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March 2012 and 2013 see very different temps; St. Patrick's Day revelers keep the smiles

Lead Summary

During the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Saturday, March 17, 2012, people lining the parade route were wearing t-shirts and shorts. The temperature was nearing 80 degrees.
Just the day before the high had hit 79 degrees setting an all-time record high for the month. As it reached mid-afternoon and the parade began winding its way down 13th Street, the temperature again hit 79 degrees in Benson. A good-sized crowd lined both sides of the street with parents bringing their young children out to gather the candy that would be thrown from the floats.

What a contrast to the 2013 St. Patrick’s Day parade!

With the temperature at 10 degrees – 69 degrees colder than the previous year – the parade route had far fewer people willing to brave the cold, made even more frigid by a 15 mph wind out of the north. The days high of 27 degrees was shortly after midnight, after which it steadily declined.

Those standing along the parade route, as well as those participating in the parade, were bundled up against the cold. Mittens, scarfs, stocking caps, and winter coats were the clothing of the day, not shorts and t-shirts.
March 18, 2012, saw the all-time March record high fall again as the high in Benson hit 81 degrees. The high broke the old record of 61 degrees by an amazing 20 degrees.

By contrast, March 18, 2013, saw a high of 34 degrees shortly after midnight. The temperature then fell into the teens as winds gusting to between 40 and 46 mph in western Minnesota created blizzard conditions that closed highways and schools.

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