From Snow to 70s

Snowy scene outside Glam Dolls-Nicollet Ave MPLS

I bet the weather gods are laughing at us right now. 20 inches of snow outside Duluth…top ten April snowfall for the Twin Cities…record low high temperatures. Remind me, what month is it again? Certainly a character-building month for those participating in the 30 Days of Biking.

Snowfall amounts varied greatly, from just 2.5″ in St. Paul to a whopping 10″ in Minneapolis. A solid 20″+ accumulated across portions of the Iron Range. This large difference over such a small distance can often drive a meteorologist mad. Forecasting those micro-scale precipitation gradients can be extremely challenging.

Turns out that April 2 is the average last date for 1 inch of snow cover in the Twin Cities. Snow in late April is actually quite rare. Since recordkeeping began in 1883, only 35 days recorded 1 inch of snow after April 14. Crazy. The highest daily snowfall after April 14 was 8.5” on 4/27/1907 and 4/20/1893 per National Weather Service Twin Cities records.


Cool and wet conditions will continue through early next week. Hang in there, warmer air moves in later next week. In fact, the 16-Day Temperature Outlook hints at 70s by May 1.

The warm-up may not come soon enough. See, we have yet to reach of high of 60 degrees this year. The record latest date of 60 degrees in the Twin Cities is April 29, 1874. That record might be in jeopardy.


Saturday: Partly cloudy. Record low high is 36. H: 40 Wind: N 2-4

 Saturday Night: Cloudy, rain/snow mix late. L: 33 Wind: SE 7-11

Sunday: Morning mix, afternoon rain. Less than 0.50” H: 50 L: 41 Wind: SSE 9-11

Monday: Rain/snow mix. Little to no snow accumulation. H: 45 L: 30 Wind: N 7-11

Tuesday: Light snow showers, mixing with rain at times. H: 46 L: 33 Wind: NW 4-9

Wednesday: Warmer, mostly sunny. H: 50 L: 38 Wind: SW 5-10

Another Slop Storm

Snowstuck in Monticello. Photo: Jeff Young

There are a lot of adjectives being used to describe this spring: dismal, finicky, sluggish. I even asked my boss today how his weekend was and he responded somberly, “depressing”. Meteorologists in the Midwest are calling last Sunday’s weather the worst of the entire 2012-2013 cold season. Everybody is bitter.

Now before you start packing the bikes for warmer destinations know that we will climb out of this wintry misery soon enough. Temps in the 50s are back by the weekend…a heat wave by current standards. To get to the warmer weather, however, we have to endure yet another sloppy storm late this week.


Tuesday: Partly cloudy: H: 49 Wind: NW 4-7

Tuesday Night: Becoming cloudy. L: 33 Wind: NE 4-7

Wednesday: Morning drizzle, steadier PM rain. H: 46 L: 34 Wind: NE 10-15

Thursday: AM freezing rain, afternoon rain/snow mix. Evening snow. H: 43 L: 30 Wind: NNW 10-15

Friday: Light snow showers. Little to no accumulation. H: 41 L: 29 Wind: NNW 10-15

Saturday: Sunnier and warmer. H: 49 L: 39 Wind: SE 2-4

Sunday: Rain. Mostly cloudy. Accumulations near 0.50″ H: 55 L: 40 Wind: SE 5-10

Cold Perspective

John Kappler, a retired mathematician with a knack for data sets, crunched some numbers and put our cool Spring into perspective. It’s a cold reality but we’ve only had 3 days in the 50′s this year. Our highest temperature so far has been 56 degrees. Records show (since 1890) that we get an average of 8 days over 56 degrees by now. Heck, normally we hit 70 degrees by now!

Kappler calculated that if we don’t hit 60 within the next 11 days, it will be the record for the longest we’ve gone into the year without hitting 60 degrees. Luckily, 60′s (closer to normal temps) may show their face the last full week of April.

Turns out that we’re the anomaly this early spring. Many cities are experiencing a normal or slightly warmer than normal season so far. Notice in the above map the small area of the county shaded blue and purple. This is where temperatures have been trending cooler than average. The rest of the country is above or near normal.

Continued Clouds and Cold

Slushy snow commute in Duluth. Instagram: umdsustain

What a lovely winter we’re having this spring. February 12 or April 12? It’s hard to tell. Rain, freezing rain, sleet, snow, thundersnow, and high winds all impacted the state this week. The wide array of weather was quite the test for those participating in 30 Days of Biking.

A solid 13″ of snow did verify in Redwood Falls and Ortonville (new statewide record for April 11). Check out other snow totals here. Freezing rain & sleet brought southwestern MN close to 1 inch of ice. This paralyzed the town of Worthington.


As one winter storm ends, another one begins. Not cool April! Not cool.

While the precipitation Sunday morning may briefly fall as freezing rain/snow, a storm track to the north of the Twin Cities means mainly rain during the afternoon. Thus continues the never ending slop-fest of Spring 2013. Oh, and the normal high temperature this time of year is 58 degrees, we will stay below that number all week.

Saturday: Cloudy morning, partly sunny afternoon. H: 42 Wind: NW 2-9

Saturday Night: Light freezing rain/snow after midnight. L: 31 Wind: E 4-13

Sunday: Afternoon rain, ending as light snow overnight. H: 42 L: 33 Wind: E 10-20

Monday: Mostly cloudy, light drizzle. H: 45 L: 30 Wind: W 15-20

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy. H: 46 L: 31 Wind: NW 7-9

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy, light showers. H: 46 L: 30 Wind: N 5-7

The music video below is an oldie but a goodie. I rediscovered the song when I stumbled upon the (Minnesotans for Global Warming) website. We sure could use a little global warming right about now!

Aurora Alert

A solar flare coincided with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection on Thursday, April 11 and may help to kick up the northern lights this weekend. Sky watchers be on high alert! You can check out the aurora forecast here.