KMSP - I don’t have to be the one to tell you that it’s been a very wet few days. Not exactly what you want to see when we just experienced the snowiest February on record and one of the snowiest stretches of all time. It wasn’t snow though this week, but over an inch of rain falling in the metro, with up to 2 inches of rain falling in parts of western Minnesota. That just adds fuel to the fire so to speak as much of the area is primed for a significant spring flood scenario.
Much of our snowpack had 3 to 6 inches of liquid water in it going into the month of March… and now 4 to 8 inches of liquid water accompany said snow pack. While some of the melting has started, roughly 85 or 90% of that liquid water remains in the snow that’s left as it compacts down and increases in density, all in preparation to run off. Combine that compaction with temperatures that will steadily climb the next several days, and you have a recipe for some significant melting.
But let’s not ignore the stretch of weather that gave us this; extremely snowy and quite cold. In fact, the 2-month period from mid-January to mid-March actually rivaled the “polar vortex” winter of 2013-2014… finishing our 2019 stretch with an average temperature just a half a degree warmer… and 11th place on the coldest list for that timeframe. The culmination of our cold couple of months has been in the first couple weeks of March. Not record setting by any stretch of the imagination, but still the coldest start to March for the metro since 1975.
Thankfully though, as temperatures warm, our weather pattern will likely be very quiet for at least the next several days. That said, it takes more than a few days to melt all of this snow, so any more wet weather we get through the rest of the month will just be adding more moisture to an already waterlogged system. Hopefully, we can stay dry for a while.