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Luck holds for Twins opener; update on river flooding

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A March 28 baseball home opener is a bit risky in Minnesota.  I'll bet that the Minnesota Twins and their fans will be happy with Thursday's weather. By mid-afternoon, we're expecting a cloud/sun mix and a temperature around 50.

Our average Twin Cities high temp is 48 on March 28, but there can be a wide range of weather this time of year. Our record high is 78 degrees on this date, and our coldest March 28 high temp was 21. And it can snow; 6.5 inches is the highest March 28 snowfall in Twin Cities weather records.

Rain chances 

The far south metro could see a passing shower early Thursday afternoon, but the best chance of afternoon showers will be in far southern Minnesota. Parts of far northern Minnesota could see a passing sprinkle or flurry today.

Some rain/snow showers move into northern Minnesota on Friday, then break up as they reach central Minnesota.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the potential precipitation pattern Friday and Friday evening:

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NOAA NAM simulated radar Friday and Friday evening, via tropicaltidbits

The color chart to the right of the loop refers to the strength of the signal that returns to the radar, not to the amount of rain or snow.

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.

Temperature trends

Highs this Thursday will range from the 30s in northwestern Minnesota to lower 50s in the far southeast.

Friday highs will be mainly in the 40s:

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Saturday will be the chilliest day of the weekend, with lots of 30s:

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Some spots in the metro area will touch 40.

Most of Minnesota will top out in the 40s on Sunday:

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Some spots in the metro area and southwestern Minnesota will touch 50 Sunday afternoon. Twin Cities metro area highs are projected to reach the lower 50s next Monday, followed by mid- to upper 50s next Tuesday and Wednesday

River flooding

Our lack of rain the past two weeks has been helpful.  River levels won't crest as high as they would have if we had seen a couple of inches of rain.

Several locations along our Minnesota rivers remain at major or moderate flood stage. Many areas have flood warnings. You can get flood warning updates by clicking on any location on the National Weather Service Twin Cities website. Areas with flood warnings are shaded green on the NWS main page; here’s how the map looked Thursday morning:

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NWS Twin Cities

The Mississippi River at St. Paul was at major flood stage Thursday morning.

Here’s the NWS summary for that location that was issued Wednesday evening:

856 PM CDT Wed Mar 27 2019

The Flood Warning continues for

The Mississippi River at St. Paul.

* until further notice.

* At 8:00 PM Wednesday the stage was 18.7 feet.

* Major flooding is occurring and Major flooding is forecast.

* Flood stage is 14.0 feet.

* Forecast...The river will continue rising to near 19.8 feet by

Monday morning then begin falling.

* Impact...At 18.0 feet...Warner Road may become impassable due to

high water.

* Impact...At 17.5 feet...Harriet Island begins to become submerged.

* Impact...At 14.0 feet...Portions of the Lilydale park area begin to

experience flooding.

* Impact...At 13.3 feet...Water begins to encroach on Water St.

You can check for an updated flood statement here.

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 late Thursday morning hydrograph for the Mississippi River at St. Paul:

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NOAA/NWS/U.S. Geological Survey

The 19.8 foot level on Monday would be the eighth highest Mississippi River level ever recorded at the St. Paul gauge:

Here's a Thursday morning look at the flooding at Harriet Island in St. Paul:

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March 28, 2019 City of St. Paul webcam

Parts of Raspberry Island are under water:

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March 28, 2019 City of St. Paul webcam

The pavilion on Harriet Island is surrounded by water:

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March 28, 2019 City of St. Paul webcam

Here’s how that same area looked Saturday morning:

Here’s the Thursday morning hydrograph for the St. Croix River at Stillwater:

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NOAA/NWS/USGS

The Thursday morning hydrograph for the Minnesota River at Montevideo shows a sharp rise in the past 24 hours:

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NOAA/NWS/USGS

Projected river levels are updated on a regular basis, so check back to the AHPS site and the NWS point forecasts for the latest info on the rivers near you. The NWS also posts some flooding details here.

If you’d like to scroll through hydrographs along a certain river, check here.

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.