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      Hot Tuesday: April 22, 1980

      On April 23, the day after the heat wave, a cold upper-air low dug into the Upper Great Lakes. It brought with it snow and record cold.

      Spring is the time for changeable weather. We certainly noticed that today as our warm weather of Sunday and Monday gave way to sharply colder air and brisk winds.

      The most drastically changeable spring weather occurred 34 years ago today. â??Hot Tuesdayâ?? wasnâ??t even spring; it was an all-out summery blast of heat. The high hit an all-time April record 92 degrees at the National Weather Service (NWS) near Negaunee. It reached a searing 94 in Iron Mountain. I was living in Wisconsin at the time and remember how hot and dry it got. Widespread grass fires broke out and threatened communities in the sandy plains of the central part of the state.

      After the blast of heat, a cold front moved through during the evening hours. This was a powerful one; it made the front that moved through here last night seem like a weak wind-shift line. The pattern completely flipped going from summer heat to early spring cold (Images 1 & 2 above). The high on April 23 was only 43 and the low temperature was a record-breaker at 21 degrees (This mark was eclipsed in 2009 after a late season snowstorm helped the temperature drop to 16 degrees.). It then began snowing in the late afternoon and continued snowing into the next day. A total of 6.3 inches of snow was received at the NWS. The month as a whole was mild, but not warm. The mean temperature came in at 2.1 degrees above average.

      Despite our warm interlude recently, the mean temperature for the month is still running 3.5 degrees below average as of yesterday. Now it's back to the below average pattern we've witnessed for the better part of six months. The next system that has just moved into the western U.S. will likely bring us more rain and snow late in the week. Right now, it appears that if accumulation of wet snow occurs it will be mainly over the higher elevations of the western and central U.P. Thursday night into Friday.