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Near record warmth, followed by widespread, welcome rains

Near record warmth, followed by widespread, welcome rains: Last weekend was by far the best weather of the year so far, with warm temperatures, bright, sunny skies, and comfortable humidity. Temperatures rose above forecasted highs on Saturday (April 13), and though a few degrees cooler on Sunday, temperatures remained quite comfortable for outdoor activities. A few long-term climate stations reported new record daily high temperatures over the weekend. Some of these included: 89°F at Canby (Yellow Medicine County) 88°F at Milan (Chippewa County) 87°F at Winnebago (Faribault County) 85°F at Litchfield (Meeker County) 83°F at Wheaton (Traverse County) 76°F at Cass Lake (Cass County) Following the warm weekend, a large area of low pressure brought showers and thunderstorms to most of the state over Tuesday and Wednesday, providing good, soaking rains to many areas that needed it. Rainfall amounts in the north were generally less than an inch, but many observers in central and southe
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Rain and warmth prevail this week

Rain and warmth prevail this week: A dose of welcome rain came this week or April 7-8. It was nearly ideal, as the rainfall rates closely matched the infiltration rates of most Minnesota soils, so that the soils absorbed nearly all of the moisture. Total rainfall was generally less than an inch in many northern areas, but elsewhere many observers reported over 1 inch of rainfall. A few places reported between 1.25 and 1.50 inches. Milaca (Mille Lacs County) in central Minnesota reported a new daily record rainfall of 1.23 inches on April 8th. Despite these beneficial rains, the state drought status remained about the same this week, with about 44 percent of the state landscape in either Moderate or Severe Drought (most of the counties are in north-central, extreme northwest, or southeast sections of the state). With soils drying out and warming up, farmers are expected to begin planting crops full throttle sometime next week, unless interrupted by the rains coming on Tuesday. Fol

April starts out windy, with snow for some

April starts out windy, with snow for some: A strong winter storm grazed southeastern Minnesota over April 2-3 earlier this week, bringing 1 to 3 inches of snow across parts of seven counties. Caledonia (Houston County) reported a record 3.7 inches, while Grand Meadow (Mower County) reported a record 2.5 inches. Another observer in southern Houston County reported 7.5 inches. Some of the heaviest loads of snow from this storm were recorded in Wisconsin. On April 2nd, several climate stations reported record daily snowfalls, including: 5.1 inches at Green Bay 7.1 inches at Rhinelander 11.8 inches at La Crosse And for April 3rd some record daily snowfall amounts included 7.8 inches at Appleton 9.0 inches at Arlington (north of Madison, WI) 9.0 inches at La Farge 5.8 inches at Oshkosh Marquette, MI in the Upper Peninsula reported 14 inches of snowfall from this storm on April 3rd which was a new daily record there as well. April is also living up to its reputation as the windiest mont

Preliminary Climate Summary for March

Preliminary Climate Summary for March: What a month! Completely different weather patterns prevailed for the first half versus the second half of the month. Warm and dry the first half, followed by cool and wet the second half. Overall, most climate stations will report a mean monthly temperature that ranges from 2°F to 5°F above normal. Extremes for the month were 78°F at Theilman (Wabasha County) on the 4th to -20°F at Baudette (Lake of the Woods County) on March 1st (the coldest day of the month). During the first half of the month temperatures average 10°F to 14°F above normal, while 196 daily maximum temperature records were set or tied, along with 34 warm daily minimum temperature records within the state climate network. Many climate stations reported daytime highs from the upper 50s to low 70s F and there were reports of many ice-out dates on area lakes. Conversely, during the second half of March temperatures averaged 5°F to 8°F colder than normal, though no new daily col

March delivers two distinct patterns of weather

March delivers two distinct patterns of weather: With a clear and evident change in the weather expected to dominate the second half of March, we will historically describe this month having two distinct and opposite weather patterns. Through the first 16 days, warm and dry, with temperatures averaging from 12°F to 14°F above normal around the state. On a statewide basis this marks the 2nd warmest first half of March in history, trailing only 2016 by half a degree. In addition, the first half of March was exceptionally dry, with many climate observers reporting zero precipitation. The statewide average precipitation was only 0.08 inches, marking the 2nd driest first half of March in history (first half of March only delivered 0.02 inches of precipitation statewide in 1910). Conversely the second half of this March will clearly be wetter (snowy) and cooler than normal. Since the 16th many northern climate stations have reported morning low temperatures in the single digits (Baudet