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Showing posts from January, 2024

Historical Context for These Warm Temperatures

Historical Context for These Warm Temperatures: December of 2023 was the warmest in state climate history averaging over 14°F above normal on a statewide basis. Almost all of the days recorded above normal temperatures. This followed a November when over two-thirds of the day were warmer than normal, giving us a mean monthly temperature that was 4.0°F above normal. So, the November/December combination to end the year 2023 was the 2nd warmest in state history, trailing 2001 by a small margin. Now that the Arctic Cold Wave is behind us, it is estimated that the last ten days of January will average 15-19°F above normal across the state. This will offset the mid-month cold spell and likely give us an average monthly temperature for January that is about 5.5°F to 6.0°F above normal (statewide basis). Such numbers mean that the Dec/Jan combination of this winter will be the warmest in state history, surpassing that of 2011-2012. The combined months of November through January (2023-2

After a cold period, a reversal of temperature pattern

After a cold period, a reversal of temperature pattern: Many places in Minnesota have seen temperatures average near 0°F or subzero since last Friday (January 12), certainly the coldest spell of weather so far this winter and the longest sustained period of below normal temperatures since last April. In fact here is the average air temperature since last Friday for a few selected communities, along with the departure from normal: International Falls, ave temp -6°F, -10°F below normal St Cloud, ave temp 1°F, -12°F below normal Brainerd, ave temp -2°F, -12°F below normal MSP, ave temp 4°F, -12°F below normal Rochester, ave temp 0°F, -14°F below normal Duluth, ave temp -2°F, -13°F below normal. Many places have reported minimum temperatures this week of -20°F or colder. The morning of January 18th both Brimson and Tower reported -26°F as a minimum temperature. Despite the persistence of cold Minnesota reported the coldest temperature in the 48 contiguous states only once during the pa

Rare colder than normal temperatures return

Rare colder than normal temperatures return: Thursday, January 11th, brought many smiles and lifted spirits because it was the sunniest day since December 29th for many areas of the state. Through the first 10 days of January temperatures have been well above normal (warmest start to the month since 2007), but cloudiness has dominated the weather scene in Minnesota for the month so far, with most of the significant weather systems delivering precipitation remaining south of the state. The exception was the snowstorm that plagued portions of southwestern and southeastern Minnesota over January 7-9. Many observers in these areas of the state reported 4 to 7 inches of snowfall. Portions of Rock County reported over 11 inches of snowfall. The DNR State Climatology Office reported more details on the snowfall this week at their web site. January 11 brought more significant snowfalls to the north shore, especially from Two Harbors to Finland and Lutsen. Snowfall amounts ranged from 6

2023 climate statistics and 2024 start:

2023 climate statistics and 2024 start: The warmest December in state history, coupled with the 2nd warmest ever November-December combination helped make the year 2023 the 8th warmest in Minnesota history (back to 1895). Here is the listing of the top 8 warmest years, with the statewide mean temperature: 1987 45.3°F 2012 45.2°F 1931 45.0°F 1998 44.9°F 2016 44.6°F 2006 44.4°F 2021 44.3°F 2023 44.2°F The year ended with the wettest December in state history (statewide average precipitation of 2.35 inches compared to a normal of 1.00 inches), but this did not make up for the rainfall deficits that brought drought to the state earlier in 2023. The statewide average precipitation for 2023 was 25.72 inches, about 1.5 inches below normal. Some long-term climate stations reported one of their driest years of record, including: Albert Lea in Freeborn County (22.30 inches), 9th driest Preston in Fillmore County (18.07 inches) 9th driest Pipestone in Pipestone County (18.07 inches) 5t