* Some of the best weather of the year on tap for this week, mid 60s again Wednesday through Friday, a shot at 70 by the end of the week.
* Shower risk for Friday has diminished - most towns may not see rain until Saturday - Sunday morning (rainfall amounts should stay under .25").
* Cooling off early next week, highs hold in the 40s to near 50 Monday.
* Slow warming trend next week, but probably not as balmy as this week.
* Good news for the flood-ravaged Red River Valley. River expected to crest near 37' by Saturday, according to the NWS. That would be 2-3 feet BELOW record crest on March 28.
* NWS may issue FIRE WARNING for western Minnesota for Wednesday afternoon as winds increase. Combination of sun + tinder-dry relative humidity + strong/gusty winds will enhance the risk of brushfires until rain arrives this weekend.
* Stormier pattern shaping up for next week, and the week after that. Enjoy the quiet spell!
Tonight: Clear, cool and comfortable. Low: 37
Wednesday: Sunny & spectacular! Winds: SE 10-20. High: 65
Thursday: Sun dimmed by high clouds. High: 67
Friday: Partly sunny and mild - more like May. High: near 70
Saturday: Wettest day in sight. Periods of rain likely. High: 58
Sunday: Rain taper early, some PM clearing. High: 53
Monday: Sunshine returns, pleasant again. High: 59
Tuesday: More clouds, windy, a bit cooler. High: 55
Wednesday: Bright, cool sunshine. High: 58
Thursday: Clouds increase, unsettled, but milder. High: 68
Friday: Cooler with periods of rain. High: 54
Saturday: Brightening up with periods of sunshine. High: 55
Sunday: More rain developing. High: 51
Monday: Cool, damp and wet. More rain likely. High: near 50
Tuesday (April 28): Clearing, more seasonable again. High: near 60
(Reminder: the 15-Day Outlook is more of a trend than a forecast. Accuracy drops off very quickly after 4-5 days, especially in this kind of a fast-moving weather pattern. Use the 15-Day as a tool to see how temperatures and precipitation patterns are trending over time. Tune in often, there WILL be changes as new data and computer models arrive @ WeatherNation).
P.S. Thanks for checking out the new & improved weather column. I firmly believe there are new (and ultimately better) ways to tell the weather story, but it has to evolve into more of a conversation than a speech. that means integrating social media, interactivity, and the power to personalize maps for specific regions and towns. I hope you'll watch some of the videos on the Conservation Minnesota site, we've invested a lot of money and time to build 3 new HD weather studios in Excelsior; we're about to hire our 7th on-air meteorologist: bilingual, born in Panama with a meteorology degree from Florida State). I have been blessed with a great team of meteorologists, developers, sales gurus and assorted techs, all of them dreamers and doers...anxious to reinvent weather and make it more colorful, useful and relevant. By the way, I'm really not bitter about what happened to me a little more than a year ago. Life is too short to be spent looking back and fuming - it was the kick in the pants I needed to get serious about a few ideas I've been dreaming about in recent years. WeatherNation is one of them, the other is Singular Logic, a technology and patent company trying to personalize the advertising we all have to muddle through on a daily basis. I don't pretend to have the answer key, but we're asking a lot of questions out here on Lake Minnetonka. With your help (and participation) we'll come up with a next generation weather service, one that integrates with Twitter, Facebook and whatever comes next!