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Snowiest February Continues

Snowiest February Continues:

“The best cross country skiing conditions ever for the month of February” is a common expression this month, at least across many parts of the state including the Twin Cities.

In addition to the 120 daily snowfall records set or tied this month in the Minnesota climate station network, Wednesday of this week (February 20th) brought yet another record-setting snowfall to at least 25 climate stations in Minnesota, including 11.3 inches at New Ulm.

So far over a dozen climate stations in Minnesota have reported total February snowfall of 30 inches or more, with a station near Mankato reporting 40.2 inches so far this month. Only 7 Minnesota climate stations have ever reported over 40 inches of February snowfall. With nearly a week to go in the month, some climate stations may approach the all-time February snowfall record of 51 inches set at Pigeon River Bridge (Cook County) in 1939.

Many climate stations have already reported the snowiest February in their history, including the Twin Cities with 31.7 inches so far. Nearly two-thirds of the total snowfall in the Twin Cities this season (49.5 inches) since the 5th of February. Among the other monthly snowfall records for February so far are:
27.6 inches at Rochester
23.5 inches at St Cloud
37.3 inches at Two Harbors
28.2 inches at Kabetogama
32.2 inches at Faribault
31.7 inches at Hastings
24.5 inches at Leech Lake
34.3 inches at New Ulm
26.0 inches at Lake City

Two north shore locations, Two Harbors and Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center are reporting seasonal snowfall totals of greater than 90 inches now. So it is certain some areas of the state will end the snow season with over 100 inches.

More information about this snowy February and the overall snow season as well can be found at the Minnesota State Climatology Office.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

Speaking of snow, Flagstaff, AZ reported a record 35.9 inches on February 21 this week. This gives them a monthly total of almost 68 inches so far. More information can be found from NOAA-National Weather Service Office there.

A NOAA Climate Assessment shows the declining water levels in the Ogallala Aquifer of the Central Plains States. This trend is expected to continue and will impact the agricultural production of these states.

In the Western North Pacific Ocean this week Typhoon Wutip formed southeast of Guam and increased in strength. By Friday it was showing winds up to 130 mph and sea wave heights over 40 feet. It is expected to grow stronger as it heads northwest and perhaps brushes Guam over the weekend with a dose of heavy rain.

MPR listener question:

Did we recently set a new all-time state February snowfall record? If so, when was the last time an all-time state record was set?


Although the observer at Mankato has reported over 40 inches of snowfall so far this month, it is still shy of the state record for February of 51 inches set at Pigeon River Dam (Cook County) in 1939. The last statewide monthly record for snowfall to be broken was in 2013 when Island Lake (St Louis County) reported a new April record of 55.6 inches.

Twin Cities Almanac for February 22nd:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 31 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 22nd:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 59 degrees F in 2017; lowest daily maximum temperature of -2 degree F in 1889; lowest daily minimum temperature of -22 degrees F in 1873; highest daily minimum temperature of 38 degrees F in 1930; record precipitation of 1.13 inches in 1922. Record snowfall is 8.8 inches also in 1913.

Average dew point for February 22nd is 14°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 44°F in 2017; and the minimum dew point on this date is -21°F in 1965.

All-time state records for February 22nd:

The state record high temperature for this date is 66 degrees F at Whitewater Township (Winona County) in 1943. The state record low temperature for this date is -46 degrees F at Bemidji (Beltrami County) in 1939. The state record precipitation for this date is 3.00 inches at Willmar (Kandiyohi County) in 1922. Record snowfall for this date is 15.0 inches at Gaylord (Sibley County) in 2011.

Past Weather Features:

A very cold day occurred on February 22, 1889. With abundant snow on the ground an Arctic High Pressure system ushered in record-setting cold air. The high temperature at Moorhead only reached -20°F while the high reached just -15°F at Morris. Duluth reported a daytime high temperature of -12°F after a morning low of -27°F.

A large winter storm brought a mixture of rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow to Minnesota over February 22-23, 1922. While southeastern Minnesota citizens suffered through an ice storm, central and northwestern citizens endured 10-20 inches of heavy, wet snow. Both Milaca and Detroit Lakes reported over 20 inches of snow.

The week of February 16-22, 1981 was so warm in southwestern Minnesota that some farmers were seen tilling fields and planting small grains. Daytime temperatures were consistently in the 60s F.


Generally cloudy going into the weekend, with a mixture of precipitation on Saturday that may include rain, freezing rain, and snow. Some areas may see several inches of snow Saturday night. Blustery with strong wind gusts on Sunday, then an increasing chance for snow later on Monday and Tuesday with temperatures remaining well below normal values. A drier pattern for later next week.
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