We made it!
Meteorological winter (Dec-Feb) is officially over. Today, March 1st. marks the beginning of meteorological spring (Mar-May). The coldest 3 months of the year are now behind us, rising temperatures and an ever increasing sun angle and intensity mean the snow cover is not long for this place.
My old WCCO colleague and news legend Dave Moore used to say "Make no big plans in March." Dave knew how cruel the month of March can be in Minnesota. I think all of us have had not so fleeting thoughts of loading up and moving south in March.
Thankfully March will come in unusually kind this year, at least for the first week.
Temperatures should push 40 in the metro by late this week.
Expect plenty of sun and daytime temps warming from the mid 30s into the upper 30s and lower 40s by late week. When we hit 40 in the metro, it wil be the first time since December 1st! We're going to melt some snow (and ice dams) this week. There's nearly a foot on the ground at MSP as of early Monday morning, but we will be melt a few inches and send it running down the street by week's end.
Here are some highlights for the February (and meteorological winter) that was:
-Temperatures near average (-0.4)
-Snowfall above average with 13.9" (+5.7")
-No sub zero nights! (Average for February is 7)
-So far 17 nights at or below zero this winter. Average is 30 for the entire winter season.
-Season snowfall so far is 40.7" (-1.6")
The bottom line for many of us in Minnesota is that we just experienced fairly "average" Minnesota winter. Both temperatures and snowfall were close to average in many locations.
March Outlook: In like a lamb, lion roars next week?
This week will feature bright sun, light winds, and mild afternoon temperatures. You'll actually be excused for having thoughts of spring. A slightly cool northerly flow will keep temperatures in check through Wednesday with mid 30s.
By Thursday, full on high pressure will gently slide warmer air in from the west. Bright sun should boost afternoon temperatures toward 40 as soon as Thursday. There's a good chance excitable bank thermometers may be flashing low 40s to close the week.
Forecast models cranking out temps near 40 later this week.
The next storm system will push enough warm air our way that we should see rain by Sunday night into early Monday. Then we could see a change over to wet sloppy March snow a week from today. Signs are a colder shot of air may follow that system next week.
After a quiet weather week, the next system could bring in rain changing to snow Sunday night and Monday.
Stay tuned...and enjoy the best week of weather in months!