We tend to get a little stir crazy this time of year in The Northland. The dark winter is over, the snow is mostly melted away, there are more daylight hours, and we are just itching to get out of the house. This April, however, has been pretty cold. Sure, there have been a couple of nice days (I think), but a lot of people have been griping about the weather.

If it's sunny, half the time it's near freezing. If it isn't raining, the wind has been blowing like crazy. Our furnaces are still running, and we are just days away from May.

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I asked our news partner WDIO's meteorologist Brandon Weatherz about this April. Is it really that colder than normal, or is it just in our heads?

Brandon Weatherz
Brandon Weatherz

Here's what Brandon had to say about how this compared to other Aprils we've had over the years.

Duluth closed out March with a mean average temperature of 24.1°F. This was 2.9° below normal for the month. As of April 25th, the average mean temperature for the month is 33.5°. April’s normal mean average temp is 39.5°. Overall, temperatures have certainly been below normal for the start of spring, but it isn’t one for the record books. The coldest April in Duluth was in 1950 with a mean average temp of 28.7°.

So our overall average temperature is just above freezing, and about 6 degrees colder than our average April. I also asked Brandon what the reason is for this wet, cold spring. It's due to a La Nina year.

This is a La Nina year, which is the cool phase of a recurring climate pattern across the tropical Pacific. In general, a La Nina weather pattern sends cool and wet weather our way. That has held true both for winter and spring this year. Looking ahead, unfortunately, our overall temperatures look to continue to trend on the cool side. However, Duluth’s normal high is 57 by May 1st, so an unseasonably cool start to May could very well still be warmer than we’ve gotten used to!

The National Weather Service Duluth office concurs with Brandon with a forecast that doesn't seem all that spring-like.

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