Albert Lea had no snow in March

Published 9:45 am Wednesday, March 31, 2010

No snow in March — an unusual phenomenon. The last time there was no snow in March was 1878.

That’s not a misprint, either. Eighteen seventy-eight.

“Certainly in the modern era it’s a first,” Dr. Mark Seeley said. “This year the storm track stayed south of us and consistently missed Minnesota.”

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Seeley is a climatologist with the University of Minnesota. He said that the pattern is changing, which means we will be having a stormy first half of April. We will be getting precipitation in April, and it might be snow.

“Wouldn’t it be odd to have no snow in March and to get some in April?” Seeley said.

Rick Ashling, who works at the Wastewater Treatment Plant in Albert Lea, said the lack of snow didn’t hurt Albert Leans in any way because the city already had so much snow on the ground. Not getting any snow actually helped.

“It benefitted us because we had plenty of snow and didn’t need anymore,” Ashling said.

Though Albert Lea didn’t get any snow, the area did receive some rain and it’s always a possibility to get snow in April or May. Albert Lea resident Mary Braaten liked the lack of snow in March.

“It was wonderful, especially with the hard winter we had,” Braaten said.

KIMT-TV Chief Meteorologist Adam Frederick said that March is typically a month with heavy snowfall.

“Obviously, it’s a pretty rare event.” Frederick said. “We’ve gone a century without this happening, so you could call it a once-in-a-lifetime event.”

He said we normally get around seven inches of snow in March, but the way the weather patterns were set up this year the storms went to the south and to the north.

“In April, we average a couple inches of snow,” Frederick said. “It wouldn’t last long, but there’s still a 5 percent chance it could happen.”

Frederick said he’d be shocked if we didn’t see any more snow this year and that we might just get a few flakes. March may have come in like a lamb, but it’s also going out like a lamb.

“It’s going out like a lamb unless you count near-record high temperatures like a lion,” Frederick said.