Skip to main content

Commentary produced April 25, 2014

  • Spring field work stopped
  • Soil temperature update
  • Weekly weather potpourri
  • MPR listener question
  • Almanac for April 25th
  • Past weather
  • Outlook

Spring field work stopped

Just as the Minnesota agricultural landscape had finally thawed and dried enough to permit field work earlier this week, a large storm system brought widespread precipitation to the state over April 23-25, stopping any significant progress in field work by farmers. Widespread amounts ranging from 0.50 inches to 1.30 inches occurred around the state, falling mostly as rain. Several observers did report over 1 inch of rainfall with little runoff, so that much of the moisture was obviously going into the soil. Some northern observers did record snowfall as well, and in some cases it was record-setting. Those reporting daily record snowfall amounts included: Silver Bay 7.5", Tofte 10.2", Grand Portage 10.0", Kabetogama 4.1", Cook 6.0", Embarrass and Isabella with4.0", Duluth 4.3", and International Falls 2.8 inches. The Duluth Weather Service Office now reports a snow season total of 129.6 inches, ranking 3rd most in history, while International Falls now reports 100.6 inches for the season, ranking 5th most historically.

Soil temperature update

Soil temperature have been moderating this week ranging from the mid 40s F to mid 50s F at the 4 inch depth, except for some far northern locations which have seen average soil temperatures in the mid 30s F. A number of observers report a frost layer between 20 and 30 inches which is the last remnant of deep ground frost from this long, cold winter. Surface mulches should be removed by now so the soil can take in more spring moisture and also warm up more directly from the higher spring sun angles. With the threat of frost seen for the early to middle parts of next week, it is wise to hold off on transplanting any potted plants from the indoors to outdoors until after next week.

Weekly weather potpourri

The Canada-based Climate Solutions Centre has released a series of short educational documentaries related to climate change and addressing its consequences. These are intended for educational use and to provoke discussion in the classroom or among community groups. You can view the series at...

A paper published this week in the journal Nature describes the decline of the tropical rain forest in the Congo. Using NASA satellite image data to assess greenness over this area of Africa, researchers from Albany State University in NY show the decline is related to persistent drought over the area. Authors note that continued drought will lead to a change in forest composition and biodiversity in this area of Africa. You can read more at...

Northwestern portions of China were plagued by sand storms this week which closed schools and caused widespread power outages. Persistent strong winds (55-65 mph) lifted sands out of the Gobi Desert and carried them over China in waves of sand clouds. You can see and hear more about this story from the BBC Weather Centre at...

Persistent drought in Brazil has resulted in higher prices for coffee beans. Production estimates have been lowered for the coffee crop and since Brazil supplies a large fraction of beans to the USA and other countries, the price has risen recently to a two-year high. You can read more about this at...

The cooler than normal April temperatures have extended the ice fishing season in northern Minnesota, notably on Lake Bemidji, Lake of the Woods, and Rainy Lake. Anglers are advised to check with local resorts and sport shops about ice safety before going out, as the ice is deteriorating with each passing day. Fishing is reported to be good in most places up north.

MPR listener question

"Following last week's snow I noticed my car was covered with a light brown coating of dirt. I noticed a number of other cars showing the same thing. Did this dirt arrive with the snow and where did it come from?"

Answer: Yes, I think the dirt (soil) did arrive with the snow, especially because a number of MPR listeners reported the same observation, including a glass greenhouse that got covered with brown spots after the snow melted. The low pressure system which brought the snowfall to Minnesota last week over April 16-17 came out of eastern Colorado and moved ENE across the Great Lakes region. In doing so there was strong low level flow (850 mb or about 5000 ft) from the southwestern USA. Examining the upper air patterns last week can allow me to back track source regions for this soil carried by the air, and it appears that NM and west TX had been reporting dust storms earlier this month. So some of this dirt in the snow may have come from those areas of the country. In addition farmers in the states of CO, TX, OK, and KS were busy with tillage and planting last week, and strong surface winds may have caused some soil to be airborne. In CO they were planting spring barley and spring wheat last week, in KS and OK they were planting corn, sorghum, and soybeans, and in TX farmers were planting similar crops plus cotton. Soil from all of these states is lighter in color and could therefore leave a light brown stain or residue after snow melt. I think this is the most logical conclusion to draw about observations in our state of "dirty snow."

Twin Cities Almanac for April 25th

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 61 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 41 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for April 25th

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 91 degrees F in 1962; lowest daily maximum temperature of 37 degrees F in 1950; lowest daily minimum temperature is 25 degrees F in 1907; highest daily minimum temperature of 66 F in 1915 and 1990; record precipitation of 1.47 inches in 1902; and a record 3.2 inches of snow fell on this date in 1950.

Average dew point for April 25th is 36 degrees F, with a maximum of 63 degrees F in 1990 and a minimum of 9 degrees F in 1933.

All-time state records for April 25th

The state record high temperature for this date is 96 degrees F at Madison (Lac Qui Parle County) in 1962. The state record low temperature for this date is 5 degrees F at Leech Lake (Cass County) in 1909. State record precipitation for this date is 3.55 inches at Hokah (Houston County) in 1994; and state record snowfall for this date is 16.0 inches at Two Harbors (Lake County) in 1950.

 Past weather features

The coldest April 25th in history occurred in 1909 when freezing temperatures prevailed across all parts of the state. Many areas saw low temperatures dip into the teens F, while Detroit Lakes reported a low of just 9 degrees F and it was only 5 degrees F at Leech lake. The temperature at Leech Lake climbed to 64 degrees F the next day, but it was short-lived. The thermometer remained below freezing all day at Kelliher (Beltrami County) achieving an afternoon high of just 30 degrees F. Widespread snow kept temperatures cooler than normal most of the month, with April of 1909 being the 5th coldest in state history.

April 24-26, 1950 brought a late winter snow storm to northern counties, dropping over a foot of snow in many places and causing some school closures. April of 1950 was one of the snowiest in history for many northern Minnesota communities.

The warmest ever April 25th occurred in 1962 when over 25 Minnesota communities reported a daytime high temperature of 90 degrees F or greater. It was 88 degrees F as far north as Itasca State Park. The warm spell ended on April 27th when temperatures fell off into the 50s and 60s F.


Sunny and breezy on Saturday, with near normal temperatures in most places. Increasing cloudiness on Saturday night and continued windy with periods of showers on Sunday. Chance for snow in the northeastern counties. Breezy conditions will also prevail early next week with daily chances for showers and thunderstorms. Temperatures will run cooler than normal most of the week, with some overnight lows in the 30s F in the south, and perhaps more snow showers in the north.

Further information

For older versions of the "Minnesota WeatherTalk" newsletter go to

For access to other information resources go to
NOTE: News releases were current as of the date of issue. If you have a question on older releases, use the news release search (upper left-hand column of the News main page) or the main Extension search (upper right of this page) to locate more recent information.

Print Friendly and PDF