April showers bring May ... snows?
WORTHINGTON -- No, it was not a bad dream. It really did snow on the first of May.
Residents of southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa, just three days removed from temperature readings of 70-plus degrees, had their winter coats and gloves out once again Wednesday, clearing snow from their vehicles and shoveling sidewalks. While precipitation in Worthington quickly turned to slush upon hitting city streets, as much as 4 inches of snow was recorded in locales such as Lismore and George, Iowa, the National Weather Service (NWS) said mid-Wednesday afternoon.
While there had been snow in the forecast, it came earlier Wednesday than anticipated.
"The temperature dropped quickly," NWS Meterologist Mike Fuhs said. "It had been warm, and the air also was pretty dry, but the temperature cooled down a lot -- probably four or five degrees more than expected -- and we just went over to snow instead of rain pretty quickly early in the morning."
A winter weather advisory originally set to expire at 4 a.m. today was extended Wednesday afternoon to mid-morning today, Fuhs said.
"This system is not in an itching hurry to get out of here," Fuhs explained. "There's a constant moisture feed coming up from central Kansas, and it's continuing to stay over the same sections of southwest Minnesota. What I am concerned about is the sun's intensity. As we know, the sun is really strong this time of year."
In other words, if area residents wake up to more measurable snowfall this morning, the lack of sun on Wednesday will be to blame.
"Once we lose our insulation, the ground will cool off some and the precipitation will likely have no trouble being all snow," Fuhs said. "Temperatures will likely hover around 32 or 33 degrees."
Still, Thursday highs in Worthington and Windom are expected to reach in the neighborhood of 43 degrees, which given the sun's power should assist in snow melt.
As for the forecast for Friday through Sunday, a high of between 45 and 50 is expected for both Friday and Saturday; a chance of rain exists Saturday, and Fuhs at this point isn't expecting snow. Temperatures may climb into the mid-50s on Sunday.
Daily Globe Managing Editor Ryan McGaughey may be reached at 376-7320.