Misery Loves Company

There's a lot that you can say about this winter.  Some of the words are even fit for print.  While it's undeniable that many of us have had our fill of the cold, spring-winter (I call it 'Sprinter') has been a boon for at least some industries across Minnesota & Wisconsin.

Take, for example, the ski industry.  Lutsen Mountains, on the North Shore of Lake Superior, picked up at least a foot of new snow on Friday April 25th. They will be open for weekend skiing through May 4th -- the first time in their history that lifts have been spinning during the month of May.  At the same time, Vail, Colorado, ski slopes closed over a week ago.  The outdoor & snow-sports industry did suffer slower business during the incredibly cold months of January and February, though, so this extended cold-weather season might simply end up offsetting financial losses related to the cold.

So, while snowplow contractors, energy companies, and movies-on-demand services probably fattened their bottom lines this winter, WCCO's Bill Hudson tells us that the overall economic impact was negative.

"Negative" doesn't even begin to describe how most of us feel about the prospect of more cold.  To put things in perspective, I looked at Twin Cities temperatures for December 1st through today, April 29th; 150 days, total.  During that time, believe it or not, we set no low temperature records.

High temperatures, though, are a different story. During that same period:
     - 2 record-cold high temperatures were set
     - 54 out of 150 days featured high temperatures at least 15° below average
     - 73 out of 150 days featured high temperatures at least 10° below average (almost half!)

And now... heeeeer's sprinter!  A few more "fun" facts for you:
    - 1.74" of rain fell in the Twin Cities on Sunday April 27th, making it the rainiest day since July 13th, 2013 and the wettest April day since 2001
    - This has already been the 2nd wettest April on record in the Twin Cities; if today's rainfall pushes the monthly total to 7.01" or above this will be the wettest April on record
    - The Twin Cities has received more rainfall during the month of April than fell for the entire three preceding months

On average, lakes are icing out about a week earlier than they did last year (one of the latest ice-out years on record for many lakes).  And, again, there are some pretty spectacular sights... like this ice shove on Lake Mille Lacs.  Gorgeous... unless that's your house.

An ice shove on Lake Mille Lacs, courtesy of viewer Delores Beert.

An ice shove on Lake Mille Lacs, courtesy of viewer Delores Beert.

Mike Augustyniak