I’d like to take a moment to applaud MORC for a job well done. The hard work by all the volunteers and the exceptional organizational skill of the members is truly amazing. Of course there are other organizations like the Chicago Area Mountain Bikers who are currently in the process of building a new mountain bike trail in Carpentersville outside Chicago. Or the Charlottesville Area Mountain Bike Club in Virginia who is working overtime to keep up maintenance on their rapidly growing system of trails. Out of them all, however, I still think MORC is the best in the country. I’m a little biased I guess. After all, they let me blab about nerdy weather stuff.
The northern lights have been putting on quite a show the past few nights. The sun is in an active stage of it’s 11-year solar cycle so expect to see more of the green glow low on the horizon. Skywatchers in northern Minnesota or even away from the city lights may want to head outside whenever this green blob gets close to Minnesota.
La Nina Fading
Climate scientists are expecting La Nina (cooler than normal sea surface temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean) to end by the end of the month. While El Nino and La Nina doesn’t give us much insight into the day-to-day weather changes across the U.S. it DOES help with seasonal forecasting. El Nino and La Nina conditions are the most useful factor climatologists look at when determining above/below normal temperatures/precipitation. So basically, with La Nina going away by May, climatologists will have a tougher time forecasting the summer season ahead. Read more about it here.
Soggy First Week in May?
The first few days in May could be a little damp in the woods. The 8-14 day rainfall outlook shows southern MN in a 33% chance of receiving above normal rain.
It also looks like the beginning of May will be warmer than average. The Climate Prediction Center has the entire state with a decent probability (50-60%) of above average temperatures.
Storms and showers early Wednesday morning left under 0.10″ of rain over our area trails with Theodore Wirth receiving 0.08″ and Lebanon Hills just 0.06″.
Temperatures have dropped a good 20 degrees from where they were on Wednesday. Sunshine allows for some good riding through the end of the week but then things get a little interesting Friday night. Rain starts to creep into southwestern MN Friday. A strong northeasterly flow of cold, dry, Canadian air will keep the bulk of this rain south of the metro area trails…at first. The rain eventually pushes into the metro Friday night and it may, for a brief time, change over to a rain/snow mix. A change back to rain is expected early Saturday with clearing in the afternoon.
The bulk of the rain will stay south of I-94. Rainfall amounts may be upwards of a 0.50″ for the metro trails and closer to 1.00″ in southwestern MN. Jacket weather is likely into the weekend as temperatures stay in the 50s.