Last April 1, Twin Cities residents played golf as thermometers flirted with the 60-degree mark.
Construction workers got an early start on a booming building season while wearing short sleeves. Dogs splashed in open water as their owners walked them around the lakes.
But early April won’t be balmy this year. A storm is expected to dump a double dose of wet, heavy snow on the metro area, with 2 to 3 inches expected Monday and another 4 inches coming Tuesday, meteorologists said Sunday night.
The snow started midday Monday and will wrap up Tuesday afternoon, said Michelle Margraf of the National Weather Service, making for messy commutes Monday evening and Tuesday morning.
“It will be snowing, but it will be compacting,” she said, adding that warmer air in April makes the snow dense rather than fluffy.
On the plus side, that means that 6 or 7 inches won’t actually be on the ground when the storm is over, Margraf said.
The air will be colder than usual, too. Temperatures will hover just above freezing, with a high of 35 degrees expected Monday, followed by high of 33 on Tuesday. Typically, highs are around 50 degrees in early April.
Temperatures in the 30s will continue through the week, she said, but no more precipitation is expected.
“It’s been a cool start to spring,” Margraf said, predicting that it may be the second half of April before the metro area sees its first 60-degree day of the season.
The Twin Cities area usually hits 60 on or around March 23, she said.
However, snowfall in April isn’t unusual, Margraf said, with an average of 2.4 inches falling on the Twin Cities throughout the month.
The snowy start to the month follows a frigid, relentless winter, she said, which lacked a January thaw.
“We really haven’t had the warm-ups that we usually see,” Margraf said.
Margraf said that despite the delays this year, spring really is on its way.
Normal highs of 65 degrees are expected during April’s second half, National Weather Service forecasts show.
“If it cheers anyone up, normally in May we don’t see any snow in the Twin Cities,” she said.