Brainerd lakes area residents may want to close their eyes when they look out their windows Thursday morning, May 9, or they may see something white.
That's right folks, there is snow in the forecast as the second week of May has begun.
Lead Meteorologist Jonathan Wolfe with the National Weather Service in Duluth said he did not think he would be talking about snow in the forecast in May, but here we are. The Brainerd area is expected to see a trace to an inch of snow Thursday morning. However, Wolfe said the amount of snowfall could change depending on the temperature of the surface air and if it is colder than the ground temperature than the potential for more snow is possible-to several inches.
But don't panic. No matter how much snow falls, the temperatures Thursday through the end of the week are expected to be in the 50s and next week, Wolfe said will be in the mid 60s to lower 70s-so it will melt fast if it doesn't melt instantly.
So here is the lowdown on the rain, snow mix. The lakes area is forecast for a 90% chance of rain beginning Wednesday, with a high near 46. It is expected to get windy, with an east wind of 5-15 mph, and gusts as high as 25 mph. Then going into Wednesday night, it may rain before 1 a.m. and then the rain could change to snow during the overnight, with a slight chance of rain and snow before 8 a.m. Thursday. It may rain throughout the morning, ending about 1 p.m., according to the forecast. Thursday's high should be near 52 and the winds are expected to continue to be strong. During the day Thursday, the chance of precipitation goes down to 20%.
"We will monitor this system, but there is a lot of uncertainty," Wolfe said, noting variables of ground and air temperatures. "It all depends on how it falls and what the temperatures will be on if it will fall as rain or snow. If the temperatures are a degree colder we will see snow, but if it's on the warm side it could be cold rain."
The heaviest snow is expected to fall along the North Shore of Lake Superior.
Friday should be sunny with a high near 59 degrees and then Saturday there is a chance of showers with thunderstorms possible after 1 p.m. Anglers on Saturday-the fishing opener-are expected to have a high near 58 degrees and on Sunday, Mother's Day, the high may near 62.
Minor flooding will continue along the Mississippi River near Aitkin to areas downstream due to continued elevated flow in the river. The Mississippi River is expected to slowly fall to below minor flood stage during the next 18 to 24 hours. Flood stage is 13 feet, which is where the water was reported to be at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.
The NWS reports its normal temperatures for Brainerd for the month of May is 56 degrees, with the normal high of 67.6 degrees and the normal low of 44.4 degrees.
The normal monthly precipitation for May is 3.37 inches and it has the normal monthly snowfall at zero inches. The last time Brainerd had snow in May was two years ago in 2017, with 1 inch.
The highest observed temperature in May in Brainerd was 101 degrees on May 31, 1934, with the lowest observed temperature dropping to 16 degrees on May 3-4, 1967.