<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> April 2003 Saint Cloud Weather Summary
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This Month's Daily Statistics

Issued: 1 May 2003

Subject: Saint Cloud Weather Summary for April 2003

"I've Seen Fire, I've Seen Rain"

     April 2003 came in as a desert and went out as a swamp. The total April precipitation was 4.73 inches, more than double the normal April rainfall of 2.13 inches. The April rainfall was the 7th heaviest in the 111 Aprils on record in Saint Cloud. While the April 2003 rainfall ranks as the 7th highest on record, April 2001, with 8.42 inches of precipitation still ranks, by far, as the wettest April on record. (Link to Top 10 Rainiest Aprils)

     All but .04 inch fell between 11 PM April 15th and the morning of April 21st. The precipitation began with a series of heavy thunderstorms from 11 PM April 15th into the early morning hours of April 16th. The thunderstorms finally gave way to a steady, lighter rain during the daylight morning hours, then changed to a moderate, wind-blown sleet by about 11:30 AM. The sleet persisted all afternoon and into the early evening, before tapering to occasional freezing rain. The daily rainfall on both April 16 and 17 set daily precipitation records. The sleet also accumulated to 1.5 inches. Since sleet accumulation (as well as hail accumulation) counts as snowfall, the April 17 daily snowfall record also fell. (All daily April records can be found here.)

     The maximum 24-hour precipitation during April 15-16 came to a total of 3.54 inches. This total ranks as the 10th highest 24-hour precipitation event in Saint Cloud history and the 6th largest event recorded at Saint Cloud State University. (Jump to Top 10 24-Hour Precipitation Events) This marks the third event in the past 9 months that has made the SCSU top ten. While the SCSU period of record is shorter, the rainfalls were heavy enough to have made the Airport list if they had been recorded there.

     The heavy mid-April rainfall brought an end to the surface water drought that had plagued the cold season. While ground water levels were high from last year's heavy rainfall, the frozen, bare ground posed a high fire danger, especially during the warm, windy weather experienced during April 9-15. The heavy rain, and subsequent greening, has eased the relatively short-term dry period in much of the state, but northern Minnesota, which missed both the mid-April rains and some heavy rains last summer, is suffering from a 16-month shortfall. For more details, see the Minnesota State Climatologist's Office summary of the cold season dry spell.

     The sleet accumulation on April 17th was the primary contributor to the April total snowfall of 2.0 inches. This total is close to the normal amount of 2.3 inches and is a far cry from last year's near-record snowfall of 15.3 inches. (Link to Top 10 Snowiest Aprils) The April snowfall brings the seasonal total to 32.0 inches. This total is about 75% of the normal seasonal snowfall (45.5 inches) through the end of April. (Link to 2002-2003 Seasonal Snowfall by Month)

     While conditions were quite cold during the cloudy periods early in the month and during the mid-April heavy precipitation, measurable precipitation only occurred on 7 days at SCSU. Outside of these periods, there were plenty of warm days. The result was an April average temperature at the Saint Cloud Municipal Airport of 44.5°F, not quite a degree above normal. As an example of the temperature ups and downs, the coldest high of 27°F on April 4th was only 2°F away from a record cold high and was the second straight day in which temperatures stayed below 30°F all day. On the other hand, temperatures on April 14 set a trifecta, breaking daily warm records for high (89°F), low (57°F), and average (73°F) temperatures. The old records for April 14th had been set during another trifecta in 1908.

     

April 2003 Statistics

Temperatures (°F)
Apr. 2003
Normal
Average High Temperature (°F)
55.7
54.9
Average Low Temperature (°F)
30.0
32.2
Mean Temperature for April (°F)
44.3
43.6
April Extremes
Temperature(°F)
Date
Warmest High Temperature for April 2003 (°F)
89
(broke daily record)
April 14th
Coldest High Temperature for April 2003 (°F)
27
April 4th
Warmest Low Temperature for April 2003 (°F)
57
(broke daily record)
April 14th
Coldest Low Temperature for April 2003 (°F)

14

April 6th
Record Temperatures in April 2003
Temperature(°F)
Date
Old Record
Daily Record Warm High
89
April 14
84 in 1908
Daily Record Warm Average Temp.
73
April 14
68 in 1908
Daily Record Warm Low
57
April 14
52 in 1908
 
Liquid Equivalent Precipitation (in)
April 2003
Normal
April 2003 Melted Precipitation (in)
4.73*
2.13
April Extremes
Precipitation (in)
Date
Most Daily Precipitation in April 2003
2.34
(set daily record)
April 16
Record Precipitation in April 2003
Precipitation (in)
Date
Old Record
Daily Melted Precipitation
2.34
April 16
0.82 inch in 1939
Daily Melted Precipitation
1.21
April 17
0.80 inch in 1896
Snowfall (in)
April 2003
Normal
April 2003 Snowfall (in)
2.0
2.3
Seasonal Snowfall (in) for Cold Season 2002-2003
32.0
45.4
April Extremes
Snowfall (in)
Date
Most Daily Snowfall (in) in April 2003
1.5
(set daily record)
April 17
Record Snowfall (in) in April 2003
Snowfall (in)
Date
Old Record
Daily Snowfall (in)
1.5
April 17
0.7 inch in 1961

Heaviest 24-Hour Melted Precipitation Events in Saint Cloud History

Airport (1893-2004)
SCSU (1991-2003)
Rank
Amount (in)
Date
Rank
Amount (in)
Date
1
5.37
8-9 September 1985
1
4.48
5-6 September 2002
2
5.00
16 May 1894
2
4.40
25-26 August 1995
3
4.80
2 July 1903
3
4.29
10 July 2002
4
4.62
3-4 August 1956
4
3.83
23 April 2001
5
4.50
6 July 1897
5
3.63
3-4 August 2002
6
4.39
5-6 September 2002
6
3.54
15-16 April 2003
7
4.12
19 August 1935
7
2.57
2 August 1997
8
3.90
24 August 1895
8
2.37
7 September 1991
9
3.74
22-23 April 2001
9
2.35
19 August 1997
10
3.59
27 August 1960
10
2.25
25 July 1997
11
3.54
15-16 April 2003
     


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and Minnesota Climatology Working Group, including the Minnesota State Climatologist's Office, University of Minnesota-Saint Paul Campus.

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Send comments to: raweisman@stcloudstate.edu
Last updated: 1-May-2003
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