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Wet April Helping to Ease Drought (A Drought Vaccination)

 Wet April Helping to Ease Drought (A Drought Vaccination):

Over 40 Minnesota climate stations have set or tied daily precipitation records so far this month. Portions of Stearns, Grant, St Louis, Douglas, Swift, and Big Stone Counties have received over 4 inches of precipitation through the first half of April, and a couple of climate stations have reported over 5 inches. The unlikely dry spot in the state is Preston (Fillmore County) with only 0.26 inches.

Earlier this week over April 13-14 some parts of central and northern Minnesota saw snow. Some climate stations reported 2-3 inches, while Brainerd reported 4.1 inches.

All of the rainfall so far this month has helped to shrink the area of Minnesota landscape that is designated to be in moderate to severe drought (mostly far western and northern counties). Just over the past week this area declined by two-thirds thanks to some surplus rains (over 1.5 inches in many areas). The abundant rainfall is working as a drought vaccination as most of the precipitation that falls has been going into the soil. Further the NOAA Climate Prediction Center outlooks suggest that they drought areas in Minnesota will continue to shrink in size this spring. We’ll see. You can read a fuller assessment of the precipitation for April at the State Climatology Office web site.

Virtual Presentation for the Rosenmeier Center (Brainerd) on April 19th

To begin the week of Earth Day (April 22) next week, Paul Douglas and I will be doing a virtual presentation for the Rosenmeier Center (affiliated with Central Lakes College in Brainerd) at 7pm on Monday, April 19th . The evening presentation is titled “The Climate Conundrum: Threats and Opportunities for Minnesota's North Woods.” We will be talking about the clear evidence for climate change and how it is impacting our lives in Minnesota. The virtual forum, which is free, will be conducted from 7 pm to 8:30 pm on April 19. To attend the forum please use the information below: Those participating in the event will have the opportunity to email questions to the speakers.

Audience information:
When: Apr 19, 2021 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Rosenmeier Forum Webinar on The Climate Conundrum

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

Or One tap mobile :
US: +13017158592,,93834542370# or +13126266799,,93834542370#
Or Telephone:
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 929 205 6099 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 669 900 6833

Webinar ID: 938 3454 2370
International numbers available:

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

This week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin features an interesting article about how extreme rainfall distribution and intensity are being modified by climate change. “Precipitation data and high-resolution modeling suggest that extreme rainfall events under a changing climate will be shorter, more intense, and more widely spread out.”

Typhoon Surigae in the Western Pacific Ocean was producing winds over 100 mph and sea wave heights of 25-30 feet this week. It is expected to grow stronger but to remain mostly out to sea over the next several days.

A recent paper in Nature Geoscience suggests that the loss of Arctic Sea Ice (notably in the Barents Sea) brought by climate change has increased evaporation at high latitudes and that this has increased atmospheric moisture over the midlatitudes of Europe. “Analysis directly links Arctic sea-ice loss with increased evaporation and extreme snowfall, and signifies that by 2080, an Atlantified ice-free Barents Sea will be a major source of winter moisture for continental Europe.”

MPR listener question:

Here in Stearns County we have already received over 4 inches of precipitation this month. Some of us were wondering what is the most precipitation ever received in the month of April?


Probably the wettest April in state history was in 1896 when over half of the days of the month brought rain. Lynd (Lyon County) reported 11.93 inches for the month, while New London (Kandiyohi County) reported 10.30 inches. Many other areas reported 6 to 9 inches of rainfall that month. In Stearns County, Collegeville reported 8.16 inches and Sauk Center reported 8.00 inches.

Twin Cities Almanac for April 16th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 58 degrees F (plus or minus 12 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 38 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for April 16th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 88 degrees F in 1964; lowest daily maximum temperature of 20 degrees F in 1875; lowest daily minimum temperature of 10 degrees F in 1875; highest daily minimum temperature of 65 degrees F in 1976; record precipitation of 1.04 inches in 2003. Record snowfall is 5.0 inches in 1961.

Average dew point for April 16th is 32°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 63°F in 2002; and the minimum dew point on this date is 8 degrees F in 1953.

All-time state records for April 16th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 93 degrees F at Fairmont (Martin County) in 2002. The state record low temperature for this date is 0 degrees F at Gunflint Lake (Cook County) in 1983. The state record precipitation for this date is 3.40 inches at Pipestone (Pipestone County) in 2003. Record snowfall is 13.0 inches at Itasca State Park (Clearwater County) in 1945.

Past Weather Features:

A late season winter storm brought a mixture of precipitation to Minnesota over April 16, 1945. Many parts of eastern and southern Minnesota received over an inch of rain, mixed with sleet. Western and northern Minnesota received 6 to 10 inches of heavy, wet snowfall.

Winter-like temperatures prevailed over April 16, 1983. Many parts of the state saw morning lows in the teens and twenties, while in the north temperatures were in the single digits. Gunflint Lake (Cook County) reported a morning low of zero degrees F.

April 16, 2002 was the warmest in state history. Most areas of the state measured afternoon temperatures from 75°F to 85°F. Over 15 communities in southern Minnesota saw the mercury rise to 90°F or greater.


Mostly sunny weekend coming up with temperatures slightly cooler than normal. Clouding up late Sunday and Monday with a chance for rain and snow showers. Much cooler temperatures for Monday through Wednesday next week, then warming up again for Thursday and Friday.

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