More seasonable weather in April resulted in average temperatures that were only slightly above normal over much of the state. For the Twin Cities this continues the trend of months with above normal average temperatures that began in June of 2011. However due to the historic March warmth this resulted in only slight differences between the average temperatures for March and April. In fact Rochester recorded the same average temperature (49.1 degrees) for both months. Precipitation across the state generally fluctuated on either side of normal leading to little change in the drought situation. The Twin Cities recorded over three inches of precipitation which was a good third of an inch above the normal for April. Any snow events during April were mainly confined to the northern reaches of Minnesota with the Twin Cities only recording a trace of snow throughout the month.
April while not as historic as March did record a few notable events. The lack of extreme warmth was a result of the return of more seasonable weather. While not usually notable for April a hard freeze occurred over the entire state on the 10th and 11th and due to the warm March also resulted in the coolest temperatures recorded in about a month. This had general impacts on any vegetation that sprouted as a consequence of the early spring. The cooler weather continued into the next week and coincided with a major precipitation event on the 15th and 16th. Much needed heavy rains fell over much of Minnesota breaking a slew of the daily precipitation records for the 15th. These included those in the Twin Cities, Saint Cloud, and Duluth where over two inches of precipitation fell. From the evening of the 15th to the morning of the 16th heavy snow fell across the northern part of the state with the largest accumulations seen in the Arrowhead were totals approached a foot.
The early and active start to the tornado season in Minnesota that began in March continued during the month of April. A few tornadoes confined to the western and central portions of the state were spotted along with the passage of the storm system on the 15th. A more peculiar mini-outbreak affected the state later in the month on the 21st. Unstable air in the wake of another low spun up a series of weak tornadoes throughout western Minnesota into northern Iowa. Fortunately only slight damage was the result of these tornadic events.
By: Climatology Volunteer Nick Yates