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Good Question: How Common Is Snow In April?

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(credit: CBS) Heather Brown
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Many of us woke up Tuesday morning wondering if Mother Nature was playing an April Fool’s joke on us. It snowed less than an inch in the Twin Cities on Tuesday, but several more inches are expected later this week.

April snow is rare, but can happen in big spurts every few years.

“A normal April would be about 2.4 inches of snow,” said WCCO-TV chief meteorologist Chris Shaffer. “It’s probably one of those deals where it snows and changes to rain and melts within a day.”

He doesn’t expect this April to be normal.

“It gets depressing,” said Michelle Webb of Lakeville.

Last April, it snowed 17.9 inches – 14 out of the 30 days.

In April 2012, the Twin Cities got a trace. In April 2011, 1.9 inches fell. In 2010, no snow came down in April, and 2.5 inches dropped in April 2009.

“We have some very snowy winters in the ‘80s, especially the early ‘80s,” Shaffer said.

The Twin Cities snow record for April is 22 inches in 1983. Thirteen-and-half of those inches fell on April 13, 1983. Mail delivery was canceled and the roof of the Metrodome deflated. At the time, WCCO-TV reporter Dave Nimmer commented: “I’m sorry. I’ve had enough, and I can’t take much more of this.”

According to the Minnesota Climatology Working Group, heavy snows in Minnesota can happen because the transition from the winter to spring can spawn strong storms and can tap into leftover cool air from the winter.

The latest it’s ever snowed in the Twin Cities was May 28, 1965. It was just a trace.

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