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Eighth Northern Plains Winter Storm Conference: Coming October 28-29, 2013 in Saint Cloud!

Year-to-Date Graph Return to Daily Statistics by Month Table

Saint Cloud Weather Summary for March 2013

March Just Another Extension of Winter This Year

9th Snowiest March in St. Cloud History More than 20 Degrees Colder Than Last Year

For the second straight month, the winter of 2012-2013 delivered one of the 10 snowiest months with a frequency not seen before in March. The March snowfall at the St. Cloud Reformatory totaled 16.6 inches, 8.5 inches above the average. This makes March 2013 the 9th snowiest March on record. More than half of this snow fell during the March 4-5 snowstorm. A total of 8.8 inches fell in St. Cloud, including 4.0 inches on March 5, breaking a daily snowfall record. It was the 5th day this cold season in which a record daily snowfall was broken or tied. The others were led by the 11.0 inch snowfall on December 9, a new daily record for all of December. Also, records were tied or set on February 10, 13, and 22. For the cold season, St. Cloud has picked up 54.1 inches, 8 inches above the average for the entire snow season and nearly double last year's low total of 27.4 inches.

The total liquid precipitation in March was 2.63 inches, 1.08 inches above average. That narrowly missed climbing into one of the 10 wettest Marches by 0.30 inch. The most precipitation was 0.75 inch on March 9, which set a record for the date. This was the third daily record precipitation set this month. While the bulk of this precipitation fell in the form of snow, there was 0.42 inch of rain with thunderstorms early on March 30. March 2013 will also become known for its precipitation frequency. There were 6 days with at least 0.25 inch of liquid, setting a new record for March. Overall, precipitation was no more frequent than in January or February (8 days of measurable precipitation in March), but significant precipitation fell on those 6 days.

The frequent occurrence of snow on top of an already persistent snow pack kept at least 10 inches of snow on the ground each day except March 31. The deepest snow cover was 17 inches on March 6 and March 18-20. Still, the record for St. Cloud's snow cover is 50 inches, set on March 16, 1917.

However, with still 10 inches of snow on the ground on March 31, St. Cloud is assured of having the 2012-2013 be only the 12th snow season in which the continuous snow cover doesn't melt until the month of April. The latest day for this continuous streak was April 15, 1975. Since the first inch of continuous snow cover wasn't on the ground until December, the current consecutive day streak of snow cover is 114 consecutive days through March 31. This season will not make it into the top 10 since all of the previous seasons had snow on the ground no later than December 1 and several in mid-November. This includes the 130 straight days of snow cover set in 2010-2011.

The persistent deep snow cover has raised the threat of spring snow melt flooding locally. The deepest snow cover has been in a line from Lake Traverse and Detroit Lakes through Bemidji and Grand Rapids into northeastern Minnesota. Snow depths were still over 10 inches through most of this region despite the warm temperatures and Saturday rainfall. Locked up in this snow was 5-9 inches in much of this area. Since much of this area drains into the Upper Mississippi Valley, the risk of minor flooding has increased to over 50% along the Mississippi River in St. Cloud, Long Prairie River in Long Prairie, and the Minnesota River in Montevideo (sites seen in brown). The rest of central Minnesota has about an average threat of flooding, including the Sauk River at St. Cloud. The potential flooding threat is still much higher along the Red River, where there is a possibility of one of the 10 highest flood stages in Fargo.

With all the falling snow and deep snow on the ground, temperatures were held down in March. The March average temperature was 21.9°F, 7.5°F colder than average. The last month that was further below average was January 2009 (average temperature 3.3°F, 8.3°F colder than average). More recently, March 2011, another March in which snow cover persisted throughout the month, was 24.3°F, 5.1°F colder than average. This will be only the third month of the past 22 months since June 2011 with a below average temperature. The big shock is that last March was the warmest March on record with an average temperature of 43.9°F, so it was 22 degrees colder this March.

There were 17 days with a high of freezing or colder in March (average: 10.3 days). That makes 103 days with these cold highs this cold season (average: 87.7 days), the most since the 115 days in 2001-2002. St. Cloud is only 5 more highs of 32 or colder from from cracking top 10; we could be posting one or two of these this week.

There were 6 March days with low of zero or colder (avg 3.5 days). The most in March was 13 days, set in 1975. This gives us 43 for the year, just a shade above average.

On the other hand, this is the second consecutive winter without a -20°F low, which date back to 1893-1894. The -18°F as the coldest low of the season would tie 1900-1901 as the 5th mildest cold low on record. Last winter, the coldest low was -17°F, which tied for 3rd. There have only been 7 winters in which -20°F was never reached, two of them in the past 2 years.

 

March 2013 Statistics

Temperatures (F)
Mar 2013
Average
Average High Temperature (F)
31.8
39.0
Average Low Temperature (F)
12.0
19.8
Mean Temperature for March (F)
21.9
29.4
 
March Extremes
Temperature(F)
Date
Warmest High Temperature for March 2013 (F)
48
March 30
Coldest High Temperature for March 2013 (F)
19
March 20
Warmest Low Temperature for March 2013 (F)
32
March 9,30
Coldest Low Temperature for March 2013 (F)

-8

March 17
Record Temperatures in March 2013
Temperature(F)
Date
Old Record
No temperature records set    
Temperature Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
March 2013 Days with High Temperatures <= 32F
17
10.1
Cold Season 2012-2013 Days with High Temperatures <= 32°F 103 (most since 2000-2001) 87.7
March 2013 Days with High Temperatures <= 0F
0
0.0

Cold-season 2012-2013 Days with High Temperatures <= 0F

2
4.3
March 2013 Days with Low Temperatures <= 32F
31
28.0

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

165
155.4
March 2013 Days with Low Temperatures <= 0F
6
3.5

Cold-season 2012-2013 Days with Low Temperatures <= 0F

45
42.7
March 2013 Days with Low Temperatures <= -20F
0
0.0

Cold-season 2012-2013 Days with Low Temperatures <= -20F

0*
5.4
*First two-year gap in -20°F on record;7th cold season without a -20°F low
St. Cloud Historic -20°F Lows Mildest Extreme Lows of Winter Link to 10 Warmest/Coldest Marches
Liquid Equivalent Precipitation (in)
March 2013
Normal
March 2013 Melted Precipitation (in)
2.63
1.55
March Extremes
Precipitation (in)
Date
Most Daily Precipitation in March 2013
0.75 inch (set daily record; see below)
March 9
Daily Precipitation Records
Amount (inches)
Date
Old Record
Daily Record Precipitation
0.75 inch
March 9
0.65 inch in 1918
Precipitation Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
March 2013 Days with Measurable (>= 0.01 inch) Precipitation
8
7.1
March 2013 Days with >= 0.10 inch Precipitation
6
3.3
March 2013 Days with >= 0.25 inch Precipitation
6*
1.8
March 2013 Days with >= 0.50 inch Precipitation
1
0.7
March 2013 Days with >= 1.00 inch Precipitation
0
0.1
*Most March days with 0.25 inch on record
Link to 10 Wettest/Driest Marches Complete list of Saint Cloud March Records
Snowfall (in)
March 2013
Normal
March 2013 Saint Cloud Airport Snowfall (in)
0.7
8.1
2012-2013 Seasonal Snowfall (1 Oct 2012 - 31 Mar 2013)
27.4
45.8

10 Whitest Cold Seasons

Snowfall Thresholds
Number of Days
Average
March 2013 Days with Measurable (>= 0.1 inch) Snowfall
7
5.3
2012-2013 Cold Season Total Days with Measurable (>= 0.1 inch) Snowfall
43
31.8
March 2013 Days with >= 1.0 inch Snowfall
4
2.8
2012-2013 Cold Season Total Days with >= 1.0 inch Snowfall
12
14.0.
March 2013 Days with >= 2.0 inch Snowfall
4
1.5
2012-2013 Cold Season Total Days with >= 2.0 inch Snowfall
9
7.6
March 2013 Days with >= 5.0 inch Snowfall
0
0.1
2012-2013 Cold Season Total Days with >= 5.0 inch Snowfall
2
1.4
     
March Extremes
Snowfall (in)
Date
Most Daily Snowfall (in) in March 2013
4.8
March 4
Daily Snowfall Records
Amount (inches)
Date
Old Record
Daily Snowfall
4.0 inches
March 5
3.6 inches in 1970

 

 

St. Cloud Mildest Extreme Low of the Cold Season

Rank
Winter

Coldest Low Temperature of Season (°F)

1
2001-2002
-9
2
1982-1983
-16
3 (tie)
2005-2006
-17
3 (tie)
2011-2012
-17
5 (tie)
1900-1901
-18
5 (tie)
2012-2013
-18
7
1897-1898
-19
8 (tie)
1956-1957
-20
8 (tie)
1986-1987
-20
10
1931-1932
-21
7 tied with -22, including 2006-2007
   
2007-2008
-24
2008-2009
-36
2009-2010
-27
2010-2011
-29

 

 

 

Last Updated: April 1, 2013

Send comments to: Bob Weisman