Extraordinary April 2001

On April 22 and 23, Mother Nature delivered a memorable weather combination to the state, one which further aggravated the spring flooding situation by creating a second crest on many rivers and streams. Rain, sleet, snow and ice fell in abundance across the state, with many long-standing weather records falling as well. The following reported new record snowfalls for April 23:

Park Rapids  8"        Bemidji  12"                Campbell   9"
Bagley  8"                Pelican Rapids  6 "       Fergus Falls  3"
Brown's Valley  10"

Moorhead reported 7.2", but it is unclear whether that  was a record.

In addition daily rainfall records for April 23 were set at the following  locations:

Itasca State Park  1.33"    Duluth  1.77"           Canby  2.16"
Brown's Valley     1.94"    Fergus Falls  3.00"   Morris  1.77"
Hutchinson  2.77"             Olivia  3.25"             Willmar  2.92"
St Cloud 3.52"                 Aitkin  2.74"             Cambridge  2.40"
Winnebago  1.71"            Rosemount 1.53"       Twin Cities 2.21"
Lamberton 3.51"              Pipestone 3.20"         Redwood Falls 3.30"
Sioux Falls 3.72"              Worthington 3.55"     Becker 3.47"

In addition the amounts at St Cloud, Aitkin, Fergus Falls, Lamberton, Pipestone, Redwood Falls, and Worthington were also the heaviest rains ever observed on any date in the month of April.

Lastly, many communities have already reported the wettest April in their climate history. The following are new record totals for April precipitation:

Duluth  7.79"                Canby  8.00"            Rochester  7.09"
Sioux Falls, SD  6.69"  Worthington  7.53"   Aitkin  5.65"
Olivia  6.52"                 St Cloud 8.14"         Hutchinson  6.27"
MSP 6.89"                  Cambridge 7.73"      Pipestone 6.32"

In fact, taking all of the reports from around the state, this April ranks as the 2nd wettest in history on a statwide basis, with an average of over 5 inches of precipitation. The wettest ever was April of 1896 when the state average was close to 6 inches.

Mark Seeley
Professor and Extension Climatologist
Department of Soil, Water, and Climate
University of Minnesota
St Paul, MN 55108

For a mapped depiction of April precipitation patterns, see "Minnesota Climatic Conditions Leading to the
Spring Flooding of 2001


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URL: http://climate.umn.edu/doc/journal/april2001.htm
Last modified: May 2, 2001