<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> April 2011 Saint Cloud Weather Summary
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Saint Cloud Weather Summary for April 2011

Average April Does Include Some Cold, Snow

Nearly Average in All April Categories

Judging by the reaction I've heard, April should have gone down as one of the most obnoxious months, if not the coldest or the snowiest month. However, April 2011 lived up to most of the conditions of a typical central Minnesota April. The average temperature at the Saint Cloud Regional Airport was 43.7°F, within 0.1°F of the April average temperature. The total precipitation was 2.15 inches, within 0.02 inch of normal, and the snowfall was 2.2 inches, 0.7 inch less than normal.

Even some of the threshold statistics that sometimes reflect the extreme conditions came out nearly normal. The first 60-degree high of the spring so far was recorded on April 7, within 3 days of the average first date for the first 60-degree high. There were 15 mornings with a low of freezing or colder; the April average is 15.7 days. Despite the fact that we don't like it, St. Cloud averages two days with measurable snowfall in April with one day of at least an inch and that's what we had.

Warm Early in April, Followed By Cooler Second Half

What may have made it felt miserable was the ups and downs of the month. The week of April 7-13, which included our first 60-degree high of the season, ended up producing 5 60+ highs over the seven-day period. The average temperature for this period was 50.2°F, more than 9 degrees warmer than average. The average high for that week was 62.7°F, typical of the last day of April or the first day of May. However, chilly readings followed the mild weather. During April 14-22, the high temperature never reached 50 degrees. The average temperature was 38.6°F, typical of the first week of April. Even though four 60+ degree highs were reached in the last week of April, St. Cloud had colder than normal average temperatures on 15 of the last 17 days of the month. Note that, while the month-long average temperature was very close to normal, the April average high was 53.8°F, more than a degree cooler than normal. The cooler weather was often cloudy, so the low temperatures were warmer than normal during much of this period, so the "warm" readings were usually at times about which people don't care.

Storm Track Movement Played a Role in Tornado Records to South and Wisconsin

Note that our transition from the mild period around April 13 to the cooler weather that dominated the rest of the month was also involved in the stormy pattern that produced two major tornado outbreaks across the South Central and Southeastern US, one on April 14-16 and the second on April 25-28. The former outbreak hit areas from Arkansas to North Carolina and Virginia, killing 45 people. The latter outbreak, which concentrated in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama and produced severe flooding in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri, was likely the second deadliest tornado outbreak in the US. The only deadlier outbreak was on March 18, 1925 when 747 people were killed, most from a single long-track tornado that hit Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana.

The storm track moved from along the US-Canadian border early in the month to the southern half of the US after the colder than normal air moved over the Northern Tier of states. Temperatures remained very warm across the south, increasing the strength of the jet stream, keeping Gulf of Mexico moisture available to storms, and tracking storms over the same areas, so that the south central and southeast portions of the US remained in the warm sector from each storm. The National Weather Service in the Twin Cities have described these conditions.

In the warmer period, a storm on April 10 produced a Wisconsin record 14 tornadoes when the storm track was closer to us.

"Little Darlin, It's Been A Long (Cold?) Lonely Winter"

Snowiest Cold Season In 33 Years And It Hung Around

The misery index was probably heightened after coming off a very long winter, with a long period of continuous snow cover and frequent snowfalls. The 2.2 inches in April, while about normal, pushed the cold season (October - April) 2010-2011 snowfall to 66.1 inches, the 8th snowiest cold season in the 105 seasons of St. Cloud snowfall records, and the snowiest since 1978-1979. Only on April 2 was St. Cloud without a snow cover for the first time since November 22. So, we endured 130 consecutive days with at least an inch of snow on the ground in St. Cloud, 44 days longer than average. The 130 straight days tied 1927-1928 for the 8th longest consecutive snow cover streak. The longest streak was 146 days in 2000-2001. The streak ended in April for only the 11th time in St. Cloud records. The latest end of the persistent snow cover was on April 15, 1975.

Two inches did fall on April 20, so there were a total of 131 days with at least an inch of snow on the ground, only the 14th cold season with at least 130 days with an inch of snow cover.

Frequent Light Snowfalls/Tied for Most Days with At Least An Inch

Unlike the Twin Cities, Fargo-Moorhead, and other areas, St. Cloud was only sideswiped by most of the major snowstorms this winter. There were only two daily snowfalls during the cold season that produced 5 inches of snow. However, the number of small snowfalls were much higher than average. St. Cloud had 48 days with measurable (at least 0.1 inch) snowfall this cold season, 17 more days than normal. This tied 1974-1975 for the 7th highest days with measurable snowfall. The most was 60 days in 1950-1951. There were 24 days with at least an inch of snowfall this cold season, which is tied with three other cold seasons for the most such days.

The frequent storms producing the snow has shown in the large number of days with measurable precipitation. There were 13 days in April with measurable melted precipitation, pushing the 2011 total (January through April) to 43 days, tied with 1951 for the 4th most frequent days with measurable precipitation. The highest total through 4 months was 50 days set in 1950. There have been 20 days thus far with at least 0.10 inch (8 in April). That's tied with 1916 and 1953 for the 3rd highest total. The most through 4 months was 22 in 1896.

Since this precipitation, being it snow or rain in April, mostly fell when St. Cloud was on the cold side of storm systems, it created many chilly days with rain in the air, making conditions feel more miserable.

May didn't begin well with two more cloudy, cool days, including a record cold high and average temperature on May 1.

The other reason that it may feel miserable is the extraordinarily warm spring we had last year. St. Cloud enjoyed the 2nd warmest March-April on record and the warmest first two months of spring since 1910. Note that the average temperatures so far this year are much more consistent with 2008 and 2009 than 2010.

Cool Conditions With Mostly Light Precipitation Mitigates River Flooding

Even though precipitation was frequent, it was relatively light, so it did not make area river flooding any worse. The Sauk River only slightly came out of its banks in early April, producing minor flooding. There was major flooding along the Minnesota River and near record flooding along the Mississippi in St. Paul, but it wasn't nearly as bad as it could be, thanks to the mid-April cool spell and another cool spell in late March. These cool periods slowed down the runoff into the larger rivers.

The Red River Flooding remained short of record level in Fargo-Moorhead and Grand Forks, but did set records between the two cities, especially north of the confluence of the Sheyenne, Buffalo, and Red Rivers. Still, most of the length of the Red River remains out of its banks as of May 2 and will likely continue that way well into the month.

 

April 2011 Statistics

Temperatures (°F)
April 2011
Normal
Average High Temperature (°F)
53.8
54.9
Average Low Temperature (°F)
33.5
32.2
Mean Temperature for April (°F)
43.7
43.6
April Extremes
Temperature(°F)
Date
Warmest High Temperature for April 2011 (°F)
69
April 12
Coldest High Temperature for April 2011 (°F)
40
April 16
Warmest Low Temperature for April 2011 (°F)
47
April 9
Coldest Low Temperature for April 2011 (°F)

25

April 21
Record Temperatures in April 2011
Temperature(°F)
Date
Old Record
Record Daily Average Temperature
59
April 1
56 in 1963
Temperature Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
April 2011 Days with High Temperatures =>90°F
0
0.04
April 2011 Days with High Temperatures <= 32°F
0
April 2011 Days with Low Temperatures <= 32°F
15
15.7

Cold-season 2010-2011 Days with Low Temperatures <= 32°F

163
170.4
Liquid Equivalent Precipitation (in)
April 2011
Normal
April 2011 Rainfall (in)
2.15
2.13
April Extremes
Precipitation (in)
Date
Most Daily Precipitation in April 2011
0.57
April 30
Record Precipitation in April 2011
Rainfall (in)
Date
Old Record
No Records Set
Precipitation Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
April 2011 Days with Measurable (>= 0.01 inch) Precipitation
13
8.4
January-April 2011 Days with Measurable (>= 0.01 inch) Precipitation
43
28.5
April 2011 Days with >= 0.10 inch Precipitation
8
4.9
January-April 2011 Days with >= 0.10 inch Precipitation 20 13.0
April 2011 Days with >= 0.25 inch Precipitation
3
3.1
April 2011 Days with >= 0.50 inch Precipitation
1
1.5
April 2011 Days with >= 1.00 inch Precipitation
0
0.2
Snowfall (in)
April 2011
Normal
April 2011 Snowfall (in)
2.2
2.6
66.1$
47.4
Snowfall Thresholds
Number of Days
Average
April 2011 Days with Measurable (>= 0.1 inch) Snowfall
2
1.9
2010-2011 Cold Season Total Days with Measurable (>= 0.1 inch) Snowfall
46#
31.8

April 2011 Days with >= 1.0 inch Snowfall

1
0.9
2010-2011 Cold Season Total Days with >= 1.0 inch Snowfall
24!
14.0.
April 2011 Days with >= 2.0 inch Snowfall
1
0.6
2010-2011 Cold Season Total Days with >= 2.0 inch Snowfall
10
7.6
April 2011 Days with >= 5.0 inch Snowfall
0
0.1
2010-2011 Cold Season Total Days with >= 5.0 inch Snowfall
2
1.4
$8th snowiest cold season in St. Cloud records; most snow since 1978-1979

#Tied for 11th Highest Total in St. Cloud Records (105 Cold Seasons)

!Tied for Most Days with Snowfall of an inch in St. Cloud Records

   

 

 

Longest Streaks of Consecutive 1+ Inch Snow Cover Days in St. Cloud
Rank
Days
Cold Season
Range
Season Snowfall (Inches)
1
146
2000-2001
Nov. 12 - April 6
56.6
2
145
1940-1941
Nov. 11 - April 4
54.0
3(tie)
139
1911-1912
Nov. 12 - March 29
36.8
3(tie)
139
1964-1965
Nov. 26 - April 13
87.9
5
135
1950-1951
Nov. 22 - April 5
82.0
6
133
1996-1997
Nov. 21 - April 2
62.8
7
132
1955-1956
Nov. 15 - March 25
52.8
8 (tie)
130
1927-1928
Nov. 14- March 22
69.6
8 (tie)
130
2010-2011
Nov. 23 - April 1
66.1
9
129
1978-1979
Dec. 3 - April 10
66.9

 

St. Cloud's Latest End to Consecutive Snow Cover Streak
Rank
End Date
Consecutive Days
Seasonal Snowfall (In)
1
April 15, 1975
124
65.4
2
April 13, 1965
139
87.9
3
April 10, 1979
129
66.9
4
April 7, 2002
43
64.0
5
April 6, 2001
146
56.6
6
April 5, 1951
135
82.0
7(tie)
April 4, 1941
145
54.0
7(tie)
April 4, 1952
115
56.5
9
April 3, 1969
123
66.9
10
April 2, 1997
133
44.9
11
April 1, 2011
130
66.1

 

St. Cloud's Most Days With At Least 1 Inch of Snow Cover

Rank
Season
Days With >=1 Inch
Consecutive Days With >=1 Inch
1
2000-2001
147
146
2(tie)
1940-1941
145
139
2(tie)
1927-1928
145
130
4
1964-1965
140
139
5(tie)
1911-1912
139
139
5(tie)
1955-1956
139
132
7
1974-1975
138
124
8(tie)
1950-1951
135
135
8(tie)
1951-1952
135
115
8(tie)
1996-1997
135
133
10(tie)
1935-1936
132
118
10(tie)
1968-1969
132
123
10(tie)
1978-1979
132
129
10(tie)
1988-1989
132
92
14
2010-2011
131
130

 

 

St Cloud Precipitation Days: January Through April (1896-2011)
Measurable Precipitation (>= 0.01 inch)
Precipitation >= 0.10 inch
Rank
Days
Year
Rank
Days
Year
1(tie)
50
1975
1
22
1896
1(tie)
50
1979
2
21
1975
3(tie)
47
1941
3(tie)
20
1916
3(tie)
47
1963
3(tie)
20
1953
5(tie)
43
1951
3(tie)
20
2011
5(tie)
43
2011
3 Tied with 19

 

St. Cloud Daily Snowfall (1904-2011)
Measurable Snowfall (>=0.1 inch)
Snowfall >=1.0 inch
Rank
Days
Season
Rank
Days
Season
1(tie)
60
1950-1951
1(tie)
24
1935-1936
1(tie)
54
1935-1936
1(tie)
24
1940-1941
3
52
1978-1979
1(tie)
24
1996-1997
4
51
1951-1952
1(tie)
24
2010-2011
5(tie)
49
1968-1969
5
23
1978-1979
5(tie)
49
1993-1994
6(tie)
22
1919-1920
7(tie)
48
1974-1975
6(tie)
22
1934-1935
7(tie)
48
2010-2011
6(tie)
22
1936-1937
8(tie)
47
1964-1965
6(tie)
22
1950-1951
8(tie)
47
1969-1970
6(tie)
22
1961-1962
8(tie)
47
1995-1996
6(tie)
22
1983-1984

 

 



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Last updated: May 2, 2011
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