Monday, February 25, 2008

Minnesota: We Don't Have Climate,
We Have Weather

A young man wanted to know what sort of weather to expect when he came to Minnesota, late this coming March. #2 daughter said that she didn't know.

He's in for a surprise, when he learns more about Minnesota.

"We don't have climate, we have weather" isn't a joke: it's the everyday reality we live with.

Recently, 24-hour weather forecasts are fairly accurate, on average, most of the time.

But anything much beyond that is a sort of educated guesswork.

When my wife was growing up, she once went to Easter Mass through five feet of snow. It's been conventionally warm and flowery on Easter, too. And everything in between.

Even so, it's possible to narrow down the possibilities for a day in late March in our part of Minnesota. These numbers are rounded off.
  • Record high: 75
  • Record low: -15
  • Record rainfall: 1.5 inches.
  • Record snowfall: 10 inches
There are averages, of course (low of 20, high of 40, more or less), but those are more statistical concepts than "typical" weather.

Minnesota weather doesn't spend much time near the 50th percentile.

So, in late March, a visitor could expect: temperatures between 75 and -15; thunderstorms, tornadoes, a blizzard, or a drought; overcast, clear blue skies, or anything in between; and winds anywhere between dead calm to gales that keep trucks off the road.

Whatever else Minnesota is, it's not boring.

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