Snow on the Seat
Tough spring season for the Minnesota mountain biker! Just when the trails were almost ready to open we got blasted by yet another heavy precipitation event, most of which was in the form of snow. May snow in northern MN is not too uncommon but to get snow in southern MN? Definitely weird. A crazy 18 inches fell in Blooming Prairie setting an all-time state record for the most snow ever recorded in May.
May 1-3 Snowfall Totals
The metro (barely) missed the big snow leaving many May snow records untouched. The following is from the Minnesota Climatology Working Group:
The largest amount from a single May storm in the Twin Cities climate record (including Fort Snelling) is 3.0 inches which occurred in 1830, 1892, 1935, and 1946. The last year in that list, 1946 was especially notable because on June 1st of that year, Holman field in St Paul reported 38 degrees F with snow flurries from 2:24 am to 2:55 am, just barely into the month of June, but nevertheless the only documented observation of snow in the Twin Cities area during June.
Snow in June?!…just think, it could be worse!
Past 7 Day Precipitation
The trails are soaked. In the Twin Cities it was the 5th wettest April (5.22″) of all time and now with May starting off wet, the trails will likely take even longer to open. The Climate Prediction Center shows a 33-40% chance of receiving above normal precipitation across southeastern MN for the month of May.
The moisture is good for the drought…bad for the anxious Minnesota mountain biker.
A stationary storm over Arkansas will continue to spew clouds a showery weather into Minnesota all weekend. Conditions will be getting warmer; 70s by midweek and 80s potentially by mid-May!
Click on this map to get the latest high-res visible satellite image
Saturday: Steady morning rain. Mostly cloudy afternoon showers. H: 55 Wind: N 7
Saturday Night: Cloudy, light mist/sprinkles. L: 45 Wind: N 4
Sunday: Cloudy, decreasing showers. H: 65 L: 52 Wind: N 2-4
Monday: Dry, cloudy morning yet sunny afternoon. H: 69 L: 51 Wind: CALM
Tuesday: Sunny. H: 74 L: 55 Wind: S 4-7
Wednesday: Increasing clouds, showers possible overnight. H: 73 L: 54 Wind: S 4-7
Low Tornado Count
The country has had more snow than thunderstorms this severe weather season. Via the National Weather Service:
From May 2012-April 2013, the estimate is that there were 197 tornadoes rated EF1 or stronger. Where does that stack up historically? Well, we have pretty good data back to 1954. During that time, the previous low for (E)F1 and stronger tornadoes in a 12 consecutive calendar month period was 247, from June 1991-May 1992.
As a result of the low tornado count, fatalities from tornadoes are also down. From May 2012 to April 2013 there were 7 U.S. tornado deaths. This is the fewest in a 12 month period since 5 deaths in Sep 1899 to Aug 1900.
Dean Parkway Proposed Trail Improvements
Some well-used trails are getting a facelift this spring. The Minneapolis Parks & Recreation is funding a project to improve paved trails along Dean Parkway and the west side of Cedar Lake. The plan is to “redesign and construction of the existing trails and lighting, improvements to known trail conflict areas, lighting, signage, and trail connections to both on and off-street trail systems comprise the project’s scope. These improvements are not expected to change the current use of this popular trail segment that threads through so many urban amenities.”
You can read more about the proposed changes here: http://bit.ly/112WB7q
It’s been a year now since my first MORC Weather Blog post. Writing these weekly weather updates continues to be a great hobby of mine. The response has been overwhelmingly positive within the cycling community as many riders depend on the weather forecast to plan out their rides.
I’ve expanded upon this idea in my latest venture, 2WheelWeather. Whether it be a leisurely Saturday afternoon group ride or a competitive long distance endurance race, 2WheelWeather will take the guess work out of the cycling weather.
2WheelWeather puts a strong emphasis on getting the cyclists involved in sharing a cycling experience impacted by weather, cycling photos and videos, or the micro-climates that make their local trails special. 2WheelWeather will be an interactive, national cycling community about weather and it’s impacts on cycling.
2WheelWeather also provides accurate, highly detailed and hyperlocal weather forecasts for events and races. Contact Ride@2wheelweather.com for your CycleCast!