The melt is on: 1st lake ice-out in Minnesota

The Great melt of 2018 is underway. Snow cover is rapidly disappearing from the Minnesota landscape.

There was 11" of snow on the ground at MSP Airport Monday. Friday afternoon's climate update now shows just 3" at MSP. We've melted (and evaporated) 8" of snow this week.

Here's a nice loop of the southern edge of the snow pack retreating northward through Iowa yesterday.

First ice-out

Minnesota's inland lakes are still frozen. But the Minnesota DNR reports Lake Pepin on the Mississippi is now ice-free.

Ice-out tracker

Here's the best way to track ice-out on your favorite lakes via the Minnesota DNR.

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Minnesota DNR.

Warmer days ahead

Our long overdue warm-up is thanks to a seismic shift in the upper air pattern. The longer range outlook into early May shows the potential for the warmest air of the season.

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The season's first 60 degree temperature should arrive in the Twin Cities Sunday afternoon. Monday looks even warmer.

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NOAA via Weather Bell.

The milder weather is here to stay. NOAA's Climate Prediction center keeps things (relatively) toasty into the first week of May.

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NOAA's 16-day GFS is often risky for individual daily temperatures, but usually does well with trends. Our first 70s and 80 in parts of Minnesota in the next 2 weeks? It could happen.

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NOAA via Meteostar.

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