Monday’s snow may have broken a record

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Benson tied its all-time May snowfall record when at least 2.1 inches fell early Monday morning. It also snowed 2.1 inches May 3, 1954.

Officially, the city saw 2.0 inches by 7 a.m., but the snow was still falling when that measurement was taken at the city’s wastewater treatment plant by staff that provide the National Weather Service statistics. At least another tenth of an inch of snow fell after that reading.

Seeing snowflakes in May is not all that uncommon. It has happened 14 years out of the past 64 years. However, most of those years it is just a few snowflakes that briefly appear and are gone as they hit the ground. Only three times in those 64 years has snow accumulated to the point of turning the ground white – 1954, 1966 and now 2017.

What is even more rare is to see more snow fall in May than in April. This past April the area only received one-tenth of an inch of snow. Only twice now, 1954 and 2017, has May recorded more snow than April.

For the first time in state weather records, snow fell in May after March and April saw no snow in 2010. In the Benson area, March set a record in 2010 when not a single flake of snow was seen during the month. April also did not see snow, but May brought a snowfall that partially covered the ground.

The storm that brought this year’s May 1 snowfall move into western Minnesota Sunday night bringing with it winds gusting to 29 mph, driving a cold rain. That rain turned to snow during the early morning hours and continued until around 10 a.m. when warming temperatures changed the precipitation to rain....


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