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Friday, January 27, 2017

Some Record Snows and January Climate Summary

Some Record Snows on January 25th:

A slow moving winter storm brought heavy snowfall to portions of southern Minnesota and northern Iowa over January 24-25 this week. Snowfall reports generally ranged from 5 to 12 inches, especially south of I90. The wet of the heavy, wet snow caused some tree breakage, as well as sporadic power outages, and a number of schools closed on Wednesday the 25th. Some new daily record amounts of snowfall reported included: 11.5" at Mason City (IA); 9.0" at Grand Meadow; 8.0" at Austin and Spring Valley; 7.0" at Lakefield and Albert Lea; 6.0" at Rochester and Hokah; and 5.0" at Winnebago. The National Weather Service-La Crosse, WI Office posted a summary.

Preliminary Climate Summary for January 2017:

As we end the month of January early next week most of Minnesota's climate observers are reporting mean monthly temperature values that are from 5 to 7 degrees F warmer than normal. For the Twin Cities January marks the 17th consecutive month with above normal temperatures, while on a statewide basis it is the 9th consecutive month of above normal temperatures. Extreme temperature values for the month ranged from -46°F at Cotton (St Louis County) on the 14th to a high of 48°F at several locations over the 18th and 19th. In terms of record-setting daily temperatures, 31 daily record maximum temperature records were tied or set over the warm period from the 17th to the 21st, while over the same period 90 daily warm minimum temperature records were tied or set. Conversely, only three record low temperatures were reported during the month, all on the 13th, including a reading of -42°F at Cotton (St Louis County). In addition three new record cold maximum daily temperatures were reported, including -14°F at Thorhult (Beltrami County) on the 13th. Minnesota reported the coldest temperature in the nation four times during the month, including a reading of -42°F on the 13th and -46°F on the 14th both at Cotton (St Louis County).

Most climate observers around the state reported near normal January precipitation totals, but those in south-central and southeastern counties reported above normal amounts. In fact for southeastern counties it was the 7th wettest January in history (back to 1895) with an average monthly total over 2 inches. The driest part of the state was southwestern Minnesota where precipitation fell short of normal. Extreme values ranged from less than a quarter of an inch in many western communities to 2.65 inches at La Crescent and Austin.
January snowfall around the state generally was less than 9 inches in most places, although some observers reported over 15 inches. Northern portions of St Louis County had the most with Cook reporting 19 inches and Kabetogama reporting over 20 inches. In addition to the snow storm on January 25th (described above), some other storms brought record-setting daily values of snowfall around the state. On January 3rd new record amounts included: 9.2" at Kabetogama; 8.0" at Thief River Falls and Argyle; 6.5" at Orr; and 6.4" at Tower. On January 11th new record amounts included: 5.2" at Wabasha; 4.5" at Minnesota City; and 4.0" at La Crescent and Embarass.

January 10th and 12th were the windiest days of the month, with several climate stations reporting wind gusts over 40 mph on those dates.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

The National Weather Service in Chanhassen provided a nice summary of the January Thaw period which ended this week after 8 consecutive days with maximum temperatures above freezing in the Twin Cities. They also summarized the period for St Cloud and Eau Claire as well. It was not record-setting for longevity, but it certainly was unusual, embedded with over 96 consecutive hours above the freezing mark. (Thanks to NWS - Michelle Margraf for these data.)

NOAA scientists now offer a visual animation of Earth's temperature history to vividly see the pronounced warming that has occurred since 1880. See NOAA News Features for more.

The Midwest Regional Climate Center, along with Illinois and Indiana SEA Grant program have provided an online tool to assess flood vulnerability for critical facilities. This can be applied to a number of structures whether they reside along a designated floodplain or not. It takes about 45 minutes to 1.5 hours to do a complete assessment.

A recent study from Oregon State University scientists has documented the linkage between warm North Pacific Ocean water temperatures and toxic algal blooms that dominated coastal regions of the USA during 2015. The high levels of toxic algal blooms were related to the temporary closure of crab fisheries in Oregon and Washington.

Another recent paper from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst documents how the great volcanic eruption of Mt Tambora in 1815 altered the climate of the Northern Hemisphere during 1816 ("the year without a summer") and profoundly affected the fisheries off the coast of Maine. The alteration in climate changed the abundance and distribution of fish species in the area which lasted for years.

MPR listener question:

Seems like this run of cloudy days is the longest of the winter so far. I haven't seen the sun since last Thursday (Jan 19). Am I right?


Yes indeed. We have had essentially 7 consecutive days of complete cloud cover, the longest continuous period since the end of October (25th to the 31st). In fact solar radiation data from the St Paul Campus Climate Observatory show that from January 20-26 we measured only about one-third of average solar radiation, all of it coming from diffuse light from the clouds overhead. This is a record low value for the week, with data going back to 1963. See graphic (thanks to Dave Ruschy for this information).

Twin Cities Almanac for January 27th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 24 degrees F (plus or minus 14 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 8 degrees F (plus or minus 15 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for January 27th:

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 47 degrees F in 1934; lowest daily maximum temperature of -10 degrees F in 1915; lowest daily minimum temperature is -23 degrees F in 1950; highest daily minimum temperature of 35 degrees F in 1944; record precipitation of 0.49 inches in 2013; and a record snowfall of 3.8 inches in 1916`.

Average dew point for January 27th is 1°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 35°F in 1944; and the minimum dew point on this date is -32°F in 1966.

All-Time State Records for January 27th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 61 degrees F at Lakefield (Jackson County) in 2002. The state record low temperature for this date is -54 degrees F at Pokegama Dam (Itasca County) in 1904. State record precipitation for this date is 1.55 inches at Canby (Yellow Medicine County) in 1944; and record snowfall is 18.0 inches at Hokah (Houston County) in 1996.

Past Weather Features:

An Arctic air mass brought record cold temperatures to the state over January 27-28, 1915. Low temperatures in the -30s F and -40s F were common in northern and central Minnesota. The temperature rose no higher than -15°F at New London (Kandiyohi County). As far south as St Charles (Winona County) the temperature dropped to -38°F. Abundant snow cover amplified the cold.

A slow moving storm brought a mixture of rain, sleet, freezing rain, and snow to Minnesota over January 27-28, 1944. Many areas received over an inch of rainfall, while areas of the Red River Valley received from 4 to 8 inches of snow.

Back to back storms brought heavy snows to many parts of the state over January 25-29, 1996. Many observers reported 6 to 10 inches of snow, but heavier amounts fell across southern counties. La Crescent, Lanesboro, and Spring Valley received over 20 inches, while Hokah reported 28 inches. Blizzard conditions closed many roads in southern Minnesota including Interstate90 where over 200 cars were abandoned. Snow drifts as high as 15 feet were reported in Houston County.

January 26-27, 2002 brought record warm temperatures to many parts of the state. Many areas of western and southern Minnesota reached the 50s F, while places like Lakefield, Worthington, Winnebago, Amboy, and Windom saw afternoon temperatures reach 60°F or greater.


Mostly cloudy over the weekend with a chance for snow flurries Saturday and perhaps more widespread snow on Sunday. Temperatures will remain a few degrees warmer than normal with highs in the 20s and 30s F. There will be an increasing chance for snow on Monday and Tuesday, then breezy and drier for the balance of next week.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Reversal of January Temperatures

Reversal of January Temperatures:

The proverbial "January Thaw" (two or more consecutive days with daily high temperatures greater than freezing) for the Twin Cities has historically about an 80 percent probability of occurrence (about a 91 percent probability since 1980 with a pronounced urban heat island effect). This January it is happening to us with an exclamation mark! We may have up to 10 consecutive days with daily high temperatures above freezing if the forecast through January 26th verifies. In this context it would be the 5th longest such streak in the Twin Cities climate records surpassed only by 18 days in January 1944, 15 days in January 1942, 13 days in January 1919, and 11 days in January 1880 and 1909. (thanks to NOAA's Michelle Margraf and DNR-SCO's Pete Boulay for pointing this out).

Over 50 Minnesota climate stations have already reported daytime highs in the 40s F this week, including 48°F at both Grand Rapids and Forest Lake on the 18th. Some record high maximum and minimum temperatures may be reported in the coming days as well. Some nights will remain above the freezing mark, as for example Friday, January 20 when many lows ranged between 33°F and 35°F. BTW probably the warmest January night in Minnesota history was January 25, 1944 when the low temperature never fell below 40°F at Rochester, the Twin Cities, Fairmont, and Winona.

The end result of this long "January Thaw" period will likely place mean month January temperatures above normal, marking the 17th consecutive month with above normal temperature values around the state.

Soil Frost Depth:

According to measurements compiled by the DNR-State Climatology Office soil frost depths around the state currently range from 9 to 27 inches depending on snow cover and soil type. This is not unusual. Maximum frost depths are usually attained by late February, but the recent spell of mild weather should keep frost depths fairly stable through the end of this month. More details about soil frost depths can be found at the State Climatology Office web site.

New Seasonal Climate Outlooks:

The NOAA-Climate Prediction Center issued new seasonal climate outlooks this week. For the period from February through April they call for generally cooler than normal temperatures across most of Minnesota and the high plains states (North Dakota, Montana). This is based on dynamical and ensemble models and does not indicate a high level of confidence. The outlook for precipitation over this period is for above normal values from the Great Lakes Region (including Minnesota) westward to the state of Washington. This follows trend analysis.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

Deke Arndt with NOAA-NCEI presents his analysis and interpretation of the significant weather and climate events of 2016 in a review article this week. It is well worth reading for relating the significance of these events to trends in the climate and the need for us to consider community-based resilience strategies and planning.

On one of the NOAA web sites you can now play an animation of global temperatures for the period 1880-2016 and see distinctly the areas of planet Earth that have grown warmer and peaked in the year 2016. It is worth taking a look at.

The US Climate Resilience Toolkit now features a variety of case studies of community actions which have helped to build resilience to climate change and climate variability. It contains many good ideas for consideration.

Using sediment cores scientists from the University of Arizona have reconstructed the precipitation climate of the Sahara Desert for the past 25,000 years. The data show that between 5000 and 11000 years ago the Sahara received about ten times more rainfall than it does today. This supported a different type of vegetation as well as a hunter-gatherer human culture.

A recent paper in the Earth & Space Science News documents efforts of German scientists to explain the amplified warming that has been measure in the Arctic Region of the Northern Hemisphere. It is a somewhat complicated picture as albedo (reflectivity) as well as the extent of sea ice play important roles.

MPR listener question:

I noticed on my Minnesota Weather Guide calendar that the record snowfall in the Twin Cities on January 20 and January 22 were both in 1982, with 17.1 and 17.2 inches respectively. Was that a single storm or a double whammy? Did that rank as one of the bigger snow events in Minnesota history?


Yes, I vividly remember those storms because of the huge snow drifts and snow loads imposed on thousands of roof tops around the Twin Cities. There were two distinct storms, one occurring on a Wednesday (Jan 20), the other on a Friday (Jan 22). The second storm brought blizzard conditions and dangerous wind chills besides heavy snow. Several deaths were associated with these storms and a number of roofs collapsed, some in rural areas killed livestock and poultry. Interstates I35 and I90 were both closed for a time.

Many daily snowfall records were set and snowfall totals for the two storms were astounding: Many climate stations reported over 30 inches for the two storms, while the Twin Cities reported a grand total of 37.4 inches. After the storms many climate stations also reported record snow depths. Hastings and Farmington both reported over 40 inches of snow depth. Snow plows piled the snow into such large hills at intersections that drivers could not see around corners. The Twin Cities ended up with over 46 inches of snowfall for January of 1982.

Twin Cities Almanac for January 20th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 24 degrees F (plus or minus 15 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 7 degrees F (plus or minus 15 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for January 20th:

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 52 degrees F in 1908; lowest daily maximum temperature of -17 degrees F in 1888; lowest daily minimum temperature is -32 degrees F in 1888; highest daily minimum temperature of 35 degrees F in 1921; record precipitation of 0.80 inches in 1982; and a record snowfall of 17.1 inches in 1982.

Average dew point for January 20th is 4 degrees F, with a maximum of 36 degrees F in 1921 and a minimum of -38 degrees F in 1985.

All-Time State Records for January 20th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 61 degrees F at Madison (Lac Qui Parle County) in 1944. The state record low temperature for this date is -57 degrees F at Embarrass (St Louis County) in 1996. State record precipitation for this date is 1.76 inches at Preston (Fillmore County) in 1988; and record snowfall is 17.1 inches at MSP in 1982.

Past Weather Features:

One of the worst winter storms from the harsh winter of 1916-1917 came over January 20-21, 1917. Rain, sleet, freezing rain, and snow fell across many parts of the state. Observers across the southern and central counties reported 10 to 24 inches of snow, with drifts as high as 6 feet.

By far the warmest January 20th in state history occurred in 1944 when nearly all areas of the state saw afternoon temperatures climb into the 40s F. Over 40 climate stations reported an afternoon high temperature of 50°F or greater, and a few spots reached 60 degrees F.

Record-setting heavy snow fell across much of the southern half of Minnesota on January 20, 1982. Many observers reported between 10 and 17 inches.....see the answer to the MPR listener question.

One of the most intense Cold Waves of the 1990s occurred on January 20, 1996. Arctic high pressure brought low temperatures down to record-setting levels across much of northern Minnesota where morning readings of -40°F or colder were common. Five climate stations were colder than -50°F and the temperature never rose above -22 degrees F at Red Lake Falls.


Warm and cloudy through the weekend and into next week. Chance for drizzle, rain or freezing drizzle on Saturday, and mostly dry on Sunday and Monday. Continued mild temperatures well into next week with a chance for mixed precipitation on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Snowy Week

Snow dominated the weather this week, especially over January 8-11. Daily amounts were generally modest, but made for difficult travel at times, especially commuter times in the Twin Cities area. Many climate observers reported multi-day snowfall totals ranging from 4 to 10 inches. There were some new daily snowfall records set at Minnesota and regional climate stations. Some examples:
On January 10th: 4.0" at Rothsay and Glenwood; 4.5" at Winona Dam; and 5.2" at Milan
On January 11th: 4.0" at La Crescent and Embarrass; 4.5" at Minnesota City; 5.2" at Wabasha; and 6.1" at Eau Claire, WI.

With the snow, came an invasion of polar air which made temperatures tumble to below zero F readings around the state. Minnesota reported the nation’s coldest temperature three times this week. On January 8th Cotton (St Louis County) reported a minimum temperature of -34°F. This was not only the coldest reading in Minnesota that day, but the coldest in the nation as well. Then on January 12 Hibbing reported -31°F, Embarrass reported -32°F and Cotton reported -35°F, coldest in the nation. Finally on January 13th, International Falls and Embarrass reported a morning low of -39°F and Cotton reported -42°F, coldest in the nation again. Fortunately moderating temperatures are seen for the coming weekend, with a more dramatic warm up starting by the middle of next week.

Summary of 2016 Minnesota Climate Features:

The Minnesota State Climatology Office has produced a summary of the major climate features of 2016 in Minnesota. You might find it to be interesting, with trend analysis as well as a description of the 5 most notable events.

The Winter Misery Index (WMI):

The WMI is used to rate each winter based on cold temperatures, snowfall, and snow cover calculated as number of days with 12" or greater. Index points are accumulated for everyday with a maximum temperature of 10°F or colder, minimum temperature of 0°F or colder, and or a snowfall of 1" or greater. Various caveats apply to more extreme temperatures and snowfalls.

The Minnesota State Climatology Office updated the Winter Misery Index for the Twin Cities this week. So far points accumulated for cold temperatures and snow have totaled 42 which is classified as "a Mild Winter." They note that 14 more points brought by cold temperatures or more snowfall will place this winter in the "moderate' category.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

NOAA posted an interesting article this week about billion-dollar weather and climate disasters which occurred around the country during 2016. Here is an excerpt:
"The year 2016 was an unusual year, as there were 15 weather and climate events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States. These events included drought, wildfire, 4 inland flood events, 8 severe storm events, and a tropical cyclone event……. Cumulatively, these 15 events led to 138 fatalities and caused $46.0 billion in total, direct costs. The 2016 total was the second highest annual number of U.S. billion-dollar disasters (1980-present), behind the 16 events that occurred in 2011." Read more at the NOAA Climate web site.

Yet another interesting article from NOAA appeared this week quantifying the extraordinary warm year in 2016 for Alaska. This appeared under the title "2016 Shatters Record for Alaska's Warmest Year." It was their warmest year in history by a wide margin. Among the details reported was a notation that it was the first year in history that Nome's annual temperature was above freezing (32.5°F).

In contrast to Minnesota temperatures the Australian Bureau of Meteorology reported this week that a persistent Heat Wave was underway in portions of Queensland and New South Wales, where afternoon temperatures were consistently ranging from 107°F to 114°F. Some moderation will occur by Sunday afternoon with temperatures falling back closer to normal.

MPR listener question:

Recently you updated us on seasonal snowfall around the state, noting that it is generally below normal in the south, and above normal in the north. Which Minnesota location or area has received the most snowfall so far this season?


In general norther St Louis County has received the most snowfall this season in Minnesota, over 60 inches in many areas. Snow depth in that region of the state ranges from 24 to 32 inches. Among the official climate stations, Kabetogama is the winner with 73 inches reported so far.

Twin Cities Almanac for January 13th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 23 degrees F (plus or minus 14 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 7 degrees F (plus or minus 14 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for January 13th:

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 48 degrees F in 1891, 1980, and 1987; lowest daily maximum temperature of -14 degrees F in 1916; lowest daily minimum temperature is -30 degrees F in 1916; highest daily minimum temperature of 34 degrees F in 1960; record precipitation of 0.37 inches in 1887; and a record snowfall of 6.0 inches in 1967.

Average dew point for January 13th is 9 degrees F, with a maximum of 37 degrees F in 1947 and a minimum of -33 degrees F in 1982.

All-time state records for January13th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 60 degrees F at Lamberton (Redwood County) in 1987. The state record low temperature for this date is -50 degrees F at Bagley (Clearwater County) in 1916. State record precipitation for this date is 1.41 inches at Grand Marais (Cook County) in 2008; and record snowfall is 15.0 inches also at Grand Marais (Cook County) in 2008.

Past Weather Features:

A fast-moving winter storm brought 6-14 inches of snowfall to portions of southern Minnesota on January 13, 1910. Schools closed in the Rochester area.

January 13, 1916 brought brutally cold temperatures to Minnesota. Over 25 climate stations reported morning low temperatures of -40°F or colder. The afternoon high temperature at Morris, Hallock and Fosston topped out at -25°F. Wind chill values around the state ranged from -55°F to -65°F.

A strong January Thaw prevailed over the 11th through the 14th in 1987, resulting in the warmest January 13th in state history. Over 50 climate stations reported daytime highs in the 50s F that day with a general absence of snow cover and bright sunshine.

A series of low pressure systems brought a week of daily snowfall to the state over January 8-14, 1999. The Twin Cities received over 15 inches making for difficult commutes on the perimeter highway system. In central Minnesota counties snowplows were called out on a daily basis to keep some highways open.

A very localized storm brought heavy snow to portions of the north shore of Lake Superior over January 12-13, 2008. Many upland areas away from Highway 61 reported 6-12 inches, while the area around Grand Marais reported 20 inches.


Most sunny over the weekend with temperatures climbing to above normal values by late Sunday. Increasing cloudiness Sunday night into Monday (Martin Luther King Day) with a chance for mixed precipitation, perhaps freezing rain in the southeastern sections. Chance of snow on Tuesday with warming temperatures for the rest of next week, and high temperatures that reach above freezing.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Roller Coaster Start to 2017

Roller Coaster Start to 2017:

Following the conclusion of a very warm year in Minnesota (2016), January of 2017 began warm and wet. The first few days of the month averaged several degrees warmer than normal.
Temperatures got as warm as 37°F at La Crescent, and 35°F at St James and Two Harbors.

Then a major winter storm crossed the state over January 2-3 bringing a mixture of rain, freezing rain and drizzle, as well as snow, along with high winds. Several observers reported precipitation totals of 0.20 inches to 0.40 inches. Many roads and sidewalks in southern counties were coated in ice, leading to a number of accidents. MNDOT advised no travel on some highways over the night of January 2-3 because of ice-coated roads. You can read more about this challenging weather episode at the DNR State Climatology Office web site:

In the north snow was the dominate form of precipitation as many areas reported 5-10 inches. Warroad received 13 inches, while Kabetogama reported 14.4 inches. For January 3rd some observers reported a new daily record snowfall, including:
9.2" at Kabetogama
8.0" at Argyle and Thief River Falls
6.5" at Orr
6.4" at Tower
6.0" at Cook
5.0" at Embarrass
4.5" at Gunflint Lake

With the fresh snow cover and high pressure settling across the state subzero temperatures were widespread. Some climate stations remained below zero degrees all day on January 4th. By January 5th and 6th many were reported morning low temperatures of -20°F or colder. It was -31°F at Bemidji and Cass Lake, -33F at Thorhult (Beltrami County), -34F at Embarrass (St Louis County)., and -35°F at Cotton (St Louis County). The National Weather Service issued Wind Chill Advisories on four consecutive days, as winds over 30 mph pushed wind chill values from -30 to -40 degrees F. The cold was expected to persist into the beginning of next week.


Weekly Weather Potpourri:

NOAA scientists provide a very good Climate 2016 Year-in-Review at their web site this week. They also describe recent climate trends analysis, examine extremes, and describe the record warm year in Alaska.

NOAA also features an interesting story about how the City of Chicago is preparing for climate change by building resilience into the city infrastructure. This is probably something that most cities should be undertaking.

The BBC reports this week that the Larson Ice Shelf C in Antarctica is on the verge of breaking off into the sea. A rift has developed with dramatic speed during the month of December (summer in that region) and is barely holding the ice shelf to the continent. The resulting iceberg would be about a quarter of the size of Wales and one of the ten largest ever.

The National Park Service issued this week a very interesting report titled "Cultural Resources Climate Change Strategy." It addresses the stewardship of our natural and cultural resources in the context of climate change. You might find it worth reading.

Thrill List Travel put out an interesting article this week to address the question of which of the 50 states has the worst (most miserable) winter? According to the authors they factored in "everything from weather patterns, average temperatures, and how effective and quickly their department of transportation clears highways, to interviews with locals and the historical success rates of their winter-season sports teams." In this system the top five on the list were Minnesota, Michigan, Alaska, North Dakota, and Maine. Purely based on climatology I would not agree with this list, but see what you think.

MPR listener question:

Last autumn on Morning Edition I heard you tell Cathy Wurzer that you expected more snow than normal this winter. Which areas of the state are seeing the most snowfall this winter, and is it above normal?


Most climate stations in southern Minnesota are reporting less than normal seasonal snowfall so far this winter, generally values that are under 20 inches. There are some exceptions, Redwood Falls reports over 27 inches, which is above normal for them. Most of the seasonal surplus of snow has fallen in northern Minnesota, where many climate observers are reporting above normal values. Kabetogama, Orr, and Cook have reported over 60 inches so far. International Falls is also above normal with 44 inches so far. In western counties Argyle (Marshall County) and Ottertail are reporting well over 3-feet of snow so far which is above normal there. The outlook models continue to favor above normal seasonal snowfall for many parts of the state through March.

Twin Cities Almanac for January 6th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 23 degrees F (plus or minus 13 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 8 degrees F (plus or minus 14 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for January 6th:

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 49 degrees F in 1900; lowest daily maximum temperature of -14 degrees F in 1909; lowest daily minimum temperature is -27 degrees F in 1887 and 1912; highest daily minimum temperature of 37 degrees F in 2012; record precipitation of 0.40 inches in 1967; and a record snowfall of 5.2 inches in 1932.

Average dew point for January 6th is 5 degrees F, with a maximum of 46 degrees F in 2004 and a minimum of -32 degrees F in 1976.

All-time state records for January 6th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 62 degrees F at Marshall (Lyon County) in 2012. The state record low temperature for this date is -55 degrees F at International Falls (Koochiching County) in 1909. State record precipitation for this date is 1.85 inches at Orwell Dam (Otter Tail County) in 1997; and record snowfall is 19.0 inches at Hinckley (Pine County) in 1997.

Past Weather Records:

The coldest January 6th on a statewide basis was in 1912. In every corner of the state temperatures remained below zero F all day long. Morning lows in northern counties ranged from -35°F to -50°F and even the afternoon temperatures at New Ulm and Rochester never rose above -20°F. The temperature in the Twin Cites fell below zero on the 1st of January and did not rise above zero until mid morning of January 13th. Overnight lows of -30 and -31 degrees F were recorded on the 11th and 12th, respectively. The high temperature on January 11th was -19 degrees F. Windchill values on the 5th, the 9th and the 11th were in the -40 to -60 degree F range. Hibernation was the most common activity. This turned out to be the coldest January on record in the Twin Cities as well, with an average temperature of -3 degrees F.

A major winter storm brought a mixture of rain, ice, and snow, even blizzard conditions to the state over January 4-6, 1997. Ice accumulation felled trees and powerlines in southwestern counties. Winds over 40 mph with blizzard conditions closed many roads, including a section of Interstate 94 between Moorhead and Sauk Centre. Many travelers were stranded overnight. In northern communities 10-20 inches of snowfall blew into 15 foot drifts. Wadena reported a record 27 inches of snowfall.
The warmest January 6th in state history was in 2012. Most areas of the state saw temperatures climb into the 40s and dozens of climate stations reported daytime high temperatures in the 50s F. It was 56F as far north as Cass Lake, while Canby, Madison, and Marshall in the west all broke 60°F.


Generally a cold and dry weekend. Increasing cloudiness and warmer on Monday with a chance for snow, especially in southern sections. Continued snow on Tuesday. Snow again Thursday with temperatures returning to near normal levels.
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