Milder temps ahead; soaking rain on Wednesday?

Today is cool, but our weather is much nicer than it was one year ago. The Twin Cities metro area had 11.1 inches of snow on April 14, 2018!

The snow continued into the 15th, with a storm total of 15.8 inches. It was the highest April snowstorm total in Twin Cities weather records:

Minnesota State Climatology Office/DNR

The listing was created by the climatology office early Friday afternoon, before we reached the final snow tally of 9.8 inches for our April 2019 snowstorm.

The Minnesota State Climatology Office has a detailed discussion of the biggest April snowstorms in the metro area and elsewhere in Minnesota here.

Temperature trends

Sunday afternoon highs are expected to reach the 40s in the Twin Cities metro area and most of Minnesota and western Wisconsin. That’s unusually cool for this time of year.  Our average April 14 high temp is 57 degrees in the metro area. Milder temps are on tap during the coming week.

The south will reach 50 or warmer on Monday:

Tuesday will be the warmest day of the coming week, with some 60s south and 50s north:

Twin Cities metro area highs are projected to be in the mid 50s Wednesday, around 50 on Thursday, then back to the mid 50s on Friday.

Soggy midweek 

Roughly the northern half of Minnesota has a chance of some occasional showers on Monday. The showers could be mixed with some snowflakes in the morning.

Southern Minnesota and the metro area will have a shower chance Monday night and early Tuesday.

Our next big weather system arrives on Wednesday and lingers in parts of Minnesota though Thursday and Thursday night. Southeastern Minnesota could have some lingering showers on Friday. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System model shows the potential precipitation pattern Wednesday through Friday:

NOAA GFS precipitation rate (mm/hour) Wednesday through Friday, 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 or snow. The GFS model shows the potential for a couple of inches of rain from this system in parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin. We’ll see how the forecast models change over the next few days.

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.

River levels

Many areas saw plenty of snow from the Wednesday/Thursday storm:

Warming temps will accelerate our snow melt over the next few days, and river levels could be affected.

The latest flood warnings and flood outlooks for northwestern Minnesota can be found on the NWS Grand Forks, N.D. site.  Areas with flood warnings are shaded green on their map, which looked like this Sunday morning:

NWS Grand Forks, N.D.

Although southern Minnesota river levels are much lower than they were two weeks ago, flood warnings remain in effect in many locations. Here’s how flood warnings were depicted on the NWS Twin Cities site Sunday morning:

NWS Twin Cities

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 Sunday morning hydrograph for the Mississippi River at St. Paul:

NOAA/NWS/U.S. Geological Survey

If you’d like to scroll through hydrographs along a certain river, check here.

Hydrographs for the Red River can be found here. This is the Sunday morning hydrograph for the Red River at East Grand Forks, Minnesota:

NOAA/NWS/U.S. Geological Survey

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.