Warmer temps and melting snow; update on river levels

Our Saturday afternoon high temperature was only 39 degrees at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. That’s way below our average April 13 high temp of 57 degrees. Hang in there, milder temps are in the forecast!

Temperature trends

High temperatures will be in the 40s across most of Minnesota and western Wisconsin on Sunday:

Many spots in southern Minnesota will reach 50 degrees or warmer on Monday:

Twin Cities metro area highs are projected to reach around 60 degrees on Tuesday, followed by mid 50s Wednesday, lower 50s Thursday and back to the mid 50s on Friday.

Soggy Wednesday into Thursday

Our next big weather system arrives on Wednesday and lingers in parts of Minnesota though Thursday night, with soaking rains expected.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System model shows the potential precipitation pattern Wednesday through Friday morning:

NOAA GFS precipitation rate (mm/hour) Wednesday through Friday morning, 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 of us saw a lot of snow this week:

Warming temps will accelerate our snow melt over the next few days.

Here’s the outlook for the Red River, from the National Weather Service office in Grand Forks, N.D.:

Issued at 336 PM CDT Sat Apr 13 2019

Regionally, recent snowfall across is expected to begin melting in
the coming days as temperatures climb and remain above freezing.
This will drive either an increase in water levels or will slow down
water level decline at most points along the mainstem Red River.

The Red River at Fargo will see a secondary rise around mid-week as
snowmelt works it`s way into the channel. Other notable rises could
occur along the South Buffalo and Buffalo at Sabin, Hawley, and

Water levels on the Snake River upstream of Warren have continued
falling over the past 24 hours and have fallen below action stage.
Slight increases in the coming days are possible as snow melt runs
off into the river, but no rise to Minor flood stage is expected at
this time.

At Hallock, we will see the decrease in water level begin to level
off as increased melting and runoff are expected to cause a
secondary rise in river levels.d

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 Saturday evening:

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 Saturday 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 Saturday evening 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.

Here’s the Saturday evening hydrograph for the Red River at Fargo:

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.