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St. James Plaindealer - St. James, MN
  • April was cold, wet, miserable

  • That’s true for most of the month. Those last five days of April had four days with temperatures in the 70s and one day with a high of 86. That really cut into the monthly temperature deficit. If you back the last five days out of April, then the first 25 days of the month had an average temperature of 45.56. That’s a temp that jives with what most people were feeling about April, 2013.
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  •     April was just awful. It seems like March lasted seven weeks.
        The average daily high temperature for St. James in April is 57 degrees F. This year, the average high temperature was 50.8 degrees. Impossible you think - April was much colder than that.
        That’s true for most of the month. Those last five days of April had four days with temperatures in the 70s and one day with a high of 86. That really cut into the monthly temperature deficit. If you back the last five days out of April, then the first 25 days of the month had an average temperature of 45.56. That’s a temp that jives with what most people were feeling about April, 2013.
        There was palpable sense among the folks of St. James and Minnesota that suggested people just wanted to be done with winter.
        April was a month where we had some of the biggest snowfalls of the year,  and the snow and the cold reminded us that in Minnesota spring can be miserable.
        The first 25 days of April with it’s 45.56 average temp was March like because the average monthly high for March is 40.
        April was cold and snowy in St. James, but there were spots in Minnesota that had it much worse last month.
        Duluth had its snowiest month ever. Doesn’t matter what winter month, doesn’t matter what year, April, 2013 was the snowiest month all time for Duluth.  
        On the morning of April 20, Embarrass, MN had a low of 14 degrees below zero. That’s the all time coldest temperature in Minnesota for the second half of April.   
        The good fact in this miserable weather for us folks in Watonwan County  was that April, 2013 had 5.33 inches of precipitation.
        Granted, much of it fell in the form of snow, but the water content went a  long way toward mitigating the drought conditions we’ve experienced.  
        The County was in a condition of severe drought at the start of the month, but the precipitation helped ease the drought condition by the end of the month to one of moderate drought.  
       
        The cold, wet April kept farmers from getting in the fields in April, but the rain and snowfall recharged the top soil. At this time moisture is adequate to begin seed germination.  
        Other weather weirdness around the region in April includes the Red River crested above major flood stage at Fargo while the region was in moderate drought.
    Page 2 of 2 -     The stuck weather pattern we endured that funneled cold air into the central USA from Canada for the past two months might be caused by a weather phenomena known as the Greenland block.
        A blocking area of high pressure over Greenland, eastern Canada and the North Atlantic Ocean causes a cold northwest flow of air over the central and eastern USA.
        A developing theory advanced by many climate scientists has it that this cold weather we’ve experienced may be caused by global warming and climate change.
        This theory suggests rising temperatures in the Arctic has caused substantial melting of the Arctic Ocean ice pack.             The more ice that’s melted means more heat from the sun can be absorbed in the water of the Arctic Ocean. The heat is released back into the atmosphere in the fall before the ocean freezes.
        The theory advances this increases air pressure at higher latitudes can weaken the polar vortex - a belt of cold air circling the globe at high latitudes. This can cause the cold air to spill southward.
        It appears that global warming has the potential to cause an extreme range of climate change to us in Minnesota. One year it may be drought, the next year it might be excessive rainfall. With the weather we’ve experienced over the last several years, the facts are we have experienced weather conditions that have varied greatly from the normal averages.

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