Historical May Snow Events in Twin Cities

Snow at Cross Lutheran Church, (Present Day Maplewood)
May 12, 1946
Snow at Cross Lutheran Church, (Present Day Maplewood) May 12, 1946
Courtesy the Maplewood Area Historical Society

 

Snow that falls in May is typically a novelty. The ground is usually too warm by May to allow much of an accumulation. Looking at past records for the Twin Cities, a trace of snow falls during the month of May fairly frequently. If the snow manages to accumulate it is generally under an inch and mostly on grassy surfaces. The most recent measureable Twin Cities snow event was 0.5 inches on May 3, 2013. About once every 30 years or so, there is a snow event that is enough to cover newly greened lawns and coat budding leaves. The last time there was a snow event in May greater than an inch in the Twin Cities was on May 2, 1976 with 1.2 inches. The most that it has snowed in May in a single event for the Twin Cities is three inches. This has happened on three occasions: May 20, 1892, May 1, 1935 and May 11-12, 1946.

Top Fifteen largest May Snowfalls for the Twin Cities 1888-2017
-------------------------------------------------
Rank  Date      Year   Amount (in)
#1.   May 11-12 1946   3.0 (Tie)
      May 1     1935   3.0 (Tie)  
      May 20    1892   3.0 (Tie) 
#4    May 2-3   1954   2.4
#5    May 18    1915   2.0 (Tie)
      May 4     1890   2.0 (Tie)
#7    May 1     1909   1.8
#8    May 2     1976   1.2
#9    May 4     1888   1.0
#10   May 15    1907   0.8
#11   May 3     2013   0.5 (Tie)
      May 8     1923   0.5 (Tie)
#13   May 9     1924   0.4
#14   May 5     1991   0.3 (Tie)
      May 1     1967   0.3 (Tie)
      May 6     1888   0.3 (Tie)
Last modified: April 28, 2017
Pete Boulay, DNR Climatologist

 

For more information contact: climate@umn.edu