If this spring feels colder than that of last year, it's not just your imagination.
Last year on this day, the temperature was 78 degrees. Thursday's high is expected to be 32 degrees.
"We are definitely running below normal on our temperatures," said Dean Melde, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Duluth.
Temperatures have been running about 3.2 degrees below normal. Melde said a 30-degree day feels like 50 degrees when it comes in December, "But in March, you'd think we'd be warmer," he said.
Two years ago on this day, the temperature nearly reached 50 degrees. But this year, there is no major warm-up in sight. High temperatures are expected to be below the average high of 43 degrees until next Tuesday, and then it's just expected to match the average.
Melde said that coming off back-to-back cold months in January and February, March hasn't provided relief. February was significantly colder, Melde said, noting temperatures were about 4.5 degrees colder than average. Duluth is running about a foot below its normal snowfall.
"Even though we haven't have much snow, we are running colder than normal," Melde said.
Last year, when the temperature was pushing 80 degrees, there had already been a string of days with high temperatures in the 60s.
With few days remaining in the month, Melde is doubtful those heights will be reached this year.
"I don't see any 60s, which you'd think we'd be hitting because after this weekend, we'll be in April," Melde said of the extended forecast.
But the cold temperatures have made this winter feel like a long one.
Although March has had one relatively warm day - 50 degrees March 12 - most days this month have been in 30s, with a handful stretching into the 40s. In 2006, the state's climatology office lists seven days of nearly 50 degrees or warmer in March. In 2007, there were five days in which the temperature was nearly 60 degrees or above in March. Two years ago, the first 80-degree day came April 16. A year ago, it was May 10, although it came close several times in late April.
But this spring, winter still has a strong grasp. On Wednesday, southern Minnesota was expecting 2 to 5 inches of snow in areas like Mankato and Rochester. The extreme southwest corner of the state could get 6 inches or more. The Twin Cities metro and St. Cloud may see accumulations of an inch or less. The Brainerd lakes area has missed most of the fun this winter, with successive storms dumping on southern Minnesota and Wisconsin, and no snow is expected with this latest storm. But by Saturday, the lakes area may get a couple inches of snow, which may include a snow/rain mixture into Sunday.
RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5852.
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