Our April snowstorm squeaks into top 10

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At a time of year that many are thinking spring flowers, green grass, and warmer temperatures, Mother Nature throws us a curveball and spreads an enormous amount of snow across the area for this time of year.  

Widespread amounts of 4 to 10 inches fell across southern and central Minnesota as well as western Wisconsin early in the week leading to the 10th largest April snowstorm on record for the Twin Cities. Records date back to 1872.

Many of us are left asking why and assuming something sinister is at work, when I can say with reasonable certainty, there isn’t. While the exact reason for our huge snows is just shear dumb luck, the overall pattern for the Northern Hemisphere is currently conducive for large swings in temperature, both warm and cold, which can lead to violent weather like heavy snows or strong thunderstorms.  

Over much of northern and eastern North America we are getting the cold side of this, but for areas on the other side of the globe in the Middle East and southern Asia (also in the northern hemisphere), it's record heat with temperatures soaring 30 degrees above normal.