Long range outlooks, a roll of the dice

We kept waiting for the other boot to drop and an old fashion Minnesota winter to beat us down. Here we are on the first day of meteorological spring and the outlook calls for rather mild conditions to continue in our neck of the woods.

NOAA’s Winter Outlook released November 2011 indicated a fairly high confidence level of colder than normal temperatures. NOAA’s winter outlook was similar to that made by others, including the Farmers Almanac.


Top Ten Warmest Meteorological Winters for the Twin Cities.

Rank Year Average Temperature (F)

1 1877-1878 29.0

2 1930-1931 26.9

3 2001-2002 26.8

4 2011-2012 26.2

5 1997-1998 25.9

6 1986-1987 25.8

7 1982-1983 24.0

8 1991-1992 23.5

9 1943-1944 23.5

10 1920-1921 23.2

Snowstorm totals provided by the National Weather Service Duluth, Whiteout conditions hammered Duluth to Silver Bay on Wednesday.


A daily record of 9.7 inches of snow was measured at Duluth on February 29th. The peak wind gust was 56 mph.

Check out the snowfall reports for central Minnesota and west central Wisconsin at the Chanhassen NWS web link.

Much needed moisture fell with this major storm. Here’s a graphic of the cooperative observers reports. Precipitation in northeast Minnesota occurred after these observations were posted on Wednesday.


There was a phrase used in the weather lab that was often quoted when looking ahead, “the trend is your friend.” Here’s a look at NOAA’s temperature outlook for March, favoring above normal tempratures. First order of business is to start the snow melt.


But in the meantime, get out this weekend and knock yourself out with playing in the snow. Temperatures should be seasonal. No big snows are see for Minnesota the next couple of days.

Have you heard about the warm-up coming? See this temperature forecast from the GFS model for Tuesday afternoon.



  • Craig

    For clarification, the graphic of the precipitation from the Midwest Regional Climate Center is a multi-sensor composite, not just the co-op. Close inspection suggests to me that radar estimated precipitation may have been incorporated.

    This could be a somewhat overestimation of the accumulated liquid precipitation. Just shy of two inches of liquid was recorded at Chanhassen, Mn.