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Editorial: Winter’s weather is still with us

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If west central Minnesota was hoping to escape our long winter with the arrival of April, we all figured wrong.

The week started out with a flurry of blizzard warnings along some western border counties and a tornado touchdown in Yellow Medicine County. We were fortunate to escape the actual blizzard conditions that swept across much of North Dakota and northern Minnesota.

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The week is ending with another winter storm coming into the region and other parts of the state. The peak of the storm overnight was forecast to drop 6 to 14 inches of snow in the Twin Cities.

While some may complain about the National Weather Services’ forecasting abilities, the service has been quite reliable in forecasting winter storms this winter.

The service’s Probability of Detection success rate this year has been 92 percent, according to a Minneapolis StarTribune report. Thus 92 percent of the time they warned a county about an approaching snowstorm at least 6 inches of snow fell.

This long miserable winter has not been bad news for everyone.

While a heavier snowpack is not causing a flood danger on the Minnesota River, it has helped soil drought conditions a bit and helped restore some lake levels. This is especially true on the Great Lakes where water levels have been below average for nearly 15 years.

This winter’s ice cover helped decrease lake evaporation across the Great Lake basin and the heavier snow pack is expected to help lake levels rebound.

The same is true on some Minnesota lakes as well. The additional moisture will be helpful to many wetlands as well.

So as we sit at work or home today complaining about this latest snow storm, don’t forget there have been some benefits. If you feel a need to gripe about our weather today, just blame the television weather people.

And remember the grass is green at Target Field where the Twins’s home opener is Monday. Besides the start of the Stanley Cups Playoffs is on April 16.

So spring is coming, if not slowly.

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