Watch For Late Afternoon Instability Showers and Storms

Just remember, someone out there is quarantined with your ex. You’re welcome.

Weather models are acting a bit wonky as of late. Are fewer jet aircraft observations leading to lower-octane fueling these simulations? Perhaps. Then again, it’s easy to blame the models when we’re wrong.

Yesterday turned out much nicer than predicted, but Doppler radar was freckled with instability showers and T-showers by late afternoon. The same thing may happen today. Walk the dog (or let the dog walk you) this morning, because a nagging puddle of chilly air aloft will spark more flash-and-dash thundershowers after 3 pm.

A more formidable storm spins up Tuesday, with widespread rain spilling into early Wednesday. Then we dry out and warm up the latter half of next week with 70s possible one week from today.

Consider this a benign “Goldilocks” pattern: too warm for snow and heavy jackets, but too cool and dry for severe storms, which become more numerous as we head into May. This isn’t too hard to take.

Trending Generally Milder Than Average Into Early May. Highs in the 60s and 70s? Yes please, and thank you. ECMWF for MSP: WeatherBell.

Slightly Cooler Bias Second Week of May. A persistent closed low over eastern Canada keeps New England chilly, and a nagging northwest flow aloft will mean frequent (cool) frontal passages, taking the edge off any warm fronts after May 7 or so.

Snow Season Review. Ah, the memories. Dr. Mark Seeley has all the details in this week’s edition of Minnesota WeatherTalk: “Given the outlook models for the rest of April and beginning of May, it appears there is likely little if any chance for snow across the state, except for a few flurries in far northern counties Sunday and Monday. In that context, I thought it would be time to summarize the 2019-2020 snow season (generally October 1 to April 30) on a statewide basis. At the top of the list is Isabella up above the north shore of Lake Superior in Lake County. They reported over 133 inches. The only other locations over 100 inches for the season were Two Harbors and Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center near Finland, both also in Lake County. But portions of the Red River Valley in northwestern Minnesota reported 50-60 inches, well above normal for them…”

Definition of a Downpour. .53″ of rain in 5 minutes? This nugget is brought to you by the Iowa Environmental Mesonet, courtesy of Iowa State University. Go Cyclones!

Average Daytime Highs. 62F for the metro, but only 51F at Grand Marais, sitting right next to that giant rock-rimmed refrigerator we call Lake Superior. Map credits: Praedictix and AerisWeather.

April Running Drier In Most Areas. There are exceptions, but the map above shows precipitation departure from normal for April, to date; roughly an inch rainfall deficit from St. Cloud and the Twin Cities to Rochester. Graphics above: Praedictix and AerisWeather.

Relentless Record Heat Roasts Miami, Gulf Coast. Capital Weather Gang has perspective: “From South Texas to South Florida, all along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, temperatures in the spring frequently have leaped ahead to summer-like levels. South Florida, in particular, has turned downright hot, obliterating long-standing records. On Monday, Miami experienced its hottest April day recorded, soaring to 97 degrees. Meteorologists say the steamy weather is linked to abnormally warm temperatures in the adjacent waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean and a persistent high pressure zone heating the air. But both the extent and intensity of the warmth is unprecedented in many areas and would likely not be happening without the influence of human-induced climate change…”
Map credit: “Forty-five-day temperature differences from normal reveals well-above-average air temperatures across much the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent land masses.” (WeatherBell).

Even the Highest Summer Temperatures May Not Hinder Coronavirus, Study Suggests. AccuWeather has the story; here’s the intro: “Reports and studies have speculated for months that warm summertime weather may be a coronavirus killer, but a new study suggests that the type of higher temperatures needed to inactivate the new coronavirus may be far more extreme than people can expect to see under normal weather conditions. The study, led by researchers Remi Charrel and Boris Pastorino from the University of Aix-Marseille in France, found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, was killed by 15 minutes of exposure to 197.6-degree Fahrenheit temperatures. For context, water boils at 212 F...”

Image credit: CDC.

The Most Popular Cocktail in Every State, According to Google. Food & Wine has a timely (?) post: “Cocktail trends come and go, but the classics remain popular for a reason. Who doesn’t want a Manhattan or a martini at the end of a long day? If you live in Vermont, you’re probably reaching for the former; and if you live in Nevada, the latter might be your drink of choice. That’s according to a graphic released by Versus Reviews, a consumer goods research organization, which just released this visual guide to the most popular cocktail in every state, according to Google...”

Image credit: Versus Reviews.

66 F. high in the Twin Cities on Friday.

62 F. average high on April 24.

73 F. high on April 24, 2019.

April 25, 1996: Heavy snow falls over northern Minnesota, including 10 inches of snow at Baudette. The International Falls Airport is forced to close for only the second time in history.

SATURDAY: Mild sun, late shower or T-shower. Winds: E 5-10. High: 67

SUNDAY: AM sunshine, risk of late PM showers. Winds: SE 5-10. Wake-up: 47. High: 65

MONDAY: Damp start, then sunny and mild. Winds: W 5-10. Wake-up: 49. High: 72

TUESDAY: Heavier showers and T-storms. Winds: NW 15-25. Wake-up: 52. High: 58

WEDNESDAY: Wet start, then slow clearing. Winds: N 10-20. Wake-up: 45. High: 62

THURSDAY: Sunny and pleasant. Winds: N 8-13. Wake-up: 43. High: 68

FRIDAY: Plenty of mild sunshine. Winds: E 5-10. Wake-up: 47. High: 71

Climate Stories…

The Fed Could Rescue Fossil Fuel Firms That Were Already In a Tailspin. Nexus Media News has the story; here’s an excerpt: “…Today, fracking operations are plagued by bankruptcies, and oil and gas stocks are imperiled by the divestment movement. In the last month, with would-be drivers huddled indoors and Saudi Arabia and Russia each dumping cheap oil on the market to undercut the other, supply so outpaced demand that the price of a barrel of oil briefly fell below zero. Coal is in even worse shape. Eleven coal companies have filed for bankruptcy since President Trump took office, and the future of the industry looks increasingly dim. Nearly half of all coal plants worldwide will lose money this year, stymied by cheap renewables and natural gas. And the coronavirus isn’t helping. With power demand in a lurch, utilities are leaning more on wind and solar power, which have no fuel costs. On a few days recently, wind turbines supplied more electricity nationally than coal…”

COVID-19 and Climate Change: “The Parallels are Screaming At Us” Says John Kerry. Here’s the intro to a post at Marketwatch: “That’s the take this Earth Day from former Secretary of State and onetime presidential contender John Kerry, who was a participant in the inaugural Earth Day 50 years ago. He described that Nixon-era march, well before social-media sharing but timed to the launch of the Environmental Protection Agency and other initiatives, as his first moment of activism after arriving home from combat in Vietnam. The onset of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic from the novel coronavirus has “made more people value science, flattening the curve has given proof of concept to the fact that when lives are on the line, and as people understand that their daily decisions are connected to the lives of others, people everywhere will mobilize,” Kerry said in an interview with Our Daily Planet...”

How to Fight Climate Change at Home. A post at Curbed has some good suggestions: “While a global pandemic may have put life (as we know it) on hold—and cleared the air temporarily amid widespread lockdowns—it hasn’t exactly stopped the looming climate crisis. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day today in a social-distanced world, it’s still possible to make a difference in the fight against climate change with individual actions that start at home. From rethinking your laundry routine to ditching the plastic trash bag, these 17 ideas not only provide a roadmap for a healthier and more sustainable household, but can save you some money, too. Let’s get to it.

1. Grow your own food. In addition to helping you eat more fruits and veggies, growing your own food cuts down on transportation energy costs and avoids the pesticides and synthetic fertilizers used in conventionally grown crops...”

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