Some Notes on Cold Temperatures:Coldest air of the winter season settled over the state this week. International Falls and Hibbing both set new record cold maximums on February 14th with a daytime readings of only -5F and 2F, respectively. Gunflint Lake set a new record low temperature on February 15th with a reading of -34F, while on that same date 11 other Minnesota communities set new records for the coldest maximum temperature value including a reading of 2F at both Brainerd and Theilman. On February 18th, Duluth tied the record for coldest maximum temperature with a reading of -5F and Cotton reported a new record cold daytime maximum temperature of -13F. Also on the 18th Kabetogama set a new record low temperature with a reading of -26F. Thursday, February 19th brought even more record cold: Cotton set a new record low with a reading of -42F, the coldest in the nation, and the coldest reading in Minnesota for this winter; Seagull Lake set a new record low with -38F; Brimson and Embarrass set new record lows with a reading of -41F; Ely and Tower set new record lows with -37F; Orr reported a new record low of -36F; and Littlefork reported a record low of -34F.
It is interesting to note that the places in the state that set new cold temperature records this week were areas that also have the deepest snow cover (a foot up to 30 inches). From a historical perspective these are the coldest mid-February low temperatures since those of 1966.
Frost Depths Increase:
Weekly Weather Potpourri:
MPR Listener Question:
December 6, 2014 -12 F at Embarrass
December 18, 2014 -9 F at Grand Marais
December 29, 2014 -20 F at Flag Island
January 4, 2015 -28 F at Brimson
January 5, 2015 -29 F at Togo
January 10, 2015 -29 F at Cotton
January 11, 2015 -27 F at Crane Lake
January 12, 2015 -28 F at Agassiz Refuge
January 13, 2015 -35 F at Cotton
January 16, 2015 -20 F at Ely
January 21, 2015 -18 F at Grand Marais
January 30, 2015 -19 F at International Falls
February 1, 2015 -29 F at Crane Lake
February 2, 2015 -31 F at Embarrass and Cotton
February 5, 2015 -26 F at Ely, Embarrass,and Crane Lake
February 12, 2015 -28 F at International Falls
February 18, 2015 -33 F at Crane Lake
February 19, 2015 -42 F at Cotton
Who knows how many more times this month Minnesota will report the coldest temperature in the nation. But it is certain we won't see the same number of days as last winter.
Twin Cities Almanac for February 20th:
MSP Local Records for February 20th:
MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 57 degrees F in 1981; lowest daily maximum temperature of -4 degrees F in 1918 and 1909; lowest daily minimum temperature is -20 degrees F in 1889; highest daily minimum temperature of 35 F in 1899; record precipitation of 0.85 inches 2011; and record snowfall is 11.8 inches in 2011.
Average dew point for February 20th is 12 degrees F, with a maximum of 43 degrees F in 1930 and a minimum of -26 degrees F in 1966.
All-Time State Records for February 20th:
Past Weather Features:
February 15-21, 1966 brought a week-long Cold Wave to Minnesota, one of the coldest ever spells of weather during the month of February. Scores of daily record low temperature values were set. At least two dozen communities saw the thermometer drop into the -40F. On the 20th Hallock (Kittson County) reported a daytime high temperature of -15F.
Perhaps the warmest ever February 20th was in 1981. With an absence of snow cover, a sunny day with southerly winds caused afternoon temperatures to soar into the 60s F in sixteen Minnesota cities. At Marshall the temperature rose from a morning low of 19F to an afternoon high of 64F, and in nearby fields farmers were seen doing tillage and planting small grain crops.