What a difference a year makes
Bitter cold and two snowstorms characterized a March that felt anything but springlike.
The monthly high of 50 degrees was recorded March 30 after a brief warming trend, but only seven of the first 21 days had highs above freezing.
The mid-month cold spell was a dramatic shift from last year, which saw the area reach a near record-breaking high of 80 degrees on March 17.
On March 20, the first day of spring, the Red Wing area managed a meager high of 21 degrees and a low of five.
Winter storms also swept through the area March 5 and 18. Both storms caused roadway chaos and prompted school closures and government meetings to be cancelled.
The harsher of the two storms came March 5 and dropped as much as 10 inches of snow, according to the Red Wing Waste Water Treatment Plant.
The second storm only dropped around 2 inches, but strong winds blew snow drifts onto highways and obscured road markings.
Later that evening the Minnesota Department of Transportation advised motorists to avoid Highway 52 south of Cannon Falls because of dangerous ice patches.
Although April started off chilly and windy, the National Weather Service is forecasting highs near 50 degrees by the end of the week.
The Old Farmer's Almanac forecasts a wetter than usual April with around average temperatures.
By the numbers
High: 50 degrees March 30
Low: minus 4 degrees March 21
Average daily high: 34.2 degrees
Average daily low: 17.4 degrees
Precipitation: 17.45 inches of snow, 3.2 inches of rain
Source: National Weather Service, Red Wing Waste Water Treatment Plant, U.S. Lock & Dam No. 3.