A gusty month: Minnesota's cold spring fuels high winds
Blown away by this month's windy weather? You're not imagining it.
The big picture: April is Minnesota's windiest month, and this year, winds are whipping more — and faster — than usual, Sven Sundgaard, a meteorologist with MPR and Bring Me The News, told Axios.
- The average wind speed for the month so far is about 13 mph, higher than the typical 11 mph.
The even bigger gusts: On four days this month, we've hit 50 mph or more without a thunderstorm, Sundgaard said.
Why it matters: The conditions aren't exactly conducive to enjoying our "spring" outdoors. But on a more consequential note, forceful winds can cause tree and property damage, especially when we've been battered for days and weeks on end.
- The gusts have also led to delays at MSP, as air traffic controllers closed runways due to the conditions.
Driving the trend: Rapid changes in temperature fuel winds, Sundgaard said, because it sets air on the move.
- While winds have been higher than usual all year, fluctuations prompted by the unusually cold (and wet) weather prompted this month's howls.
The silver lining: The gales are generating power. Gusts turning the state's many turbines on Sunday were strong and constant enough to keep the lights on at the equivalent of 4 million homes, per Climate Central data.
- For context, today's calmer skies will power closer to 1.1 million.
Plus: In addition to practically erasing last year's drought, the cold, wet start to spring means the winds aren't pushing around a ton of pollen (yet).
- "Tree buds, everything is way behind. So allergy sufferers are also noticing that it's not as bad as it normally would be," Sundgaard said.
What's next: We get a break today, but models showing below normal temperatures into early next month — plus a storm system moving in this weekend — mean we should brace ourselves for more wind.
More Twin Cities stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Twin Cities.