Halftime Score: Mild +9 Winter 0; (But sub zero this week?)

+9 degrees MSP temps vs. average so far this winter (Dec 1 – Jan 15th)

0 number of sub zero days so far this winter

6 days at or above 40 degrees this month (Includes 40 on Sunday!)

+11.2 MSP temps vs. average for the first half of January

11.2″ season snowfall total at MSP Airport

Coating to 1″ possible late tonight

-16.1″ compared to average season snowfall

27.3″ average season snowfall to date at MSP

52.4″ by last year on this date!

2977 Heating degree days (HDD) in the metro so far this winter

3767 average HDD by this date

21% savings in heating costs vs. average this winter!

+31 minutes of daylight since December 21st

+ 2 minutes of daylight per day this week

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Floating ice house on Detriot Lake. (WDAY image)

Winter’s 1st Half in the books:

We’re halfway home. Meteorological Winter (Dec-Feb) is officially half over.

Whether you’re a disgruntled winter lover or gleeful with the mild temps and lack of snow, the first half is in the books and the numbers are remarkably mild. I was born & raised in Minnesota, and I have never lived through a winter quite like this in my 37 winters here.

Season’s coldest air so far this week:

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Winter’s 2nd half opens with a strong cold front sweeping through today. This will be the coldest air mass so far this winter season.

Temperatures in Alaska have been running between -30 and -50 for weeks, and a chunk of that air is coming south. Sub zero temps are moving over the Canadian Rockies and spilling into Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

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A little Arctic Fluff?

As the cold air spills in today and Tuesday, there could be a shot of light snow late tonight into early Tuesday. Look for a coating to 1″ in the metro with some higher totals possible in southern Minnesota. Two or 3 minor snowy dustings may add up to 1″ to 2″ of total snowfall this week. With the colder temps, there will be some slick roads.

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Another record this week?

Temperatures will dive well below zero in northern Minnesota this week, and will make a serious run at sub zero temps in the south. The coldest morning looks to be Thursday when temps could approach or dip slightly below zero in the metro. It’s not a lock yet, but it is certain that we’re going to be plenty cold both Tuesday and Thursday morning.

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Let’s see if a light northwest wind and the urban heat island conspire to keep MSP Airport near zero Thursday morning, while other locations dip below zero.

If we make it to Thursday (January 19th) without hitting zero, it will set a new record for the latest date ever in the Twin Cities, which now stands at January 18th. (2002)

Temps will begin to moderate on Friday, and we should be pushing upper 30s low 40s again by this weekend, with 40s likely again early next week! The GFS is hinting at another big thaw the last days of Janaury that could push temps again onto the 40s and possible 50 in Minnesota. Unreal.

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It’s too early to (responsibly) say this will be the coldest week of winter. February can bring severe (and sustained) cold to Minnesota. There are already early signs that a frigid air mass may come south the first week of February that could be as cold or colder than what we’ll see this week.

Stay tuned.


  • Catherine

    I’ve never really understood what “heating degree” days means. Would you explain? Thank you!