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Snowy February Continues

Snowy February Continues:

Many climate observers have reported measurable snowfalls on over half of the days so far this month. Over 45 climate stations have reported 20 or more inches of snow so far, on a pace to be the snowiest February in state history. Just north of Two Harbors they have received over 30 inches for the month. In addition, over 120 daily snowfall records have been set this month in the Minnesota climate network, including 8.0 inches at Hokah and La Crescent on the 12th.

Some climate stations have already reported their snowiest month of February in history. Some of these stations include:
Eau Claire, WI 28.7 inches
Hastings 26.7 inches
Lake city 25.0 inches
Theilman 23.7 inches
Leech Lake 24.5 inches
Minnesota City 22.5 inches
Wabasha 22.1 inches

NOAA-National Weather Service reports that the Twin Cities with 22.2 inches of snowfall in February ranks 4th most historically. MSP reported new daily record snowfalls on February 7th (5.9”), February 10th (5.9”), and February 12th (5.5”). The most snowfall ever measured in February in Minnesota was 51 inches at Pigeon River Bridge (Cook County) in 1939. It is unlikely any climate station will approach that record.

Total snowfall for the 2018-2019 season has surpassed 70 inches at a number of northeastern Minnesota locations, while along the Lake Superior at Grand Marais, Two Harbors, and Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center they have reported over 80 inches of snowfall. Likely some of those areas will exceed 100 inches before the snow season ends.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

Anthony Arguez of NOAA wrote an interesting piece this week that puts the January Arctic Cold Temperature Outbreak in the context of our long-term warming trend. It is an interesting read and comparison to the temperature fluctuations of other places as well.

Tropical Cyclone Oma was churning in the South Pacific Ocean well off the coast of northeastern Australia this week. It was of modest strength, but generating 25 foot seas and winds over 75 mph.

A recent research paper from the University of Colorado puts a positive spin on the loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet by proposing that the nation export the sand and gravel deposits so prolifically left behind by the melting glaciers. As climate change melts Greenland's glaciers and deposits more river sediment on its shores, an international group of researchers has identified one unforeseen economic opportunity for the Arctic nation: exporting excess sand and gravel abroad, where raw materials for infrastructure are in high demand.

AGU-EOS reported this week that a recently completed global ice thickness survey shows that some of the ice content of Asian Glaciers has been overestimated. This has implications for estimates of water supply available to some Asian nations.

MPR listener question:

I am so tired of the snow this month. Here in Woodbury it has snowed practically every other day. What is the record number of days with snowfall for February in the Twin Cities?


February of 1962 is the record holder for the Twin Cities with 23 days of at least a trace of snowfall, producing a record monthly total of 26.5 inches.

Twin Cities Almanac for February 15th:

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 15th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 63 degrees F in 1921; lowest daily maximum temperature of -11 degree F in 1936; lowest daily minimum temperature of -25 degrees F in 1875; highest daily minimum temperature of 37 degrees F in 1984; record precipitation of 0.87 inches in 1967. Record snowfall is 8.5 inches also in 1967.

Average dew point for February 15th is 11°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 44°F in 1921; and the minimum dew point on this date is -25°F in 1946.

All-time state records for February 15th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 67 degrees F at Winona (Winona County) in 1921. The state record low temperature for this date is -53 degrees F at Ada (Norman County) in 1936. The state record precipitation for this date is 1.84 inches at Winsted (McLeod County) in 1967. Record snowfall for this date is 12.5 inches at Fergus Falls (Otter Tail County) in 1945.

Past Weather Features:

February 15, 1921 was by far the warmest in state history, with over 20 climate stations reaching a daily high temperature of 60 degrees F or greater. For many cities the nighttime temperature remained above freezing.

The coldest February 15th in history came during the bitterly harsh winter of 1936. On this date over 20 Minnesota climate stations reported a minimum temperature of -40 degrees F or colder. The daytime high at Fosston (Polk County) only reached -28 degrees F.

A large winter storm brought heavy snowfall to the northern half of the state on February 15, 1945. Most cities reported from 6 to 12 inches of heavy, wet snow. Some roads and highways were closed in the Red River Valley.


There will be cooler than normal temperatures throughout the weekend, but with an increasing chance for snow later on Saturday and into Sunday. Temperatures starting out next week will be colder yet with some subzero and single digit overnight lows. There will be another chance for snow by late Wednesday, with slightly warmer temperatures, but still below normal for this time of year.

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