Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Welcome to Spring…kinda

March Madness

Believe it or not, spring begins at 6:02 AM Central Standard Time!  It certainly will not feel like it, as temperatures start off in the single digits in the morning with wind chill a factor.  Spring has not started this cold since 1965, when the temperature reached a high of 15 degrees in the Twin Cities on March 20 of that year.  Contrast this to the very mild March we had in 2012, where it felt like summer at times with temperatures into the 80s.  With the warm air mass last year came severe weather, as an early tornado occurred on March 19, south of the Twin Cities metro.  Nonetheless, the drastic swing between the two years has made the natives restless, and a particular weather-predicting rodent very unpopular.



March started unseasonably chilly as high temperatures are running 20 degrees below normal. Yes, 20, that is not a typo!  We have only reached at or above average for a maximum daily temperature four times this month.


In addition to the cold, it has also been a snowy month as we have reached 13.8 inches of snow for the month – a March surplus of 6.4 inches.  The previous weather system dropped 3.1 inches of snow officially at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport.


For the season, we have received 49.3 inches of snow. That is around normal for the season - just two tenths above.  Between December, February, and March it has been a pretty even distribution of snow.  February reigns supreme when it comes to most snow with 15.1 inches, but December was right behind, checking in at 15.0 inches.

MSP snow total

Unfortunately, the rest of March is looking ugly as I alluded to in my video blog.  Below normal temperatures will continue right through the end of the month.  Snow chances return to Minnesota early next week, and the potential is there for at least another couple inches.  I don’t think we will have to worry about any early severe thunderstorm outbreaks this year.


The extended cold snap will also make it difficult to melt away at the snow pack.  North and west of the Twin Cities lies well over a foot of snow.  Roughly two-thirds of the state has this much on the ground right now.  I am concerned about rapid snow melt and the potential for flooding affecting some parts of the state this spring.


When will spring finally arrive?  Only time will tell, but my hunch is that it will be sometime in April.  We can not stay in this pattern forever.


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