can be found on the National Weather Service Grand Forks, N.D., office site. Here’s how their map looked Thursday morning:

NWS Grand Forks, N.D.

Projected river levels are updated on a regular basis, so check back to the AHPS site and the weather service point forecasts for the latest info on the rivers near you.

The weather service also posts some flooding details for central and southern Minnesota here. If you’d like to scroll through hydrographs along a certain river, check here.

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.

  • Joshua

    No mention of the blizzard ECMWF is hinting at next week? Can’t blame you. If it pans out there’s going to be a lot of whining.