April snowiest month of the season, which is becoming more common

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Now the 10th snowiest season in Twin cities history, MSP Airport has counted nearly 80 inches of snow.  While that is a pretty large total, it is never out of the realm of possibility in the Upper Midwest because snow totals can vary so widely from year to year.  But what is interesting to note is that the snowiest month of the winter season was not December, January, February… or even March, but April by a resounding half a foot.

Before you start diving into conspiracy theories on why that is the case, there is absolutely no correlation to tell us that the metro saw this much snow in April for any reason other than shear dumb luck.  The cold pattern set up long enough to drag a couple of large storms across the northern U.S., which happened to hit the Twin Cities.  It could have just as easily been someone else.  In fact, if that blizzard ended up a little further south or north, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.

While location of these storms may be dumb luck, the fact that they are occurring more frequently in April may not be.  For the first century of records in the Twin Cities (1872-1972) there were only 2 recorded instances where April snows lead the way for the entire season; in 1907 with 13 inches of snow, and 50 years later in 1957, with 9.6 inches of snow for the month.  But in the last 35 years, it has occurred 4 times! First in 1983 with 21.8” of snow.  Then 3 times in the 21st century; 2002 with 20.2 inches, 2013 with 17.9 inches, and then in 2018 with 26.1.

So what does this mean?  Well, I’m not entirely sure.  It could once again be dumb luck as our overall weather pattern over the last couple of decades may be more conducive to these large scale snow storms late in the season, or it may just be total coincidence as this could very well never happen again.  Tough to know anything for sure.  But it does show more and more evidence that our snow season maybe shifting a little later in the year, especially since our recorded October and November snow totals have fallen by 38% since the blizzard of 91’.