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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Seesaw Weather

Spring is here and with its arrival came some wonderful weather for many parts of the country. Yet now that the work week has begun, rain and even that dreaded “four-letter word — S N O W” is in the forecast.

Spring storms — even snowstorms–aren’t that unusual especially for areas in the Great lakes and northern East Coast. Back in April of 2008, residents of Minnesota were surprised by a springtime blizzard that dumped more than a foot of snow in central and northern areas of the state. The heavy snow was worsened by 55-mph winds that created zero-visibility conditions and knocked out power to thousands.

That storm paled, however in comparison to another blizzard that hit the state 75 years earlier, to the day. On April 5, 1933, portions of Minnesota received 28 inches of snow in a single day, a record for the state. A close second happened between April 19 and April 21, 1893, when more than 30 inches of snow buried St. Cloud, including 24 inches that fell on a single day.

On April 6, 1982, a snowstorm stretched along the length of New England and the Mid-Atlantic states, burying Long Island in more than 10 inches of spring snow, Newark in 13 inches, and Portland, Maine in 16 inches. The last time New Yorkers had seen a spring snow was April 3-4, 1915, when 10 inches fell.

But spring snowstorms aren’t confined to just New England and the Great Lakes. In 1873, the deadly Easter Sunday Blizzard of ‘73 pounded a 200-mile area in and around Nebraska, and including parts of Kansas and North Dakota. The storm was so bad, it is credited with causing the most significant loss of life, in terms of population percentage, than any other storm in Nebraska’s history. Among pioneers of the era, it came to be known simply as The Great Storm.

The unusual part about this spring is that the snow seems to be covering or dusting areas that are more south than usual. And, unfortunately, due to the early warm temperatures and rainfall, flooding is an eve-present concern.  Be sure to check out our predictions for the spring here.

And remember — Summer is only 91 days away

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.