One cool day; weekend warmup

Minnesota State Climatology Office

We've seen a lot of warm days over the past few months.

In today's WeatherTalk blog, Mark Seeley of the University of Minnesota states:

The 6th warmest February in state history concluded earlier this week, along with the end of Meteorological Winter (in the northern hemisphere December through February).  The Meteorological Winter definitely followed the climatic trends of recent decades by being both warmer and wetter than normal.

It was the 10th warmest Meteorological Winter in state history back to 1895, and the 15th warmer than normal one of the last 20 years on a statewide basis.

In the Twin Cities metro area, last month was our seventh warmest February on record and we tied our least snowy February, with only three-tenths of an inch of snow.

March snow?

We average 10.2 inches of snow in the Twin Cities in March, making it our third snowiest month.

That average is based on a 30 year period (currently 1981-2010) that is shifted every 10 years.

As you might imagine, our March snow totals show quite a range:

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Twin Cities monthly snow totals, via the Minnesota State Climatology Office/Minnesota DNR

Since 2000, the Twin Cities metro area has seen as little as zero snow in March (2010), to as much as 20.4 inches (2006).

No big storms are in our forecast the next few days, but periods of light snow are possible over western Minnesota this afternoon, and over eastern Minnesota this evening and tonight.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the possible snowfall pattern:

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NOAA NAM model simulated radar from Friday afternoon through 3 a.m. Saturday, via tropicaltidbits

The color chart on the lower right of the loop refers to the strength of the radar signal returning to the radar, not inches of snow!

The weekly Minnesota snow depth map from the Minnesota State Climatology Office shows ample snow over far northern Minnesota:

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Minnesota State Climatology Office

With a weekend warmup in the forecast, some of that snow will be melting.

Weekend warmth 

Highs will barely top 30 in much of southern Minnesota this Friday afternoon, and 20s are expected in the north.

Highs take a big jump on Saturday, with highs in the 30s over northern Minnesota and 40s in the central and south:

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A few spots in southwestern Minnesota could top 50 degrees Saturday afternoon.

On Sunday, much of southern and central Minnesota could reach 60 degrees:

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Northern Minnesota and areas of southeastern Minnesota that still have some snow cover will probably see highs in the 50s Sunday afternoon.

The average high on March 5 in Twin Cities is only 36 degrees, so 60 would be very warm!

Programming note

You can hear my live weather updates on Minnesota Public Radio at 7:49 a.m. Fridays, and at 7:35 a.m. and 4:35 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday.

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