Mild weekend temps with showers at times; April snow revisited

We know that it can snow in April. In the Twin Cities metro area, our 30-year average is 2.5 inches of snow in April:

Minnesota State Climatology Office

The 30-year averages are refreshed every 10 years, with the oldest decade removed and the newest decade added.

I suspect that our 30-year average will go up when the 1991-2020 time period is computed, in light of our 26.1 inches of snow last April and our 17.9 inches in April of 2013:

Snowfall at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, via Minnesota State Climatology Office

Note that Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport saw no measurable snow in two of the past 10 Aprils. Five of the past ten Aprils brought us one-half inch or less of snow. We haven’t seen measurable snow at MSP airport so far this April.

You can check Twin Cities snow stats here.

Snow next week?

There are rumors of snow next week.

The forecast models don’t agree, but the models should drift toward a consistent forecast solution sometime next week. The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts model still brings some significant snow to parts of Minnesota next Wednesday night into Thursday.

The American model shows very little accumulation from a rain-snow mix, with most of the precipitation sliding to our south. Here’s the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System model for next Wednesday through Thursday morning:

NOAA GFS precipitation rate (mm/hour) Wednesday through Thursday morning, via tropicaltidbits

Lets hear it for the American model! We’ll keep you posted.

Weekend rain potential

Minnesota and western Wisconsin will have showers at times overnight this Friday night and also on Saturday and Sunday. A few embedded thunderstorms will also be possible.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the potential rain pattern Friday evening through Sunday morning:

NOAA NAM simulated radar from Friday evening through Sunday morning, via tropicaltidbits

The color chart to the right of the loop refers to the strength of the signal that returns to the radar, not to the amount of rain.

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.

Temperature trends

Assuming some occasional peeks of sun Friday afternoon, highs could reach 60 or the lower 60s in about the southern half of Minnesota, with 50s and 40s to the north. Our average high this time of year is 52 degrees in the Twin Cities metro area.

On Saturday, the southern third of Minnesota should top 60, with 50s in central Minnesota and 40s far north:

Highs in the 60s are on tap for about the southern half of Minnesota on Sunday.

Twin Cities metro area highs are projected to reach the upper 60s Monday, followed by upper 50s Tuesday, 50 Wednesday and mid 40s Thursday.

Red River levels rising 

Thankfully, 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 still 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 Friday morning hydrograph for the Red River at Fargo, N.D.:

NOAA/NWS/U.S. Geological Survey

You can see that it’s at major flood stage, and still rising.

The Red River at East Grand Forks, Minn., is expected to reach major flood stage around the middle of next week. Their hydrograph shows a dramatic rise as we go through the next 7 days:

NOAA/NWS/U.S. Geological Survey

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 Friday morning:

National Weather Service Twin Cities

The dense fog advisories run to 10 a.m. this Friday in southeastern and southwestern Minnesota.

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 Friday morning:

NWS Grand Forks, N.D.

The dense fog advisories run to 11 a.m. this Friday in northwestern Minnesota.

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.