<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> April 2013 Saint Cloud Weather Summary
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April 9-12 Snow and Ice Storm April 18-19 Snowstorm April 22-23 Snow Minnesota Drought Status 12-Week Loop of Drought Status 2-Week Loop of Snow Cover

Saint Cloud Weather Summary for April 2013

I'm Dreaming of a White April

Two Feet of April Snow Breaks April Snowfall Record, Pushes 2012-2013 to 4th Snowiest

The month is over, but the growling continues. A record setting 24.4 inches of snow fell on St. Cloud in April 2013. That was the highest April snowfall total since continuous snowfall records began in 1904. It bested the old record of 15.6 inches from 1928 by nearly 9 inches. This snow would have been heavy for any month, since there have now only been 13 months in St. Cloud records with at least 2 feet of snow. The most recent month was November 1983, when 25.0 inches fell.

April 2013 goes down as the snowiest month of the cold season. That has only happened in two other snow seasons: 1910-1911 and 1960-1961.

The heavy April snow pushed the 2012-2013 seasonal snowfall to 78.5 inches, the fourth highest total in St. Cloud records, and the most since 1964-1965, the whitest snow season in St. Cloud records with 87.9 inches. The average seasonal snowfall is 46.1 inches.

Most of the snow this season has fallen in the past three months. The snowfall total from February 1 through April 30 this season has been 57.8 inches, nearly 40 inches above the average of 18.1 inches. This is the second highest Feb-Apr snowfall since snowfall records began in 1904. The highest total was 68.9 inches, set in 1965.

Seven Daily Snowfall Records Tied or Broken This Snow Season

Specifically in April, there were two large snowstorms with 10.9 inches on April 11-15 and 11.1 inches on April 17-19. Those snowfalls set daily records for April 11 snowfall (8.7 inches) and April 18 snowfall (9.4 inches). There was one more daily record snowfall on April 24, when a trace of snow was recorded. There has never been any measurable snowfall on April 24. For the snow season, there have been 7 daily records broken or tied: December 9 (most daily snowfall of season: 11.0 inches and a record for the month of December), three in February, one on March 5, and now the three in April.

There were a total of 8 days with measurable snowfall in April, tying the April record with 1961. There were 5 April days with at least an inch of snowfall, setting a new record. The old record was 4 days in April 1909, 1928, and 1983. The three days with at least 2 inches of snow in April tied the record with the Aprils of 1909, 1928, and 1991.

Snow Helps Cool St. Cloud to Second Coldest April

Snow is not only annoying to look at when you want it to be spring. It's also a cooling factor since 1) a lot of the sun's energy gets reflected back to space and 2) solar energy is used up melting the snow. So, much snowier than average conditions go hand-in-hand with colder than average weather. That was certainly the case in April 2013. The St. Cloud average temperature was 36.2°F, 8.3°F colder than average and the second coldest April since St. Cloud temperature records by 0.1°F over 1975. The only April colder than this past month was in 1950 when the average temperature was 33.8°F. The average temperature was actually colder than the record value through April 25, but the melting of the last snow corresponded with some warmer air finally delivering the first 50-degree high, 60-degree high, and 70-degree high last week. The April 26 date of the first 50-degree high broke the record for the latest 50-degree high. The old record was April 20, 1951. The April 26 day of the first 60-degree high tied the record for the latest date with April 26, 1947 and April 26, 1965. The first 70-degree high the next day was within 10 days of the 100-year average date.

140 Days With An Inch of Snow on the Ground

The cold weather and the late snow led to a prolonged snow cover. St. Cloud first saw bare ground on April 8, bringing to an end 120 consecutive days (since December 8) with at least an inch of snow on the ground. While the latter statistic didn't break any records, that April 7 tied with 2002 as the 4th latest date of continuous snow cover. There were 13 additional days with at least an inch of snow cover (April 11-23) and 7 days in November, so there have been a total of 140 days with at least an inch of snow on the ground. This has tied 1964-1965 for the 4th most days with snow cover. The record is 147 days, set in 2000-2001.

Melting Snow Causing Flooding Potential

That persistent and late season snow cover has only melted in the past two weeks, leading to a large amount of snowmelt headed into area rivers. Fortunately, there had been some thawing underneath the snow pack, so some of the snowmelt has seeped into the ground. Still, the southern protion of the Red River is cresting this week at major flood stage in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Major flooding is expected to continue in the next week further downstream near Grand Forks and Pembina. Northeastern Minnesota, where April became Duluth's snowiest month of all time and where over 129 inches of snow has fallen during the snow season, has rapidly melting snow, which is expected to produce overland flooding in the next week.

The cold and snowy pattern in February through April has caught other places in its web. Denver is going through similarly high snowfalls during the past three months. Denver has picked up 58 inches of snow since February, and just to the northwest, Boulder has 88 inches, nearly 48 of which fell in April. As National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Baker's report explains, a persistent northwest steering winds from Alaska and the Yukon into the western US has kept enough cold air on hand for snowfall. At the same time, an active southern subtropical branch of the jet stream has supplied enough storm systems and moist air to supply these snowfalls.

And, as we speak, yet another system is affecting Colorado and could produce a rare May snowfall in south central and east central Minnesota. More precipitation could also spread flooding problems into Iowa, Wisconsin, and southeastern Minnesota.

Precipitation-wise, not all that fell in St. Cloud in April was in the form of snow. There was some rain and a little mix of mixed precipitation. The total liquid equivalent for April was 2.90 inches, 0.33 inch above average. There were 14 days with measurable liquid precipitation in April, just two days short of the April record of 16 days, set in 1978 and the most April days with measurable precipitation since April 1989.

The total precipitation has had a huge effect on our most lingering weather-related problem, the lack of rain from summer through the fall. Where the snow melted early in southern Minnesota, the frost went out early and a lot of the rainfall and subsequent snow did seep into the ground. This has allowed all of Minnesota to drop out of the most extreme drought classification on the US Drought Monitor. Throughout the country, the past month has produced more than 5 inches of rain across a large part of the Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee River Valleys. While this hasn't solved all of the ground water problems over the Plains, most places have seen some easing of the drought conditions with major relief across parts of Iowa, Colorado, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas. We still need a wet spring to replenish the ground water (50% of Minnesota subsoil moisture is rated as being short or very short) and the cool spring start has delayed planting. On the other hand, the persistent precipitation has caused major flooding in Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa.

Make Up Your Mind

The past three snow seasons have been among the most extreme St. Cloud has witnessed. In 2010-2011, St. Cloud had 66.1 inches of snow, the 9th snowiest on record. There was snow on the ground for 130 consecutive days (8th longest), and the snow didn't melt until April 2, the 11th latest day on record. The 2011-2012 snow season was characterized by only 27.4 inches of snow, 32 consecutive days of snow cover, record early first 50-degree high (January 5), only 10 days with a low of at least zero, and record early ice out. That cold season was part of the warmest year (July 2011-June 2012) in St. Cloud records. This winter has pivoted back to the conditions of the 2010-2011 season. Still, this will go down as only the 7th cold season in St. Cloud records without a -20 low. The past two winters are the only time this has happened back to back.

Ice Out?

The cold temperatures will likely produce one of the latest ice out dates on many northern and central Minnesota lakes. You can see average and latest days of ice out in Minnesota lakes and follow the progress this year from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. This comes on the heels of last year, which set many records for the earliest ice out, most before the end of March.

 

April 9-12 Snow and Ice Storm April 18-19 Snowstorm April 22-23 Snow Minnesota Drought Status 12-Week Loop of Drought Status 2-Week Loop of Snow Cover

April 2013 Statistics

Temperatures (°F)
April 2013
Normal
Average High Temperature (°F)
44.8
54.9
Average Low Temperature (°F)
27.5
32.2
Mean Temperature for April (°F)
36.2*
43.6

*2nd coldest April in St. Cloud Records

10 Coldest/Warmest Aprils

April Extremes
Temperature(°F)
Date
Warmest High Temperature for April 2013 (°F)
77
April 28
Coldest High Temperature for April 2013 (°F)
31
April 1
Warmest Low Temperature for April 2013 (°F)
50
April 28
Coldest Low Temperature for April 2013 (°F)

13

April 2,3
Record Temperatures in April 2013
Temperature(°F)
Date
Old Record
Daily Record Cold High
32°F (tie)
April 18
record set in 1953
Daily Record Cold Low
16°F
April 20
20 in 1897
Daily Record Cold Average
27°F
April 20
31 in 1966
Temperature Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
April 2013 Days with High Temperatures =>90°F
0
0.04
April 2013 Days with High Temperatures <= 32°F
2
0.73

Cold-season 2012-2013 Days with High Temperatures <= 32°F

87
87.7
April 2013 Days with Low Temperatures <= 32°F
11
15.7

Cold-season 2012-2013 Days with Low Temperatures <= 32°F

185**
170.4
**Most since 1996-1997 (record: 198 last hit in 1995-1996)
 
Liquid Equivalent Precipitation (in)
April 2013
Normal
April 2013 Rainfall (in)
2.90
2.57
April Extremes
Precipitation (in)
Date
Most Daily Precipitation in April 2013
0.86
April 18
Record Precipitation in April 2013
Rainfall (in)
Date
Old Record
No records set
Precipitation Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
April 2013 Days with Measurable (>= 0.01 inch) Precipitation
14+
8.4
April 2013 Days with >= 0.10 inch Precipitation
8
4.9
April 2013 Days with >= 0.25 inch Precipitation
4
3.1
April 2013 Days with >= 0.50 inch Precipitation
2
1.5
April 2013 Days with >= 1.00 inch Precipitation
0
0.2
+Most in April since 1989 (record: 16 in 1978)
Complete list of Saint Cloud April Records
Link to 10 Wettest/Driest Aprils
   
Snowfall (in)
April 2013
Normal
April 2013 Snowfall (in)
24.4
2.9
78.5
42.9
Record Snowfall in April 2013
Snowfall (in)
Date
Old Record
Daily Record Snowfall
8.7 inches
April 11
7.0 inches in 1928
9.4 inches
April 18
1.5 inches in 1922
Trace (tie)
April 24
Tied record set in 1902, 1950, 2000
Montly Record Snowfall
24.4 inches
15.6 inches in 1928
Snowfall Thresholds
Number of Days
Average
April 2013 Days with Measurable (>= 0.1 inch) Snowfall
8*
1.9
2012-2013 Cold Season Total Days with Measurable (>= 0.1 inch) Snowfall
49+
31.8

April 2013 Days with >= 1.0 inch Snowfall

5**
0.9
2012-2013 Cold Season Total Days with >= 1.0 inch Snowfall
16
14.0
April 2013 Days with >= 2.0 inch Snowfall
3***
0.6
2012-2013 Cold Season Total Days with >= 2.0 inch Snowfall
12
7.6
April 2013 Days with >= 5.0 inch Snowfall
2
0.1
2012-2013 Cold Season Total Days with >= 5.0 inch Snowfall
4
1.4

*Tied for most April days with measurable snowfall with April 1961

**Most April Days with at least an inch (old record: 4 in April 1909, 1928, 1983)

***Tied for most April Days with at least 2 inches with April 1909, April 1928, and April 1991

+Most measurable snowfall days in a season since 1993-1994; tied for 5th most on record (record: 60 days in 1950-1951)

 

April 9-12 Snow and Ice Storm April 18-19 Snowstorm April 22-23 Snow Minnesota Drought Status 12-Week Loop of Drought Status 2-Week Loop of Snow Cover
Most Late Season (Feb-Apr) Snow St. Cloud, MN
Rank
Snow Season
Feb-Apr Snowfall (in)
Total Season Snowfall (in)
1
1964-1965
68.9
87.9
2
2012-2013
57.8
78.5
3
1950-1951
46.3
82.0
4
2000-2001
45.4
56.6
5
1916-1917
45.2
75.5
6
1961-1962
36.1
61.0
7
2007-2008
36.0
52.2
8
1935-1936
33.3
63.6
9
1952-1953
32.8
49.5
10
1908-1909
31.9
49.9

 

 

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(tie)
April 7, 2002
43
64.0
4(tie)
April 7, 2013
120
78.5
6
April 6, 2001
146
56.6
7
April 5, 1951
135
82.0
8(tie)
April 4, 1941
145
54.0
8(tie)
April 4, 1952
115
56.5
10
April 3, 1969
123
66.9
11
April 2, 1997
133
44.9
12
April 1, 2011
130
66.1

 

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 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(tie)
1964-1965
140
139
4(tie)
2012-2013
140
120
5(tie)
1911-1912
139
139
5(tie)
1955-1956
139
132
8
1974-1975
138
124
9(tie)
1950-1951
135
135
9(tie)
1951-1952
135
115
9(tie)
1996-1997
135
133
12(tie)
1935-1936
132
118
12(tie)
1968-1969
132
123
12(tie)
1978-1979
132
129
12(tie)
1988-1989
132
92
16
2010-2011
131
130

 

Latest High Temperature Thresholds at St. Cloud, MN
Latest 50°F High
Date
Latest 60°F High
Date
Latest 70°F High
Date
1
April 26, 2013
1(tie)
April 26, 1947
1
May 16, 1996
2
April 20, 1951
1(tie)
April 26, 1965
2
May 12, 1907
3
April 16, 1975
1(tie)
April 26, 2013
3(tie)
May 11, 1950
4
April 13, 1965
4(tie)
April 25, 1951
3(tie)
May 11, 1995
5
April 12, 1979
4(tie)
April 25, 1975
5
May 10, 1961
6
April 11, 1937
6
April 21, 1953
6
May 9, 1956
7
April 10, 1936
6(tie)
April 21, 1983
7
May 7, 2011
8(tie)
April 7, 1952
8
April 18, 1919
8
May 6, 1975
8(tie)
April 7, 2001
8(tie)
April 18, 1944
9
May 5, 1909
10(tie)
4 tied at April 6
10(tie)
3 tied at April 17
10(tie)
3 tied at May 4
         
Earliest 50°F High
January 5, 2012
4th Earliest 60°F High
March 11, 2012
3rd Earliest 70°F High
March 14, 2012

 

 

April 9-12 Snow and Ice Storm April 18-19 Snowstorm April 22-23 Snow Minnesota Drought Status 12-Week Loop of Drought Status 2-Week Loop of Snow Cover

 



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Last updated: October 23, 2013
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