Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2022

Recent Snows and Preliminary Climate Summary for February

Biggest snows of the month (Feb 21-23): Storms over February 21-23 brought significant snowfalls to many parts of Minnesota. Many areas of the state reported storm total snowfalls of 5 to 12 inches, with Browns Valley (Traverse County) reporting 14.5 inches. Other locations reporting large total snowfalls from the storm included 20 inches at Park Point in Duluth and 18 inches at Little Falls. High winds that accompanied the storm produced blizzard conditions in northwestern Minnesota counties on Monday (Feb 21), marking the 11th time the National Weather Service has issued blizzard warning for that part of the state this snow season. More details about this storm can be found at the Minnesota State Climatology Office web site. Within the Minnesota statewide climate network some stations reported new daily snowfall records, including: For February 22 8.2 inches at Wright (Carlton County) 7.8 inches at Brimson (St Louis County) 7.0 inches at Two Harbors (Lake County) 6.3 inches at

A Perspective on this Cold February

A Perspective on this Cold February: Since the record warm February of 1998 (over 14°F above normal on a statewide basis) we have seen 8 remarkably warm Februarys and 8 remarkably cold Februarys, including last year. There have been 6 others within a degree or two of normal. This February is tracking from 4 to 8°F cooler than normal around the state so far and will likely end up being several degrees colder than normal as well by the end of the month. Although it has generally been colder than normal this month with a number of Wind Chill Advisories issued by the National Weather Service, extreme or record-breaking cold temperatures have been rare. Within the state climate network only one cold daily maximum temperature record has been set (-17°F at Litchfield on February 3rd) and only three cold daily minimum temperature records have been set (including -42°F at International Falls on February 3rd). Last February (2021) the cold temperatures were more extreme with 196 daily recor

A Windy Winter

A Windy Winter: I have previously given some attention to this attribute of our climate this winter, and also heard from a number of MPR listeners about how windy it seems to be. Indeed, there have been a large number of Wind Chill Advisories and Warnings this winter because of the high winds. Average wind speeds were greater than climatological averages for the months of December and January, and so far there are greater than average for February as well. Many places have reported wind gusts from 40 to 60 mph this winter, and a large number of days when wind gusts exceeded 30 mph. For the Twin Cities, there have been 6 days so far this month when maximum wind gusts exceeded 30 mph. In January there were 14 such days, and in December 17 such days. Of course, the absolute highest wind gusts on a statewide basis this winter were on December 15th when the highly unusual thunderstorm complex that brought 20 tornadoes to southeastern Minnesota also produced some measured straight-lin

Cold Start to February

Cold Start to February: Following a colder than normal January, February has started out much colder than normal with most places in the state reporting multiple nights of subzero temperature readings, including minus 42°F at International Falls (Koochiching County), Kabetogama and Celina 2E (both in northern St Louis County). Many climate stations also reported subzero high temperatures on Thursday (February 3rd). The National Weather Service has issued Wind Chill Advisories and Warnings on multiple days, as well as at least one blizzard warning for northwestern counties where snowfall amounts were earlier in the week were modest (-2-3 inches) but winds were 40 to 50 mph in gusts. Average temperatures are running from 9 to 12 degrees cooler than normal across the state through the first four days of February and the balance of the month is projected to be mostly cooler than normal as well. In this context the current soil frost depth which varies from 16-26 inches according to NOA