Paul Douglas: Weather for the fishing opener and Mother's Day will be cold!

Two words if you hit the lakes. Layer. Up.

Paul Douglas
May 07, 2020 - 11:28 am
Saturday AM Lows

(Map courtesy of Praedictix)

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"The fishing was good. The catching? Not so much."

I fear the only thing I'll be catching Saturday morning is a cold. Or a mild case of frostbite. Look, we've had Fishing Openers with snow flurries, so anything can happen. That said, this will be one of the cooler openers in recent memory with temperatures a good 20 degrees below average.

And no, this doesn't mean the entire summer will be cooler than average. We've had a pretty nice spring, all things considered. Cool relapses are common in April and May and this year the timing was lousy. I'm just the messenger.

It's a big few days with not just fishing, but Mother's Day, when Minnesotans fully expect to be outdoors (pandemic or no pandemic).  Here's what to expect.  

Freeze Warning Thursday Night. The combination of clear skies and light winds may allow temperatures to fall below freezing for a few hours in a row, especially outside the immediate Twin Cities metro. Cover up tender plants or bring them indoors, if possible.

freeze warning
(Map courtesy of Praedictix)

Hours Below Freezing Tonight. I'm sure enjoying May. At least it won't snow, but the mercury may dip below 32F for as much as 10 hours north of a rough line from Duluth to Bemidji. Great fun.

Hours Below Freezing Map
(Map courtesy of Praedictix)

MSP Meteogram. ECMWF (European) model data courtesy of Windy.com shows the best chance of showers in the metro late Saturday into Sunday morning.

Wind Graphic
(Map courtesy of Praedictix)

The weekend won't be a total wash-out, but an approaching Alberta Clipper will push showery rains across western and central Minnesota Saturday, reaching MSP late afternoon into the nighttime hours. The good news for anglers: Saturday morning should be dry with increasing clouds, a falling barometer and fairly light winds (not much of a "walleye chop" to speak of). That may favor fish activity, but as always, your results may vary. Good luck out there.

Average Wind Speeds Friday Night Into Early Saturday. Winds out ahead of this next Alberta Clipper will be fairly light at sunrise Saturday, meaning very little chop on our favorite lake - but greater odds of more frost.

Saturday AM Wind Speeds
(Map courtesy of Praedictix)

Chilled Fish. Check out the predicted wake-up temperatures Saturday morning, generally in the 20s for most of central and northern Minnesota. Jacket-worthy for sure.

Saturday AM Lows
(Map courtesy of Praedictix)

Daytime Highs on Saturday. Sweatshirts and jackets will get a good workout Saturday, with showers overspreading much of Minnesota from northwest to southeast as the day goes on. Expect highs in the low to mid 50s, well below average for mid-May.

Saturday Highs
(Map courtesy of Praedictix)

Rainfall Potential by Saturday Evening. The next (ill-timed) Alberta Clipper will spread rain showers over much of western, central and southeastern Minnesota, but lakes over far northern Minnesota and the Arrowhead may escape most of the shower activity this weekend.

Rainfall Map
(Map courtesy of Praedictix)

With All Due Apologies. Most of us won't see snow, but it's not out of the question that a few wet snowflakes may mix in with the rain showers Saturday morning or midday, especially over central Minnesota and the Red River Valley. Just to keep things interesting...

Snowfall Map
(Map courtesy of Praedictix)

A Drier Outlook for Mom. Mother's Day will see cooler, drier exhaust on the backside of the clipper, with peeks of sun and temperatures stuck in the 40s for highs across much of Minnesota. No humidity, wild storms or tornadoes to worry about anytime soon. Work with me here - I'm trying to find a silver lining.

Sunday Highs
(Map courtesy of Praedictix)

Keep Hope Alive. This cool correction will eventually come to an end. In fact a cool start early next week gives way to moderating temperatures looking out the next 2 weeks, with fairly consistent 70s within 10 days or so. A higher sun angle will inevitably heat things up, but it's safe to say that summer is in no great hurry this year. GFS model below courtesy of NOAA and WeatherBell.

Long range Forecast
(Map courtesy of Praedictix)

A frost/freeze risk lingers early Friday and again early Saturday. Most of Minnesota will see a chilly but dry start to the Fishing Opener first thing Saturday - the chance of rain showers increasing Saturday afternoon and night. Mother's Day will be cool, but right now it looks dry with a few peeks of sunshine. I know, typical weather for late October. But it's Minnesota, where the weather-legends are as big as the fish (you didn't actually haul into your boat).

No heat exhaustion or mad scrambles to shore as strong thunderstorms move in - not this year. Pack for the weather and you'll be just fine. I'm reminded of the immortal quote: "No such thing as bad weather - just inappropriate clothing choices". Be careful out there and best of luck!

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