Gradual Meltdown with Sloppy Weekend Storm Mainly South

Spring is ever so stubbornly making baby steps.  We had a high yesterday over the freezing mark for the first time in a week (37 officially yesterday afternoon).  Hey, we’ll take any progress towards spring at this point, right?  While I’m guessing that many of us wouldn’t mind jumping into spring head-first, this gradual thaw is reducing the potential for major flooding in this part of the country especially considering the areas of “concrete frost” that exist below are deep snowpack.

Concrete frost map*Courtesy of NWS Twin Cities.

Concrete frost is unusually dense frost that forms when very cold temperatures freeze saturated ground.  This likely formed in late-December and January following a meltdown of our winter’s first big snowfall around December 10 followed by a sudden cold snap.  Concrete frost increases the likelihood of flooding as snowmelt and precipitation runoff are unable to be absorbed into the ground where this type of frost exists.  So, our odds of flooding this spring have increased in the presence of this frost that likely exists across much of Southern Minnesota in addition to the recent heavy snowpack that has accumulated across most of the state late in the winter season.

The good news for flooding concerns at least in the short-term is that I don’t see any MAJOR warm-ups in the foreseeable future nor any heavy precipitation events.  Instead, mother nature is going to be making a gradual transition towards spring in the next week.

There is a bit of a “fly in the ointment” as we transition towards spring in the shorter term as a large, cold storm system to our south slowly slogs east over the next couple days.  Parts of Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois are going to get unusually heavy late-March snow.  This area of the country has been in the line of fire for a number of late-winter storms in the past month or so.  Once again, some locations may receive up to a foot of heavy, wet snow along a rough line from Kansas City to portions of Central Illinois.

Missouri Snow*Courtesy of NWS Kansas City.

Fortunately, most of this unwelcome wintry assault will impact areas south of Minnesota.  With that said, a weak “inverted trough” will extend northwestward from the main area storminess.  This feature may deposit an inch or two of snowfall across portions of Southern and Central Minnesota, mainly south and west of a Little Falls – Twin Cities – La Crosse, WI line on Sunday.  This gentle snowfall on Sunday will not be a big deal but a reminder that winter is letting go reluctantly this year !

inverted trough

Official Twin Cities forecast for the next several days:

Today (Saturday) : Filtered sunshine with some high cloudiness.  High near 39.  Light wind.

Tonight : Mainly overcast with a little light snow possible by morning.  A low around 26.  Light north breeze.

Sunday : Cloudy with light snow snow possible (mainly southwest of the cities).  Up to an inch of accumulation.  High near 34.  Light north wind.

Sunday Night : Mainly cloudy with flurries possible early.  Low around 23.

Monday – Friday : early week clouds giving way to increasing sunshine through much of the week.  Highs gradually warming from the 30s into the 40s by the end of the work week.  Dwindling snowpack slowly melts off.

Early glimpse at Easter Weekend : Milder with mainly dry conditions.  A slight chance of rain on Easter Sunday.  Highs mostly in the 40s.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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