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Climate Summary for April

Climate Summary for April:

The month of April was modestly warmer than normal and much wetter than normal. Temperature-wise, most climate stations reported an average monthly temperature that was 2°F to 4°F above normal and April was the 9th consecutive month with above normal monthly temperatures across the state. Extremes for the month ranged from 90°F at Granite Falls (Yellow Medicine County) on the 13th to just 5°F at Baudette (Lake of the Woods County) and Tower (St Louis County) on April 1st. Minnesota reported the coldest temperature in the 48 contiguous states just twice during the month.

Precipitation (almost entirely rainfall) was above normal at nearly all locations in the state, with about a third of the days bringing measurable rainfall. A large area of the state reported 3 to 5 inches of rainfall during the month, in many cases twice the normal amount. Parts of Stearns, Lac Qui Parle, Kandiyohi, and Wright Counties reported over 6 inches. Within the statewide climate observation network there were 78 record daily rainfalls reported during the month. Some of these included:

2.64 inches at Zumbrota on the 12th
2/23 inches at Redwood Falls on the 16th
2.04 inches at Litchfield on the 17th
2/02 inches at St Peter on the 17th

Snowfall was nonexistent to scarce, with some observers reporting from 1 to 3 inches.

The surplus rainfall in April helped to shrink the area of drought across the state during April. About 35 percent of the state landscape remains in Moderate to Severe Drought, concentrated in the north-central and northwestern sections of the state.

Wind was a major characteristic of the April climate again this year. Many climate stations reported wind gusts of 30 mph or greater on over half of the days, with peak gusts over 50 mph in many locations. The number of days with wind gusts of 30 mph or greater, a sampling:

MSP 27 days
Rochester 25 days
Mankato 23 days
Duluth, Brainerd, and Redwood Falls 20 days
Saint Cloud and Windom 19 days

The last three Aprils have arguably been the windiest in history.

May has started wet this week, with many climate stations already reporting 1-2 inches of rainfall. In fact, more frequent rainfalls are expected over the first half of May.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

The Weather Underground web site reported extensively on the 130 tornadoes that occurred last week, mostly in the central and southern plains states. A number of EF-3 tornadoes (136-165 mph wind gusts) caused extensive damage, especially in Nebraska and Oklahoma.

A recent study published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics presents evidence that suggest EPA estimates of methane emissions from landfills and other sources is significantly too low. The scientists used satellite data and atmospheric models to track measured methane emissions and found their values to be much higher. This is concerning, as methane is an extremely powerful greenhouse gas.

MPR listener question:

We received over 6.5 inches of rainfall during April here just outside Madison in Lac Qui Parle County, along the headwaters of the Minnesota River. We wondered if that was a record amount for April, thought you could tell us?


Indeed, you had a very wet April, close to three times normal rainfall. In your Lac Qui Parle County climate history, only two Aprils were wetter than this one, 2001 (6.75”) and 1896 (7.33”. The wet month should be good for your county corn and soybean farmers yields in 2024.

Twin Cities Almanac for May 3rd:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 64 degrees F (plus or minus 12 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 45 degrees F (plus or minus 9 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for May 3rd:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 93 degrees F in 1949; lowest daily maximum temperature of 35 degrees F in 1954; lowest daily minimum temperature of 18 degrees F in 1967; highest daily minimum temperature of 65 degrees F in 1959, and record precipitation of 1.72 inches in 1912. There was a record 0.5 inches of snowfall in 2013.

Average dew point for May 3rd is 39°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 66°F in 1949; and the minimum dew point on this date is 12 degrees F in 2005.

All-time state records for May 3rd:

The state record high temperature for this date is 97 degrees F at Bird Island (Renville County) in 1949. The state record low temperature for this date is 6 degrees F at Crookston (Polk County) in 1967. The state record precipitation for this date is 4.00 inches at Albert Lea (Freeborn County) in 1902. The state snowfall record is 12.0 inches at Leonard (Clearwater County) in 1954.

Past Weather:

Record-setting high temperatures prevailed across much of Minnesota on May 3 of 1949. Most areas of the state reported temperatures of 80°F or higher, with over 50 climate stations reporting 90°F or greater. Redwood Falls reported a record warm low temperature as well of 72°F.

Over May 2-3 of 1954 a late season winter-like storm brought a mixture of rain, sleet, and snow to Minnesota. Many climate observers reported from 3 to 9 inches of snowfall, and in portions of Koochiching, St Louis, and Clearwater Counties a foot of new snow was reported.

There were widespread frost/freezing warning issued for May 3 of 1967. Most areas of the state reported morning lows in the teens and twenties. Observers in four counties reported morning low temperatures in the single digits, while Hallock (Kittson County) in the Red River Valley reported an afternoon high temperature of only 25°F.


A bit warmer than normal on Saturday with a chance for rain showers mostly in the first half of the day. Sunny and warmer on Sunday. Monday through Thursday of next week will be warmer than normal but with daily chances for showers and thunderstorms. Drier and cooler towards the end of next week.

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