We call this “April”

I was talking to a student from the Middle East yesterday — we are eyeballs deep in academic advising, I’m already booked up solid today with more student meetings — and she said she was very excited to be moving to the Midwest in the fall, and getting to experience seasons. Yeah, she’ll get that here. She’ll also get to experience that “oh my god will it never end” feeling.

Now to crawl back into my zoom-hole, from which I will not emerge until 6pm this evening.

“oh my god will it never end,” again.


  1. komarov says

    At least your weather is consistent. In the last few weeks weather in the NW-EU basically oscillated between “snowy winter” and “sunny summer”.* I’ve never seen a hail storm in the sun before yesterday. (Note that sunny and snowy are relative terms. But usually we don’t get much white stuff at all, we just get cold, wet misery when it’s the season. April isn’t that seaon.)

    *Of the many possible explanations, I’ll go with, “the weather god is five and just found out that switches make great toys”

  2. DrVanNostrand says

    I’m from Wisconsin. When I lived in California, I just wanted to slap everyone that said, “Don’t you miss seasons?”

  3. says

    Sorry my man, here in Connecticut we’re enjoying very pleasant spring weather. The grass is green and the daffodils are blooming. We have seasons, but the winter is tolerably short. Why anyone would want to live up there with you in Frostbite Falls is hard to fathom.

  4. anthrosciguy says

    As a former Minnesotan, “at least your weather is consistent” gave me a chuckle. You want three days of 60F in the middle of weeks of 0-10F below? You got it.

    It is something, though, to experience the real winter. A Thai friend who went to Ann Arbor said that was one of the good things. No, not the cold (if you’re Thai, from Thailand, you’re probably getting chilly at 60F) but the absolute apparent deadness of all plant life, only for it to come back to life in the spring.

    Thais will sometimes do a winter trip to Korea specifically for a chance to experience snow (or head to the snow dome at the zoo), but that doesn’t give you this dying and rebirth experience.

  5. says

    Yeah, as for consistency: last week we had a couple of days of 70°F weather. Thought it was really spring. Went looking for spiders. If spiders hatched out then, they’re frozen now.

  6. birgerjohansson says

    April weather: Minnesota is clearly in a state of “morphic resonance” with my town in north Sweden -first warm springtime, followed by return of the winter today.
    Komarov @ 1:
    In case you are interested in the Soviet space program, today is the 60th anniversary of the first person in space!
    😊 Unlike most Soviet “heroes” Gagarin was a genuinely sympathic character who used his prestige to help ordinary people who wrote to him and asked for help.
    PZ “crawling back” -when you get some rest maybe you want to re-watch the diary of Bridget Jones- today is the 20th anniversary !
    (I know, it feels like last month. We all get older.)

  7. Tethys says

    It’s snowing here right now, though it’s melting once it lands. Maybe it’s natures way of keeping the arsonists away from the BLM protests in Brooklyn Center. Freezing drizzle mixed with snow flurries is a very unpleasant combination of weather.

    Sometimes it snows in April

    ~Beautiful cover of Prince’s song which is sadly appropriate. Just substitute Daunte for Tracy.

  8. birgerjohansson says

    Oh shit.
    The carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere has officially hit 420 ppm.
    The pre-industrial level was 280 ppm.
    Cue some Republican Kochbot saying “it is snowing, so there cannot be a global warming!”

  9. jrkrideau says

    she said she was very excited to be moving to the Midwest in the fall, and getting to experience seasons

    I have known people from Columbia, Chile and Iraq say that they really enjoy the four seasons and would miss winter. On the other hand a co-worker from the Philippines did her Ph.D at the Univ of Minnesota and found moving to Ottawa a relief. She had a choice of universities in Hawaii and Minnesota. Her excuse was that she knew nothing about US geography.

  10. springa73 says


    I’ve lived most of my life in Massachusetts, and while I wouldn’t miss the heaviest snowfalls and coldest cold spells, I think that I would miss having any cold or snowfall if I lived in a place like Southern California or Hawaii.

  11. jaredcormier says

    What is all that white stuff on the ground? Did someone put regular dish soap in the dish washer?
    It’s going to be mid-to-upper 80’s and lows in low 60’s all week here…
    Phoenix, AZ – Where summer spends the winter…

  12. ORigel says

    If she wants to live in a place with seasons, NJ is better: it’s freezing in December-Februrary, spring is in April and May, summer is June-August, and autumn is in September-November.

    The other place I lived at, Walkil, NY state not far from the Catskills, has a colder, longer winter and a relatively less humid summer. NW Middle TN’s winter is punctuated by mild weather, and its summer (hot and humid) lasts from late May to late September.

  13. birgerjohansson says

    There was a bright fireball passing over parts of USA Monday, but the same weather that brought snow would also have hidden the view.

  14. Rob Grigjanis says

    jrkrideau @11: I’ve lived in Edmonton and Toronto, and can safely say I preferred Edmonton, weather wise. Colder winters, but drier. Only downside; autumns were lovely, but only seemed to last a couple of weeks. On my bucket list; biking through the Gatineau Hills (near Ottawa for you ignorant non-Canadians) in autumn.

  15. Marissa van Eck says

    I’ve lived in snowy areas all my life — Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and New York (Buffalo, currently). The idea of an upper Midwest winter still nopes me out @_@ That much snow should not be legal.

  16. jrkrideau says

    @ 17 Rob Grigjanis
    On my bucket list; biking through the Gatineau Hills in autumn.

    Been there, highly recommend it. Gatineau Park in the fall is gorgeous.

    To be really cold in Ontario, try London. I swear at -20 is warmer than London at -5.

  17. Tethys says

    Winter in Wisconsin is mostly identical to winter in Minnesota. Winter in Ottawa is actually more harsh, and a few weeks longer.

    We have green grass under the late snow. It will be spring again as soon as this cold front passes through.

  18. mmason0071 says

    I was under the impression that the ‘seasons’ in Minnesota are winter and August.

  19. birgerjohansson says

    mmason0071 @ 21
    In Sweden, a cartoonist suggested adding an extra fall/winter month named “Mörv!” because it sounds like
    what people mutter under their breath when they get out in the damp, windy cold.

  20. calgor says

    While here in the UK, we don’t get extremes but can have four seasons in 15 minutes. Clear skies and sunny with instant blizzard, torrential rain followed by gale winds – wait 10 mins then repeat. Currently as I type, I have full sunshine with cloudless rain.

  21. blf says

    Today is sunny but not (too) hot with only a light breeze, after several days of, first, rain, then the Mistral wind. So it turned out to be a good day to get one of the skylights replaced — the old one had collapsed back in November, so as an emergency repair to protect from the cold, rain, and winds (including the Mistral), it was sealed shut.

    Today the builder returned with a replacement — which is, in their words (translated paraphrase), “fecking heavy and just 1cm too long, it cannot be locked shut”. There’s also four possible ways to orientate it, and they tried two of them before listening to me and installing it (sans locking) with the correct orientation. They’ll be returning later this week to install a custom-made latch to lock it shut. In the meantime, whilst some rain is forecast, the forecast winds are light, so I suspect it will stay shut and adequately sealed when closed despite not being locked into place. (The Mistral is so strong it can force open a closed but not locked tight skylight / shutter / window / door.)

  22. steve1 says

    I grew up in the Chicago area it is cold and always colder by the lake. I lived by the lake. My parents were from Wisconsin and complained about the winter they spent in Minneapolis MN. I live in Florida now. It is mostly hot. The current weather is low 80s during the day and 60s at night. I’ll take it.

  23. komarov says

    It seems I have to retract my consistency remarks. Pity. At least you do get snow with your miserable cold, although the dose makes the poison. As someone who stays home a lot and doesn’t drive, I wouldn’t mind a few feet of snow for a little while. Just not, please, in April and after tricking all the plants into thinking it’s spring.

    Re: Birgerjohansson:

    The anniversary was difficult to miss but this was an interesting and new tidbit to me. Cheers!