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George and Pam Holgate of Cottage Grove visited the Como Zoo on Wednesday sheltered from the sleet with umbrellas.

Richard Sennott, Star Tribune

It's May, first the grass is green, the magnolia are in bloom and snow and sleet are in the air. This cyclist road by these magnolia blooms on the U of M campus.

Richard Sennott, Star Tribune

Upside to Minnesota's late snow: Here today, gone soon

  • Article by: mary lynn smith
  • Star Tribune
  • May 1, 2013 - 10:05 PM

For some Twin Cities residents, this could very well be a record-setting day — provided the May snowstorm sliding through the Twin Cities has dumped more than 3 inches on parts of the metro area by Thursday morning.

Sure, snow on a newly greening lawn is disheartening for those desperate for springtime days. But the potential record May snowfall should be fleeting as temperatures near the 40s Thursday quickly melt whatever fell overnight. By early next week, temperatures are expected to creep up to the mid-60s or higher, according to the National Weather Service.

“If you’re going to get snow in May, you might as well go out in a bang and set an all-time record,” said Chris Franks, National Weather Service forecaster. “I personally prefer 80 and sunshine.”

The winter of 2013 that’s pushed its way into May could leave parts of the east metro area with up to 6 inches of new snow, Franks said. And that would bust the record May snowfall of 3 inches that fell May 11-12, 1935. The Twin Cities also was hit with 3 inches of snow on May 1, 1935, and May 20, 1892, according to the Weather Service.

Thankfully, May snow is a novelty, according to the Weather Service, and most often amounts to flurries that measure less than an inch. In fact, most west metro residents might not even see a flake as the narrow band pushes its way though Minnesota, he said. But many east metro residents will wake up to snow-covered lawns, decks and cars. Driveways, roads and highways are not likely to accumulate much, Franks said.

“If this would have fallen in December or January, it would have been an easy 8 to 10 inches of snow,” he said. But the May snowfall will turn to slush and melt quickly. “I’m refusing to shovel,” he said. “I’m going to let Mother Nature take its course.”

 

Mary Lynn Smith • 612-673-4788

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