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Intervals of dripping clouds

Todd Nelson’s Weather Column

“April showers bring May flowers” is a phrase I am constantly reminded of this week as hopes of another 80 degree reading (in April) at the Twin Cities Airport fades. Sure, another sun-sational, 70 degree, day would be nice, but intervals of dripping clouds are welcomed too. We’re heading into the best part of spring; wouldn’t it be nice to have bright green lawns, lavish/colorful flowers and healthy/sprouting vegetable gardens? Spring in Minnesota can be much worse — April 1983 the Twin Cities recorded 21.8 inches of snow, making it the snowiest April in the Twin Cities since 1820.

A “Zonal Flow” or a fast moving upper level wind from west to east will begin to develop late this weekend. This will keep things unsettled over the next 6 to 10 days, but I think we’ll be able to eek out a few nice days (60’s perhaps a 70 degree, sun-kissed afternoon) between rain/thunder events. The Twin Cities is around 0.75″ behind normal precipitation for the month of April and is nearly 1.40″ behind normal precipitation since January 1st.

Don’t be surprised if a few rumbles of thunder are heard later this afternoon/evening as storms develop (in a sunnier slot of dry air through the Dakotas) and meander through central Minnesota. Any thunderstorm that rolls through could produce a heavier shower, bumping up those rainfall amounts in your backyard bucket. Good news: I spy a potential 70+ degree day next week… hang in there. Enjoy the rest of your day.

BTW: The 2009 Minnesota Walleye Fishing Opener is a little over a week away (Saturday, May 9th). A quick glance at the forecast May 8th-10th: 50’s in northern Minnesota and unsettled. Chances of a few passing showers that weekend with, perhaps, a thundershower on the eve of the opener. Unshy snowflakes (that have been audaciously seen during walleye openers in the past) are not imminent at this point, though, a stiff/cold chop will be commonplace for all who brave Minnesota’s northernmost lakes that weekend.

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