January Thaw, running out of time

I oberved two different bank thermometers in the west metro yesterday afternoon that recorded a temperature of 33 degrees. The official maximum temperature taken at Twin Cities International Airport was only 28 degrees.

Here is some information gathered by Pete Boulay at the State Climate Office regarding the history of January thaws in the Twin Cities. The current trend continues of below normal temperatures through the rest of the month.

No January Thaw in 2009?

A January thaw is something that one comes to expect in Minnesota, especially in southern and central parts of the state. Looking back to 1891 in the Twin Cities, there have only been three years without a January thaw, defined as having a maximum temperature of 32 degrees or more. The years that did not have a high temperature of 32 or greater in January in the Twin Cities are: 1912, 1978 and 1979. If the Twin Cities stays below 32 degrees for the rest of the month, this will be the first time in thirty years where there hasn’t been a January thaw and only the forth time this has happened since 1891.

If statewide temperatures remain below freezing for the rest of the month, this will also be the first time since 1979 that there has not been a January thaw in St. Cloud and Rochester. The last time there wasn’t a January thaw in Duluth was 2004.

Minnesota State Climate Office 1/23/09



  • steve rantz

    How many days in jan. this year have been below 0

  • Craig

    Steve, so far in the first 28 days of January 2009 we have had 14 days below zero. Fifteen days of zero or colder. Add that to the 12 days of zero or colder in December and we are alittle ahead of the thirty year average of 30 days at or below zero in a winter season.

    Ave. number of days at or below zero in February is 7.