An April storm

Waseca street department crews were back at it after an April 3 snow which dumped over a half-foot of snow in the area. Cold temperatures added to the woes of local residents, as temps hit record lows Wednesday morning. (Dana Melius/Waseca County News)

Patience is one cold virtue.

Over a half-foot of snow and single-digit temperatures the first week of April will put a dent into the warm thoughts of spring. And while Tuesday’s storm brought back out the plows and snow removal efforts, Wednesday’s biting early morning temperatures continued to keep spring on hold.

School closings April 3 also meant sports and other after-school activities throughout the region had to be postponed. But with the new snow and low temperatures, it could be some time before the local spring sports seasons get rolling in full force.

Travel conditions were difficult through Tuesday and into early Wednesday. The Minnesota State Patrol had reported 421 crashes, 402 vehicle spin-outs, 15 jackknifed semis, and some three dozen personal injury reports.

As much as a foot of snow fell in parts of the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities. Four more inches of snow is being predicted for late Sunday and into early Monday.

On Wednesday, a 41-year-old New Ulm man, Michael John Reinharts, died when the 2008 Chevrolet Express van he was driving eastbound collided with a 2009 Ford pickup on U.S. Hwy. 14 near Courtland. Two others were injured.

The National Weather Service says more snow or freezing rain is likely to hit the region again Sunday and Monday. Hundreds of schools had closed April 3, including all three Waseca County districts, although New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva implemented a flex learning day for students at home.

Temperatures are averaging 20 to 30 degrees below normal, with mornings continuing to see single-digit readings through the weekend, according to the service.

“We are very far north of the jet sream,” National Weather Service meteorologist Er Ahasic of the Chanhassen office said. “We’re in that really arctic air.”

The jet stream divides cold air from the north pole and warm air from the equator. As is typical, one part of the U.S. is in the grips of icy temperatures while another — currently the western portion — is basking in balmy weather.

Ahasic said there’s a high pressure center over the Atlantic Ocean that has kept the jet stream in the same pattern for weeks at a time.

“These temperatures are unusual,” he said.

The state will again flirt with record lows over the coming weekend, But finally, the high pressure will break down and the jet stream will again move, bringing normal temperatures around April 11 or 12, according to Ahasic.

Temperatures are expected to finally reach 50 degrees by Friday, April 13. But with that mild warm-up will come thunderstorms.

“The averages (highs) for this time a year are close to 60 degrees, so it will warm up pretty quickly here,” he said. “We just have to grit our teeth and get through the weekend. There’s hope on the horizon.”

Associate Editor Nancy Madsen contributed to this report.

Reach Dana Melius at 507-931-8567.

Regional Managing Editor, Adams Publishing Group--Southern Minnesota/Western Division: St. Peter Herald, Waseca County News, Le Center Leader, Le Sueur News-Herald

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