Minneapolis sets First Record Daily Low in Almost 9 Years
It has been a near-record cold April so far for many locations in the Upper Midwest including Minneapolis, Minnesota where a daily record low temperature of 21°F (-6.1°C) was registered this past weekend on April 20th. What was truly remarkable, however, was that it was the first new daily record low recorded in the city in almost nine years (since August 21, 2004).Brief history of weather records in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area
Minneapolis/St. Paul has one of the longest temperature series in the United States with observations beginning in October 1819 at Fort Snelling, which was built on a bluff overlooking the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers. A stereo photo of Fort Snelling, Minnesota taken sometime during the 1870s. The fort maintained temperature records from 1819 to 1891. The ‘twin cities’ of St. Paul and Minneapolis eventually formed around this fort.
Photographer unknown, photo from NWS-Minneapolis web site.
Temperature records were maintained here until 1891 with only nine years of data missing (1844, 1851, and 1859-1866). The U.S. Army Signal Service began taking more comprehensive observations at a site in St. Paul in November 1870 and then the newly established USWB (U.S. Weather Bureau) set up shop in Minneapolis in 1891. This began the period of ‘official’ weather records for Minneapolis (although the database does include many records beginning in the 1870s ostensibly from the St. Paul Signal Service observations).Daily record lows and highs since 2004
The low of 21°F last Saturday morning was the first daily cold temperature record broken in Minneapolis since a 44°F (6.7°C) reading on August 21, 2004 (another record low was also set that month with a 47°F/8.3°C reading on August 11th). The old record for April 20th was 26°F/-3.3°C in 1888. So far, this April has averaged just 36.2°F (2.8°C),which is -9.0°F (-5.0°C) below normal.
Since August of 2004 there have been 34 daily record highs
plus an additional 4 daily record highs tied. It should be noted that a daily record low temperature was tied
on September 15, 2011 when a 36°F (2.2°C) reading was recorded. Of the 34 daily record highs a full 8 of them occurred during the phenomenal ‘summer in March’ that occurred in March, 2012.
The April monthly temperature extremes for Minneapolis range from a low of 2°F (-16.7°C) on April 13, 1962 to a high of 95°F (35.0°C) on April 21, 1980.
Heavy snow is forecast for the city on Monday night with accumulations of 5-9” (13-22 cm) forecast. This may provide an opportunity to break the city’s all-time April monthly snow record of 21.8” (55.4 cm) set in 1983. So far this April a total of 14.1” (35.8 cm) has been measured.Just what Minneapolis residents want: more snow. 7.3” (18.5 cm)of snow fell just last Thursday and Friday (April 18-19) and another 5-9” may accumulate Monday night and Tuesday morning possibly breaking the city’s April monthly snowfall record.
Photo of snow in Bloomington by Jim Mone, AP.
Christopher C. Burt