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The month started off very mild in the mid to high teens, and on some occasions near 20°C. The month came on the heels of the warmest March on record, meaning an early start to green lawns, buds on trees, bugs, grass fires, and ice-free lakes.
|Both taken on April 5. Plants and buds already starting to come out in spots. (right pic is mine) (left pic is by Amazis Louka, pic sent to TWN)|
As for precipitation, rainfall was above normal, which is a misleading figure considering how dry it actually was. Two major rainfall events, on the 13th and 17th accounted for most of the rainfall. No thunderstorms were seen in the city this April; strange when you consider we had 2 or 3 storms in March! With only a trace of snowfall, April 2012 is one of the least-snowy Aprils in history. Only 21 Aprils (out of 139) since 1872 have had a trace of snow or no snow at all. The last time we've been this deprived of snowfall was back in 2006, when no snow fell in April.
Everything was early this spring. Nowhere is that more true than on the Manitoba lakes. The south basins of both Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg became ice-free mid month, making it the earliest ice-breakup in recent memory. ''In my time I have never seen it (ice breakup) as early'', said Robert Kristjanson, 78, to CBC Winnipeg on April 9. Kristjanson's family has been commercial fishing on Lake Winnipeg for more than 120 years. Kristjanson mentioned that in a normal year people would still be ice fishing on the lake until mid April. (Full story by CBC here)
Grass fires were a problem this month. Dozens of grassfires sparked throughout the month, some damaging property, and some were within Winnipeg city limits. One fire took the life of a man trying to fight a grass fire near Portage.
|April 19. (left: visible satellite showing ice-free lakes) (right: Gimli Harbour web cam)|