A Soaking Cold Rain Expected To End April​ – Snow Stays Mainly To The North/West Sunday Night

“Black Sunday” – April 30th, 1967

Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of “Black Sunday”, a day which brought F4 tornadoes across southern Minnesota and 20 foot waves in Duluth. Four people lost their lives due to the waves in Duluth, and 13 deaths were linked to tornadoes across Minnesota and Iowa. The Weather Service Office in Duluth gives some perspective about the day and the impacts in Duluth – I’ll quote some of them below, but you can read more by clicking here.

Image: 1967 U.S. Coast Guard Photo (for release) by Fireman Ronald Prei / via PS1 Kevin Rofidal, MSU Duluth / via NWS DuluthQuote from NWS Duluth article: “With 20 foot waves and gale-force winds pounding the Duluth ship canal and over the pier on the evening of Sunday, April 30, 1967, many flocked as they still do today to watch the storm down by the lake. This storm brought 45 mph gusty winds coupled with a lake temperature of 36 °F to the shoreline. The Halverson brothers, Eric, Nathan, and Arthur, like many others went down to the pier to get a view of the waves crashing onto the walkways. Venturing along the north pier, a 20 foot wave crashed over the wall, sweeping the brothers off the pier. Coast Guardsmen were called into a rescue attempt to save the brothers. In their attempt, Boatswain Mate First Class Edgar A. Culbertson was swept off his feet by a strong wave into the canal. The Halverson brothers and Culbertson lost their lives.

In addition to those waves, the system also brought tornadoes across southern Minnesota and into Iowa, impacting cities like Waseca and Albert Lea. A total of four F4 tornadoes were reported that day, with a total of 21 tornadoes. The Waseca Virtual History Museum has pictures of the damage that occured in the town.

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Historical May Twin Cities Snow

Yes, at times it does snow in May! You just have to think back to a few years to the beginning of May 2013, when 0.5″ fell in the Twin Cities but a foot and a half fell across portions of southern Minnesota! The Minnesota Climatology Working Group took a look back at historical May snowfalls in the Twin Cities, and found that the top snow during the month has only been 3″ of snow. Could we get a little snow in the upcoming days? More on that in a little bit.

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A Soaking Cold Rain Expected To End April​
By D.J. Kayser, filling in for Paul Douglas

Minnesota weather always seems to have something interesting hiding up its sleeve. One minute it’s warm and sunny, the next brings you accumulating snow.

Even with the recent round of cool weather, the odds are still good that April will be the twentieth consecutive month with above average temperatures in the Twin Cities. This is a streak that stretches back to September of 2015.

And yet, here we are talking about the potential of snow in early May! A storm system will bring rain to a good portion of southern Minnesota Sunday, with amounts potentially topping an inch across the metro. Enough cold air will wrap in Sunday Night into Monday to bring at least a plowable snow from Marshall to Brainerd and Hibbing. We might see a few snowflakes early and late Monday in the metro, but only minor slushy accumulations at most are expected.

The good news? After this system, we begin a warming trend, with highs approaching 70 once again by next weekend. Is this upcoming storm winter’s final punch? We can only hope so.

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Extended Forecast for Minneapolis

SUNDAY: A cold rain. Gusty winds. High 45. Low 38. Chance of precipitation 80%. Winds NE 10-20 mph, gusting to 30 mph in the afternoon.

MONDAY: Rain continues. A few flakes mix in? High 43. Low 36. Chance of precipitation 80%. Wind N 10-15 mph.

TUESDAY: Isolated shower early. Mainly cloudy. High 53. Low 40. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind NW 5-10 mph.

WEDNESDAY: Peaks of sun. Late day shower chance. High 60. Low 43. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind S 5-10 mph.

THURSDAY: Isolated shower early. Turning sunny. High 62. Low 45. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind NW 5-10 mph.

FRIDAY: Mainly sunny skies and a bit warmer. High 65. Low 48. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind SW 5-10 mph.

SATURDAY: Highs approach 70 with blue skies. High 69. Low 52. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind SW 5-10 mph.

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This Day in Weather History
April 30th

2004: After a high temperature of 91 on the previous day in the Twin Cities, the mercury tumbles to 47 degrees by the morning. St. Cloud sheds 50 degrees over 12 hours.

1967: Tornadoes hit southern Minnesota. Some of the towns affected were Albert Lea, Waseca, Wells, and Owatonna.

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Average Temperatures & Precipitation for Minneapolis
April 30th

Average High: 65F (Record: 91F set in 1952)
Average Low: 44F (Record: 24F set in 1903)
Average Precipitation: 0.11″ (Record: 1.53″ set in 1954)
Average Snow: 0.0″ (Record: 3.1″ set in 1984)
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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
April 30th

Sunrise: 6:03 AM
Sunset: 8:17 PM

*Length Of Day: 14 hours, 11 minutes and 27 seconds
*Daylight Added Since Yesterday: ~2 minutes and 44 seconds

*Next Sunrise At/Before 6 AM: May 2nd (6:00 AM)
*Next Sunset At/After 8:30 PM: May 11th (8:31 PM)

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Minnesota Weather Outlook

Sunday will be a bit of a topsy-turvy day across Minnesota, as the cooler temperatures will be across southern Minnesota. This is where we expect to see rain (and even a rain/snow mix). The warmer weather will be across northern Minnesota, with areas like International Falls and Bemidji reaching the 50s under a mix of clouds and sun.
With highs in the 30s and 40s across southern Minnesota, it’ll be a good 15-25 degrees cooler than average during the day Sunday. Where there is sunshine – across northern Minnesota – temperatures will be a lot closer to average.

The good news is that the cooler weather doesn’t last… although you have to get through the next couple days. 50s will return to the Twin Cities by Tuesday, with 60s likely by the end of the week. Some of the model data is hinting at a return to the 70s next weekend and into the next week before a touch cooler weather works back in.

It will also be a gusty Sunday across southern Minnesota with that cold rain, as wind gusts could top 30 mph in spots. It looks like the windiest weather will be during the afternoon hours, along with some of the heavier rainfall.

As this system moves through the region, precipitation amounts could easily top 1″ across central and southern Minnesota, as well as along the North Shore. The heaviest of the rain, however, should remain off to our south and west, where places like Madison and Milwaukee could pick up on 2-3″+ of rain through Tuesday morning.

As we look long term at precipitation, we do work into a little bit of a break in the rain as we head later into the week, helping conditions dry back out a bit.

Meanwhile, yes, we are still tracking the potential of snow across parts of the state as we head into the beginning of May. The best chance of seeing accumulating snow appears to be off in western/central/northern Minnesota, where snow totals could top five inches. While it will start off as rain in these areas Sunday, the precipitation will change over to snow Sunday Night and last into Monday.

Due to the potential of heavy snow totaling 3-6″, Winter Storm Watches have been issued from southwest to northeast Minnesota.

Here in the Twin Cities we could see a slight accumulation of slushy snow, but the odds show that the main snow show should stay to our north and west.

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National Weather Outlook

Sunday Forecast

After record breaking temperatures across the eastern U.S. Saturday, temperatures will moderate just a little bit with highs in the 80s expected for D.C., Charlotte and Atlanta. Some of the coolest weather Sunday will be from western Kansas into the upper Midwest, where highs will only be in the 30s and 40s due to a storm system bringing rain and snow to the region. Meanwhile, parts of southern Texas that have been approaching 100 the past few days will only be in the 80s due to a cool front that has passed through the region and is heading east through the Southeast on Sunday.
With rain and snow impacting parts of the central Plains and upper Midwest, highs will be a good 15-35 degrees below average for this time of year on Sunday. The bulk of the warmth can still be found from the Ohio Valley into the Southeast, however temperatures will be cooler for the second half of the weekend versus on Saturday.

Snow Potential Through Monday Evening

The heaviest snow over the next few days continues to be across parts of Colorado and Kansas, stretching up into the upper Midwest. Did anyone mention to Mother Nature that Monday is the start of May?

Here’s the forecast amounts from local National Weather Service offices, with the potential of 6″+ of snow from the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma northward into the upper Midwest (at least in spots).

Precipitation Outlook Through Thursday Morning

A life-threatening heavy rain/flooding situation will continue over the central U.S. as we head into early next week. From Saturday through Thursday, rainfall totals could easily top a half a foot in parts of the region.
Heavy Central U.S. Rain
Some of the heaviest totals over the next several days will be across Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri, where 2-6”+ of rain can be expected, especially over the Ozarks. Even Little Rock, though, could pick up almost 4” of rain through Tuesday morning.
It isn’t only the Southern Plains dealing with heavy rainfall, though. Over 3” of rain is possible through early next week as far north as Chicago and Milwaukee, leading to the potential of flash flooding here as well.

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GOES-16 To Help With Wildfires As Well

The new GOES-16 satellite will not only bring us better satellite imagery to real time weather decisions, but also will provide better information for fighting wildfires. More from Wildfire Today: “During the siege of wildfires on March 6 and 7 in Kansas, Oklahoma, and northern Texas strong winds before and after a frontal passage fanned existing small fires into huge firestorms that burned about a million acres in Kansas alone. Six people were killed and firefighters were stretched far beyond the capabilities of the mostly rural departments they served.  While this was going on a few meteorologists with access to the new, still being tested GOES-16 satellite were monitoring the emerging wildfire situation.

Trouble In Paradise?

Hawaii is in the process of banning sunscreens that contain the chemical oxybenzone. Why are they attempting to do this? The chemical is killing coral reefs. More from Popular Science: “The waters surrounding Hawaii’s eight main islands contain more than 410,000 acres of living coral reefs. If strung together, the reefs would be bigger than Oahu, Hawaii’s third largest island. And because of Hawaii’s geographic isolation, the reefs support unique life. The Hawaiian Monk Seal, the Bandit Angelfish—even some of the types of coral that comprise the reef itself—are found nowhere else on earth. It’s a shame that our sunscreen might be killing them.” (Image: NOAA)

Offshore Arctic Drilling

President Trump signed an executive order Friday to try and restore offshore drilling in the Arctic. What can Trump actually accomplish here? More from InsideClimate News: “The area in question includes the entirety of the Chukchi Sea and most of the Beaufort Sea off Alaska, as well as a stretch of the Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Virginia. Obama’s executive order relied on his powers under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1953 (OCSLA), which allows a president to withdraw certain areas from drilling.

EPA Webpages Disappear

Friday night the EPA wiped climate data off their website after announcing that there would be changes made. The Washington Post has more: “One of the websites that appeared to be gone had been cited to challenge statements made by the EPA’s new administrator, Scott Pruitt. Another provided detailed information on the previous administration’s Clean Power Plan, including fact sheets about greenhouse gas emissions on the state and local levels and how different demographic groups were affected by such emissions.

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Thanks for checking in and have a great Sunday! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@dkayserwx) and like me on Facebook (Meteorologist D.J. Kayser)!

 – D.J. Kayser