Warmer temps ahead, but soggy midweek; some river levels will rise

Our high temp of 48 degrees at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Sunday was 9 degrees cooler than our average April 14th high. We had plenty of afternoon sunshine and light winds, so it felt great. And it was fun to see our unwelcome April snowcover continue to melt away.

Warmer temps are in the forecast this week.

Temperature trends

Monday afternoon highs will be mainly in the 40s in the northern half of Minnesota, with some lower 50s in the south:

Tuesday will be the warmest day this week, with a lot of 50s, and even some lower 60s in the metro area and points to the south and east:

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

Soggy midweek system

Roughly the northern half of Minnesota has a chance of some scattered rain showers on Monday, and there could be a few snowflakes mixed with in with the rain showers in the morning.

One forecast model shows a chance of rain showers in southern Minnesota and the Twin Cities metro area late Monday night and early Tuesday.

It looks like it will be soggy from Wednesday into Thursday night for much of central and southern Minnesota, plus western Wisconsin. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System model shows the potential precipitation pattern Wednesday through Thursday night:

NOAA GFS precipitation rate (mm/hour) Wednesday through Thursday night, 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 one to two inches of rain from this system in parts of central and southern 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

This Sunday post by the Twin Cities office of the NWS summarizes the river level situation for this week:

NWS Twin Cities

Water from snow melt will also contribute to rising river levels in some areas.

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 evening:

NWS Grand Forks, N.D.

You can click on any map location on the NWS site for the latest flood warning or flood advisory details.

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 evening:

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 evening hydrograph for the Mississippi River at St. Paul:

NOAA/NWS/U.S. Geological Survey

You can see that the Mississippi River at St. Paul is expected to rise from Wednesday night through next weekend.

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 evening hydrograph for the Red River at East Grand Forks, Minnesota:

NOAA/NWS/U.S. Geological Survey

This is the Sunday evening hydrograph for the Red River at Fargo, North Dakota:

NOAA/NWS/U.S. Geological Survey

Hydrographs will be updated by the NWS over the next few days to account for rainfall and the speed of the snow melt.

Mississippi River flooding pictures

The Mississippi River at St. Paul is about five feet lower than it was two weeks ago. Here’s a picture of Harriet Island Regional Park in St. Paul, from Sunday afternoon:

April 14, 2019    City of St. Paul webcam

Here’s that same area just two weeks ago:

March 31, 2019       City of St. Paul webcam

Here’s a Sunday afternoon view of the Wabasha Street Bridge in St. Paul, with the partially flooded Raspberry Island down below:

April 14, 2019       City of St. Paul webcam

Here’s that same area two weeks ago:

March 31, 2019      City of St. Paul webcam

There’s been an impressive drop in the river level over the past two weeks, but our spring flooding isn’t over yet.