Skip to main content

January thaw for some, but still colder than normal

January thaw for some, but still colder than normal:

Despite 3-days of a January Thaw (Jan 11-13) for much of the state this week with daytime temperatures as high as the mid to upper 40s F in southern Minnesota communities, the first two weeks of January are generally showing an average temperature that is 4°F to 8°F colder than normal.

Minnesota has reported the coldest temperature in the 48 contiguous states four times already this month. Climate observers in Hubbard, St Louis, Marshall, and Lake of the Woods Counties have already reported low temperatures in the minus 40s this month, with observers in 20 other counties reported minimum temperatures of -30°F or colder. With readings of -44°F at Baudette and Warren this first week of the month and 48°F at Albert Lea the second week of the month we have already seen a 92-degree temperature variation across the state.

With the medium range models suggesting that most of the rest of January will bring below normal temperatures it is likely that Minnesota will record its coldest January since 2014.

Fifth National Climate Assessment: Midwest Chapter Public Engagement Workshop:

The date and time for this event is January 24, 2022, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The National Climate Assessment, a major U.S. Government report published every four years, brings together scientists from across the country to summarize the state of the science on climate change and how it is impacting the people and places of the United States. Now, you can be a part of the process! This virtual event is free and open to the public. The information gathered in the workshop will help the authors decide which topics to cover in the Midwest Chapter of the 5th National Climate Assessment, on how climate change affects people and places in the United States. You can find out more details and register to participate by going to the Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership Events web site.

The 2022 Minnesota Climate Adaptation Awards Event featuring Dr. Katharine Hayhoe:

The date and time for this event is January 31, 2022, 3:00-4:30 p.m.

Discover and learn from the inspiring stories of adaptation right here in Minnesota. Special guest Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, Chief Scientist for the Nature Conservancy, will join to help celebrate adaptation leadership across Minnesota.

The Minnesota Climate Adaptation Awards, presented by the Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership (MCAP) since 2014, celebrate exceptional achievements in leadership, education, research, policies and practices that improve resilience or climate justice through the development, advancement or implementation of climate adaptation strategies. This virtual event is free and open to the public.

You can learn more and register to participate in the virtual session by going to the Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership web site.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

NASA reported this week that from the global temperature data array data the year 2021 was the 6th warmest in the historical record. In addition, NOAA provided a climate highlights narrative this week on their web site that shows 2021 was the 4th warmest in history for the 48 contiguous states. They also provide a descriptive narrative about the climate patterns that produced the highly destructive wildfires in Colorado last month.

CBS News reported this week that Onslow in Western Australia tied the nation’s all-time highest temperature reading with 123°F. This was recorded on Thursday, January 13th. The average high temperatures in the area for this time of year are in the mid 90s F. Also this week parts of Argentina and Paraguay were recording record-breaking heat as well with temperatures ranging from 108°F to 113°F.

This week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin features a description of the declining glacial ice in Antarctica and the implications for sea level rise during the 21st Century. Though there is uncertainty in the amplitude of sea level change, which depends both on melting of the glaciers and thermal expansion of the oceans due to heating, there will undoubtedly be very serious impacts on developed coastal infrastructures.

This week NASA introduced their new Chief Scientist and Senior Climate Advisor, Dr. Katherine Calvin. She holds degrees from Stanford University and University of Maryland, and has helped author two special reports from the IPCC.

MPR listener question:

Earlier this week we were discussing the Storm of the Century that brought a blizzard to Minnesota over January 10-12, 1975. Much of the historical narrative describes the abundant snowfall (15-25 inches in many places), and closures of roads and highways, but what were the Wind Chill conditions like?


This was a memorable storm as much for the winds as the snow. Winds ranging from 30 to 50 mph blew the snow into 20-foot drifts and closed many roads and highways. The Minnesota Red Cross provided food and shelter for over 17,000 stranded travelers. Hourly weather data suggests that Wind Chill Values in western and central counties ranged from -35 to -50°F, causing passengers on a stranded train near Willmar to remain on the train and not try to walk to shelter.

Twin Cities Almanac for January 14th:

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 9 degrees F (plus or minus 15 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for January 14th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 49 degrees F in 1944; lowest daily maximum temperature of -16 degrees F in 1972; lowest daily minimum temperature of -26 degrees F in 1972; highest daily minimum temperature of 32 degrees F in 2001; record precipitation of 0.34 inches in 2001. Record snowfall is 4.4 inches also in 1999.

Average dew point for January 14th is 4°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 37°F in 1947; and the minimum dew point on this date is -33 degrees F in 1982.

All-time state records for January 14th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 57 degrees F at Browns Valley (Traverse County) in 1987. The state record low temperature for this date is -50 degrees F at Cook and Cotton (St Louis County) in 1965. The state record precipitation for this date is 1.60 inches at Milan (Chippewa County) in 2001. Record snowfall is 12.0 inches at Campbell (Wilkin County) in 1923.

Past Weather Features:

Perhaps the coldest ever January 14th was in 1965 when over 50 Minnesota climate stations reported a morning low of -40°F or colder. Both Cook and Cotton (St Louis County) reported -50°F.

The warmest January 14th in state history was in 1987 when climate observers in 18 counties reported afternoon temperatures in the 50s F. There was little or no snow on the ground, and the previous day it had reached 60°F at Lamberton.

January 14-15, 2001 brought a winter storm to the southern half of Minnesota where 4-10 inches of snow accumulated. It was the biggest snowfall of the month, as snow storms were relatively infrequent that month of January.


Sunny, but considerably cooler on Saturday with temperatures closer to normal. Then increasing clouds and warmer on Sunday with a chance for snow early in the day. Milder, with above normal temperatures on Monday and Tuesday as well, then much colder for the balance of next week as temperatures average several degrees below normal.

Print Friendly and PDF