The average temperature in the Twin Cities in April was 50.5 degrees.
In and of itself, that doesn't mean much. But that figure is 3 degrees higher than what has been normal for the Twin Cities in the month of April.
That means we've had 20 straight months of above-average temperatures.
This data comes from the Minnesota DNR's climate journal, which gauges the "normal" temperature based on data from 1981 to 2010 (so it isn't being judged against temps from a century ago). For all Aprils in that timespan, the average monthly temperature has been 47.5 degrees.
And it's not just the Twin Cities. St. Cloud also finished April with an above-normal average temperature, the National Weather Service says.
The central Minnesota city averaged 46 degrees in April (compared to the average of 44.5 degrees). That is 20 straight months with above-average temps for St. Cloud.
Everything is (generally) getting warmer
The National Weather Service Twin Cities also says since 1970, above-average temperatures have been more likely than below-average – indicating the state is "warming rapidly."
These results match what's happening globally. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the combined average temperature for land and ocean surfaces in March of 2017 was 1.89 degrees above the 20th century average. (The April 2017 data is not available yet.)
NASA says the current trend of warming temperatures is extremely likely to be the result of human activity in the past 100 years, putting its confidence in the claim at 95 percent. NASA points to more extreme weather events (like storms or tornados), rising sea levels, and shrinking ice sheets as some of the effects.
The United States' Environmental Protection Agency last week began removing climate change information from its website, saying the changes “reflect EPA’s priorities under the leadership of President Trump and Administrator Pruitt.”
The Washington Post says scientific explanations of climate change and its causes and consequences has been listed on the EPA’s website in “one form or another” since 1997.