Weather or Not: Last month of summer

WCCO Chief Meteorologist Chris Shaffer

Usually folks get worked up about the weather in March. We want spring so bad, but we know it is a snowy month. How many times have you been told about those high school tournament storms? Well, we got off pretty easy last month. March came in like a lamb and went out the same way. We only totaled 1.3” of snow, and we didn’t endure any fist-waving cold snaps.

I never thought something like a virus could anger folks more than the weather in these parts. Yet here we are. I know we are all enduring hardships with this. And I’m confident we will win and resume our normal lives eventually. It is tough, but you are not alone. We are strong together (even though we need to spend time apart for safety). This is the first time in my professional career that I’ve done the weather from home. Just when you thought you’ve seen it all.

I’m hopeful we don’t get hit with any winter storms this month. The last two Aprils have angered many. Last year we got thumped with 9.8 inches of snow on April 10-12. My neighbors were out of town, so I got to clear three driveways with that whopper. Good thing I have a snow blower or my arms may have fallen off. Believe it or not, it was worse the April before. In 2018 we had two big storms that dropped 9 inches on the second and third, and we had to clear 15.8 inches that fell April 13-16. We had our snowiest April on record that year with 26.1 inches. I really want that streak to come to an end. Other notables with April weather include 2010 when we had our second warmest April on record. And 2018 when we had our 4th coolest April – 26.1 inches of snow has a way of keeping things cool.

It’s hard to believe that next weekend is already Easter. Like many, our family plans are in limbo right now with all that is going on in the world. I still smile looking back at all of the weather types we’ve dealt with for Easter. When our daughters were younger, we would hide eggs all over the yard. Some were filled with money, some had candy and once in a while a critter broke into those plastic eggs and scored a sweet treat. There were times we hid those eggs wearing shorts and t-shirts. It was so warm that the grass was greening up and looking nice. And of course there were a few times we were dropping eggs in the snow. The kids thought they were easier to find, but the complaints were numerous. I hope the weather is nice next weekend. And I hope you are able to get some quality family time in as well.

More things to look forward to this month. Today our average high temperature is 51 degrees. By April 30 it will be 65 degrees. That will feel awesome! We also see a big change in the time the sun will set. Today’s sunset is at 7:44 p.m. By the 30th it doesn’t set until 8:18 pm. At least as the weather improves we can spend more time outside and not feel so cooped-up in our homes. I imagine many of you will work on home improvements. And I bet most will be out working in our yards to pass the time. As long as it doesn’t snow of course.

Forecasting isn’t as fun these days without ball games, proms, garage sales and the like to focus on all month. And my heart breaks knowing all that we are missing. I wish I could forecast an end to this pandemic.

Stillwater native Chris Shaffer is WCCO’s chief meteorologist.

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