Tag Archives: weather

Hail at the Como Park Conservatory

19On June 23, 1962, golf ball-size hail rained down on the glass dome of Como Park’s Conservatory in St. Paul. Glass panels shattered sending shards falling on the visitors below who had sought shelter from the storm. By the end the Conservatory, built in 1915, looked like a war zone. The hail had damaged rare and valuable plants and the gardens were forced to close for the first time ever.

After the storm, gardeners tending the injured plants were forced to wear protective helmets as glass pieces continued to fall. $75,000 in emergency funding had to be secured and the glass panels were replaced with fiberglass. The Conservatory re-opened four months later.

By 1974 the constant sun and weather had clouded the fiberglass panels, depriving the plants below of sunlight. While the Conservatory was placed on the National Register of Historic Places that year, it was in desperate need of repair.

It wasn’t until 1987 that major renovations to the Conservatory began, including replacing all the glass. Those renovations weren’t finished until 1992, 30 years after that hailstorm riddled holes in one of St. Paul’s greatest attractions.

[You can learn more about the history of Como Park and the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in the book The Jewel of Como.]

First Snowless March in 132 Years

Yesterday’s high of 75 nailed it: March 2010 is officially the first Minnesota March in 132 years with no measurable snowfall. It happened in 1878 and 1860, making 2010 only the third year since records were kept that Minnesota has seen a snowless March. Usually March is the second snowiest month of the year with an average of 10 inches in the Twin Cities. March 2010 is also among the top 5 warmest Marches on record.

Make of it what you will, but I think it’s just random and weird and fun.