Longer Than The Long Winter

The record for the latest 50 degree high temperature we broke this week was previously set in 1881.  Although snowfall and snow depth records were not kept that year locally, based on the melted precipitation and the temperatures, it is likely the winter snow cover persisted into April that year. 

If you ever read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Book “The Long Winter”, you are perhaps unknowingly familiar with the spring of 1881 as the winter she described took place in 1880-1881.  In the book she describes a warm up finally coming in April.  Fargo Moorhead also recorded a shift in the temperatures that month from the 30s to the 70s in a span of 10 days that quickly melted the snow.  That warm up melted the huge snow drifts blocking the trains from getting into South Dakota that allowed the Ingalls’ family to finally have their Christmas turkey in May. 

Our past winter was far less severe, but this snow season did start in October and is still on going in April, just like the winter described in her book.