Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By CBS 3 Meteorologist Dave Anderson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Weather "May" be fair for fishing opener


In reality, Minnesota is the land of 11,842 lakes rather than merely 10,000. And, those lakes are festooned and pontooned by 813,976 registered boats. Only Florida has more than we do.

This time of year, the minds of many Minnesotans are on ice out because fishing opener is looming. There's good reason to worry because in the last 6 years, two fishing openers were hampered by lingering ice.

The thought of boats tangling with drifting ice is good reason for us Minnesotans to sharpen up on our boating skills. That's what National Safe Boating Week 2019 will focus on between May 18th and 24th.

NSBW was developed during the Eisenhower Administration to help reduce accidents on the water. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, of which I've been a member for 20 years now, is one of the leading agencies involved in spreading the safety word.

Statistics show that boating fatalities go way down when boaters wear life jackets at all times and go down even further if boat skippers have taken a safety course like those offered by the Auxiliary or the U.S. Power Squadron.

Information about safe boating can be found at or The latter website also offers the free USCG Mobile App to cell phone users. The app has boating safety tips and links to weather forecasts which are imperative to check before heading out on the water.

So, what are we expecting weather-wise here in May? Will we achieve ice out in time for the opener? Will National Safe Boating Week 2019 have fair weather or foul? Well, the long range forecast indicates an extra inch of rain on top of the three or so that normally fall. Temperature-wise, we will go back to the cooler than normal regime that has dominated much of 2019. January was 2.6 degrees below normal mean, February was 4.5 degrees cooler than normal mean, and January was 2.6 degrees cooler than normal mean temperature. Preliminary data for April indicates that month was 1.3 degrees warmer than normal. It will not last because May is expected to be two degrees cooler than normal mean temp.

The plan for May includes the following trends: the 1st to the 8th will be rainy and cool, the 9th to 13th will be sunny, warm and stormy, the 14th to 20th will be sunny and cool, the 21st to 26th will be showery and cool, and the 27th to 31st will be warm and stormy.

The long term trends look like this: summer will be cooler than normal with the warmest time in late June, late July, and early August. September and October will have near normal temperatures.

To wrap up this month, I think most lakes will indeed be open by the skin of their icy teeth just in time for opener. And National Safe Boating week will have fair but cool weather so bundle up in your boat and please plan to make a life jacket part of that bundle.


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