HydroClim Minnesota for early March 2019

HydroClim Minnesota for Early March 2019

A monthly electronic newsletter summarizing Minnesota's climate conditions and the resulting impact on water resources. Distributed on the first Thursday of the month.

State Climatology Office - DNR Division of Ecological and Water Resources, St. Paul
distributed: March 7, 2019

What happened in February 2019:

Where we stand now:

Future prospects:

  • The March precipitation outlook has equal chances for below normal and above normal precipitation. Historically, average March precipitation totals range from near three-quarters of an inch in northwestern Minnesota to around two inches in southern sections of the state. March is a transition month when cold, dry continental air masses are gradually replaced by warmer, moister air on a more frequent basis. This is demonstrated by the fact that March's normal precipitation is 50 percent higher than February's normal precipitation, the greatest percentage increase between any two successive months.
    [see: Climate Prediction Center 30-day Outlook  | March Precipitation Normal Map]
  • The March temperature outlook has a strong tendency for below normal temperatures, especially in western Minnesota. Normal March high temperatures climb from near 30 degrees early in the month to the low to mid-40s by month's end. Normal March lows begin the month in the single digits above zero in the far north and mid-teens in the south. By late March, normal lows are in the low 20s in the north, near 30 in the south.
    [see: Climate Prediction Center 30-day Outlook  | March Temperature Normal Map]
  • The 90-day precipitation outlook for March through May indicates equal chances for below, normal and above normal precipitation. The March through May temperature projection also indicates equal chances for below, normal and above normal temperatures.
    [see: Climate Prediction Center 90-day Outlook]
  • The National Weather Service produces long-range probabilistic river stage and discharge outlooks for the Red River, Minnesota River, and Mississippi River basins. These products address both high flow and low flow probabilities. Here are the current weather conditions impacting prospects for spring snow melt flooding:
    • present stream flows are normal to much above normal relative to historical flows for the date
    • soil profiles are moist due to above normal precipitation in 2018, especially in southern Minnesota.
    • frost depths range from two to four feet and have not begun to thaw.
    • snow depths are much above the historical median for the date in Minnesota, with snow water equivalent also well above normal.
    [see: National Weather Service - North Central River Forecast Center]

From the author:

  • Many places in Minnesota set records for the snowiest February on record, including the Twin Cities with 39 inches, which also made February 2019 the 4th snowiest month on record.

Upcoming dates of note:

  • March 21: National Weather Service releases 30/90 day temperature and precipitation outlooks

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Pete Boulay, DNR Climatologist

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