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Mixed Start to the Month of April

Mixed Start to the Month of April: The first two days of April brought mixed weather to the state. Many parts of southern and eastern Minnesota enjoyed mild, warmer than normal temperatures (commonly highs in the 60s F). But in the west and northwest (Red River Valley) a winter storm brought a mixture of significant precipitation, including rain, ice, and snow, with colder than normal temperatures. Roads were snow covered in some areas, while other areas reported ice on the roads late on Thursday afternoon and into early Friday morning. Wind Chill values dropped into the teens and single digits and travel was difficult in some areas. Snowfall amounts in the western counties ranged from 1 inch to 4 inches in many spots, with Crookston reporting 9 inches and Karlstad reporting 11 inches.
A Climate Scientist Blogs on the Coronavirus Pandemic and Our Response: Dr. Ben Santer is an esteemed climate scientist and Member of the National Academy of Science. He has lectured at the Univ…
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Preliminary Climate Summary for March

Preliminary Climate Summary for March: March will wind up as a warmer than normal month, with most climate stations reporting a mean monthly temperature from 3 to 6 degrees F above normal. Extreme temperature values for the month ranged from -30 degrees F at Cotton (St Louis County) on the 2nd to 65 degrees F at Granite Falls (Yellow Medicine County) on the 8th…although this temperature may be surpassed by high temperatures on Monday or Tuesday of next week. Minnesota reported the coldest temperature in the nation 5 times during March of 2020.

Although precipitation for the month to date has been less than normal, the forecast calls for better chances for precipitation during the last 4 days of the month, with some expected amounts over 1 inch. This may bring monthly totals closer to normal, or even push them above normal. Most climate stations are about a half inch below normal for the month as of Friday, March 27th. Some of the wetter areas of the state included portions of S…

Significant Precipitation at Mid-March

Significant Precipitation at Mid-March
For much of the southern half of Minnesota the most significant precipitation of the month occurred on Thursday (March 19) of this week. Many areas received between a half inch and an inch of rainfall, the most precipitation since the 2nd week of February. Some southern Minnesota climate stations reported over an inch of precipitation from the storm, including 1.65 inches in Albert Lea and 1.15 inches in Waseca. In some areas, winds gusted to over 30 mph as well, and even over 40 mph in western parts of the state later on Thursday night. A few areas reported less than an inch of snow from the storm. By Friday morning the drop in temperatures combined with the high winds produced Wind Chill Values from 0°F to -20°F around the state.

After a very warm start to the month, temperatures have moderated a few degrees either side of normal this week. Still, the continued loss of snow cover has progressed, especially in the southern half of Minnes…

Metering Out Snow Moisture Content

Metering Out Snow Moisture Content: Despite some mixed light precipitation across the state this week (1-3 inches of snow across SE Minnesota), the month of March continues to run warmer and drier than normal. This has been a real blessing for many areas of the state that saw a high risk of spring flooding on the horizon about a month ago. Temperatures have been averaging 5-9°F warmer than normal, and only small doses of precipitation have been recorded so far.

A month ago according to snow surveys done by the National Weather Service many areas of Minnesota showed 4 to 6 inches of water in the surface snow cover, a large quantity to discharge into our already high flowing rivers and streams as the spring thaw began. However similar surveys this week show that much of southern Minnesota now has no snow cover, and where there is snow, the water content is less than one inch. Even in northern counties, especially the Red River Valley the water content has declined significantly to…

Gentle, Lamb-Like Start to March

Gentle, Lamb-Like Start to March: With many sunny days, little precipitation and temperatures averaging 6 to 10 degrees warmer than normal, March has started as gentle as a lamb. Well over 70 percent of all climate stations in the state have reported daytime high temperatures in the 40s F so far, with a few spots around the Twin Cities and Winona reaching 50°F. Overnight low temperatures have ranged for the most part from the single digits to the 20s F meaning a high frequency of freeze/thaw cycles.

With the frequent freeze-thaw cycles and the general lack of precipitation so far this month (many areas had not reported any precipitation or only a trace for 16 consecutive days), much of the water-laden snow cover across the state has been gradually disappearing, helping to alleviate some of the high flood risk. The National Weather Service did have a number of flood warnings in place this week in western portions of the state due to the rate of melting snow, and in some cases ice …