Up to a million people trolling Minnesota’s lakes, casting, jigging, juggling live bait, scanning the sky. What can possible go wrong? Plenty, it turns out. Fishing Opener has, historically, been an invitation for every kind of foul, forgettable weather on the planet. There have been years where fishermen battled horizontal rains, sleet (ice) pellets, wind chills in the teens, even snow flurries and snow showers. Even the hardy souls, the grizzled old timers, have been known to break down and cry like babies after waking up to an angry, unreasonable Fishing Opener sky.
Amazingly this will not be one of those years. Cold air has retreated north into Canada and so have the flurries. You’ll need a jacket out on your favorite lake Saturday morning, but no parka-gear required this year with sunrise temperatures in the low to mid 40s up from Mille Lacs to Pelican, Gull, the Whitefish Chain and Detroit Lakes. The Governor may start out around 50 degrees on White Bear Lake, not bad at all in the longer, historical context.
In spite of patchy clouds the day looks dry (at least right now) with rain probably — PROBABLY (wish I had bigger text) hold off until Sunday, especially PM hours, especially central and southern Minnesota. Now comes the disclaimer, the part where I gently remind you that Saturday is still 4 days away, 8 more major model runs between now and then, and I’d be dishonest if I didn’t admit to being a bit nervous. Computer models bring a sloppy front through today (Tuesday), again Friday, and late Sunday/Monday. But it’s a little early to give the all-clear/thumbs-up/break out the bubbly, ’cause the weather looks ideal for catching trophy walleye and northern pike!
A southwesterly breeze dries us out a bit during the day Tuesday (after a foul, wet start). The sun should be out much of Wednesday and Thursday with highs close to normal for this date (mid 60s).
If Friday’s front slows down, or Sunday’s front speeds up, we may have to go back and revisit the outlook for Fishing Opener Saturday, but for now my team of dazed meteorologists at WeatherNation is cautiously optimistic we’ll see a pretty decent day. Mom may wind up a little soggy around the edges, however. The earlier you plan your Mother’s Day Brunch on Sunday, the better — most of the rain may come later in the day and at night.
Rapid weather changes, temperatures near normal for early May, a fairly optimistic outlook for Saturday’s Opener, and a somewhat reduced risk of severe weather for next weekend. All things considered we have a fair amount to be thankful for. Think positive thoughts, light a candle, and keep an eye on the forecast — there are sure to be some changes and tweaks as we get closer to the big day.
• 72 degree high in the Twin Cities on Monday.
• Tuesday rainfall predictions range from .08″ (NAM) to over .50″ (GFS). Take an umbrella.
• Best chance of showers, isolated thunderstorms: today, Friday, again Sunday PM.
• Odds of a dry Fishing Opener increase. Heaviest Sunday showers: central/southern Minnesota
• Sunrise Saturday: 44-48 degrees northern lakes, winds under 10-15 mph, “walleye chop”, steady or falling barometer. Showers slosh into Wisconsin (damp start on metro lakes), but Saturday still appears to be the better/brighter/drier day of the weekend.
• Temperatures cool slightly as the week goes on — light jackets needed for your favorite lake Saturday morning.
• Sunday: wetter day. Rain/embedded storms spread from southwest to northeast across Minnesota. Best chance of rain northern lakes: Sunday PM hours into the nighttime hours.