Sorry To Tell You, But The Minnesota + Wisconsin Weather Outlook Looks Cold Through May Too
It's been a weird spring. There was a stretch where it seemed like every week we'd get a round of snow, with another dip in temperatures - even if we would get a day or two taste of springtime.
A Duluth TV weather personality recently explained that the culprit behind the colder-than-average spring is La Niña, which is a "cool phase" in the warm/cold cycle of the Pacific Ocean. The other end of that cycle is El Niño, which is when Pacific waters are on the warmer end of the cycle. Those temperatures influence the weather across the US, including here in the Northland.
As we end April and head into May, things have to change...right? Not so fast.
What can we expect in the early days of May?
For a frame of reference, the average high temperature in Duluth for May 1 is 57 degrees. We haven't sniffed the upper 50s in quite a long time in the Twin Ports area, and looking at the forecast, it doesn't look too promising anytime soon.
Looking at the forecast from the National Weather Service, we'll trend warmer than we have been later this week. Temperatures in the mid-40s are expected Friday and Saturday, before a dip in the temperatures on Sunday. Next week, we'll trend "warmer" again - into the mid to upper 40s, but that's it. It doesn't look super likely that we'll see 50 anytime between now and next Friday (May 6). Even away from the lake, right around 50 looks to be the ceiling for temperatures as far south as places like Moose Lake.
That doesn't bode well for finishing off the remaining ice on Northland lakes before fishing opener.
Someone with a drone has been sharing videos to fishing groups, showing how much ice is on lakes around the region. Here's one of Woman Lake in Hackensack, between Brainerd and Walker.
That's a lot of ice yet.
While it has been warmer in southern parts of Minnesota, they are still experiencing colder than normal temperatures as well. The Twin Cities office of the National Weather Service revisited a tweet from April 1 of this year, where they declared (as an April Fool's Joke) that summer this year is cancelled.
Yesterday, the reminded all of their followers (and Mother Nature) that they were only kidding.
What about the rest of May, 2022?
Buckle in. The ride looks like it is continuing.
The Duluth office of the National Weather Service shared a graphic and some information yesterday from the Climate Prediction Center on what to expect as we head into May. In short, the forecast looks to remain below normal.
In the latest CPC outlook, all of Minnesota and Wisconsin stands a chance of seeing below normal temperatures through the month of May. Northern Minnesota and Northern Wisconsin (including the Twin Ports area) are in an area that is seeing a greater likelihood of seeing below normal temperatures through May.
As they point out, these climate forecasts are general outlooks, and don't mean we won't see warm days or strings of a few warm days together. But the overall trend looks to favor colder than average temperatures for the Northland.
Putting it all in perspective
Something to remember - As we head into May, each day's "average daytime high" goes up a bit each day. I mentioned earlier that the average daytime high on May 1 for Duluth is 57 degrees. By May 15, it's 63. By the end of May, it's 68.
That said, a forecast suggesting colder than normal temperatures just means it's likely that we'll be colder than what historical data says we normally see for the month. That doesn't necessarily mean it is going to be 25 degrees all month. It just means it looks like temperatures will trend colder than those temps I just mentioned.
I did get a chuckle about this though. In the Facebook post from the Duluth NWS Office about this climate outlook, someone joked "More snow" in the comments. The Duluth NWS responded in such a way that suggested it's possible. They explained, "Given the pattern and the trends, we might end up with 'conversational' snow in May." In essence, that just means snow that we would see, comment (or gripe) about, but not much more than that. It isn't likely we'd see major accumulations.
Despite the colder than normal temperatures, the ground continues to thaw. Whatever is left of snow and ice around the region continues to melt. That will make it harder for snow to "stick" if/when it does fall.
While it might not be as warm as we'd like, I will embrace every day this spring we don't have mosquitoes as a blessing. At least, that's what I'll use to comfort myself.