April 2023 Saint Cloud Weather Summary

April 2023 St. Cloud Weather Summary

April Finally Leaves 2022-2023 Atop Snow Pile

St. Cloud, and much of Minnesota, finally made it to the top of the historic snowfall list, but we didn't make it until the prolonged snow cover completely melted. Even then, there had to be three more days and nights with additional snowfall (set tab to NOW data, place to St. Cloud area, and product to daily data for a month). But overnight on April 20 and 21, the final 0.4 inch came to push St. Cloud to 88.2 inches for the season, beating 1964-1965 by 0.3 inch. This is the 4th snow season in the past 10 that has ranked in the top 10.

In April, St. Cloud added 4.4 inches to the cold season total, which was slightly below the 30-year average of 4.7 inches. Note that April snowfall has become more common in St. Cloud, since the 1981-2010 April average was 2.9 inches. Overall, St. Cloud gets 2 inches or less of April snow about 2 years out of every 3, but gets the heavier amounts one year in 3.

Summary of Record Snow Season Here...

While April ended up with slightly below average snow, 3 different months (December, January, and March) ended up within the top ten snowiest for each month. The meteorological winter (Dec 1-Feb 28) also ranked first in snowfall, although this winter reminded us once again that the snow season in Minnesota is longer than the winter season. The snow season got off to a relatively slow start with little October snow and less than average November snow. But, the snow began to fall frequently in early December and continued through March. Both December and March exceeded 20 inches of snow in the month. There were 47 days with measurable snowfall, tying with the 2021-2022 season for the 10th most days with accumulating snow. Ironically, the 2021-2022 season had far less total snow (49.5 inches). However, the 2022-2023 snow season in St. Cloud placed either first or second in the number of days with at least 1, 2, and 5 inches.

...And Elsewhere in Minnesota

With the seasonal snowfall record, St. Cloud joined Brainerd (89.3 inches) and Duluth (140.1 inches) with the snowiest seasons on record. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport had more snow during the cold season, 90.3 inches, but that only ranked as the third snowiest. The heavy snowfall was part of the pattern that produced heavy snowfall from Oregon and California through the central Rockies and into the Northern Tier (pick Seasonal Snowfall on the NWS NOHRSC US Snowfall). Only the interior of Oregon, Washington state into Idaho had below average snowfall this past cold season. That can also be seen on the NWS January-April precipitation departure from average map. Minnesota isn't as far above average as the mountains of California since air in the colder average temperatures have a smaller capacity for water vapor.

Previous Record Fueled By Snowiest Month In St. Cloud Records (March 1965)

The record-setting snow season was quite different than the 1964-1965 snow season. The snow season 58 years ago was dominated by March 1965, which produced 51.7 inches just in that month. That's the heaviest snow month in St. Cloud records. March 1965 had two storms in St. Cloud's Top 5 snowiest, March 1-3 with 21.7 inches (briefly noted at the top of this article), and March 14-18, the St. Patrick's Day blizzard with 17.7 inches, tied for the 5th snowiest ever. The top 2 storms both happened before 1900, when snowfall daily totals were a bit less reliable. This past snow season has placed two storms in the Top 20, but none had more than 14 inches. The 1965 season produced record flooding along the Minnesota, Mississippi, and St. Croix Rivers, ranking among Minnesota's top 5 weather events of the 20th century. The 1965 season produced "weather whiplash" with a major tornado outbreak on May 5-6, including Fridley. March 2023 with 23.5 inches was the 13th snowiest month on record. The February through April snowfall for 1965 was 68.9 inches, the snowiest late portion of the cold season in St. Cloud records. 2022-2023 did manage a total of 41.9 inches in the past 3 months, which ranks as the 8th most, but this past season has been more consistently snowy than 1964-1965.

Worst April Storm Combination of Snow, Ice, and Snow Pack Freezing

The worst April snowstorm this year was the tail end of the March 30-April 1 Storm. While the eastern Dakotas had a prolonged snowfall, much of Minnesota had heavy rainfall on the last two days of March, then the precipitation changed over to snow on the night of March 31-April 1. Much of the frozen precipitation fell as ice before turning over to snow in north central and northeastern Minnesota, causing heavy tree damage. The heavy, wet snow also froze after it stopped falling on April 1, putting an icy crust on top of the snow pack and causing much of the pack to freezing in place, making snow clearing quite difficult. The other storm on April 16 did produce 2.6 inches in St. Cloud with persistent snow melting on contact with the ground during much of the morning. That meant higher elevation areas got more snow, since temperatures were slightly colder aloft.

Wetter Than Average March Fuels 4th Wettest Start of Year

Plenty of precipitation came with the persistent snow. After a relatively dry period following the start of April storm, multi-day storms on April 14-16 and April 19-21 each produced nearly one and a half inches of rainfall and each ended with a short period of snow during the overnight hours. The total April precipitation was 3.74 inches, 1.13 inches above the April average of 2.61 inches. That ranked as St. Cloud's 17th wettest April. The heavy snow season has produced heavy precipitation totals for the cold season.

  • April: 3.74 inch +1.13 inch, 16th wettest (2001 8.41 inches wettest)
  • Dec-April: 11.87 inches (6.49 inch avg) (2nd to 2000-2001, 12.16 inches)
  • Jan-April: 9.97 inches (5.61 inch avg) (4th behind
    • 2001: 11.43 inch
    • 1896: 10.59 inch
    • 1897: 10.24 inches

St. Cloud Temperatures Chilled By Snow Cover...

Temperature-wise, St. Cloud continued the early spring/late fall temperatures that have dominated since late November. These produced milder than average temperatures for the three winter months, since the frequent cloudiness associated with the snowstorms helped to keep temperatures milder overnight. However, the persistent snow cover meant that the sun's heat was often used to melt and evaporate the snow. And, the frequent snows also meant that St. Cloud spent several days on the cold side of storms, so daytime highs were suppressed by the frequent cloudy days as well. So, temperatures ended being colder than average for most of March and all of April. The average April temperature was 40.9 degrees, 2.4 degrees colder than average, making this month the 33rd coldest April of the 141 in St. Cloud records. The average April high temperature of 50.4 degrees was 3.9 degrees colder than average and the 23rd coldest April average high on record. St. Cloud did tie a record cold high on April 21, only hitting 37 degrees. St. Cloud came within a few degrees of breaking several record cold highs.

The combined March and April temperature was 32.3 degrees, 4.0 degrees colder than average. That marks the 28th coldest March-April combination on record.

....Except Heat Wave That Melted Snow Pack in Mid-April

The heat wave of April 9-13 kept St. Cloud temperatures away from the 10 coldest Aprils. Finally, a long period of above freezing temperatures, especially on the overnights, melted the snow pack that had been on the ground since December 8. The snow was finally gone on April 10, tied with 1979 for the 4th latest date for the consecutive days of snow pack to end. While 1965 ranks higher on the list than this season, the latest date for the snow pack to melted was April 20, 2018, another cold season with a lot of late snowfall (3rd on record). Once the snow disappeared, temperatures rocketed into the 70's and even 80's, breaking the April 13 record warm high by 5 degrees. That also meant that the first 50-, 60-, 70-, and 80-degree highs of the season all came within 5 days of each other. The April 8 date for the first 50-degree high was in the latest 10 percent of years and the first 60-degree high (April 10) missed the late 10 percent by 5 days. On the other hand, the first 80-degree high was the 11th earliest date on record.

Staring At Snow Piles (9th Most Days)

As noted above, St. Cloud did not break the snowfall record (April 22) until the persistent snow piles had melted. There were 123 consecutive days of snow cover in this year's streak. While the average is 86 days, this year's total only ranked as the 17th most on record. There have been 137 days this cold season with at least an inch of snow on the ground (scroll to most days with an inch on ground), which ranks as the 9th most.

Snow Produced Unique and Significant Spring Flooding

The heavy snowfall and the rapid melt allowed rivers to swell throughout Minnesota. However, only the Mississippi River from the Twin Cities into southeastern Minnesota and the Minnesota River from Morton to St. Paul reached major flood stage. That's because this snow season and thaw were unprecedented, according to local hydrologists. The ground did not freeze before the persistent snow cover came in much of Minnesota. That allowed some of the snow melt to seep into the ground, especially since soil conditions were dry going into the cold season in much of southern and western Minnesota (compare November 1 with most recent on the US Drought Monitor two week comparison). Negative factors were the sudden, rapid melting and the continuing precipitation in March and April, but most of Minnesota had moderate flooding at worst. One exception was the Sauk River, which rose to moderate flood stage, a level that was not well forecast. But, the forecasts of river levels depend a lot on the previous flooding years, so unprecedented conditions lead to more forecasting problems.

St. Cloud Recent Cold Season Trends Say......Everything is Possible

At the very bottom of this report, you can find a table comparing the last 11 cold seasons. As noted above, 4 of the snowiest seasons in St. Cloud records have occurred since 2012-2013. On the other hand, three of the 10 warmest Oct-Apr cold seasons have also occurred. So, the cold seasons have been very volatile in recent years.

What Does Global Warming Theory Mean For Our Climate?

Again, this does not prove or disprove global warming theory. It's the global average temperature, not a partial year average temperature or snow cover in any one place, that shows the strong rising trend, especially since the middle 1970's. There are colder than average places (like Siberia this winter) and warmer than average places (like the southeastern US) in any given season. Overall, the meteorological winter season placed in the 10 warmest globally. While any year in the past 5 can't be used to prove or disprove global warming (can't distinguish seasonal variation from a trend until we look back over 30 years or more), the forecasts of global warming (which are the shakiest part of the theory, since computers struggle with long-range forecasts) indicate that the interior Northern Hemisphere continents would tend to be milder with more cold season precipitation. So, the cold season of 2022-2023 in Minnesota would be consistent with global warming theory.

The ups-and-downs seen in the recent trend do not contradict the theory of global warming, since we will still have variations from season to season. What would change is the odds of a warmer-than-average season. The current situation would be like rolling an eight-side die (NERD ALERT!!): a roll of 1 or 2 producing colder than average, 7 or 8 warmer than average, and 3 through 6 being average. In a globally warmed climate, only the 1 would produce a colder than average year, 6, 7, or 8 would produce a warmer than average year, and 2 through 5 would produce a near average year. And, this would mostly apply to the cold season in our area.


NWS NOHRSC US Snowfall (pick Seasonal Snowfall) 2023 Minnesota Lake Ice-Out Dates  

April 2023 Statistics

Temperatures (°F)
April 2023
Average High Temperature (°F)
Average Low Temperature (°F)
Mean Temperature for April (°F)
April Extremes
Warmest High Temperature for April 2023 (°F)
86 (broke record; see below)
April 13
Coldest High Temperature for April 2023 (°F)
April 4, 5
Warmest Low Temperature for April 2023 (°F)
April 12
Coldest Low Temperature for April 2023 (°F)


April 7
Record Temperatures in April 2023
Old Record
Daily Record Warm High
April 13
81 in 2006
Daily Record Cold High
37 (tie)
April 21
tied record from 1924
Temperature Thresholds
Number of Days
April 2023 Days with High Temperatures =>90°F
April 2023 Days with High Temperatures <= 32°F

Cold-season 2022-2023 Days with High Temperatures <= 32°F

April 2023 Days with Low Temperatures <= 32°F

Cold-season 2022-2023 Days with Low Temperatures <= 32°F

April 2023 Days with Low Temperatures <= 0°F

Cold-season 2022-2023 Days with Low Temperatures <= 0°F

Liquid Equivalent Precipitation (in)
April 2023
April 2023 Precipitation (in)
3.74 (16th wettest)
December 2022-April 2023 Total Precipitation (in)
11.87 (2nd wettest to 2000-2001)
January-April 2023 Total Precipitation (in)
9.97 (4th wettest)
April Extremes
Precipitation (in)
Most Daily Precipitation in April 2023
April 19
Record Precipitation in April 2022
Rainfall (in)
Old Record

No records set

Precipitation Thresholds
Number of Days
April 2023 Days with Measurable (>= 0.01 inch) Precipitation
April 2023 Days with >= 0.10 inch Precipitation
April 2023 Days with >= 0.25 inch Precipitation
April 2023 Days with >= 0.50 inch Precipitation
April 2023 Days with >= 1.00 inch Precipitation
Complete list of Saint Cloud April Records
Link to 10 Wettest/Driest Aprils
Snowfall (in)
April 2023
April 2023 Snowfall (in)
April Extremes
Snowfall (in)
Most Daily Snowfall in April 2023
April 16
Snowfall Thresholds
Number of Days
April 2023 Days with Measurable (>= 0.1 inch) Snowfall
2022-2023 Cold Season Total Days with Measurable (>= 0.1 inch) Snowfall
47 (tied for 10th most)

April 2023 Days with >= 1.0 inch Snowfall

2022-2023 Cold Season Total Days with >= 1.0 inch Snowfall
25 (1st)
April 2023 Days with >= 2.0 inch Snowfall
2022-2023 Cold Season Total Days with >= 2.0 inch Snowfall
17 (1st)
April 2023 Days with >= 5.0 inch Snowfall
2022-2023 Cold Season Total Days with >= 5.0 inch Snowfall
5 (2nd tie)



NWS NOHRSC US Snowfall (pick Seasonal Snowfall) 2023 Minnesota Lake Ice-Out Dates  

 Last Updated: May 2, 2023



St. Cloud Monthly Snowfall and Rank 2022-2023
Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Total  



5.0 22.5 18.6 14.0 23.5 4.4
Rank Among Snowiest       40th 55th 5th 10th 18th 4th 32nd 1st   1st (tie)



Minnesota Cold Season Snowfall Records
City (Years of Record) 2022-2023 Snowfall 2022-2023 Rank Previous Record Snowfall Previous Record Season


(75 yrs)

89.3 in

1st 80.6 in 1996-1997


(137 yrs)

140.1 in 1st 135.4 in 1995-1996

International Falls

(76 yrs)

84.6 in Not in Top 10 (need another foot) 125.6 in 2008-2009

Minneapolis-St. Paul Int'l Airport

(138 yrs)

90.3 in 3rd 98.6 in 1983-1984


(130 yrs)


63.3 in Not in top 10 86.8 in 2018-2019

St. Cloud

(118 yrs)

88.2 in

1st 87.9 in 1964-1965


NWS NOHRSC US Snowfall (pick Seasonal Snowfall) 2023 Minnesota Lake Ice-Out Dates  



St. Cloud Snow Season of 2022-2023
Category 2022-2023 Amount Rank 2021-2022 Amount Rank Average (1905-2023)
Total Snowfall

88.2 in

1st 49.5 in 42 47.9 in (1991-2020)
Days with Measurable Snowfall 47 10th (tie) 47 10th (tie) 32.2
Days with >= 1.0 inch 25 1st 20 20th 14.0
Days with >=2.0 inches 17 1st 9 40th 7.6
Days with >=5.0 inches 5

2nd (tie)

9 in 1936-1937


(no days since Nov. 10, 2020)

Days of Consecutive Snow Cover 123 17th 92 51st 86.0 days
Latest End to Snow Cover Streak April 10 4th (tie) March 19   March 13




NWS NOHRSC US Snowfall (pick Seasonal Snowfall) 2023 Minnesota Lake Ice-Out Dates  


St. Cloud Snow 2022-2023 Versus 1964-1965
Category 2022-2023 Amount (thru 4-25) Rank 1964-1965 Rank Average (1905-2023)
Total Snowfall

88.2 in

1st 87.9 in 2nd 47.9 in (1991-2020)
March Snowfall 23.5 in 5th for March, 13th snowiest month 51.7 in 1st for March, snowiest month ever 8.2 in (1991-2020)
Days with Measurable Snowfall 47 10th (tie) 47 10th (tie) 32.2
Days with >= 1.0 inch 25 1st 20 20th 14.0
Days with >=2.0 inches 17 1st 11 17th 7.6
Days with >=5.0 inches 5

2nd (tie)

9 in 1936-1937


5th 1.4
Days of Consecutive Snow Cover 123 17th 139 3rd (tie) 86.0 days
Latest End to Snow Cover Streak April 10 4th (tie) April 13 3rd March 13
Snowstorms in Top 20 2

Jan 3-5 (13.8 in, 13th)

Dec 13-17 (12.4 in, 20th)


March 1-3 (21.7 in, 3rd)

March 14-18 (17.7 in, 5th tie)



St. Cloud First Spring Temperature Thresholds 2023

2023 (Temp)*

Median Latest Ever Latest 10% Earliest Ever Earliest 10%
First 50-degree high April 8 (51) March 13 April 26, 2013 April 6 Jan 5, 2012  
First 60-degree high April 11 (71) April 4 April 26, 1947, 1965, and 2013 April 16 March 3, 2005  
First 70-degree high April 11 (71) April 17 May 16, 1996   March 6, 1987 March 28
First 80-degree high April 13 (86); 11th earliest on record May 4 June 21, 1945   April 4, 1921 and 1929 April 14
*Select NOW Data, St. Cloud area, Daily for a month




NWS NOHRSC US Snowfall (pick Seasonal Snowfall) 2023 Minnesota Lake Ice-Out Dates  


St. Cloud Winter Spring Statistics 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022 2022-2023
Average October-April Temperature 35.3 (warmest) 25.9 21.9 (5th coldest) 33.2 (2nd warmest) 32.5 (3rd warmest) 25.3 28.2 27.8 29.4 (10th warmest) 27.2 27.7
Lows of freezing or colder (days) 151 (3rd fewest) 191(10th most) 173 143 (fewest) 150 (2nd fewest) 186 183 182 175 163 179
Lows of zero or colder (days) 10 (fewest on record) 43 63 (8th most) 14 (3rd fewest) 24 42 49 28 24 52 36
Highs of freezing or colder (days) 49 87 103 64 65 89 106 83 74 78 85
Highs of zero or colder (days) 0 2 15 2 3 5 5 2 8 3 4
Lows of -20 or colder (days) 0 0 14 0 1 2 7 0 5 5 0
Snowfall (inches) 27.4 78.5(4th snowiest) 75.5 (5th snowiest) 30.3 31.9 62.7 69.1 (8th snowiest) 47.4 45.2 49.5 88.2 (snowiest)
Days with at least one inch of snow on the ground 63 141 131 69 65 127 119 104 93 109 137
Consecutive days with at least 1 inch on ground 33 121 127 55 46 75 90 102 72 92 123
Days with measurable snowfall 24 49 (tied for 6th most) 50 (5th most) 33 26 38 40 37 34 47 (10th most) 47 (10th most)
First 50-degree high Jan 5 (earliest) Apr 26 (latest) Mar 30 Mar 9 Feb 17 Apr 19 Mar 27 Mar 8 Mar 7 Mar 19 April 8
First 60-degree high Mar 11 Apr 26 (latest) Apr 6 Mar 10 Mar 5 (2nd earliest) Apr 22 Mar 27 Apr 2 Mar 9 Mar 21 April 11
First 70-degree high Mar 14 Apr 27 Apr 9 March 15 Apr 8 Apr 30 Apr 20 Apr 7 Apr 4 Apr 23 April 11
First 80-degree high Apr 13 May 14 May 24 Apr 14 May 5 Apr 30 May 30 May 25 Apr 5 (3rd earliest tie) not yet.... April 13



NWS NOHRSC US Snowfall (pick Seasonal Snowfall) 2023 Minnesota Lake Ice-Out Dates  




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

Send comments to:

Connect with SCSU