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Extension > Minnesota WeatherTalk > February 2018

Friday, February 23, 2018

Disparity in Winter Temperature Signal Associated with Snow Cover

Disparity in Winter Temperature Signal Associated with Snow Cover:


Last week I stated that this winter (Dec-Feb) will end up being colder than normal for most places in the state, something that has been fairly rare in occurrence over the past three decades. Approximately 90 percent of the climate stations in Minnesota will end up with an average temperature for the December (2017) through February (2018) period that is colder than average. Only about 10 percent of Minnesota’s climate stations will show a mean winter temperature that is slightly warmer than normal.

Areas of the state with ample snow cover will show the largest negative temperature departures, while areas that have been deficient in snow cover all winter will show slight positive temperature departures. Embarrass (St Louis County) which has reported significant snow cover since mid-December has reported 9 dates with a low temperature of -40 degrees F or colder. Conversely, Montevideo (Chippewa County) which has had only traces of snow cover all winter has reported 17 days with temperatures of 40 degrees F or higher.

In terms of the snow season, northern Minnesota is the place to be if you like snow for recreation. Only Isabella, Ely, Two Harbors, Wolf Ridge (near Finland, MN), and the uplands outside of Grand Marais have reported over 60 inches of snow since October of last year. Isabella (Lake County) has reported 76 inches, most in the state. Conversely many western counties including Douglas, Swift, Renville, Traverse, and Big Stone have reported less than 10 inches since last October, and a handful of stations have reported less than 6 inches, a real snow drought.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

NOAA released this week a summary of the global climate pattern for January 2018. It was the 5th warmest January globally for the record period going back to 1880. January of 2018 was also the 397th consecutive month (back to 1985) where the average global temperature has exceeded the 20th Century average. They also highlight other climate attributes for the month.

A recent video from the Yale Climate Forum provides a discussion of how climate change is affecting extreme weather around the world. The scientists interviewed describe how increasing temperatures in the Arctic are affecting the path of the jet stream, the severity of storms, and the length of individual weather events (rain, storms, drought).

A recent paper in the journal Nature Communications describes how changes in Earth’s vegetation composition of had significant effects on climate behavior, making some areas warmer and some areas drier. Most of the climate effects are brought about by changes in the radiation balance at the Earth’s surface.

A recent paper in Reviews of Geophysics documents how tides affect the loss of ice in both the Greenland Ice Sheet and Antarctica. Tides and their actions are in turn affected by climate change, as with changes in sea level and coastlines caused by climate change in turn affect the magnitude and timing of tides.

MPR listener question

Here at Milan, MN (Chippewa County) we have received only 9 inches of snowfall since last fall, and only 1 inch so far in February. Do you know what the record lowest total amount is for the snow season here at Milan? If anybody does, we thought it would be you.

Answer:

Over the past 125 years at Milan the smallest amount of snow for a snow season (Sept-May) was in 1930-1931 when only 7.5 fell. The second lowest total was 8.4 inches in 1941-1942, and the third lowest total was 11.9 inches in 1920-1921. So if you receive no more snowfall until May, this season would rank third lowest. But that is unlikely with so much snow in the forecast over the next several days. In fact according to National Weather Service forecasts you could receive several more inches before the end of this month.

Twin Cities Almanac for February 23rd:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 32 degrees F (plus or minus 12 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 16 degrees F (plus or minus 13 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for February 23rd:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 59 degrees F in 1958; lowest daily maximum temperature of -8 degree F in 1889; lowest daily minimum temperature of -25 degrees F in 1889; highest daily minimum temperature of 40 degrees F in 1931; record precipitation of 0.63 inches in 1909 and 1977. Record snowfall on this date is 6.3 inches in 1909.

Average dew point for February 23rd is 15 degree F, with a maximum of 45 degrees F in 2000 and a minimum of -23 degrees F in 1967.

All-time state records for February 23rd:

The all-time state high temperature for today's date is 70 degrees F at Lake Wilson (Murray County) in 2000; the all-time state low for today's date is -43 degrees F at St Vincent (Kittson County) in 1889. The all-time state record precipitation for this date is 2.35 inch at Detroit Lakes (Becker County) in 1922. Record snowfall is 25.0 inches at Detroit Lake (Becker County) also in 1922.

Past Weather Features:

With over a foot of snow on the ground already a bitter cold Arctic air mass settled over the state on February 23, 1889 bringing record-setting cold to many places. Some of the low temperatures included -43 degrees F at St Vincent (Kittson County), -35 degrees F at Moorhead, -34 degrees F at Morris, -30 degrees F at Duluth, and -25 degrees F in the Twin Cities. The temperature at Moorhead that day never climbed higher than -13 degrees F.


A powerful winter storm brought a mixture of rain, sleet, and snow to the state over February 22-23, 1922. At Willmar 3.23 inches of precipitation was recorded (a record amount for February), with 14 inches of snow. Many observers reported 6-12 inches of snow, but Mora and Detroit Lakes reported over 20 inches.


Another winter storm brought mixed precipitation to the state over February 23-24, 1977. Some areas of the state reported over 2 inches of precipitation, while many observers also reported 7-14 inches of snowfall.

By far the warmest February 23rd in state history was in 2000 when most communities in the state reported afternoon high temperatures in the 50s F. In fact at least a dozen climate observers reported a high of 60 degrees F or greater, topped by 70 degrees F at Lake Wilson in Murray County.

Yet another slow moving winter storm brought a mixture of precipitation to the state over February 23-25, 2001. Many observers reported new daily snowfall records on those dates. Many climate stations reported from 10 to 20 inches, with the north shore of Lake Superior receiving over 20 inches.

Outlook


The weekend will start out relatively mild, but increasing cloudiness on Saturday will eventually bring snow to most of the state over the late afternoon and evening. In eastern sections of the state snow may linger into early Sunday morning. Widespread coverage of snow may lay down areas of 6 to 10 inches. Beginning on Monday milder temperatures will prevail for much of next week under partly cloudy skies, with a change for snow again late Wednesday and into Thursday.



Friday, February 16, 2018

Snow will be welcome in west-central Minnesota

Snow will be welcome in west-central Minnesota:


Portions of west-central Minnesota have been exceptionally dry since November 1 of last year. Over an area spanning from Lyon County north to Traverse County and east to Meeker County climate observers have reported only about 25 to 35 percent of normal precipitation since November 1st. As a result some of these west-central counties are designated to be in moderate drought by the US Drought Monitor, but more importantly the persistent absence of snow cover this winter has allowed frost depths to go down 20-30 inches and exposed pasture lands to some extremely low temperatures (conducive to winter injury of perennial grasses and alfalfa). Should this pattern persist into the spring farmers would be justifiably considered about lacking enough moisture for the planting season.

Fortunately the emerging weather pattern delineated by recent forecast models shows favorable conditions for significant snow cover to finally come to this portion of Minnesota beginning this weekend and through much of next week. This will be welcome there. Also the new outlook models favor a cooler and wetter than normal spring for the state as a whole.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:


For those in the business of weather forecasting it is a bit disconcerting to see a proposed $1 billion dollar cut for NOAA in the Trump federal budget. Public expectations for the National Weather Service to provide warnings and forecasts for severe or threatening weather have never been higher, and the challenges are great to achieve better forecasting accuracy and enhance public safety. But with the proposed budget cuts NOAA could lose between 300 and 400 jobs, as well as capital funding for the deployment of new technologies. Let's hope that Congress restores some of this proposed budget cut to NOAA.


Tropical Cyclone Gita in the South Pacific Ocean is being watched carefully by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center as it heads for New Zealand over the next three days. It currently packs wind gusts over 120 mph and sea wave heights over 25 feet, but is expected to weaken as it nears New Zealand.


There is an interesting discussion this week by the UK Met Office regarding the slang terms used to describe weather, and the misinterpretation of weather symbols by the public. There are very significant regional differences in the jargon used to describe heavy rain for example. The Met Office is hoping to use this survey data to better serve the public with local forecasts that are heeded.


A recent study by NOAA and University of Colorado scientists reveals that the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by paints and perfumes can cause a significant degradation in air quality. At least this is the case in the Los Angels Basin where the study was done. You can read more about this paper published in Science by going to the online edition.


A strong cold front brought high winds and dust storms to parts of Australia on Wednesday this week. Melbourne was hit by winds ranging from 55 to 65 mph, knocking down trees, and bending road signs, as well as blowing shingles off roofs. Some people were injured by debris blown around in the wind.

MPR listener question:


I heard this might be a rare winter season when the average temperature for the three months of December, January, and February will be cooler than normal. Is this true? And how will this winter rank historically?

Answer:

As we stand this winter December was marginally cooler than normal, while January was marginally warmer than normal. With these somewhat offsetting months in play, the weight of February’s temperature pattern (9 to 11 degrees F cooler than normal so far) will cause the three month average to fall below normal for only the 9th time in the last 30 years. Such winters have been pretty uncommon.

In fact if you look at the number of times the Twin Cities has reported a mean daily temperature in the single digits (below 10 degrees F) this winter that has occurred 28 times so far this winter. This seems like a large number but it is not. Here are the top ten winters in the Twin Cities winter climate record (Dec-Feb) for number of days when the average daily temperature was in single digits or colder:

1886-1887 51 days
1874-1875 47 days
1917-1918 45 days
1916-1917 and 1978-1979 44 days
1882-1883 43 days
1935-1936 42 days
2013-2014 41 days
1872-1873 and 1981-1982 40 days
1919-1920 38 days
1876-1877 and 1983-1984 37 days

With the current weather outlook for beyond this weekend I would be surprised to see any more days with just a single digit average temperature. It seems like we will be flirting with normal or above normal temperatures the rest of this month.

Twin Cities Almanac for February 16th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 29 degrees F (plus or minus 13 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 13 degrees F (plus or minus 15 degrees F standard deviation).MSP Local Records for February 16th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 60 degrees F in 1981; lowest daily maximum temperature of -11 degree F in 1903; lowest daily minimum temperature of -26 degrees F in 1936; highest daily minimum temperature of 36 degrees F in 1998; record precipitation of 0.40 inches in 1878. Record snowfall on this date is 3.2 inches in 1938.

Average dew point for February 16th is 11 degree F, with a maximum of 38 degrees F in 2011 and a minimum of -29 degrees F in 1973.16th:

All-time state records for February 16th:

The all-time state high temperature for today's date is 67 degrees F at Canby (Yellow Medicine County) in 1981; the all-time state low for today's date is -59 degrees F at Pokegama Dam (Itasca County) in 1903. The all-time state record precipitation for this date is 2.20 inch at Brainerd (Crow Wing County) in 1921. Record snowfall is 12.0 inches at Aitkin (Aitkin County) in 1990.

Past Weather Features:


On a statewide basis the coldest February 16th occurred in 1936. With heavy snow cover in place an Arctic air mass descended from the north and brought record-setting cold to many counties. Fifteen climate stations reported a morning low of -40 degrees F or colder. As far south as Faribault it was -34 degrees F. At Fosston (Polk County) the temperature never rose higher than -25 degrees F.

By far the warmest February 16th in state history occurred in 1981. Over 40 Minnesota climate stations reported an afternoon high temperature in the 60s F under bright sunny skies and with light southerly winds. Many citizens took lunch outside to enjoy the weather.

A stalled frontal system along the Iowa border brought heavy snowfall to southern parts of the state over February 16-19, 1984. Snowfall amounts ranged from 5 to 13 inches, and in southwestern Minnesota counties many schools were closed because of drifted roads and highways.

A large, slow moving winter storm brought heavy snow to the state over February 15-16, 1990. Many areas of central and northern Minnesota reported 6 to 12 inches of snow. Dozens of schools were closed for the day on Friday the 16th.

Outlook:

Near normal temperatures over the weekend, with increasing cloudiness, especially on Sunday and a chance for snow later in the day and evening. There will be mixed precipitation Sunday night and Monday, with some rain and freezing rain in southern sections of the state, and mostly snow in the central and north. Amounts could be heavy in places (4-8 inches) and snow may linger well into Tuesday. Drier with near normal temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday next week.


Friday, February 9, 2018

Cold Start to February

Cold Start to February:


February has begun with a prolonged cold spell of many subzero nights with daytime highs only reaching the single digits in many places. Average temperatures around the state are running 10 to 12 degrees F cooler than normal. Over the first nine days of the month Minnesota has reported the nation’s coldest temperature 5 times, including -43 degrees F at Embarrass on the 4th. So far 16 climate stations in northern portions of the state have seen the temperature drop to -30 degrees F at least once this month.


Several observers have reported 3 to 5 inches of new snow this month. In many northern areas snow depths range from 8 to 15 inches, while west-central counties still lack snow cover as many observers there report less than 2 inches. Soil frost depths around the state currently range from 15 to 30 inches, and will likely go deeper. The colder than normal temperatures are likely to continue on Wednesday of next week (Feb 14th) when temperatures are expected to climb into the 30s F, breaking the streak.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:


Very heavy snowfall with significant snow drifts closed some streets in Paris on Wednesday of this week. The Eiffel Tower was even closed for a time. This unusual weather followed a massive flood on the River Seine through Paris that occurred the last week of January closing many Parisian streets due to high water. Winter precipitation there has been up to 10 inches above normal, a very wet season. You can read more about the flooding in Paris from the Climate.gov blog.


Since 2015 Cape Town, South Africa has consistently reported below normal rainfall. The cumulative effect of this has resulted in a severe water shortage for this city, and there will be even stricter water use regulations imposed beginning this April or May, perhaps only allowing each resident to use 7 gallons or less per day. You can read more about this drought and its impact there from an article by NOAA’s Michon Scott.


Colder than normal temperatures are expected to prevail across many of the Olympic venues in South Korea for the first weekend of competitions at the Winter Olympics. Daytime temperatures may be in the teens and twenties F, with nights dropping as low as -2 to -7 degrees F. Wind Chill values will be in the range of -10 to -20 degrees F, especially for those spectators taking in the Alpin Skiing events this weekend. You can find more updates from the BBC Weather Center.


University of Arizona scientists recently analyzed the global temperature spike that occurred over 2014 to 2016. They found that over these three years the global temperature jumped 25 percent, and that the natural variability in the Earth climate system is not sufficient to explain this remarkable jump.

MPR listener question:

Looks like we will start February of 2018 with 11 or more consecutive days of colder than normal temperatures here in the Twin Cities, the longest streak of colder than normal temperatures since the spell of weather from Christmas Eve to January 6 (14 consecutive days). We were wondering how often does the month of February start with colder than normal weather over the first 11 days or more?

Answer:


Over the past 145 years (back to 1873) February has started with 11 or more consecutive days of colder than normal temperatures 22 times (15 percent), most recently in 2014. So this is pretty rare actually. Looks like we will break the current streak of colder than normal temperatures by the time we get to next Wednesday, the 14th day of the month. BTW in 1875 all 28 days of February were colder than normal, and it was the coldest February in Twin Cities history. Second coldest February was 1936, and third coldest was 1904 (both had over 20 days with colder than normal temperatures).

Twin Cities Almanac for February 9th:


The average MSP high temperature for this date is 27 degrees F (plus or minus 13 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 11 degrees F (plus or minus 15 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for February 9th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 52 degrees F in 1966; lowest daily maximum temperature of -16 degree F in 1899; lowest daily minimum temperature of -33 degrees F in 1899; highest daily minimum temperature of 34 degrees F in 1966; record precipitation of 0.92 inches in 1965. Record snowfall on this date is 8.0 inches in 1939.

Average dew point for February 9th is 6 degree F, with a maximum of 46 degrees F in 1966 and a minimum of -30 degrees F in 1975.

All-time state records for February 9th:


The all-time state high temperature for today's date is 63 degrees F at Canby (Yellow Medicine County) in 1991; the all-time state low for today's date is -59 degrees F at Leech Lake (Cass County) in 1899. The all-time state record precipitation for this date is 1.75 inch at Collegeville (Stearns County) in 1909. Record snowfall is 15.0 inches at Albert Lea (Freeborn County) in 1909.

Past Weather Features:


The Great Arctic Outbreaks of 1835 and 1899-

Today is the anniversary of two arctic cold outbreaks which produced some rather striking effects on the mighty Mississippi River. On this date in 1835 and again in 1899 the river was frozen deeply at Ft Snelling, allowing for foot and sleigh traffic. Low temperatures in Minnesota ranged from the -30s F to the -50s F. On the morning of February 9, 1899 over 20 Minnesota climate stations reported a temperature of -40 degrees F or colder. Detroit Lakes (Becker County) reported a low of -53 degrees F and a high of -32 degrees F.

It was also frozen enough for skating and sledding as far south as St Louis, and ice floes were observed entering the Gulf of Mexico out of New Orleans. In fact on February 9, 1899 parts of Louisiana recorded their all-time coldest temperatures with 7 degrees F at New Orleans and -4 degrees F at Shreveport. The 1899 cold wave struck the Gulf and eastern seaboard states with great ferocity. Parts of Florida received 3.5 inches of snow. Other record low temperatures that occurred during that Arctic Outbreak of 1899 included:
-6 degrees F at Atlanta, GA; 10 degrees F at Jacksonville, FL; -2 degrees F at Tallahassee, FL; and -15 degrees F in Washington, D.C.

Over February 9-10, 1909 a major winter storm brought rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow to nearly all of the state. Snow was heaviest in south-central counties where observers reported 10 to 18 inches of snow.

One of the heaviest snowfalls of the Dust Bowl Era (1930s) in Minnesota occurred over February 8-10, 1939. From the Twin Cities north over a foot of snow piled up, and in the northeast both Pigeon River and Grand Marais reported over 20 inches of snow.

The warmest February 9th in state history was in 1991. Over 40 climate stations saw afternoon temperatures soar into the 50s F. In southwestern Minnesota temperatures reached the 60s F at Lamberton, Springfield, and Canby.

Outlook:

A generally sunny or partly cloudy weekend, but with cooler than normal temperatures prevailing across the state.  Continued cool and dry for Monday and Tuesday, then warmer by Wednesday of next week, as temperatures moderate in the latter part of the week.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Climate Summary for January 2018

Climate Summary for January 2018:

Temperatures exhibited great variation during the month of January with daily departures that were over 20 degrees F above and below normal. Overall the mean temperatures for the month ended up from 1 to 2 degrees F cooler than normal, especially in NE and SE communities, to 1-2 degrees F warmer than normal in many other parts of the state. Extremes for the month ranged from 51 degrees F at Browns Valley (Traverse County) on the 20th to -46 degrees F at Embarrass (St Louis County) on the 14th. Minnesota reported the coldest temperature in the nation 8 times during the month, and on 6 of those dates the report was from Embarrass, MN. Four climate stations reported lows of -40 degrees F or colder, while five climate stations reported highs of 50 degrees F or greater.

For most of Minnesota January was drier than normal, with total precipitation (liquid water content) measured at 0.70 inches or less. Exceptions occurred in some south-central, east-central, and southeastern communities where precipitation totals for the month exceeded 1.50 inches. Grand Meadow (Mower County) reported 2.46 inches, their 3rd wettest January in history. Others reporting well above normal January precipitation included Waseca with 1.84 inches (14th wettest January) and MSP with 1.55 inches (20th wettest January).

As for snowfall, most locations in the state reported below normal snowfall for the month, with some exception in eastern and southern counties. Generally snowfall in western counties was below normal, and progressively more to the east. At least ten climate stations reported 20 inches or more, including the Twin Cities. Owatonna reported 23.1 inches of snow for the month.

Two other climate characteristics of note in January: the second half of the month brought much more sunlight than the first half, with several days having perfectly clear skies; for the southern half of the state it was a windy month of January with 8 to 12 days bringing winds gusts over 30 mph, and even 30-50 mph gusts during the blizzard on January 22nd.



Weekly Weather Potpourri:


For Sunday, February 4, 2018 the Super Bowl will thankfully be played indoors at US Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis where it will be approximately 70 degrees F. The outside temperature will be the coldest in Super Bowl history with readings ranging between 0 and 3 degrees F and Wind Chill values of -10 to -15 degrees F. For the last Super Bowl hosted by the Twin Cities in 1992 in the Metrodome, the outdoor temperature was 26 degrees F. You can read more about the weather for Super Bowl weekend at the Minnesota State Climatology Office web site.

With the recent floods along the Seine River in Paris, there was a BBC Weather story about Parisians using the flood streets for wakeboarding behind the tow of a vehicle.

Powerful Cyclone Cebile was churning in the Southern Indian Ocean this week generating winds over 130 mph and sea waves of 30 feet. Strong as it is it was not presenting any threat to island nations there, through shipping traffic was diverted around it.

A new forecast published by scientists at the United Kingdom Met Office indicates the annual global average temperature is likely to exceed 1 °C and could reach 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels during the next five years (2018-2022).

In a news release issued this week NOAA scientists have produced monthly average temperature maps for each decade over the remainder of the 21st Century. The climate models that produced these maps use two different energy use projection scenarios and the maps show the disparity in the temperature increase among states. You can immediately notice a significant warming in Minnesota during the month of January, a trend that has been significant over the past two decades already.

This week there is an interesting article by Dr. Jeff Masters of the Weather Underground on the high wind speeds recorded during the passage of Category 5 Hurricane Irma over the Leeward Islands on September 6, 2017. The highest wind speeds recorded by NOAA instruments were between 115-120 mph, but a private weather station on St Barts recorded a wind gust of 199 mph before the instrument was destroyed by flying debris.

MPR listener question:

I noticed that we had two distinct multi-day thaw periods during January here in the Twin Cities, the 8th through the 11th, and again over the 18th to the 21st. It seems like we often get at least one January thaw period, but how often do we get two like this year?

Answer:

You are right that multi-day January thaw periods are common in the Twin Cities climate record, but years with two distinct multi-day thaw periods are rare. In the 148 years since 1871 there have only been 9 Januarys that brought two such periods: 1880, 1900, 1942, 1944, 1947, 1987, 1992, 2006, and 2018. Another oddity in the data among these Januarys with two distinct multi-day thaw periods, 2018 is the one with the most subzero nights, eleven. In all the other Januarys on this list the number of subzero nights was single digits, and in January of 2006 there were no subzero nights. This serves as evidence for the great temperature variation during last month and wild swings in air mass characteristics last month.

Twin Cities Almanac for February 2nd:


The average MSP high temperature for this date is 25 degrees F (plus or minus 13 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 9 degrees F (plus or minus 15 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for February 2nd:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 48 degrees F in 1991; lowest daily maximum temperature of -17 degree F in 1996; lowest daily minimum temperature of -32 degrees F in 1996; highest daily minimum temperature of 31 degrees F in 2003; record precipitation of 0.80 inches in 1919 and 1983. Record snowfall on this date is 8.8 inches in 2016.

Average dew point for February 2nd is 3 degree F, with a maximum of 34 degrees F in 1987 and a minimum of -47 degrees F in 1996.

All-time state records for February 2nd:

The all-time state high temperature for today's date is 66 degrees F at Wheaton (Traverse County) in 1991; the all-time state low for today's date is -60 degrees F at Tower (St Louis County) in 1996. The all-time state record precipitation for this date is 2.00 inch at Caledonia (Houston County) in 1915. Record snowfall is 20.0 inches also at Caledonia (Houston County) in 1915.

Past Weather Features:


Back to back winter storms delivered very heavy snowfalls across Minnesota over January 30 to February 6, 1915. Rain, sleet, and ice prevailed in many parts of southern Minnesota, especially during the first storm. Then heavy snow fell, delivering 30 inches to Lynd in southwestern Minnesota (Lyon County), and over 2 feet of snow in Caledonia (Houston County) where the railroad was shut down for two days.

February 2-3, 1919 brought heavy snow to portions of central Minnesota where there were widespread reports of 8-10 inches.

Over February 1-4, 1983 a slow moving winter storm brought heavy snow to portions of southeastern Minnesota. Many schools were closed because school buses could not negotiate the snow packed roads and highways, where snow drifts packed 3 to 5 feet high. Portions of Winona County reported over 18 inches of snowfall.

The warmest Groundhog’s Day in state history was in 1991. Under sunny skies and southerly winds afternoon temperatures climbed into the 50s F in 30 communities across the state. Five climate stations reached the 60s F, and some citizens were seen taking their lunch outside at picnic tables. By far the coldest Groundhog’s Day in state history occurred in 1996 with an all-time state record of -60 degrees F at Tower, MN. At least 10 other climate stations reported low temperatures of -50 degrees F or colder, and it was as cold as -36 degrees F as far south as Zumbrota, Faribault, Amboy, and Preston.

Outlook:

Temperatures through the Super Bowl weekend and throughout next week will be several degrees cooler than normal, with many subzero nights. There is a chance for scattered snow showers on Saturday (1-3 inches in spots) and again on Monday. Then there will generally be a dry and cold pattern for much of next week.



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