April 2009 Saint Cloud Weather Summary

Saint Cloud Weather Summary for April 2009

April is a Waterlogged Sandwich

 During the bulk of April, spring weather seemed to be in short supply, but we did see portions of spring in bursts during the month.

Early First 70 and 80 Highs, but Cool Bursts Between

The April temperature statistics from the Saint Cloud Regional Airport show an average April with a mean temperature of 44.2°F, 0.6°F warmer than normal. April got off to a chilly start after our late season snowstorm that dumped 9.2 inches of wet snow on Saint Cloud on March 31 and April 1.. This storm also set record snowfalls for both March 31 and April 1. The first 50 degree high in April was April 9 and temperatures didn't reach 60 degrees until April 14. During the first 13 days of April, St. Cloud's average high was only 46.9°F and its average low was 26.5°F, typical readings for the end of March.

However, temperatures quickly warmed in mid-April, breaking the 70-degree mark for the first time on April 16, right around the median date in St. Cloud. Temperatures were then knocked down for the following days, including a miserable high of 49 on April 20. Quickly, the next weather system produced a warming trend that allowed St. Cloud to hit 85 degrees on April 23, 11 days earlier than normal. However, after that warm high temperatures were again knocked down with highs only breaking 60 degrees once in the final 6 days of the month.

Wildfires After Record Late March Rainfall?

After such a wet late March, it was hard to believe that grass fires would have been a major April problem in central Minnesota, but they were. The total April precipitation was 1.37 inches at the Saint Cloud Regional Airport, 0.76 inch below normal. After getting 4.57 inches of precipitation between March 20 and April 1 (more precipitation than normally falls in the first three months of the year combined), there was no measurable precipitation between April 6 and April 24. Since the ground didn't thaw completely until right around the time of the last snowfall, nearly none of this precipitation got into the first few inches of soil. In central Minnesota, the ground water supply was good after a wet fall, so trees were budding on time. However, the leftover vegetation from last year dried out. That combined with mild and very dry air masses in the middle of the month to produce huge grass and wildfire problems (see year-to-date link on the Minnesota DNR fire location map) from the Twin Cities Metro north and northwestward into the Lake Winnibegoshish and St. Croix river valley areas. This problem was relieved by a widespread major rainfall on April 25 and 26, allowing enough topsoil moisture to allow greening of surface grasses.

More Snow Than You Wanted, But Better Than Last April

Saint Cloud's April snowfall, according to the measurements at the Saint Cloud Reformatory, totalled 3.6 inches, 1.0 inch above normal. As noted earlier, 2.9 inches on April 1 set a record for that date, but the only other snowfall was 0.7 inches on April 5. This was above normal snowfall for the month, but nothing like last spring. April 2008 was the 4th snowiest April since 1903. The 2008 late season snowfall (28.7 inches in March and April) was the 5th highest spring snowfall and accounted for more than half of the snowfall of the 2007-2008 season.

This year's April snowfall completed a snow season with slightly above normal snowfall (53.9 inches, 6.5 inches above normal).

However, the dominant news from the snow season was the snowmelt floods in the Red River Valley. That storm of March 31 and April 1 dumped 24-27 inches of snow along the Red River in Wilkin County. This fell on top of rivers that hit record high levels in late March. When this snow finally melted, the Red River didn't hit a second crest higher than the first in Fargo, but there was major flooding along Red River tributaries in the western Red River Valley. Despite slowly subsiding rivers, the Red River remains out of its banks in the entire valley and will only get back within its banks in Wahpeton-Breckenridge by the end of this week. Most areas will see rivers out of their banks for a 5-8 week period before the flooding ends.


April 2009 Statistics

Temperatures (°F)
April 2009
Average High Temperature (°F)
Average Low Temperature (°F)
Mean Temperature for April (°F)
April Extremes
Warmest High Temperature for April 2009 (°F)
April 23rd
Coldest High Temperature for April 2009 (°F)
April 17th
Warmest Low Temperature for April 2009 (°F)
April 24th
Coldest Low Temperature for April 2009 (°F)


April 3rd
Record Temperatures in April 2009
Old Record
Temperature Thresholds
Number of Days
April 2009 Days with High Temperatures =>90°F
April 2009 Days with High Temperatures <= 32°F
April 2009 Days with Low Temperatures <= 32°F

Cold-season 2008-2009 Days with Low Temperatures <= 32°F

Liquid Equivalent Precipitation (in)
April 2009
April 2009 Melted Precipitation (in)
April Extremes
Precipitation (in)
Most Daily Precipitation in April 2009
April 25th
Record Precipitation in April 2009
Rainfall (in)
Old Record
No Precipitation Records Set
Precipitation Thresholds
Number of Days
April 2009 Days with Measurable (>= 0.01 inch) Precipitation
April 2009 Days with >= 0.10 inch Precipitation
April 2009 Days with >= 0.25 inch Precipitation
April 2009 Days with >= 0.50 inch Precipitation
April 2009 Days with >= 1.00 inch Precipitation
Snowfall (in)
April 2009
April 2008 Snowfall (in)
Record Snowfall in April 2009
Snowfall (in)
Old Record
Record Daily Snowfall
April 1
2.0 inches in 1914
Late Season Snow Records

Historic temperature data provided courtesy of the Saint Cloud National Weather Service Office, and NOAA/NWS
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