I’ve written this several times this year, “it was an unseasonably warm winter”. Some were happy with this, and some were not. But either way, it seems like we’re all just ready to get into stable warmer weather.  

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A few weeks back, I reached out to Pete Boulay, a Minnesota State Climatologist asking how the warm winter would impact the spring and summer. The word Pete focused on then was, “drought”. 

So earlier this week, I reached out to Pete again to check on the drought levels now that we finally had a significant snow and then some steady rains early last week.  

Photo by frame harirak on Unsplash
Photo by frame harirak on Unsplash

Pete had some good news for some of the counties in Central Minnesota. “Most of Stearns and Benton County and all of Sherburne County are no longer experiencing drought conditions”. Pete says the snow and rain I spoke of positively impacted the drier conditions in those areas. 

When you go north of St. Cloud, into the Little Falls, Brainard, and Baxter areas are still quite dry, and he’d like to see any precipitation land in that area.  

Most of the storms over the winter and thus far in the spring have affected the central and southern most counties in the state, but not the northern areas.  

Photo Credit: Dave Thomas Townsquare Media
Photo Credit: Dave Thomas Townsquare Media

As he did in our conversation a few weeks back, Pete indicated that the Mississippi River levels are still lower than normal because there was no snow melting into the river.  

When I asked Pete about fires that may develop this spring, he said that two-thirds of the fires that impact Minnesota happen in the spring. Again, he said the Northern areas are the ones to be most concerned about, especially the Northwestern Counties due to the lack of any type of precipitation.  

The April weather pattern is likely to continue for most of the rest of the month. The up and down temperatures are likely to continue along with more rain and wind can be expected for the final week or so of April. 

Speaking of the wind, it’s a thing that’s said here a lot, “if it weren’t for the wind, it’d be great” speaking of the weather. I asked Pete about the wind, and he says the wind is connected to the storms that have primarily been present in the southern part of the state.  

Even if we don’t see any rain, it’s likely the winds we’ve been getting in Central Minnesota are a part of a band of storms that have moved through the state.  

“April is the Windiest Month of the Year” Pete says, and we should expect to see more in the not-so-distant future.  

We’ll continue to monitor the weather for the area and reach back out to Pete in the future as we continue to make our way closer to summer.  

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