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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 month of the year in Minnesota. Through the first four days of the month most climate stations have reported higher than normal daily wind speeds, and most have reported wind gusts of 30 mph or greater. Here is a sampling:
Rochester, four days with wind gusts of 30 mph or greater, maximum gust 59 mph
MSP, three days with wind gusts of 30 mph or greater, maximum gust 44 mph
Grand Marais, three days with wind gust of 30 mph or greater, maximum gust 45 mph
Grand Portage, three days with wind gust of 30 mph or greater, maximum gust 44 mph
Isle Royale on Lake Superior has reported three days of 30 mph wind gusts with a max of 49 mph too.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

The Weather Underground reported that according to the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts March was the warmest in history globally speaking. This marked the 10 consecutive month setting a new global monthly temperature record, a very disturbing sign for what might be in store for the year 2024.

In this week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin there is a feature article about increased variability and the impact of extreme winter weather (snowfalls) on the Sierra Nevada Range in California. This impacts the uncertainty in dealing with expected snowpack and water supplies. California State Climatologist Michael Anderson comments.

MPR listener question:

We have always been awed by some of the historical comparisons you have spoken about when it comes to weather and climate in Minnesota, especially some of the stories from the 19th Century. What are some of the oldest climate records in our state?


Believe it or not Fort Snelling climate records go back to 1819, and a few Smithsonian climate observer records go back to the 1850s. In addition, a number of Army Signal Corps climate records go back to 1871. Continuous daily climate records for some stations are well over 125 years old. Some examples:
Albert Lea (Freeborn County) 1885-present
Alexandria (Douglas County) 1886-present
Brainerd (Crow Wing County) 1887-present
Collegeville (Stearns County) 1892-present
Duluth (St Louis County) 1871-present
Faribault (Rice County) 1890-present
Crookston (Polk County) 1890-present
Milan (Chippewa County) 1893-present
MSP (Hennepin County) 1871-present
Montevideo (Lac Qui Parle Count) 1889-present
Morris (Stevens County) 1885-present
Park Rapids (Hubbard County) 1885-present
Leech Lake (Cass County) 1887-present
Redwood Falls (Redwood County) 1892-present
Rochester (Olmsted County) 1886-present
St Cloud (Stearns County) 1893-present
Spring Valley (Fillmore County) 1886-present

Without these historical data, much of Minnesota’s weather history would be unknown.

Twin Cities Almanac for April 5th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 52 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 33 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for April 5th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 85 degrees F in 2021; lowest daily maximum temperature of 29 degrees F in 1982; lowest daily minimum temperature of 12 degrees F in 1979; highest daily minimum temperature of 60 degrees F in 1921, and record precipitation of 0.91 inches in 1999. There was a record 1.5 inches of snowfall in 1964.

Average dew point for April 5th is 27°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 60°F in 1929; and the minimum dew point on this date is -2 degrees F in 1979.

All-time state records for April 5th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 88 degrees F at Madison (Lac Qui Parle County) in 1991 and at Granite Falls (Yellow Medicine County) and Redwood Falls (Redwood County) in 2021. The state record low temperature for this date is -18 degrees F at Warroad (Roseau County) in 1936. The state record precipitation for this date is 2.95 inches at Pigeon River (Cook County) in 1933. The state snowfall record is 28.0 inches also at Pigeon River (Cook County) in 1933.

Past Weather:

A late winter type of storm brought record-setting heavy snow to northern Minnesota on April 5, 1933. Many observers reported 8 to 17 inches of snowfall, while Pigeon River (Cook County) reported 28 inches, the most snow ever measured on one day in the month of April anywhere in Minnesota!

With snow on the ground, April 5th of 1936 felt like mid-winter in northern Minnesota. Seven northern counties reported subzero morning temperatures. The afternoon high at Angus (Polk County) only reached 20°F.

April 5th in 2021 brought summertime temperatures to many parts of Minnesota. Climate observers in 35 counties reported afternoon high temperatures of 80°F or greater. After a morning low of 35°F Wabasha County saw an afternoon high of 82°F.


Sunny, breezy, and warmer than normal temperatures on Saturday with increasing cloudiness in the southern part of the state and a chance for rain developing. More widespread rains on Sunday, with cooler temperatures as well. Continued chance for rain on Monday, and then warmer temperatures for the balance of next week, with slight chances for rain at Wednesday and Thursday.
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