So far, the month of April has felt nothing like spring. While we have seen the coldest first few days of the month since records began in 1872, extremes during the month aren’t that unusual. Many of us think that once spring officially arrives the flowers start blooming, the grass turns green, and the days become warm overnight. That is far from the case as April is one volatile month. It’s about the only time of year where you can get a foot of snow one week, and be in the 80s the very next.
This is because the reflective properties of snow keep the high snow covered areas of Canada very cool until it melts in May. At the same time, the southern U.S. is really starting to heat up because of the longer days and higher sun angle. This sets the stage for wild storm systems that bring with them large swings in temperatures as they suck air in from much of North America.
In April, the plains of Mexico and south Texas could be well over 100 degrees… meanwhile, the high snow covered areas of Canada could be 30 below zero. It is these conditions that can make almost anything possible and often times fuel the Central U.S. tornado season in April and May.
For Minnesota, it’s unfortunately been one of those very cold years as the snow has piled up to 9 inches in the metro, making this the 13th snowiest April on record with plenty of days in the month left to get more. And more we will likely see as our next storm moves into the state Sunday and will spread snow to areas along and south of I-94 where some spots could pick up another 5 or 6 inches. That said, the metro is likely to be on the lower end of that, with an inch or two possible.