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Looks like warmest December in state history

Looks like warmest December in state history:

It appears that the persistent above normal temperatures, expected to last through mid-January of 2024, will produce the warmest December in history for most parts of Minnesota. Looking at long-term climate stations in Minnesota, several are already reporting the warmest December in their record keeping. These include places like St Cloud, Morris, Crookston, Brainerd, and International Falls. At several other locations the expected warmth over the next 10 days may push them to set a record for warmest December. Some of those locations pushing the record for warmest December include:
MSP and Duluth are having the warmest December since 1877, and may break that record.
Hibbing and Pipestone are having the warmest December since 1939, and may break that record,
Rochester and Albert Lea are having the warmest December since 1931, and may break that record.

We may even see more climate stations report temperatures of 50°F or greater this weekend. Several climate stations have reported at least three days this month with afternoon temperatures of 50°F or higher, and a number have seen 60°F. This weekend could bring at least one or two more such days, but there is also a highly probability for rain with the warm temperatures, especially on Sunday. Also expect record high dew points over the weekend.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

The BBC reports this week on major flooding in northern Australia this week where extreme weather driven by ex-tropical cyclone Jasper has dumped a year's worth of rain on parts of Queensland. In some areas total rainfall this week surpassed 60 inches, and river flooding was widespread. Fortunately, river levels were dropping in recent days.

The Weather Underground this week features a story about the top 10 weather extremes in the USA during 2023, including record-setting rains in Fort Lauderdale and Death Valley, along with recording setting heat in Phoenix and Chicago. Some of these records are astonishing.

MPR listener question:

I have already played golf on two days this month when the afternoon temperatures reached 50°F. Me and my golf buddies were wondering what is the record number of days with 50°F or higher for the month of December?


Not sure of the location you are talking about here. The record for the Twin Cities is 7 days during December of 1939. The all-time statewide record is 13 days at Canby (Yellow Medicine County), Montevideo (Lac Qui Parle County), and Beardsley (Big Stone County) also in December of 1939. Minnesota did not have as many golf courses to be open back then. BTW in December of 1939 there was little or not snow on the ground through the first 3 weeks, then it turned colder than normal for the4 last 10 days with some snow and subzero temperatures. 1939 was not an El Nino year.

Twin Cities Almanac for December 22nd:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 27 degrees F (plus or minus 13 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 13 degrees F (plus or minus 13 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for December 22nd:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 53 degrees F in 1890; lowest daily maximum temperature of -12 degrees F in 1983; lowest daily minimum temperature of -20 degrees F in 1983; highest daily minimum temperature of 45 degrees F in 1877; record precipitation of 0.52 inches in 1968. There was also a record 7.6 inches of snowfall also in 1968.

Average dew point for December 22nd is 13°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 44°F in 1941; and the minimum dew point on this date is -32 degrees F in 1983.

All-time state records for December 22nd:

The state record high temperature for this date is 62 degrees F at Two Harbors (Lake County) in 1899. The state record low temperature for this date is -44 degrees F at Baudette (Lake of the Woods County) in 1963. The state record precipitation for this date is 1.30 inches at Glencoe (McLeod County) in 1920. The state snowfall record is 16.0 inches at Artichoke Lake (Big Stone County) in 1968.

Past Weather:

December 22 of 1899 brought a very mild day to Minnesota with many communities reporting an afternoon high temperature between 45°F and 55°F. There was little snow on the ground and some railroad employees were observed working in shirt sleeves.

A slow-moving winter storm brought heavy snows to Minnesota over December 22-23 in 1968. Many climate stations reported record snowfalls ranging from 8 to 16 inches. Fortunately, most schools were already on break for the holidays.

During the coldest month of December in state history the 22nd brought record-setting morning low temperatures to many places in Minnesota. Most climate station reported a morning temperature of -20°F and several places were colder than -30°F with Wind Chill readings in the minus 40s and minus 50s F. The afternoon high temperature at Alexandria only reached -18°F.


Continued very mild temperatures, near record high values, into the weekend with increased cloudiness and chances for rain by Saturday night. Rain/snow mix will prevail through Sunday and into Monday in northern areas, while rain will continue on Sunday and into Monday in the southern half of Minnesota. Daily temperatures will be above normal all week. There will be slight to moderate chances for rain or snow Tuesday and Wednesday, then drier towards the end of the week. Though not record-setting, temperatures will remain above normal.

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