HydroClim Minnesota - March 2005

A monthly electronic newsletter summarizing Minnesota climate conditions and the resulting impact on water resources.

Distributed on the Wednesday following the first Monday of each month.

State Climatology Office - DNR Waters

compiled 3/9/05


- February 2005 monthly precipitation totals were near to somewhat below average across the northern two thirds of Minnesota. Many communities in the southern one third of Minnesota reported above average February precipitation.
(see: http://climate.umn.edu/cawap/monsum/monsum.asp )
- a mid-February storm brought a mixture rain and snow to southern Minnesota, and snow to the north. Two to six inches of snow fell across the state. Some southern Minnesota communities reported around three quarters of an inch of liquid with this event, setting new daily precipitation records for February 13.
- February 2005 monthly mean temperatures were quite warm throughout Minnesota, finishing three to seven degrees above the historical average. Many southern Minnesota communities did not report a below-zero temperature in February. This is a relatively rare (one year in ten) occurrence in these places. The temperature extremes for February ranged from 68 degrees at Lamberton (Redwood county) on the 4th, to -36 degrees at Embarrass (St. Louis county) on the 18th. Many high temperatures records were set on February 3, 4, 5, and 12 across Minnesota.
(see: http://climate.umn.edu/cawap/monsum/monsum.asp )


- as of March 9, snow depths of one foot or more are reported across much of the northern one third of Minnesota. Two or more feet of snow in on the ground in portions of St. Louis county, and all of Lake and Cook counties. In the southern one half of the state, snow cover is sparse or nonexistent due to very warm temperatures during the first weekend of March.
(see: http://climate.umn.edu/doc/snowmap.htm , http://mrcc.sws.uiuc.edu/CurClim/snowdthisdy.jpg )
- as of early March, the state's snow pack contains water equivalent values that range from near zero in the snow-sparse areas of southern Minnesota, to around three inches in the far north. Some four to six inch snow water equivalent values are reported in portions of northeastern Minnesota. 
(see: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ncrfc/snowmaps/MSR_snow17_2005030912Z.png )
- as of March 1, the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) - U. S. Drought Monitor indicated that some counties in the southern two-thirds of Minnesota fall in the "D0 - Abnormally Dry" category. The NDMC index is a blend of science and subjectivity where intensity categories are based on six key indicators and numerous supplementary indicators.
(see: http://www.drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html )
- in those areas of northeastern and north central Minnesota with adequate snow cover before the mid-January cold snap, soil frost depths under sod are around 12 inches. Elsewhere around the state, soil frost depths under sod range from 24 to 36 inches. On average, all layers of the soil profile are thawed by late March to early April in the south, early April to mid-April in the north.
(see: http://climate.umn.edu/doc/observatory.htm , http://www.mvp-wc.usace.army.mil/projects/reservoirs.shtml )


- the March precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center indicates no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities across Minnesota. Normal March precipitation ranges from near three quarters of an inch in northwestern Minnesota to nearly 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 normal precipitation is 50 percent higher than February normal precipitation, the greatest percentage increase between any two successive months.
(see: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/30day , http://climate.umn.edu/img/normals/precip/precip_norm_03.htm )
- the March temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center indicates a tilt towards above normal conditions in northwestern Minnesota. Elsewhere, no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities are indicated. Normal March high temperatures climb from the upper 20's early in the month to the low to mid-40's 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 20's in the north, near 30 in the south. 
(see: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/30day , http://climate.umn.edu/img/normals/temp_norm_adj/temp_norm_adj_03.htm )
- the 90-day precipitation outlook for March through May indicates no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities across Minnesota. The March through May temperature outlook also shows no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities across the state.
(see: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/90day/lead01/index.html )
- 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 are part of the National Weather Service's Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS).
(see: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ncrfc/ahps/ESPMAPS )


- none 


- none


- March 17, Climate Prediction Center releases 30/90 day temperature and precipitation outlooks


http://climate.umn.edu - Minnesota Climatology Working Group
http://mrcc.sws.uiuc.edu - Midwest Regional Climate Center
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ncrfc/ - National Weather Service, North Central River Forecast Center
http://www.drought.unl.edu/ - National Drought Mitigation Center
http://www.mvp-wc.usace.army.mil/projects/reservoirs.shtml - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov - Climate Prediction Center
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ahps - National Weather Service, Central Region Headquarters


- none

To subscribe or unsubscribe to "HydroClim" please notify:
gspoden@umn.edu or greg.spoden@dnr.state.mn.us

Contributions of information and suggestions are welcome!