Skip to main content


Warm January Will Finish With Cold and Snow

Warm January Will Finish With Cold and Snow: So far the month of January has followed the warmer than normal trajectory laid down by December. Most areas of the state are averaging 6 to 9 degrees F warmer than normal through the first 17 days of the month. For the Twin Cities climate record (1872-present) the first half of this January tied for the 5th warmest in history, trailing only those of 2006, 1987, 1880, and 2012. Earlier this month besides the back to back record high temperatures of 47°F in the Twin Cities on the 4th and 5th, a record high minimum temperature record was tied on the 7th with an overnight reading of 34°F.

But the other shoe will drop beginning this weekend, as temperatures generally average colder than normal for the rest of the month. The coldest temperatures of the month so far occurred back on New Year’s Day with some readings of -30 degrees F or colder up north. Some temperatures over the next few days may be that cold up north. But many places in s…
Recent posts

New State Annual Precipitation Record Confirmed

New State Annual Precipitation Record Confirmed:
Back in the very wet year of 2016 Waseca recorded 56.24 inches of precipitation, setting a new statewide annual precipitation record. Only two years later in 2018 five southeastern Minnesota climate stations reported 50 inches of annual precipitation and two of them broke the state record: Caledonia (Houston County) reported 57.97 inches; and Harmony (Fillmore County) reported 60.21 inches. At Caledonia the record total precipitation was greatly enhanced by an intense thunderstorm that delivered 8.10 inches there on August 28th. However at Harmony the new precipitation record was set because of more frequent heavy rains and not so much individual record-setting rainfalls. For example at Harmony they normally record about 7 one day rainfalls of 1 inch or greater per year, but this year they had 18 such days. Also they average about 2 days per year with 2 inches of rainfall, and in 2018 they reported 7 such days.

The new state record…

Cold Start to New Year Gives Way to January Thaw

An Arctic Air Mass gripped the state on New Year’s Day this year bringing subzero temperatures to all areas of the state. Only a few areas of southeastern Minnesota remained above zero degrees F. Morning lows of -30 degrees F or colder were reported in portions of St Louis, Itasca, Koochiching, Cook, and Lake of the Woods Counties of northern Minnesota. Daytime high temperatures remained in the single digits above zero at a number of climate stations. This was the second consecutive New Year’s Day (2018-2019) that subzero temperatures have dominated the state.

However, a warming trend began early on January 3rd of this week with southwest winds and sunny skies. Temperatures warmed by dramatically. After -31°F at International Falls on New Year’s morning, the temperature rose to 39°F by afternoon on January 3rd, a 70 degree temperature rise. Following near record high daytime temperatures on Friday, January 4th temperatures will moderate but deliver daily highs above the freezin…

Preliminary December Climate Summary and 2018 Climate Highlights

Preliminary December Climate Summary: December was a warmer than normal month with average monthly temperatures around the state running 6 to 9 degrees F above normal. In fact on a statewide basis this December will rank among the ten warmest historically dating back to 1895. Over 70 percent of all days brought warmer than normal temperatures. Extremes for the month ranged from 51 degrees F at Browns Valley (Traverse County) on the 16th to -17 degrees F at Seagull Lake (Cook County) on the 6th.

Thanks to the big winter storm over December 26-28 this week, most Minnesota climate stations reported above normal precipitation for the month. Storm total precipitation ranged from 0.5 inches to 1.50 inches in many places with some storm total snowfall amounts ranging from 8 to 24 inches. In fact some climate stations reported new daily precipitation and snowfall records from this storm. Some of these records included:

December 27th record daily precipitation reports (total of rain and…

2018 Climate Summary-New Statewide Precipitation Record

2018 Climate Summary-New Statewide Precipitation Record: As we near the end of the calendar year, a climate summary for the state statistically shows that both temperature (average annual) and precipitation (total annual) will rank among the 20 highest in state history back to 1895. The distribution of temperature patterns in the state was mixed with about half of the months warmer than normal and half colder than normal. Extremes of temperature for the year were 102°F at Madison (Lac Qui Parle County) and Amboy (Blue Earth County) on May 27th and -46°F at Embarrass (St Louis County) on January 14th.

The distribution of precipitation was mixed during the year with about half of the months drier than normal and half wetter than normal. At least 20 communities reported a one-day rainfall event of 5 inches or more. The wettest areas of the state in 2018 were the southern counties, where many climate stations reported the wettest year in their historical record. The driest area of …